5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes: Nordic Almond Bars

My kids presently are working on earning their first Cultural Skills pin in cooking from Sons of Norway. They have opted to begin with Level 2: Baked Goods & Desserts and as the holiday season is upon us, I thought it the perfect Christmas Hopscotch.

Each day this week, I will be sharing one of our favorite Scandinavian recipes for the holiday season or høytiden. Try one and I guarantee you will want to make them all!

Christmas cookies are a must-have for any Christmas celebration and baking them at home is a great way to bring the family together. There are many wonderful cookie recipes in Norway some of the more popular cookies are:

  • pepperkaker or gingerbread,
  • krumkaker (waffle cookie curved in a cone shape),
  • sandkake or sand cakes that are simple short cake baked in molds and filled with jelly, and
  • fattigmann (poor man), a recipe that dates backs to over 100 years ago.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Nordic Almond Bars @EvaVarga.netMy daughter’s favorite Nordic inspired cookies are Nordic Almond Bars and thus we begin …

Nordic Almond Bars

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Milk
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
Almond Icing

Materials Suggested

Rolling Pin
Mixing Bowl
Pastry Brush
Electric Mixer
Cookie Sheet
Oven

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Nordic Almond Bars @EvaVarga.netRecipe

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until combined. Beat in egg and almond extract. Add flour mixture; beat until combined.

Step 2

Divide dough into four equal portions. Form each portion into a 12-inch long roll. Place two rolls 4 to 5 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Using your hands, flatten each roll until it is 3 inches wide. Repeat with the remaining rolls on another cookie sheet. Brush flattened rolls with milk and sprinkle with almonds. Bake one sheet at a time in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. While still warm, slice diagonally into 1-inch wide pieces. Transfer to wire racks; cool. Drizzle with Almond Icing. Makes 48.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Nordic Almond Bars @EvaVarga.netAlmond Icing

In a small mixing bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and enough milk (3 – 4 teaspoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency.

Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze undecorated cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, then drizzle.

~ ~ ~

Join me tomorrow when I share our annual tradition of making Lefse! What will I share later in the week? You’ll have to come back to see! ?

Looking for more inspiration for a Nordic høytiden … read my earlier posts here and here.

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes @EvaVarga.net

It’s a holiday hopscotch! Join the iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Christmas themed posts all week!

Misconceptions in Biology

In a series of posts this week, I will be sharing 5 Misconceptions in Science and providing lessons and activities to help dispel these conceptual misunderstandings. Today’s post focuses on common misconceptions in biology.

misconceptionsbiologyMisconceptions in Biology

Misconceptions abound in all science disciplines, even in biology. Some of the misconceptions in biology that I have encountered include:

Coral reefs exist throughout the Gulf and North Atlantic waters.

Dinosaurs and cavemen lived at the same time.

Acquired characteristics can be inherited.

Houseflies live for only 24 hours.

Winter weather can be predicted by studying the thickness of the fur of some animals.

Humans are responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Why I am not able to dispel all of these in a single post, I’ve selected a couple that I think will work well in a middle school setting.

How to Dispel Misconceptions

As I stated previously, students should be encouraged to ask questions given ample opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments or demonstrations designed to test hypotheses.

In my post, Misconceptions in Astronomy, we explored using demonstrations to dispel the myth that the seasons are caused by the Earth’s tilt. Today will will explore how we can use hands-on inquiry activities and our own observations to dispel a couple of myths in biology.

MISCONCEPTION #5

Houseflies live for only 24 hours

The common housefly (Musca domestica) tends to live for about two to three weeks once it reaches the adult stage. The fly does move through all four of its life stages fairly quickly, 6 to 42 days for an egg to transform from larva to pupa to adult.

Eggs take a few hours to hatch into larvae, which in turn take a couple days or weeks to develop. Once the larva becomes a pupa with a protective case around it, it takes 2 to 10 days to emerge from its shell as an adult. Even after adulthood, it takes a few days for it to be able to reproduce.

They mayfly, which belongs to a different order of insects, also goes through multiple stages of development that lasts about a year. Mayflies lay their eggs in a body of water, where they typically gather on the bottom. They hatch into nymphs, which then undergo a number of molts before they make their way to the top of the water’s surface as a “pre-adult” with wings.

They eventually molt once more before final adulthood. Adult mayflies are not very long-lived as the digestive system stops working with the final molt, and the flies tend to die within a couple of days.

Try It :: Consider rearing housefies or flightless fruit flies in a terrarium to observe the complete life-cycle. How long do they live on average? Does their life-span differ by species?

BONUS MISCONCEPTION

Worms are found in apples

The ‘worm’ frequently featured in cartoons is actually the larva of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella. Female moths lay eggs on small developing apples or leaves. The larva tunnels through the skin and feeds on the seeds. Worms do not have legs, insects do. It would be very difficult for an earthworm to climb a tree or fly.

Try It :: Consider gathering a few apples from an orchard – a few picked from the tree and a few that have fallen on the ground. Place them in a small terrarium and observe what critters emerge from these “nurseries” as the apple decays. Use a hand lens or microscope to closely observe the anatomy of the larvae.

5 Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them @EvaVarga.net

Don’t miss the posts I shared earlier this week:

Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them (series introduction)

Misconceptions in Geology & Meteorology

Misconceptions in Chemistry & Physics

Misconceptions in Astronomy

This concludes my 5 day series featuring common misconceptions in science. If you have enjoyed the series, I encourage you to check out my Science Milestones series that focuses upon the discoveries and advancements of scientists through history.

This series is one of many hopscotch link-ups. Hop over and see what others are sharing.

Hopcotch2015

Misconceptions in Chemistry and Physics

In a series of posts this week, I will be sharing 5 Misconceptions in Science and providing lessons and activities to help dispel these conceptual misunderstandings. Today’s post focuses on common misconceptions in chemistry and physics.

Misconceptions in Chemistry @EvaVarga.net

Identifying & Dispelling Misconceptions

The first step in dispelling misconceptions is to identify them and to recognize their sources. To identify misconceptions, homeschool parents and teachers can:

  • use open-ended questions to assess what students know about the topic of a lesson.
  • listen and observe students’ answers
  • use direct questioning to discover the students’ reasoning process

Simply correcting a mistaken impression through discussion,  however, may not work. Instead, provide an opportunity for students to test out their theories. This is not only more convincing but develops their scientific reasoning skills.

  • First, help students to verbalize their understanding and thereby formulate a theory.
  • Secondly, guide them to set up an experiment to test their theory.

By using inquiry to test misconceptions, teachers can also foster respect for people, ideas, and scientific inquiry. Teachers can use misconceptions to provide unique opportunities to practice science process skills and interest students in scientific exploration.

Misconceptions in Chemistry & Physics

MISCONCEPTION #4

Comparing and contrasting physical and chemical changes, students may believe that because physical changes are often reversible, chemical changes are irreversible.

Many chemical reactions are NON-REVERSIBLE CHANGES .You cannot turn a baked cake back into its raw ingredients. Some chemical reactions can be reversed, and re-formed into the original substances. These are REVERSIBLE CHANGES.

A reversible change is a change that can be undone or reversed. Sometimes we also call these physical changes. A reversible change might change how a substance looks or feels (changing the physical appearance), and it is easy to turn it back again, but it doesn’t produce new substances.

For example, to demonstrate a reversible chemical change: Dip a heat-sensitive baby spoon and other objects that might change color into a beaker of hot water. Ask students to record their observations or results.

Students might notice that a baby spoon turned white when it was dipped in hot water and returned to its original color as it cooled. Ask students questions that will help them evaluate the results and draw new conclusions: “Did the baby spoon undergo a reversible chemical change?”

5 Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them @EvaVarga.net

Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them (series introduction)

Misconceptions in Astronomy 

Misconceptions in Geology & Meteorology

Misconceptions in Biology (coming Friday)

You might also be interested in my travel hopscotch,  Discovering Peru, where you’ll have the chance to win a travel guide of choice from DK Publishing.

My post is one of many hopscotch link-ups. Hop over and see what others are sharing.

Hopcotch2015

Misconceptions in Geology and Meteorology

In a series of posts this week, I will be sharing 5 Misconceptions in Science and providing lessons and activities to help dispel these conceptual misunderstandings. Today’s post focuses on common misconceptions in geology and meteorology. I’ve selected to highlight just a few.

Misconceptions in Geology @EvaVarga.net

Common Sources of Misconceptions

You may be asking yourself, how do misconceptions take root in the first place? Misconceptions are formed by a variety of contributing factors.

  • Everyday language can cause misconceptions. For example, students may have seen their parents buy or administer “plant food” and so believe that plants need food to grow.
  • Lack of evidence leads students to form mistaken conclusions. Because students cannot see germs or microscopic organic materials without a microscope, they may not grasp the concept.
  • Word of mouth, the media, and speculation all spread misconceptions.
  • Confusion over concepts can create wrong impressions.

Misconceptions in Geology & Meteorology

MISCONCEPTION #3

The greenhouse effect is caused when gasses in the atmosphere behave as a blanket and trap radiation which is then re-radiated to the earth.

First let me clarify that the greenhouse effect and global warming are NOT the same thing. The greenhouse effect is the name applied to the process which causes the surface of the Earth to be warmer than it would have been in the absence of an atmosphere. Global warming is the name given to an expected increase in the magnitude of the greenhouse effect, whereby the surface of the Earth will amost inevitably become hotter than it is now.

I will be discussing the greenhouse effect in this post – not global warming.

The fact that Earth has an average surface temperature comfortably between the boiling point and freezing point of water, and thus is suitable for our sort of life, cannot be explained by simply suggesting that our planet orbits at just the right distance from the sun to absorb just the right amount of solar radiation.

Parts of our atmosphere act as an insulating blanket of just the right thickness, trapping sufficient solar energy to keep the global average temperature in a pleasant range. This ‘blanket’ is a collection of atmospheric gases called ‘greenhouse gases’ based on the idea that the gases also ‘trap’ heat similarly to the glass walls of a greenhouse.

These gases, mainly water vapor ( ), carbon dioxide (), methane (), and nitrous oxide (), all act as effective global insulators. To understand why, it’s important to understand a few basic facts about solar radiation and the structure of atmospheric gases.

The following activities will help your students better understand the concepts described above.

What is a Greenhouse?

What Factors Impact a Greenhouse?

5 Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them @EvaVarga.net

Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them

Misconceptions in Astronomy

Misconceptions in Chemistry & Physics 

Misconceptions in Biology

You might also be interested in my travel hopscotch,  Discovering Peru, where you’ll have the chance to win a travel guide of choice from DK Publishing.

My post is one of many hopscotch link-ups. Hop over and see what others are sharing.

Hopcotch2015

Misconceptions in Astronomy

In a series of posts this week, I will be sharing 5 Misconceptions in Science and providing lessons and activities to help dispel these conceptual misunderstandings. Today’s post focuses on common misconceptions in astronomy.

Misconceptions in Astronomy @EvaVarga.netMisconceptions in Astronomy

Misconceptions creep into the science of astronomy perhaps more than any other science. Surveys have found that even college graduates carry persistent misconceptions or even wildly incorrect ideas about the phases of the moon or the cause of the seasons.

Considering the following statements, which are true? Which are false?

 

1) The sky is blue because it reflects the blue color of the oceans.
2) The seasons are caused by the Earth’s distance from the sun.
3) The Moon’s phases are due to the shadow of the Earth falling on the Moon.
4) The bright glow of a meteor is not caused by friction as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.
5) There are no stars seen in Apollo Moon-landing pictures thus proving that these landings were staged.
6) The Hubble Space Telescope is bigger than all Earth-based telescopes.
7) Stars in the night sky do have color.
8) The Moon is bigger near the horizon than when it’s overhead.
9) In the southern hemisphere, winters are much warmer than those in the northern hemisphere.
10) X-rays are emitted from the eclipsed sun but these X-rays do not damage your eyes if you look at the eclipsed sun.

How to Dispel Misconceptions

To help foster the replacement of misconceptions with new concepts, students should be encouraged to ask questions. Additionally, they should be given ample opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments or demonstrations designed to test hypotheses.

Carefully selected demonstrations are one way of helping students overcome misconceptions, and there are a variety of resources available. Let’s take the second statement above and explore how we can dispel this common misunderstanding.

MISCONCEPTION #2

The seasons are caused by the Earth’s distance from the sun.

Studies have shown that as many as 95% of people— including most college graduates—incorrectly believe that the seasons result from the Earth moving closer to or farther from the Sun. In reality, the answer lies in the tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis away or toward the Sun as the Earth travels through its year-long orbit. Distance plays no role since the Earth actually is closest to the Sun during the first week of January.

This video embedded below uses a globe and a strip of thermochromic paper to show how the axial tilt of the Earth as it orbits the sun produces the changing season. This is an excellent hands-on activity in which to engage your students to dispel this commonly held misconception.

To further investigate this common misconception in astronomy, check out National Geographic’s lesson The Reason for the Seasons.

Using demonstrations is a great tool to help dispel misconceptions. Be careful, however, to choose models and demonstrations that do do not mislead or strengthen other misconceptions. A popular model of the solar system that shows the relative distances of the planets from the sun, shows the planets all rotating around the sun on the same plane rather than on independent three-dimensional paths.

5 Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them @EvaVarga.net

Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them (series introduction)

Misconceptions in Geology & Meteorology (coming Wednesday)

Misconceptions in Chemistry & Physics (coming Thursday)

Misconceptions in Biology (coming Friday)

You might also be interested in my 5 day series,  Discovering Peru, where you’ll have the chance to win a travel guide of choice from DK Publishing.

My post is one of many hopscotch link-ups. Hop over and see what others are sharing.

Hopcotch2015Statements 4, 7, and 10 are true.  Statements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are false.

 

Travel Around the World with a Back to School Giveaway

Like many homeschool families and educators, I have spent a fair amount of time browsing the internet and making wish lists of books and curriculum I would like to have for the new school year. There are so great products and resources available that adhering to a budget can be troublesome if not near impossible.

“If only we could get curriculum for free!” I have often heard my friends proclaim. I am delighted to take part once again in the annual Back to School Toolkit Giveaway.

This post contains affiliate links for resources we absolutely love and truly depend on. 

Travel Around the World with a Back to School Giveaway @EvaVarga.net

Back to School Giveaway

This year, I am giving away a geography themed basket loaded with resources that will provide you and your children with activities and lesson plans to keep you busy all year long.

wondermapsBright Ideas Press has donated their popular WonderMaps CD. Designed with easy-to-use layers that allow you to enjoy great customizable features with just a click, WonderMaps is the perfect addition to your geography resource library. WonderMaps was created not only with hundreds of world maps but also a large selection of historical maps that cover everything you need for The Mystery of History vols. I–III and All American History vols. I & II.

Also included in the Travel Around the World basket are the following resources:

Discovering China (Multicultural Education Series), by Dianna J. Sullivan, was written for grades 4-8. This paperback guide provides a great start to a unit study on the culture of China. It includes many printables and activities to learn a few Chinese phrases and to explore the Chinese calendar, holidays, folktales, and cultural traditions. It even includes recipes for popular stir fry! 48 page paperback

Australia: An Interdisciplinary Unit by Merle Davenport was developed for grades 6-8. It covers the physical geography of Australia as well as the cultural geography. Some of the activities include making your own Boomerang, creating a timeline of historical events, graphing natural resource exports, making a star projector to learn about the constellations to compare how navigation differs in the southern hemisphere, and learning the strike (slang) of Oz (Australia). 48 page paperback

galapagos unit

The Galápagos islands were originally called the “Enchanted Isles” because the capricious meandering of the Humboldt Current had the effect of making the islands disappear and reappear to passing ships. The Galápagos Across the Curriculum is a fun, hands-on life science unit study that provides ample opportunity for kids to explore the diversity and remarkable history of the islands.  This unit study is full of inquiry-based activities and lesson plans that can be easily integrated into a larger life science curriculum. 12 page eBook (PDF)

The perfect accompaniment to your Galápagos unit, Galapagos Bedtime Stories by Paula Tagle Saad is charming book with many watercolor depictions of the animals in the archipelago. As the protagonists of the tales, most of the tales are told from the perspective of the featured animal. Factual information about life cycle, habitat, feeding, etc. are woven throughout. It also includes a glossary of terms in the appendix.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find more giveaway baskets at the iHomeschool Network’s annual Back to School Toolkit Giveaway – Giveaways Galore! There are over 34 baskets!!

Gift-Basket-Collage-2015

There are so many wonderful products in these baskets, I encourage you to enter them all.

You won’t want to miss Barb’s Handbook of Nature Study basket or Brenda’s Essential STEM Supplies.