Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekly Report December 14, 2008

This week we've been more concerned with getting ready for my mom to come over (cleaning up, getting her room ready, and just plain being excited -- hehe) than school. However, we managed to get everything done, which was nothing short of a miracle.


This week we did more exercises in one half, one third and one fourths and reviewed concepts in money and 1-20.  We played fun math games which underscored how important play is at this age. We played a dice game, War with number cards from 1-20 and we built trains and towers with Cuisenaire rods. I've been using MCP's teacher's manual faithfully, and I love the mental math exercises before we start. We're definitely going to add more games in the future, including dominoes. I'm reading and learning much from Miquon's First Grade Diary, a treasure trove of ideas and implementation tips for Miquon.


This week Son read Quick, Quack, Quick!, a Level 2 reader by Step Into Reading. We have reading time scheduled right after Phonics, but he enjoys reading so much he just reads whenever and I don't have to worry about him in this respect. He reads all day. I'm so pleased with his progress and more importantly, his enthusiasm.


We're doing capital letters with Italic Handwriting. This week we worked on E, T and F. I'm encouraging him to take his time instead of rushing through, and he takes pride in showing me his best letter. E, T and F were all beautiful.


We're still reading James Herriott's Treasury for Children. This week we read Oscar, Cat About Town and Smudge The Lamb. I really liked the story about the sociable cat.


Plugging along with Spectrum Phonics Grade 1. Typical workbook. I use it for organization and to make sure I'm covering everything. Son feels successful with it, and as a bonus he learns new vocabulary and how to spell certain things. He also gets to apply his penmanship, although he prefers to copy the serif font of the workbook. 


Although he likes The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson, he has a hard time memorizing this one. I see that the rhythm helps, but he has trouble with the word "pleasantest" which shouldn't be a surprise as it's not often encountered in our day-to-day conversation LOL

Natural Science

We accomplished a lot in a short time this week. First we reviewed the concepts previously learned about solids, liquids and gases. The attributes of which are that they take up space and have weight. After that, I told him that each part is made out of little particles. We set out to prove that. I set up a little station on the dining table with various materials: a large bamboo cutting board with a meat mallet and a shell, a white paper with a bit of dirt on it, Daughter's diaper spray bottle (with mostly water in it, mixed with a bit of soap and tiny amounts of tea tree and lavender oil), a paper towel, some toilet paper squares, a glass of water with some hand soap in it. 

Son had so much fun smashing the shell (I had him wear sunglasses as I couldn't find the goggles LOL) into small pieces. I also had him rip the toilet paper squares into pieces. Daughter was especially proficient at this. He moved the dirt and noted the tiny particles of dirt on the white paper, and since he liked smashing so much, I had him smash an O (Cheerio) as well. He proceeded to spray the water from the diaper spray bottle onto his hand, which he saw has tiny particles of liquid. Then I told him to spray it on the table, where you could see the little parts of liquid as well. He enjoyed this too. He also sprayed on the paper towel where he could see the water coming together again as a greater whole. Then he blew bubbles into the glass of soapy water. I believe this was his favorite part of the day. He blew bubbles large and small, and was able to see how little bubbles (particles of air) formed larger bubbles and to see how they rose and took up space. 

Son was really interested in the earth's plate tectonics, magma and core. We ran to his dictionary (no success) and then to the Scholastic's Science Dictionary where we found pictures and descriptions of the crust, plate, mantle, outer core and inner core of the earth. What I found interesting was that it said that most likely the center of the earth (the core) is made out of solid iron or nickel. Hmmm.. Note  to self: get video on the center of the earth. Son was likely extra interested because he saw parts of the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Brendan Fraser.

Ugh. This has been really a pain. I really like the computer language program KidSpeak for kids this age (Kindergarten-First) but Son's computer hasn't been working. I tried to use it on my Mac but it's giving me problems. As a result, I'm improvising with a Spanish book I'm reading to Son and Daughter on colors. Son knows his colors in Spanish. Next week if we still don't have the program set up, we'll move on with the book (items, food, clothes, etc.).


Nothing formal, but Daddy did drawing activities with Son and they worked on a few framing projects.

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