Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What They Said

Note: this post will be much funnier and enjoyable if you can picture Jonah and Stephen and if you can "hear" them in your head.  If you can, this is pretty hilarious stuff.  If you can't this will seem a gratuitous "aren't my kids awesome in school" post (which it's not), and you can just skip it.

Three of our boys are in school: Timothy (10) is in fourth grade, Stephen (8) is in second, and Jonah (7) is in first.  Near the end of the first semester (in December) there is a sort of cumulative "exam" given, so that the teachers can gauge how well the children are learning.

In first and second grade, the student sits at a table with a parent volunteer.  The volunteer asks the question and then writes down everything the student says.  And I mean everything, as you'll see.  (My wife has done these before, and she says they're lots of fun.)

For the first graders, the question is along the lines of, "Tell us what you remember about the human body." They had done a unit on the body earlier in the year, spending weeks and covering most of the major organ systems.

Here's Jonah's answer.

The most greatest part is the skeleton. It keeps your brain safe like a helmet. But you need another part to cover it up. The skull is one of the coolest parts. The teeth are part of the skeleton that you can touch. That's how your skeleton feels. You have gums and they are pretty rubbery.

Now the rib cage. It looks like the wires. I like the spine. It's really cool. It has scale things.

The heart keeps you alive and it is red. It has these four spaces. They are like doors that open and close. Air goes in and air goes out.

The digestive system. My most favorite part is the esophagus. It goes through your chest, after your throat into your stomach. You can feel on your throat when the food is going down. It's like a muscle and pushes the food down.

When you rub your knuckles together, it feels weird.

Feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting, smell. The brain can store memories. Sometimes you can't remember. Your brain makes you do whatever you have to do (like talking). They do that really quick.

Stephen's question was a bit more detailed.  He was asked about the Oceans, and was given a list of topics to cover.  Here's his answer.

There are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic, the Arctic, isn't there a fourth one? What's the fourth one? I don't really remember the last one.

There are many creatures and plants an we learned about this last month, but I missed part of it on vacation. Some creatures are octopuses, sea horses, crabs, jelly fish. And there are some creatures in the deep water called the monkfish and squid. I have a movie called Planet Earth and it has deep waters and shallow. Let's go for some of the shallow. . . there are whales in the shallow waters and there are sharks that come up and catch anything they can. What other animals are there? There's something like a squid that lives in a shell that lived in the dinosaur times. . . what's it called? It lives in the deep and comes up to feed. Hey! I know pretty much my favorite ocean animal is the stingray. The stingray has a stinger on the back of its tail that it uses to catch prey and sting it. It also has these things on its mouth that help catch plankton and pushes it into its mouth (acting it out with his hands and mouth). Pretend like my fingers are the plankton and my hands are the thing-a-ma-jiggers, whatever they're called. They go inside and eat it up.

I think I should go to the deep now, see what I can remember about the deep. I think that's all I can remember.

A tide pool is where some rocks are in a circle and the water gets in and gets trapped. Some crabs live there and so do some starfish. What are those things called? That live in a shell? Do eels live in the open ocean or the tide pool?

A coral reef is a bunch of little corals. It starts by one coral that dies and then another one grows and dies then another one grows and on and on until it makes a beautiful coral reef. Some animals that live in a coral reef are some fish and maybe a bit of crabs, and well, let's just go with crabs and fish. Some interesting facts I found on the coral reef are it has many colors and it's an animal habitat, sometimes maybe, and it can come in many shapes and sizes and it can live for a very long time. I think that's everything I know.

The eel! An eel looks like a big wiggly string that's kind of wide and long. Eels eat some fish, some even eat sea urchins--spiky balls. I once stepped on one, I hate sea urchins. Good thing eels are here! An eel can get at least 23 feet and its enemies are stingrays, maybe. Really, I don't know much about the eels. It lives in the open ocean."
Timothy's exam was a writing assignment.  They had just done a huge module on Ancient Egypt, including both an oral and written report.  (He did very well on the reports, by the way.)  The end of semester exam had two questions that he could choose from, and one of the questions had four parts.  Unfortunately, due to misreading the instructions, he only answered one part of the one question.  But he did that one part very well and very thoroughly.

And no, I don't have it written out.  Sorry. 


At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Madeleine said...

We studied sea life in home school, but I didn't realize a lot of these facts. If my sister read this she would be very angry because she loves sea urchins and has a collection of pretend ones. We made a craft project just yesterday of octopus pets out of foam balls and felt and pipe cleaners.


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