Friday, January 31, 2014

Lego Challenge: Holiday Scene




Mr. T made this holiday scene. I love it for so many reasons.



Rudolph & Santa

I love the little bag in back carrying one present. I'm pretty sure this Santa is wearing a pirate's do-rag rather than his typical hat, but that's awesome.

A tree in front of a fireplace, complete with wrapped presents & a skateboard.

Lego kid building a snowman.

This scene makes me smile. :)

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2nd Quarter Wrap Up




Here's some of what we accomplished during the 2nd quarter of this school year:


Aaah, what a nice way to start the day.


 • SCIENCE •
We turned these egg shells...

... into beautiful egg geodes

The kids also made Salt Crystal Gardens.

Mr. T has been going to his poultry 4-H club meetings & in October showed his chicken at a Halloween themed event.

Capt. N worked hard with his Lego Robotics team.



 • MATH •
We played the game Equate, which is similar to scrabble except instead of spelling words you make math equations. The boys loved it.

Mr. T made Gallon Guy. Capt. N made him 2 years ago.

Among other things, Princess K has been having fun making stars.



  • MUSIC •
Mr. T has been taking violin lessons.

We went to our first symphony. Mr. T got to bring flowers on stage to the soloist.



  • HISTORY •
We started our Native American history pockets book.

The first pocket is an overview of various tribes throughout North America.

Native American Picture Dictionary



 • HOLIDAYS •
Columbus Day activities

Princess K made this "spooky" banner for Halloween.

Day of the Dead sugar skulls from My Very Educated Mother & Yucca Flats.

We also played Spanish word bingo while learning about the Day of the Dead.

Over Thanksgiving we went camping with friends and let off Chinese lanterns.

We went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium over Thanksgiving weekend.


We did a bunch of Christmas activities including making advent calendars for each other.



  • FUN TIMES •
We got our first snow of the season.

The end of the 2nd quarter marks the half way mark for this school year. Un-be-liev-able! I can't believe the year is half over.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lego Robotics



This is the second year Capt. N has participated in First Lego League. I really can't say enough about it. The kids learn so incredibly much. It's more than just playing with Lego bricks. As a matter of fact, actual Lego building is very little of what they do. This is real life math, science & teamwork - all important skills for most any career they will eventually strive towards.



• ROBOT GAME •
Of course, getting the challenge mat & setting it up is one of the most exciting days. They have to build a robot, then program it to perform various missions with the goal of earning as many points as possible.

Lego technic pieces to build their robot.

Through lots of trial & error, the kids come up with a robot design that will work for their missions.

On Capt. N's team they each choose a mission they want to focus on. Then they work on programming the nxt brick to complete the mission. Actual engineering for kids ages 9-14.

They have to figure out ways to get their robot to turn at the correct angle or go a certain distance.

That's just the Robot Game portion of the challenge. They also have to work on a Project & Core Values.



• PROJECT •

Each year there is a theme & the kids have to come up with a real life solution to a problem within the theme. Lots of brainstorming goes on to figure out their project.

The item they came up with this year was a debris shield. They had to figure out the material it would be made from, why they chose that material & how it would be used.

A mechanical engineer talked to the team about strength vs. toughness. A material can be strong but to stand up to impact it must be tough.

To test toughness they dropped various items like bricks, stones & wood.

They decided their debris shield would also be fire resistant. They built this box to show how that part of the debris shield would work.

The chocolate lego guy unprotected from the heat gun melted. The guy behind the shield did not.



 • FLL CORE VALUES •

They also have to show that they have been working on good teamwork skills.

They have to put together a tri-fold board showcasing the core values.



 • SHOWING THEIR IDEAS TO THE COMMUNITY •

Practicing their presentation, which they also have to put together themselves, & showing their ideas to the Knights of Pythias.

The fire department came in and watched the team at work. They also talked to the kids about fire resistant materials.



 • THE TOURNAMENT •

The kids work for months for the one tournament day. The tournament is a day long event consisting of their Project presentation, Core Values presentation & the Robot game. It's a fun day watching the kids at their best. They're nervous & excited & they power through all the emotions to perform well.

Robot Game

Again, I can't say enough about First Lego League. The kids learn so much & are proud of all they've accomplished. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Missing Pencils



Pencils! How can pencils just up & disappear? I'm not sure how it happens, but I constantly sharpen new pencils & the next thing I know I go to grab a pencil & they're isn't one. I know the kids take them when they go off to do their independent school work. But, why don't the pencils come back with their school work? Or if they aren't going to come back, why don't I find newly sharpened pencils throughout my house? It really is like they disappear. Kind of like the match to your favorite sock. So annoying!

I sharpened 7 new pencils. Not an hour later, I got my camera to take a pic & already one was missing. I bet it hasn't returned.

Somebody once told me the trick to not losing nerf darts was to not have very many. Kids will keep good track of them if they don't have many to play with. Maybe I need to try that with pencils.

Anybody else have disappearing pencils?

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