Friday, 26 February 2010

Seashore Science Week One 26th February 2010

Following our visit to St Mary's Bay on the south coast of Kent last weekend we had two lovely buckets of treasure to explore:

So, 6 days later we spread the contents of the buckets out on a large piece of paper,:

looked at what we had found and then I asked the girls to organise what they had found - no criteria for how they did it, just to do it and this is what happened:

Dd2 (aged 4) separated her find into pebbles, seaweed, small shells, medium shells, large shells, wood.

Dd1 (aged 6) organised hers into concentric circles, smallest in the centre, largest on the outside.  This is absolutely typical of dd1 - given any mathematical type task it will become a work of art!

After this we read some pages from the Usborne Beginners Seashore book and discovered that one of our finds was egg cases from a whelk!  The girls pretended to be sea otters cracking open mussels with a stone whilst lying on their backs, and we sang a fingerplay song which changed its words frequently but was inspired by this webpage and went something like this:

Five little shells lying on the shore,
Crash went the waves and then there were four.
Four little shells lying by the sea,
Crash went the waves and then there were three.
Three little shells by the sea so blue,
Crash went the waves and then there were two.
Two little shells lying in the sun,
Crash went the waves and then there was one.
One little shell, all by itself,
I picked it up and put it on my shelf.

Dd1 took a look at the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Seashore book for a bit more depth and finally we cut the corners from eggbox lids and painted 'shells' and used the remains of a large lid as a wave so we can play out the song.
I'm also hoping to use the shells and waves to build up a bigger seashore picture over the coming weeks, but time will tell!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Afghanistan Project Session One: Where in the World? 22nd February 2010

This week we started our project on Afghanistan.  Because this is such a special project to us (see the end of this post) I bought some books which I might otherwise have tried to manage without.  I also borrowed a couple of books from the library but they are more background reading for me than accesible reading for the girls!

For our first session we looked at a globe to see where we are and where Afghanistan is and I asked questions like, is Afghanistan or the UK bigger?  What differences do you notice between Afghanistan and the UK?  Which of Afghanistan and the UK is nearer the Equator?  So which country is hotter in the daytime?  We found the capital city of Afghanistan and discussed the term 'landlocked' and looked for other countries that are landlocked and what this might mean if you want to go to the beach!
Then we marked an outline map of the world with Afghanistan and the UK and looked at an atlas to see what kind of terrains make up Afghanistan and used the key to find rivers, roads and railway lines (couldn't find any definite railway lines, but maybe one from Pakistan towards Kabul).  We read I Come From Afghanistan (American) and discussed what we had learnt.  We looked at a printed off map with physical and geographical details marked and then we marked Kabul and the mountainous areas on an outline map of Afghanistan, printed from  We will use this outline map for adding futher places of interest that we learn about as the weeks go on.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

New Header Photo. 20th February 2010

The new header photo is of pebbles on the beach at St Mary's Bay on the South Kent Coast.  We made our first visit there today and believe it is probably our nearest beach now that we have moved.  It has sand, shells, pebbles, a promenade and a tide which comes in very fast! 

We have come home with a few of nature's treasures and will soon be emptying our nature basket from Autumn and Winter and will start our Spring collection.  We'll be learning about the shells and pebbles and seaweed we collected later in the week.  Watch this space!

Read the Bible in 90 days Update. 20th February 2010

Well, it's nearly a month since I started the Read the Bible in 90 days challenge.  I have read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Ruth, Judges, 1 Samuel and some of 2 Samuel.  According to the schedule from Read the Bible in 90 days I am behind.  I am still really pleased with what I have achieved and will be carrying on.  At the moment I imagine that I'll be finishing at around 100-110 days.
My eyes were completely caught off balance by this massive increase in reading matter and some of the days I haven't managed to complete the schedule have been due to fearing I was about to have the optical equivalent of a heart attack!  Because of the strain on my eyes I sought out the largest print bible we have in our house which is a New International Version Family Bible:

Although this has been very helpful for my eyes, it is not very portable!  So much for reading the English Standard Version and not the NIV!
I've been noting down questions as I go along and am thinking that once completed I will start from Genesis again but stop to research the answers to my questions and take it all a lot slower.  I'd also like to make a huge family tree on a third or consequent read of the bible.  I've started this before and got quite a long way (lots of pieces of paper stuck together!) but think I'd have to start all over again as you kind of need a sense of who goes where and a mental continuum in order to be able to place people without spending hours pouring over it trying to find the right branch of the tree.  I may even colour code the different tribes!
A couple of things that have come from me taking on this challenge have been that dd1 is very keen to read the bible in 90 days but as she's only just 6 years old I have suggested some alternatives(!) and my mum has challenged herself to read the New Testament over Lent, simply be dividing the number of pages in her bible by the 40 (or more, depending on your denomination) days of Lent.