Thursday, August 31, 2006

Things we've been up to ...

Thought I'd give you an idea of what we've been up to lately. We decided to make the most of a relatively dry afternoon today and try out the pond dipping at Barnwell Country Park just a short drive from us. It was the last pond dipping session they were holding and I really wanted the children to have a go with the help of a Ranger who knows his stuff with regard to what little creatures live in the ponds! We often go pond dipping ourselves at our local park, but this time we learnt the name of several mini beasts (and how they all eat each other in due course).
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We are coming to the end of our Tudors topic and continue to learn about the explorers of this period and also the Spanish Armada. Used this template as best we could to assemble and label our galleons! There were so many sections we gave up in the end (as there were no assembly instructions), but it gave us an opportunity to discuss life on board, etc., etc.
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I have decided to buy the very well used Usborne Art Projects book that we borrowed from the library. We are constantly dipping into it so I felt like a good purchase to make. Managed to find a new one on Amazon for a whopping £5.11 including p&p so that won't break the bank! Looking out for a good value Usborne 100 Science Experiments - my other favourite library book at the moment! From the Art Projects book, B has done these fabulous pencil, pen and chalk drawings of cars:-
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Way back at the beginning of the "holidays" I mentioned that K had come up with the idea of using the paper circles from the hole punch to produce some kind of picture. She turned a few into funny little faces with different colour wool hair. Although she lost interest (she was going to cover a whole A4 page with different expressions) I thought the few she'd done look good.
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We seem to be having pet problems this year. With Allie and his ear/stroke incident during the hot weather, now Jasper, our ageing puss, seems to be going down hill. He was due for his annual jabs this month so we tentatively took him along to the vets to find out what's happening about his weight lose and general unhealthy look about him, poor fella. He's been losing weight since the beginning of summer and his spine feels so knobbly when you stroke him. Although he is attentive towards us (more so than usual) he appeared old. Last week we noticed that what was coming out back end (and missing the tray every time - grrrr) looked exactly like the food that had been going in at the other end! One morning it was so messy - won't go into details - it was literally everywhere. Turns out it could be an overactive thyroid gland (pretty common apparently). His heart is going ten to the dozen at the moment so as soon as the blood tests confirm this, we'll start him on tablets to right it, hopefully.

Our temporary pet, the caterpillar, we've noticed is changing from day to day. The chrysalis is altering in a way that resembles the beginnings of a butterfly. Fascinating. We can see two eyes and the body is darker with destinctive wings on either side. Keep you posted. Unfortunately, it is very small and my camera doesn't cope well with focussing on it, but here's a shot anyway.
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Have been trying to get my head around some new ideas for September onwards, especially the dreaded maths and literacy (these are the only two subjects the kids associate with "school" unfortunately, however hard I try to disguise it. Christmas is talked about alot in our house at the moment (probably because of all the rain, coolness and darkness that's around). I keep dreaming of Christmas away, up in the Welsh hills with lots of snow, children gathering wood for the log burner - dream .. dream .. dream .... K's not so sure, she's worried Father Christmas won't find her!
By the way, just come across this on Othena's blog - I came out I am nerdier than 22% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!
as "not nerdy, but definately not hip" - sums me up I guess!


At 9:56 pm, Blogger Nikki said...

Poor old Jasper :-( Coincidentally, our Merlin is going through exactly the same at the moment, your description could have been him right down to the knobbly spine. Our vet is also investigating for thyroid problems but they've managed to lose the blood test so we've got to back next week for another one. It's such a worry, isn't it. Poor Merlin's become incredibly thin, he looks like a stray cat that nobody loves :-(( Hope your Jasper improves with the treatment.

At 9:50 am, Blogger Thea said...

Love the way you did the galleon, just to let you know tho' the yard arms (yard a, b etc) go on the masts and the sails hang off of them. Only know cause my brother has been researching boats (sorry ships) and he happened to be reading over my shoulder.
Hope your cat is feeling better soon.

At 3:32 pm, Blogger Shirl said...

I won't mention my nerd score lol. You are all looking very industrious.

Hope your cat picks up soon.

At 7:37 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

Thanks "Unshelled" - you're not the only one who's spotted the rather awkward hanging sails on Ks galleon (in fact Bs hang differently - we experimented)! With no instructions and not much logic (see next post on my blog) you'll see why the sails hang as they do! Hopeless teacher aren't I?!!


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