Friday, 29 November 2013

Science Thematic Unit

We finished two weeks of countless science experiments today and what a brilliantly engaging fortnight it has been.  The children study Science two/three times per week every week,  but this unit got us all working together, talking, hypothesising, laughing and and making a mess while wearing goggles.  What more could you want?!

We ended the unit with a red cabbage experiment.  Red cabbage juice contains a natural ph indicator.

We poured hot water over red cabbage to extract the colour.

 We kept one glass as the 'control' colour and added different ingredients to the other glasses to test their ph against our chart.

Look at Monkey Girl's face!  This was the first one we did and the bicarbonate of soda turned the cabbage juice a lovely green.

We also tested others ingredients including washing up liquid, salt, vinegar, soap and ketchup to name a few.

And we had a go at re-neutralising the juice with bicarb after adding vinegar.

We made some great colours! 

Soaking coffee filter paper in leftover juice to make our own ph papers for later.

After lunch The Boy did some crazy jumping about according to which letter card he picked up: d is for Dance!  and g is for Grab a star!

 We worked our little socks off all afternoon.

The two eldest girls finished their week with two sessions of Ballet and I'm finishing mine right now with a night out with a friend.  Happy Friday Evening!

Advent next!  Watch this space!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Home Baking

The girls often make ingredient requests when I do our weekly online grocery shop.  They know I do the order on a Wednesday evening and they will more often than not, wander downstairs when they should be in bed, cookery book in hand and request lemons or golden syrup or sprinkles.  Last night Monkey Girl put in an order for ready-to-roll icing and she made some brilliant decorative creations on some cupcakes this afternoon.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


We have started reading this book together.  It's brilliantly written and just right for our current thematic unit.

This morning the children learnt how sound can travel through objects.  First we tied a fork to some string and it sounded amazingly loud when it was gently tapped.

They tried all sorts of other household objects.  Metal ones were the best.

We talked about refraction and magnifying through water.

And we melted crayons with a hair dryer.  The Boy loved this one.

We had a go at making our own fog with hot water in a glass and ice cubes in a sieve on top.

And we also made a pulley in the garden...

The children have learnt to follow these steps for their science experiments.

This afternoon I left the children to play in the garden until they were ready to come in.  Right now in the UK the sun sets at 4pm so any sunlight they can get is important.  An hour and a half later they rolled back in to squeeze in some grammar and maths before their three hours of swimming, gym, tap and modern.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Becoming Engineers

Learning to measure with one of his many big sisters :)

This morning we tried the balloon, straw and string experiment to demonstrate Newton's Third Law: to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.

 Fun with magnets.

And then we tried our hand at problem solving.  The kiddie each wrapped an egg in various protective materials to see if they could keep it from cracking when dropped from a height.

The Boy wrapped his in foil, cling film, cotton wool and more foil... cracked...

...but playing with the broken egg was super fun.

Ballet Girl wrapped hers in all sorts...

...and so did Monkey Girl...

And they both worked!

I loved Panda Girl's one as she used trapped air to help cushion her egg.  She was gutted that it cracked.  Never mind!

We also did some problem solving with ice cubes.  Our control ice cube sat on a plate in the classroom

Our experimental ice cube was wrapped in foil and and put inside a picnic bag with a cooler lining and placed next to a freeze block,  After the control ice cube melted we checked on our other ice cube and it was almost still completely frozen.

Our third problem solving of the day was to find the slowest way possible for a marble to run down a slight incline.  The photo below shows Ballet Girl's and The Boy's teamwork and it worked extremely well, with the play-do for friction and the shallow slopes to slow the speed.  This was exactly how I would have gone about this task also...

...but Monkey Girl and Panda Girl came up with an ingenious idea...

...they put their marble inside a slightly inflated balloon and used cut straws stuck in play-do to slow the marbles descent.  It worked hilariously well!

 After lunch the children spent over an hour playing football in the garden.

 The Boy learnt the sound ch.

And Panda Girl worked on her Multiplication and Division workbook.

Today the children also attempted pictures in the style of Fernand Leger, visited the library and went to Sea Cadets.