Sunday, November 22, 2009

Celtic Jam

This August Ivy had an opportunity to participate in a "Celtic Jam" with many other musicians at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival. She didn't know a lot of the songs but was game to try! She continues to attend "Fiddlekidz" every Thursday and has private lessons every other week. Ivy manages to practice about 4 times a week on top of that.

Rocket Science

This didn't exactly fit into the curriculum but was too cool to leave out. Grandpa and the girls have been working on assembling and painting rockets over the course of many months. All the planets aligned last month and we had a calm day, built rockets and multiple motors. Factors like wind, drift, power and trajectory came into play while planning the location and blast off times. I don't know who had the most fun, but with warm drinks, a short walk and lovely scenery to accompany the dramatic take offs, who could complain?

Girl Guides

Both Ivy and Ella (Brownie & Spark respectively) have been involved in the Girl Guide program this year. They attended camp where they participated in crafts, games and chores! Ivy's highlight was the careful packing of the exact recommended list, complete with correct knots and groundsheets. Ella loved the newness and sociability of the whole thing.

The girls participated in the Remembrance Day parade - Ivy carried a flag and Ella got to help lay a wreath.

Vancouver II

Back to Vancouver in October...

We put in many miles of walking. One afternoon Ivy and Ella were pretty keen to get back to the Granville Island Kids Market to spend some carefully saved money. We walked from our hotel to the taxi-bus stop (which was most of the way there). The ride was fun but much too short. Ella had very little trouble deciding what to spend her money on - a small penny whistle and a deeply discounted leather walled. Ivy took her time and ended up choosing a sparkly gel pen and saving the rest of the money for future considerations!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Language Arts - Ivy

Here is a list of some of the novels Ivy has read this term (books with stars are ones Ella has listened to as well):

*Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
First Light, Rebecca Stead
City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau (book & movie)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
Savvy, Ingrid Law
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
*Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth, Lee Welles
*Molly Moon, Georgia Bing
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart
*Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich
*Secret of Roan Innish, Rosalie K. Fry (book & movie)
A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L'Engle

Supplementary novel work:
- Gaia Girls discussion & activity pages
- comparison study of City of Ember and First Light
- contrast between Ivy & Bilbo (The Hobbit)
- group read aloud, discussion and posters for Birchbark House
- A Wrinkle In Time study sheets (here and here, adapted to appropriate level)

Other language arts activities:
- creative writing (halloween math story, posters & magazine pages)
- spelling & vocabulary (mostly oral, some written)
- editing own work with help, particular attention given to sentence structure & use of capitals
- extensive non-fiction reading for fun as well as on the topics of stuctures and the solar system

active living

This fall Ella has been enjoying gymnastics every Saturday. Other activities the girls like to do include biking, scooter, hiking, skating, swimming whenever possible, playing in the yard, raking and climbing around at various playgrounds.

Ella got home from gymnastics on a sunny day and immediately set to work raking leaves. She loved the new suit too much to take it off!

Ella took Irish Dance in summer and loves it. She was very disappointed that the teacher she had did not continue teaching this year. She continues to dance to Ivy's fiddle tunes when she's practicing.

We like to hike down the hill behind our house on the "secret trail". On this particular day the girls spent some time exploring the orchard. This trip involved checking out spectacular icicles made by sprinklers that were left on through a cold night. At the end of the walk they were rewarded by watching the small herd of alpacas that live on a farm down the road.