Sunday, December 28, 2014

School Assignments and Such

 Doesn't Callahan look excited and happy?
It was SHAKESPEARE day at school ...

I'm behind on blogging. This picture is actually from last Spring, when Callahan was still in ninth grade at West Hills. In addition to this dress-up day, they had to write a little play. Shakespeare has never been a favorite of mine either honestly ...

Another school assignment from last year had Callahan and I walking the neighborhood finding different types of flowers. We had to take pictures and ask Maga and Grandma to help with some of the identification. 

But what have the Blackham Boys been up 
to in their school assignments THIS year so far?  
Here's a little look...

One of Callahan's more memorable assignments was participating in a PUMPKIN DROP for physics. Pumpkins would be tossed off the roof of the school, and the kids had to design something to catch them. Intact. This big box contained pillows, an inflated air mattress, crumpled newspapers ... and they were successful (in catching at least one of the three pumpkins thrown).

Keaton is taking Spanish and once a week watches a movie IN Spanish (most DVD/Netflix offer a language option). We've found that the animated shows work best. The kids are already familiar with them, the words/lips line up better that with un-animated shows. Most have captions available in both English and Spanish. In addition to that, each quarter there is a cultural project.  The first quarter, we (yes, a little help from mommy and her scrapbook supplies) made a poster of a Spanish proverb ...

In science... Keaton would get extra credit if he woke up and took a picture of the "Blood Moon" that occurred this past Fall. I didn't commit to setting my alarm and attempting to wake the child in the wee hours of the morning. But,  I did wake up, and I did wake him up. It was rather cool. 

Keaton also had to write a children's story featuring chemical and physical properties ... I'll admit to helping him some, but we had fun! Read it here.  And then of course, there is the dreaded science fair project! He did a social experiment, seeing if people were more likely to obey a law (stop at a stop sign) if someone was obviously watching ...

Onto the CooperMan ...
Cooper's class was having a "Colonial Days" activity. I went and helped. There, they moved from station to station learning things kids had to do back in the 1600s. From carding wool, to weaving, to making soap, writing with a quill pen to candle dipping. Cooper was pretty stressed about it all, any change from routine will do that do him, but I think he ended up having some fun.

Another BIG assignment Cooper has been working on is earning his Great American Award. This is a project assigned the first day of school, due in April. The kids have to sign off 15 of 25 possible assignments. Things such as learning all the states, all the capitals, the first colonies and when they joined the United States. Listing the presidents, the Gettysburg Address, the Preamble, writing the Pledge of Alliance with no errors.

There were several other choices too ... drawing a picture, making an "American Collection". For that, Cooper brought in his collection of quarters, which we had gathered over the years as they were made featuring all the different states (Cooper's Coins).

Cooper also "collects" license plates,
(Cooper's Collection)
and we used that collection to inspire a poem ...
 another one of the possible choices.

License plates, license plates
All across the United States.
As I travel in my car
Whether I’m going near or far
I look at the license plates.

In Utah, our cars show what is in our state
Everyone knows the skiing is great!
Or if you like it dry and hot
Give our National Parks a shot.

There are some license plates are just plain yellow.
Like New Mexico. A good place to go and be mellow.
New York and Alaska have yellow plates too.
But Texas, Indiana and Idaho’s are red, white and blue.

Florida features oranges on it’s plate.
It is also known as the “Sunshine State.”
Both Ohio and Iowa take time to show
The beautiful land where they plant and grow.

Hawaii shows a rainbow so high
Up against a blue, blue sky.
California and Illinois plates are pretty plain.
Except for the fancy cursive of their name.

South Carolina has a plane. They were “first in flight”.
Wyoming shows a cowboy, putting up a fight.
Oregon features a tall tree of green.
But in Arizona, only a cactus can be seen.

Wisconsin says it’s America’s dairyland.
Washington and Colorado feature mountains grand.
Minnesota features it’s 10,000 lakes.
While Nevada proclaims it’s the “Silver State”

Of course there’s a lot more that we could name.
Like Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Maine.
I keep a look out in my car.
But those states are so very far.

Maybe now you’ll start looking too.
To see different states, many or few.
Make it a contest, make it a game.
None of the license plates are exactly the same.
I found a lot … how about you?

Cooper had been SO worried about the Great American Award assignment ... but he completed it before Christmas! Now he can relax ... (see the picture on the next school update!)

Colton is a stellar student. I got a call inviting me to a special program, where he received the Principal's Pride award for passing off math facts. He continued and was the first student in the school to pass of Xtra Math for the year.

That's the school showcase for the first half of the year ...
I'll do another for the second half!

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