Thursday, April 18, 2013

2 Week Wrap-up

Another two week wrap-up but this time it’s not because we were so busy having fun and being productive.  This time it’s from being lazy and not getting much accomplished.  At least it felt that way.

We did no history, no science, no geography (although we almost went on a field trip), no art…. you get the idea.

We did manage a lot of nature study.  Partially because of the warm weather finally reaching New Jersey and partially because the kids have discovered a fascination with bugs.   George found a new friend, Dom, and while we let Dom stay in his room one night (in a tightly closed jar with a few air holes in the lid), the next day they had to release him back into the wild.  Dom appears to be a common black ground beetle according to our Field Guide.    George had a nice speech that he prepared for Dom’s release.


Vicki’s favorite creepy thing to catch is worms.   Those are not welcome in the house so she kept them in a big planter of dirt on the deck.


We learned about more of the birds we have visiting our yard….

I searched our field guide but couldn’t figure out what this guy is, looking online he’s maybe a bunting or a vireo, or maybe a specimen of another bird with more white than usual.  I’ll have to print out a picture and ask Grandpa Charlie.







and red-winged blackbirds.


We learned about fish at 4-H (a full post about this will be coming next week after our field trip to the fish hatchery).


The kids also blew bubbles…..


and snuck the hose into the sand box.


As for our regular work…..I felt like we were getting into a rut again.  Just plowing through the worksheets to get them done.   I pulled out some games and extras for Vicki, while George was able to get back into puzzles, thanks to a Scholastic Dollar Days sale.



Vicki is struggling a bit with OPGTR.  We are STILL on Lesson 50 after 3 weeks.  We already stopped ETC until she advanced a little more so I’ve been searching for some fun ways to review before trying to move forward again. 

I brought back her Word Book.  This is a three-pronged folder with pages that have blocks for each letter.  I write words on little post-its and any she can read, she can put in her book.   I made up a bunch of sight words and those with ending blends.  Once she can do those, I will add some beginning blends (which seems to be what she struggles most with).


I also pulled out our Hubbard’s Cupboard booklets again.  A lot of them feature words with beginning blends, and Vicki generally likes these a lot.

I’m also thinking of pulling out AAS1 and starting phonics back at the beginning to see if a different approach helps.

She is doing okay with HWT, although initially refused to do the “a” page.  I had her practice on the wider lines of the chalkboard before returning to the book.

She is doing MUCH better with writing her name.   Until today when she decided she wanted to change her name.  To “V”.  So all she would have to write is “V”. 


George is doing well with handwriting.  I can’t wait until he finishes his current book and we can move on to cursive.

He scored 100% on his spelling test for this week (we didn’t do spelling last week so only one word list).  This week’s lesson included punctuation.

Reading Comprehension is still going well.  There is an occasional question where he can’t decide between two possible answers.  When that happens, we discuss the wording and decide which is better.  One of the biggest things is telling the difference between a fact and an opinion.

One of the completely new things I picked up at the Scholastic sale for George was Analogies Grade 4-5.   So far he is enjoying them and they aren’t too difficult.  They start off with finding similarities between things on a list.   On a couple pages, we threw in some dictionary work since he didn’t know all the terms (not the page shown).




Vicki is still doing one page of Math Mammoth and one page from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners each day.   We are almost done with Chapter 1 (addition) in MM and will start subtraction soon.  I like the EMSS because it introduces a variety of topics.  This week she worked on Venn Diagrams, graphing, pennies and ordinal numbers.

I tried to shake things up with math this week by using more hands-on stuff.  She was having a little trouble with a MM page involving greater than/less than.   Since the page involved a addition problem on one side and a whole number on the other, I pulled out flash cards, Skip-bo cards, and made up index cards for the greater than/less than sign and the equals sign.  I would put out a flash card and a Skip-bo card and she would put the correct symbol in between.


We also used playing cards to practice the 10 facts.   I laid out the 10 card, then gave her two sets of 1 through 9 cards and had her pull out all the combinations that added up to 10.

I plan to look through MEP (which we have various parts of printed out from using it in the past) and the beginning pages of each Chapter of MM to find more fun games that we can do to work on math. 

I also pulled out the Judy clock to show Vicki time to the half hour this week.  


George on the other hand really likes his worksheets.   He was VERY excited to see that his algebra readiness and his math riddles were back this week.  He was less excited when he realized that the Math Riddles were now multiplication.   At the Dollar Days, I bought Algebra Readiness Made Easy in both 4th and 5th grade levels, and Solve the Riddle Math Problems – Multiplication and Division.   So far the 4th grade algebra readiness seems too easy for him but this book seems to get harder pretty quickly so we will continue along.

I also purchased Logic Posters, Problems and Puzzles from Scholastic.   The first of these involved looking at a poster of 4 gardens and answering questions to see which garden was the correct answer.  George had a lot of fun with these and loved it when he found the correct answer.  I did have to explain some terms to him since they talked about squares, prime numbers, arrays and 3 cubed.   This book also includes matrix puzzles, venn diagram puzzles and arithmetic puzzles.


He has completely finished MM 3A and we will be moving on to Division in 3B, in addition to working on Place Value in 4A (so far he finds it easy so we may move faster), and Fractions in 4B.

He is working on the balancing scales problems in Beast Academy.


We didn’t do any Spanish in the past two weeks but they did both do a few pages from Evan Moor Beginning Geography.  Vicki is working on map symbols, while George is learning coordinates.

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