Friday, October 1, 2010

Montessori Chemistry Works (Part 2? I've lost track!)

Here are pictures of the cards that I described in this post.  I included some of the box that I made to put the card sets.  Cards for elements 1-22 are in the top row (3-part Bohr; 3-part info cards; control cards) and elements 23-42 are in the bottom row (same order).  The controls have the Bohr model on one side and the info on the other to be used as the control for either set.  I used a See's Candies box that my mom gave us from a trip to San Francisco - It's the perfect size :).

These cards (below) are matching words and definitions from one of the websites that had a print option for its online quiz/game.  This shows how you can take even a worksheet or quiz to make a self-correcting Montessori-style work.  I wrote the answers on the back to make them self-correcting.

[Yes, you too can learn about Quantum Mechanics through 2-part cards!]

This has been a big hit.  Each week one of the dc leads us in 5 chemistry experiments from the book.  We mostly go in order but sometimes an experiment gets postponed if we're out of something and we go ahead to another one.  They gather their materials and then lead.  They read aloud the purpose and tell the procedure as they do it.  Then they read the results, etc.  At the end of the session each dc picks one they want to write about in their Chemistry lab books (or Science Log for youngest).  They write and illustrate about the experiment.  The olders can copy the purpose/procedure or put it in their own words.  The results and explanation always come from their own words.  Youngest dd just writes about it and draws a picture.  My job throughout all of this:  stay out of the way!  As moms you all know how hard that is sometimes :).

The other big hit experiment-wise for Chemistry has been  Fizz, Bubble and Flash.  I really like how it takes the different parts of the Periodic Table to discuss with a few experiments for selected elements of that group.  The text part is clear and easy to understand but it has lots of information at the same time.

Both of these have been worth the time investment.

What's Cookin'?

Not having an oven has really not been all that bad.  However, not being able to make our own granola bars and breakfast cereal hasn't been easy.  A month or so ago I ended up getting Grape Nuts.  After they ate that several times I thought that I should probably soak them.  Which I did.  Dc liked them okay but when questioned further one dd admitted that the texture was a bit like sawdust, lol.  This week I soaked them with water, about 1 tablespoon of kefir, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 'scoops' of rapadura (probably a bit less than 2 tablespoons), and several 'shakes' of cinnamon.  I didn't measure the Grape Nuts but it was about 1/2 of a quart glass bowl or a bit less than half of the box.  Next time I need to remember to add a teaspoon of rye flour to add more phytase to help break up the phytates (the whole point in soaking).  I let it soak overnight.  The next day I dehydrated it until it was still flexible but dried all the way through - not crunchy but closer to the chewy side.  This time it was a hit all the way around with dc.

Last Frankenfood Frosting Post (I think!):

A few days after I took the other pictures showing how the frosting killed my grass I got yet another shock.  The dead grass turned BLACK.  It just looks weird.  Okay, I've seen dead grass before - this is different.  This just looks... weird.  I hope the pictures can do it justice:

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