Little Cardboard Box Shop

 I had another idea when I got out the cardboard box this morning, but it morphed into something completely different...a little shop.
 This is a quick and easy version of a cardboard shop, not many fancy bits, but lots of fun. This is what we did...
I (and Dad) started with a tear drop (kind of) shape for the two sides and used packing tape to stick a long rectangle piece from the back to the front. I cut out the door (left one side attached for hinge) and window on opposite side and frill for the top.
Then to make the counter I cut slits in the front to slide another piece of card into and then that card goes down the front and underneath (stick it here also).
You could decorate, make signs, use your blackboard etc. Left plain however it can be changed from a bakery to a florist, to an icecream van etc, etc, etc.

Make Your Own Story Book - for Kids

 This is a book I made at the library, it has one cut, no sticky or glue, is super easy to fold, quick and fun and a fantastic idea for all kids. 
You can go to the Better Beginnings website for more details on how to do it. The possibilities are endless.
Check out Kids own publishing if you want to publish a few copies of your own professional looking book too.
 This book cubby will be at the Mandurah Stretch Festival on 5-6 May and kids will be making books, so come on over kids and make your own book!

 I have quite a large stash of second hand music paper and use it quite often for art/cards etc, so when I saw it for use at the library, I made another paper book based on music.
Here are the instructions for folding. 
We use A3 paper and then photocopy the original to make the book.

Camping in the Bedroom

 We thought about camping out, but we don't have a tent, so this was what we came up with (Dad and the boys).

Circulatory System and Heart Dissection

 Today we looked at the Circulatory System, a basic introduction  to the heart, blood and vessels.
After introducing the circulatory Highway and how things flow through arteries, viens and capillaries we discussed what makes up blood which flowed on to the heart. 
Where it is located, what does it look like inside, what valves are, what side does what exactly, what makes it pump, where the blood comes in and goes out, why is one side bigger?
Before we got out our heart specimens, we touched on lab procedures and got our gloves on.
We then touched the side of the heart that does all the work pumping blood to the body and noted it was tougher than the other squishy side. 
We noted also that the Aorta was strong walled and open and kept it shape. Some cuts were made down the vessels to basically see where they went and we noted the muscular walls inside the heart and some tendons near the valves. 
The boys were very interested to see what they could find.
After we cleaned up we watched a great video by School House Rock a song called "Do the Circulation".

 I got J to lay down and traced his shape for my circulation Highway diagram.
The large Arteries and Veins are main highways (110km/h), smaller ones city roads ( and capillaries are the small suburban school zone streets (40km/h).

 Some worksheets we used included this basic diagram to colour in the blood.

 Lolly blood ( red blood cells = mini mms (we had more to start with!, white blood cells = white jellybeans, platelets = 100s and 1000s, plasma is just air in the bag). Good fun for comparing sizes and rough numbers of blood cells.
I used these cut outs to make it easier to remember the role each part of the blood plays, how they move around the circulation highway.
 The excavator =White blood cells (remove germs/invaders)
 The fuel tanker =Oxygenated blood ( carrying oxygen)
 The waste truck =Deoxygenated blood(carries Carbon dioxide/waste products) 
 First Aid truck = Platelets (rush to the cuts/give first aid)

 This is Erythrocyte our red blood cell, he was useful to show blood flow movements around the body and through the different chambers of the heart (I love characters in science lessons!).
 Three fresh amazing Lamb's hearts, $2 from Woolies, quite an economical science lab really. Kidneys will be next I think!
Having fun discovering the inside of the heart.

Mostly I used the books we had on the human body to draw circulation diagrams for my displays and there are plenty of websites out there that show how to do a heart dissection and identify parts of the heart. 


(From a vintage students world school studies book.)


On the weekend we decided to take a trip to the Aquarium.
We had plenty of fun, but none captured on film unfortunately.
We liked the underwater moving walkway, the sea dragons and touch pond. 
We made a badge and had yummy suishi for lunch (we will have to try hard to remember everything else we did). Cameras are so handy aren't they.

Seagrass Study Topic

 So far we have studied Mangroves and plants, so I thought it a natural progression to introduce the very important underwater flowering meadows of Seagrasses.
We also live very close to an area that has seen nearly 80% loss of its seagrass population since the introduction of industry on the doorstep in the  1950's. Why?!

So I thought we should learn more about seagrasses, be aware of what threatens them and how we can reduce further destruction of this extremely important ecosystem.

First I read "The seagrass story" from here.
After revising mangroves, photosynthesis and flowering plants, I asked 
"what is seagrass and how they are connected with mangroves and coral reefs?" (which we will look at next).
"What would you find in a seagrass meadow, what organisms and food webs?"
Then we looked at the role of the seagrass (environment and to us).
"Where are they found?"
"What threatens them?"
In summary we discussed why we need them and why seagrasses are such an important ecosystem.
 The boys made drawings for the blackboard (J did the was not easy for him, it took a great deal of time and frustration but he finished, a lesson in perseverance also) and listed in point form facts they recalled as important. 
H and I then made a poster to make people aware that the baby fish need our help to save the seagrass.
There are some videos on utube also about seagrass meadows and dugongs.
I hope to find somewhere to go for a field trip to see some seagrass plants in their natural environment, but at this stage it doesn't look promissing, but am still searching.

The department of fisheries have some great fact sheets and links as do Western Fisheries as would most state or national government agencies.