Thursday, November 30, 2017



Thoughts on water all week. 

Pumped up!

First, the kids learned how poor children around the world often have to fetch water from distant wells or contaminated ponds. 

To bring the experience home, I proposed a water carrying relay race. 

Confident Crew

The kids' enthusiasm quickly waned after one relay round of carrying water [half the typical village weight] in any manner they chose.

My sneaky motive was to introduce an important human "innovation": balancing a load using the center of gravity. 

Instantly, the chore became much easier and the race more fun. 

Fun with physics, eh? 

And there was yet another innovation for the kids to explore: 

The Pump

Yeah, the pump itself. The kids learned how a water pump in a remote village can lead to huge and essential quality of life gains. 

For one, time improves so village kids can attend school and adults can exercise entrepreneurial skills. 

And, as important, health improves from a safer underground water source for drinking, cooking, and bathing.  

Our quality of life gains were simply learning and playing.  

A final innovation to share this week was from our social studies unit on early human migration.

We hunted balloons with spears. Shh. 

Before humans developed projectiles (e.g. spears and arrows) for hunting, they had to quietly sneak up to subdue prey. Not easy. Not at all easy. 


Hunting balloons was a bit tough too. Luckily for the kids supermarkets or fridges don't need to be hunted down. And, nonetheless, we captured a lot of lessons from our adventures.    

My Family and Me -- Personal Narrative Part I. 

The kids did fine work on their 26 Fairmount Avenue-inspired essays. Next up for the budding writers, a more specific recollection. 

Enjoy your long weekend!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Salt, Sweat & Sweets


Eye from the Storm

What a full week! In science, we made rain in a couple different ways. 

Condensation in the classroom

Condensation in a bowl

The storm in the bowl demonstrated the complete water cycle and... 

...a survival strategy..., desalination. It turns out that evaporation only happens with pure liquids, so no salt or contaminates occur in water condensation. Think about it; you ever taste salty rain? Nope. 

Storm in a bowl

We grew a crop of millet in one week to run some water-related experiments.


And we ate some millet too. I actually eat a lot of millet, so the kids tasted the day's lunch. 

Munching millet

Communal style

Home Garden-bound

In social studies, we're studying early human migration. Sweat was an adaptation that allowed us to be more effective hunters in hot conditions. 

Artificial Sweat (H2O) +

Artificial Breeze (O2, N, CO2, etc.) = Cooling Effect

Science of Sweat


Applied Science

We played with measurements (meters and centimeters) during math. 

Double half, crawl less. Smart! 

Who knew? 

Measuring up

Bird poop my vary

So many measurement possibilities

In language arts, we drafted and revised essays together. 

Draft tips
Revision advice

Writing buddy

We continued our weekly Reading Buddies commitment with Pre-K.


Epic and interesting Show and Tell! 

Favorite book (for now)
Grandma's gift

Keepsake from now on

Sand art 

Multicolor/purpose clock

A Fabulous Monaco Adventure

And of course...

Happy Birthday A-Y-L-A

Enough for one week? Well, enough for now. 

Enjoy your weekend!