Saturday, February 06, 2010

Psychology, Ecology, Sewing and Shakespeare

Started our weekly "study sessions" with Hazel and Romy this week in the library. Hazel did some psychology with Emily and Romy while I read library books to the adorable Tansy, then I took over and did some history with the big girls. Emily really enjoyed the psychology and learnt about conditional and unconditional stimulus and response. I think my history efforts were a little less fascinating, mind. We're going to work on Cromwell and the civil war, loosely based on a King Cromwell book I found in the This is History series, which has associated teaching resources from Hodder Education. Over the course of several weeks, the book leads up to kids writing a mini biography of Cromwell, an approach which I fancied us having a go at. I'm sure it will get better once we get into the meat of it. Actually, the page above has helpful teaching stuff for a number of the This is History books, including King John, Empire stuff and one called "Dying for the Vote".

At home, we started a sort of introduction to Shakespeare. I like some of the ideas in this "Shocking Shakespeare" scheme of work, so we'll have a go at some of those. That site does have a fair bit of good stuff for literacy; we adapted their Spooks & Spirits unit at the end of last year and turned it into a gothic literature-ish study and added bits about Edgar Allen Poe etc. I've only just realised the site is specific to Hertfordshire schools.....well, we're nowhere near Hertfordshire, but who cares?

In science (mainly just biology atm) we've also started a new topic, looking at ecosystems, food webs and adaptations. Emily created and sorted some food webs and investigated the desert ecosystem, finding out what the challenges of living there are and how camels and catci have adaptations to help. The plan is to do the same for the other major world ecosystems...investigate the habitat and then look in more detail at how two different animals or plants have adapted to it.

Found this BBC Learning Clips site which I hadn't realised existed; hundreds of useful video clips on there for all sorts of things. Emily watched a couple about cacti and desert adaptations there.

Emily has done more computer programming-y work with Gramps in her regular Monday afternoon sessions. Last week they had fun with an old Apple emulation thing and carried on their work with Just Basic. Emily's very taken with the idea of using one of Gramps' old, unused computers as a "sacrificial computer" for which she can try to create blue screens of death and other such evil nasties!

Meanwhile a pattern arrived for a halter neck top which Emily wants to sew. We'll go and choose some material for it next week and get started on that. I haven't sewn an item of clothing since needlework O level many years ago, lol, and Emily's never done a full size garment before, so that should be interesting! Next week we're also going to investigate Chinese New Year...we have our seasonal tree to decorate in that theme and we're also going to a Chinese New Year party next weekend, so that should be fun.

Ha - now this blog post has just turned into a long list of "we're doing this and we're doing that". Will have to take more photos to upload and find something more interesting to say!

1 comment:

nocton4 said...

busy days .. great to read about x