Tuesday, June 06, 2006

B's research poster... & what we've been up to lately...

It's proud mom time :) Last Friday was research day at B's school & all of the kids in the two 3rd/4th grade classes gave their research posters in two 40 minute sessions. It was really neat! They had all started their projects right after spring break & there was quite a variety of topics, although most concerned animals. B's was, as you can see, on the topic of quasars, pulsars, & black holes. He had enjoyed the unit on astronomy that preceded the break so much that he decided to continue exploring some of his questions about the universe in his research project. He found some books at the library & also did some research online. B read some of Stephen Hawking's research into the subject as well & quoted some of Hawking's specific findings when he explained his poster. Quite a few parents attended the poster presentations & some told me that B had taught them something new about pulsars, quasars, & black holes :) *glow* I love that B's school begins this sort of in-depth reseach when the kids are so young.Not only does it give them good experiences with sharing their knowledge, but it focuses them on questions they have about the world, then helps them learn how to discover the answers. It also gives the kids a sense of pride in their knowledge & the accomplishment of making & presenting their posters.

Well, this is Tuesday of the last week of school. It's amazing... even B can't believe that he's so close to being done. I have been vetting a 3-day tie-dye project with the 3rd/4th grade classes that began yesterday. They are going to an amusement park for their end-of-year trip on Thursday & one of the teachers thought it would be great if they all had similar shirts... thought tie-dye would be just the thing... but didn't know anything about tie-dyeing. I got involved, since I do have experience with it, explained the procedure (we are using the professional dyes, which is why it's a 3-day process... but the shirts will be really bright & colour-fast when we're done), & told him what to buy. Yesterday we tied the shirts with rubber-bands & then put them into an alkaline solution to soak overnight. Today was dye day... only one kid really hosed himself with dye, which is nice (I put B in dark clothing so it wouldn't matter, & made sure the kids knew to wear old clothes today :). I started out with rubber gloves on, but I kept taking them off & needing a new pair, so gave up on them... my hands are an interesting shade for the next couple days. Tomorrow is rinse day, then I'll take all of the shirts home & wash them in synthropol, so that they'll be safe to wash when they finally go home. I'll bring all the shirts to school on Thursday, ready to wear to the park, so none of them get lost. Most of the kids have been really excited about the process, which has made it a lot of fun for me :) B's OT came out with him (we did the dyeing outside in the schoolyard) & made sure Rufus didn't get hosed as well as assisting B with the process, since I was trying to teach all of the kids what to do. Tomorrow is rinse day- getting as much dye as possible out of the shirts before I take them home to wash. We are very fortunate that the weather has been sunny & conducive to being outdoors! Twenty-one kids tie-dyeing indoors would have been overwhelming!!! It was interesting to work with such a varied group of kids, too. On one hand, it really gave me an appreciation of my own kid & his ability to listen & co-operate with this sort of project, since some of the kids had trouble paying attention, or with the physical act of wrapping the rubber bands around the shirt, which frustrated them & made them want to quit. On the other hand, it was fun to see most of the kids eager to learn about the process, asking questions asked that were very appropriate & to the point. Although I wouldn't usually think of doing this sort of project as relaxing, I visited the doctor for a regular appointment right after yesterday's session & was pleased to find that my blood-pressure was 112/80. :) I guess I know what I'll do if it ever starts creeping up into medicine-requiring levels...


At 7:34 PM, Blogger Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

Tie- Dye is a lot of work, but they look so neat when they are done and the kids love them! That's great that you offered to do them. It will be so much easier to spot who is in your group. Have fun on the field trip :o)


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