Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy 2014!

2014   Happy New Year!  2014
We had an extended winter break because of this little gal.  :-) 
Little Miss E. was born December 5th.
We are onto our 2nd week back to school and so good.  Only real issue is that mom and learning coach is functioning on minimal sleep and though we make it through the day okay...I feel like I'm always foggy and I can't seem to "get ahead".  Planned on using the extended break to get some lesson planning done and it just didn't get done...mainly for the above stated reason.  :-)

Spiral Snakes
First day back into the school routine, 8AM, 
this is what you would of saw.  :-D
Art is always a favorite around here.  I love starting the day off with a whole group art project.  Unfortunately, they usually end up taking around an hour to get to a stopping point.  That's quite a chunk out of the most profitable part of the morning.  :-)
So, these spiral snakes.  I was wanting a project to correspond with one of our K12 lessons.  No, this is not a K12 project.  See, the thing is...we did a lot of group art last year also.  The easiest projects to do as a group project are the 1st and 2nd graders.  If I attempt to do a 3rd grade+ project, then the younger children can't really do them well.  And since my older boys love doing the younger kiddos situation!  
Anyway, I was looking for a project to review patterns and cover the objectives but not be the exact art project from last year.  I found one that they enjoyed!  First we discussed what a pattern was and brainstormed different types of patterns.  Then they used black crayon to add patterns into each section of the snake.  After that they painted over top of the snake with watercolors.  
You can get the spiral snake printable at Art Projects for Kids.

2nd art project of the week.  :-D
Starting off on the right foot!  Still working with patterns, this time more realistic animal patterns.  These turned out great!  Another well-loved project!

1st grader worked with the "magic e".  Though she hadn't done a whole lot with it, this was a relatively easy concept for her.  These silent e worksheets were used for a quick intro regarding cvc words and their short vowels and what happens when we add e to the end of the words and can be found on the Teacher's Notebook site.

For the time being, I'm just going to add T.'s preschool activities here.  I really don't have time for 2 blogs ( and my focus really is school-age at this time.
The 3 younger students all have a calendar to start the new year.  :-)  T.'s job is to write the numeral in that day's practicing numeral formation.  He also is working with tally marks for the first time. 
1st grader's calendar task for the month of January is to create a fact family triangle for each day.  We also are reinforcing days and months as she hasn't mastered them yet.  2nd grader's calendar task for the month of January is to create an addition or subtraction problem to equal the sum of ten.

Creating patterns with goldfish crackers.  So, one thing I did get done over break was to get a few weeks head start on lesson plans for T.  I was always putting his school work off because I had so many other things to be done.  But he will start Kindergarten this fall so we are trying to get into a more formal school routine.  I had a graphing activity planned for goldfish crackers but at the grocery store prior to school starting I had forgotten my reasoning of wanting colored goldfish and and when the 5th grader said he wanted the checkered colored ones, I thought...why not?  Well, I know why I shouldn't have now!  Ha!

Announcing Mr. Academic... 
Here he was playing a version of "Snap!".  :-)  He was snapping a stick of Unifix cubes and writing down the two addends to make the sum of ten (since each stick of cubes were in groups of ten).  

And while T. was doing the above activity,   C. was working on a genre drawing for art...
L. was working on multiplication (K. was at the computer in the background and A. was in his room working on his own school work)...
E. and I were dealing with an eat time right smack dab in the middle of the school morning.  Ha!
This only happened on a couple occasions.  I try my best to have her on a schedule where eat time is during break or free choice time.  Won't always work that way though.  :-)

Back to preschool....obviously we were focusing on the letter F this day.
After using do a dots, he cut them out (which was my main goal for this activity), and glued them onto a completed "ocean".
He created the ocean by using plastic wrap on fingerpaint.

Shape fish
This was a wonderful activity for him.  He drew that fish (with the exception of the mouth...he wanted one of mommy's fishy mouths. Ha!)  Then we drew lines together horizontally.  I had shape cards there and he flipped one over and practiced drawing that shape in the top section.  Then flipped another card over and drew that shape to fill the 2nd section, and so on.  Then more scissor practice!

A new dough we tried.... 2 parts cornstarch:1 part conditioner
This was actually the 5th grader's creation.  It was an interesting dough.  Very soft.  Not something that sticks around for long.  Tends to crumble when drying out.  Use it to create a sculpture perhaps but not any long term "playdough" explorations.  :-)

Attempting Paper Dolls
The paper I had for him was too thick for him to be we'll try it again sometime.  He loved the idea of it!  :-)

Sorting by various characteristics.

Word Lines
We had done quite a bit of reading during the summer but got off track in the this wasn't as easy as it would have been but he seemed to enjoy it.   He took the slid the rime part of the word down (or up) the onset line reading the words.  :-)

Painting with cars   and   Snow Explorations
Oh the simple things!  

Break time :-)

Bridge Map to help organize those strategies in his brain.  :-)

Addition Practice
Sums from 5-12.  
0+5, 1+4, 2+3, 3+2, 4+1, 5+0 on craft sticks
the same pattern all the way up to 12.
An easy to make activity to give them a bit more practice with that single digit addition.

Obviously an afternoon picture...she looks tired!  Anyway...these squares are harder than one would think!

A freebie sheet where child rolls the dice and that's his starting place or the rule, depending on how you want to go about doing it.  Great addition practice to go right along with our intro to multiplication...repeated addition/skip counting!

Back to the grindstone, dear L.  Penmanship is one of his least favorite subjects.  :-)
Here he is working on a Draw Write Now task.  I loved that he was on one page and then asked, " I can go back and find that teepee page to help me draw it in the background, can't I?"  Of course you can!  

Snacks/Meals worth mentioning :-)
They absolutely loved!  Relatively easy process for children to do.

Ha!  Definitely didn't turn out like the one that came across Pinterest...but the kids had a great time with it!

Great use of left over chicken.  We used frozen mixed veggies.

Here's pics of L. and K. getting their baby "fix".  They are grand helpers!

Kids really missed each other I think.  Those first couple of days ... they worked and played together so well!  I love snapshots like the ones below.
Having a mixed age group is such a plus!  Conversations are so much more in-depth.  5th grader will naturally say something that will extend the thinking of the younger children, and etc.

C. is having a bit of a struggle since baby E. arrived.  He's doing much better with the baby than I expected but it seems the progress we made regarding our school routine and attitudes went down the drain during the 4 weeks that we were home here on our own without the typical school routine.  So, yes, he has had more than his fair share of technology time because we all needed a break from his behaviors and attitudes.  Mom needs to get more rest so she has a bit more's probably half the problem.

We got a little bit of snow during the big "snow/ice" storm than went through MI.  Kids loved it!  Getting outside is so important for them.  Physical activity, fresh air, good nutrition and Melaleuca's Activate :-) keeps us healthy!

Well, that ended up being long, as usual.  :-D  Gives you a very small glimpse of things we do around here during the school week.  :-)

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