Quarter One Done

We finished the first quarter on Friday. It’s hard to believe we are already done with nine weeks of the school year.

In history, we learned about American government, the expanding nation, the industrial revolution, revolutions, and Africa. In Geography, we learned about the USA, the Pacific states, US landscapes, the mountain west states, and US political maps. In Science we learned about heat and temperature, motors and engines, energy, energy sources, and energy conversion. In the arts, we learned about patriotic music, tall tales, romantic art, and impressionism. We started every day by watching CNN 10.

Cameron read (listened to) The Bill of Rights Primer by Akhil Reed Amar, Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac, The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie, Black Potatoes by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild. His grades were excellent:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
PE A
English A
Math A

Fritz read American Government 101 by Kathleen Sears, Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac, Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson, Black Potatoes by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and David Livingstone: Africa’s Trailblazer by Janet & Geoff Benge. His grades were very good:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
Piano A
PE A
Religion A
English A
Math B
Latin A

Adrian read How to Build Your Own Country, Soft Rain: A Story of the Trail of Tears by Cornelia Cornelissen, Kids At Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. His grades were great:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
Piano A
PE A
Spanish A
Religion A
English A
Math A

Fritz, the Baby Whisperer

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We’ve known for a while now that Fritz is like magic with toddlers. They love him and will do anything for him. Some people jokingly call him the toddler whisperer, he’s that good.

Well, it turns out he’s got the magic touch with babies as well. The foster babies adore him. They seem Fritz and they only have eyes for him and get so excited when he plays with them or holds them. If a baby is sad and having trouble settling, they are instantly calm in his arms.

One day last week we baby-sat a two-year-old and 6-month-old. Somehow Fritz managed to get both 3-months-olds and the 6-month-old down for naps all at the same time and within just minutes.

All we can figure is he’s so incredibly calm that little ones feel that and absorb that calmness into themselves. Whatever the reason, we’ll take it. Bring so amazing with babies and toddlers is a pretty awesome skill to have!

The Arts: Romantic Art II

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This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our arts topic was romantic art II.

We read the original version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and acted it out.
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We discussed several poems from that era.
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We learned about Robert Louis Stevenson.
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And Charles Dickens.
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We illustrated Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
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We learned about Williams Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Keats.
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And about Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley.
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We listened to Beethoven’s Fifth and identified different parts of the music and watched a biography on Ludwig von Beethoven.
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We watched two videos of songs by Frederic Chopin.
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Science: Energy Sources

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This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our science topic was energy sources.

We learned about how a nuclear reactor works and then took a virtual tour of a nuclear power plant.
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We learned about how nuclear chain reactions happen and then watched a demonstration using mousetraps and ping pong balls.
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We learned about Enrico Fermi
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We learned about fusion and colored a worksheet explaining it.
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We learned about three major nuclear power plant meltdowns and their causes and results and discussed whether nuclear power deserves the fear surrounding it.
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We watched a video of a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb.
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We demonstrated how turbines spin using a milk carton and water.
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We made a water wheel using butter tubs.
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Butter Tub Water Wheel

We traced the path of energy through a power plant.
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We made a little light light up using a photovoltaic cell and a Snap Circuits kit.
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Snap Cicuits Light With Photovoltaic Cell

We talked about the costs of different energy sources and the pros and cons of each.
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We watched a video about responsible use of energy.
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Geography: Mountain West States

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This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our geography topic was the mountain west states (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada).

We labeled a map with the mountain west states and their capitals.
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We learned about Kit Carson.
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We made Idaho Potato Gems cookies. Adrian especially liked them.
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We learned about Buffalo Bill.
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We learned about outdoorsy things to do in Montana.
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We looked at the sis states’ flags and picked our least favorites to redesign. Cameron picked Idaho.
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We learned about the Hoover Dam.
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We learned about the Pony Express.
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And boom towns.
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We added all six states’ flags to our passports.
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We finished up this study by coloring in the mountain west states on our folder maps.
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History: Revolutions

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This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our history topic was revolutions.

We’ve pretty much given up on having an orderly timeline. Some pages are more than covered now.
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We learned about the three estates and the storming of the Bastille.
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We learned about Marie Antoinette, Jean-Paul Marat, Maximilian Robespierre, Lord Haratio Nelson, Arthur Wellesley, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
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We did mapwork of European revolutions around 1848.
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We watched a Crash Course video on Latin American revolutions.
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We learned about the Irish potato famine.
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We watched the barricade scene from Les Mis.
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We made two French flags – a red one and a tricolor one – and discussed what they both represent.
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We made a Karl Marx bobblehead and discussed some of his quotes.
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We learned about Florence Nightingale and her work during the Crimean War.
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The Arts: Romantic Art I

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This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks five and six of school we did unit 3. Our arts topic was romantic art I.

We discussed William Blake’s The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun.
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The we drew scenes from our favorite books.
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We looked at a cloudscape by John Constable.
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And then went outside and looked up at the sky and created our own cloudscapes.
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We discussed The Raft of Medusa by Theodore Gericault.
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And George Stubbs’ Lion Attacking a Horse.
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And then watched a video about the restoration of the Greek statue from which he was most likely inspired to paint all of his lions and horses.
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We discussed Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix.
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And watched a video about our own Statue of Liberty.
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We finished up our first week learning about romantic art by watching a video about the life of Eugene Delacroix.
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We learned about Francisco Goya.
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We learned about sitting for portraits and then took turns sitting and drawing.
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We learned about the imagination involved in romantic art.
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We learned about JMW Turner (Fritz was surprised to learn that art critic is an actual job).
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We learned about the Hudson River School type of art.
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We learned about Caspar David Friedrich. We discussed Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog and drew our own versions of it.
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We discussed other painting by Friedrich as well.
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Science: Energy

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This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks five and six of school we did unit 3. Our science topic was energy.

We watched a video demonstrating how potential energy becomes kinetic energy using some strangely sized dominoes.
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We demonstrated one joule (by lifting a bottle weighing about 100 grams one meter in one second).
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We learned about James Prescott Joule.
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We calculated the number of joules entering water as it heated.
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We learned about Thomas Young.
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We learned about heavier and lighter objects falling at the same or different speeds and the reasons why.
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We learned about potential energy turning into kenetic energy and demonstrated it by dropping things.
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We learned about Coriolis and his effect.
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We made a chocolate chip launcher. Those chips hurt if they hit you!
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Potential to Kinetic Energy: Chocolate Chip Launcher in Slow Motion

We watched a video demonstrating elastic energy through cutting up a watermelon using just rubberbands.
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We discussed types of energy used by Olympians in the skeleton and speed skating.
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We made a pendulum and identified what kind of energy was occurring when as it swung back and forth.
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Potential to Kinetic Energy: Swinging Pendulum

Potential to Kinetic Energy: Swinging Pendulum in Slow Motion

We learned more about Galileo.
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