Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

2nd Grade Week in Review August 7, 2011

Jedi had another really busy week with homeschooling.  It was the 6th week completed for our school year (it looks like we’ll have 8 completed weeks before our local school districts start up for the year…not bad!)  But, it’s not all books and labs this summer…Jedi gets lots of free time for playing and having fun, too…see?

Jedi working with Magnetos on a day off.

 

Jedi building a robotic duck from a kit

 

Aaaand....the duck can walk!

 

Making patterns with the pattern board

 

Art: This week in art, Jedi learned about shapes, and then the 3-dimension manifestation of shapes–forms.  For shapes, he observed a scene outside, and then drew and cut out the shapes of the objects to make a collage.  For forms, he created a 3-d paper sculpture of a zoo animal of his choice (he picked giraffe)

Working on his shapes collage--he was supposed to go outside and observe something, and then create paper shapes to represent those objects. He chose the mailbox and posts outside.

 

His scene

 

Jedi making his giraffe

 

Math:  In math, we worked on place values up to 1000.  We also worked on trading 10 10’s for 100 and 10 100’s for 1000.  Jedi seems to be getting this fairly easily.  Finally, we worked on adding long series of single digit numbers on the abacus.

 

Using the math cards to add with the abacus, and learning to change 10 10's for 100, and 10 100's for 1000.

Life Science:  It was a busy science week for us.  We worked on the muscular, heart, & circulatory systems over the past few weeks.  We reviewed those systems again, and observed them with both the human torso model and with giblets from our dinner chicken.  Jedi also watched some Bill Nye videos on human organ systems that I found in the library.  We also began learning about the digestive system.

 

Working with the human torso model

 

After taking out all of the organs, this is what he found.

 

****WARNING….THE NEXT PICTURE HAS ORGANS OF A CHICKEN IN IT….SKIP IT IF YOU FIND THOSE TYPES OF THINGS GROSS OR DISTURBING***

 

 

 

We were also fortunate to have found the giblet pack inside a chicken that we rotisseried this week, so Jedi was able to observe a real heart (with it's chambers), liver, and gizzard.

 

We were talking about how long a human digestive track is by using a 21' long piece of yarn. On the yarn, we taped cards where he wrote his 5 favorite foods. Card 1 is at where the mouth is (3"), card 2 is the esophagus, card 3 is the stomach, card 4 is the small intestine, and card 5 is the large intestine.

 

Then, we counted how many times longer a digestive track is than Jedi...you can fit 5 Jedi's on the 21' long track, plus have a few additional inches left to go.

 

Watching Bill Nye videos

 

History: In history, we completed our unit on Ancient Mesopotamia.  Jedi took his first ever history test, and scored 16 correct out of 17!  He really enjoyed learning about Sargon and how Sargon conquered and unified Mesopotamia.

 

Writing: Jedi really really dislikes handwriting and spelling.  Both of those subjects are extremely challenging for him, to the point of them being frustrating for him.  This week, I came up with an assignment that made him excited to write, at least for awhile.  Homeschool Creations (http://www.homeschoolcreations?.com/StarWarspreschoolpack.htm?l) had a Star Wars preschool pack available, and in that preschool pack were Star Wars puppets.  I had Jedi cut them out, laminate them, and glue them onto popsicle sticks.  Then I had him write a script for a puppet show, and my only instructions were that he had to use every character he had puppets for, and every character had to have a minimum of two lines in the script.  Since I knew spelling would be a problem, I told him that after he wrote the script by hand, he could type it into the computer and we could work on editing in the computer (he’s still working on it…typing’s also a little difficult for him, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t really learned typing yet).  After we’re done editing his script, he’s going to perform it for the family.

 

Cutting out his Star Wars puppets from http://www.homeschoolcreations?.com/StarWarspreschoolpack.htm?l

 

Spelling:  In Spelling, Jedi continued to work on alphabetizing the letters of the alphabet…he’s getting much faster with it now!  We also worked on the short a, short i, and short 0 sounds for three letter cvc words.

 

Working on making CVC words

 

English: In English, we worked on comprehension questions with both fiction and non-fiction short essays.  We discovered he has a very easy time comprehending fiction, but a very very difficult time comprehending non-fiction.  But he’s also a fantastic reader when it comes to fiction!  But it does show that he knows how to comprehend what he’s reading…he just needs more exposure to non-fiction!  We also worked on the “WH” question words (where, what, why, when)

 

English workbook

 

Health: In health, we talked about family rules and why families have rules (safety, health, and comfort).  I had Jedi choose one family rule, and then make a poster explaining the rule.  He chose “we can’t watch too much tv”–his poster had to show why we have the rule (for his health), and what happens if you break the rule (an unhealthy body, being too tired, etc.)

 

Music: In music, Jedi continued to work on his piano playing.  I haven’t showed him how to read music per say, but in his Alfred’s book, they start very simply by just reading the finger numbers.  He learned to play a couple more short songs this week.

 

Misc: Since we went creeking and found crawfish recently, I decided to do some tie-ins this week.  I found Jedi three worksheets.  One practiced graphing, as it was a story about three people using crawfish as fishing bait.  Jedi was supposed to graph the number of crawfish each person used.  The second sheet was one where he was supposed to write three facts about crawfish. The third sheet was one where he worked on a crawfish food chain and food web.

Working on his crawfish graph

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Montessori Monday July 4, 2011

 

 

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

This weekend has been incredibly busy with 4th of July fun, and so we’re taking the afternoon off of craziness to just relax a bit.  So, while the Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcake Cupcakes are baking in the oven (gluten, dairy, and egg free of course!), here is Monkey’s learning week in review!

Of course, like many of my US-based readers, we had our Red, White, & Blue work out this week in honor of Independence Day. Here are the red glittery stars for tonging.

I added the red, white, and blue glass beads for dry pouring.

Beads for making patriotic bracelets

These rubber pom poms look like fireworks, and made another good tonging work.

Monkey making a bracelet

Pin punching the Russia puzzle piece

Working on the sandpaper letters & letter sounds

Monkey then decided that she wanted to copy the sandpaper letters onto paper

Using the smelling bottles

Jedi helping Monkey with the binomial cube

 

 

Montessori Monday June 27, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 4 months old

 

Since this past week was the start of summer, we changed the Spring Tree to a Summer Tree.

Bug putting leaves on the tree as well.

The finished tree

Monkey practicing writing the names of animals.

Using the knobbed cylinders--this was her first time using all four at once.

Monkey was working on being able to retell a story. She is really into the princess stories right now, so she worked on a felt board of Sleeping Beauty.

Monkey is making patterns with the pattern beads.

We were talking about spiders this week, so the girls made spider web paintings. We coated a marble with white paint and then rolled it around on black paper.

Here, she was putting together the alphabet dragon. She recognized every letter and put them in order without help!

Pin punching the China puzzle piece

Making Chinese fans out of popsicle sticks and construction paper.

Monkey's final product!

 

Montessori Monday February 14, 2011

Monkey is 4 years old

This week, it seems like Monkey finally got back into the homeschooling routine.  She’s been a bit reluctant to come down to the schoolroom and work for the past couple weeks…we’re not sure why.  I think it’s just been a bit of a hard transition off the holidays, and then Jedi was home from school a couple days because of bad weather.  But she’s back in the swing of things this week!

Here is a review of some of the things she’s done…

A little Valentine's Day twist to the handwriting work. I have her name card out, some paper, a pencil, and added a little Valentine's Day mailbox

Working on the sandpaper letters and beginning sounds for M,A,S,O,T, and C

Using tongs to move the eggs from the basket to the pan

We're working on number recognition and counting a lot this week as well.

Doing more counting, this time with the bead bars

The bead bars and control card

matching the shape to the card

I found these cool little dusting mits awhile back, and I put them on the practical life shelf for Bug and Monkey to use

Shell matching

 

Montessori Monday November 1, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

This week, Monkey’s concentration was a bit short…but part of me thinks it’s because she knew the Halloween party was coming up and she was excited.  Instead of our usual 3 hour blocks in the school room, we were only down there for 2 hours at a time this week because she was losing focus and wanted to do other things that weren’t in the school room.  However, she did do a lot of good work during her shorter periods.  One thing that I’m noticing is that she’s starting to develop a huge interest in writing…especially her name.  She doesn’t have any letter recognition yet, but I think we’re going to start moving forward with more pre-writing and writing things while she has this interest. 

T@rget has a fantastic stock of wooden Montessori-inspired toys in their dollar spot this week. One of them is this cool counting snail. It's very similar to our alphabet dragon!

Another of our finds is this animal matching box.

The third find was these lacing shapes.

And our 4th and final find was this beading set!

Monkey is still working a lot on her colors. She's still having problems naming them, but is able to match them really well. I found this awesome set on 1+1+1=1--it has the color, word, and objects to match.

Monkey loves to do the knobless cylinder extensions. Right now, she matches them up right on the cards, but soon, we're going to be moving towards making the extension next to the card.

We've also been working on sequencing and patterning. One thing I've noticed is that when the pattern is something like "object a, object b, object c, object a, object b, ____ _____ _____", she will but a, b, and c in order for the 3 blanks instead of C, A, B like it should be. So, I think she's getting the concept, but soon I think she'll get the part about continuing where the pattern leaves off.

Monkey's also been big on writing her name. She has been trying to write her namem everywhere lately, even though she doesn't have any sort of letter recognition yet. So, I printed and laminated a card with her first name on it--she does really well copying the name card.

Making a horizontal pattern with the pink tower, and then building the tower vertically.

We started working with just a few shapes from the geometric cabinet. I had her take out the piece, trace the outline, trace the piece, and then put the piece back in the outline.

Monkey and Bug were making spiders for the Halloween party. To do this, we cut an egg carton into 12 pieces. Then I punched 8 holes into each piece. I cut black pipe cleaners in half, and then Monkey threaded the pipe cleaner throw one hole and then through the whole on the opposite face of the carton piece. We did that with 4 pipe cleaners, to make 8 legs.

Using a spatula to flip various lids. She started out using her hands and I casually mentioned that it's like flipping hamburgers in a pan. She then stopped using her hand...she said she didn't want her fingers burnt. LOL!