Monday, October 28, 2013

Co-op Oct. 1, 2013

Our brains were woken with a game of bananagrams. Everyone worked together to help each other use their tiles effectively.

 We continued our work with factors and prime and composite numbers.  We had some fun with alliteration and then discussed the main characters in Runaway King.

Today we also did some science. We went over the scientific method and how to write up a science report. We did two experiments. One on density and one on viscosity. They had to write up their hypotheses and their findings once the experiment was underway. We created liquid layers to demonstrate the different densities. I know that many have done this one before but it's a fun one and they always love it! They we studied viscosity and what that word means. We timed different liquids as they were poured down a ramp. For the second part of the experiment, we heated the liquids and retested. We compared the findings and discussed variables that could have affected our findings (eg. air temp cooling down the liquids).

The rest of the day was spent on reading The Runaway King and finishing the portraits. I think they turned out great! 

Co-op Sept. 24, 2013

 I'm a bit behind on writing up my blog posts so I'm having to go through my notes and refresh my memory. This is what I 'think' we did! :)

Started the day with a math problem challenge. Mickey and Henry were determined to solve this one! And they did!
 Next, using a 100s chart we practiced our factors with a partner.

Using an idea from Brave Writer for Scavenger Poems, we used the words we collected last week from the magazines and the kids had to compose a poem.

We continued our study of The Runaway King and then started our portrait art. I love this project. It ensures that everyone will be successful! Can't ask for anything more. See the results in next week's blog post.

 1. Take a photo.

2. copy the photo with line work.

3. Colour the photo with one of three different colour combinations; realistic, warm colours, cool colours. We watched a video on colour theory and reviewed.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tues. Sept. 17th, 2013

Today we were able to start using my new workspace for the kids. It's a cozy space and the kids seem to like it. Although I have a small heater for this room, we probably won't use it in the winter.

We started off with some fraction practice. Using a variety of manipulatives as well as pencil and paper, the kids had to demonstrate different ways of representing fractions. Basic fractions were easy, but they all needed practice with improper and mixed number. By the end, they were all proficient.

Played a game of "Dress Me" and then some free time.


Last week they did a writing assignment involving making a packing list. This week they did the opposite. I provided a packing list (see below) and they had to write a story using those item. They were allowed to add to their list if need be. Wonderful stories unfolded. If they were comfortable sharing, they did. All were quite engaged in this process.

More Runaway King reading. For next week please read chapters 6 and 7.

On our hike we collected sketches and written descriptions about various plan species. Today we went through different field guides and tried to identify our plants. We added the new found info to our nature books.

Next week we will be doing a Brave Writer writing assignment. To prep, the kids collected 30-40 'colourful', descriptive words from magazines. We'll see what we can do with them next week!

We continued our work on our Zentangle designs. This is the start of mine below. This is a fantastic art project that anyone and everyone can do. It's basically a fancy doodle. The focus is on dividing up spaces, and using a variety of different line types.

These are pictures of them in progress. Some finished and some didn't. I'm trying to encourage them to take their time, even if it means not finishing it until the next co-op day. They're often eager to finish! They did a fantastic job on them. I highly recommend this exercise for everyone. Very relaxing!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Sept. 10th, 2013

Welcome back everyone! Nice to have our group back together again! It was supposed to be a HOT one so we started with a lovely hike down at the river before settling in the air conditioning. On our hike, the kids did some sketching of various plant species, in order to attempt to identify them next week. Lots of great observations and knowledge sharing along the way.

When we got back the kids had a writing task. I gave them a description of a trip to Scotland and they had to write up a packing list of things they would take on their trip. They got quite creative! Some were going on expensive trips!

In the afternoon we started our Zentangle design (more on this next week) and started our book club selection, "Runaway King" which is the second book in the "False Prince" trilogy.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Co-op Update: Monday April 15, 2013

Lovely weather today so we took advantage and the kids had a fair bit of free time outside. We have to grab it before it turns bad again!

To get into the 'Medieval' mood the kids started the day by building the playmobil castle.

After the castle building, the older two worked on their own while the rest continued with their Ted Harrison inspired art project.  See examples of Ted Harrison art below.


Their art had to:
  • be a landscape
  • have organic lines
  • have divisions of colour
  • create flow
  • bright colours
This was a mixed media project. The kids used oil pastel (but could have also used crayons) for their outlines to not only create some contrast but to also divide the colour blocks.


After some time outside we started our Medieval Studies unit. We worked on a KWL chart; filling in what we KNOW, and what we WANT to learn. The kids are quite excited and are eager to build some castles and weaponry. We'll have to see what we can come up with!

We began our book study, "The False Prince." We made predictions based on the cover image and text as well as the description on the back. Most kids took turns reading and has we read we discussion and talked about unfamiliar words and guessed their meaning based on the context. For next co-op (in two weeks), they need to have read ch. 4-6. For anyone who missed out on today, feel free to pick up a book at your library and catch up at home (ch 1-6).

After lunch we did a brief study of probability. The kids had to calculate the number of outcomes for:

  • a Twister spinner (easy)
  • a dice (easy)
  • two dice (getting harder)
  • coloured cubes in a bag (3 blue, one yellow, one black, 2 orange, 2 red, one green)
  • 2 stacks on uno cards (2 colours, numbers 0-9) - really hard!
Terms we discussed:
  • possible outcomes
  • equally likely outcomes
  • unlikely outcomes
  • probability