Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Virtual Book Club- Amy Krouse Rosenthal

For the month of October the Virtual Book Club for kids is reading books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
We chose the book This Plus That.

For our first activity we mixed different paint colors to make new paint colors. Red + Yellow = Orange, Yellow + Blue = Green, etc. The kids had a great time playing with paint. After our pictures dried we were able to see the mixtures better. I let the kids decide which colors they wanted to mix together. 

After reading the book a couple of times I asked Miss E (5) to give me her own equations. I started off by asking her what she thought of when I said different words. Here is what she came up with:
running + playing = fun
friends + road = play
rain + jumping = fun in puddles
hugs + kisses + "I love you" = family
food + bed = home

The last activity we did with This Plus That was to make oobleck. I got some of the idea from my good friend, Allison, over at Train Up A Child

equal parts (cornstarch + water) = oobleck
water + foodcoloring + freezer = colored ice
cornstarch + colored ice = fun

I've never made oobleck before. I knew that I needed equal parts cornstarch and water. I did not make it to the grocery store before we did our activity and I ran short on the cornstarch. The kids had fun anyway. I put some cornstarch into my plastic container and then we added the ice cubes. The kids moved the ice cubes around to noticed the different colors. Once the ice started to melt they were fascinated with the swirls of the different colors. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week 6 - Leaves and Heart Smiles

Bible Exodus 15-27, memory verse Ephesians 6:1 (one of my favorites!! **wink wink**)
Classical Conversations (CC) Memory work Week 4

This week we worked on the letters 'O' and 'H'. I'm trying to find ways to keep Miss E interested in grammar. One thing she enjoys doing is matching the upper and lower case letters together. After we get our letters together I point to each letter randomly and she has to tell me what the letter is and what sound it makes. This week we did two things with our letter hearts. For the first I just said words and asked her to match the beginning sound. That is actually one of her activities with her Lexia program this level. The other thing I've done is put words together with the letters we have 'learned'. She struggles a little bit, here. Once she figures out the word she gets excited but she does not have the patience to sound words out. I've started giving her words that she should recognize from her Bob Book. That seems to help a little bit.

It is hard to get her to write things. She is having a hard time making her letters 'correctly'. We've done 'rainbow writing' and she likes that but not everyday, she really hates to do the phonics work from our curriculum. She does like to do dictating/copy work when it is relevant, I think we might start copying her Bob Books or just words that are formed with letters we have learned.

Our conferences are coming up next week with our host school. I'm pretty nervous about the literature requirement. I don't really understand what it is I'm supposed to 'show' our teacher, we do a lot of reading of literature, but very little writing. So, this week I found a couple of books that are not a part of our curriculum and came up with a couple of ideas to try out. I'm going to present both next week and will then go from there.

I did some digging/internet surfing and found There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves!. We read this book several times this week and did different kinds of story sequencing activities. The first activity I had Miss E do was to re-tell the story with her own pictures and words to describe the picture. She drew a pumpkin and then wrote 'pumpkin' at the bottom of the picture. We used the book as a reference.
She is like her momma in the fact that she does not like to draw. She struggled with trying to figure out what to draw or how to draw what she wanted and then kept telling me that she couldn't do it. I think she did a great job!!

The second activity used pictures I found from 3 dinosaurs. I just printed off the pictures that went with the story and had both kids put them in order as we read the book. I was working with Miss E on something else and Little Man decided to give his sequencing a try on his own. He eventually got the book and flipped through the pages on his own putting the pictures in order. When we read the book together, they actually picked the 'next' item before I read that part of the story.

The last thing I had Miss E do was re-tell the story in writing using  sequencing order. I had the words printed, along with little pictures, in one column and then the numbers 1-7 in the second column. She then wrote the words in the correct order. (Hindsight being what it is, I should have had her do the first activity last, but I didn't think of these other activities until after we were done the first day).

We also participated in Read for the Record by reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad on October 4. I asked Miss E a couple of questions, these are her words:
If you were in the bug squad who would you be? The Prettiest butterfly in the whole world.
What would you do for your play date? I would sneak up on dad and you, mom. I would play bug squad, sneaking all over the house. I would eat chocolate cupcakes with butterflies on them. Vanilla frosting with pink frosting butterflies. We would pretend we were flipping from flower to flower to flower. We would drink good water. ~She said all of this while she and Little Man acted out the entire scene. I love how she went from playing by herself in her story to playing with a group.

In math we have continued our counting with the numbers 6-8.
I got out counters to represent quantity. This particular day we were talking about 7. We rearranged the sticks in different groups and talked about how they all added to be 7. Miss E knew that we had 7 sticks so just adding the different groups was not a stretch really but she was having fun rearranging the sticks to make different groupings. She then announced to her brother that if she added one more, she would have 8 sticks!!

Another activity this week was to match a certain number of objects to the correct numeral. I admit, I was being lazy, but then saw a wonderful teaching opportunity. Instead of cutting each little object apart to having just single objects, I left them in groups of four. Miss E then had to figure out how to make the correct number she was needing. So when she had to come up with 7 objects, she took two of the groups of four and told me she needed to cut one off. I was impressed!! (Okay, proud mom moment.) She figured it out on her own and then did the same with 6. She was really excited when we got to 8 and she didn't have to do any cutting.

We read several books for history this week. We read The Story of Hanukkah and talked about where Isreal is located on the globe. We read The Three Trees and Jesus. As we were reading Jesus we got to Jesus's miracles and Miss E stops me. We just read about Jesus turning the water to wine at the wedding in Cana, she says, "Mom we have that song in the car." I asked, "What song?" She starts singing, "Water turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind, there's no one like You, none like You" (Our God by Chris Tomlin). Let's just say my heart melted!! Using Jesus we again talked about where Israel and Egypt are located on the globe. I also printed off a map of Israel and we found the cities of Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.

Miss E comes up with, what some would think are, the most random associations. Most of the time I'm not sure she is ever paying attention when we do our reading time. It doesn't matter if I have her sitting in my lap or if we make a comfortable spot on the floor, both of my kids are doing gymnastics, playing, etc. But then there are times like this, she stops me and tells me something that totally melts my heart and makes me remember WHY I'm doing what I'm doing. It makes me remember that even when my kids are 'busy' they are still listening. Most of all it reminds me that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in my house. He is doing His thing in the hearts of my children.

Poetry was fun this week with reading The Hare and the Tortoise. This same story is talked about in our math curriculum this week so the story a couple times from different books. We also read a couple more fables from Aesop's for Children.

Fall officially started a week ago, however San Diego has not gotten the memo. Monday and Tuesday the temperature was around 100!! Not to be detoured by the weather, in science this week we talked about leaves. Our science book Why Do Leaves Change Color? was full of information on leaves. Our CC science sentence this week is about the parts of plant cells. So, we did a lot of stuff with leaves and fall. One of our activities was to go on a nature walk. We took a stroll around one of our local lakes and park today with a friend. We found something in nature that represented each of the letters we have learned. The kids rode their bikes while I walked with a friend. The highlight of the entire morning was this:

I'm not exactly sure what he was doing, but every time I asked him to come away from the edge, he only moved his feet. Funny boy!!

I also had the kids collect leaves before we left the park. We took the leaves and did some leaf rubbing. Little Man enjoyed himself and did several leaves and come up with a nice picture. Miss E did not care for the activity and asked repeatedly to be done.

School is an adventure!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 5 - The Librarian Who Measured The Earth

Bible: Exodus 3-14, memory Psalm 56:3
Classical Conversations Memory Work - We turned a corner in our memory work in finding the timeline song on one of the CDs I ordered. Both kids love it and I've found myself humming the tune.

We finished Chapter 2 in our math curriculum. Miss E is good at recognizing and writing numbers 1-5. She is also good at reading picture graphs.

Phonics this week went really well. We reviewed all the letter sounds that we have learned so far and she did some more rainbow writing. Miss E read the next Bob Book, Sam. Miss E and Little Man learned 'O', too. We went to the zoo on Friday and I told her that to count our day as a school day she needed to read to me. I pulled out both Mat and Sam, at first she was a little mad that I brought the books with me, but then she read them both. We also turned a corner this week with our Lexia program. She finished the first module which dealt with word endings and rhyming sounds that she hated and started a new module that deals with letter sounds and blends. She is liking it so much better that she has been asking to work on Lexia. I'm loving the turn around. I know that things will change again, but I'm going to ride this as long as possible.

History and Science we connected this week with us reading The Librarian Who Measured the Earth. Our curriculum had us look at the globe at Libya, Greece, and Egypt. We also talked about ants, scrolls, and dictionaries. We ran out of time this week, so early next week we are going to talk about circumference. Eratosthenes is credited to have completed the first geography book of the world and his measurement of the earth's circumference is fairly accurate.

This is Miss E's scroll. Translation at the bottom.
When we were at the zoo we looked at the cutter ants. We were fascinated at watching them carry parts of leaves through their 'home'. I found a diagram of an ant and had Miss E do some copy work with naming the different parts of an ant. I found a Children's Dictionary in my collection of books. We talked about what dictionaries are for. Miss E loves looking at the words and pictures. I think we will be using the Dictionary a lot in the future.

We've been reading a lot of different poetry. This week all the poems were from The Aesop for Children. We've also been looking at different pictures from A Child's Book of Art.

The highlight of our week was our trip to the zoo!! This week the zoo was celebrating reptiles and since we studied reptiles a couple of weeks ago I thought it would be fun to see some real reptiles. We had a lot of fun trying to find the reptiles that were 'hiding'.