Sunday, 28 February 2010

photos by Andre

Andre received a digital camera for his birthday and has been trying it out a lot. I think it's wonderful seeing things through his eyes. Here are a few of my favourites from the last few days. I didn't touch up any of his photos, these are just the way they came out of his camera.

100 books-a-month challenge ~ february and Reading My Library Challenge


Here is our list for this month. We didn't read the whole 100 books this time, but we still enjoyed many books.
We read picture books from the C and D section as part of the Reading My Library challenge. We discovered two new-to-us authors  Roger Duvoisin and Julia Donaldson.
Andre has been enjoying audiobooks again. He really liked the Ghosthunters one by Cornelia Funke. He is now listening to a second title from the series and also trying out the Artemis Fowle series.
Adrienne has been devouring a new series "The Land of Elyon". While she is waiting for the fourth book to come from the library,  I picked up another book for her and she loves this one too! It is another series called "The Boy Sherlock  Holmes" written by Shane Peacock (a Canadian!).


Tiny Tyrant by Lewis Trondheim - Andre - Adrienne

Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye - Read Aloud for history
Mr. Popper’s Penguin by Richard and Florence Atwater - Audiobook
Yukon: Larger than Life - Read Aloud for Canadian Geography
Adverb by Michael Dahl - Read Aloud Non Fiction
The Rabbit Pirates: A Tale of the Spinach Main by Judy Cox - Read Aloud
The Friends of Emily Culpepper by Ann Coleridge - Read Aloud
The Dark Hills Divide (The Land of Elyon Book I) by Patrick Carman - Adrienne
Leave it to PET! #3 by K. Sonishi - Adrienne - Andre
Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin - Read Aloud
“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle - Read Aloud
What Do You Know? By Lorinda Bryan Cauley - Read Aloud
Maisy Goes to the Museum by Lucy Cousins - Read Aloud
Zero is the Leaves on The Tree by Betsy Franco - Read Aloud
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett - Read Aloud
If You Were an Adverb by Michael Dahl - Read Aloud
Days of Trial and Tears: The Child Labour Diary of Flora Rutherford (Dear Canada Series) by Sarah Ellis - Adrienne
Dark Day in the Deep Sea (Magic Tree House #39) by Mary Pope Osborne - Audio book - Andre
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - Mom
All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle - Read Aloud
Maisy Goes to the Library by Lucy Cousins - Read Aloud
Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent by Lauren Child - Read Aloud
The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child - Read Aloud
MacBeth retold by Charles Lamb - Read Aloud
Black Holes by Dana Meachen Rau - Andre
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young - Read Aloud
Eve of the Emperor Penguin by M. P. Osborne - Audio book - Andre
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt - Mom
A Desperate Road to Freedom (Dear Canada series) by K. Bradford - Adrienne
Redwoods by Jason Chin - Read Aloud
The Magic Rabbit by Annette Le Blanc Cate - Read Aloud
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson - Read Aloud
Petunia by Roger Duvoisin - Read Aloud
The Secret Keeper by Kate Coombs - Read Aloud
Raven and River by Nancy White Carlstrom - Read Aloud
Where’s My Mom? By Julia Donaldson - Read Aloud
Little Rat Makes Music by Monika Bang-Campbell - Read Aloud
Maisy Goes to the Hospital by Lucy Cousins - Andre to Celeste
Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins - Andre to Celeste
Where Does Pepper Come From? By B. Raab - Read Aloud
Viking Town by Jacqueline Morley - Read Aloud for History
Viking (DK Eye Wonder) - Read Aloud for History
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood - Adrienne
Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson - Adrienne
Henry and Mudge and the Wind by Cynthia Rylant - Andre to Celeste
Henry and Mudge in the Green Time by C. Rylant - Andre to Celeste
Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat by C. Rylant - Andre to Celeste
I Love You, Blue Kangaroo! By Emma C. Clark - Andre to Celeste
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood - Andre to Celeste
Beyond the Valley of Thorns (The Land of Elyon Book 2) by P. Carman - Adrienne
NurtureShock by Po Bronson - Mom
Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost by C. Funke - Andre (Audiobook)
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson series) by Rick Riordan - Read Aloud
Veronica and the Birthday Present by Roger Duvoisin - Read Aloud
No One Saw: Ordinary Things Through the Eyes of an Artist by B. Raczka - Read Aloud
It Begins with an A by S. Calmenson - Read Aloud
The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen - Read Aloud (History)
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown - Read Aloud
Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book by Julia Donaldson - Read Aloud
The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson - Read Aloud
The Fish Who Cried Wolf by Julia Donaldson - Read Aloud
Once I knew a Spider by Jennifer Owlings Dewey - Read Aloud
No Matter What by Emma Dodd - Read Aloud
The Best Book of The Moon by Ian Graham - Read Aloud
The Old House by Pamela Duncan Edwards - Read Aloud
Splitting The Herd by Trudy Harris - Read Aloud
Punctuation Celebration by Elsa Knight Bruno - Read Aloud
Math-earpieces by Greg Tang - Read Aloud
The Tenth City (The Land of Elyon series) by P. Carmon - Adrienne
Under Pressure: Rescuing Childhood from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting by Carl Honore - Mom
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires - Andre - Adrienne

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Frosty White

We skipped our usual morning routine yesterday to enjoy the beauty of winter. We love seeing everything covered in frosty white. We also saw (and listened to) a Northern Cardinal, beautiful with his red coat against the white snow, but we weren't able to capture him with our cameras...maybe next time!



Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Happy 11th Birthday Andre!


Andre...my little boy...growing so fast.
How can I describe him?

funny
dramatic
caring
loving
interesting
unique
imaginative
dreamer
smart
talkative
precise
cuddler

a few of his favourites:
dragons
dinosaurs
marine life
traveling
history
science experiments
camping
biking
baking
reading (audiobooks at the moment)
board games (Dragonology, Monopoly)
video games (Kingdom Hearts, Zelda, Sonic)

There is more...but this is a good start!


♫♪ Happy Birthday ♪♫



Monday, 22 February 2010

Book Sharing Monday :: The Race of the Birkebeiners


The Race of the Birkebeiners is written by Lise Lunge-Larsen and illustrated by Mary Azarian. We have been studying the Vikings in history and I thought this would  be a nice addition to our reading list. The time period is a little bit later than where we are at at the moment, by about 200 years, but it was still relevant.
The story is based on real events, the rescue of young Prince Hakon of Norway. The Birkebeiners were brave warriors from Norway, there were not rich but they were loyal to their king. The name came from the birchbark that they wrapped around their legs for protection. They helped bring the Prince to Nidaros by traveling on cross-coutry skis in very rough winter weather. They had nothing to eat, only snow, which is what they gave to the baby.

Every year, in Norway and in the United States, there are cross-country ski races, "Birkebeiner",  that commemorate this rescue. They even carry a eight pound pack to symbolise the weight of the baby.

tick tock...

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Penguin Notebook by Celeste (with Adrienne's help)


The girls worked on this little notebook together. All I did was print a few worksheets that Adrienne chose. They read a few books on penguins, completed the worksheets, and put it together in a notebook.
Celeste's first notebook!
The printable worksheets came from Lapbook Lessons.

Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Winter Series ~ Winter Birds and the Great Backyard Bird Count


Last weekend, Adrienne and I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count. It was very simple, all we had to do was watch for birds for about fifteen minutes and write down which we saw. We don't have a bird feeder on our yard, but can see our neighbour's from my bedroom window.
Adrienne is much better at me for looking at the details of each bird which helped us identify them!
Here are a few photos taken during our observations. It was early on a cloudy day, so the lighting isn't the best.
After we were done counting the birds over the three days, we decided to pick one and read a bit more about it. We chose the Dark-eyed Junco. We found out that while most juncos migrate south for the winter, it is common to see a few in Ontario during the cold months.  They like to eat the seeds that fall from bird feeders.
The male has the dark slate grey feathers on top, while the female has lighter brown. Both have white belly feathers. 

See the bottom of the post for our list of birds that we submitted.



Great Backyard Bird Count - February 13 to 15, 2010
Mourning Doves: 14
European Starlings: 17
Black Capped Chickadees: 10
House Sparrow: 20
Dark-eyed Junco: 4

We included this information to our Nature Journal along with a Dark-eyed Junco colouring page from the (free printable) Feeder Birds Colouring Book.




This was part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter series (even though we didn't go outside!), more can be found about it at Handbook of Nature Study blog.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sketch Tuesday ~ Something we can recycle

The whole family participated this time!
The theme was: something we can recycle.

Andre's Coca-Cola can

We were all delighted to have Daddy sketch with us, here is his Vernors can!

Celeste's toilet paper cardboard roll

my yogurt container

Adrienne's ice cream container!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Book Sharing Monday :: Redwoods



Written and illustrated by Jason Chin, this beautiful book called "Redwoods" is a mixture of fantasy and non-fiction. A boy discovers a lost book in the subway and as he is reading it, he discovers many interesting facts about the Redwoods. When he exits the subway, he is transported in the forest itself. We all loved seeing the illustrations and learning more about the California Redwoods. Now we all hope to see them on day!

"In the summer, when there is much less rainfall, redwoods have an ingenius way of collecting water: they make their own rain!"

If you would like to participate in Book Sharing Monday, you can leave me a comment at the bottom of this post or visit this one to find out more: how-to.


Saturday, 13 February 2010

Journey North Mystery Class ~ Update # 2

This week, we were able to seperate the Northern Hemisphere locations from the Southern Hemisphere ones.
One location is still in complete darkness, while the other is only receiving daylight!


The Great Backyard Bird Count


It happens this weekend! The Great Backyard Bird Count started yesterday and will finish on Monday. You have until March 1 to enter your data on the website.

This is our first year participating and we are planning on looking at how many birds we can count in 15 minutes time, once a day, over the next three days. The kids page on the website has more information, colouring pages, puzzles and games : the great big backyard bird count is for kids!

Barb at Handbook of Nature Study blog is explaining how to study local birds in her post Winter Series #7 - Winter Birds.


Friday, 12 February 2010

Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Winter Series ~ Pine Tree


Last week, we visited a new-to-us conservation area. It was about a fifteen minute drive from our home, and had a short walking trail. I had looked ahead in the Outdoor Hour Winter Series and knew we were going to be looking for pines. Since we hadn't been there before, I wasn't sure if we would find any pines, but we did!

We also found that somebody had constructed a shelter under the pine trees, big enough for one person to sit in:


And a smaller one, perfect for dolls (Celeste didn't bring hers for this walk to test it out though):


We found a huge tree fungus:


And some more pine trees, we think this is a white pine:


A close up of the branches and needles:


Back at home, I read part of the Pine section aloud to Adrienne in the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. I finally ordered the book. Up until now, I had been printing the pages from the free online version. We measured the needles (4 inches) and counted how many needles per bundles (5). We also sketched the pinecone we brought home. The first one is Adrienne's, the other is mine.



We have been enjoying these winter nature studies more than I would have imagined! To find out more, visit The Handbook of Nature Study blog.

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