Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Week in Review 10/4-10/8

 I feel like we've found our groove--it's been a good week, and we got a lot done.  And it was (mostly) pleasant!

Math:  He's got his 9's addition facts.  He doesn't exactly have them memorized yet (that will come as we review and play RightStart's math games!), but he can stop and figure it out mentally pretty quickly and consistently gets them right.  I really like the way that RS teaches addition.  Once he "got" adding 9 to another single digit number, we immediately moved on to adding 9 to 2-digit and 3-digit numbers.  All the previous work with place value made it easy for him to see how to apply the same strategy to larger numbers.  Then we moved on to "sums equal to 11" (all the ways to add 2 numbers to make 11) which was also easy since we spent so much time solidifying the sums equal to 10.  He also had fun with the geoboard this week making congruent and incongruent rectangles.

Reading:  We finished The Family Under the Bridge!  It was a great book, and I think we'll have to revisit it when he gets a bit older to really dig into it with more depth.  I also had a head-slapping moment this week.  Connor is very independent (just like mom, hence the need for head-slapping: I should have known better!), and one day I gave him the option to write his narration down himself.  I'd been holding back on this for several reasons--I was afraid he'd get halfway through it and give up, or that his writing wouldn't be able to keep up with his ideas and the quality of his narrations would suffer (MY writing can't keep up with his ideas, which I think was one of his sources of frustration with narrating!).  Or, that it would be harder for me to guide him as he narrates if he's writing--it's always his ideas, but I'll often prompt a bit if he gets stuck, or ask a question so that he remembers a major point, and I'm also working on helping him learn to hone in on the important points as he narrates.  Anyway, I finally decided to just let him try it.  He was so excited, and he did great!  It was a little long, but not really much longer than narrations he often dictates to me (when you take handwriting into consideration).  He loved the independence of it, and I was still able to guide him some as he wrote.  I think we'll keep on trying this, or at least give him the option when he narrates.  I'll have to print some paper with appropriate lines, though!
Writing his narration

The finished product

History:  We only got one day's worth of history done this week.  I was subbing one day at the high school here in town, so he did mostly independent work supervised by Daddy that day, and I didn't have anything history-wise on hand that he could do on his own.  We read and he narrated SOTW chapter 13, section one about the New Kingdom Egyptian pharaohs Thutmose and Hatshepsut.  He chose to narrate about Thutmose, I think mainly because the reading talked about how he conquered so many areas but stopped at the Euphrates river because he didn't want to tussle with the Babylonians.  He had learned about Babylon during a Bible study last spring (my mother-in-law did a study of Daniel for the kids in childcare while the moms were doing Beth Moore's Daniel study), and then we'd covered it in history a few chapters previously. So any time Babylon comes up, he's interested!  We also had fun looking up pictures of statues of Hatshepsut (one of very few female pharaohs)--and her mummy!  He thought she looked kind of gross. *grin*

Science:  We finished up learning about snails, and here again, giving him a bit more independence paid off.  He filled out most of his notebook page himself, and he also wrote a narration about periwinkles (a kind of sea snail) on his own.

 He also worked on his spider lapbook.  He's finished all the stuff I had for him, but he's still got a bit of room in it, so we'll have to see if we can find something interesting to stick in that spot!

Grammar:  More action verbs this week!  He did a couple of worksheets the day that I subbed, and he did really well.

Spelling:  We didn't get to spelling this week.  It was on the agenda yesterday, but I ended up having to take Brennan to the doctor, so it didn't get done.  We're still not really into the groove with spelling yet, but he's pretty far ahead, so I'm not too worried at the moment.  Better next week!

Latin:  He did chapter 17 in SSL.  The vocab in chapters 16 and 17 have been words relating to Christmas, so he made a Christmas card and labeled his picture with Latin words as suggested in the book.  It was all I could do to keep him from plowing on through to Chapter 18!

Copywork/Handwriting:  He hasn't done any copywork since we started cursive.  I need to get back to doing that with him, though--his printing has been VERY sloppy lately (see narrations above!).  The problem is that he is *very* resistant to fixing mistakes/sloppiness or rewriting, so I've been avoiding it a bit.  Sigh.  I really need to bite the bullet!  Cursive instruction is going well.  He's really enjoying putting letters together--he's done lowercase c, a, and d so far.

As part of our revised schedule/routine, we take some "recess" breaks and some "school" breaks.  The recess breaks are true breaks where he can go play outside, play in his room, etc.  But I was finding that giving him too much time to go play while I worked with Brennan was leading to a lot of resistance when it was time to get going again.  Plus, he was missing out on the fun/interactive independent activities I used to plan for him to work on during those times.  So we instituted the "school" breaks.  During a school break, he can choose from an assortment of fun, independent activities (file folder games, puzzles, workbooks that he enjoys, wikki stix, etc.) until I'm ready to work with him again.  He likes getting to choose, and it's much easier to get him back on task than when I'm trying to tear him away from Legos or playing outside.  Here he is playing one of our file folder games--"Snail Mail."  He has to read the directions on each piece of mail (2 north, 3 east, one south) and figure out where to deliver all the letters.  I found this game (and many others!) at .

Math:  He worked on RS A lessons 17 and 18 this week, learning about 10s and equilateral triangles.  Let me tell you, it's fun to hear him say "equilateral."  *grin*  I love the way RS teaches 10s.  The students learn to think of 20, 30, 40, etc. as 2-ten, 3-ten, 4-ten, and so on, which really helps them understand how numbers work and how to manipulate them.  The concept works really well with our straw-counting activity that I mentioned in this post, because he can *see* that 20 really is two tens.  RS includes activities to help them grasp the concept as well.  Here, he's building two tens with tally sticks (and again, I love it, because it's laying the ground work to show that each of those 10's is made up of two 5's) and then entering 6-ten on the abacus.

Phonics:  We're still on final consonant blends, reviewing and practicing for fluency.  He can pretty much read any of them, but sometimes he gets a little distracted and reads the incorrect vowel sound.  I'm planning to pull out some games next week to help with the review/practice.  I need to find my Rotten Banana cards--a fun review game that can be used for almost anything.  I don't know where I put them--they've been missing for a while . . . 

Science:  He finished his spider lapbook!  He had a lot of fun learning about spiders.  I just have a couple of pics--I'll post more in a few days.

Handwriting:  Still loving it, still frustrated that I won't let him sit down and do the whole book!  He worked on  Z, O, Q, G, and 2 and 3 this week.  

Bible:  Our big hands-on Bible activity this week was with our lesson on Ruth.  We talked about how God provided for Naomi and Ruth and blessed them by allowing Ruth to be King David's great-grandmother and an ancestor of Jesus.  After we talked about how much hard work it was for Ruth and Naomi to get and prepare food, we made bread, pointing out how much easier it was for us to do it with a mixer, a gas oven, prepared flour, etc.  They really enjoyed it, and it was a great tie-in to a science experiment we did with yeast a few weeks ago.  We had put yeast, warm water, and sugar into a bottle and then waited and checked later to see that the yeast had given off gas as it multiplied, inflating the balloon.  I was able to explain how the yeast did the same thing in the bread dough to make the bread light and springy, and they got to see the dough rise. And it was a yummy snack!
Adding ingredients

Punching down the dough after 1st rising

Separating dough into balls for rolls

After final rising

Fresh out of the oven

Taste testing


It was definitely a hit!

We also finished reading aloud The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett and began The Enchanted Castle, by Edith Nesbit.  They *loved* The Secret Garden, which surprised me a bit (but also thrilled me, since it was one of my favorite books as a child!), Connor especially.  We had some really good talks about all the secrets that are revealed in the book and how many things and people change and grow just like the garden.  We've just gotten into The Enchanted Castle, but I think it's going to be really good.  I was a bit nervous at first because of the vocabulary (it was written in 1907), but they seem to be hanging in there pretty well.  I'm always amazed at how much they just absorb.  

We've also started Little House on the Prairie (this is our school time read aloud; The Enchanted Castle is for bedtime), which, believe it or not, I never read as a child.  We finished Little House in the Big Woods a couple of weeks ago, and we've enjoyed the first few chapters of Little House so far.  I love reading aloud with them!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of a school break as opposed to a recess. I will have to think about adding that into our day. I think it would help keep my younger one on track.

    Also love the spider lap book and pics of making bread. What a fun week!