Monday, December 14, 2009

Week 14, day 1

I thought about not doing school this week, but the idea of entertaining the kids in some other way every single day made me shudder. They still find it enjoyable (hopefully this will remain the case for a long time), so I don't see any need to stop until the week of Christmas. Also, this way we can read the whole Christmas story during our school time.

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed the 2 most recent memory verses, and read the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): We agreed that the weather today was cool and cloudy. E was able to recognize the 14 on the calendar without much help.

Handwriting: I let P trace 5 letter cards and E trace one. He wanted to do more, but P was already done. She has been reversing "d" lately (actually, all her "magic c" letters that start with a c shape), so I may use tomorrow's handwriting time to correct that with wet-dry-try.

Language Arts: We introduced another letter, and the kids were happy that they got to make a letter sheet. E chose to play foolishly with his scissors near his pants after I had warned him not to, so he lost the privilege of cutting anything out (he's ruined at least 2 shirts by testing scissors on them). This was upsetting to him but didn't completely extinguish his joy at finding appropriate pictures and at least getting to tape them in place. P got to cut out, tape in place, and label all the pictures she found for the letter sheet - her handwriting is neat and small enough now.

P did her copywork (tracing, really) neatly, and read this week's reader without much trouble. After she'd sounded out each sentence slowly, I had her repeat it to me faster, to see if she was comprehending, and she really was. This is the first of the readers that she hadn't looked at before, and she was pleased that she was able to read it so well on the first try.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): We had fun with this today! I didn't make up P's 5-a-day until just after lunch, and I asked her if she wanted to trace coins or just count them (since she'd been struggling with the tracing the past few days). She insisted that she wanted to trace them, so I had her make 25 cents in as many ways as she could without using any pennies. She found 3 of the 4 possible ways herself, and I guided her to the fourth.

After P was done with her 5-a-day, I thought I'd try a suggestion from the MOTL Operations book: adding Really Big Numbers. I wrote down a pair of 5-digit numbers (making sure that there would be no carrying required), and drew columns so that she could add the numbers in each column (ones, tens, hundreds, etc). She was able to do this easily and came up with the correct 5-digit answer. Then I let her make up a number, I made up a second number (looking at each digit I wrote to make sure that its sum with the corresponding digit in her number would be 9 or less), and she did the problem without any guidance from me. Then we let E write a number. He can only really write 1s and 0s, so almost any number I came up with for the second line would work - the last problem we did, P ended up adding 101,110,110 to some random number I came up with and getting the correct answer (I did draw the columns for her). The kids loved this so much - they were really impressed at being able to add such big numbers. Ari commented later on that they don't really understand what they're doing, so I plan on alternating between having P add 2-digit numbers (and demonstrating with manipulatives, like dimes and pennies, or beans and 10-bean sticks) and letting them play with huge numbers. As she gets a grasp of larger numbers, I'll add in dollar bills or 100-bean squares and I'm sure the connection with reality will come. Ari suggested that we could probably introduce carrying as well, if we used manipulatives. I'll "test the waters" on that one and see how P does when I introduce the concept.

E's "school": I tried interspersing various P3/4 books with the other activities, particularly P's seatwork, today, and it worked well. We read several sections of Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? and "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" from the Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics. I didn't even look at what this week's SSGMR activity was - the past weekend was packed; I sang in 4 concerts and didn't have any evenings at home from Friday to Sunday (evenings being when I usually do most of my prep work).

Geography and/or science: Nothing along these lines happened today. I've been meaning to take the kids to the library, but the nearby library closed and is moving farther away, and I only recently found the next-nearest one (and had no time to investigate it in much detail once I'd found it). We might do that tomorrow, since there's no Titmouse Club this week (or anything else, for that matter - no Arabic Bible study, no ballet lessons, no CBS - it's rather relaxing).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad to hear your students are loving school [smile]. That is good stuff!

    Keep up the great work!