Grandparents’ Day 2014

Today was Grandparents’ Day!!  I love when the grandparents visit our church and school.  It is neat to hear them talk about their lives.  One grandparent I talked with today shared how he had taught at a mission school many years ago.  It was so interesting!  What an incredible wealth of wisdom, knowledge, and stories we can gain from interacting with our grandparents!  🙂

This year’s celebration was difficult for me, as I lost my grandpa last December, and just a few weeks ago was his birthday.  I love thinking back on all the times he supported me, came to my events, and showed the love that these grandparents showed to their grandkids today.  I hope that someday my students can look back and have great memories of their grandparents to cherish as I do with mine.

Our afternoon started with a chapel service in the church, followed by classroom time.  In our room, I let the students be in charge.  They had stories to share from our recent Tall Tales unit, art projects to brag about, technology to explain, and a fun (or frustrating, depending on who you talked to…ahem…me…) packet of brain-teaser puzzles to try to figure out.  It was a wonderful afternoon of bonding time, and it appeared that everyone was enjoying the day very much.

Thank you for visiting, Grandparents!  We hope to see you again at other events; or if you want to stop in for a visit any other time, you are more than welcome!!

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Busy Week!

The remainder of this week (Wednesday-Friday) was jam-packed with busy things in 4R!  Wrapping up the 1st quarter, parent-teacher conferences, and, of course, some other fun activities to tell you about in this post!  🙂  (Warning: this post will be longer than many of the others so far this year.)

Wednesday afternoon we learned a little more about the design process.  Using two different materials (clay and aluminum foil), we built boats to test which design would hold the most cargo (pennies).  We found out that aluminum foil floats better, so it’s the better material to use.  Also, a flat, wide boat design holds more cargo than a narrow design.  (Which then lead to a Google image search of cargo ships…we lead to the realization that actual cargo ships are shaped much like our models!)

Here are some pictures from the boat testing process:

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This week we also started a novel unit study on the book “Little House in the Big Woods,” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  So far we are loving learning about life back in the late 1800s.  Friday we had a little taste (literally!) of life back then.  We made paper dolls, like the ones mentioned in chapter 2 of our novel, and also made our own version of butter, which the girls made with their Ma in chapter 2 as well.  We did not have a butter churn, but as you’ll see in the pictures, we made do with what we did have!

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While we were busy folding, cutting, and decorating our dolls, we passed around the butter so everyone could have a chance to help make it.  To make your own butter, all you need is heavy whipping cream and a jar with a good seal.  (And lots of arm strength!)  You pour the cream in the jar…

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…and then you shake it…

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…it takes a long time, but you REALLY have to shake it!!

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When it finally starts to separate into the butter and the buttermilk, you are done.  You drain out the buttermilk, then eat what’s left!

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Almost everyone who tried it liked it.  (Perhaps if it was on Ma’s homemade bread instead of cheap Kroger bread, that would change a few hesitant minds…)

Our last big event for the week was Grandparents’ Day on Friday afternoon.  We had the potential for 47 grandparents to visit just our classroom.  I didn’t keep track to see if they all came, but I would guess we had at least 40 go through our room throughout the classroom time.  The students really enjoyed their time spent with their grandparents.  I only hope the brain teaser puzzles weren’t too much work!  🙂

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It was a tight squeeze this year!

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What a great week in 4R!!

My next posts will either be ABOUT the upcoming mission trip to Kenya or written FROM the mission trip to Kenya.  We leave Monday!  (For those keeping track…that’s in 2 days!!)  Stay tuned for updates from halfway around the world!  🙂