Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up - September 27 through October 1, 2010

This week was one of those "The best laid plans...." weeks. 
I wanted to go on Nature Walks to gather leaves and acorns for Fall crafts....instead it rained everyday except Wednesday and even then it was overcast and damp.

I wanted to start our map unit with a treasure hunt....instead...see above reference to rain. :-(

Daddy was away on a business trip to India all week and Vicki was feeling very uncooperative (45 minutes straight of screaming Thursday morning).   It certainly didn't lead to a productive week.

One of the highlights of the week was being able to talk to daddy by video call through Skype. 

We did do a lot of reading this week.  Georgie read Hop On Pop and A Great Day for Up almost completely by himself.  He was very excited.  The only words he had trouble with were ones like Mr., Mrs., getting, buttercups, waiters, there and where.  We are working a little bit on sight words but not too intensely.  In fact, other than the games we play all I did was write a word on each page in a spiral-bound index card pad.  We flip through the book and each word he can read he puts a sticker on the page. 

We also read Wacky Wednesday.  I don't know how I missed this story in the past but I wasn't familiar with it.  Georgie loved this story.  Each page had a scene with things that were wacky - a stroller with feet, a tree that didn't reach the ground, a house without a door, etc.  Some of the things Georgie didn't catch, like a sign that said "Four Sale" but he loved pointing out the crazy stuff on each page and laughing hysterically.

One of the things we did get to this week was AAS.  Georgie and I are both loving this program (I guess I'm loving it because he is).   When we started with a review of segmenting words this week, first he used the tokens to segment, then he pulled the letters down one at a time while making the sound.  He decided to do this on his own but I think we do this in an upcoming lesson.
In the picture some of the letter tiles are vertical down the side.  This is because we are not using the correct size board at this point.  I wanted something smaller for now since I don't leave it out in one place in order to keep it out of Vicki's reach.   Our wall mounted board is the correct size and we may swap around the boards if it starts becoming an issue.

For a little while Georgie played with the tiles spelling random words he knew.  He was able to figure out right away that he couldn't do certain words because he only had one of each letter.  He mentioned he couldn't do his name becauese he would need two e's and two g's, and he couldn't write book because he would need two o's.  He did write a few standard cvc style words.  The only thing I wish was different was the letter tile for a.  The font used shows most of the letters in the standard way they are written but not the a, which is written as it is shown in the font used in this post (unfortunately blogger doesn't have a font that does a in what I'm referring to as the standard written way but I'm hoping you know what I mean).

We played the dice word game a few times this week at Georgie's request.  He really likes playing with the dice but he doesn't do it exactly right.  He basically changes the dice to whatever letter he wants and then puts it with the rolled endings to make words.  He did okay writing the words down but needs to work on spacing and doing more lower case instead of upper case.

When she wasn't screaming, Vicki played with the Unifix cubes, some lacing cards and did a wipe off book of numbers.  I managed to get a picture before she colored her tummy green.
Vicki also tried to decorate a large letter a by stamping it with a cut apple.  This didn't work too well both because the paint I had (finger paints) wasn't the right consistency to work well with stamping and because Vicki swirled the apple around the page instead of stamping.  While she was working on that, Georgie decided he wanted to stamp with a banana and I had to explain why that probably wouldn't work.  We use dabber paints and roller paints and glitter paints so often, I didn't even realize the only regular paints we had (except large bottles of white and black) were these gel-like finger paints.  So, we ended up running out to the store for some washable tempera paints to have for our crafts.

One thing I accomplished this week was changing around how we did our workboxes.  I changed it so much that we are no longer doing workboxes.  My old method was pretty tweaked to begin with.  I used magazine holders to organize a week's worth of work at a time by subject.  The holders contained handwriting worksheets,  ETC and matching Emergent Readers, All About Spelling, letter and number dabber/sticker pages for Vicki, fine motor skills (Georgie really needs to work on cutting), Monday’s math (alternate time and money), Tuesday's math - MEP, Wednesday's math - RS Abacus (which we haven't actually started yet) and Thursdays math - MEP.  It was working okay but it was wasting a lot of space since many of the holders only had a few sheets of paper in them and I was finding it difficult to stand there and decide what to do next.  This may not seem like a big deal but on those days where I was extremely sleep-deprived, this became a major issue.

So, I scrapped the magazine holders and made two letter trays using cereal boxes.  I covered them with pretty paper and stacked them slightly staggered.  All Vicki's paper activities were in one and all Georgie's work in the other.  All materials needed for lessons (MEP cards, AAS tiles and card box, abacus, etc.) sit in a basket next to them on the shelf and our read-aloud selection is upright next to them.    Doesn't the tape on the side look lovely?  It's not nearly as noticable IRL as it is in this picture.

When I put Georgie's work in his box I arranged it in a logical order for us to do it.  I mixed up sit-down/writing activities with more active/non-written work.  I also made sheets for "Play Reading Game" and "Play Math Game" that I stuck in periodically.  It contains a week's worth of work so that if we have a bad day or just a bad afternoon, it won't matter so much we just continue the next day with where we left off.
His order right now is: AAS (small amount of writing), Phonics/Reading (a lot of writing followed by looking at books), Abacus or Game, Writing, MEP (moderate writing), Time or Money, fine motor skills.
I am still using large plastic drawers to organize items for our history or science topics.

Soccer was cancelled this week (see above mentioned rain) but the kids are still loving gymnastics.  Georgie has said that once a week is not enough and he wants to go more often.  Most of our PE for this week consisted of running around like lunatics, jumping on the couch screaming and crawling under the bed.  What fun.


  1. Oh my gosh, we LOVED Wacky Wednesday! It's in the attic being saved for the next generation :)

    The rain has been so awful this week. I'm sorry your plans had to change so much.

  2. How creative to use cereal boxes for letter trays! I wish I'd talked to you before I spent a ton of money on 24 letter trays! I wish I were creative like that... nice job! It's all about making the system work for us right?

  3. Your kids are too cute! You accomplished a lot this week!

  4. I think we all run into those 'best laid plans' weeks once in awhile! I love the letterbox idea - that's very neat!

  5. Hope this coming week will by dry and sunny for you! Thanks for the Wacky Wednesday recommendation, I'm going to check the library!
    Lee (5wolfcubs)

  6. Looks/sounds like a great week!

    Isn't skype amazing?!

  7. Send the rain here! midTN has been so dry that allergy/sinus stuff is bothering all of us.

    Isn't skype and all the video computer messaging great?!?

    "One thing I accomplished this week was changing around how we did our workboxes. I changed it so much that we are no longer doing workboxes." ROFLOL Isn't funny when we tweak things out of existence?

  8. Oy, definitely had one of those weeks around here too!!

    I can't figure out an organizing system I love yet. Right now I try to keep everything in a big tote in my bedroom, but throughout the day I'm tossing things on my bed as we use them...and at night things get set in a pile by my husband...and the next day it's all a mess. Or it starts growing into a massive pile on the kitchen table. Ha!