Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

Our FIRST Weekly Wrap-up of 2013!  We had a fun, busy, productive first week back.   

I believe part of our productivity was due to some changes I made to our set-up.   Rearranging seems like a constant, ongoing process here, but I think I may have finally found an arrangement that will work long-term.  One of my goals with this new set-up was to have dedicated spaces for the kids to do school.  Spaces that were not used for anything else, so they wouldn’t need to be cleaned off or moved in order to do school.

First, we moved back into the living room.  The living room offers us more options for hanging posters, maps and timelines, and more shelves to store supplies, manipulatives and games.   I used two height-adjustable folding tables we already had (and had used in the past by setting them up each day), and set them up on either side of the fireplace.   I then replaced their folding office boards with bulletin boards that hang over the tables.  This will make swapping out information easier.

Vicki has her name, typed on HWT-style lines, the HWT alphabet and number guide, a hundred chart with the even numbers highlighted, and a guide to show the difference between b and d.   I also plan to post any words she is working on each week.  (the 4 small objects hanging at the top of her board are Shrinky-Dinks).


Georgie has his full name on HWT-style lines, the HWT letter and number guide, a place value chart, a multiplication chart, a hundreds chart, the days of the week and months of the year, and some grammar hints.   Our flip-over date cards also sit at the top of his board.


I also changed the format of our week.  I felt like we had too many weeks where we didn’t get to our fun subjects – science, history/geography, art, music, literature.  So, I decided to do a bit of a block schedule.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will do all our Math and Language Arts subjects, as well as Spanish (all three days), Literature (Monday), Art (Wednesday) and Music (Friday).  On Tuesdays and Thursdays we will do Science or History/Geography or have a game day or have a project day or have a field trip day.  Since our 4-H meetings are on Tuesdays, this will make planning easier and hopefully things will be postponed less often.

I already found an extra benefit to this plan – when Georgie took too long finishing up his work on Monday this wee, he was able to finish it first thing in the morning on Tuesday.  This kept my plan from getting to off track and may actually allow me to plan farther ahead.

Of course, this was our first week back, and we had 4-H and a playdate this week, so we didn’t actually get to any of the fun subjects.  But, we did get to every bit of the math and language arts I had planned, so it was all good.

So, what did we actually do this week?  First the fun stuff….

We had a 4-H Cloverbud meeting where we had some Photography fun, including a dress-up photo shoot.  More can be seen about that here.



Also for fun this week, I introduced the kids to Shrinky Dinks!  Both of them received different kits for Christmas – Vicki’s was a forest jewelry set and Georgie’s was a monster set.    Vicki loved watching them curl up and shrink in the toaster oven.


As for our regular school work….



Vicki no longer has her word wall so I made her a word book.  Each page has a grid with a box for each letter.  When we add new words Vicki will add a post-it note to the correct box.  Each day she will read through the words already there as review.


HWT – pg 12, 13 and 14; wet/dry/try name on blackboard


ETC – pg 37 through 43, which brings us to short /u/ words.

OPGTR – Lesson 36

We are still using the Hubbard’s Cupboard emergent readers, and I downloaded the I See Sam readers onto my tablet to get a little more variety in our practice reading.



Georgie is doing very well with reading.  Mostly Magic Tree House books read at bedtime.  He has currently read through book 42 or 43, at a pace on one every night.    Since he is reading them fairly quickly, and I haven’t had a chance to make a trip up to my favorite used book store in Connecticut, I’ve started checking them out of the library for him.  We picked up the latest batch Tuesday when we were there for our 4-H meeting.   And while I was setting up the room and we were waiting for everyone else to arrive, Georgie sat down and immediately started reading.

Georgie….sitting still….and reading….voluntarily….in the middle of the day.  A real milestone for him.


AAS – we are up to Step 12.  He has been able to spell all the words so far on the first try.  Since he is evidently a pretty natural speller, after we finish AAS2, we may switch to Evan Moor Building Spelling Skills since I already have the Teacher’s File Box and I can try out lists with him until we hit words he doesn’t already know.  (after a post on TWTM forums, I discovered he was able to spell squalid).

HWT – pg 31-33.  He’s getting slightly better at writing neatly, and on the lines properly. 

Spectrum – We are continuing along in our Language Arts (Grammar) and Writing workbooks.  Once we finish these I think we are going to switch to the Scott Foresman Grammar and Writing Handbook.   I like how it has both Grammar and Writing in one book and they work together.

Reading Comprehension – we are continuing to use Evan Moor Read and Understand with Leveled Texts.  He is doing much better with the Grade 4 texts than he was before the holiday break.



Vicki is doing one page from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Kindergarten and one page from Math Mammoth 1A each day.   We’ve also been doing addition drills using numbered dice and playing cards.


George is doing 2 or 3 pages from various chapters in Math Mammoth 3A or 3B each day, along with 1 page from Beast Academy 3A.   We also do some drill to help him build speed with his addition facts, using flash cards, dice or playing cards.

He still LOVES his Algebra Readiness Made Easy puzzles and I plan to bring back his Addition and Subtraction Riddles (both from Scholastic) so he can continue practicing carrying and borrowing as we move further into multiplication.


Next week I’m hoping to add in our extra subjects, along with more games.


  1. What a great first week back! I like the idea of their own boards too.

  2. Good luck with the new set-up! I'm always changing things up, too.