Monday, March 22, 2010

Week 22, day 1

Monday: Language Arts. This morning, P and E industriously set about using E's birthday gift of 12 rolls of tape. By the time we had breakfast, there were 4 empty rolls sitting next to the table, and getting through the spider's web of tape crisscrossing the room was an athletic event. I gave P the choice of doing school right after breakfast and finishing before lunch, or of continuing to play while B and I went for a brisk walk and I took a shower, but needing to do some school after lunch. She chose the latter option. The walk put B to sleep, and he slept throughout the first part of school.

Our review was relatively uneventful. On P's math 5-a-day, I asked her to use coins to make a dollar, and we discussed again that quarters are called quarters because it takes 4 of them to make a dollar. I wrote on the board, "4/4 = 1".

We made a new letter sheet today, and the kids came up with a labour saving idea. I'd actually come up with the same idea weeks ago, but not suggested it because I thought they enjoyed cutting out the pictures and taping them to a new piece of paper. The idea was to put the large letter on the same page as the one on which we printed the corresponding pictures, and write the labels on directly. Because this hadn't been in my plans when I was printing out the pictures, I had to squeeze the labels somewhat, but it worked pretty well and I'll organize it better next week. This saved us a good 15-20 minutes, so we got a lot more done before lunch than I had expected to. P did her copywork neatly - on the part that she traced, I asked her to identify first which letters she had traced particularly well, and then which ones she had done sloppily. I asked her to pay careful attention to those when she copied the words onto the next line, and she did beautifully. She enjoyed the reader, as well. We played a geography game, in which we took turns naming a place (for example, Sweden) and the next player was to name a place starting with the ending sound of the previous word. This required the children to listen for ending sounds (not letters - Arkansas was legitimately followed by Austin). They struggled to come up with actual place names, so I had to help them once they'd figured out what sound the name needed to start with.

After lunch, I had P put words in alphabetical order. She doesn't know the alphabet well enough to start in the middle, so the first few words are put in place rapidly, but when she's left with words starting with P, R, and T, she has to go through the entire alphabet until she gets to P, then again all the way to Q (no, I don't have any of those), then R, etc. I'm waiting for her to figure out that there's a quicker way to do it, because if she figures it out herself it'll stick better. We also played a game like 20 questions, and I used tally marks to keep track of the score, discussing how you count by 5s and then by 1s. E wanted to think of things for me to guess, and after I almost stumped them with Jupiter, E had me guess an imaginary comet whose name he'd just come up with on the spur of the moment (when I realized that this was the case, I gave up and asked him to tell me the answer). We finished the school day with a game of letter sound Bingo, and each of us took a turn calling out the sounds. E got frustrated with trying to find the letters on his Bingo card, and couldn't remember most of the sounds, so I helped him - he'll pick them up this way too. P did pretty well with finding the letters on the cards, but really excelled when it was her turn to call out the letters. She knows all of them with confidence, by name and by sound.

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