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Rock Collecting

September 24th, 2012

Today we read Let’s Go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans.

Then we went rock collecting!
rock collecting

finds on the Rivanna trail
Afterward Sam cleaned the rocks and sorted them. She was excited to find some quartz.

24 September 2012

Rocks and Fossils

September 24th, 2012

Some rocks are actually dried lava.

Sediment is lots of sand and mud and pieces of plants and animals.

Fossils are old animal bones in rock. The dead animal sinks into the sediment and becomes a fossil.

FEOW, p.20-21
18 September 2012

The BFG Turns 30

September 17th, 2012

Sam loves Roald Dahl’s The BFG. It was one of the first chapter books she read by herself. She was thrilled to attend our local library’s 30th anniversary program on the BFG for kids in second grade. She was especially thrilled to attend with her friend Heidi. Before the activities began, the girls check out the shelf where Sam’s other favorite books, the A-Z mystery series, reside.

Sam and Heidi in the stacks

13 September 2012

Pen Friend

September 17th, 2012

Sam got a story in the mail from her friend Esme in the UK. She wants to send Esme a story in return, but she says it’s not finished. Instead she wrote this letter (which I still need to post!)

Letter to Esme

11 September 2012


September 17th, 2012


Frustrated by Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes, Sam checked out a bunch of drawing and cartooning books for kids at the library and now she’s Doing Things Her Own Way.

2 September 2012

Experiment: Hurricane Strength

September 17th, 2012

1. What Did We Use:

water, bowl, paperclip, string and wooden spoon.


2. What Did We Do:

We filled the bowl with water and we stirred it with the spoon, then took the spoon out and put the paperclip on the string in, to see if it moved or not.

3. What Happened:

The paperclip moved through the water after we had stopped stirring.

4. What Did We Learn:

We learned that hurricanes have momentum even after they stop spinning.

Addendum: we also added food coloring to watch how “clouds” swirl in hurricane wind.

swirling clouds

Thanks to Hurricane Experiments for Kids for the ideas.

We also read Hurricanes by Gail Gibbons

14 September 2012

The Death of Caesar

September 17th, 2012

Caesar did two bad things that made the Senate angry with him: he said that he had to be called king and that his nephew Octavian would be king after him. Then the Senate got angry with him and decided to murder him. They stabbed him. His last words were, “Et tu, Brute.” You too, Brutus.

Et tu Brute

14 September 2012


September 17th, 2012

Hurricanes also do good. They take warm air to cold places. Brr!

The worst hurricane in the United States was hurricane Andrew. The worst hurricanes happen in the Bay of Bengal in India.

In Australia guess what they call hurricanes? They call them willy-willies.

Do Tornadoes Really Twist? Questions and Answers About Tornados and Hurricanes by Melvin and Gilda Berger

11 September 2012

Caesar and Cleopatra

September 17th, 2012

Caesar went to Egypt so he could defeat Pompey. Cleopatra and her brother decided to cut off Pompey’s head and give it to him, so that Caesar would be friends with them. Then Cleopatra offered Caesar some of her jewels if he would defeat her brother. So Caesar fought Cleopatra’s brother and his army, and he won. Caesar didn’t leave Egypt because he really liked Cleopatra. The Senate decided to come down to Egypt and defeat Caesar, but Julius defeated them instead.

7 September 2012

Tornado in a Jar

September 14th, 2012

What Did We Use:

dish soap, a jar, vinegar, food coloring and a teaspoon.


What Did We Do:

We filled the jar with water and added 1 teaspoon of dish soap, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and a drop of food coloring. Then we put the lid on the jar, and we shook it up.


Shake it up

What happened:

When we shook the jar, a funnel appeared for a few seconds.

What did we learn:

If you shake it up and down it won’t work. It will only work if you shake it around and around.


Thanks to: http://headrush.discovery.com/science-experiments/tornado-jar-experiment.html

We also read Tornadoes by Gail Gibbons

6 September 2012