Saturday, December 26, 2009

Science Saturday: New Years

I just logged in and saw that I never hit the publish button for this post. This was supposed to post on 12/26. My apologies. Hopefully, you can use it in following years.

- If one of the New Year resolutions involves eating healthy, a lesson on nutrition would be a good science lesson.

- You could also learn about the rate at which things of different weights fall and how that rate can be controlled.

- This is a fun time to learn about fireworks and how they work. How Stuff Works has a great explanation and a video about how fireworks and sparklers work. ***Note*** This is a great time to discuss firework safety as well.

- Study the current season in different parts of the world and why it is that way. How is it that it is summer on the southern hemisphere, but it is winter here?

- Study why a cork pops when a bottle of wine/sparkling grape juice is opened.

- Any study of corks and/or carbonation at this time is appropriate. You can even make homemade soda.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Fun: New Years

There are all sorts of fun activities for New Years.

- Attend or throw a New Year's party. Not up to staying up late, or at least not up to having the kids up late? Have the party at noon instead.

- Host a New Year's Day open house and invite family and friends by to visit.

- Attend local fireworks and/or New Year activities.

- You can also use black paper and some glitter and glue, to create a picture of fireworks.

- Make your own calendar for the upcoming year. This can be done completely from scratch or you can buy a "blank" calendar from a craft store and make it.

- Make a time capsule of the previous year. You can choose to open it next New Year's Eve or you can decide to open it on a future New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Think It Over Thursday: New Years


- Make a time line of major events that occurred this year.

- Write a summary of the past year in your journal. These should be personal events. Include a paragraph of two of how these events made you feel.

- Write out 10 resolutions for the new year. Try to include at least one resolution for each of these areas: behavior, goals, spiritual, health, and family. Plan out how you will keep these resolutions.

- Write a letter to yourself to open on New Year's Eve next year. Tell about what is happening in your life and in the news. Next year, you can see how much you, and the world has changed.

- Fill out your calendar for the next year. Include birthdays, anniversaries, and any events that you are aware of (graduations, reunions, etc).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

World Wednesday: New Years in other languages

Here are some of the ways people say "Happy New Year" around the world.

Czech: Stastny Novy Rok
French: Bonne annee
German: Ein glückliches neues Jahr
Hawaiian: Hauoli Makahiki hou
Hebrew: Shana Tova
Italian: Buon Anno
Latin: Felix sit annus novus
Spanish: Feliz año nuevo
Vietnamese: Chuc mung nam mo

Choose another place and learn about their New Year's customs. Share the custom with your family on New Year's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Free, personalized video from Santa

There is a review for a free website, Portable North Pole, where you can read all about the free, personalized video you can have sent to your children, or any one else you choose. You can read the review on my other blog, The Happy Wife.

Time Travel Tuesday: History of theTimes Square Ball

In 1907, the first ball was "dropped" down a flagpole on top of 1 Times Square. It was made out of wood and iron and had 100 25-watt light bulbs. It was 5 feet across and weighed 700 pounds. Since then, the ball has been lowered every year, except 1942 and 1943 due to World War II. In 1920, the ball was replaced with one made of wrought iron that weighed 400 pounds. 20 years later, in 1940, that one was replaced with one made from aluminum and weighing 200 pounds. For the year 2000, the ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The crystal ball was 6 feet across and weighed in at 1,070 pounds. The current ball was revealed on November 8, 2008. It is a 12 foot geodesic sphere and weighs 11,875 pounds. It is covered in 2,668 Waterford crystals and 32,265 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights.

***This information was gathered at the Times Square website. Please visit them for more information and pictures of the various balls that have descended over the years.***

Monday, December 21, 2009

Math Monday: New Year's

This is a great time to teach/review calendars, time/clocks and anything using the number 12, especially fractions. You can also focus on the number 10 since 2010 begins a new decade (vocabulary word).


- Review math facts for numbers 10 and 12 according to what they have learned (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)

- Get a 2010 calendar and write in everyone's birthday that you celebrate. Count up the number of birthdays each month and write an extended equation to see how many birthdays you will celebrate this year.

- Use the numbers in 2010 to form equations using only those 3 numbers (0,1,2). See how many you can come up with.

Word Problems

- Last year, Kelly made 6 resolutions. She kept 3 of them. What percentage of her resolutions did she keep?

- Gage's family is hosting a New Year's Eve party from 8PM until 1AM. How long will the party be?


- How much more time is left in this year? Express your answer in days, hours, and minutes. (Adjust as necessary for child's ability)

- Test the accuracy of a sand timer or, if you do not know how long the timer should be, determine the time. Watch a second hand on a clock or watch or use a digital timer with a count up feature to see how long it takes for the sand to run out.

- Figure out how many days until your birthday.

- Learn the number of days in each month. An easy way to remember is to make a fist. Touch the first knuckle and say "January", then move to the space between the 1st and 2nd knuckle and say "February", then to the 2nd knuckle and say "March" and so on. When you reach the last knuckle (July), touch it again and say "August" and then continue back across the hand until you reach December on the middle knuckle. Each month that "falls" on a knuckle has 31 days, the others (except February) have 30 days.

- This is also a good time to introduce the military clock. Midnight is 0000 (zero one hundred) hours.

_ You can also discuss time zones and celebrate as different places welcome in the new year.

- Make a calendar for the new year.


- Draw some party hats, using different types of triangles (Isoceles, equilateral, acute). This is a good way to reinforce ruler skills and to teach triangle types.

- Draw, or otherwise create, and decorate your own "ball" to drop on New Year's Eve.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas crafts

I just posted a few ideas for Christmas crafts on my Preschool Unit Studies blog. They would be ideal for this age group as well but, I wanted to share some more ideas for the slightly older kids as well.

Sawdust Ornaments

1) Mix together 1 cup of sawdust and 1/2 cup of flour. Stir in water until dough is stiff. If it is too crumbly, add more flour and water.
2) Mold the sawdust mixture into Christmas shapes. This is best done on newspaper or wax paper. Try to keep them a small-moderate size to prevent from being too heavy to hang on the tree.
3) Unfold a paper clip to form a hook for hanging and insert the bottom half into the top of the ornament.
3) Allow to air dry for 48-72 hours.
4) Sand any rough edges.
5) Paint with acrylic paint (tempera will work too) and let dry.
6) (optional) Add glue to any parts you would like and sprinkle with glitter. Alternately, you could use glitter glue. Let dry.

Window Clings
1) Use fabric paints to create various Christmas designs on wax paper.
2) Let dry.
3) Carefully peel off wax paper and stick on glass.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crayola Giveaway

I failed again with following through with the Thanksgiving posts. In the future I will not post until I have the unit at least halfway completed. On another note, be sure to check out my other blog, The Happy Wife, for the chance to win a Crayola Glow Dome. You can also read my review of the Crayola Glow Dome, Crayola Glow Station and the Crayola Beginnings Color Me A Song.