Saturday, March 2, 2013

Adventures in U.S. History Week 2

For our second week of second grade, we added in math, foreign language, and some read-alouds to our lessons.  This gradual start to the school year has been so nice!  It allows to get our feet wet with our new schedule and become familiar with our books without jumping straight into deep water!

Making a chart with paper circles. Singapore Math 1B.

After completing Calvert First Grade Math, Miss M was ready to jump into Singapore Math 1B.  The first few lessons are a simple review of some things she already knows, but I've looked ahead and she is going to be introduced to new material pretty soon.

Reading charts workbook page. Singapore Math 1B.
She was a little disappointed by the lessons so far: "Mo-om, I already know how to do this!" But I'm confident this is the right level for her. So far she wanted to do more math each day, but I had to stop her so we could accomplish the rest of our lessons in a timely manner.  (Sorry, child, but Mama just can't sit and do school with you all day long! If I do, there will be no supper and no clean clothes to wear).

Math answer book in my three-ring binder.
The teacher's answer book for Singapore Math is rather diminutive volume and it kept getting lost among the other books on our school shelf.  So I used my three-hole punch to punch holes in it (even though there were only room for two holes since it's so small), and I keep it in my Teacher's Planning Notebook.  I did the same thing with the Rosetta Stone teacher book.

Janet the Fox takes a test. She got 100%!
We had a visitor to our school this week. Janet the Fox came to take a test.  Miss M said that if her fox went to a place where the people speak Spanish, they should call her Señorita Jan-ita.

In history we learned about Christopher Columbus sailing to the New World.  Miss M thought it was very interesting that he was a mapmaker but didn't know about the continents of North and South America.  Actually, I'm not quite sure she believes that part of the story!

The part of Christopher Columbus is played by The Miz, courtesy of Little Guy.
We made aluminum foil boats with barbecue skewer masts and printer paper sails to represent the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María. The masts were held in place by a ball of modeling clay.

These three ships were sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, er...the bathtub...driven by strong trade winds, er...the breath of babes.

A few My Little Ponies may have made the voyage as well.
After blowing on ship sails, we had some more fun with air including an experiment that demonstrated that an empty plastic bottle isn't empty at all and is quite full of air!  We also held some paper races!

Fold paper and wave cardboard to see who can cross the finish line first!
Air is all around us. It can move things!
Our snow storm last week was repeated early this week.  So much of our time was spent looking out at the beautiful snow, counting feathered friends, and shoveling mountains of snow!

A snowman that is taller than me!
On Friday we took a nature walk.  We didn't go far because the snow is still deep and it's hard for little people with little legs to walk in it for long.  But we did see a couple deer and find their tracks in the snow.  Miss M was ecstatic to find some berries under a tree!  Until I told her they weren't berries at all, but deer droppings.  She decided then and there that's what she would draw for her nature journal when we got home.

This picture is from earlier in the week, before the second snow.
Thankfully, she forgot about the deer poop and focused on identifying a tree of a twig she brought home.

She managed to identify it as an Eastern Redcedar.  It is used by animals for food (small purple berries), nesting, and cover.  People use its wood for chests, closets, posts, poles, and pencils, among other things.

We had a wonderful second week and are looking forward to next week (and some warmer weather)!

Come see what adventures we had in Week 1!

The rest of our adventures:


  1. Oh I am so happy to have dropped by from Hip Hop. I had such fun reading through your day. Can I join you? :)

    1. Of course you can join! The more the merrier! *wink*

  2. What a fun idea with the aluminum foil boats! My grandkids have also been learning about the great explorers, like Columbus, and learning their continents. We have had a blast with a huge map from Walmart - playing twister on it, throwing "snowballs" made from aluminum foil, and using a dart gun to help us remember which is each continent. Now I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate that in their minecraft game. Have a blessed week!

    1. Playing twister on a big map sounds FANTASTIC! My kids would *love* that! Thanks for the fabulous idea!

  3. We will be starting Adventures this summer. I too have a younger child that learned to read early and will be pushing into 2nd grade faster than I anticipated. I'd love to know what book it is you use to learn about the tree branch. Thanks! I've bookmarked your page to help me as I move along my adventure this summer/fall!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. The book she used is Trees of Missouri by Stan Tekiela. He has books for birds and trees for each state and I highly recommend them!