Friday, January 7, 2011
the week in review 1/3 - 1/7
Since it is a new year, I decided to begin a new blogging tradition of summing up our learning at the end of each week. Sometimes the weeks go by in such a blur of activity that I wonder if we did anything at all, and I hope that this might be a way to reflect back on what we've learned and enjoyed each week. I'll blog about each child, what we did, what worked, and what did not.
K is not quite 3 yet, so we don't do any formal work at all. I have a large assortment of art supplies readily available for her, as well as some Montessori materials, and I let her choose what she would like to do while I work with her brother and sister. Most of the time she chooses creative free play, but this week she also organized her knobless cylinders by size and color, worked with play-do and paints, and did some graphing with her sister. We read lots of stories, her favorites being two library books she picked out, "Snuggle Wuggle", and "Flip, Flap, Fly". On Wednesday she went to the South Shore Natural Science Center with our wonderful babysitter while I took D and J to their music lessons. She got to feed the turtles and she held a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach!
J finished another story in her first grade reader this week. She worked from her handwriting book and also drew pictures, mostly of birds and ducks. J decided she wanted to learn all about animals this year, and so far we have studied birds and mammals. We've now moved on to reptiles and have learned about turtles, snakes, lizards, and tuataras. This week we learned about the crocodilian family of reptiles. We use "Around the World in 80 Tales" to learn geography. We focus on one continent at a time, locating it on a map or globe, reading the story from a specific country, and then reading about that continent and country in our Children's Atlas. J and I made her a passport at the beginning of the year and each time we read a story from a country she puts a flag sticker from that particular country in her atlas. This week we read "The Golden Horshoe", a story from Guatemala. That wrapped up our unit study of North America. Next week we will be cooking some southern-style food and making some crafts to compliment this unit. Our math lessons included making a graph using color blocks, making an ABC pattern using pattern blocks, acting out subtraction stories using bears, and playing math computer games. She practiced violin every day and started learning "The Happy Farmer" by Schumann. At Monday Funday J took a gym class and a KEVA class. This week she went to gymnastics, violin group class, and brownies. We read lots of books out loud, but focused mainly on James and the Giant Peach, which we are reading for her book club. All three of the kids build with KEVA planks this week - a lot! J made a dinosaur and animal habitat/sanctuary that she has expanded every day. I'm going to need to get some more planks soon.
For language arts this week D wrote from dictation, using literature passages from "Trumpet of the Swan" by E.B White, learned about when to use commas when addressing a person, reviewed conjunctions, learned about compound sentences, worked on antonyms and learned about the suffix -ful. He did some shape analogies for enrichment.
His math this week focused on thousands, millions, and place-value notation. He also reviewed how to find the area of a square, triangle, parallelogram, and trapezoid.
D worked from his Presidents and States workbook this week, learning about the three branches of government and the system of checks and balances. The material is a bit dry, but he was a good sport about it. We watched some School House Rock episodes to relieve the tedium, specifically "I'm just a Bill" , "Three-Ringed Government", and " Conjunction Junction". We had a history lesson planned, but D had a lot of fun building a civil war camp out of KEVA planks, so I let the lesson go. We will save it for next week.
He started the next level of Latin this week, and reviewed some verbs and the first conjugation.
D read about inclined planes from "The New Way Things Work" by David MacAulay and also watched Brainpop videos about inclined planes, Sir Isaac Newton, and Newton's three laws of motion. We did an experiment with lego cars and blocks of wood to show how using an inclined plane lessens the effort needed to move an object. We used a spring scale to measure and compare the force of lifting an object, and pulling an object up an inclined plane. Good to know, I guess, in case I ever decide to build a pyramid or hoist a piano up to the second floor of my house.
At Monday Funday D built with LEGOS and made a simple motorized robot using LEGO Mindstorms. He also took a gym class. His activities this week included hockey (4 times this week, I might add!), theater, art, and drum lessons.
D is listening to "Water Street" by Patricia Reilly Giff on CD, and is reading "Over the Waves" by Marianne Olson, and the first book in the "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" series.
It was a busy week. I am exhausted, too exhausted to cook eve, which is rare for me, and am looking forward to a nice dinner out with my family. Wow, this was a long post - I may have to rethink this brilliant week in review idea, or at least learn how to condense things for next week!