Moving beyond the Page HIGHSCHOOL 1

 

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What exciting news !! I have been out of the loop for so long, but I am totally getting back into the grove of things ( wait for another post later today ) Earlier I was cruising through facebook and saw this amazing announcement from MOVING BEYOND THE PAGE !! The rumors have been going around for a while that the team has been working on this , and now finally it is here  !! The first HIGHSCHOOL semester is now available and Semester 2 will be available in September !

I am beyond excited about this ! Even though we are still a few years away from this, I have been wondering what we will use later on.  After working through many levels of this curriculum I feel confident that MBTP works wonderful for our family ! I honestly think that now curriculum is absolutely perfect and you have to adapt, change, tweak things along the way. But MBTP works great for us and I am pretty sure we will keep going with it for a long time…. I am excited for the years to come !!

If you are curious about the curriculum itself, check out my other posts. I am hoping to catch up on many units and re-blog many of them in the next few weeks. If you have questions, leave a message 🙂

 

Happy Homeschooling !

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People around the world Culture Concept 3 6-8

After we finished Concept 1 of 6-8 I felt like I needed to change things up a little. I always try to look ahead, what each level from both kids will be dealing with and saw that Concept 3 would line up pretty well with the third Unit from Concept 1 from 9-11 .  In 6-8 you will be learning a lot about culture with your little one and it was one of the units and concepts she was most excited about. So, I figured why not.  It matches up wonderfully with the Tall Tales from 9-11 and the Myths and Folktales from 6-8.

After a little bit more research I also found tons of books our library actually has for these. For a small library, our library had hundreds of books with Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Native American tales. I think I spent nearly an hour going through all of them and brought home a huge stack of nearly 100 books. In my defense, our library is actually renovating and trying to empty their room while they do it 😉

When we did the little activity page of different kinds of transportation in the world, Venice came up. And when you remind your child about Venice, she will want to read the OLIVIA goes to Venice book. It’s one of her favorites. So we all hung out together and enjoyed this silly but also beautiful story of Olivia Goes to Venice.

Then we explored Mexico a little bit more, made some musical instruments and read some more in this book.

This book is from the previous year actually, but it is one I pull back out so often. It always reminds us that life around the world is so diverse and often so different, yet there are so many things we all have in common. The book does a great way of telling the stories of some of the kids that are portrayed in the book.

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Also we have cooked a whole lot this week. We made a whole lot of Mexican food, bought sushi and also tried our luck with Chinese noodles. Actually it all turned out rather yummy, everyone was so inspired and excited to help  and eat that I pretty much forgot to take pictures. We also made some fun mexican instruments and listened to all sorts of music, thank you YouTube.IMG_20160202_1851515_rewind

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We had also found this Cat in the Hat book at the library and it was a great way to cover a lot of Holidays quickly. Not very detailed information but a fun intro about many different cultures, one of those books she can easily read over and over again on her own without much needed extra explanation.

Another book that worked perfectly with this lesson is

This one really does an amazing job at telling about all holidays all around the world and if you are looking for even more extra ideas and crafts this one is a must !

We ended up this lesson by researching a bit more online and also watch some more travel kids. My youngest was really in awe with Venice that day and since it is also Februrary, the time of Carnevale, we really enjoyed ” travelling” through the world a little bit more.

They have so many great video’s that give kids a fun, quick way to introduce them to different cultures. It’s one travel show my kids don’t get bored of.

I am really excited about the rest of this unit 🙂 It is full of discovery, fun crafts and lots of room for exploration !

Tomorrow we will start reading this book and I am curious what places and traditions we will discover !

The View from Saturday Level 9 to 11 Concept 1 Unit 2

We just finished the second unit of the 9-11 unit with MBTP  “The view from Saturday”. Most times I quickly research the book before we start a new unit or I just happen to know it ahead of time. There are many great sites out there that give you a good idea what the book is about.
For example https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-view-from-saturday is always a great place to start, although I do not always agree with their opinion.

http://www.sparknotes.com/ is another good one but they do not have a wide range of books.

Also http://www.shmoop.com/ might be of help for quick research.

The easiest way to research a book quickly is of course to just read some reviews on Amazon.

A big goal of mine  this year is to read all the books together again or, which works better with the 9-11 level, to read them ahead of time by myself.  A great goal for working together  and also a great addition to my personal reading challenge of at least 50 books for the year.

I must say I was a little confused about the book at first but my confusion quickly turned into curiosity. What probably makes the book hard to read ,and maybe this is the reason it isn’t liked as much by some students ,is that it is written out of the perspective of different people, the actual main characters. Once you figure that out, or better your child figures that out, the story is not as hard to follow as it first seems.  I am glad I read the story ahead of time though as I now know the story plot and it is so much easier to  guide  her through the book.

The added turtle research was a lot of fun. I googled for a few extra pictures, videos and fun facts. Unfortunately our small library did not have many books about Loggerhead turtles but maybe you get lucky and find some of these.


Far, far out at sea lives one of the world’s most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born. Nicola Davies’s lyrical text offers fascinating information about the journey of the tiny, endangered loggerhead, while charming paintings by Jane Chapman vividly illustrate one turtle’s odyssey.

If you are really looking for more info about sea turtles, this will be a great addition. I know Moving beyond the page will cover ocean life etc a bit more later on, but I am not sure how much it will cover about turtles.

This series is also wonderful for younger kids, but provides quick info even for the older ones that don’t want to read 100 pages 😉

 

Of course the turtles are just a side study in this unit, but it is a fun one and the wonderful thing with Moving beyond the page is that you can stop and hang out at this subject for a bit, if your kids are super interested in it.

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Another completely different subject the book mentions is Calligraphy. One of the main characters learns how to write and use a calligraphy ink pen and naturally one of the activities was to try out the same. Now there are tons of different calligraphy sets out there from cheap to expensive. I did some  calligraphy as a child myself, i remember going to the local office/ art store and they had all the calligraphy nibs in a large set up and you could buy each one individually. So fun. They are a little harder to come by now but I did get lucky at our local MICHAELS and we purchased this Calligraphy
set. At home she could not wait to try it out. Of course I really should have bought some proper paper. I forgot how messy it can be and how much ink can leak through the other pages in a book or notepad. Oh well. It was fun and got me inspired to try it out as well again.

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Overall this unit was once again tons of fun. Our final project ” the tea party ” has not been able to take place yet, since we really wanted to bake some lovely scones to go along with our tea and our oven has been broken for nearly two weeks now.. so it will have to wait.

Anyways, hope this review of the unit has been of help.

Happy homeschooling !

 

 

Happy 3rd Advent

Today is the 3rd Advent already. My, oh my time is racing. We got totally surprised here in southern Oregon this morning, by a nice coating of fresh snow. It was not supposed to hit the valleys but we were s excited to take out Zipfelbobs for a test run. Who would have thought we get the chance so fast.

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Our snow was very wet and slushy, but the sleds still performed awesome !

I loved that they can carry these sleds so easily by themselves. They are super light, easy to stir. Just drop it in the snow and go… !!!

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We are hoping for more snow tonight, it would be awesome to take out the sleds a little more. If not, we are planning a little trip up the mountains, but since snow chains are required up there we will have to head out to get those first. If you are curious about our ” Zipfelbob
go check them out (aff.link) I have had many sleds in my life growing up in Germany but these are so easy and maintenance free, I am really glad we choose these. I wanted the big, wooden, traditional one first, but they are soo expensive and require that you take care of them well after playing outside.

Anyways, hope you are having a lovely day , we are heading back inside now to snuggle up and play some more on this lovely 3rd Advent ! Just a few more days till Christmas 😀

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This set comes from this  Playmobil advent calendar (aff link ) it goes along with the modern villa that was just recently released in the USA 😀 My daughter loves the modern style on the people and the furniture, and of course PURPLE lol… We opted for this one this year PLAYMOBIL Advent calendar – Dress Up for the big party I will have to post some more details of whats inside soon !

Fieldtrip time… the adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The coolest thing about living near a big city is clearly having great opportunities to see and experience many things. We have many amazing museums in the Dallas area and many wonderful exhibits have come to town. In the two years we have now lived here we have switched up our memberships, a different one each year, and we have been trying to make the most out of our visits and see as many as possible. We do a lot of things with our homeschool groups, but we also try to do many field trips as a family, it is something we have always done and we really enjoy talking with the kids about everything and really experiencing it together. Always such great memories.
So this time we discovered the adventures of Sherlock Holmes at the Perot museum in Dallas. I didn’t read up about the exhibition much before, but I pretty much knew it should be an exciting one ,especially since my oldest loves Nancy drew books so much, this should be right up her alley.

When we arrived at the museum I was a little shocked to see groups of kids from daycare and schools, luckily the museum really is so big, even with large groups, all you need to do is pick a different level to start and make your way through. It is nice to see that in this school district some kids still get an opportunity to see museums and other places during the school day schedule. Something that would have never happened much in our old school district. I still have to laugh though when people tell me our homeschooled kids, don’t get socialization or the opportunities to go do things. We are doing more than ever now with homeschooling than I ever imagined, but anyways…back to Sherlock Holmes.

In the first room, we got an introduction into detective work, some medicine practices and also a little bit of history about the Author of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Amazing were the many photographs from London from old times and it connected with some great books and other studies we had done in the past. Of course since my husband and I had traveled to London last year, it was even more amazing to see some of those old pictures.
Throughout the exhibition we had a fun task to do. We each had gotten a booklet at the entrance and we had to find clues, get stamps and solve a very fun mystery ourselves. With our little one just being 5 years old, I was a little bit worried about some subjects here and there, but since she is really interesting in medicine practices and the human body etc she saw it mostly from a scientific point of view and there really was nothing to worry about. Instead we had fun trying to solve the murder case,  among other things we had to puzzle a statue back together that had fallen down, we checked sand tracks if they matched up with the suspects, compared poisons and in the end solved the mystery.

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We spent a few more hours in the other levels of the museum and even though we nearly stayed all day, it wasn’t enough time to even see half of the museum. It’s always that way so we choose different levels each time, and every time we discover something we didn’t before.
Now back at home I would love to introduce more of the actual Sherlock Holmes story to my girls. I have found a great selection and hope we can add some to our library soon !!


We listen to Story of the world which is also narrated by Jim Weiss and I think this would be just as fun !!

And these little board books are a fun series even for the youngest. It makes me sad that my kids are too big for board books lol.. would it be crazy to still add them to “my collection ” 😉 ?!

BOX DAY with MBTP 2015 !!!

Our boxes arrived a few weeks ago but (homeschool) life has been busy once again and I have hardly had time to post. We are still wrapping up our Units from 8-10 and 5-7 but the girls are beyond excited for their new levels 9-11 and 6-8.

Multiple times I have thought about skipping 6-8 and push my youngest into 7-9 but after much thinking and a little bit of research, I figured there was really no need to. Even though she is so advanced she will enjoy the 6-8 level and it will hopefully help her with more independent writing and build the little bridges she needs for all the other subjects. So often I think they already understand a concept but then a simple explanation in a book or activity comes up and we have this wonderful AHA-moment, and all I can do is smile and enjoy learning with them. It isn’t always about pushing them ahead and challenging them to the max its more about the ride of learning and enjoying learning. I like that she can be done in less than two hours most days and most activities come easy and natural to her and we don’t have to struggle so much. If I would have known just a bit more about MBTP back when we started I probably would have started with 7-9 for my oldest and not jumped ahead for 8-10. I understand the technique and how the curriculum is set up much better now, many concepts build up on others and many things get easier for the kids as they go along with the curriculum.

9-11 looks also very exciting, many big subjects and I doubt we will be anything but finished with it by the time of next spring but we will see. I have heard about so many amazing projects and the book selection is beyond amazing in this level. The kids had a nice little fight about the human body lab

but I ensured my youngest that she will have plenty of opportunity to explore it as well. Even though both kids have their own levels we do end up doing a lot of things together. Some activities are just too much fun to miss out on.

So here are a few of our moments from box day. We have actually opted to buy some books used this time, we already had a few sitting at home and ABEBOOKS.COM and amazon as well as our local Half price books was a great help finding all the books ( over 50 books for both levels… crazy if you think about it 😀 !!! )

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The big box arrived !!!

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Checking out 9-11

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This kid is crazy about learning 😉  ( most days anyways hehehe )

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Slightly overwhelmed by 9-11 😉

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A closer look of 9-11

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Almost all organized and ready to go. The pink organizers hold the curriculum for 9-11 and along the sides it contains the matching books for the units and concepts. The yellow is for 6-8, and also hold the curriculum and some of the books are matched up accordingly. This makes it easy to just pull out the units with the needed books whenever you are ready for the next one !
There are so many fun units up ahead and we are excited for a new year of learning. I hope I can share some units more detailed before we even start.I can not believe that it will be the start of our third homeschool year !!!! I can’t even grasp that quite yet. It just seems like yesterday when we started this crazy journey 😀

Forces of Nature Final Project Unit 3 | Concept 2

We finished the project for the science Unit, the Forces of Nature. My daughter picked to make her presentation with Powerpoint. It was one of her first times working with Powerpoint but I was amazed how quickly she understood the concept and was able to use it well on her own. This was definitely a great learning experience for her and I think we will use Powerpoint more often from now on for other things as well.

I’m not sure how to include Powerpoint presentation in the blog but hopefully it works 🙂 She spent too much time and effort on this not to share it with everyone ! As long as you have POWERPOINT installed on your device, I guess you should be able to view the file 🙂

THE FORCES OF NATURE

Our first round of co-op

It has been a busy few weeks. Spring has finally arrived here,  and we had our first round of co-op with our homeschool group. It was such an awesome time.

Last year we joined a fairly large group of homeschoolers in our area, we already knew some of the members and the commitment to be part of the group was low enough or better adjustable for me to be able to deal with it. I don’t necessarily have a problem with committing to groups, I just know it can be overwhelming at times (for me). And I know myself and my kids, and we need our days of just being at home. As much as I love to be around people, go do stuff, adventure to complete new places.. I need time to process it all. I am an introvert, in many ways.

So with this group we were allowed to just pick and choose what we want to participate in, sign up, join the co-op or not join the co-op. It is only once a week for 6 weeks, and this happens twice a year. For us that sounded just right, and indeed it was. The 6 weeks went by in a blur.

A year ago I was strictly against joining a co-op. I couldn’t quite imagine how it would work, and I thought it would be too much like trying to re-create public school. Well our co-op sure was nothing like public school.

So you might wonder, why join a co-op ?

First of all I think it’s important to mention that no co-op is alike. Just like the rest of homeschooling, the possibilities are endless. Each co-op will have its own rules, age groups, the way they handle and organize it. Some co-ops happen in churches, others maybe at home or another open facility. Some cost money, some a lot, some hardly anything. What most probably have in common is that the moms will be the organizers and most likely the “teachers”.

These last 6 weeks, have brought me closer to our whole homeschool group. I was able to have some great discussions with all th moms from all the  different kids and really get to know everyone . I was able to participate in classes my own kids wanted to take and I also got some wonderful opportunities to bond with their  friends. I spent time with all age ranges of kids.
What still amazes me every time with homeschool groups, that when all the kids hang out together, they all get along. Watching the teenagers with the elementary kids and everyone getting along just makes me happy and it seems to be a somewhat unheard thing these days. Once on Facebook, I got into a heated debate on how kids could learn from each other, young kids and old kids alike, and I met several comments that completely disagreed with me..  😦 It makes me sad to even think that kids get separated just because of age.

We had some very fun classes this season, a literature class about Skippy John Jones, classes that made math come alive, native American tribes and Egyptians were discovered, cooking classes, science classes, writing classes and even introduction classes to engineering were held, just to name a few.

There’s a great variety of kids in our homeschool group and what I find wonderful is, that if a child does for whatever reason not want to participate, no one will get forced. Nobody will yell, get angry over a lesson plan not happening or being finished, everyone is there to make this a great, fun way to learn in a group setting for the kids . And while I know, that many teachers in public school wish to do the same and work hard to make it somehow possible,  in the end their hands are tied.

I think it is a giant difference when a group of MOMS organizes something like this. There is so much caring and understanding in the group that I haven’t seen at many other places. Also the kids are asked to make suggestions for the classes. Clearly no one wants to “teach a class” that no child is interested in.

For us this first round of co-op was simply amazing and while I wish it would go on, I try to remind myself that it’s a good thing to change things up. Life is open for adventure and we already have lots of other things planned with our group, and the co-op will return in the Fall, and by then I might even join to have my own little class 😉 !

 

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Why choose a literature based curriculum

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I just wanted to share this little article that I wrote for our curriculum MBTP, that was published yesterday. I am so excited and thrilled that they decided to share it on their website !

I really love our curriculum and am so thankful we found it. I know each curriculum doesn’t work out for everyone, but this was our match and I am glad we found it early in our homeschool life. I don’t know if we will always stick with it, but for now we are loving it and it’s working out pretty well.
Anyways, if you have questions about it or need more info, I would love to help !

Also the SPRING FLING, the best SALE of the year should be coming up soon, so sign up now, then you won’t miss it !!

Here is the link to the article, if the link doesn’t take you directly to it, check under the blog section !

 

http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com/articles/why-choose-a-literature-based-curriculum/

Or you can just read the copy from the website right here 😉

When my family first began homeschooling, I was introduced to dozens of previously unknown curriculum strategies. There was classical education, core curriculum, common core curriculum, Waldorf, Montessori, and unschooling. I even learned how to align curriculum based on learning style. In just a few days I felt overwhelmed by the possibilities. The curriculum choices seemed endless.

As I began searching for the right curriculum for my family, I came upon the termliterature-based. Literature-based curriculum utilizes real literature and books for students’ studies instead of textbooks. My children love books, so when I first heard about literature-based curriculum, I was intrigued. I definitely wanted my curriculum to include lots of fun books. I also knew that I wanted things to be “hands-on,” and the combination of the two of these led us to Moving Beyond the Page.

Things I Like about Literature-Based Curriculum

Through a literature-based curriculum, my children are exposed to a broad variety of literature. Most literature-based curricula will include a large number of the “classics” as well as modern novels, poetry, and biographies. Children will get introduced to some masterpieces by marvelous, timeless authors, authentic documents from history, and thought-provoking poetry. They will also begin to learn through connecting multiple subjects and themes. These books will often connect to language arts, history, social studies, science, or other subjects. Your child will be engaged and learn multiple subjects just by reading one book.

Stories make our brains come alive. They make learning easier and more fun. Our brains build more connections when those connections are intertwined with story. When I first considered Moving Beyond the Page, I mainly looked at the list of books that we would go through for each level, and we all got really excited about the selections. I like to include my kids with the decisions about choosing a curriculum whenever I can. It gets them excited, and being excited and curious are important parts of learning.

What I love most about a literature-based curriculum is all the possibilities it gives us. We have so many wonderful opportunities to discuss a variety of subjects that come up in every book. We often discuss moral values and character traits, and I can tell how much it helps my children in learning the process of reading, thinking, writing, and connecting it all. The possibilities and activities are endless. We will do an author study here or there or “travel” to different countries where different authors lived and possibly even learn about their time period’s history.

A final benefit I can see with a literature-based curriculum is that it is easier to include different age groups of children together. Having multiple kids and trying to have them all work on different curricula can be a daunting task. Even though I opted against grouping my own two children together, I know plenty of families that make this work well because they can change up individual activities for each child while the family reads the same base material together. Even kids that might not be able to actually read yet will be able to listen and answer comprehension questions and with that get a feeling of being included. Activities in general leave a lot of open space for creative work. While reading stories, the kids get inspired in many ways — they can draw pictures, act things out, or even work together on bigger projects in groups. Students can pick and choose to work in ways that they enjoy most.

In our one year with Moving Beyond the Page, we have gotten to experience all of these things I have mentioned. We have gotten to know many wonderful, inspiring novels and met some amazing authors. We have made several great crafts and cooked incredible recipes from forgotten nations or from old historic times. We have written plays and acted them out and drawn many wonderful pictures. I am thankful that I get this precious time with my children and get to discover some of these amazing books with them together. It is a time that I will forever cherish and remember. We have made a connection through the books while talking about them. Laughing about the funny quotes from The BFG, learning about Ben Franklin through a little mouse, and cooking pioneer meals with Laura Ingalls Wilder have made this homeschool year unforgettable!

Julia Goss is a homeschooling mom of two kids. She has used the Age 5-7 and Age 8-10 levels of Moving Beyond the Page. Your can follow her blog athttps://beyondthebookshomeschool.wordpress.com/.

The BFG ( part 2 ) Unit 3 | Concept 2

Last week our little adventure with the The BFG ended already. Sometimes it amazes me how fast we zoom through these lessons. This was seriously an incredible fun unit and another book I was just as excited to read as my daughter was.  Roald Dahl has written so many wonderful books, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, just to name a few others. I know we will end up adding many more from him to our library.
I have already posted a little about the BFG before, when we started the unit the other week ( see here ) and we really enjoyed having our giant in our room,I will be so sad to see him leave. It was worth the extra time and will hopefully keep me creative for more little  things for our adventure room.

So what did we do during this unit ?

We got to explore and study England and especially London a little bit. After our trip to London last year, it was fun visiting again through the story. A short introduction how the British government is different from the US government was also very interesting and I felt that it was brought to us in a great way that we could easily understand it.

In another activity we learnt about the giants favorite drink. This must have been by far my daughters favorite chapter. She laughed so much, just reading about Frobscottle and Whizzpoppers. When I told her we would actually try to make some, she was of course once again very excited. We had a little trouble finding the raspberry syrup, but we opted for frozen raspberries instead. We also made the cold version and added some ice cream so that it almost ended up being a milkshake root beer float kind of drink… It would be awesome in the summer months !!

The book itself handles multiple different themes, one of them being  dreams. For this we  got to create our own  dreams in different ways and also had a great chance to talk about nightmares, which was a great conversation starters to talk about some subjects that can be rather difficult. We even talked about symbolizing dreams and how there are ways scientists say you can influence your own dreams.

Reading through the book we collected many great quotes from the big friendly giant, I believe some of those will stick with us forever, and make us laugh out loud in days to come. Overall this unit was a lighter unit. It was heavy on the creative side, more drawing, creating but a bit less writing, which is totally okay every so often.

Along with the BFG went science, or more specific an introduction into physics and the laws of nature. We learnt about gravity, pressure and motion. We discovered Newtons’ laws and met some other wonderful scientists that changed our world. We had a lot of additions to our timeline !

We managed to accomplish quite a few experiments and had some very fun afternoons. Our favorites were playing with marbles ( we remembered the old school marble game which went along perfect with the study) and the balloon rocket was also extreme fun !

The Alka-Seltzer pressure experiment towards the end of the unit was our icing on the cake 😉

If you would like to check out these units, look here . As always thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoyed exploring with us !

( soon you can add the new movie to end this super fun lesson)

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