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Thursday, September 18, 2014

First Spelling Test

Today was a pretty easy day for the kids.. They've been working so hard this month that I decided they could have a fun day after a small bit of schooling.

We continued with our reading of Charlotte's Web and managed to get through two more chapters while the kids worked on both their coloring page and another word search.  Then we moved on to our daily drill and got that out of the way.  Kids are right not on an exciting count down to the first day of fall on Monday and I will be planning some neat units regarding fall such as special activities, units on things like bats, pumpkins, apples and Halloween and stuff like that since they are so excited.

To end the day, we did our first spelling test. Kids have been working on words that end in  -AS, -AD, and -AN so we had our first test over these words. We also had one bonus word (THE) and the kids did great.. Garrett missed one word, I think he thought I was saying the word AM instead of AN, even though I used it in a sentence but he did get the bonus word correctly so he got a 100%. Ash got all her words correct and scored a 110%. Can't complain about that I guess. :)
First spelling test.. Ashleigh usually has nicer handwriting  then Garrett but not this time.. lol

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Catch up Post

I always forget to update this each day, so I have three days to catch up on.

Today's Word Search
We started our first literacy unit this week. The kids were given the option of either Little House in the Big Woods or Charlotte's Web.. Not surprisingly, the kids picked Charlotte's Web so we began reading two chapters a day. While I read, the kids have been working on coloring pages. After reading, we do a very short lesson to incorporate other subjects. For example, yesterday was a few "bug math" problems, today was a vocabulary word search. This was the first word find that the kids have ever done and they did really well with it.  We have read 6 chapters over the course of 3 days, so we're making a good pace.   We are still working our way through the morning drills every morning and the kids are quickly able to spell the month of September without prompting.

Morning Drill

Charlotte Web Coloring Page (and his drawn tattoos lol)
We are still working on our reading unit and each kid is able to read their poem without too much prompting (for example, today Ashleigh needed help with the word hungry but read everything else easily). We added an additional component using our flash cards where each kid had a set of word cards, they would select one word, tell the other which word they had and then they had to find the same word. They did wonderful on that and had alot of fun.

Math went really well too. We are still working on addition and simple algebraic equations. Today the kids did their entire lesson without the use of our bear manipulatives. I wanted to make sure both kids understood what they were doing and that one wasn't copying the other, so I had them work their worksheets in reverse, Ashleigh working top to bottom, Garrett working bottom to top.  They both did wonderful and got all the equations correct.  I also started to introduce word problems into our math unit and they have done really well with that.
Math Worksheet

Word Problem Worksheet
Today we finished with our science lesson. We've started on chapter 3 this week (we tested last week and Ashleigh scored a 90% and Garrett scored 80%) and are discussing how animals and plants live. Today we discussed how animals have fur to help them live in cold climates and discussed how hermit crabs use shells as their shelter. We also discussed antennae, fins, shells and hoofs. We're moving slightly slower than I had expected with our science class and are currently a week off what I had scheduled but that's okay as long as we are making progress.

No history lessons at all this week.   But we have still been receiving post cards. We're up to four at this point (expecting 1 more for this month) and have received one from Texas, Arizona, Alaska and New Mexico. The kids are really enjoying finding the states on the map and reading the post card to see what is on the back. We mailed off our post cards this week so hopefully the kids who receive ours will be very happy. Garrett and Ash took real pride in writing their own names on the post cards as well.



Friday, September 12, 2014

Frustration at its best

Today started off pretty good.. Kids had a good laugh at the fact that mom has printed the morning drill on the wrong paper (instead of white, I had loaded yellow paper from printing out a project on Ziggarat's for
Yellow Morning Drill
Monday and forgot i had the yellow paper in the tray). The kids thought that was so funny and we decided to leave the drill as it was and enjoy the unexpected splash of color to our day. Got through the morning drills no problem. We also added a second drill sheet to the routine today, just to give us some variety.

Our fun activity for today was to start learning our phone number.. First we used a quick activity that I had picked up from Teachers Pay Teachers (Man I love that site) from a wonderful find on Pinterest (another site I spend way too much time on).  We had a discussion about how dialing a specific series of numbers can call specific people, then worked on writing our own phone number. We had a picture of a phone and practiced hitting the numbers in order for our own phone number. Once the kids had a rather good understanding as our own number, we had alot of fun using Google voice to call our home phone. This also allowed us to work on phone etiquette when both calling someone and answering the phone.  The kids took turns calling the home number, answering the phone and talking to each other.

Ash receives her first phone call

Garrett using Google to make a call
Following our phone assignment, we worked on our reading skills. The kids finished the -AT words and read aloud the last two poems for that section. Next week we will begin on the -AD and -AS words.. 

I probably should have waited til the last of the day to do the phone assignment because changing tempo back to math proved to be very difficult for Ashleigh. Without a doubt, today proved to be the most frustrating math assignment in the month we've been back at school. Today we worked on basic algebraic equations using addition  (ei: 3+X=5). Ashleigh decided she really did not want to participate at all in today's math assignment and while we did manage to get through it, it took nearly an hour to complete one worksheet (granted, it had about 30 problems all together). Ashleigh obviously is going to take after her mom when it comes to math, I hated it as well in school. Garrett however, picks it up like a duck to water.

We are suppose to test today over our Unit 2 in Science (Habitats) but I'm thinking I may put it off til tomorrow. I'm going to allow the kids to have some free time, especially after that math assignment and then see how they are before I make a final decision.

Also, since I forgot to blog yesterday, i should mention that we received our second post card from the post card swap we are a member of. Yesterday's post card was from the State of Texas, which is my home state.. Once again, the kids located Texas on their map, then we discussed the Texas flag and the bluebonnets that were displayed on the front of the card. We learned that Texas is the second  most populous state after California and what the three colors on the flag represent.  We also located Houston, Dallas and San Antonio on our map.
Making me miss home!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Manic Wednesday

Really rough day today. Ashleigh was in one of her moods and really didn't feel like participating much at all. The only thing she wanted to really do was draw pictures of cats on her papers. This is an issue we have with
some of Ash's artwork
her, she draws cats on almost everything. Garrett, whom I expected to balk the most with all the reading and writing we are doing this year, seems to be adjusting fine and is willing to do just about anything I've asked of him so far.

It took us much longer than usual to get through our morning drill due to Ashleigh's obstinance but we managed. Today's drills covered words that rhyme with rug, ending sounds, our typical addition and subtraction review, and skip counting odd numbers. Garrett has a good grasp of the skip counting but Ashleigh is still struggling with it. We made a number line to help her out which seemed to help.

For reading today, the kids worked on words with the "AT" blending (hat, cat, pat, rat, sat, mat, fat). They read aloud two simple poems which used these words and then practiced writing them. I had a good laugh with our reading lesson yesterday, as a friend posted a picture on facebook in regards to trying to read with a 1st grader. The picture was so true and was definitely a fair representation of what our reading lesson was like today.  However, we managed to get through it.

We continued with lesson 2-2 in regards to basic addition for our math lesson today. The kids worked independently today with 16 math equations and both did a great job, although Ashleigh at one point wanted to once again be difficult. After a few dirty looks towards mom and a few tears, she manged to complete the assignment on her own as well.

We completed our final lesson in regards to habitats and should test over it tomorrow. We reviewed all four

habitats that we have covered (forest, wetland, ocean and desert) and then discussed how the arctic where polar bears live is actually considered a desert due to the low levels of rain. We completed a worksheet as a review.

Finally, the kids got a surprise in the mail today. We are a part of a post cart exchange this year and they received their first post card today. Today's post card came from Arizona and had a very nice picture of the desert in bloom. First we looked at the picture and I asked the kids to determine what type of habitat the picture showed. Then we looked up the State of Arizona on our map. Finally, we read the wonderful lesson that was included on the back of the post card about Arizona being the 48th state and about the climate and primary industries of the state. Our post card sender stated she is a 4th grader named Julia who plays the flute and wants to be a paramedic whens he grows up. It was a nice surprise lesson for the kids and I think the post card exchange is going to be a wonderful addition to our curriculum this year.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back at it

We ended up taking yesterday off as I had some errands to run in town. Town for us is a good 40 minute drive one way so anytime we go to town, its an all day excursion as we do everything we got to do in that one trip. Gas prices in California make it so that frequent trips to town are not an option.

Today we picked up where we left off last week. The kids got through their daily drills pretty quickly as it has become a habit to them now. After drill, we worked on phonics and reading. I had picked up a 5 part Phonics unit  from Currclick back when they had their big sale and so we began using it. The kids had a great time working with it as they have learned to sound out words and were reading very well for their first lesson with the unit.  Both kids have really improved their writing skills just in the first three weeks of school and seem to enjoy writing words that they know.

After phonics, we started our math unit. This chapter is addition, something the kids have been working on for a while with the drills so it came pretty easy to them. We've also been working on skip counting by 2s and recognizing what number comes before and after a stated number. Garrett seems to be having a bit of difficulty with the later as he keeps wanting to name the number following the given number but I have no doubt that as we practice it  he will understand and pick it up quickly.

Continuing our discussion of habitats, we discussed the desert today. This is a pretty easy one for the kids as they have lived in the middle of a desert for the last 4 years. We also reviewed our previous habitats (forest, wetlands and oceans).

Finally for history we discussed the making of mummies. While I wish we could do one of the projects of making our own mummy out of apples, we decided to skip this particular project as I am scared of the idea of fruit flies or bugs being attracted to a decaying piece of fruit..


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Same stuff.. different days

I keep forgetting to come on here and blog what we've done, mainly because the last few days have mostly been book work and not really anything fun or worth talking about.

This week we've been talking about habitats.. Desert, Ocean, Wetlands, and Forests.. Kids are picking it up pretty quickly and we should be testing on it come Friday. We don't really have any fun activities planned for this chapter to be honest, just reading from the book, discussing what we're reading and doing worksheets to go along with it. I will be glad once this chapter is finished..

We took our first math test today and both kids scored 100% on it. Testing went alot easier today. I brought Ashleigh into the testing room first so that she knew what was going on, as last test day resulted in a complete meltdown. We will start Chapter 2 on Addition tomorrow.

The kids also started copywork using the Scribe program. We started with the California unit so that we can incorporate a California history unit along with the copy work.

WE have also stalled a bit with SOTW and decided to stay with the Ancient Egypt unit, since the kids enjoy it so much. Yesterday we put together another element of the lapbook that we are working on and then either tomorrow or  Friday we will make some Egyptian bracelets and necklaces.

Overall, its been a good week and the kids are doing  great with everything I've thrown at them thus far.
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