Monthly Archives: June 2011

Stormy weather Ahead!


So this week we’re looking at thunder storms, rain and Reubens amongst other things.  Then next week it’s tornados and hurricanes and then we have about 5 days to wrap this weather topic up before we go away!!!

Monday went well weather wise, we whizzed through how rain was made, read the thunder storms part of the magic school bus research guide, watched some brain pop and made a pop up of how a rainbow was formed.  Both Ot and Tig wrote really good explanations of how we get rain and Ot’s understanding of condensation is getting much clearer.  B made a huge tower with E from the Quatro blocks and had fun playing with the letters and watching a bit of TV.  Ot and T could both explain how hail was formed but their writing wasn’t so good-maybe because they’d had enough and the flap book was teeny!


We did some playing in the garden and lots of screen time in the afternoon, everyone was either playing SIMs, watching you tube or generally having a lazy afternoon!

I managed to remember to feed and water the plants and then it rained-prob a good thing as the scatter on food needed a better water in.  This morning the wild flowers under the climbing frame (deliberate honest) had the first poppy-looks lovely from the window-I love poppies and daisies and corn flowers.

I need to get on with the ironing and breakfast!


Father’s Day


As Daddy is dieting, we couldn’t do breakfast in bed but the boys thought that getting a new cafetierre that held more coffee was a good idea, plus a choc medal (becoming a bit of a tradition), a teddy and some coffee.  They chose funny cards-Ot’s was typically about farts, Ben’s was more of a best dady type and Tigs was Simpsons inspired…


A Father’s Day Photo or 3.  Number 2 is soooooo funny!


Our intention was to go strawberry picking but we ended up pottering because dh was a bit knackered!

Feeling under the weather!


In more ways than one.  I seem to have a cold, headache, runny nose and sore throat which is not all that fab but today got rather bogged down in clouds….I couldn’t ID the different sorts so some more work for all of us on that tomorrow.  We looked at extracting info from tables again and finding out precipitation symbols plus extracting info from diagrams finding out if cloud types were high, low or medium.  Ot liked looking at the pics and both had a good understanding of evaporation and condensation.  Want to hunt out the stuff to make a water cycle in a bottle and a cloud for tomorrow if my brain cooperates.

…Few days break in blogging….

It’s the end of the week and we have spent a bit of time on the ID’ing clouds stuff and made a water cycle in a bottle.  Made clouds out of shaving foam and paint at the different levels on an old table in the garden which was fun plus did some stuff on similes and definitions of the cloud types.  Sorted some similes and personification and planning on having a look at onomatopoeia, rainbows and thunderstorms next week.  We could do with some explanation of how clouds form but they seem to have grasped the basic ideas. 


Honestly the knowledge itself is relatively unimportant (don’t faint or think I’m mad) but it’s more about how they think about things, how they explain, how they answer questions, whether they can make deductions, use the info to make generalisations or suggest ideas-that kind of stuff….the thinking bit.

Ot’s handwriting and spelling are becoming much more controlled and he’s happy to do a little more than a few weeks ago.  Tig is also able to control his handwriting more effectively when he chooses to ;0)

…’s Tuesday…


….how did that happen?!  Well we have had a good couple of days, lots of playing, Lego building mainly for Tig and watching you tube.  Ot is honing his ipad technique and B will be able to recite Wall-e soon.  Yesterday was rainy and rotten weather wise.  We did our last bit of stuff on wind, found out about wind chill and did some looking up in tables (Ot in partic finds this tricky and it’s so useful for stuff like train times) and explored some poems and personification.  They both had some really lovely ideas, Ot’s were mainly full of fury and tornado inspired :0)  B did a bit of reading and we did some track building and playing together.

Today the weather is beautiful!  It was an arty day for us today, my personal need to feel organised means that I’ve split the weather stuff into chunks (based on chapters of the book we’re using) and after each little chunk we have an art day-more relaxed and B loves to paint (Ot’s more of a drawer at the moment).  Anyway we headed out to pick up some croissants, pop and yoghurt then headed over to the common.  Enjoyed breakfast in a huge field, looked for horizons, foreground etc as we went.  After breakfast we sketched the shape of the trees, added in the flats and landscape sketch one was done.  We walked up a hill, using the viewfinders to capture pics then down to the canal and had a go at drawing the Catshill junction bridge.  Back along the canal to the pond to check on the frogs.  The boys and I were gutted to find on the way home the first geocache we’d found smashed on the ground, empty too-why?  A long discussion ensued about why, what should happen whether we should call the police.  Got home and had a bit of screen time (I’m rediscovering face book but I think the novelty will wear off).  Had lunch then some more playing in the garden.

We did some wet in wet washes, imaginary horizon drawings/landscapes, summer cloud painting, silhouettes and using lights and darks like Rembrandt in charcoal.  I just love Ot’s pic

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Tigs is fab-he doesn’t;t think it is but I really do!

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Ben enjoyed painting



I cleaned out the chooks and had a quick tidy whilst the boys trampoline and swung.  All the plants are doing well although the beans are a bit slugged.

Quick walk to the coop for some tea (hot dogs) and some choc ices.  Ot is really excited about his birthday and El is mentally revising for her exam and repeating “come on” to me so I’d better go and finish the hot dogs!!!!!

The rest of the week


Has been in all honesty a bit of a blur!  The boys are enjoying the stuff to do with weather, weather reports and maps being great fun.  We’ve set up weather logs using frequency tables, bar graphs/charts and a scatter graph too.  They showed a really good understanding of high and low pressure and air movement and we made radiator snakes. 

Our art day went well although it was very rainy.  Painting like Michealangelo under the chairs was great fun and they also grasped all the basic terminology of landscapes and could point it out on the pics.  Drawing the horizon lines was challenging but it’s all about learning to look and practice I think and they enjoyed it :0)

Shading and using lights and darks to create 3D effects plus using a tortillion


Michealangelo eat your heart out!


Making viewers



Ben made a den and needed a key so I found an old one-this cupboard has the wine in it!DSC06013

Experimenting with water colours-TIg decided to make marks and patterns off his own bat



Tissue paper painting landscapes, I got the idea from a blog but can’t find the link-thank you whoever you are!DSC06019DSC06020DSC06021

Ben’s painitngs


Our arty area all set up…I need a room where I can leave it like this I really do!


Ot is hugely into Tornados, using his computer time to find videos and reading the parts of the books that relate over and over and all enjoyed watching Twister on Friday eve together.

I think I am still trying to squash in too much and we need more playing together as this week (partly due to the ironing mountain) there hasn’t felt like enough of that-although they have done lots of playing just not with me!

They are enjoying reading the different poems, making up actions and illustrations.  I cheekily go a secretary at work to photocopy a book (nursery rhyme templates and colouring stuff) and she has managed to cut of the edges of the pages-so a total waste which just shows….I should have just done it myself!

Ben has been enjoying lots of books and reading together, swimming went OK and it’s rainy-The End!



We have a had a fairly decent morning, much less of a struggle to get written/more formal stuff done than normally after a holiday so keeping it going has really helped.  They both seemed to enjoy reading and starting the weather stuff, although Ot is desperate to skip straight to the tornadoes! 

Today we looked at continents, countries in Europe (the interactive Europe map was really good fun and I think some more exploring will be done) and UK, some mountains and rivers (this needs a lot more practice but found a nice site for it), found some states in USA and looked at how much bigger North America was than the UK.  We looked up the water in some different places we (they) chose from our UK map, found a weather symbol then stuck it on and had a go at forecasting using North, South, Central and the Country names-they will enjoy doing more of this and recording.

We did a bit of listening to the weather songs and more from here ,whilst they are not modern they’re quite good fun and we listened along to the 2,3 and 4X table songs with dinner.

So all in all a good morning.  B has been a bit side-lined, he did a bit of sticking, watched some magic school bus, played with the cars but then needed some attention and subsequently was a pain when he didn’t get it so I need to think a bit about how to get that to work.

We’ve all had dinner (Shake and a few raspberries so far for me) and the boys are having free time until 2:30.  B and I started a game but he wanted to play transformers out in the garden with the big boys.  I think we’ll do a quick bit of book maths and phonics plus some reading from 2:30-3:30 and have another go at the map games then…

plants Project


So, again a bit of a break from blogging.  Not sure everything we have done but plants has been the most recent project (just finished-or at least had enough for now :0)-before that was deer and survival skills.

We did lots of plant stuff and learned loads of new vocab.  We used a couple of HOAC lap books, plants and botany, plus some I made and some writing, book making and gardening in the main.  We’ve been trying hard to establish more of a routine-Ot especially needs clear guidelines about what we are doing when and it also helps to manage the amount of screen time (playing games of his choice) he has.

We have had lots of success with growing plants for the garden-once again I don’ think we will ahve enough room but I’m sure we will be able to find some homes for the spares! Last week was May half term so dh was home.  WE went out swimming, to soft play, to Sandwell Valley and Dartmouth Park with my mom and My dad and brother came over for the day (and to help our radiator falling of the wall DIY disaster!)

I’ve once again started planning out what we’re doing although not sticking to it but it helps me to feel more organised and not floundering for direction-it’s not like they are forced to follow it but having a plan makes me feel better!

Anyway here’s a round up of the plants topic in photos, boys lap book pics to follow once they’re finished!

Made wordsearches for each other


Learned a bit about basic plant groups


Went on a timed dicot hunt and found one in the greenhouse!


Fund out about how fairy rings form, made some and wrrote an explanation.


Set up the plant stem and food colouring experiment (again) but it kind of worked.


Used the computer microscope a lot to look at various parts of the plant and take photos lots of good discussion.  Ben loved it!


Found loads of leaves in the garden and sorted them acording to type, simple or  compound.DSC05940DSC05941DSC05942

Sgrafittio (sp) using acrylic paints and pokey sticks-messy but fun!


Lego Leaf style transformer by Tig


PLaying maths war and naming parts of the plant matching games.


Growing bean seeds (just had to be done)!


Writing stories about a bean seed-fab!


Somewhere we also did a chunk of stuff on archimedes, made our own can, density, volume, mass, floating etc…