Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ancient Greece I Day 9

We started the morning with - you guessed it - grammar and math.  However, today we got to use our shiny new white board during our math lesson.  Or rather, math review, as we were working on a Life of Fred bridge.

Hanging the white board was difficult.  There might have been swearing involved, and there most certainly was complaining, along with huffing, puffing, and grunting.  We had to drill though metal, people, with a drill bit that wasn't fully up to the task.  But it is installed, it's level, and I'm certain that it isn't going to fall down.

Here it is in all beauty:
Normally I wouldn't leave a poster up, but I was so excited that the board came with two paper holders so that we can use it as an easel!

I want to cover it when it isn't in use, so I am brainstorming ideas for that.  I thought maybe we could make a flannel cover so that we can also use it as a felt board (I have a lovely piece of hand-dyed flannel that we could use), but that would have to come up and down daily. Stiffening a piece of attractive fabric and attaching it with magnets might work best.  Or we could do a large water-color painting or two and hang those.  There is no real rush to get it covered, but I'd like to have it done before our Halloween gathering. Hmmm ... maybe we can do seasonal coverings.

Today's lesson in our Ancient Greek History block was squaring numbers (something the Pythagoreans did).  There are actually two lessons given in the materials; one is having the children memorize the squares and draw them, and the other is having them make them with manipulatives.  For reasons unknown to me, the directions were to draw them first.  I didn't like that, so today we talked about what a squared number is, drilled the squares up to 12x12 (they know them backward and forward), and used our Cuisinaire rods to visualize the squares and then to build pyramids.
 Clearly this was standing work.  They started with the 1cm cubes and then moved to rods.
 J-Baby had made the Lego pyramid earlier this week and wanted it to be part of the photo shoot.
The shadow was pretty cool once the afternoon sun started shining in.

Cuisinaire rods have been part of our homeschool since grade 1.  A few times I have thought to get rid of them and I even boxed them up once, but we always find a use for them.

During our afternoon makeup time we worked on the golden ratio form again, and struggled, again.  T-Guy huffed and puffed (I wonder who he gets that from) threw down his pencil, whined, and declared it impossible.  I set him to practicing making circles with the compass while J-Baby and I continued our work. The frustrated sounds continued.  Finally I told T-Guy that he could be excused as his frustration had gotten the better of him and I thought he could use a break. He looked at me, grabbed his compass and some 1" graph paper, and tried really hard to do the drawing.  It wasn't perfect, but he did it. I wish I could bottle that magic but I don't really know what I did other than give him permission not to do it.

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