Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

FIAR: The Story About Ping June 21, 2012

Filed under: Kindergarten — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:58 am
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Last week, Monkey worked on The Story About Ping as part of the Five in a Row curriculum.  Truth be told, this was never one of my favorite children’s books.  The whole idea of a story where ducks get spanked being last (because there will always be one that is last!) never really sat well with me.  But, the unit ended up being a really fun one.

Monkey looked through this book on China, where the story took place.

 

Monkey also used chopsticks to transfer pom poms from one bowl to the other.

 

We discussed the technique the illustrator used in the book to draw the pictures. Then Monkey used similar techniques to color her own illustration from Ping.

 

We lined up a block for each of pings mother, father, 2 sisters, 3 brothers, 42 cousins, and himself. There were a LOT of ducks that lived in Ping’s boat!

 

We studied buoyancy by finding out what objects would sink and what objects would float.

 

Monkey working on sink vs. float

 

Monkey wanted to make a boat as well, so we took an empty milk carton and made a boat.

 

We also went camping this weekend and found some ducks to feed…the kids were still in their pjs when we found the ducks, but they still had a lot of fun feeding them!

 

Feeding the ducks early in the morning.

 

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2nd grade week in review March 5, 2012

In addition to Monkey’s busy week in sports, Jedi had a big week too!  We traveled to the World Tang Soo Do Association’s Region 22 Championships in Dubois, Pennsylvania recently with our Tang Soo Do school.  Jedi and I both competed.  Jedi won the silver medal for his age/rank division in open handed forms, and the bronze medal in sparring!

Jedi & I at the competition

 

Our medals and belts with the official championship shirt.

 

Jedi was also having a rough week and we’re still not quite sure what went on.  During his co-op, he had a major meltdown, resulting in him running away from the class and having a meltdown in a closet.  During the Tang Soo Do competition, he also had another meltdown.  And then in his religious education class, he had to leave after having another meltdown.  It’s been a really long time since Jedi’s had such a high intensity level of difficulty due to his autism within such a short period of time.  He seems to have shaken whatever it was and had a really good week after it.  But it’s always a reminder that no matter how much progress he seems to be making, there are still those days, weeks, or months where we can’t figure out what we need to do to get him on the right path.

Right now, spelling is one of his major sources of difficulty.  He seemed to be doing ok with All About Spelling, and each lesson, he gets almost all of the words right.  But we noticed that after that lesson was over, he retained under 10% of what he was taught.  His spelling is still on the level of a kindergartner, even after all of the work we’ve done.  He’s in the process of officially having a dyslexia diagnosis tacked on to his autism diagnosis (they tend to go hand-in-hand).  While he is an excellent reader, he has a lot of trouble with handwriting and spelling, and tends to reverse numbers in math.  We do have several things coming up that should be helpful–we are in the process of securing a tutor that specializes in these issues with special needs child.  He is also in the process of getting funding for an ipad 3 and wireless keyboard that will allow him to type everything and use a spell check/word processor to reduce his anxiety and frustration with writing assignments.  He will, of course, continue to have to write and to practice his areas of deficit, but he also needs to be able to move on to his level in the other subjects, and the spelling/handwriting issues tend to hold him back.

Anyhow…  Here are some pictures from Jedi’s last two weeks in the schoolroom.  He’s done much more than this, but I don’t often have the camera with me. 🙂

Last Monday, we celebrated John Glenn's orbit around the earth. We watched the live twitter feed that Ohio State University was hosting. This allowed Jedi to see the timing of each part of the orbit. OSU provided audio, video, pictures, and news articles in the feed! We also watched When We Left Earth, which is a wonderful documentary on the history of space travel.

 

Some of the audio recordings we listened to.

 

Jedi using the ink and brayer on foam to create a space-themed print. After spreading ink on the foam, he put a piece of paper on it to transfer the image.

 

The final product!

 

Reading about the Persians

 

Making a print with tempura paint and vegetables

 

His vegetable painting!

 

Learning the parts of a flower

 

Dissecting a flower

 

We found these wonderful dry erase books. Jedi wanted to learn cursive writing (it seems somewhat easier than printing for him) and loves working with these books!

 

Finally getting to use a calculator--he's wanted to learn how to use one all year! After we practiced making change, he got to use a calculator to check his work.

 

Watching animated videos on how to type knots. One of his assignments this past week in his co-op nature survival class is knot tying.

 

Jedi has a really really really hard time with watercolor painting. If the colors blend, he melts down about it (food can not blend, paint can not blend...it's just the way he thinks). So, we got him to try it again this week, and that took a lot of effort for him. He was practicing a cloud-making technique where you painted the blue, and then blotted it with a dry paper towel to make clouds.

 

Working on his subtraction table.

 

Doing some simple subtraction facts.

 

In science, Jedi learned how to float an egg using a whole lot of salt in some water. This also lead to a discussion about the Dead Sea. Jedi now wants to take a field trip there...not sure that's in the lesson plans. 😉