Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Science Project and Spelling Tribulations

Ah, the end of school. . . The complete overload of regular life, plus end of year projects, plus end of year fun activities, plus end of year performances, plus the call of the newly warmed air and the siren song of a bike with no training wheels - it's a wonder we get anything done at all. But do it we must, so, forward ho!

Maggie's fourth grade science class is culminating in a science project. She brought home a slip of paper, on which we were supposed to write down the child's chosen science experiment or demonstration, and turn in this past Monday. They had written down some categories, none of which were particularly appealing to Maggie or me, so instead of sending in the paper on Monday, I wrote a note to the teacher asking if we could choose from other categories, or if our project must be from one of the listed categories. She replied that we could do anything. That afternoon though, when Maggie got home from school she was in tears. Why? Because she hadn't had her science slip, her weekly folder would have to be signed by me. I didn't understand exactly why she was upset, so she expounded - only BAD kids have to have their folder signed! This means she's a BAD PERSON!!! Sheesh. The pressure my child puts on herself would make a grown woman cry. We decided on a project right on the spot, filled out the slip, and put it in her bag. I hope we are redeemed.

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On the spelling side of things, we've had good weeks and bad weeks. Last week we hit a new low - Gracie missed every single spelling word on the test. We really didn't study at all though, so that was no surprise. Vowing to do better this week, and trying to make it more palatable for Gracie, I wrote her spelling words on a sheet of notebook paper, and after dinner I told her, "Take this paper, get a piece of sidewalk chalk, go out on the driveway and write your words on the driveway."

She looked at me like I was nuts and asked, "In chalk?"

"Yes." I answered.

She headed outside as I finished up the dinner dishes. After that I headed out there. When I got there, I saw a bit of drawing on one side of the driveway, and she was sitting on the other side, piece of chalk in hand, muttering letters. I didn't see any words though. I asked her, "Are you writing your words now?"

"Yes." A few more minutes went by and she remarked, "It's hard to do with this big piece of chalk!" I took a closer look and had an a-ha moment - she was using the chalk to write the words on the piece of paper as she sat in the middle of the driveway.

After a brief, internal, chuckle, I clarified that she was to write on the actual driveway. She agreed, that made more sense.

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Meanwhile, our science project is underway. Maggie is studying the effects of alternative plant hydration. That is, we're verifying that water is the best for plants. She's got one she's watering with water, one with milk, and one with soda. She chose root beer. Unfortunately, some neighborhood critter also likes root beer. That plant was tipped over last night. Now we need to critter-proof the experiment. She's taking great care so far - although it's early, we just started - she's keeping a journal, taking photos, planning for an attention-grabbing title. For me the hardest part is letting her do it by herself, as I love hands on experiments. Hopefully she will too!

1 comment:

terrilou said...

The blog made my day. My sweet grandchildren just give me such sweet pleasure and laughter.