Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Investigating Area

Both the mathematical and geographic kind :)

We've had a very productive day today, which is all the more pleasing since it didn't start very well - despite wanting to be up by 7, we eventually crawled out of bed at 8:58. Hmmm. Must work on the getting up earlier thing. I'm sure most of my problems would be solved if I could magically develop a liking for freezing cold semi-dark early hours. Since dusk is getting noticeably later now though - and therefore dawn is getting earlier, not that I'd know for sure, since I'm exceedingly rarely around to see it! - perhaps I'll get some help from nature in that department soon.

Anyway. After a grumpy start we went straight into some maths. Emily did a page of test questions at the back of a mental maths book, all of which were well within her capabilities, and at least three of which prompted an "I can't do it!" burst of tears. Sigh. One of *those* moments. One of the upsets was because she didn't know the answer to something asking about the order of the months of the year. She knows September-Feb off pat, for some reason, but gets horribly muddled with the rest. I don't know why it caused tears, since at no point are we ever cross with her for not knowing something, but she just hates not being able to do stuff.

It was therefore with some trepidation that I moved things along to a first attempt at calculating the area of squares and rectangles. She's never done this before, so I was half expecting a meltdown. Nope. Emily absolutely breezed through it. We had some centimetre squared paper which she used to begin with, and by the end of half an hour she was confidently working out areas without having to draw them first and including half centimetre measurements too.

We had time left for a brief bout of English, so Emily chose to do some more poetry. We looked at some observation poems, and she wrote a lovely one about her bed. Over lunch, we watched some BBC2 Revisewise stuff that happened to be on, and Madam took a liking to the idea of having to do SATS tests - ????? - so long as she didn't have to go to school in order to do them. Okkkaaaay. We also watched a short thing about internet safety which rather alarmed her a bit, I think, but did reinforce from a third party why we'd been less than pleased when she started posting a message on some forum a while ago without checking with us first.

This afternoon we kicked off our Local Area project with a good bout of geography, specifically about settlements. We talked a lot about why people settle where they do, and Emily made a list of advantages and disadvantages of city living vs a village. We also talked about the various differences between hamlets, villages, towns and cities, and Emily used our local ordance survey map and some road atlases to make some more lists of settlements of each type in our area.
Silently cursed Lincoln for being a "city" despite quite obviously not really fitting the criteria for cities we'd just discussed, and really being a town not much bigger than Gainsborough or Scunthorpe. Yes, I know, cathedrals and all that. Perhaps I'm just biased as it's one place I really dislike, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on.

Emily then chose one of each type of settlement from her list, and traced the outline of the built up area from the road atlas, and then transfered the outline onto inch squared paper. She was then able to work out the approximate area in square inches the city, town, village and hamlet covered, and convert that to actual square miles using the 1.5 miles to the inch scale of the road atlas. She seemed to really enjoy that, and since we rarely visit any city (and no, I'm sorry, in my book Lincoln does not count) it gave her a better impression of size and scale than she had before.

Time for a quick drink and it was off to yoga. There are some lovely pictures of Emily and the rest of the yoga class in today's Lincolnshire Echo, which she was very chuffed about. The work they did in class today was quite challenging I gather, judging from the groans of effort wafting my way through the door, lol. Emily says they tried out lots of new positions and refined existing ones, and started to lean seriously about the health benefits associated with each position, which she'll have to know for her tests. She has aching thighs now, lol.

Found three out of the four cats sleeping in a cave Emily had made them on her bed, bless 'em. Cassie cat wouldn't join in, being much more aloof than the others, but old uncle Merlin was in between the two kit bits, which was very sweet. At least there's been no repeat of yesterdays mouse incident. Or at least, not that we know of. Both the older cats regularly bring in live mice downstairs, so we're just hoping that the kittens don't decide to copy them and bring us a ready made menagerie up here!

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