Thursday, February 3, 2011

Questions asked, answered and no wonder....

Yesterday was a good day, it always amazes me how "good days" just sort of pop up on their own on what's supposed to be an ordinary day. It was Groundhog's Day and I had everything planned out, so I'm not sure how we didn't get to all of it.....but I have an idea :-)

First of all I've come to realize why our son thinks I have the answer to everything and is shocked if I don't "know" something right away. Most of the time the answers are there somewhere in the cobwebs of my mind, they just need to dusted off and brought out to the light. Every now and then though our son comes up with something that as he says, "I didn't that coming".
Yesterday it started simple enough, I simply made him a cup of hot chocolate. Come on, take a guess.....
Yep, it led to The Red Ranger asking me who invented hot chocolate.
Somehow the file cabinets of my mind didn't have that answer saved.
So, as any good mom and most especially a homeschooling mom would do.......
We looked it up!
There were a few steps to the answer.......are you curious?

It started with the Aztecs only they served it cold and used cocoa beans as currency. They also flavored it with wine and chili peppers (wine = good, chili peppers = yuck!).
Cortez brought it back to Europe in the early 1500's and Spain changed it to a hot drink, sweetened and without the peppers (Yay...Spain!).
When it came to London in the 1700's the British started adding milk to it and enjoyed it as an after-dinner beverage. 
Our short answer was that it wasn't a person that invented hot chocolate but a country, Spain.
Then we went on to look at the cocoa beans themselves and the process of how we get that powder in the cup. Which then led to how its put into trucks and delivered to stores.....etc., etc., etc!
If you are so inclined to read is the link for The History of Hot Chocolate .

Okay, admit just made yourself a cup of hot chocolate didn't you??
If you didn't....what are you waiting for?? Go get a cup and come back to hear about our Groundhog Day stuff.........

We started off our day changing everything over for the month.
All of our calendar work which included adding all the special days this month including Groundhog Day.
We did our History Scribe holiday sheet which gives you a blurb about the holiday, a space for a drawing and journal practice. We then checked online to see what that pesky little groundhog had to say.
In case you didn't hear.....spring is coming early.......hmmmm....I'm looking out the window at all of the snow and thinking he may just be wrong about that one!
We then continued online with lots of stories, poems and shadow puppets on the wall. Our shadow puppets sort of took over the rest of the Groundhog Day stuff I had planned......we just couldn't stop making more and more of them. I also discovered that The Red Ranger loved the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, "My Shadow". I mean LOVED I'm looking into more Stevenson works for him.
Since we didn't finish all of the material we'll just use it during the week as fun stuff.
We also did our spelling introducing the match game cards I made up and we also went over all of our February vocabulary words and used some of them in the vocabulary match game that I also made. Both of these will now be added to our Scrambler Wheel for the month.
We spun the Scrambler Wheel for math as well and it landed on Dominoes and then...................

We had tears.................................
And a 5 minute break using the microwave timer.............................
When The Red Ranger came back (on his own after he heard the ding of the microwave) he was still teary and it took me a bit to find out what was bothering him. He said he hated math because it was too hard.
Not sure where this came from because he's great at math, it comes easily to him. I told him how proud I am of how well he does in math and that sometimes he surprises me with how well he does. The tears finally stopped and we got back to the dominoes and he was fine.
All I can think of is that he was doubting himself and needed to know that he was good at math or that he just didn't want to do math yesterday.....LOL!
In the end we picked three tiles at a time and used each side of the tile as a digit in a larger number and then made up our problems. He really didn't want to do the "big" number problems but I showed him that he does know how to break the problem down to get to the answer. In some cases we used the tiles for 3 and 4 digit numbers, we try to change it up as we go and it helps that he has to write the problems on the chalkboard or his dry erase board.
We also did our reading with our two books we have going at the moment and of course our weather work.
Can't forget the weather work! Since it was also the beginning of the month we took our January weather calendar and graphed the amount of sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy days and how many days we had temperatures in the teen's, 20's, 30's, etc. and how some days the wind chill bring those temperatures down even lower....sometimes into single digit numbers!!
Where's my hot chocolate??!!

For the match game spelling and vocabulary I just cut blank index cards in half and glue construction paper to the back making two's of all of the words.

Join the Hop for February!