Sunday, August 23, 2009

Music Education

This week we worked on rounds. Two was also learning about mountain ranges of the world, as well as how mountains are formed, so the selection was appropriate. Two is the one with her fingers in her helped her keep track of what line she was on! :) You will also notice that One hurries her ending...she was over it. Tween!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Better than a Book Report

Here is a link with 50 alternatives to a standard book report:

One has just finished reading The Trumpet of the Swan (which she LOVED, by the way). And, as an alternative to a book report, I had her write an acrostic of the main character's name (an adaptation of an idea I got from the above link). If you're looking to change things up, you may want to check it out.

And, here is One's finished product:

Louis is dumb.
One hundred dollars was the first money he earned.
In Philadelphia, he played at a nightclub.
Under a bush was where Louis kept his things.
Serena was the most beautiful swan Louis knew.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Group Project: Relief Map of South America

One and Two had a group project assignment this week. They were both learning about South America in their Core Knowledge books, and a teaching idea that was listed in my book for One was to create your own relief map of the continent showing the Andes Mountains and the Amazon River. Well, Two was learning about South America as well, the Andes Mountains, and relief I included her in the project. They struggle some times to get along (what sisters don't I ask you??) and I think it will be good throughout the year for them to work together on things. They did come to me more than once asking what they should do when they had reached a disagreement about how they should do something, and I refused to intervene. I told them they had to work TOGETHER, and that how they handled the disagreements would play a big part in their grade. Overall, they did well in that area.

Rolling out play-doh to make the Andes.

Thier finished work:

It's not the neatest project in the world. But, I don't know that they've ever had to do something of this nature, especially together, so I think it was good first effort. I expect later projects in the year will be done with more care for details.
That care for details is something I've been discussing with One this week anyway, she told me she didn't know she was supposed to put 100% effort into ALL her work. *eye roll* She's such a tween!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This is a VERY simplified volcano model. We could have jazzed it up, and actually BUILT a volcano of clay around the jar, but we've had a busy week and didn't get to that but I still wanted to do the 'hands on' part of the unit.

*I wanted to add: Two was very unsure of herself, and didn't like that I was video taping her. But, in the end, decided I could use it here anyway.*

Our New Look

Just wanted to point out our new banner! WOO HOO. A friend from a message board made it for me (and 2 others to choose from, so I may change them up every now and then!), and I'm thrilled. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Beginning Taxonomy Project

(As a reminder: all children will be referred to as a number, their birth order from here on out)

One is learning about taxonomy. As a beginning project, she went out and collected several different types of plants. This is a teaching idea from the Core Knowledge Teacher Handbook (which I LOVE). Here she is examining her choices, to select how they will be grouped.

Now, she has sorted them according to leaf shape (her choice), and is affixing them to a small poster board.

Now, she is trying to decide which describing word to use for that last group.

And, her completed work:

Two is working on cooking, and learning her way around the kitchen. Last week she assisted me in making bbq chicken sandwiches from leftover roasted chicken. Last night she helped me make smoked sausage with pasta. She insisted I take a picture, since I was taking pictures of what her sister was doing. Here she is cutting celery (and while I was blogging this...she asked if she could help with tonight's dinner!):

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Year

Last Monday we started our new school year. The first day was ROUGH...Four was not a happy camper most of the day making it difficult for me to get what I needed to get done, done. After that first day, I was frazzled. I was hopeful though too. I hoped day 2 would go better, and it was a little better. Four seemed to have a rough few days, but we managed to get a lot accomplished anyway. We actually got everything finished that I had scheduled, except one project. We started the project, but it didn't go smootly. The project dried slowly and ended up a mess! Overall, I give us a grade of B+ for the week. Not a bad start.

My personal goal is to blog at least once a week. I thought I would do once a day, but then I realized I was more likely to meet my goal if I set if for once a week. So, I will strive to do more, I'll be happy with once a week.

To simplify my life, I ordered all the materials available from Core Knowledge this year. In years past, I've used the student book and did all the legwork myself. I have to say, I love having the Teacher Handbook and Day by Day planner! We are using Math Advantage for math again this year (this textbook works well for both girls, so I plan on sticking with it). I just bought a new curriculum for spelling, as both girls tested poorly in spelling on their end of the year evals. It is Recipe for Spelling, and so far so good. It has games, and those are always a hit around here.

Four is screaming. More to come (including pics).