Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teachable Moments

Today we observed birds at our feeder and learned how to read a field guide (finding SC on the map, see what color it is and then finding corresponding color on list of information about where that bird can be found.) We identified a Wren, Titmice, Cardinal, Yellow Finch and H's favorite a Chickadee. H and I found the bird in the book, I wrote the name and drew three rectangles below. She then observed the bird and colored each rectangle to show what colors the bird had on it. I then had her dictate any distinguishing marks/characteristics that the bird might have i.e. the Titmice had pointy feathers on their head.
We briefly discussed migration. I introduced the term and explained that some birds go where it's warm when it's cold here. Some birds stay. So we concluded that the birds we found do not migrate since we have snow right now.
H is also in the stage of whether things are boys or girls. So we looked in the field guide to notice how the boys had bright colors and the girls were more dull in color. We had a male and female cardinal come to the feeder to observe.

Now, on to the teachable moment. It seems as though whenever I'm trying to get a lesson done, everything in the world happens to interrupt. I end up getting tunnel vision and so focus on completing the lesson that I don't take advantage of teachable moments. As we were sitting, observing birds and looking through our book, a huge beetle goes walking by on the floor. Of course, it was then choas between us and the window. The dog was trying to eat it, B and C where trying to touch it, I was just trying to get them all to move so we could observe the birds.  That's when it hit me...duh, observe the massively awesome, cool beetle that is crawling through our livingroom.
We are still trying to identify it, so if anyone knows, please give input. We do not have any beetle or bug identification books and I cannot find it on the internet. It's middle set of legs and antennae are hairy, it is very shiny, and it hisses.

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