Friday, September 20, 2013

Snapshots from September 16th-20th

 Featured Math Activity!  :-D
Got the idea from Teaching Special Thinkers
These two worked together as she is being introduced and he is reviewing.  They created the clock...with numerals 1-12 on the inside of the snap cubes and counting by 5s on the outside of the snap cubes.  Then we used a LONG paint brush for the minute hand and a SHORT paint brush for the hour.  I've had kids that struggle with which hand is for what.  So with the LONG paintbrush, they could see that we could move and "touch" each minute/snap cube.  With the SHORT paintbrush...they could tell that wasn't so easily done.  We focused on o'clock and half past.  I really emphasized that the hour hand is halfway between the two numbers.   I so recommend this hands-on approach!  I put all the materials into a gallon bag and will make it again and again until they can get it together without thinking much about it.  :-)

L. working on a couple art projects.

Line Leaves
After a lesson about many different kinds of lines...we went on a leaf hunt outside.  Then the next morning we did a project like this...

The Leaf Line Art projects were great to reinforce the many different kinds of lines we find in art.
1st grade-thin markers               5th grade- gel pens 
3rd grade- thick markers
                 2nd grade- colored pencils    preschool-thin markers                                             
Leonardo DaVinci and Sketchbooks 

 All the kiddos had this lesson.  So, group it was.  :-)  We learned about Leonardo DaVinci (BrainPop helped with this.)  We actually didn't spend a whole lot of time on the actual lesson because we spent a BIG portion of time on it last year as a group.  So it was a review for all but the 1st grader.  Then they each chose something to sketch. :-)  That was fun to observe!  Even the preschooler did it!  Here's his fire truck...

We didn't get to all of C.'s "extras" for science.  Not surprising...a little disappointing.  But so be it.  He was doing a unit in History this week so I thought he could finish up his Weather "extras" but we really only got to this one.  It was a page of "clouds".  He used magnet letters to spell Cumulonimbus and then wrote a word that could be created from those letters into the clouds. 

Science 5:  Ocean Currents
One thing A. struggles with is that he is accustomed to listening to someone give him step by step directions to a science project.  I fell back to that last year also...but this year I really want him to learn to follow the WRITTEN directions...step by step.  He tends to skim when he's reading and then he misses important steps (He does the same in recipes!).  So here he is trying to make this science project go smoothly "on his own".  Out in the kitchen with me so I can observe...but "without" me.  He was successful...after a bit!  :-D

1st Grade Phonics
She "pounded out" the word and punched a hole in the corresponding number on the side of the picture. I realize I need an easier hole punch.  The love the idea of punching holes but it was difficult for her to do! 

'ch' search 
Hungry for Lunch Poem by Monica Saunders
(For the life of my I can't find the original document...when I do I'll add the link).
After having fun reading it...she took a highlighter to find all the 'ch' words.

I am hungry for lunch!
Munch, munch, crunch!

A sandwich and some cheese
oh please, please, please.
Peaches, cherries, grape by the bunch
Who has my lunch?

An elephant with my sandwich?
Stomp, stomp
Chomp, chomp
No more lunch.
Thanks a bunch!

SH/CH Sort
You can find this printable here at Make Take and Teach.
This brings to mind what my preschooler said this week.  K. was doing the online portion of PhonicsWorks...reviewing all the digraphs.  We can hear her saying the sounds out load.  My preschooler said.  "Who is she shushing?"  Ha!  /sh/  :-D

Here's another visual we used this week.
TPT store... free :-)  Click here!  If you don't utilize Teachers Pay Teachers...please consider it.  There are a lot of generous teachers out there sharing their work for FREE! 

Fall "ALL" Tree
A simple little activity to emphasize the "double trouble" letters.  We painted and printed her arm for a tree.  Then we worked together to come up with words to rhyme with "all".  Those were written on the foam leaves (Oriental Trading).  She then glued those on and then glued some other leaves to fill out the tree.  Simple, easy, "quick", AND she loved!  Over the next week I hope to do an activity like this for each of the double trouble letters we learned about this week in PhonicsWorks.

Well, how do you do dictation?  :-)  Last year we did the notebook route and it was neat for the child to see how he progressed.  But really, with this kiddo...she doesn't have the same handwriting struggles so instead of a writing notebook, we do dictation on a different material every week.  The individual words, anyway.  The sentences we've been doing on the sliding glass door with markers.  :-)  This week we used chalk and a chalkboard.

I've learned to get outside as much as possible now...because when winter comes.... :-)  We played kickball every day this week.  It was great!  Even the preschooler really caught on quickly!

1st Grade Sight Words
Refresher:  Monday we go through the words to see which she can read and spell.  Since these are mostly "review" we are doing all of the week's words from PhonicsWorks...every day instead of introducing 3-4 each day.  So Sight Word practice takes a bit longer right now than it will in a few weeks.  Tuesday-Thursday she practices on her own.  Friday, we review the cards and I separate them into ones she needs to continue to practice and which ones are mastered.  Has been working out nicely.
Activity 1:
Words of the week were written on craft sticks and placed word down in a cup.  She used letter beads (somewhat organized in ABC order on a tray) to spell each of the words.  SAY SPELL SAY!!!

Activity 2:
Creating a picture out of her sight word craft sticks after she used the "Say spell say" technique.  

Activity 3:
ABC order.  :-)  Last year I was somewhat surprised to find that NONE of my kids really know how to alphabetize at the level I thought they should.  For example, my 4th grader knew the "jist" of it but not really how to go to the next letter when there were 2 words with the same beginning letter.  3rd grade and under didn't have a clue.  So, THIS YEAR...  Ha!  We are starting from the beginning of the school year and they will do alphabetize their spelling/sight words once a week.  :-)  At this level, 1st grade, I do not fuss with exact spelling order.  She just touched each magnetic letter and checked her words to see if she had any that started with that letter.  If she did, she put it in "order", using the say, spell, say technique.  Then moved onto the next letter.  She had several that started with W, for example...she could put those in any order.  I'm only focusing on beginning letters with her.  

 Spelling Practice
Write the word with chalk (made boxes because this particular student needs practice with starting at the left and writing small enough to fit the space provided),  say the letters while you write, say the word, erase the word with skinny paintbrush, saying the letters.  Lots of practice!
SAY SPELL SAY is such an important technique in learning their words.  They are required to say it in a normal voice so I can hear them even if they aren't working with me.  This is so I can tell if they are reading the word correctly and spelling it correctly.  :-)   If I don't hear them say/spell/say the words...they go back and do it again.  So they'll learn sooner than later that I will not budge on that!  This brings another little "struggle" for many new schooling at home kiddos.  The kids around them are really doing all different tasks...and that makes it hard to stay on your own task!  If you have a large group in a small setting, like mine, there is a rumble of noise all morning because I do need to be able to hear what the other kids are doing so I can monitor whether they are "getting it" or not when they are working independently.  My personal opinion about it's more of a "real life scenerio" than a classroom of 30 kids.  :-)  We have a multi-age group of kids...all at different levels of maturity and ability.  Sounds more like a real life work place...doesn't it.  :-D

School-agers still love dramatic play.  This week we had a wooden fire station and doll house out.  They got scrap paper to make flames, etc.  Quite interesting play.  :-)  I love watching all ages play together!  Not that it's always lovely not.  But overall, they do well and they are learning to deal "nicely" with different age children.

C. enjoys having time for the "Beyond the Lesson" online stuff in Science and History.  As you can tell, the computer desk got all cluttered again.  I did try this week with keeping his work space a little more organized because of his Asperger tendencies...he tends to get distracted by all the stuff around him.  Oh well...a work in progress for this mom.  "His" space has always been my one room (and we all need one) that gets piled up every week because I have no time or energy to get it all put away at night.  Ha!

Daily Fix It

You can print this free!  I shared a post about this earlier this year.  That post has the link.  Just click here.
This is excellent for 3rd graders!  I chose it for C. to do because he struggles with writing and definitely with drawing.  This is a 5 minutes activity that he does first thing before he starts his other morning work.  We've only been doing it for about a week and a half or so and already he is picking out the spelling/punctuation errors on his own without any help.  That is a whole lot quicker than I thought it would be!

Whenever I have sensory out for the preschooler, they all take their turn during free play time.  :-)  Never too old for sensory!

 C. chose "goop" for Friday Sensory.  :-)  Cornstarch and water.

Friday Icecream Snack:  Homemade Strawberry Shakes

L. chose to have clay out for Friday Fun.  :-)  5th grader actually created a totem pole.  I'll have to share the pic of that when he gets it painted.  That went along with his History5 lessons.  :-)

1st Grade Language Arts 
 Wow!  1st grade LA has improved IMMENSELY!  Yes, more work but I LOVE it!  Very similar to 2nd grade's LA now.  The journal they provide is excellent and I love how they are using it at times to connect to the story we read that day.  :-)

Some kiddos need more practice than others.  Plain and simple.  So I do more than just the penmanship book for handwriting practice.  This Draw Write Now series is a lovely series.  You can read more about it here. I thought I had another more "in depth" post about this series.  Hmmmm.  I'll have to keep looking.  You can purchase the set at Amazon...or even the books individually. The "new" norm for the three younger children is to do a picture one day plus penmanship book.  Then the next day do the writing.  3rd grader copies his in cursive.  He also has a choice of copying the work or creating his own sentences. 2nd and 1st grader does theirs in print and use it as copy work at this time.  5th grader does a DWN page in one day.  He can use cursive or type it and also has the choice of copying the words or making his own.  But these projects...I'm a stickler on about letter formation, spaces between words, etc.  Granted, what I expect from one might be different fro what I expect from another...but that's just life of a learning coach.  :-D  I won't get into the "fairness" conversations we have at least once a week.  

Okay, how do I organize our plans?  When you can get to a point where you can plan for the week...schooling at home gets MUCH easier! Gathering materials each evening is a lot quicker than going through lessons and figuring out what needs to be done for each day.  FYI, last year...I felt like I needed to do that every night until almost January/February.  Now I know the pattern of each of the subjects and I have a better feel of just where my kiddos are at academically.   I just wanted to mention that I spend a good chunk of time prepping and organizing.  I don't want to mislead anyone!  I may say "school is done early!" but when I say that...I'm meaning for the kids.  I still have "paperwork" to do.  :-)  Organization is a necessity for a day to be successful in the home of multiple students.  K12 definitely provides a much more rounded education and thus...more "work".
This is a snapshot of what A.'s-5th grade weekly sheet might look like.  

I do not add times because he has a bit of flexibility.  Sometimes he does have to set an assignment aside and do something else.  We try to touch on every subject, every day.  

And by Friday...this is kind of what it looks like...sometimes worse!  :-D

That's reality for you!  But...he can handle this and so it works.

Now my 3rd grader with Asperger tendencies could not handle the above too well.  He gets a new sheet every day...much more simpler.  But I have already have the basis of it created for the whole week.  I print it each evening in case I need to change something for the next day with him.  

Yep...much more simple.  He crosses it off as he goes from top to bottom.  It works well to do pretty much the same subjects in the same order for the whole week.  So we do vocabulary for a week and then off for a week.  That way he has vocabulary EVERY DAY vs. doing vocabulary one day and something else the next day.  This was a Thursday by the way.  We are done by noon on Thursdays as that is our piano/library/errand-grocery shopping day.    :-D  It looks like he's done at 11:00 but he's's more structured free time at that point.  We can count what we do during that time as attendance also.  We've done it that way every day since school started so I don't have to type it in.  You'll also notice that I put history at 10:30-11:00.  We do science unit then history unit for the same reason as above, amongst others.  Having it at this time allows him to spend more time on the "beyond the lessons" if they interest him.  :-)  We don't have anything too serious planned from 11:00-11:45A.  On another day he'd have "afternoon work" and that is not with times.  We work until it's done with C.  It really depends on how he is doing that day.  Note:  I DID add times for his.  An estimate on how long I think it will take for him to complete his independent work.  I experimented with taking the times off for one week and he really had a hard time finishing it all.  So the times went back on.  :-)  He tries to "beat the clock"....which is okay as long as he's doing a job well done.  This can backfire with an Asperger kiddo also.  There were times when he didn't get a task done in the time I put on there and that tends to put him in a "funk", if we aren't careful.  But so far...the benefits of adding times outweighs anything else.

The 1st and 2nd grader do not use their sheets themselves...they are just posted on the kitchen wall for me to refer too and are broken up into 2 categories of work: Independent and Work With Me

Also, I started printing out the 5th grade newsletter.  Save ink by printing black and white and 4 pages to a page.  :-)  A. can read the newsletter if he wishes but it's mainly for the class connect and the study island assignments.  he can mark them off right there on the paper.  :-)

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