Monthly Archives: January 2013

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Wednesday January 9th

We did our jobs, played with Dr Dreadful sets, did some art and some Lego building.

We finished our colour wheels to include complementary colours and tints.

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Next we tried our hand at creating some Kandinsky style paintings using primary colours.

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The boys hadn’t yet played much with their Dr Dreadful Christmas pressies so B tried out his bubbling brains and Ot tried out his stomach.  Both enjoyed measuring and mixing-Ot enjoyed tasting far more than B did!!!!

We haven’t got much further with our money boxes but they are lovely and firm and dry now.  B and Tig enjoyed some hama beading…

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Ot and TIg did some book maths, Tig did pretty well with his decimal addition and subtraction.

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Thursday January 10th

We tried to get our jobs done and art stuff before friends arrived in the afternoon.  A great afternoon was had by all. Mine crafting, Dr Dreadful, bike riding, scooting, remote control car playing, dinosaurs, kitchen, kings and queens.  A lovely afternoon!

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Friday 11th January

A day at work for me, the boys spent the day at Grandad F’s.  A lazy day of computing, sausage sandwiches and chilling all round!

Saturday 12th January

Swimming in the morning, everyone did really well in their lessons despite being a bit rusty. Tig was working on his back stroke arms, Ot was working on swimming lengths and putting his head in the water.  Ot did fab listening.   B was working on front crawl arms and legs and getting his face wet.  B had a fab session.  After swimming the boys headed to Nanny’s.  They took their devices and had a quiet afternoon, chatting, Tig cooked risotto with nanny and B and Ot did some playing and screen timing.  Dh got B’s computer up and working installing the new screen

 

Sunday 13th January

Hmmmm….We did some baking, batches for the freezer as well as eating.  The boys did some of their jobs, can’t really remember much else…

Monday 14th January

We got our daily jobs done and each painted another circle for our art skills.  Lots of talking about tints, how to make colours, comparing and using brushes well. Tig and Ot were using thier colour wheels to find complementary colours.

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Our colaborative  Kandisky starting to take shape.!

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Ot ate a ham sandwich!!!!!

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Monday afternoon was our first learning together group win another couple of families.  We were hosting.  We started of by reading owl babies then S had a game to play learning about nocturnal animals.  We started making our treasure boxes using tissue paper and  water/PVA glue mix.  We are all going to try and finish them at home.  After that we went for a walk onto the common and built nests for our ‘owls’.  We also tried out some different tracking and trail methods (string, peas, bread, and making arrows) to see which was the best.  We came back, a little cold and wet, had some snack and played with the sensory boxes.  We finished off with a science experiment learning abut light.  we coloured a circle using the different colours of the light in the visible spectrum (yellow, red green, purple, orange, blue) then spun it to see what happened.  We found out that the clours blended to make white.  So we know that visible light is made up of these colours.  We also found out that it was Sir Issac Newton who discovered this.

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B’s nest which was snowball proof-he tested it a LOT!

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After a busy day we tidied up, had tea, bath and then TIg and I created his DVD for Craft club at Tuesday Club….how to make shadow puppets.

Tuesday 15th January

We did some of our jobs before it was time to leave, I was quite glad we’d packed the car although we had lots of additional things!

In History Club we looked at Saxon Runes written on wood.  we had a close look to figure out what they were, then each had one and an alphabet key to find out what letter we had.  We also played some timeline games to remind ourselves of the timeline.  After that we looked at a Saxon cooking pot, thinking about what it as made from and how it may have been made.  Next we looked at some Saxon Clothes, Tried them on and made a paper version of 9 men’s Morris to play.

After that Tig joined in with French whilst B and Ot did some playing and eating.  Craft club went well and everyone enjoyed making shadow puppets which TIg was pleased about.  B Ot and Tig enjoyed the electricity kits

We listened to a story, played some circle games and parachute games to finish off.

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Wednesday 16th January

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We got our jobs and art done and then headed out to the train station to meet friends and McD’s before going to see the Gruffalo’s Child at B’ham town hall.  It was fab and enjoyed by all.  I think it would be lovely to get out to the theatre every month with the guys so will have to look for other places for things we could see.  There were tiny bits of snow.

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Thursday 17th January

We got jobs done in the morning and friends came for lunch and to play.  we did a lot of Mine crafting and device playing then all went for a bike ride/scoot/walk just as it started to snow-a bit muddy and cold but a lovely afternoon.

Friday 18th January

Doing jobs when it’s snowing outside is killing me, all I want to do is play and they’re taking ages.  School is closed due to a heating problem so we have an extra day with dh and me… and they’re dragging jobs out argh!!!! But if we don’t stick to the plan then it’s really confusing for Ot a he thinks we will always not stick to it if it snows or daddy is home.

I’m planning to take a photo of the same view intermittently.  The first view is prob around 7 ish, the second around 9 in the morning…..3rd around half 2 ish

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After the jobs were done, we headed out into Brownhills to grab some hot choc and then to the hill on the common to

use the sledge.

 

Walking along the canal we saw some beautiful patterns in the ice.

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B threw a snowball onto the canal which made the shape of a heart. 

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The snow was falling pretty heavily while we were sledging and on the way back home so we decided to walk back along the road rather than through the common.  This took us past the chip shop so the boys had chips for dinner (it is takeaway day after all!).

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Between goes, B discovered it was great fu to shake snow off the trees!

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Everyone had one last sledge down….

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I took some pictures of the snow on trees and branches, might be a good exercise in negative space for me to try out

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When we got home at about half 2 we had a late dinner and hot choc.  Dh set up a server with Tig although TIg got a bit bored part way through.  B and Ot had some screen time and then B fell asleep on me so we snuggled under a quilt and I read while he snoozed.  By tea time the server was working and after tea the guy invited a couple of friends to try it out (with skype too)….great fun although a later night than usual!

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January 8th

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Unbelievably the boys didn’t wake until after RIch had left for work-unheard of!  We go the morning jobs pretty much done before we left for T club.  Did the forms with Brian and set up.  We started History club a bit late so def need to be on top of the timings next week.  Making aged maps showing where the Angles and Saxons came from and learning a little bit about Celts went well.  After that we had French, around the world (Chile) and choir and story.  There was some minecraft paper crafting and all of the guys (especially Tig) were pleased to see D.  as nice to chat to J too.

B enjoyed playing with the different toys and in the tent, TIg enjoyed making some minecraft cubes and catching up with D. Tig and B joined in with parachute games at the end which they enjoyed but B was finding it difficult to follow the rules-not sure if this was tiredness, food or just because he wanted to!

After T club we came home had a snack and vegged out with our screens for a bit.  Got early baths going (early=more time to play!) then tea.  In and around this B and Tig did some Hama bead creating-they’re both enjoying that, some more minecraft inspired pieces which we need to get ironed.  We also grabbed out some of the sensory tubs which they enjoyed-definitely worth setting up some of these to explore things like colour, science, description and numberbut also get some different smells and textures as it’s unbelievably soothing running your hands through the water pearls

After tea we watched a bit of walking with monsters and walking with dinos.

A busy but fun day

Pictures to follow

January 7th

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…Our first day without dh.  we had fun playing with the sensory tubs before breakfast, water pearls was the most popular choice!

Finding clear glass hearts and nuggets hidden in the water beads….

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Using magnets to extract things from a mix of beans, lentils and rice…

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Making the needle on the compass move with a magnet, led to a discussion about magnetic North,what the centre of the earth was made of and what would happen if the centre of the earth disappeared…

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Investigating the beach box, finding crab claws and looking at patterns on the starfish

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  After breakfast we got stuck into jobs, 2 out of 3 got all of their jobs finished by snack which was our agreed deadline and had a bit of screen time whilst I helped B complete his jobs.  After that we headed to the craft cave and we all worked on creating our colour wheels, we did primary colours then mixed secondary colours, creating some different tomes (e.g. blue green, green, yellow green).  After that we learned how to make a tint and added those.  That was enough for today.  Tomorrow, if there is time we’ll add in the complementary colours and then start creating our Kandinsky inspired circles in squares.

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The part finished colour wheels…..Ben

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Elliot

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Tig

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Ot has created his version of a hobbit hole which he took me for a guided tour around and Tig has created some minecraft art-it’s good to see them starting to use it a little more creatively and has made me think that maybe they will take this obsession in  some different directions.  They were very impressed with the Tajmahal that I showed them….

After lunch we went round to a friends to catch up and play after Christmas which was lovely if a little loud (the guys were very excited to see each other lol!)

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When we got home everyone got into Pj’s, had tea and had some minecraft time whilst I sorted the history club and minecraft activities for T-club tomorrow.  All is packed, examples made and my CRB ready for signing the new hire agreement is ready-just need to get there on time!

A wax resist picture inspired by Celtic warriors with spiked hair and blue body paint….. this will be activity one after a bit of a story about the Celts and the Romans, showing how fierce the Celts were.

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An aged map showing how the Angles and the Saxons came to Britain and where the Celts went….

add the detail to the map (Celts blue, Angles and Saxons Red)

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Scrumple paper, unwrap then use tea bag and ink pad to add yellow/brown colour

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Tear the edges then ink them

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Stick in the oven on a low heat or use a blowtorch (have bowl of water ready)

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I used a blow torch (more fun!)  See it’s on fire, dunk in the water, repeat then stick between paper towels to dry off voila!

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A good day. After I finish my glass of this:

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I’m off to bed!

January 6th

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A day of computing for Dh who was busily fixing, building, re-building, salvaging and searching…by the end of the day all of the broken and salvaged bits turned into 2 working laptops (well, nearly, one needs a new screen which is on its way).  Very good work indeed!  A very pleased eldest son who can now play minecraft without any lag!!!!

We did computer jobs this morning, fairly swiftly after a slow start; it’s still taking longer than it needs to because of distractions and focus which will improve.  We didn’t manage to get our arty stuff done today so we’ll aim to do that tomorrow.  I think we’re going to need a week more of just focusing on daily jobs before we introduce our topic stuff.  Better to get this working right first I think.

B was super tired and had an afternoon nap.  I managed to tidy up the last bits of the craft cave (shed) and sorted out the crazy top art box where we have our most used stuff (acrylics, watercolours, pastels, oils and it looks lots better.  I also squeezed in a4th chair so that whilst they are all working I can sit on something comfy!  Tidied the shelf and tins, all of the glues and selotapes are now easily get-able to and the only thing left to do is find a home for the sticks (garage) and tidy the mosaic wood/adhesive grout shelf out!

Tig finished of his Hama bead Kongu sign and remembered to do his Lego challenge model (1 bionicle/hero factory a day for all of Jan without breaking them down….so once a model is made he can’t reuse the pieces.  This means as the month goes on it may get harder.  I say may because we have a lot of bionicle and hero factory so might need to be a 2 or 3 month challenge!)

Ot and Tig both did really well with their piano practice, Tig played Yankee doodle dandy and Ot was working on a piece with c sharp and swapping from bass to treble and left to right-brill!

Kind of got history session for T Club roughly planned out and we’re taking along the electricity kits plus some mine craft paper/card nets to make. 

So now, at the end of the day I need to get in some Rocksmith, drink some more water/squash and find a tasty snack!

on the fourth day of January…

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…we did our computery jobs  (more swiftly), some mark making,  a bit of phonics with B, some reading, a bit of maths, some minecrafting, some piano practice and the like this morning.  The guys worked really hard to get their day to day stuff done and we headed out to pizza hut and the pictures this afternoon to see The Hobbit.  Everyone really enjoyed the film and we had an interesting discussion about how filming works, all the different takes and angles and how the director uses the different shots (very basic) how they filmed Gollum, some of the CGI on the way back home.  B fell asleep in the pictures part way through but woke up for the end lol!  B and I did some Hama beads after tea, fixed the pick axe (now needs fixing again!) and I played on Rocksmith for a bit.  The boys are enjoying a late night (we all slept in until abou 8:30 this morning which is totally unheard of!).

On the third day of january…

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We tried hard to get back into the swing of doing our daily jobs, not easy after nearly a month and a half of relaxing and crafting and we all felt the burn at some point or other.  Computer based job were pretty straight forwards, Readingeggspress for Tig and Ot was a bit more challenging today (mainly as we pointed out you couldn’t just click randomly until you got it right you actually needed the read the text and all the answers and think….honestly I think they thought they could use multiple guess!  However once this small obstacle was overcome they both completed the book they had started yesterday with 80%+ on the quiz so pretty good going.  Whizz, whilst not their favourite, was completed successfully but both as was times table practice and  typing.  TIg did a bit extra of Ed city which he has baked for tomorrow and Ot did a bit of mathletics, again banked for tomorrow. 

This is the colour wheel expt form yesterday-we didn’t explain how it happened but Tig predicted this would happen and noticed that the water levels in the glasses had equalised and came up with lots of ideas.

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Computer work stuff….

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The new typing course we are trying out seems to be going down well but we only get the first 3 lessons for the trial after that we’d have to pay (I think it’s $39 ish each) which is not going to happen this month so we’ll use the lessons on their to practice and 2type and bbc dance mat for the rest of the month.  It does look good though(the typing course) and I like the way it gives you a % accuracy for each letter.

B did math seeds and reading eggspress (both of which he totally loves) and we decided that really he wasn’t ready for typing so he chose to do some more reading eggs.  He was pleased he’d got to the first ‘test’ on mathseeds, which so far is all stuff he is already confident with so a great review and confidence builder.

We also did boock maths (singapore maths) which was chalenging to say the least.  It has been weeks since we’d looked at these so they were certainly rusty.  Tig is working on subtraction of decimals to 2dp but the q’s are deliberately a bit tricky in so far as the first decimal will have only 1 dp so you get a linear sun: 3.2-2.89 for example which he has/needs to re-write as a column sum (although we do use other methods we’re practicing this one at the mo) and initially he to quote “didn’t use any common sense” and got the whole lot wrong….we don’t like getting stuff wrong so there was some dissent, then explanation, modelling and understanding…quickly followed by getting them all plus another exercise 100% correct.  Ot was a similar story with a different ending.  We’d been looking at single digit multiplication by 2 and 3 digits, used an expanded method and finally towards the end of November go this down to standard method but still understanding what was going on, and getting lots of correct answers.  We need to back track a little to the expanded method again so that Ot can see what is happening with the numbers clearly but this is more because he is struggling to stay focused through the entire sum….He starts, gets distracted, loses where he is, randomly sticks whatever number is in his head in a column and gets royally confused!!!  On the positive side is that he was super clear about place value, how many tens make a hundred and how many hundreds make a thousand…..and his column addition was spot on.  SO a step back to move forward confidently I think.  We’ll be just focusing on the method for the next week or so.  B did his book maths with Dh, finding which set had more which he whizzed through. 

We didn’t manage to get everything done today, only Tig (and I) did music practice and we didn’t specifically hear anyone read but it’s a build up; the aim being that by Monday, when Dh is back in work, we’ll be hitting our stride and getting the daily stuff done fairly efficiently.

We did get some markmaking done, Ot chose a complex mark as his favourite and did really well, hopefully he’ll carry on with it tomorrow as will Tig.

B working with huge concentration on his circles….

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Ot’s…

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TIg’s…

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After dinner we headed out to Chasewater to drive/sail our new (and old) remote control vehicles and had great fun (coming away when batteries died).  Then we went to practice riding on the ‘road to nowhere’.  They’re all doing really well and TIg is loving being able to ride and zoom about which is great!

we came home and whilst Dh cooked tea (a very tasty pea and chorizo risotto) I grabbed out the Hama beads, sat at the kitchen table until I was spotted and joined by Ben and Tig.  I had cunningly made a minecraft pick from the mini beds which Tig was immediately inspired by and he made his own sword and pick.  Ben made a shoe and a pick in the maxi beads (but we need to re-iron them as they were not properly stuck) I called Elliot over and he made a lapiz lazuli block…..Handwriting done!

TIg working on his and the finished articles…

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My two mini creations….

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and a midi….

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Ot creating his lapiz, which I have no photo of as he was chuffed to bits and stashed it before I got chance!

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B’s creations ( Pick anda  shoe) and being tried out (gently) on his bro!

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After Tea we tried out some of the indoor fireworks Tig and Ot had got for Christmas…

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The hands over the mouth were because they didn’t want to breathe in the smoke (we had lots of windows and doors open honest!

After  tea I made a colour wheel bracelet, 1-1 with each of the guys talking about primary and secondary colours.  I laid out a red, yellow and blue (well honestly it was a dark blue-green but we had no proper blue so it did the job) then I asked what red and yellow would make …..if they weren’t sure we looked at yesterdays expt, popped an orange bead between the red and yellow, repeated for the other colour combos and ended up with cool little bracelets which everyone was wearing proudly.

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The guys did a chunk of minecraft playing and there has been some Lego playing today, Titanic making mainly.  B played with his superheroes and made some more badges with his badge maker and TIg and Ot have been reading various horrible histories.  I finally got chance to play on Rocksmith and played for over 2 hours once the guys were in bed, my fingers are a bit sore but I was doing OK-maybe I’ll actually be able to play the guitar by the end of the year!

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Tomorrow we need to get our 2nd layer of modroc on at some point so we can get our money boxes finished!  A busy, challenging, fun, huggy, successful day.

On the Second Day of January…

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We checked that our netbooks (the boys) had on all the software we needed, reminded ourselves of passwords and login details and did a few of our ICT based jobs.  B is loving mathseeds (the new maths based program from reading eggs) and Tig enjoyed earning an animal card in Readingeggspress- I think it appeals to the collector in him!  Aunty E went back to her halls after staying over Christmas.  Everyone was a bit sad to see her go home but she’s got lots of exams so she needs peace and quiet for her revision. 

We set up a cool colour experiment to get us started thinking about colour mixing which is kind of what we’re looking at in our art skills.  £ glasses with coloured water (red, blue yellow) between each coloured glass an empty glass.  Connect each of the glasses, from one to the next, using kitchen roll folded into strips.

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The aim is that we learn about colour mixing, colour families (war/cool/complementary/analogous etc.) learn to mix tints and tones of different hues working initially in paint (prob water colour).  we’re going to use Kandinsky as inspiration and create our own mini circles in squares which we will then group altogether to make a huge collaborative picture to stick at the top of the stairs.

Tig and Ot both did their piano practice and struggled a bit with being rusty but both did pretty well.  They also chose the chapter books we’ll be reading together. 

When Dh got back from dropping Aunty E off, we went for some biking fun and then  we sat and played some games on the rug before tea, well B, Dh and I did but Tig and Ot were deep into Minecraft!  we played Downfall, Mr Potato Head, Silly Stackers, A dino egg game (with tweezers) and B’s fav-Plop trumps!