We started a new unit today – machines!  This video had us giggling all the way through it and I LOVE the vintage animation.  It reminds me of classic Sesame Street episodes from when I was a kid.  Hunter especially loved the parts with the ‘fat man.’

The Berenstain Bears are a favorite in our house, and this book does not disappoint.  We read through the third section’s pages about machines and discussed levers and what they did.  By the end of the week we will learn about the wedge and the wheel, and then start on big machines (Hunter specifically told me he wanted to learn about exhaust pipes and motors and construction equipment) next week.

Learning about levers just begs for a hands-on approach, so we headed to the table and but our own levers.

At first we used a long Lego piece, a triangle pencil holder, and a handful of pennies.

It was hard to balance the lever with the same amount of pennies on each side, but he kept trying.  After a few attempts I leaned back and asked him, “What else can you do with the lever?”  He took it from there and tried a few more variations.  Instead of forcing him to a conclusion or what I think he should learn, I let him take the lead.


Finally, Hunter changed the fulcrum to another Lego piece and tried a new variation of the lever.  He actually counted how many bumps were on the long Lego piece so he could place the fulcrum exactly in the middle.

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