In This Issue: Wild Weather Hits Los Angeles; Dracula Sneeze and Other Words of 2009
Wild Weather Out West
On January 21, residents of Los Angeles, California, braced themselves for the area's fourth powerful storm of the week. The sopping forecast included winds up to 45 miles per hour and heavy snow in the mountains. Officials continued to urge more than 1,000 people living in already flooded coastal communities to evacuate. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service said that Southern California hadn't weathered a front as powerful as this one since 2005.
Activity Ideas - Math Reading a thermometer
Tell your child that a thermometer is used to measure temperature. Show one to your child, pointing out the numbers and the liquid in the tube. Explain the following points:
The liquid rises and falls as the temperature around it warms or cools.
When the temperature rises, the liquid in the glass tube warms up. This causes molecules to expand and take up more space in the tube.
The liquid rises to get the space it needs.
The numbers on the thermometer make up a temperature scale. The numbers are in two-degree increments.
Together with your child, use the thermometer to measure different temperatures in and outside your house:
The temperature of the refrigerator
The temperature next to a window or glass door
The temperature in his or her room
The temperature outside
Help your child make a simple graph. On the left side, list the rooms measured. On the right record the temperatures.
ASK: What area is the warmest? Which location is coldest? Find the difference between them.
Identify the highest and lowest temperatures in the house. Subtract the lowest temperature from the highest to determine the difference.
In 2009, good parents in the U.S. reminded their children to Dracula sneeze, which was especially important during the H1N1 scare. Well-behaved, well-traveled adults, on the other hand, avoided becoming bragabonds. And for anyone who would like to succeed in twenty-ten, take note: don't refer to 2010 as "oh-ten." Don't refer to fish as "seakittens." And for goodness sake, stop reading slow media. The American Dialect Society has released its annual Words of the Year List, which includes Most Outrageous and Most Creative words, Words Most- and Least-Likely to Succeed, as well as other categories.
Activity Ideas - Language Arts Vocabulary Share the words and definitions from the above paragraph with your child. Dracula sneeze: Covering one's mouth with the crook of one's elbow when sneezing, seen as similar to popular portrayals of the vampire Dracula, in which he covers the lower half of his face with his cape. Bragabond: A person who travels a lot and brags about it a lot. Slowmedia: Newspapers and other paper-based periodicals.
Work together to come up with a sentence that uses "Dracula sneeze" correctly.
Challenge yourselves to make up words or phrases to represent habits or behavior particular to your family, i.e., in the spirit of Dracula sneeze—"Elmo laugh" for silly, high-pitched laughter; "Hey Rooshah!" or some other nonsensical phrase for Dad's unusual sneeze.
Start to compile a "Serious Dictionary of Silly Words," writing down words or phrases that you hear or see or dream up. Include definition, pronunciation and an example of the word in a sentence.