## Thursday 31 December 2015

### Danish Kransekage (Danish New Year Delight)

Ingredients:
1. 375g marcipan
2. 100g icing (flomelis)
3. 1 egg white
4. 1 vanilla bean/pod (optional)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degree celsius
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Form into rings from biggest to smallest to make a tower.
4. Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden.
5. Decorate with icing (optional)
6. Stick in smoe Danish flags for decoration (we ran out of flags)

We made this today for the first time. It looked very simple, because we ran out of Danish flags, so I didn't decorate it. We added nougat in the middle.

Make two flat strips. Add nougat in the middle. Close and surround it with the strips. Roll into sausage.

## Saturday 26 December 2015

### Teaching Fractions with Toy Pizza

Age: From 6 years old

Materials:

1. 1 toy pizza
2. 1 toy pizza cutter (optional)
3. 1 set of worksheets (see pictures below)
4. 1 tray

Presentation 1:

1. Show your child the whole pizza, explain that it is cut into equal size of 6 pieces. Therefore, we call it 6/6. Show the card 6/6.

2. Empty the tray of pizza.

3. Put 1 piece of pizza in the tray, explain to your child that 1 piece is the same as 1/6, and show the card 1/6.

4. Add 1 more piece of pizza into the tray, explain that we call 2 pieces as 2/6 and show the card 2/6.

5. Repeat in a similar manner for 3/6, 4/6 and 6/6.

6. Finally add back the 6th piece, explain again that 6/6 is also called 1 whole. This means that we cut 1 whole pizza into 6 pieces.

7. Invite your child to match the pizza pieces and the cards himself.

Presentation 2:

1. After your child has understood the concept of fraction in presentation 1, show presentation 2.

2. Explain that 6/6 = 1 whole. Show the whole pizza of 6 pieces.

3. Empty the tray of pizza.

4. Place 2 pieces of pizza into the tray and show the card 2/6 = 1/3. Divide the pizza into 3 sets of 2 to illustrate 1/3 part of the pizza.

5. Repeat similarly to illustrate the concept of 3/6 = 1/2, and 4/6 = 2/3.

6. Finally add back the 6th piece, explain again that 6/6 is also called 1 whole. This means that we cut 1 whole pizza into 6 pieces.

7. Invite your child to match the pizza pieces and the cards himself.

Video Demonstration:

Our Little FECS has been playing with this toy since he was 2 years old. Now he can use it to learn about Fractions :-) You can also take the opportunity to practice with your child when you are eating real pizza :-)

This toy pizza is available from Amazon:

Presentation 1:
1. Show your child the whole pizza, explain that it is cut into equal size of 6 pieces. Therefore, we call it 6/6. Show the card 6/6.

2. Empty the tray of pizza.

3. Put 1 piece of pizza in the tray, explain to your child that 1 piece is the same as 1/6, and show the card 1/6.

4. Add 1 more piece of pizza into the tray, explain that we call 2 pieces out of 6 pieces as 2/6 and show the card 2/6.

5. Add 1 more piece of pizza into the tray, explain that we call 3 pieces out of 6 pieces as 3/6 and show the card 3/6.

6. Add 1 more piece of pizza into the tray, explain that we call 4 pieces out of 6 pieces as 4/6 and show the card 4/6.

6. Add 1 more piece of pizza into the tray, explain that we call 5 pieces out of 6 pieces as 5/6 and show the card 5/6.

6. Finally add back the 6th piece, explain again that 6/6 is also called 1 whole. This means that we cut 1 whole pizza into 6 pieces.
7. Invite your child to match the pizza pieces and the cards himself.

Presentation 2:

1. After your child has understood the concept of fraction in presentation 1, show presentation 2.
2. Explain that 6/6 = 1 whole. Show the whole pizza of 6 pieces.
3. Empty the tray of pizza.

4. Place 2 pieces of pizza into the tray and show the card 2/6 is the same as 1/3. Divide the pizza into 3 sets of 2 to illustrate 1/3 part of the pizza.

5. Place 3 pieces of pizza into the tray and show the card 3/6 is the same as 1/2. Divide the pizza into 2 sets of 3 to illustrate 1/2 part of the pizza.

6. Place 4 pieces of pizza into the tray and show the card 4/6 is the same as 2/3. Divide the pizza into 3 sets of 2 to illustrate 2/3 part of the pizza.

7. Finally add back the 6th piece, explain again that 6/6 is also called 1 whole. This means that we cut 1 whole pizza into 6 pieces.

8. Invite your child to match the pizza pieces and the cards himself.

### Building Square Numbers

Age: From 6 years old

Materials:
1. 1 set of LEGO bricks as shown above.
2. 1 worksheet
3. 1 tray
4. 1 ruler

Presentation:
1. Arrange the materials as shown.

2. Explain that square is simply 4-sided figure with the same number on each side, and they will always end up looking square-shape. For example, 2 x 2 = 4, which is also known as 2 square.

For example,
3+3+3 =
3 x 3 =
3 square =
9

3. Explain that the length of each side is always the same.

4. Invite your child to measure the length of each side with a ruler.

References:

### Addition Fraction with LEGO

AGE: 6 years

OBJECTIVE(S):
1. To demonstrate how a whole may be divided into parts.
2. To prepare for working with the fractional insets.
3. To prepare for working with the abstract notation of fractions.
MATERIALS:
1. 4 sets of LEGO bricks (1 LEGO brick is a whole, 1 is divided into halves, 1 is divided into fourths, 1 is divided into eighths)
2. 1 worksheet with the following written: 1 whole, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8
3. 1 butter knife
4. 1 tray
PRESENTATION:
1. Place 1/4 brick on the worksheet.
2. Place 3/4 brick on the worksheet.
3. Put them together on the left of the equation, saying "This is 1/4 + 3/4..."
4. Place four 1/4 bricks, and say, "...which is equal to 4/4."
5. Place 1 whole brick and say, "4/4 is the same as 1 whole."
VIDEO DEMONSTRATION:

J tried this on 27 December 2015 (6Y8M22D). He loved writing the fractions down. It took some time to explain this problem sum to him, but when I varied it to 2/4 + 2/4, he got a little confused. So I need to repeat this lesson at a later date.

0. Prepare your materials

1. Place 1/4 brick on the worksheet.

2. Place 3/4 brick on the worksheet.

3. Put them together on the left of the equation, saying "This is 1/4 + 3/4."

4. Place four 1/4 bricks, and say, "Which is equal to 4/4."

5. Place 1 whole brick and say, "4/4 is the same as 1 whole."

27 December 2015 (6Y8M22D)

### Teaching Montessori Fraction Skittles with LEGO

AGE: 4 years

OBJECTIVE(S):
1. To introduce the concept of fractions.
2. To demonstrate how a whole may be divided into parts.
MATERIALS:
1. 4 sets of LEGO bricks (1 LEGO brick is a whole, 1 is divided into halves, 1 is divided into fourths, 1 is divided into eighths)
2. 1 worksheet with the following written: 1 whole, 1/2 (一半), 1/4 (四分之一) and 1/8 (八分之一)
3. 1 butter knife
4. 1 tray
PRESENTATION:
1. Take the whole LEGO brick and run both hands down the sides from top to bottom to feel that is whole. Allow the child to feel the LEGO brick.
2. Say "This is whole" and hand it to the child again.
3. Take a set of two halves of LEGO bricks, placing them side by side with the red surface facing you. Run your index finger down the two flat sides, picking each one up one at a time, and say, "This is one half."
4. Allow the child to feel the LEGO brick.
5. Take the fourths in the same manner, saying, “This is one fourth".
6. Take the eights and say, "This is one eight."
7. Give three period lesson to find if the child has the concept.
EXERCISE:
1. Take out the LEGO bricks the same way and have the child name them. Ask "Do you think the halves are same as the whole?" Compare and interrelate all of the skittles.
2. Mix them and ask your child to sort them back. Could be done with blindfold.
VIDEO DEMONSTRATION:

This is similar to the Montessori Fraction Skittles lesson plan. We tried this on 27 December 2015 (6Y8M22D). J understood this basic lesson, but was challenged when I tried to change it to a different whole number. He got a little confused when we did addition fraction. I will repeat this basic lesson for a few times, before we move on.

0. Prepare your materials

1. Take the whole LEGO brick and run both hands down the sides from top to bottom to feel that is whole. Allow the child to feel the LEGO brick.
2. Say "This is whole" and hand it to the child again.

3. Take a set of two halves of LEGO bricks, placing them side by side with the red surface facing you. Run your index finger down the two flat sides, picking each one up one at a time, and say, "This is one half."
4. Allow the child to feel the LEGO brick.

5. Take the fourths in the same manner, saying, “This is one fourth".

6. Take the eights and say, "This is one eight."

7. Give three period lesson to find if the child has the concept.

27 December 2015 (6Y8M22D)

27 December 2015 (6Y8M22D)

### Teaching Fractions with an Apple

AGE: 6 years

OBJECTIVE(S):
1. To demonstrate how a whole may be divided into parts.
2. To prepare for working with the fractional insets.
3. To prepare for working with the abstract notation of fractions.
MATERIALS:
1. 2 apples
2. 1 worksheet with the following written: 1 whole, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8
3. 1 knife
4. 1 tray
PRESENTATION:
1. Take the whole apple and ask your child what it is. Your child will say, it is an apple. Tell him that it is a whole apple and place it on the worksheet.
2. Take another apple, invite your child to cut it into half, and say, "This is one half."
3. Place it on the worksheet.
4. Invite your child to cut the apple into 4 pieces and say, “This is one fourth."
5. Place it on the worksheet.
6. Cut the apple into 8 pieces and say, "This is one eight."
7. Give three period lesson to find if the child has the concept.

At dinner tonight, I took the opportunity to introduce J to fraction. I showed J an apple, and we cut it into 1/2. 1/4 and 1/8. He could answer half and one quarter, but could not described one eight. We also did the same with "æbleskriver," a Danish dessert.

We also tried it with the Danish apple desert during dinner today.

## Friday 25 December 2015

### Have Fun Sleeping on Hay During Christmas...

There is something very exciting about a bed of "straw hay" for kids !!!

Baby Jesus came into the world, and the world did not want him. Rejected by all, they could not find a place for him to stay, and he was born not by any midwives, but in humiliation at a stable among the farm animals. God in all His riches and wisdom, did not intervene to provide a kingly birth for His Son, Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father humbled himself in humility, setting for us an example... albeit I must admit for myself, an example that is hard to follow.

We imagine what it must be like for Mary and Joseph, tired from the journey, with no bed to sleep on, and giving birth in a stable. So we give up our beds and sleep on the floor each Christmas.

You can make "pretence hay" from shredded used paper or used magazine and surround the sleeping area with a border of shredded paper hay. You can let your kids cut those papers. It would be fun and great for fine motor skills training. The good thing about shredded paper "hay" is that they are clean and easier to clean up, than real hay.

As you sleep on "pretence hay" and relive the scene of the night at Bethlehem, it is a good chance to include Christian education by reading the story of Jesus birth to your child again. It will certainly leave a deep impression in his mind on the birth of Jesus. This has been very exciting for Joshie and he was very receptive to the story. He asked to read one biblical story after any other. Then we prayed, and our Little FECS retreated by himself under the blanket to pray silently on his own. He told me that he prayed to God that mommy, daddy and him will all go to heaven together. Then he prayed for daddy, that he would have the faith to believe.  This was the first time J prayed silently on his own. I held it close to my heart. Thank God for this Christmas.

Don't worry if you could not manage to do this on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself. We forgot all about it and we only managed to do so on the 26th Dec. As you can see on the picture, we also did not manage to make the shredded paper hay as I only thought of this idea, when we were sleeping on the floor. We just simply pretended that the floor is laid with "hay" and we read a story on the birth of Jesus as we hit the "hay", and it was still great fun :-)

If you want to sleep on real hay, there are hotels in Switzerland, Austria and Germany offering. Here are a few links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/travel/19surfacing.html?_r=0

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/sleeping-in-a-hay-bed.html

http://www.classic-play.com/traveling-with-kids-a-sleep-in-the-hay-in-switzerland/

http://jackandjilltravel.com/sleeping-on-straw-gimmelwald-switzerland/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2680456/Strawcastle-Now-sleep-straw-campsite-barn-Netherlands-horses-need-not-apply.html

http://www.reidsguides.com/destinations/europe/switzerland/planning/lodging/t_h_schlafimstroh.html

 30 Dec 2014 - Since I only thought of this idea after Christmas, it is too late for this year, but I have started to gather our "Pretence Hay" made from shredded paper little-by-little in time for next year :-)
 8 Jan 2015 - More shredded "pretence hay" gathered for next year :-)
12 December 2015 (6Y8M6D): We tried this today. Give up your beds and sleep on pretend hay - the floor together to remember what Mary, Joseph and Jesus did that first Christmas. Read a story on the birth of Jesus as you hit the "hay" :-)

Our Little FECS was very eager to try sleeping on hay, since we did not get to do it last year, and he has been pestering me for it. Tonight, he tried it for the first time.

Updates: 25 December 2015 (6Y8M20D)

25 December 2015 (6Y8M20D): We were too tired to prepare the straw bed yesterday after the Christmas party at farfar and farmor's place...

We try to sleep like Jesus in a bed of "hay" in the manger... Joshua was very excited, while I was preparing the "straw" bed after Florian has vacuumed the carpet.