Friday, September 27, 2013

September 23-27

2nd Grade
Last week I introduced time with the snapcube blocks to the 1st and 2nd grader.  This is such an awesome activity!  Putting it together is great reinforcement but then it gives it a much more hands-on approach to their lesson. Just remember when you are doing more than just half past and quarter of' like the "nearest 5 minutes", to push those snapcubes together so they touch...otherwise it's a bit confusing for the student! 

Daily Math
So, what do you do when a child "masters" the lesson but really is pretty hesitant in it yet?  I have that happen frequently.  So in comes, Daily Math.  I plan to make this a bit more orderly...when I have time.  Ha!  But right now I needed something quick.  So I grabbed the magnetic dry erase lap board.  I write down a large number to add.  He must use base ten blocks to add it together.  He writes out the expanded form for the addends, and I work with him with the answer written out in word form.  His penmanship is a struggle yet and he would not be able to write it in that area yet.  Then he writes out the three numbers in any order and compares them.  And now that we are doing time, I make sure one of the addends can be turned into a digital time reading and we make a simple clock with it.  Erase and start over the next day!

By the end of the week it was all getting much easier.  :-)  I'm a firm believer that they learn things a lot better/swifter with 'quick' practices over the course of days vs. spending a big chunk of time on one day.  Below is a picture of what it evolved to by the end of the week.  

I am still considering creating a laminated page for this kind of daily math but considering how much improvement he has made already in just a week of this...I might hold off another week and see if we even need it or if we'll just be changing concepts.  :-)

Time Relationships
I don't think K12 spends enough time on this...and to be truthful...I really don't have much of an idea of how to extend it.  It's really just memorization.  So we'll sing this song here (and hopefully at home) every day until we get the relationships.  :-)  Very simple...perfect for what we need.  You can find this document here at Mrs. Rios Teaches.
1st Grade
So, snapcubes.  Um, anyone else have problems with kids ability to use them easily?  I actually had purchased a huge quantity of snap cubes awhile back for my preschool kiddos.  They could hardly ever use them.  They were so hard to snap together and take apart.  Well, the school-agers do a bit better with them and that's a material K12 provides.  However, after last year, I put Unifix Cubes on my list "to purchase".  MUCH more easier to use.  :-) I only have a set of 100 and when they are being stored, the children are expected to put them back into their groups of 10, by color.  Why?  Because when I work with 1st and 2nd graders I actively teach them to start counting with the biggest number they know in their addition problems.  Counting by ones can take a LONG time.  But starting with a set of ten, moves us along.  An example:
12 + 14
She would have a set of 10 in one color, and add two more in a different color.  She would also have a set of 10 in another color and add four more using, again, a different color.  Then she sees she has 2 sets of 10 which equal 20 and then all she has to count are the ones.  20, 21, 22...

Addition Mat
Being organized is a skill that MUST be taught.  I don't know many kids that start out their math in an organized way.  Ha!  However, after counting and recounting and counting again...finally I learned my lesson and started teaching them that skip counting is faster and you MUST organize it as you are counting or you are going to either miss something or count something twice.  :-)  A sign that I'm not the most patient person.  I know I'm not.  It's something I struggle with immensely.  Anyway, this is a mat I use with preschoolers who are just beginning the concept of adding but it's perfect for what we were doing this week in 1st grade.  You can find mats like this all over the Internet.  I'd share this one but it's on the old computer and it's quite a process to upload.  Just google "addition mats". Or you can easily draw one! Anyway, she was learning about the Associative Property.  8+2=2+8.  We could take the piles and switch them and she had a tactile and visual way of seeing that it did NOT matter...the answer is going to be the same.  :-)

Math Vocabulary

This is a very nice free printable from SparkleBox.  Check it out!  Great to put together together and post on the wall and review frequently.  This active teaching of the different words used to mean "addition" is important.  We don't always say "plus" in story problems...or real life.  One word they are missing is "and" though.  But, that's okay.  

Art 2: Henri Matisse- Paper Cut Collage
  His "under the sea/ocean" theme ended up with an underwater volcano.  :-)

 Looks like chaos...that container....but it's actually what I consider "organized chaos".  I have plenty of plastic drawers and this one holds our scrap paper.  Each color (and all shades of that color) are in one gallon bag...not necessary zipped.  When they are stored...the bags lay down flat.  When they are being used, we stand them up.  That way the kids can see what they need, get it, and put the larger scraps back into its bag, right away, vs. having a pile to be sorted later.  Teaching them how to trim their extra paper is something I do early on.  One less thing for me to do!  They trim them to rectangles or squares that will fit easily in the bag.

Primary and Secondary Colors
(1st and 2nd grade) We did this as a morning group lesson.  
Mixing the colors.  :-)
This won't find in the end product.  Ha!  It didn't stay that way with a face...very fitting Halloween face.  Tee hee!
3rd row, middle art project...was the face T., the preschooler, was painting above. :-D
K., 1st year with us, loves all the little extra "art" we do.  They don't get these open ended art projects at our local schools.  No official art program...and art tends to be lumped into paper crafts.  We won't get on that subject right at the moment.  :-D
I absolutely LOVE starting the day off with art.  It's our chosen morning group whenever possible.  Look at that picture on the left!  All children calm, focused, enjoying their work.  It's very common for me to be asked if we can listen to some classical music during this time...and of course I'm quite willing to do that!  Picture on the right...a bit of paint left on their paint.  I thought I was putting very little on their plate for the colors...only about a quarter size of paint of each color...but all of them had extra paint and they all explored with mixing it all together at the end.  Ha!

Art 5:  Paper Button Blanket.  :-)
This shows a bit of A.'s humor.  So he had his "double headed rooster" as he called it.  It was representing our family.  Ha!  He had all the little "buttons" painted on.  Then he decided to use the Exacto knife to make a face.  Ha ha ha!  It gives it a completely different look and threw me for a loop.  Do you see it what I mean?  I still chuckle every time I look at it.  

Another Art 5 lesson using chalk.  
I had found a large set of chalk on clearance this same week.  He was so excited when I put it in the room "for him".  Being the oldest...there are a lot of things he "misses" from brick and mortar.  And with a brother with Asperger tendencies and the rest of the kiddos needing more 1:1 than he does...I do have to make a point to recognize him and set time aside for him.  But little things like having his own set of art supplies makes a big difference.  :-)  He loves his new room set up with his own computer and desk.  No more sitting on the floor with a laptop.  He loves that every once in awhile I pop something on his desk, like this box of chalk, that is "just for him" because he's the oldest and most responsible so I can trust him to "take care" of these things.  It makes schooling at home "special" for him.

Art 3
C. started school last year with the attitude that he did NOT like art.  He didn't even "like" Language Arts because it had the word "art" in it.  Okay...we have come a LONG ways.  Why didn't he like art?  An Asperger tendency is very poor fine motor skills.  So, yes, his work didn't have the same quality as his very creative/artistic...I LOVE ART...older brother.  But the other reason was because he had never really been TAUGHT art.  So, thank you...K12/MVCA!  Right away here he brought in something from last year...the horizon line.  He also made evergreen trees like he was taught last year.  Though he didn't show many details here...he talked a lot about what he learned about perspective and positioning.  Very simple art process and project for him but such an improvement in attitude and ability from last year!

1st Grade Phonics
 Digraph can find this free printable at Classroom Freebies.

Cute little visual you can find at Travel, Teach, and Love.  I actually printed all 4 rules off on one page for my 5th grader.  Helped immensely in reviewing the "plural rules".
Here is an apple sort for plurals that I used with K.  I didn't get a picture of her doing it I guess.  Probably was on Monday.  I got very few pictures on that day.  I just printed multiple pages on one page and she used this is a sort and glue activity. You can find this at Herding Kats in Kindergarten.

Wh Wheel

Compound Words
Dollar Tree special.  :-)  Magnet words and pictures!

Sight Word Practice
Bottle lids this week.  :-)

Day 1: introduce with Ms. Amber.  Which ones does she already know?  Review the ones she did not master last week.  I started writing the week number on the set of cards so I knew if she was taking a longer time with a specific word.  So far, she masters most of them in a week and if she didn't get it the week before...she gets it the next week.  Works for me!
Day 2:  Build the words.  SAY, SPELL, SAY!

  Day 3:  Lid "Hockey".
Here she tried to figure out what the word was BEFORE looking at her cards.  Then she would say, spell, say and then spell again as she flicked the lids into the "goal".  LOVED this!  And so did the other kids.  Ha!

Day 4:  Build the word and create a picture with the lids.  :-)

Day 5:  we review the word cards and check off whether she read and/or spelled the words and the date.

 Sometimes an older child needs a bit more practice with sight words.  I really try to find different activities for these two younger kiddos since they are siblings.

I found these sheets at Teacher Pay Teachers.  Dolch Sight Word Activity sheets.  I felt they were worth the cost, granted, I picked them up when she was having a buy 2 get 2 deal going on.  TeachersPayTeachers is a great "go-to" site for reinforcement activities.  Many are free.  :-)  Anyway, L. had to write, color, circle, and stamp/stickers the focus word, do a do-a-dot maze, and then I had him write the word 3 times and write a sentence for me using that word correctly.  I think it'll work out just fine.  With him, I went back to preprimer words.  There were a few he didn't spell correctly routinely.  Partly is because of his penmanship.  Last year we did a lot of dictation so "if you don't use it, you lose it."  If a student doesn't use the words in his writing, memorizing how to spell them is just for a couple weeks and then it's forgotten again.  So a kiddo MUST use the words in their writing after they learn them. 

 Wow!  Do you see the smile?  Life is much easier for C. this year.  We now look at him through the Asperger lens.  I see many more smiles.  Okay, the story behind this picture...he spent 40 minutes looking at his paper in the morning.  If you know a bit about Asperger's, you know that the writing process is a struggle, to say the least. downfall of being in his own room for school is that I was unaware he sat for 40 minutes with nothing on his paper.  Ugh.  Talk about wasted time.  Anyway, lesson learned.  Be aware when he is starting writing (this was a test readiness, part three) and check on him routinely.  So that afternoon, we pulled it out again and I gave him a brief lesson about how to draw his own visual organizer.  Ta da!  :-)  Actually, it still took him forever to finish this.  An average Test Readiness paragraph takes about 1.5-2 hours for C., so we have to plan accordingly.  It IS getting better.  The more he does it the easier it will be.  I do not allow him to dictate his work to me for Test Readiness because he won't be allowed to do that on the MEAP.  However, we really can't take 1-2 hours on a paragraph on a normal basis so a lot of writing for C. is dictated and I write it. Composition will be completely 1:1.

I've mentioned the Draw Write Now series I purchased.  I love them and I see SUCH an improvement this year.  Something I'll mention here also...MVCA will work with you if you have a 2nd grader ready to start cursive.  :-)  Typically it doesn't start until 3rd grade.  So anyway, last year I had two 2nd graders.  One had absolutely beautiful penmanship...when he wanted.  C., not so much.  Another Asperger tendency...poor fine motor control.  Anyway...I started them both in on they have a year under their belt.  :-)  I wanted to share C.'s draw write now cursive copywork.  AMAZING difference between cursive and print.  So...consider that if you have a kiddo who never seems to do well with print.  :-)  It won't be the case for all kids might be for yours!

 Preschooler in the house!
There are MANY of us that have younger children while we are schooling the older children.  I hope to spend a bit more time with what we do with a preschooler in the house as our weeks get smoother.  The blog there is
Actually, I might share this DVD he was watching.  I find that there are some children that need to be taught how to draw.  I, myself, am not a great drawer.  So I came across this DVD at the library.  I used it last year with my 2nd grader, now 3rd grader...and I checked it out again for T., 4 years old.  He did awesome!

A little "extra" for C. he'll be working with for awhile.  Animal classification.  You can print the document I created for this here. I laminated, cut apart and he used toothpicks.  The idea came from The Tiger Chronicle.

Another one of C.'s "extras".  You can find this printable at MatchCard Science.
Since I do a science unit on and a science unit off...C. finishes his "extras" from the previous science unit during the week of his history unit.  One reason is because we just don't have time to do all those extras when we are doing the actual lesson.  But the other thing is that he wants to do science AND history every day.  :-)  His two favorite subjects.  Ha!

Language Arts/Literature
Grade 2
K12's curriculum does a splendid job and introducing various genres!  Anyway, we are finally finishing up an "extra" from last week's LA2, poetry with feelings.  I've learned not to assume they know what each of those feeling words mean.  So, Mr. L., loved the robots. You can find them here Mr. Printables.  We printed them smaller, cut them out and glued them around his drawing of himself.  Made our very own bubble map.  :-)  He dictated what made him feel these different emotions.  Good for all kids to think about!

I love THINKING MAPS.  If you have never heard of them before...please google them.  :-)  They are great for beginner writers.  This one I had L. start last week with his LA2:  Creepy Crawly Poems.  It's a visual organizer where he tells/writes what an insect...can, have, are, etc.  Then this week he finished writing a few sentences about it.  I would have definitely preferred for him to have finished it last week while it was fresh on his mind...but reality is...some things get pushed off until "later".  
You can find this free

Love this expression!
 Obviously I have the camera handy all day.  They have learned not to be distracted by it.  Here he is retelling The Fox and the Grapes to me before we do the rest of the assignment.  Sometimes I provide props for him to use...other times I don't.  It really depends on how much time we have.
We did take a few moments to create simple stick puppets for The Goose and the Golden Egg though.

Check the DLTK site for stick puppet printables for common stories.

Grade 1
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble 
A favorite book amongst us all here.  We actually did the first lesson from LA1 together as a morning group.  They LOVED it.  And the older kiddos were able to add to the conversation.  We had a lot of inferring going on that morning.  I LOVE how inference is actively taught! Anyway, 2nd lesson we were doing cause and effect.  Here's another intro activity we did before making this flap book.
Sorry, really small image and I didn't get a photo of K doing this either.  Check it out!  Very helpful.

File Folder Games
Just wanted to slip in this.  File folder games are GREAT for review.  I've been lucky and the Wirt Library in Bay City, MI has quite a few already created and laminated.  I have hoards of file folder "ideas", books with patterns, copies of file folder patterns on my hard drive...but no time to create them.  :-/  Ha!  Isn't that the way it goes.  So, VERY glad for the person to created these and donated them to the library (or maybe they made them themselves!)
Here is one where she is just proving she knows time to the hour.  The picture on the right...poor girl...she is SO tired...this was the last activity of this day.  I just didn't want her to start playing and then Dad show up ready to go.  She really only had 5 minutes left.  But, she heard those /ch/ sounds at the beginning and end just perfectly.  Again, a great way to review...or even introduce a topic and find out just where they are at!
Don't forget games!  They can be very educational!

I love how a 5th grader and a 2nd grader can play a game well together.  That ability to work with someone not your age is a skill that will benefit them through life.
 The morning after a library trip.  Ah!  Peace reigns in the house.  :-) 

This is kind of a neat picture that shows a bit about interests and personalities.  :-)
What on earth?!  Ha!

I'm a stickler on letter formation and penmanship.  Granted, I know what each child is capable of and do go from definitely different expectations for each child.  But one thing I have learned over the years is that posture and such makes a BIG difference in how well our penmanship is.
 One downfall to schooling at home for us is that we live in a small house and have multiple children here.  I do not have a school room.  Would like one...but it's not an option.  So with that being said, we have 2 kid size computer desks in the kitchen.  They work great up until about 8 years old.  Their feet can touch the floor, etc.  After about 8, they are getting kind of small.  Anyway...we have to use booster seats at the kitchen table for the 3 youngest.  One habit they both have is to sit with their left hand bent back and on the booster seat.  Oh my goodness...what a difference in their penmanship when they do that.  So...this week...I had them both stamp their left hand and I cut it out and popped it onto the table next to their paper to remind them that their hand goes up on the table.  Now, we can get into the proper positioning of that left hand and the paper but I won't get into that because I find that by the time they are at this age, they have their "comfortable position" habits formed.  My opinion, if they don't effect their handwriting, I let it go and don't fuss with it.  However, if you want more information about that...feel free to google it.  
Friday Icecream Snack
Sundae Buffet.  YUM! 
We finally got out to pick apples from Grandma's tree.  We live next door to Great-Grandma and this is from her tree.  

It's awesome living next to a relative...they have quite an area to play.  Part of it is a thin strand of woods that goes next to and behind both of our properties.  It's perfect for playing!  Too hot...go in the trees.  Too cold...go in the trees.  Sprinkling...go in the trees.  Ha!  No excuse for not getting some fresh air!  They are always making and remaking forts back there.  BOYS!
With us having more students than just our family...we run into the same issue that the classroom teacher has of, "Okay, we have 10 minutes left...not really a lot of time to start anything.  What are we going to do?"
Had that happen today so we fell back on a game they enjoyed at brick and mortar and at our house last  year.  Silent Ball.  Ha!  Now you know why I like it!  1 piece of equipment...a ball.  And SILENT kids.  Tee hee!  Actually, what I did today was use the inflatable globe and in between each game we reviewed geography questions that each of the kiddos have learned over the last few weeks.  I love doing group reviews like that because when the student doesn't quite know the answer...another student can "help".  And also, the other students are hearing ABOVE grade level material and it extends their thinking.  

(Side note...the big kid in the back of the right picture was grinning about 10 seconds before this picture.  He looks really bored here.  He's more upset because I handed the ball to L. vs. him.  He didn't know what my plan was.  He was grinning again shortly.  He loves Silent Ball.)