Friday, 28 March 2008

Mystery Class Update

It is Friday again and that means Mystery Class!

Fairy and I had so much fun with this week's clues. We changed a couple of our guesses with the new clues, and confirmed many others. Only two weeks left of clues, then we submit our guesses for the contest (check out this link for the Journey North Mystery Class site).
Here are our updated guesses:
Class #1 : Japan
Class #2 : South Africa
Class #3 : Michigan, USA
Class #4 : Brazil
Class #5 : Norway
Class #6 : Kuwait
Class #7 : Antarctica
Class #8 : Germany
Class #9 : China
Class #10: Peru

The Countdown Begins!

Our current home is now SOLD! The closing date is April 18....coming very fast! I might not have as much time on the computer over the next three weeks, but I will try to add updates when I can. My plan is to still "do school" in the morning with the kids, then have the rest of the day for packing.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Eggs!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Dragon and I have finished "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" book. I read it aloud to him. What a great book it was, with many black and white illustrations, mixed with regular text. It talked about George Melies and very early movies. You can find out more about the book at this link.
The YouTube video above shows the Trip to the Moon movie made by G.Melies in 1902. This short movie is a big part of the Hugo Cabret story and Dragon really enjoyed watching it.

Another important part of Hugo Cabret's story is the automaton he finds and repairs. The video above shows an automaton from the Franklin Institute, that is similar to the one in the story because it also writes and draws.
This book was perfect for Dragon, even though it didn't have the usual dragons in it (!). I also enjoyed the art, the story and the setting, since it took place in Paris!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

What's Next?

We will be reading about Easter, Spring and Earth Day over the next couple of weeks. We also might have our house sold, with an offer that should be firmed by the end of this coming week. The closing date requested is April 18, so we might have to get ready very fast! It will be a crazy busy time for our family.

I am still planning on homeschooling through this time, as much as possible. I have been thinking that I can't be packing every minute of the day!

On the left side, you can see a list of the books we are reading for our Easter/Spring/Earth Day Studies.

Happy Spring !

Dragon's Hockey

Dragon had his last game today. He played goalie again. His team didn't win the game, but he saved a lot of shots! Everyone mentioned how great he did.

Mystery Class Continues!

Fairy and I are still working on our Mystery Class project. Yesterday, along with the weekly sunrise/sunset data, we were given interdisciplinary clues . These clues were a lot of fun for both of us.

Here are our guesses so far for each Mystery Class location :

class #1 : Japan

class #2 : Africa

class #3 : Canada

class #4 : Brazil

class #5 : Norway

class #6 : Iran

class #7 : Antarctica

class #8 : Germany

class #9 : China

class #10: Ecuador or Peru

We are looking forward to next week's clues to narrow down our guesses!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

St Patrick's Day Lapbook

Here is our St-Patrick's Day Lapbook! We had a lot of fun learning about Ireland, leprechauns, Irish legends and even counting the Lucky Charms!

Fairy put together the Pot of Gold game by painting a yogurt container black and some cardboard coins sparkly gold! The game can be found here.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

St Patrick's Day Study!

We just completed our Iditarod Study and we are now onto our St Patrick's Day Unit Study.

We started on Thursday by doing some Lucky Charms graphing! It was one of the activities from a Free Live and Learn Press Learn'N Folder, that can be found here. I decided to use the whole box of the Lucky Charms! The kids first predicted which shape they thought would have the most and the least, then they divided up each type of marshmallow in separate bowls. Next they counted each shape and recorded their findings in a bar graph. Finally, they were able to eat some too!

We are creating another lapbook for this theme, and learning a lot about this holiday and Ireland, and Irish fairy tales and legends. I have included a list books we are reading on the left side.
We are also in the middle of making a Pot of Gold game. I will post pictures when it is completed. Fairy and Dragon have been sewing felt shamrock shapes. Fairy is finished and stuffed hers like a little pillow.

Last Update on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Rachael Scdoris, wearing bib # 55, scratched from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Koyuk on March 13. I haven't been able to find out the reasons for it, but here is an article from Anchorage Daily News.
Zoya DeNure completed the race in 12 days, 1 hour, 57 mn and 35 sec. She arrived in Nome on March 14 with 11 dogs left. Here is a link from her website.

We are now officially finished with our Iditarod Study and we all had a great time doing it. We are looking forward to following this race next year!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Iditarod Race Celebration

We had a small celebration yesterday with our friends that also followed the Iditarod Race. We decorated cakes with marshmallows to look like igloos! I also had made some Iditarod Puppy Chow Mix. It was very simple to make, and quite addictive to eat!

Here is the recipe:

Iditarod Puppy Chow
2 small bags of white chocolate chips
2 bags of Bits and Bites snack (I used 1 Original Bits & Bites and 1 Honey Nut Crunch Cheerios Snack Mix)
1 handful crushed pretzels
1 cup of peanuts

Line a cookie sheet with foil or wax paper and spray with cooking spray.
Mix dry ingredients
Melt white chocolate chips in microwave, or on the stove top slowly
Pour chocolate over dry mix and combine
Spread in the prepared pan
Let is set, when hard and cooled, break into chunks.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Lance Mackey Wins the Iditarod!

Dragon's musher Lance Mackey won the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race for the second time. He arrived in Nome, Alaska early today at 2:46am. He took a total of 9 days, 11hrs, 46 mn and 48 seconds to complete the 1150 mile race. You can see pictures from the finish line at the official Iditarod site, here. I also just read that Lance is not planning on resting yet, he is running the 400-miles All Alaska Sweepstakes in a week and a half! We will all follow that race, especially Dragon. It starts March 26, 2008. Here is the website.

We are still tracking our 3 other mushers, Martin Buser (Dad's choice), Zoya DeNure (Fairy's) and Rachael Scdoris (mine). All 3 are still in the race.

* Update: Martin Buser did arrive in Nome on March 12 at 10:11 am, in 5th place.
Fairy's musher is still racing as of March 14, Zoya DeNure is currently in 55th place at the White Mountain checkpoint, and Rachael Scdoris is in 62nd place at the Koyuk checkpoint.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Sled Dog Lapbook

Here are the pictures of the sled dog lapbook!

Can you say "busy"?!

We have had a busy week here...first, some major decisions had to be made by Dad regarding a transfer with his work. He decided to accept a job offer that will move us four hours west of our current home. It is a good move for our family, but of course we will all be sad to leave behind family and homeschool friends. We will move to an area that has a lot of my extended family, who are all excited to have us closer!

This week was our Iditarod week! Since my last post on Tuesday, we completed more Iditarod Math worksheets, continued tracking our mushers' progress (Go Lance Go, # 1 at Ruby!) and finished our biographies. Fairy and I also finished our sled dog lapbook this morning. What a fun way to learn about these great dogs! We followed the instructions from an "In the Hands of a Child Project Pack" that can be found here.

This week was also the end of the kids' community centre classes. Princess was supposed to have her last class of Ballet on Wednesday morning. We walk to the centre as usual and discovered that it was cancelled because of the snow storm...Princess still made the best of it by playing in the snow on the way back home!

On Thursday, Fairy and Dragon had their last basketball class. Their Nana came to play with them and they all had a great time! The photos are a bit blurry, because I was behind the glass wall and they are action shots!

Finally today, after finishing our lapbook, we headed over to our friends for some more Iditarod fun! We did an experiment that involved lard, ice water and ziplock bags. I had wanted to do this one with Fairy and Dragon, so it was perfect and much more fun with friends too! It can be called the Blubber Experiment and demonstrates how the layer of fat called blubber that certain Arctic animals (polar bears, whales, seals) have actually help keep them warm. It was fun and educational! Even Princess participated. You can read about this experiment here.

I have pictures of our completed sled dog lapbook that I will post separately.
Once we were finished with our experiment, the girls decided to dress up...This is my favourite pictures from today...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Getting to know our mushers

After finishing our second Math Iditarod worksheet, we worked this morning on our mushers' biographies, gathering information from the Internet. On Thursday and Friday, we will be writing our biographies. I say we, because I am actually doing this along with Fairy and Dragon! It has been fun to read about each of our chosen racers. Below are some links for each person.

Fairy is cheering for Zoya DeNure bib #89 (as of Rainy Pass checkpoint in 82nd). She used to be a professional fashion model and now owns Crazy Dog Kennel . Zoya also has a blog "Zoya's Kennel Journal", which has updates and pictures.

Dragon is keeping track of Lance Mackey bib #6 (as of Rohn checkpoint in 1st, yeah!). He is a cancer survivor, and 4 times Yukon Quest winner (another dog sled race). Last year, he won the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. He owns the Comeback Kennel . The site also has pictures from the race.

My pick is Rachael Scdoris bib #55 (as of Rainy Pass checkpoint in 85th). She is legally blind and running this race, which I think is just amazing!

Daddy's choice is Martin Buser bib #13 (as of Rohn checkpoint in 13th). His kennel is Happy Trails Kennel and he has won the Iditarod 4 times! His son, Rohn is also competing this year.

I have added links on the left side of my blog "Iditarod Links". These are the sites we use to get current standings and photos from the race.

Monday, 3 March 2008

The Iditarod Week

The race is on and I have decided to turn this week into a "Unit Study" week for our homeschool. Everything we do will have an Iditarod theme!

We started today with some Iditarod Math problems. Fairy and Dragon practised addition, subtraction, multiplication and clock skills while solving problems related to the Jr. Iditarod. Every day we will do a new series of these Iditarod Math problems.

We logged in our race statistics and looked up their location on the map. We also compared the time spent at the checkpoint for each of our mushers.

Here are our choices:

Fairy picked Zoya DeNure #89

Dragon chose Lance Mackey #6

Daddy picked Martin Buser #13

and Mom chose Rachael Scdoris #55.

We will gather information on each of these mushers over the next two days, then put together a biography for each by the end of the week. Each has a very interesting and unique story!

I have planned a few other activities as well, and will add some more links and information about our chosen I hope you come and visit again!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Fairy's Gift to her Brother...

Last weekend, we had a small family birthday party for Dragon. One of the highlights was a gift from Fairy to her brother. She had spent a few days at her Nana's and painted this for him. It was just perfect for him, and I am sure that he will cherish it forever.


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