Monday, February 16, 2009

Gluep & Ooblek

Ivy is enjoying some free science time, meaning she's free from curriculum and can explore whatever she's interested in. She came to me this morning with recipes for gluep & ooblek. It was a smashing success and we had a lot of fun doing it.

Dissolve 1 tsp borax in 6 tbsp water. In separate bowl mix 1 tbsp white glue with 1 tbsp water. If you want it coloured, add one or two drops of food colouring to the glue mixture. Add 2 scant tsp of the borax solution to the glue. Mix until it turns into gelatinous goo and then play with it.

This was was a little trickier as the instructions were vague. Fill a small bowl half full of cornstarch and add water. There's a magic sweet spot where it's in limbo between solid and liquid. If you try to stir quickly it chunks up like a solid, but when you put it back down it oozes together. Ivy's assessment was that it was like it was "...on a timer for solids. It's solid for a few seconds and when time runs out it turns into a liquid".

From the book: Science Smart: Cool projects for exploring the marvels of the planet earth, Gwen Diehn, Terry Krautwurst, Alan Anderson, Joe Rhatigan, & Heather Smith

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ivy's art

Ivy's brush painting


Ella's term 2 art

Recent sketches & paintings



Saturday, February 7, 2009

web games

Several times a week we spend about half an hour on the computer playing games that we feel are both fun and educational. Here are some of the most recent favorites.

Science - Matter

or link to game

Typing practise

Story making (mostly Ivy)

Math patterning(Ella)

Custom Oven

Ivy was inspired to devise her own oven in January. She had been hoping for a kid's oven for Christmas but didn't receive one. Jeremy worked with her on the basic design. They brainstormed, experimented and modified numerous times until they came up with one that worked. Ivy is delighted to report that although we burned her miniature brownie, her marshmellows toast well in it! The attempt to make popcorn was not successful but enjoyable anyway.



The girls have written and performed several skits together. Ivy tends to do most of the writing but they collaborate on ideas and making the props.

While they were still working on their unit on Animals in science, they were inspired by one of Ella's assignments in which she was asked to colour an animal and then cut it out and find places in the house where it was well camouflaged. Ivy wrote a play and they made puppets and a backdrop for it. Here's the video:

Ivy ad Ella occasionally spend days with their Grandma who helps facilitate some of their learning. In January they co-wrote and performed " Alice Saves Coneland". We regret that we did not take video or photos of the performance but we have pictures of the props. (note the cursive writing Ivy is working on!)


We finished our "Animals" units a few months ago but have only recently acquired some small pets for the girls to observe. Ivy has successfully raised a family of sea monkeys to the point where they are reproducing and we've found them surprisingly compelling. She feeds them herself on a carefully noted schedule. Ivy took them to her Brownies class for pet day and earned a "Pet Pals" badge.

We purchased a small fish tank and the girls actively participated in planning and choosing fish. Sadly we are down to 1 out of 3 fish but it has lead to teachable moments.




Ivy and Ella have been experimenting with Origami since December. They have enjoyed making "balloon" covers for the Christmas lights, Japanese dolls and small puppies, among many other projects.