Astronomy Unit: Planets

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I can't believe this is the very last week in June, which means it's the very last week of our Astronomy Unit, and also the very last week of our school year!  Part of me is SUPER excited, but another part of me is quite nervous about the year ahead.  Seeing as we homeschool year round, July is the start of our new school year.  Next week you'll notice a few more activities on our shelves.  (Crazy to think about, I know.)  There will be activities in a few more subject areas.  So much to plan and think about...

I'm hoping, I will be organized enough by the end of the week to write a post about our schedule, classroom, calendar etc., but we'll see.  I'm making no promises.  My husband is in the process of returning to work after two years of being home, so it appears that everything will happen all at the same time, which means it might take me longer to be as organized as I want to be.

Still, we're moving forward.  I've gotta say I'm very excited about this week's activities.  My husband and I spent so much time reading and studying for this week, as neither one of us knows much about the planets or the solar system.  We have stacks of books from the library. Pathetic I know, but I always want to make sure I know and understand everything I'm teaching the kids, so if they have questions, (which Dinomite usually does), I can answer them with confidence.

My goal for the week was to create one activity for each planet.  Then also to present the solar system, order of the planets, asteroids, etc.  It's worked out pretty nicely.  I already know the kiddos are going to have a great week!

My printer stopped working towards the end of the week, so you'll notice many hands on activities without directions or control cards. All activities will be demonstrated before the children attempt them.

English:
The Solar System
This activity is simply 3 part nomenclature cards for all of the planets, moon, sun, and a few other vocabulary terms. 

 Source:  I found these free cards at The Helpful Garden.

The Planets by Name
Bulldozer still really struggles with his writing, so I'm hoping these tracing pages will make him quite happy.  The more he practices the better he'll get!

 Source:  I found these free printables as part of a pack at 3 Dinosaurs.

The Planet Mars
This is just like last week's moon surface activity.  The kiddos will identify the items on the 4 cards and then find them on the planet using the magnifying glass if needed. When they are finished, Dinomite will write each of the words on his erase board.  Princess and Bulldozer will write the first letters of each word.

Source:  I created this activity using images from Wikipedia.

Math:
Counting Asteroids
 The rocks look so much darker in the picture than in real life.  Sorry about that.  Included in the basket are cards for numbers 1-10.  It's been a while since I had the kiddos count out each number.  The bowl is filled with "asteroids" or little stones.  As I present this activity we'll be talking about the Asteroid Belt.

Solar System Patterns
The kiddos have all graduated from simple finish the pattern tasks. I'm hoping they'll do just as well with this activity.  It's been a while since we practiced cutting.

Source:  This printable was part of a pack at 3 Dinosaurs.

Addition with Moons & Asteroids
As I've said before, Princess LOVES addition and subtraction, just numbers in general.  She'll be thrilled to see this activity back on the shelves.  I love that I can acclimate it to any theme we have!

Source:  The free addition wheels are from Montessori for Everyone.

Geography:
Our Planet: Earth
There were a million ideas I could have used to incorporate geography in our planet study, but I opted to go easy, and have them review their continent names.  The kiddos will color the continents green and oceans blue, labeling them all as they go.

Source:  This printable is from Crayola.

Science:
Planets in Order from Closest to Farthest From the Sun
The kiddos each have a bag with all 8 planets labeled.  Also included in the activity is a giant sun they'll glue at the beginning of their paper.  The kids will color each of the planets.  Using glue, the kiddos will glue their planets in order from closest to farthest from the sun.  It may take a little while, but I do believe the kiddos will really enjoy it.  I'm not sure if you can see the control card at the top with the order of the planets.

 Source: The idea and printable for this activity came from My Montessori Preschool.

The Planet Earth: Living vs. Nonliving
Considering our planet is the only planet with life on it at this point, I figured it would be great to talk about the difference between living and nonliving things.  The kids will separate items in the basket into the two categories.

The Planet Jupiter
There were so many things I would have loved to do to teach about the planet Pluto, however, Dinomite kept talking about the Great Red Spot, so I knew I should probably focus on that. Several sources stated the Great Red Spot as a hurricane of sorts, that has continued to rage for a very long time.  The activity above will demonstrate how a hurricane is formed and also will look very much like the Great Red Spot.  The kiddos pour in a couple drops of both red and yellow food coloring . With a spoon, they stir the water. The colors will spread and spin, showing what a hurricane does. They'll notice after they stop stirring, the hurricane will still continue to move.

 Source: The idea for this activity came from SFC.

The Planet Venus
 We read that Venus is known for it's thousands of volcanoes. Since the kiddos aren't really sure what volcanoes do, except for what they've seen on The Land Before Time and Dora the Explorer, I thought it would be fun to create our own (in a very simple way), but to also see the chemical and gas reactions, that are so prevalent on Venus.

The kiddos will scoop about 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a couple drops of red and yellow food coloing into each little cup.  They will then pour the vinegar into the large pouring container, using the funnel.  One by one they'll add vinegar to each of the cups, watching four volcanoes erupt. I chose four, because I knew the kiddos would not be okay with just doing it one time.  They will be able to add more vinegar until it is gone.

The Solar System
It's one thing to learn the planets order in relation to the sun, but another thing to learn that they all move around the sun, just like the Earth.  In this activity the kiddos will use the image in the book provided to create their own solar system, putting the planets in the right order moving along in their own space. The paint brush will be used to draw the lines shown in the book.

Source: The idea of this activity came from I Can Teach My Child.

Practical Life & Sensorial:
The Planet Neptune
 The planet Neptune is known for its high winds and hurricanes, among other things.  To demonstrate the effects of high winds, the kiddos will be given a basin of water (representing the gas materials) and a straw. Using their straw they will blow into the basin, without touching the water, to create lots of surface activity.  Simple, but fun at the same time.

The Planet Mercury
 Mercury is much like the Earth's moon, however it is more metal like and has wrinkles, due to the heat and an absence of many other things.  To demonstrate the similarities and differences, I brought out our "moon" sphere.  The kiddos will practice wrapping it in foil. When they are finished they will see all the same crater marks etc., but also the wrinkles that are seen in Mercury.

Spooning Planets
 Once again, the pictures makes these marbles out to be so much darker than they are.  They have multiple colors all over them.  The kiddos will practice spooning the planets from one bowl to another.

The Planet Saturn
Saturn is known to have the most beautiful set of rings surrounding it.  What better way to celebrate beauty than with "jewels" or glass beads. The kiddos will create the planet using glass beads, to see just how beautiful it looks!

 Source: The free printable for this activity came from 3 Dinosaurs.

The Planet Uranus
Uranus is known for being tilted on it's axis. To visually show the difference, the kids will practice hula hooping around their waists, demonstrating what the rings around other planets look like, and then hula hoop around their arm, to demonstrate the difference of  Uranus' rings.

I'm hoping with individual activities for each planet, the kiddos will remember them better and associate them with at least one theme or topic.  Most important, I do believe they'll be having lots of fun in the process.  Hopefully they will have as much excitement as I do about all the different activities!

Our Themes for the School Year 2013-2014 & More!

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I can't believe it's June, the final month of our school year.  It's definitely been an adventure, especially as we switched over to using a modified Montessori Method for our kiddos in February.  The positive results have been too numerous to count.

I am very much looking forward to our new school year.  Dinomite will be a 1st grader.  Bulldozer is entering kindergarten and Princess is a preschooler. This year I have spent much time developing our curriculum for the next school year.  It's proved to be quite a challenge with such varying needs and skill levels, but it's finally finished and official, having been turned into our school district May 1st and presented at CSE meetings this past week and next.

I've been contemplating the best way to share our plans for the next year, as they are extremely detailed, to ensure I'm meeting our state standards.  Below you'll see a list of our unit themes with a brief description of what the units will include.  All unit activities will be shared on the blog as we do them, so the details will come then.

We choose to home school year round due to the special needs of the kiddos.  If we continue to work on things regularly, they won't lose skills.  Also, if we use a year round schedule we won't have to spend as much time each day doing school work.  You can depend on new posts regularly.

Each unit lasts one month or 4 weeks and is divided up into 4 parts, activities changing each week or 4 times during the course of the month.  During holiday seasons, if the holiday is not our unit study theme, I will add supplementary holiday activities to the shelves.  The number of unit activities may vary because of this.

Here is our plan for the school year 2013-2014:

July
Theme:  Princesses & Knights
Unit studies will include kings, queens, princes , princesses, castles, medieval times, horses, & modern day royal families.

August
Theme:  The World Around Me
Unit studies will include an intro to land masses, bodies of water, our location on Earth; an intro to all about me, my family, my religion, and my country; an intro to the five senses; and an intro to the living vs. nonliving sciences.

September
Theme: Life At Sea
Unit studies will include continent and ocean identification; directions on  compass; intro to maps; ships, sailors, pirates and fishermen; a review of the stars, moon, clouds, & sun; ocean plant life and ocean animal life including-Echinoderms, Mollusk, Crustaceans, Fish & Marine Mammals.

October
Theme:  Halloween
Unit studies will include our body, arachnids, apples, pumpkins & other Halloween related characters, along with a study of South America.

November
Theme:  The First Thanksgiving
Unit studies will include North America topography and countries, Native Americans, Pilgrims, famous explorers, nutrition, table etiquette & preparation, and animals native to North America.

December
Theme: Christmas
Unit studies will include Antarctica, precipitation (snow), temperature, conifer trees, along with the study of The Nutcracker & A Christmas Carol.

January
Theme: Extreme Weather Conditions
Unit studies will include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, earth quakes, volcanoes, blizzards, and ice storms, along with putting together emergency kits and safety during natural disasters.  We will be studying the continent of Asia.

February
Theme:  Winter Olympics
Unit studies will include the continent of Europe and sports in the Winter Olympics.

March
Theme: Working in the Kitchen
Unit studies will include fractions, changes in matter, herbs & spices, kitchen and fire safety.  We will be studying the continent of Australia.

April
Theme:  Spring Is Here!
Unit studies will include Easter, Earth Day, flowers, bird migration, baby animals, and the reproduction system (in regards to animals).  We will be studying the continent of Africa.

May
Theme:  Insects
Unit studies will include insects, an intro to rocks and minerals, and insect eating plants and animals.

June
Theme:  Dinosaurs
Unit studies will include dinosaurs of the Triassic, Jurassic, & Cretaceous periods, asteroids, and more.

I'm very excited about this next year and the fun times we'll have!  And believe it or not, I actually have our themes for the year 2014-2015 ready to plan out in detail!  Let's just say the inspiration kept coming and so I went with it.  That, and so I'm not completely overwhelmed with the task of putting together a year's syllabus in a very short time when it's due,  I work on it month by month the year before.

My youngest daughter Sunshine will be starting preschool with us that year. I had a really fun time coming up with some fun topics that will be perfect for her and the other kiddos.

July
Theme:  Transportation
Week 1:  Planes
Week 2:  Trains
Week 3:  Boats
Week 4:  Cars & Trucks

August
Theme:  The Doctor's Office
Week 1:  Pediatrician
Week 2:  Dentist/Orthodontist
Week 3:  Optometrist
Week 4: The Pharmacy

September
Theme:  The Farm
Week 1:  Animals
Week 2:  Crops
Week 3:  Equipment
Week 4:  Daily Life on the Farm

October
Theme: Fall Harvest
I haven't figure out how to divide this unit up yet. I just keep having thoughts of apples, pumpkins, scarecrows, hay bales, pies, corn mazes etc.

November
Theme:  Our Community
Week 1: Post Office
Week 2:  Library
Week 3:  Sanitation/Recycling Center
Week 4:  Bank

December
Theme: A Cozy Christmas
Week 1:  Mittens
Week 2:  Christmas Tree
Week 3:  Gingerbread Men & Houses
Week 4:  Snow

January
Theme:  Pets
Week 1:  The Perfect Pet for Me
Week 2:  The Pet Store
Week 3:  Meeting the Needs of My Pet
Week 4:  The Veterinarian

February
Theme:  Sweet Treats
Week 1:  Bakery
Week 2:  Candy Shop
Week 3:  Ice Cream Stand
Week 4:  Carnival

March
Theme:  Fashion
Week 1:  Clothes
Week 2:  Hair
Week 3:  Make Up
Week 4:  Jewelry

April
Theme: Plants
Week 1:  Fruits
Week 2:  Vegetables
Week 3:  Trees & Shrubs
Week 4: Flowers

May
Theme:  Rocks & Minerals
Week 1:  Igneous
Week 2: Sedimentary
Week 3:  Metamorphic
Week 4:  Diamonds & Other Jewels

June
Theme: The Great Outdoors
Week 1:  Camping & Hiking
Week 2:  The Beach & Swimming
Week 3:  Fishing & Boating
Week 4:  Outdoor Games

Mind you as I plan this syllabus for the year of 2014-2015 in detail, this list of themes is subject to changes. :)  At least now I won't lose it, as it's on the blog.  It's a great starting point!  The best part is if I see items I would like to purchase at yard sales, thrift stores, or clearance racks, I now know what I will want and need way in advance.

What has been your most favorite unit of study?

Astronomy Unit: Sun & Moon

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We are now going into our second week of Astronomy.  I'm learning I really didn't learn anything about any of this attending public school, and therefore am learning A LOT now. I feel like I'm in college all over again staying up late each night studying.  Thankfully, it's been very enjoyable.

This week we are studying the sun and the moon.  Part of the study includes an introduction to astronauts and space shuttles.  Since this is a topic the kiddos know very little about, I've included video footage I am showing during our presentations that correlate with different activities.  I have made my printables available for free using the links provided. If for some reason they don't work, or there is an error, please leave a comment with the information, so I am able to fix the problems. :)

English./Language Arts:
Trip to the Moon First Letter Sounds
The kids are doing very well with their letter sounds, but it seems like forever since we did a beginning letter sound activity.  I couldn't resist this one as it corresponded perfectly with what we're learning this week.  

Source:  The printables for this activity are part of the Astronaut Printables at Homeschool Creations.

The Surface of the Moon
I must admit, I worked very hard to disguise a writing activity, knowing the kiddos really don't enjoy writing very much. Even without the writing, the activity still works.  The kiddos will look at the four cards to the left and identify the terms: lunar soil, crater, tarrae, and maria.  They will then use their magnifying glass to identify  the same items in the large picture of the moon.  As they do this, I am going to have them write down the names of the four terms. For those who can't write well, they will practice writing the first letter of each word.

Source: I made the printables for this activity.  For a free printable of this activity click HERE.

Poem: The Sun
The kiddos seemed to like our first attempt at poetry a couple weeks ago, so I'm moving forward with it. This poem is not written by me, but worked perfectly with our theme this week.  I've included a "house," "hill," "earth"-marble, & "sun"-marble to place next to the different parts of the poem.

Sources:  This poem can be found at fizzyfunnyfuzzy.com.  I added the pictures for each paragraph.  For a free copy of the poem with added pictures click HERE.

Math:
Phases of the Moon
Bulldozer loves the moon.  I wanted to give him more information to apply to his middle of the night moon observances.  This will be a great way to present the moon cycle.  After his initial lesson about the moon, he woke me up at 4 AM to tell me what kind of moon was shining in the sky.  I love when he becomes passionate about something he has learned, especially when he has his facts straight.

Sources:  The phases of the moon calendar can be found at Auntie Moon.  I created the worksheet to go with it.  For a free copy of the worksheet and phases of the moon calendar together click HERE.

How Many Moons Does Each Planet Have?
I saw this activity and thought it super cute.  It will be a great way to introduce the planets before our planets theme next week.  I spent a lot of time researching how many moons are on each planet and found some contradictions in data.  In the end I decided to go with information regarding moons with names.  Moons without names, I did not consider official, and therefore are not counted.

Originally I was going to use marbles as counters but I soon realized it would become very frustrating as they would roll all over the place. Instead I used my favorite glass beads.

Sources:  The idea for this activity came from Sorting Sprinkles.  The planet cards can be found for free at The Helpful Garden.  I made the moon labels with number cards.

What Time is it Day & Night?
Dinomite and Princess are doing great at understanding the concept of time and telling time using clocks.  We have not addressed the concepts of day and night though, and so I figured this would be a great time to teach it.  I looked up the times of sunrise and sunset for each season and printed them on each of the cards, along with a picture of each season.  As they identify the times on each of the clocks, they can separate the time by day and night or AM and PM.
I used different clocks for the most of the cards so the kiddos would start to get used to the variety of clocks there are.  The times are written on the back of each card for control purposes.

Source:  I created this activity.  For a free copy of the printable click HERE.

"Rocketship Run" Countdown
We are big lovers of Laurie Berkner in this house. As I was preparing this unit, I could not get her "Rocketship Run" song out of my head.  Around the same time the kiddos were watching the timer on the stove, waiting for cookies to come out of the oven.  They were noticing the clock on the stove going backwards.  It then occurred to me we've never worked on counting backwards before.  I couldn't resist designing an activity counting down to blast off to the moon!

The Laurie Berkner song "Rocketship Run" is actually the control in this activity.  I've bookmarked the video on our iPad.  I'm also counting it as part of our music time and the kids will be listening to it over and over again learning the words.
After listening to the song, the kiddos will be asked to arrange numbers one to ten backwards to lift off.  I've included a little space shuttle, so when they complete the task they can pretend to have their space shuttle go into space.
Source: I created this activity.  For a free copy of the countdown cards click HERE.

Star Addition
No one selected this activity last week while on vacation, so I decided to put it on the shelves again.  The sun is a star, so in that way it works.

Source: This activity was inspired by an idea at Fantastic Fun & Learning.

Science:
How the Earth Orbits Around the Sun
I loved this activity when I saw it.  It's perfect for Bulldozer and will help the kiddos understand this process so much better.  The sun is attached to the middle of a round cake pan.  The marble on the outside represents the Earth.  The kiddos will practice putting the Earth into orbit around the sun.  It may appear easy, but I'm guessing it will take them a little bit to get the hang of it. Then I predict loads of fun seeing how fast and slow they can get the Earth to move around the sun without stopping or going off the path.

Source: I found this activity at Journey to Josie.

 The Moon
We've done this activity before. Bulldozer has requested it again and again.  This was the activity that inspired his 4 AM activities.  I know he'll be super excited to see it again.

Source: I found these free printable cards at Noor Janan Homeschool.

Social Studies:
There are some units where coming up with social studies lessons can be difficult.  Others it's science lessons.  In an effort not to neglect the subject I decided to teach the kids about Neil Armstrong.  However the kids barely understand the concept of stars and space, let alone how one would get to space.  As an introduction to this idea and to Neil Armstrong, we'll watch the video clips about him.


The First Man on the Moon
I've gotta say this is one of my favorite activities!  I've used a Styrofoam circular shape to represent the moon. It has indentations and everything to look more real.  There are six cards that show pictures or words that relate to Neil Armstrong's trip to the moon.  The kiddos will identify them and discuss their contents.  In another cup, I've included an astronaut, a moon buggy, American Flag Toothpick (pinwheel actually), and the space craft Neil Armstrong took to the moon.  The kiddos will be able to act out the adventure on their own little moon, and hopefully remember it.
Source: I created this activity.  For a free copy of the printable click HERE.

Benefits & Dangers of the Sun
The sun is a tricky subject to teach kiddos with anxieties and OCD tendencies.  I've prepared this activity to ease any anxieties some kiddos may have about the sun, explaining both the good and the bad.  The kiddos will separate the cards into categories.  An activity below will help the kiddos address what they can to to protect themselves from the sun.
Source: I created this activity. For a free copy of the printable click HERE.

Practical Life:
Sun Safety Application
As we talk about the sun and how it can burn our skin and eyes, the kids will practice putting sunscreen on their faces, and also sunglasses, as they seem to struggle with this task.  I've provided the mirror so they can see what their doing and check to see if the sunglasses are on correctly.  It's only fitting we'll go outside after learning time is finished.

Source: I created this activity but with inspiration from Counting Coconuts.

Space Ship Lacing
I found this a while back and knew it would be great for our space unit.

Source: I found the lacing card at our local dollar store.

Sensorial:
Impacts on the Moon
When I saw this idea, I just knew I had to try it out.  Sure enough it was PERFECT!  The round cake pan is full of flour to represent the moon's lunar soil.  The marshmallows in the bowl to the left, represent impacts to the moon. The kiddos throw the marshmallows into the "moon" and watch how it affects the "lunar soil."  It will be a messy activity, but definitely memorable.  I included one large marshmallow to mimic the North Pole impact.

Source: I neglected to pin where I found this activity.  It is not my original idea.  If someone does know the source, please feel free leaving a comment stating source.

Lunar Soil
Similar to the activity above in some ways, the kiddos will make the moon using home made white glitter play-dough.  I've included 2 marbles of different sizes they can use to create the craters.  I included both activities because they stimulate different sensory areas. The flour activity is very visual. The play-dough activity is very much a touch activity.

Source:  I found this idea at Sorting Sprinkles.

A Sky of Stars
We've learned that the sun is a star, and that it goes through the same cycle.  In this activity we're going to create the night sky with varying stars at different places in their cycle. The toothbrush will be the means of painting stars.  I've included the cycle of the star cards from last week, along with a print out of the cycle of the sun and where it is now, just in case the kiddos want to include that in their art work.  To the right I've included glue and sequins the kiddos can add to their work.  It should be fun!

Source: I found the idea for this activity in a book called, Arty Facts Space & Art Activities by Crabtree Publishing.  The activity in the book also includes pastels, but I have opted to not use them.

Books we'll be reading this week include:
1  The Boy and the Moon by James Christopher Carroll.
2.  Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
3.  On the Moon by Anna Milbourne and Benji Davies
4.  If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith Mcnulty and Steven Kellogg
5. Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

It's going to be a FUN week! Thanks so much for stopping by. I LOVE reading your comments!

Astronomy Unit: Stars

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Welcome to our astronomy unit!  Hooray!  Well... I'm feeling quite overwhelmed by it.  When I look back at my public school education, this is one area I remember learning very little about.  I can tell you the phases of the moon, but that's it.  Needless to say I'm learning right along with the kiddos.

Lesson planning this week proved to be quite the adventure.  We're going away on vacation!  What you ask?  Learning time and vacation?  Yes!  My special needs kiddos do not do well with changes in routine.  They tend to break down, so besides our vacation adventures (about one a day) we'll be having our workbook time, journal time, reading time, and learning time!  The challenge for me was to have everything fit in a binder.  You'll notice a lack of "fun" shelf activities. Back packs are loaded with  busy bags for the kids on the way to our destination and for on the way home. I figure they'll get all of their time in then.  Plus, we plan on doing a lot of star gazing.  The weather is supposed to be perfect.  We'll be up in the mountains away from everyone... I can't wait!

So here are my vacation modified activities!

Language:
Rhyming Words
 Bulldozer is still trying to figure out rhyming words. I was excited to find this little printable in hopes that it will help him. He is BIG into visual learning.

Source:  This printable is part of a fabulous free space packet at 3 Dinosaurs.  I made the control cards to go with the activity.

Beginning Blends
This will be our second week working on beginning blends.  Hopefully they kiddos will be able to memorize the sounds soon.

Source: This printable is part of the same fabulous free space packet at 3 Dinosaurs.  I made the control cards to go with this activity.

Constellations
I'm not sure if this activity will be more for me or for them. Although I'm guessing it will prove to be a little difficult for them. They will really have to study the pictures to be sure they match up.

 Source:  I found these beautiful free cards at Montessori for Everyone.

Constellation Dot-to Dot
The kiddos seem to be getting really great at dot-to-dot activities. I'm hoping theses are a huge success!

 Source:  I found these free dot-to-dot printables at Crayola.com and Making Learning Fun.

Fraction 1/2
Dinomite LOVES fractions.  Princess and Bulldozer have never been introduced to them.  I really liked how this worksheet provided it's own control!

 Source:  I found this free printable as part of the space packet at  3 Dinosaurs.

Star Skip Counting
The kiddos can count by 5s.  Dinomite can count by 10s.  However none of them can count by 2s yet.  Hopefully this will be a great introduction.  As a control, I put pony beads on a pipe cleaner. As the kids skip count they can move the beads up and down.  I'm hoping it will work as a great visual for them.  I was tempted to alternate beads black and yellow, but instead I decided to group them by two and keep them all yellow. We'll see if I regret my decision.

 Source: I found this free printable as part of the space packet at 3 Dinosaurs.

Star Addition
I keep working to push those addition and subtraction facts. Princess LOVES them!  If only I could get Dinomite to practice them everyday.  This is one of my favorite activities this week. I was so excited to find glitter black felt. It was the perfect touch.  In case the idea of the activity isn't clear. The kiddos roll the dice and then put that many stars in the sky.  They're required to write the problems out along with their answers as they go. They can each do the activity ten times as allowed on their recording sheet.

 Source: I was inspired by an activity I saw at Fantastic Fun & Learning.  I made the printable on the right hand side.

Life Cycle of a Star
I was super excited to see this activity, but then I was VERY unexcited to realize I couldn't download the printable. So, I made my very own. It was my first introduction to how LOST I am with this unit.  There has been lots of homework for me!

 Source: I was inspired by an activity I saw at Counting Coconuts.  However, I could not download the free printable for some reason, so I had to create my own.  It doesn't look as great as her's but it will do.

Sky Map Puzzle
This activity has two parts to it.  During the day we will work on putting the puzzle together. However in the night, this is our up-to-date seasonal sky map for finding stars in the sky.  I've brought along a compass so we can be sure we're looking in the right direction.  I'm very excited but nervous about star gazing. I'm really hoping we'll be successful. If not I've purchased the kids star glow sticks they can play with outside.

 Source: I created this activity using an image I found at www.spacecentre.ca.

Constellation Poking
We haven't poked in a while, so I figure the kids will have fun with these cards. They also came with matching information cards on the constellations I'm excited to read to them.

Source:  I found this idea at Counting Coconuts.  However, click here if you'd like the link to the free cards.

We'll be reading some fabulous books too!
1. The Big Dipper by Franklyn M. Branley and Ed Emberley..
2. Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee.
3. Mommy's Little Star by Janet Bingham and Rosalind Beardshaw.
4. Once Upon a Starry Night by Jacqueline Mitton and Christina Balit.
5.  Zoo in the Sky by Jacqueline Mitton and Christina Balit.

I'll be educating myself about stars as I read the children's books:
1.  The Constellations by Chris Sasaki.
2.  Find the Constellations by H. A. Rey

Wish us luck with all of our fun!

A Little Note: Thank you so much to all of my readers whomever you are!  I have been astonished at how many viewers I have, as the numbers of those who read each post climb dramatically.  I would love to know who you are.  Please don't hesitate to follow my blog or leave a comment linking to your own blog or Linky Parties etc.  Your comments, e-mails, and feedback have been amazing and so kind.  I truly enjoy receiving them.  Often times they are the highlight of my day. Thank you so much!

I will be working hard to make all of my free printables accessible through my blog when I return from vacation. If you have any questions or would like free copies of any of them before I'm able to do this, please e-mail me at renaemarienae@gmail.com specifying which post the printables are from and the title of the activity.

Thank you so much!
Renae

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