May 30, 2014

Court Jester

We had a fun day yesterday (and today--we went swimming for the first time this summer and I think even Oskar had a good time).  We read: The King's Fool: A Book about Medieval and Renaissance Fools by Dana Fradon.

It is a pretty fun book.  The kids love the topic and the author included lots of great info about real historical fools.  I had to explain some of the "wit" to them.  :)

Then we watched one of my favorite old-timey movies: The Court Jester starring Danny Kaye as the jester, a very young Angela Lansbury as the spoiled rotten princess, and Glynis Johns as the love interest.  Important part of that sentence--Danny Kaye as a jester.  The plot involves Danny Kaye being mixed up in plot to overthrow the ruler or break up an alliance or some such thing but he's not really aware of the part he's playing and he's under an enchantment of which he's also not aware.  That's not a good summary.  Suffice it to say it is old school "madcap"--over-acted and silly and a whole bunch of fun.  My kids thought the whole thing was riotously funny.

Here's some clips for your enjoyment, if you enjoy this sort of thing.

May 29, 2014

Trying to Get Back Into a Groove

We are trying to get back into the swing of school around here, but since there are still unpacked boxes and unexpected glitches (AC went on the blitz just as Utah hit 90 degree temps), there is still more "trying" than actual "groove."

Since we took so much time off for the move, we have a lot of material already planned and waiting to happen.  That is really, really, really nice for me.  I went to my library list and requested the books for life cycles and castles and knights.

The first thing we did was read some books about life cycles.

The kids were thrilled to read about sea turtles and kept referring to Diego and Wild Kratts when referencing information not in the book.  The kids also enjoyed reading about salmon since we all agree they are totally weird.  Everyone loves butterflies.

These books were good--about as good as any animal books.

Then we read our very favorite life cycle book.  It is a Gold Star book for sure.

The story follows Dahlia the dragonfly as she emerges from the water still a nymph, but sheds her exoskeleton on live insect TV.  My children love the end.  The author is Heather Lynn Miller and you should DEFINITELY check this book out if you are studying life cycles, and also if you are not.  It is just fun.

After reading about life cycles we created our own life cycle charts.

 Cowen's butterfly.

 Emeline's sea turtle.
 Emeline's salmon.
Miriam's salmon.

I was going to use an internet freebie to aid in organizing our charts but when I tried to print I learned that the printer wasn't connected.  Sigh.  I'm hoping my hubby has time to do that tonight.  If you want a free generic life cycle chart that will work for any animal, go here:

There are a bunch of life cycle freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I think it is worth it to make an account.  I find it very helpful because you can search for a topic (ex: life cycle) and then click on "free" under "Prices" on the left side of your screen.  Then you can see all the freebies available for that topic.  I've found some great stuff.

But remember the true point of this post: read This is Your Life Cycle!

May 26, 2014

Awesome TED talk

I think this is the best TED talk I've ever heard.  This teacher, Joshua Katz, nailed the problems in education and how we got here.  Follow the money.  Amen, brother.  Professional teachers are by and large amazing and are working miracles despite the toxic education culture.  Preach it!  We need to innovate to create viable alternative options for our non-college track students.  Absolutely.

Although the video is 17 minutes long and most of us have an attention span (or our children give us) five minutes, I really think this is worth watching from beginning to end.


May 20, 2014

Guest Post on Chocolate on My Cranium

Hey everyone, I'm excited today because I am guest posting at Chocolate on My Cranium.  This is super awesome because who doesn't love Montserrat?  Nobody.  She's amazing.  If you want to jump over, the post is about keeping sensitive skin (specifically children's skin) healthy.  See you there!