Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 27

I spent the week agonizing over what to use next year and realized that there is alot out there! It's sometime overwhelming to see how much there is and you just have to stop searching. Anyways decisions have been made and order will be placed soon, so that the decisions can't be changed! You can read our plans for next year below. Despite my lack of concentration, school was done this week. Here's what we did...

Language Arts: Princess read her first Level 3 book this week, at first she was intimidated but once she got into it, she did fine. We also are enjoying reading a little bit of Grammar Land everyday. This is such a neat way to introduce grammar!

Math: We began 2B with reviewing addition and subtration, so far so good.

History: We talked about the birth of Rome and the legend of Romulus and Remus. We made a fasces with chopsticks instead of craft sticks which I could find here. Princess got a good laugh out of the project because she thought it was very funny to make an axe out out what we use to eat with!

Science: We talked about the respiratory system this week and made our own lung. We had to use a smaller bottle as I haven't found a 2-liter bottle yet. This week was definately an adventure in how to do project in our new home! Anyways, here's a picture of our lung...

Other: We continue to talk about Van Gogh and Mozart. Other than that, the extras just didn't get done this week.

Hope you had a great week, thanks for reading about ours.

Unveiling of the Plans...

Ok, the plans are set, the principal says no more changes! Have I mentioned that I have really agonized over these decisions? This is what we are doing...

Language Arts:
Writing with Ease
Word Attack
Readers and Read-Alouds mostly from Sonlight

Singapore Math

Story of the World 2: Middle Ages (I will try to post my plans for this over at my yahoo group next month)

Science:(this is the one thing that I never had a question about)
Earth Science and Astronomy for the Grammar Stage by Elemental Science

Others: (I'll try to post these plans also as they get done)
Artist/Composer Study I put together using AO's schedule
Poetry using AO's schedule
Shakespeare using Lamb's Tales and BBC videos
Art Adventures at Home

I think that's it! It was hard for me to decided not to use Sonlight next year, but I realized that I was going to butcher the schedule so much that it was better for our family to go with Story of the World and use Sonlight books to fill in. I'm looking forward to next year, now let's just hope the books actually get here :)!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 25 & 26

The last two weeks have been business as usual as far as school goes, but I have been too busy to really post much, sorry about that! I did post about our spelling plans yesterday which you can read about below. I hope to post our second grade plans soon. Anyways here's what we have accomplished...

Language Arts: We have almost finished the ETC book we are working on and I think that next week we will switch to doing spelling with Word Attack. Princess's reading has really taken off in the last two weeks, so I'm thinking that it's time to transition from phonics into spelling.

Math: We finished division by 3 and spent a week reviewing the 2A book. I gave princess the 2A placement test and she passed with flying colors, so we will be starting 2B next week. I can't believe that she actually understands all this and I'm very pleased with Singapore math.

Science: We have spent the last two weeks on senses and the circulatory system. Princess is really enjoying learning about the body. I thought I'd share a picture of her body outline so far, it's only the front; the back has the skeletal system and the spine on it.

History: We spent time in Ancient China and Ancient India. It's been a good couple of weeks, but I am disappointed that I have not been able to do all the projects I had planned to do with her. The thing is that she is still learning and it will all be ok!

Others: We have been enjoying works by Van Gogh and Mozart. We made some salt dough animals that kinda melted in the humidity, so now I'm in search of real clay. We have also been doing nature walks instead of Barb's outdoor hour challenges as I have found them harder to keep up with.

I hope you all have had a great couple of weeks too, thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Studied Dictation for Spelling

I've been looking into spelling programs for next year and I thought I'd share some of what direction we are going to take in case others find it useful (and so I can find it later on!). We are planning on starting Word Attack in a few weeks after we finish ETC. The reason we chose this was because I wanted dictation to be a part of my spelling program and I think Hannah does a great job at giving you the tools to do this. After we finish that we will begin studied dictation, which I anticipate will begin about halfway through next year. I'm not sure what program we will use to help us do that or whether I will just put it together on my own. I thought I would share what Charlotte Mason has written about this subject as I found it interesting...

"Of all the troublesome subjects that students spend hours on, dictation is probably the most troublesome, at least the way it's usually taught. People don't realize that every school subject rests on some kind of philosophic principle.
A Major Cause of Bad Spelling
Generally, the teacher dictates a passage phrase by phrase. She repeats each one three or four times because the students ask questions and ask her to say it again. Every line of the students' work has one to three spelling errors. The teacher, trying to be conscientious, marks the errors with red ink. The students use various methods to correct their mistakes. They might exchange work and grade each other's paper, correcting errors by copying the correct spelling from the blackboard. A few unenlightened teachers still make students copy their errors, with the correction written three or four times to learn it, and then spelled out loud to the teacher. The teacher is surprised that, with all her painstaking effort, students continue to make the same mistakes again and again.
The Logic of Spelling
But the truth is, the ability to spell depends on the person's ability to see the word and stamp a photographic image of it on their mind. This is a skill and habit that must be developed in children from the beginning. When they read the word 'cat,' they must be taught to try and see the word with their eyes closed. This same technique works equally well with big words like 'Thermopylae.' Imprinting words on the retina seems to be the only sure way to become a good speller. Once an error is made and corrected, there will always be doubt as to which image is the right spelling, and which is the wrong one. Most of us are never quite sure whether 'balance' has one l or two, and that's because we saw both spellings when we corrected it. Once the eye sees a misspelled word, the image is imprinted for good. If there is also an image of the word spelled correctly, we will never be totally confident about which image is the correct one. That's why the common way of doing dictation almost guarantees bad spellers. Every misspelled word makes an image in the mind that even the correct spelling can't obliterate. Therefore, it's the teacher's duty to prevent wrong spelling in the first place. And if an error is made, she must cover it quickly before the image gets fixed in the student's memory.
Steps of a Dictation Lesson
Dictation lessons done the following way usually result in good spelling. A child of eight or nine studies a paragraph; older students study one page, or two or three pages. The students prepares for the lesson by himself. He looks at any word he isn't sure of and tries to see it with his eyes closed. Before the dictation begins, the teacher asks him which words he thinks might give him trouble. He usually knows, and she can write them on the blackboard. She asks him to look until he has a picture of the word in his mind. Then she erases each word one by one. If he still isn't sure about a particular word, she should have him attempt to write it on the blackboard from memory. She must watch closely so that, as soon as he begins to add the wrong letter, she can erase it before it lodges in his memory. When the word is on the board correctly, the student again tries to make a mental picture. Then the teacher dictates the passage, a phrase at a time, and only repeating once. She reads expressively enough to make punctuation evident, and students are expected to include correct punctuation. But she should not say, 'comma,' or 'semi-colon.' After students have spent maybe ten minutes preparing for the dictation as outlined, there are rarely any spelling mistakes. If there are any, the teacher would be wise to cover them with adhesive paper or white-out to erase the wrong spellings from the student's mind as much as possible. At the end of the lesson, the child should study that word from his book until he's sure he knows it. Then he should write the correctly spelled word on the adhesive paper, or over the white-out.
Children cooperate enthusiastically with this kind of lesson because they feel like they have a part in it. It also prepares them for the second thing necessary to be a good speller, which is lots of reading with a trained habit of making a mental image of words as they are read.
Bad spelling is usually a sign of not much reading, or, sometimes, reading so fast that words are skimmed over instead of really seeing each word.
Spelling must not be overlooked and lost in the rest of the curriculum, but children also shouldn't be nagged to spell. It's good to write long, difficult names on the blackboard as they come up during history or geography lessons. When the children say they've made a mental image of the word, it can be erased. The secret to good spelling is visualizing words from memory, and students must learn how to do that by visualizing words as they read their other lessons. Children do enjoy learning to spell this way."

Hopefully my child will enjoy learning to spell this way!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 24

This week went well, I was able to finish Chemistry for the Grammar Stage (see the post below). This was also the last day of Term 2 of our school year. We finished the term with Charlotte Mason style exams for the first time. I thought I would share about that instead this week. I got the idea from this blog. We recorded her answers which was alot of fun for her and for me. I let her answer all the questions without me listening so she felt free with her responses. Here's the questions I askesd...

1. Tell something you learned about the Holy Spirit OR Forgiveness.
2. Recite Acts 5:29 OR Hebrews 5:8 OR Colossians 3:20
3. Which test of obedience do you find the hardest to pass and why?
4. Can you sing one of the hymns we have studied?

1. How many dimes are in $1.00?
How many quarters are in $0.50?
How many nickels are in $0.20?
2. I give you five boxes. Each box has two cookies in it. How many cookies did I give you?
3. Sally bought 356 peanuts on Monday and 167 peanuts on Tuesday. How many peanuts did she buy altogether?
4. There were 700 children at a park playing. 468 of them were boys. How many of them were girls?

1. Recite Mr. Nobody.

1. Which was your favorite read aloud book from this term? (Understood Betsy, Indian and the Cupboard, The Year of Miss Agnes, Follow My Leader) Why?
2. Can you retell a part of your favorite read aloud?

1. Write in your best handwriting…
“Good morning, Jimmy,” she greeted him. “My, we all looked spruced up.”

1. Tell me what you remember about Cyrus the Great OR King Nebuchadnezzar OR Alexander.
2. Describe how they built the Great Wall.
3. Show me China, Egypt, Babylon and Greece on the map.

1. Tell me something you have learned about the human body.
2. Tell me about your favorite animal.

Music & Art Appreciation:
1. Tell what you liked about Tchaikovsky’s music. Which piece was your favorite?
2. Which artist did you like better Haeckel or Audubon? Which was your favorite piece and why?

1. Which was your favorite story from Shakespeare this term? (The Tempest or A Midsummer's Night Dream)
2. Can you retell your favorite part?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009