Thursday, January 28, 2010

Community & Community Helpers

This week we are going to continuing studying Communities and begin on Community Helpers.

We started by sorting pictures of different objects (cars, buildings, people) into different types of communites - Suburban, Urban and Rural (town, city and country).  This project came from Teacher Book Bags (available from  We colored in maps showing the streets and buldings in a community.  We read On the Town by Judith Caseley, which is a wonderful introduction to places and people in a community.

We've started a new Math curriculum with Georgie.   We are using a free program developed in England and Hungary called the "Mathematics Enhancement Programme".  So far Georgie likes it a lot - it has a nice mix of elements - physical activities, songs, writing pages, and discussion.

I'm trying to add a lot more games into our program.  We have a bunch of file folder games plus we received some new games for Christmas that should fit in nicely.  This week we played:  Winter Dominos (printed from, Dr. Seuss ABC Stretch (similar to twister with letters and letter sounds), Picture/Letter match (file folder game), Fishing with Rover sight word game (file folder game from Frogever Smart Games) and Vicki played a color matching game with Smily Faces.

One of the things the kids received for Christmas was a chalkboard to be mounted on the wall.  I'm trying to find ways to allow them to be creative more often without having to worry about crayon and marker all over the walls, furniture, etc.  We ended up picking up a second one since they are currently not capable of sharing a 2 foot by 3 foot space without fighting.   The two boards are mounted underneath the bulletin boards used to display their school and art work.  The bulletin boards are high enough that they can't reach to pull things off.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Since the holidays ended, we've been working on getting things organized, cleaned-up and getting everyone healthy.  The kids had really nasty colds right after the New Year that seem to be taking forever to go away.  We have finally been able to get back into our school schedule.

We've been working on a Community theme.  First we learned about our state - New Jersey.  We marked the location of our house, Granny Franny's house and Gramma Kayes house by gluing arrows to a state map.  We read the section on New Jersey in "Smart About the 50 States".  We also colored sheets with the state bird (Eastern Goldfinch) and flower (violet).  Georgie did a writing/tracing page with our address.  We're going to work with him on learning his address and phone number but I'm sure that's going to be an ongoing project.

We read the Dr. Seuss book "And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street" and Georgie dictated his own story "I Saw It On O------ Road".  Here's his story:
"A snake pulling a football and a cat pulling a basket with a thing of cookies in the basket......A lion pulling a shoe and a girl singing with a bologna sandwich...and there's more.....An elephant pulling a rock, a little big and enough heavy for the elephant to pull it....a dinosaur pulling a bird and the bird flying and pulling the dinosaur and its a three horn tritops.....and a bat pulling a map.....a pigeon pulling a statue and a sticker with eyes.....a cup with a blanket with a shoe with chalk with a basket."

He also wrote a story with daddy.  Here's his cover page:
And the story goes like this:  "A fish named Webo was friends with a dog named Zappa.  They liked to go to the zoo.  Their favorite animals were the Tigers."

Vicki's been going to a "Tot Fun Time" class at the Y. She gets to sing, dance, play games and do a simple coloring project two days a week.  She's having a lot of fun with it and it gives her time with mom or Georgie thats just for her.  Some of the projects they've done lately:

Next week we're continuing our Community studies with different types of communities and community helpers.

Christmas and New Years

The kids had a great Christmas.  They received all the educational toys and games that were on their list (Thanks Mom!), lots of blocks, Leapsters and new movies.  They both had a great time this year opening their presents, with the help of Big Sis Stephanie.
We had another snow storm New Year Eve and Georgie wanted to go out and try again to build a snowman.  This time I was brave and went outside to take pictures instead of doing it through the window.
The kids had brand new snowpants, gloves and boots so they were able to stay out a little longer this time.
Zappa loves the snow.
The first attempts to make a snowman failed.  The snow didn't pack well enough to make a large snowman so they eventually decided to make a little guy.