Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Home Learning: Rocks #12 part B

Want to see what happened to the clay beads when they dried up?

They were painted. 

If you noticed, Little Guy changed his design before getting it to dry. He wanted to make a planet with holes.  Big Sister wanted a pendant with a little bit of nature.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Home Learning: Rocks #12

Since we were comparing sand and clay before, we had to also create something made out of clay. see sand sculptures.
 First, the kids learned how to roll clay into a small ball.  

We placed a straw inside the ball. We used a pencil for decorating.  We left our balls out to dry for a few days. 

Meanwhile, and just for plain fun, the kids play with this play-doh gravel set.  I found it on a clearance isle for just a few $5.  It fits perfectly to see how gravel is made in a little hand scale. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Home Learning: Rocks #11

We continued to explore sand by comparing it to clay.

What happens to sand and clay when you add water? Clay absorbs and retains water better. Sand gets wet, it can be shape, and then dries up, and goes back to being rock particles.  We immediately though about sandcastles.   

We wanted to use sand to create something.  In this experiment we shaped sand sculptures.  Sand needed a bit of help.  We used a matrix made out of cornstarch and water.  

Here is what they made:
Little Guy: a dragon
Big Sister: a horse (off course!)

Home Learning: Rocks #10

For this experiment we wanted to explore sandpaper. We learned about its uses, and how it is made.

I gave each kid three sandpaper squares in different grades: fine, medium, and coarse. They felt them, and looked at them with the microscope. They pointed out the little rocks in them.  We also talked about the different sizes of rocks.

They placed paper over the sandpaper square, and using crayons rubbed it to record the sandpaper texture. They challenged each other to identify each sandpaper grade by feeling them with their eyes closed.

We turned the sandpaper sheets over, and looked at the grade number for each one.  We discovered that fine sandpaper has a higher number than coarse sandpaper.  We deduced that it meant the amount of rocks included in a specific piece of sandpaper.  If the rocks were larger in size, it had less of them. This made the sandpaper rougher resulting in coarse paper.  The smaller the size of the rock, the larger the amount of rocks making it very fine.

Then each kid got a piece of wood and compared what each grade of sandpaper could do.  We learned that coarse sandpaper gives more dust, and takes more wood.  Fine sandpaper is very gentle and can be useful when getting details in the wood.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Home Learning: Rocks #9

After learning about rocks, from boulders to particles of clay, we decided to take a closer look around our house and search for anything we could find made out of rocks.  
Here is what we found:
Gravel: shower floor.                                                       Granite sink

Sand: globes, timer, and sand letters

Clay: souvenir bus from our trip to MedellĂ­n 

Tiles in the bathroom

A trophy made out of rock!

Bricks in the chimney

Rock steps in the front of our house

stone bricks in our retaining wall

Clay table, chairs, and pot from our fairy garden

Cement in the foundations of the house

rocks in the driveway

rock mixture in our neighbor´s gargoyle.

The kids ran around looking for things made of rocks, clay, and sand.  They even made a list of their findings. We learned about how people use rocks  as natural resources to construct objects and make useful materials. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Home Learning: Rocks #8

After the kids took left over silt from the vials and looked at them carefully, we had to wonder if there is a rock particle smaller than silt.   

We read a book about rocks, and moved on to the next activity in the FOSS module. We investigated the properties of even smaller rock particles in clay!

After the kids were playing with a ball of clay for a while, they looked at their hands and discovered the very thing layer of dust made by dry clay particles.
We learned that clay is made of pieces of rock even smaller than silt.  The pieces of rock are so small, it is not possible for us to see them with the naked eye, or the hand lenses.  

We investigated further by creating a pea-sized ball of clay and putting it in a vial. 

The kids were extremely excited to use the clay to create figures.  Big Sister made the horse above. 

Here the kids had added some water to the vial containing the pea-size ball of clay. They ran around, once again, vigorously mixing the contents. It turned to a murky gray color. We set aside the mixture to rest overnight.  

The next day, they observed a layer of clay at the bottom of the vial.  They also observed their clay ball become smaller, and the water remained murky gray.  

They recorded their findings and compared them to the results from the sand and water experiment.