Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday in the rain

Tuesday was another rainy day here. I don’t mind this as I think we need the rain – but the kids are getting a bit fed up with lack of outdoor play.

Leo started the day with a couple of scrambled eggs. He made them himself – with a bit of support from me. Pearlie had some Weetabix and they both helped drain the orange juice lake that had formed in the fridge!

Leo added some new creations to his Doctor Who toys. He used an old cereal box to make the interior of the Tardis, old silver foil to make a destroyed Cyber Controller and he drew a destroyed Dalek and a Cyber Leader. He made an exhibition poster inviting people to see his display.

Pearlie is spending a lot of her time adding things to her new personal organiser. She bought this herself and loves it. This reminds me of Dani – a love of schedules, diaries, and organisation generally.

Both the kids put in some time practicing their instruments. They are both feeling quite confident about the gig at the moment.

After a quick lunch we set off in the drizzle for their Squeezebox session. We called for another band member on the way and the drizzle turned to serious rain before we got to the studio.

Their band is sounding good. They are playing a mix of stuff at the gig – ‘Patience’ by Take That, ‘Holiday’ by Green Day and ‘Hardest Button to Button’ by The White Stripes.

Back at home I helped Leo work on a Cyberman and Dalek poster – by finding images on the internet. He cut those out, glued them to his poster and added text and drawings.

Pearlie went to watch TV but accidentally missed the Roman Mysteries – much to her annoyance.

I was working away on some pasties for tea (lazy shop bought pastry but home made fillings) when Leo revealed, tearfully that he thought I’d said I was making pasta – which he fancied much more than pasties. I decided to be accommodating and made him pasta (using the pasty filling as sauce), and two different kinds of pasty for me, Dani and Pearlie. Pearlie likes cheese and potato pasties and I also made a veg version with black eye beans, tomato, onion and courgette. I made some little tartlets with spare filling and some cheesy pastry too.

After that we were all full!

Pearlie, Dani and I planned out an article that we are going to submit to our local community newsletter. We have measured the street (got one of those wheel thingies and P did most of it), cars, pavements and so on and done some interesting calculations. We want to highlight the way the streets have become dominated by cars – and how the traditional play space of local children has been lost as a result. We have found an account from a 1930s childhood of a local child, which talks about play in the street. We live in an area with terraced houses that open straight onto the street and back yards/gardens of about 6m by 5m. There is no way the children can run in the garden, or play in a group of more than two or three – so in previous generations they played in the streets. Sometimes I feel our children are literally hemmed in by cars. Cars park bumper to bumper so sometimes we cross the street and find we can’t get back on the pavement. Anyway, I’ll save all that for the article!

I also followed a link that someone had put up on a list. It took me to some revision site for KS3 SATS, which I think are the ones people do at 13/14. Leo seemed perfectly able to manage most of the questions in the ‘English’ game. This was spelling, grammar and name the punctuation stuff. I was struck by the fact that several of the questions were no challenge at all to a middle class, southern, seven year old – just because they reflected the way he speaks. If he happened to speak differently he would have found them more of a challenge. What is really being tested?

I printed out an algebra worksheet and was looking through it. I was interested to see what I could remember and quite pleased with the method recommended to solve the equations. It was a typical maths moment for me – finding that I had was challenged by something that I must have done hundreds of times. I worked hard at school and got an A in my maths O level – but I never really understood much beyond simple arithmetic– just memorised methods. Pearlie came to see what I was doing and astonished me by looking over my shoulder at this equation:
39=3(2x-1)
and announcing, “x is 7”. It seems algebra is something she enjoys – no method, no writing, all in her head. We looked at a couple more and she solved an equation that involved negative numbers, and one where the answer was less than 1. Then she went to do something else.

Anyway, having trouble working on this pc – keeps struggling to be a pc! New hard disk should solve it in the next few days.

3 comments:

grit said...

measuring the road and assessing car parking spaces is a tip-top, top-notch idea. We are out there to do that now. I might equip Squirrel with a can of yellow paint while we're about it so that she can measure out our car and draw a box on the road to protect our parking space, which is of course absolutely necessary outside the house. I will get Shark, who can nearly spell, to write 'keep off' in the box. Maths and literacy.

Dawniy said...

wow Lana's been doing algebra this week and we've not found it so easy ! bless her !

Allie said...

Ah, Dawniy - we all have different strengths. P likes to play with numbers. Personally, I don't find it as enjoyable - though more now than I did when the pressure was on at school.