Today started off “backward”. Normally we do the “hard” stuff at the start of the day and the more fun stuff like science/PE/music/etc at the end of the day. However, since it rained last night it meant that our pool had quite a few live amphibians in it so I went out and got a salamander out of the pool to bring in and show the kids (pictured below).
I grew up with red spotted newts and had many “pet newts” as a child so I know how neat they can be. The creature I pulled out of the pool was ID’ed via internet as an Eastern Redback Salamander. We learned all about how amphibians are made to live in the air and the water and how it breathes through it’s skin. We also looked at it to talk about how it looks kind of like a reptile but has a lot of things like a fish (like breathing underwater). Overall the kids were quite pleased to play with a salamander at 8am. Once we were done I rinsed off the little guy and then put him in the rocks by the pool hoping he would go back to the woods since the pool means certain death via pool filter.
After we took care of that lesson we covered handwriting, which was another letter to Big Kid’s penpal in Maine, then did another chapter in Life of Fred.
Then we moved on to the lesson from Moving Beyond the Page. The lesson (at least one of the 4 activities) was supposed to be about how work goes more quickly if you use teamwork. Where I went wrong with this lesson is to have Little Kid help Big Kid rather than helping him myself. Oops. All the chores ended up taking 3 times the amount of time it took BK to do them alone. Lesson was not learned, though we talked about why it happened that way, mostly that BK spent his time trying to boss around LK while LK resisted every step of the way.
I am still not really sold on the MBtP curriculum just because it doesn’t seem to use a lot of…I am not even sure. Concrete facts? I am not sure how to put into words what I feel is missing but I know that from the looks of it Build Your Library isn’t missing it so I will be excited to get to that curriculum sometime around Christmas.