I taught the last 2 Tuesdays at our elementary co-op. We're in a space unit right now, which is one of my favorite subjects! I actually taught this unit before, way back in 2006, when I was pregnant with Anna. Although I taught the 1st and 2nd graders back then, and I taught the 5th and 6th graders this time, at least I had some ideas for where I was going and what I wanted to cover.
Last week we talked about stars. After talking about differences in size, color, etc., we focused on constellations that are in the sky right now in the evening. We did several activities to help them be able to recognize Orion, Taurus, Jupiter (which is above Taurus right now), the Pleidies, Auriga, Gemini, Canis Major, and Canis Minor, as well as the Big Dipper, the North Star, and Casseiopia. I told some of the Greek myths behind the constellations too. One thing I do that is always popular is pound nailholes into the bottom of pringles cans in the shape of the constellations (actually you have to punch in the mirror image so it looks right when you look through the can). I sent the kids home with instructions to look at the stars at night and see how many of those constellations they could identify--but unfortunately practically all of the nights were cloudy, LOL. Oh well.
Today we focused on the moon. After talking about features on the moon's surface, what it is made of, and how it shines, we talked about the phases. I demonstrated them with a globe, light, and foil-covered styrofoam ball, and then the kids made these moon phase plates out of oreos. I "glued" the oreos to the plates with white frosting. The activity was a hit, LOL.
Anyhow, it is a shame that I am so busy right now and can't just enjoy this unit more, because there are so many interesting websites and new things to read! I am really relieved to be done with the teaching part, though. Being at TNT all morning really makes for a long day for me, as I have to come back to Rivendell and teach memory work and life science. We did not meet at all for biology last week (although I gave the boys a bunch of assignments!), which gave me time to finish this week's lesson plan, but we'll meet this week on Thursday. In fact, I should be preparing for that now, instead of blogging . . .We're covering the immune system in great detail, and I am definitely not prepared yet!