Sunday, September 7, 2014

School Days: Week 1, Geography Explosion


Geography explosion.  All week our house looked a little bit like someone had vomited maps everywhere.  The photo above is just the school room.  The kitchen table, family room and bedrooms have taken the hit as well.


I think it started with Kal-El and the coin map of the 50 states.  He decided it would be a good idea to memorize the 50 states and that the most fun way to do this would be to complete the map every day and time himself with a stopwatch each time.  He is recording his times in his math binder.  We discovered that Idaho is missing.  Me Too patiently helped me dig through a gallon of loose change trying to find another one.  I am trying to find a good book about the state quarters so that the boys can look up the story behind the images on each coin on their own.  In the meantime, the iPad has been very busy answering questions.



Not to be left out, Me Too (aptly named) got to work on the 50 states puzzle map.  After which he reviewed the Australia, South America and North America puzzle maps.  Then he memorized five new countries on the Africa puzzle map.  Afterward, he put all the desert and mountain pins in the physical pin map of Australia.  He decided to "finish that later" and moved on to the pin maps of North America and South America and put the countries pins in.




In the meantime, Kal-El had moved on to North America pin map.  He LOVED it.


He loved it so much he decided to make his own for his room to "practice."  


He did so using our Waseca biome stencils.  He liked this idea so much that he decided to do EVERY continent and tape them together.  He was disappointed that the scale was inconsistent from continent to continent.


Kal-El also started making labels on little pieces of paper. He wants to cover his bedroom wall in cork to make his own pinmap of the world.  I offered him a corkboard that he could use with one continent at a time, but he wants the WHOLE WORLD.  Since covering a whole wall in corkboard is not an option we are discussing poster putty as an alternative.  Me Too, again, did not want to be left out so he made an Australia biome map.



Then, Me Too moved on to tracing all of the continent puzzle maps one piece at a time to recreate the map he made with his brother last year.

Kal-El worked with the Africa puzzle map a little bit which inspired him to take out the continent box.  He asked me to put the cd of African music on the stereo and the boys listened to the whole thing while decorating the school room with everything in the continent box.  Before I thought to take a picture, suddenly the cd was over and the boys had put everything away like it had never happened.



Kal-El wants to learn more about electricity.  I plan on using lessons from BFSU but haven't given the three pre-requisite lessons.  The first was on "energy."  This worked very well along with the lesson "Energy comes from the sun" in the Waseca "Introduction to Biomes" curriculum so we did that.  The Waseca lesson leads nicely back into the traditional Montessori elementary geography album into the "The Rotation of the Earth and it's consequences" section.  There are about 30 pages there that I want to cover in the next month or so.  This week we covered the presentations that go along with the chart above and the charts that follow:















12 comments:

  1. whoa... you are right - it's massive map takeover in your house! I love the maps, so so much - I have really tried to find some way of substituting for them, or an easy DIY to get as close as I can, but I have not found it as of yet. I may break down and sweet talk my husband into me making the purchase!

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  2. Oh this looks so fun! I love the puzzle maps

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  3. So you mentioned that you put on African music for the kids. Can you share what music you have? Do you have other recommendations for other continents/countries. I have just started to get some music into our days and was going to start with some classical pieces. It never dawned on me to get "international" music, but would be next on my list as I'm also trying to get more geography work in there (puzzle maps/pin maps).

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  4. Which geography chart set do you have? Mine are all handmade. I'm pretty sure they are going to stay that way, but I love how clean yours look.

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    1. I think you mean for the pin maps? Kal-El is sitting on the floor putting the yellow and blue flags in the North America pin map. Those are the ones I made. The paper maps (that I taped to foam board and made my own pins for) are Abeka maps.

      Here's a link to the Abeka maps:
      http://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=71935

      Here's a link to the post about how I made them: http://whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2014/03/diy-pin-maps-cabinet-of-world-parts.html#comment-form

      If you meant something else, let me know and I'll give you the correct info.

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    2. I'm wondering about your geography charts- the rotation of the earth and its consequences, etc

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    3. OH! Duh. I didn't think of that. The big ones are the ETC Montessori charts. They aren't always as clear about the point as traditional Albanesi-style charts. You can see I have a smaller, hand-colored chart next to one of the ETC charts (last picture). That one is printed from the KotU course. She has pdf's you can print of all her hand-colored charts. I slid that one alongside the ETC charts. The ETC charts did not have the hours of the day written on it. http://whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2012/10/impressionistic-charts-storage.html

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  5. I am loving reading about your school days. Am dreaming of the day we get back to it. (I know I am not going to ever feel "prepared.") For now, we are growing veggies out back, and staring at literally walls of cardboard boxes filled with our stuff. Which reminds me that I need to call HD and find out where our flooring is. It was supposed to come this AM. Hummmn. Oh, and that also reminds me you need to do a kitchen reveal!! I am still thinking your garbage disposal is sitting alone in the corner!

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    1. I just picked two gallons of cherry tomatoes, gallon of regular tomatoes, green onions, seven cucumbers and three heads of lettuce. Phew! Battening down the hatches getting ready for a big storm hitting us in the next 24 hours.

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  6. I agree with Abbie! We would love to see the finished product! You left us with a cliff-hanger :)

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  7. I hear you guys on the kitchen post! My father-in-law JUST e-mailed me the edited kitchen photos a couple of days ago. However, I think there are a couple of readers who might put a contract out on me if I post about the kitchen before I post about work plans. Working on it!

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  8. Hi there, thank you for such a great blog! Can you point me in the right direction to purchase the Elementary Work Binders that the teacher/parent would use?

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