Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daily Report: Time Lines and Much Math

We always start the day off with reading . Our school day starts roughly about 7:45 at this time I only have two preschoolers until 9:00. It is a perfect time to do one on one reading and assist them with their reading activities if I need to. It also is something that starts their day off on the right foot, their brains have warmed up for their work period.

DJ started another Amelia Bedelia book today. His activities included learning new vocabulary words, a crossword puzzle, and a word search. He also answered comprehension questions writing complete sentences. Each day we will go over the vocabulary and after reading the five pages he will complete the activities and the comprehension questions. DJ can definetly read at a fifth grade level but his comprehension does not match. Does that make sense?

Ken chose to do an activity to go along with her independent reading book. The story is about a slave girl who journals her life while writing to family members. She put together a time line of ten important events in her life, and had to include some negative events as well. Ken made ten knots in the string and spaced them accordingly to how far apart the events occur. Ken used the string to make a kite design to illustrate her work.

Todays' work with dinosaurs consisted of coloring in the dinosaurs so that he can complete the map of where fossils are found. DJ got pretty creative while coloring because he said no one knows what colors dinosaurs really were, that allowed him to become creative with this work. In the picture he is reading Back In Time With The Dinosaurs a Magic School Bus book learning about the times when dinosaurs walked the earth. After that he completed the make the time line activity that came in the kit.

Ken can't get enough of the Africa continent box:) Today she discovered there was some hieroglyphic writing on the side of the mummy. From there it was going back and forth to her laptop trying to decode it. The key that I included in the box wasn't much help. DJ joined in to try to help crack the mysteries of other found writings.

Another thing that has been working out for all of us is doing math presentations during the preschoolers rest time.

DJ had no problem showing me how to do four digit static addition on the dry erase board. I decided to show him three digit dynamic addition(carrying) with the Golden Bead Material. When he was done working with the beads he asked me if I had any more multiplication slips. I gave him all that I had up to the tens table. He completed all of them in less than five minutes. Looks like somebody has been holding out:) After he did it all I showed him how he made a booklet and he stapled them together.

Ken worked with the Stamp Game doing division with remainders. Then she wanted to work with the peg board to solve some square roots. She needed another presentation on how to use it because she had forgotten( me too:( Just kidding. I had some cards that showed the control of error that I purchased from Alisons' Montessori, it is a download. After that Ken was having much fun with square roots.

We were done with school at 2:00. If they were interested they could have easily did a lesson in art, foreign language, music, etc. I guess I know it is doable when the time comes. Another thing is since they have been working on "projects" they only have had but a half hour for lunch as a break.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Daily Report: Today Was A Grreat Day!!

I am a really happy camper homeschooling mom today! The kids stayed totally busy with work that showed lots of effort. Sticking to a routine, preparing the enviroment, and following their interest is paying off big time.

DJ wil be wrapping up his study on homophones, homographs, and idioms while completing a literature unit with the worlds famous housekeeper Amelia Bedelia . He really enjoyed the book Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia. It wasn't until I asked him who the author was that I found out it was Herman Parish who is the late Peggy Parish's nephew. I couldn't tell a difference in the author while we were reading. Ken and I are about half way through Walk Two Moons, it is a book that gets better and better the more you read it.

Ken spent at least three hours working with the Africa Continent box. The picture above shows her working with the animal three part cards.

She totally loved the book African Elephants by Gail Gibbons.

She was so thrilled that I had parts of the elephant cards for her on the shelf.

I also had a 3D wooden elephant puzzle for her to put together. This puzzle is definetly harder to put together than it looks.

DJ completed a science experiment only with the help of Liz. The experiment is showing how cold blooded animals such as dinosaurs change body temperatures according to the enviroment. He had to place Liz with the thermometer taped on her back in four different locations, he also used a timer so that it would be in the different locations for the same amount of time.

Liz under a desk lamp.

Liz outside.

Here is the data he recorded, he did a great job with reading the thermometer. I also had Ectotherms and Endotherms sorting cards avaliable for him to work with so I could introduce new terminology and show how dinosaurs aren't the only cold blooded animals( I do know that dinosaurs are extinct:)

This was a great work and he was proud to announce that he is indeed an Endotherm animal. The cards are availiable at Montessori Print Shop.

Ken is doing a lot better with division. She is realizing that working with the math everyday helps her to retain the information. She was happy that she got all of her problems right.

Since Ken was working on math DJ followed. He enjoys doing multiplication equations with the Golden Bead Materials.

DJ gave himself his own quiz today! The star stickers we use them to put on back of equations slips that they have mastered. I guess he has mastered the six tables:)

I hope that today is a sign that my kids are becoming comfortable with their choices, and its' o.k if you just want to practice your six times tables, indulge in Africa, do a science experiment, put together a puzzle, work a little more on division, learn a few new words, and enjoy a good book.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our Africa Continent Box

With Kens' strong interest in Africa right now I figured it was time to put together the Africa Continent Box. All of the printables are from http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/. I only included the Africa Flags from A-E. Plant three part cards, and Animal three part cards for now. I also have Montessori Print Shops' Africa geography folder and three part cards, I will be using them to add or change cards out to keep the learning going, and the vocabulary growing.

It was Kens' idea to use a suitcase style for the box. She is pleased with how it turned out, and asked if she could sleep with it:) It was a fun experience to put this together and now I am excited to put together the rest of the continent boxes.

The books are full of beautifully illustrated pictures, and packed with information. Again these won't remain permanently in the box, I love rotating materials.

Maps of Africa and Egypt.

I love that the photos come with nice detailed sentences. It is sure to ignite some more research.

Africa plants three part cards all of the cards that came in the kit are included in the pouch.

Africa animals three part cards I included all of the animals that came with the kit.

Africa flags three part cards.

Black eyed peas that are used to make soup. Sand to represent the Sahara Desert.

African mask, and an art piece representing a woman in Africa.

A tomb. I forgot to take a picture of the mummy that is inside.

A pyramid. It has writing in hieroglyphics on the outside, so I added the key so Ken can decode the message.

A bag of African animals from the Safari Toob.

A reususable sticker activity to reinforce animal habitats.

A bag of Egyptian objects from the Safari Toob. I love the toobs that include information about the objects, helps the researcher get a jumpstart, and a mom like me that may not know the names of all the objects:)

Well that is what is inside the Africa Continent box. I am looking forward to a great week watching Ken soak up all this information on Africa and see what she may even add to the box. To see other children doing activities inspired by the Montessori Method please visit http://www.livingmontessorinow.com/ for Montessori Monday. I am also joining in at the History and Geography Meme hosted by All Things Beautiful here is the link http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/