July 2013 - momgineer

mystery squash revealed!

A squash plant grew out of some compost in with the tomatoes. I decided to leave it, and it has revealed itself finally! I'm not terribly surprised it's a butternut plant; last year's garden had several of the same mystery squash! I haven't planted any butternut squash in three years so I doubt I will even save seeds this year. Likely I will just get another mystery one or two next year!

Two of my other mystery plants were watermelon, though they have no fruit on them yet, so I doubt we will see any as it's already almost August. Can you spy one of my garden helpers below?

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!


It can't rain all the time.
One day last week, a stormy and very dark day ended with a rainbow just before sunset. The picture doesn't do it justice but I thought I'd share anyway.
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

homeschool room decor: part 1

I just had to share the most recent addition to our homeschool room! It came the other day and I just adore it! 
The colors really go well in our homeschool room and I can't wait to revisit some of these awesome scientists with the kids!

Check out Megan Lee on Etsy or Facebook! What is your favorite classroom or homeschool room decoration/artwork? I am slowly adding more elements to our room but with a lot of windows and doors (yay natural light!) we don't have a ton of wall space (boo sparing artwork!).

Enter tonight by midnight to win some awesome Megan Lee products!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

word vault

This is something I've been meaning to post about for awhile, but I just haven't been at the computer long enough to sit down and write about it! I am so excited to repeat this project with my own children. I created a word vault (though I don't think we called it that) when I was in second grade. I still have it in a closet somewhere! You can use a very simple index card box or index file holder, and the alphabetical dividing cards are optional. Since we homeschool, I went ahead and purchased a locking index card box knowing that the ability to lock it up would make it even more exciting for my seven year old!

This is a great way to keep your spelling and vocabulary words. For my seven year old, I have him write the word on the unlined side of an index card, and then use the word in a sentence (or write the definition) on the lined side. After the card is filled out, it goes in the box in alphabetical order! At the end of the school year it will be filled up with lots of cards! Since he had just recently built the LEGO Tower Bridge and we have been learning about bridges, he chose a few fitting words as the first words to add, such as bascule, force, tension, and compression. He also then asked if decompression was a word and what it meant and if he could add that, too.  =)


Locking it up!
Something great about this is that it is very inviting to open up the vault again and review the words. They become vocabulary flash cards, and are wonderful for review. I know that every student in my second grade class had one of these but you could have a class word vault instead! There is a lot of room for differentiation. Here are a few ideas:
  • Add word roots (Latin, Greek, etc.) and words with the same root.
  • Write the word in more than one language.
  • Print the word and write it in cursive (we should be starting cursive soon so I think we'll do this).
  • Draw a picture of what the word means.
  • Take out all the word cards and mix them up. Set the stopwatch to see how fast you can alphabetize them!
I told H that once he writes his word, and learns what it means, he can lock it up and it's his forever. I sure do hope that is true!

*First image graphics by: Jessica Stanford, Fun for Learning, and Sweet Berry Patch.
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!


Have you played with Tagxedo yet? Oh my, I could spend hours doing this! I had better walk away before I do just that. In the meantime, I tried out this word cloud in three different shapes:

Of course I had to try this with an elephant!
Who doesn't have dove love?
And of course, a footprint!
Have you played around with Tagxedo? I'd love to see your creations! I may have to hang one of these up...
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

what's growing

The peas are done and I'm going to pull them this weekend and plant beets and carrots for fall. I love observing the daily changes in the garden, and can't wait to eat my first homegrown tomato of the year! I tolerate the summer heat because it means my garden is happy, but otherwise I'd prefer it to be much cooler!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

seterra geography

Have you checked out http://www.seterra.net/? You can play online or download this awesome geography game (Windows only). Test your knowledge of all things geography! This will be a wonderful addition to our homeschool geography curriculum this year! Here is a screenshot of the downloadable game in world mode:

Some of the other ways to play: Cities, Provinces, Capitals, States, Rivers, Oceans, Mountains, and Flags! I plan on using this as well! This game keeps track of your time to complete each level, and the percentage of correct answers. You can also complete quizzes after you have played in game mode to check your progress. I don't know how I didn't find this sooner! Click on the button below to head over to Seterra:

Map Quiz Game
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!


Well, folks, summer has arrived! What's going on over here? Reading, observing, building, and growing; that's what! What's going on by you? Do you have summer traditions?

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!