Saturday, January 26, 2013

Taking A Ride Downtown to the Station

So, I told the kids that this better be the ONLY time they ever see the inside of a holding cell (JAIL!)  and they all agreed that it would be.

Our trip to the police station was better than expected!  The officer who gave us the tour went way above and beyond to show us every inch of the facility including office space, departments, break rooms, lockers, interrogation rooms, gun lockers and more exciting places like briefing rooms, the 911 call center, the crime lab (evidence room) the shooting range, the situation training area,  the holding cell (scary!) and the tunnel leading to the courthouse. We got to check out the radar guns and the breathalyzers.  We met the animal control officer and squeezed inside a patrol car.  YEP!  They got to honk a really loud horn too.   All of it was super cool. I learned more than the kids did, I think.  enjoy the photos.

It tied in well with the class we had because we got to correlate our own target practice with the shooting range, our exercise game with the workout room, our fingerprinting activities with their new digital fingering system. etc.

FYI: Here in WA the state has just recently  legalized recreational marijuana.  I didn't vote for it, just so you know.  I asked the office what he thought this new law would do to his workload.  And he explained that the major repercussions will come in the form of DUIs.  And they don't make breathalyzers for marijuana yet, so it means a trip to the ER for a blood draw.  yeah. That's got to be cheap.  and efficient.  and tax-payer friendly.  ug. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Kinderboys - Police Detective Lesson Plan

I have four children.  My third child, the only boy, is five right now.  Since he lives in a house full of girls, it's important to me that he has plenty of time to hang with other boys and just BE a boy.  So I created a class for him called Kinderboys. 

I started teaching Kinderboys this fall at our co-op. But things didn't exactly go as planned, and it ended up being just a 3-week session.

So starting today I began a new session of Kinderboys, held at my home.  We currently have 5 boys in the class and I think that's pleeenty for now. :)  Love their energy!  This session we are focusing on Communities and Community Workers.    My theme was inspired by some curriculum I bought from Moving Beyond the Page.   It's an ok curriculum.  I don't love it as much as I was hoping too.  It's a little too School-ey, if you know what I mean, and doesn't really seem tailored to the home schooled child.  It's supposed to be for "Gifted" kids, but I'm not sure which part of it is supposedly "gifted".  The only part of the lesson that I incorporated  today was a printing page for the letter P.

Anyway, it served as a guide to spark some ideas and I took off from there. Actually, let me say that the internet did most of the work for me and I just added a few of my own ideas to it.  I'm so grateful to all of you moms and teachers who post your work and your ideas to share with the world. 

So today I introduced the concept of Community and defined it as "a group of people who live and work together."  We talked about different levels of communities all the way from families to nations.

We started by reading

I asked the boys to count all the different jobs they saw people doing in the book. At the end I asked them what their favorite job from the book was. 

Then I asked if they had seen any police in the book (no).  I asked them to close their eyes while I pulled out a police hat

They thought that was pretty cool.  I let them each try it on. I asked each boy, as he took his turn to wear the hat, what he thought police officers do for work.  Some of their answers were interesting.  "Put people in chains!" was my favorite answer.

So to clarify what officers, and especially POLICE DETECTIVES do, we read this book

That helped!

From there we practiced doing things that police detectives do. 

First, we talked about the importance of keeping your body fit if you're going to be chasing bad guys.  We did some Alpha Exercise!  I have cards that have exercises on them corresponding to each letter of the alphabet.  So we spell the child's name, and do the exercise for each letter of the name.  I think I Have a post on this blog somewhere about those cards.

Then we did some target practice.  That was fun.  We used a dart gun to shoot at this target drawn on a white board and keep track of our points.  Each boy got 3 shots.

Next we talked about fingerprints.  I got my ideas for this part of the class from this site: 

We took finger prints using washable ink, classified their patterns (loop, whorl or arch). Using the magnifying glass to look at finger tips was fun.

Then we lifted our own finger prints off of a mirror and added those to our folders as well.  To lift our finger prints, I had the boys press a greasy finger onto a hand-held mirror, dust the print with cocoa powder, and cover it with a piece of clear tape.  I found that the best way to remove excess powder without destroying the print was to use the ends of my hair as a brush.  Sounds crazy, but it really worked well. Every other brush I tried removed too much of the print.  Then we lifted the tape and put it on an index card which we added to our files. 
Here are some pictures of the file folder I put together for the boys with their finger print books i.  You can see the cocoa powder print on the bottom left.

Here are some pictures of the file folder I put together for the boys with their finger print books in them. 

We didn't' have time to color the Nate the Great hat during class. I sent that home with each boy. But we did have time to make badges.

And we took mug shots of each boy.  Here's my kiddo's "bad guy face"

I think one of our favorite activities was the shoe print matching game.  We talked about foot prints being clues for detectives.  Then I showed them the paper with all the shoe prints on it and gave them a bucket of shoes. As a group, I asked them to match the shoe to the print.  It was fun to watch them discuss it and come to a consensus.  They got most of them right!

At the end of class we read Nate The Great

while eating popcorn and applesauce.  Yum!  We had a great time and it took the entire 90mintues. Our Kinderboys meet every other week, with field trips in between. So next Friday we're going to tour the police station.  Then we'll have a class on construction workers and carpenters.