Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: Week of Feb 9th

The kids finished up another Native American tribe – the Navajo.

They are both making great progress, getting out  more (they went ice skating, to another art class at the museum, and will be starting swim lessons next week), reading lots of great books, and having lots of fun.  And maybe if this snow finally melts, they’ll get outside more.

This week was another short, crazy week due to snow.  Thursday was a snow day and Friday a delayed start.


Language Arts

HWT 1st: finished through page 67

Scholastic DoDEA Skill Builder Grammar, Usage and Mechanics Grade 1: through page 27, putting periods at the end of a sentence.

Scholastic Second Grade Basic Skills: Reading Comprehension and Skills: through page 27, learned about antonyms.   

The Wand:  continued with Fox in Socks activities, which included some copywork and learning about different ways to make the /k/ sound.  She also spelled the words who, do, to, was and of.

copywork  0012


Math Mammoth 1A:  through page 131 (almost done with 1A).

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Gr 1:  She finished through page 89 and doing some Math Riddles until I get around to printing more.  Covered counting by 5’s, tally marks, and greater than/less than.

Scholastic Second Grade Basic Skills: practiced skip counting and recognizing number words doing some dot-to-dots.


Language Arts

HWT Cursive:through page 59

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write Gr 4:  this weeks spelling words: flight, bright, might, light, drown, amount, around, enjoy, voyage, famous, rocket, ocean.  The reading passage was about Animals in Space and activities included a review of when to use capital letters.  For the writing assignment, he wrote a Cinquain:

Talking, Famous
Flying, Sliding, Cooking
Amount of Good: 100%

He also had an assignment to make a list of things you would put in a capsule to live on Mars.  His list:

1. Penguin figure (he’s definitely on a penguin kick lately).
2.  Nuke (??)
3. Plant, water, plant food, fertilizer, dirt.
4.  snow, mud
5. bricks, cement.
6. bug house with a bug in it, leafs.
7. Guns, bullets, crowbar.
8. seeds

Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension Gr 4:  through page 120.  He is still working through the section on non-fiction text features.  This week included an application, table of contents, and a timeline.

Evan Moor Word-A-Day:  This week’s words were statement, charity, disposable and ancient.

Writing with Ease:  this week’s passages were from Caddie Woodlawn.  His narration sentences were:

“The hazelnuts were green.” and “Baby Joe waved his arms and shouted when the pigeons came.”

Reading:  I mentioned last week that I would update the list of books he’s read recently.  He’s been recording most of the books he reads on a log in his binder (not all the Pokemon and comic books he reads at night are included).  Since January 6th he has read:  all the Wimpy Kid books (repeatedly), Alice in Wonderland (didn’t care for it), Pokemon Top 10 Handbook, 8 different Stink books (from the series by Megan McDonald), The Holly Joliday (also by Megan McDonald), The Buried City of Pompeii, Judy Moody Predicts the Future, and Charlotte’s Web.

He also wrote a Biography this week.

Favorite Animal: cat
Favorite Animal 2: cobra
Favorite Animal 3: penguin
Favorite Food: Pizza Bites
Name: George Richard -----
Username: GR—8--
Fav Thing: computer
Fav Pokemon: Arbok of course!
Fav Letter: Y
Fav Number: 7
Fave Expression:   :3
Fav Myth: Ra
Fav Symbol: @
Coolest Shirt: Minecraft Shirt
Fav Color: Yellow


Math Mammoth (4B):  took a break from MM to work on Order of Operations some more.

Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy Gr 5: through page 26, he finished up the array puzzles and is working on using clues to figure out costs.

Scholastic Solve the Riddle Math Practice Multiplication and Division:  up to Riddle #30, division riddles will be up soon.

Scholastic Logic Posters, Problems and Puzzles: up to page 43.   He’s almost finished with these and I’ll have to find a new book of logic puzzles.  He really enjoys the grid puzzles but I’d like to find another resource, or multiple resources, that have all different kinds of logic puzzles.

Jennifer has been doing an amazing job working with the kids.   Both of them are writing more of their work than they ever did before, both are reading more(often voluntarily!!), and progressing nicely. 

Native Americans - Navajo

The kids learned about the Navajo and other Native Americans of the Southwest with Jennifer.

The started out by reading about Native Americans of the Southwest (from an Evan-Moor book) and discussing what they learned.    George colored his picture (he really LOVES different colors) and said “rock and mud houses.  The people of the Southwest lived in a hot dry climate.”


While Vicki remembered that “They lived in hogans.  The Pueblo people used clay, water and straw to build houses.”

They then moved on to The Navajo of the Southwest History Pocket.   We don’t set up the history pockets the way Evan-Moor suggests.  Instead, after reading the information on the Navajo, they each color their own title page and dictionary cards.   George’s get added to a chart, while Vicki glues hers to paper to put in our history notebook.

Navajo_1 Navajo_6


Both kids colored in the shelter stamps to add to the map.


The kids learned more about the Navajo by reading Turquoise Boy: Navajo Legend, Keepers of the Earth and In a Circle Long Ago

They then did many many activities to learn more. 

They made Navajo necklaces with beads and foil covered cardboard to simulate silver.

IMG_3824 IMG_3823

The Navajo are known for brightly colored rugs in geometric patterns and bright colors.  The kids colored their own versions.


They made Native American pendants with stylized Eagle.












They made fetish good luck charms out of clay.  George made a penguin…


while Vicki made a long, thin dolphin.


They made Navajo skin bags to hold their fetishes.

IMG_3867 IMG_3868

and last but not least, they made coil pots out of clay.

Navajo_12 IMG_3833

Just two more tribes/regions to go.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine’s Day & President’s Day

The kids did some fun crafts for Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.    They also read a bunch of books that I unfortunately forgot to write down.

For Valentine’s Day:

Vicki’s card for mommy and daddy…

IMG_3846 IMG_3847

George’s card for Daddy - “I like you a lot, UR cool….ish”  LOL.  Just like Georgie to gush  <<eye roll>>.   He also made a Valentine’s Day card at church last weekend, but unlike every other kid in his class, he made his for a girl he likes from the choir, instead of for his parents. 


Vicki’s butterfly…

 IMG_3850 IMG_3851

and George’s “hypno-butterfly”.

IMG_3852 IMG_3856


For President’s Day….

Cherry trees…


George drew in a little guy that lost his ball up the tree and was asking for help, and a little bird right at the top.


George Washington’s with quarters for buttons (at least on Vicki’s)….

IMG_3842 IMG_3843

Abraham Lincoln with penny eyes (again, at least on Vicki’s)….

IMG_3844 IMG_3845

and log cabins.


Weekly Wrap-up: Week of Feb 3rd

The past few weeks have been a little crazy and sporadic for one reason only:  SNOW!  We have been getting ridiculous amounts of snow and ice this winter, which has led to days off work and school.  We have about two feet of snow/ice covering our entire yard at the moment.  A lot of the local towns are running short of salt and most of the roads are plowed barely a car width wide.    Needless to say, I can’t wait until Spring is here.

IMG_3838 IMG_3839


Language Arts

HWT 1st:  Vicki has completed through page 61 in HWT.  She is no longer doing extra number practice because she is doing her own writing for math now!

Scholastic DoDEA Skill Builder Grammar, Usage and Mechanics Grade 1:  This is working great as a nice, slow introduction to grammar.  She will move on to Grade 2 when she finishes this one.   She continuted to learn about telling sentences and questions this week.

Scholastic Second Grade Basic Skills, Reading Comprehension:  Vicki completed the 1st grade book and moved onto the 2nd grade book.  This week’s activities included learning about synonyms.  This book was one of my (many) Scholastic Dollar Days acquisitions. 

The Wand:  She finished up the activities for Hop on Pop, which included phonics, prefixes, suffixes and base words, and past tense.


Math Mammoth 1A:  She’s reaching the end of MM1A and will move on to 1B.  She enjoys making up stories to go along with the problems and turning them into word problems.

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Gr 1:  She had activities on addition/subtraction to 14, and graphing this week.

Vicki has also been doing some activities from another Scholastic Dollar Days find – Second Grade Basic Skills which has skip-counting dot-to-dots, mazes and word searches.


Language Arts

HWT Cursive:  George is up to page 55 in his HWT cursive book.  Once he finishes this book, we may not bother with the next book and just concentrate on practice.

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write Gr 4:  Spelling is going very well now that he types his answers on the computer instead of doing them orally.  He usually has no problem spelling all the words correctly.  This weeks words were: few, blue, clue, choose, ooze, dangerous, gentle, strange, giant, poison, cousin and toxic.   This week also covered synonyms, adjectives, and included a passage about Rainforest frogs.

Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension Gr 4:  He continues to do well with reading comprehension, as long as he reads the passages carefully.  A few

Evan Moor Word-A-Day Gr 3: This weeks words were: independent, inflate, adjustable and astonish.  Each week two or three of the words might be ones he already knows, but we are also using this to practice dictionary skills – he looks up each word in the dictionary before answering the questions.

Writing with Ease: This week’s activities were from The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  He is still doing copywork in manuscript since he hasn’t yet gone through all the letters in HWT.    His narrations for each passage were “They were rabbits” and “Mr. McGregor almost caught Peter in the shed”. 

Reading:  He has done a lot of reading recently.  I keep forgetting to write the books down from his log but I’m going to try and remember to do it next week.  He is currently reading Charlotte’s Web in preparation for next weeks WWE activities.


Math Mammoth (4A):  He has completed Chapter 1 through Order of Operations.  Since this was his first introduction to OOO, they are spending some more time practicing before moving on.

Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy Gr 5:   He seems to have gotten the hang of the array puzzles and should be moving on to the next set of puzzles shortly. 

Scholastic Solve the Riddle Math Practice Multiplication and Division:   He’s working his way through these, usually without using his chart. 

Scholastic Logic Posters, Problems and Puzzles:  He’s almost finished with this book so I’m going to be picking up something new.  He really likes doing the grid puzzles so we may just go for more of those.

The kids are making good progress and are right on track where they should be. 

A Trip to the Museum

The kids took a trip to our favorite local museum last week.  The Lego exhibit, featuring artist Nathan Sawaya, has returned to the museum (we saw it when it was here in 2011) and the kids had a great time checking out the sculptures and then doing some building of their own.

Morris_Museum_2-11_3 Morris_Museum_2-11_4 Morris_Museum_2-11_5 Morris_Museum_2-11_6 Morris_Museum_2-11_10

They also visited some of their other favorite exhibits….



hanging out in a dinosaur nest…..


Morris_Museum_2-11_8 Morris_Museum_2-11_12 Morris_Museum_2-11_14

and stopping around the corner for a special treat after.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week Ending: January 31, 2014

This week the kids went on a nature walk to learn about tracks and millipedes….

pyramid mtn 5

learned all about snakes, thanks to the new member of our family…..


and went to the library for a Valentine’s craft.

craft 1


Language Arts

HWT 1st:  completed through page 54.  Sometimes does 1 page a day, sometimes 2 pages.

Scholastic DoDEA Skill Builder Grammar, Usage and Mechanics Grade 1:  learned about question sentences and when to use a question mark

Scholastic First Grade Basic Skills, Reading Comprehension:  Vicki is almost done with the 1st grade book and will move right into 2nd grade. Jen has been successful at transitioning from doing these orally to having Vicki write in the answers.

The Wand: Week 2 of Level 1 – Hop on Pop

Reading: Vicki has been reading a mix of Dr. Seuss, Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, and all about snakes.


Math Mammoth 1A: She is almost done with MM1A and will move into MM1B.

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Gr 1: This week’s Evan Moor included pages about the calendar, counting, numbers before and after, addition and subtraction to 14, adding three numbers, and number words.


Language Arts

HWT Cursive:  Completed through page 52, he usually is just doing one page a day.

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write Gr 4: This week’s passage was about Pompeii and the spelling words were: also, almost, awful, awesome, early, earth, wonder, shower, world, worst, volcano, erupt.  Jen has been working with him and he’s doing a lot more of his writing using correct case, instead of always in upper case. 

The writing assignment this week was to pretend to be a tv reporter sent to report on the eruption of a volcano.  George’s report: 

The smell was awful.  It made my nose want to explode. They should call it a stink-ano.  The ash and meteors coming out of it was green with a green fire trail.  It seems like this is the world’s stinkiest eruption ever.  It was stinky but awesome.  I hear big eruptions that sound like 1,000 garbage cans falling at once.  About halfway through it started sounding like 1,000 stinky boars.

He also wrote an acrostic poem:


Not sure where he came up with Omega from.

Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension Gr 4:  George has completed through page 86, which is about 1/2 way through the Grade 4 book. 

Evan Moor Word-A-Day Grade 3:  This week’s words were irritable, mob, launch, fidgety.  

Writing with Ease:  This week’s passages were on Mary Poppins. 

Reading:  George has been reading the Stink books, and enjoying them a lot.


Math Mammoth (4A):  George has started MM4A. He has been doing a lot more of his own writing here as well.

Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy Gr 5: These have all been array problems lately, which seem to be harder than some of the other types (even to me!).  He only has a few more pages before he starts a new section that I suspect will be easier.

Scholastic Solve the Riddle Math Practice Multiplication and Division:  He’s doing much better solving these without using his chart.

Scholastic Logic Posters, Problems and Puzzles:  He is currently working through the section on poster puzzles.  Each poster has four different pictures – a garden, a flag, etc. and questions need to be answered to figure out which picture is the correct answer.   Once he’s finished with these (there aren’t that many), I’ll have to find another good book of logic puzzles.



The kids have both been making great progress and enjoying their work with Jen.