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Monday, December 29, 2014

The Last Quarter of Our Pond Study

Most of the blogs I regularly read appear to have a common theme this week: "Best of 2014" where each blogger posts a collection of favorite, or most visited, or most pinned posts from throughout the year.  These posts allow them to continue to post on their regular schedule but not have to really actually write a post.  Not me though.  You see I don't have a brand to promote, most of my posts get almost exactly the same number of visits, I don't think I get pinned much, and since I wrote each post I guess they are all my favorite so instead of a "Best of" list, I have to write an actual post today or else go without (which would be terrible for my schedule and my brand - if I had them).

However, we have kind of taken a break from making and doing since Christmas because we were all a little burned out.  The kids have been busy fighting over - er....PLAYING WITH.....- their new toys and I have been drinking extra coffee and purging toy boxes, so I have no new crafty production to post.  Instead, I will share the last few months' worth of Pond Study photos, since we finished up that year-long school project on December 27.

Our last quarter of study got a big chaotic.  We missed a few times because of other events on "Pond Day" and also because of sickness, so I am just going to lump the photos into months, rather then label them week by week.  Here we are way back in October, when the world was still mostly green:
In November we got some snow, and it looked like winter was settling in early.  I also made a little change in that I let the kids do their study on their own a few times.  They had to make their observations without my hints and they did better then I expected they would.  It also meant I had to give Ian charge of my camera.  They probably had a bit more fun with that then they should have, but he still managed to get a few "scientific record" shots of the pond.
And finally, December, when it warmed up again and all the ice and snow melted:
Overall I would say it was an excellent year-long science study.  The kids learned a lot about how one place changes from week to week and also about the long term cycles of the seasons.  They also learned about ice safety (when my foot went through "solid" ice), got an up close look at muddy water (when I fell in), learned about pond creatures (like leeches), and discovered wild-growing food (grapes).  I think we'll repeat it in a few years when we can do some more difficult activities like collecting specimens, identifying plant and critter species, and gathering weather data.  Until then, I need to come up with a new year-long study to start after the New Year.  Any ideas?

Happy science lessons everyone, and especially Happy Christmas Break and New Year!    

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