Friday, June 28, 2013

Elephant Toothpaste

When I spent the morning building and launching rockets with Collin's class on STEM Day, the entire school observed the principal conduct a science experiment called "Elephant Toothpaste".  Of course, I knew I had to try it at home so that we could see it up close and understand the reaction a little better.  We finally got to do it today.

Reagan is touching the bottle to feel the heat from the exothermic reaction.  This experiment is neat to watch.

  • A clean 16 ounce plastic soda bottle
  • 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a beauty supply store or hair salon)
  • 1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Liquid dish washing soap
  • Food coloring
  • Small cup
  • Safety goggles

NOTE: As you can see from the picture, foam will overflow from the bottle, so be sure to do this experiment on a washable surface, or place the bottle on a tray.
1. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate skin and eyes, so put on those safety goggles and ask an adult to carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.

2. Add 8 drops of your favorite food coloring into the bottle.

3. Add about 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit to mix it.

4. In a separate small cup, combine the warm water and the yeast together and mix for about 30 seconds.
5. Now the adventure starts! Pour the yeast water mixture into the bottle (a funnel helps here) and watch the foaminess begin!

Foam is awesome! The foam you made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles. Did you notice the bottle got warm. Your experiment created a reaction called an Exothermic Reaction - that means it not only created foam, it created heat! The foam produced is just water, soap, and oxygen so you can clean it up with a sponge and pour any extra liquid left in the bottle down the drain.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last Day of School

Last Day of First Grade
Another year has gone by too fast, but I am so proud of these two kiddos and all of their hard work in school.  They both did very well, and their teachers have only had wonderful things to say about them.
Last Day of Third Grade

I made special end of year treats for both classes.  Reagan's teacher planned a beach day for her class last Friday, so I made blue jello with Swedish fish.  When I brought them in to the class, Mrs. Machado told me that Reagan mentioned that I don't allow foods with artificial food dye so this must be a special treat!  Also, Reagan made sure to tell me that the fish got "gross and slimy" in the Jello and we shouldn't do this again!

Collin's class spent a lot of time learning about the state of Massachusetts this year, so I brought in Massachusetts foods on Monday - cranberry juice (cranberry is the state fruit) and homemade Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies (In 1997 the chocolate chip cookie was recognized as the official cookie of Massachusetts. A third grade class from Somerset proposed the bill honoring the cookie (invented in 1930 at the Toll House Restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts)).  The class also enjoyed mini corn muffins (the state muffin).

Last year I bought silly string and sprayed the kids when they got off the bus, BUT some of that silly string is still stuck on our driveway so I don't recommend it and I won't be doing that again.  I kept it simple this year with a driveway chalk sign welcoming them to summer vacation.

Collin and Reagan were not too impressed with my chalk sign, and they were a bit disappointed that I didn't have water balloons this year (I forgot about that until I was working on the chalk sign).  Oh well, I tried!  I'll have to remember the water balloons next year!

I'm happy to have them home for the summer, and we are currently working on drafting our Summer Bucket List!

Monday, June 24, 2013


 I have never really thought much about cows before.  They have certainly been around, and I have driven past cows here and there my whole life.  They just never really caught my attention.

These cows are right up the street from us, and this spring a few calves were born, and suddenly I am smitten.
 They are all just so sweet, the mamas and their babies and all of the cows together.  I just adore them.

They seem so peaceful and content, and in so many ways their actions have reminded me of the actions of human mamas and babies.  I am so grateful for the joy these cows have brought me.  I know it sounds silly, but I look forward to seeing them daily.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Roasted Peanuts

As Collin's baseball season comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the season with a focus on a book that Auntie Karen sent recently.

Roasted Peanuts by Tim Egan is a great friendship story.  Two boys play baseball together, and while one is a great athlete, the other can not hit or catch the ball but he can throw really far.  They try out for the local team and only the great athlete makes it, but it turns out that the other boy is also very important to the team and to the success of his friend.

I saw a fun idea on Almost Unschoolers and thought it would work well for Collin and Reagan.  Using window crayons, I made a word search with words from Roasted Peanuts on our sliding glass door.  On the other door, I listed the words to be found.

I also made my own printable word search with additional words using Puzzlemaker at Discovery Education.
We will definitely do this again; it's a great way to keep learning all summer long.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tyler - Tennis

Tonight we attended the Spring Sports Banquet with Tyler.  He received his Varsity letter in tennis.  We are so proud of you Tyler, congratulations!

Collin's Third Grade Parent Performance - "All Hail to Massachusetts"

This morning Collin performed with his classmates in the parent program with a theme of "All Hail to Massachusetts".  Before the performance, I dragged him outside and made him pose for a few pictures.

Last night he told me that he had to either dress as Paul Revere or wear red, white, and blue.  We went with red, white and blue seeing as though it was the last minute!

The third graders sang a few songs about Massachusetts and also told us a lot of facts about our state.

After the singing and fact sharing, we went to Collin's class to see all of the projects completed by the students.  Each third grader learned about a famous Massachusetts person and put together a biography, poster, timeline, biopoem, and some extra items.

Collin chose Paul Revere for his project.

Kate found that bumpy circle in the reading area of the classroom and she loved it.  

Tom had a trial this morning, but he was able to make it into the classroom after we left to see Collin's work.  I wasn't there to take his picture though.

Collin with his teacher, Mrs. Ashton.

Here are a few of Collin's friends with their projects:

The performances and projects were all great.  It was nice to spend the morning celebrating the third graders.  Nice work, Collin; thank you for sharing all that you have learned with us today.  We love you!