09 10

30 October 2009

Whoosh - There Goes October

Monday was pretty uneventful. We did lots of math. We counted pennies again, Monkey jumped in circles while we counted dog noises, we played Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and he counted our silverware when we ate our ice cream. We didn't do nearly as much reading, which is OK; we'll get that another day. But we did do some flashcard games with the letters and sounds. The one that went the best was when I would show him a letter and he would find it on his alphabet strip and then tell me the sound. He's really solid on about half of the letters, but some of those less common ones are tripping him up still. We didn't get to doing our read alouds until bedtime, and he was pretty tired by then! He made it through reading the scriptures, but fell asleep in the middle of reading Little House on the Prairie.

Tuesday we did some nature study, which got its own post. It was a great trip. We saw all kinds of fun things, including the garter snake that I almost stepped on.

Wednesday we got a lot accomplished. For math, I had some new manipulatives to play with. Late last week, I made 10 squares of 2 different colors of felt, so 20 in all, and put a dot on one side of them with paint. By Wednesday they were dry and I was organized enough to play with them. I had 3 and Monkey had three, just pulled randomly from the pile, so our sets were different. We then set and re-arranged our 3 "tiles" into every different shape and arrangement that I could think of. "How many is it now?" I wanted Monkey to see that no matter how they were arranged, they were still 3. We also talked just a little bit about how 1 and 2 are partners to make 3, and 2 and 1 are also partners in 3. Monkey thought the whole counting and re-counting was hilarious. I'm not sure he understood what I was getting at with the "partners" idea: he gave me a funny look.

We did some practicing with his letters. I've been trying to emphasize some of the less common letters, and it's paying off. I could see that he's getting better at them, but I didn't realize how much better until Thursday.

We read a chapter and a half of Little House on the Prairie. I'm beginning to look at my copy of the 1000 Good Books list, thinking about what are we going to do next. I always find choosing a read-aloud a little bit stressful.

Thursday, when we did our phonics practice, I tried something different: I told Monkey the wrong thing. I'd show him a letter - W, and tell him it said, /d/. His response, "Noooo! W says /wuh/!" It worked like a charm. Much faster, much more fun, and I realized that he knows his letters, big and little, much better than I'd realized. And he's much more firm in the sounds of all of them (except B & D, which he switched around consistently), than I thought. We also have been using his markerboard to practice 2 letter blends, and I've shown him some CVC words, but he doesn't have those yet. It's close though. Very close. I pulled out the next game in the Happy Phonics pack and set it up. It's a blending game, and we'll start it next week.

We also went to another nature preserve and did some more nature study. Ducks, this time. The kids (public school was out and there were many) were loving it when the ducks would tip up and nibble on whatever's down there. I need to pull out the Handbook of Nature Study and learn some more about ducks because I couldn't tell Monkey very much about what they were doing as they tipped and splashed. But it sure looked like they were having a good time! Monkey also experimented with the moving water. He liked to drop leaves in and watch them get washed away. We did that for quite a while. I've got pictures of it all, but I think I'll have to get those up later.

Today, Friday, we didn't do a thing. We spent the morning catching up on some housework, and the afternoon we spent enjoying Daddy after he came back from a week away on business. It was a good day.

Mom's Ed went well this week. Read some more from America's Constitution while I waited at the doctor's office (just a check-up), and I worked a little bit more on the Sumerian King List, and I had a peek at the Epic of Gilgamesh, which looks pretty interesting.


Cheryl said...

Those felt squares are a really creative idea. I wasn't crafty like that with my first born (now 12) but I plan on doing more things like that with my 2nd (now 2).


Ritsumei said...

They're a substitute for some tiles that Math Expressions uses on a counting mat. I'm trying to avoid buying the manipulative kit, as those are invariably terribly expensive. But felt is cheap, and our Joanne's has a new brand that is 100% post-consumer plastic AND a better quality felt. It works beautifully. And we can do it on the table or on the felt board, as our mood dictates. The felt board is also really nice because Math Expressions has kids draw "scenes" quite a bit, where they do a picture of 3 or whatever, and everything in the picture is in 3s. Monkey's too little to be coordinated enough to do that, so I'm building up a stock of felt pieces to make scenes with. They're fun ideas, but they're right from my math book.

Paige said...

Looks like you guys are having fun! Choosing read-alouds can be tough. Have you read My Father's Dragon or Mr. Popper's Penguins yet? Those were hits here!

Giggly Girls said...

Brilliant idea to use the felt.

I have some felt story pieces left from when I was teaching PS. Now what I need is to get a felt board so I can use them.

Ritsumei said...

The felt board we made: it's a smallish piece of plywood, and I used glue - I think it was just Elmer's - to put a piece of felt on it; just the kind you buy by the yard. Then I stacked books around the edges and left it to dry. I've seen instructions that include spray glue, and I think if I was doing it again I'd either do that, or just use a cheap paint brush and spread the Elmer's around on the front side, because it is sagging a bit. But Monkey's had it for more than a year now, maybe as much as 2 years, and we use it regularly, and he's not gentle on it. Even with that, it's holding up nicely. As I think about it, the felt on the board is beginning to get a bit nappy, and it should be relatively easy to pull off and replace when it gets too bad, so maybe I wouldn't do the glue on the front after all. That would make it much harder to refurbish.

Ritsumei said...

Paige, I haven't read those books yet. Thanks for the suggestions!

Hen Jen said...

sounds like a really fun, productive week. Your felt squares lesson is such a great/creative idea! My kids really enjoyed Charlotte's Web when they were young, lots of neat animal/spider crafts/projects you can do with it, too.

Ritsumei said...

I was thinking about Charlotte's Web, though I don't know if I have a copy right now, and I'd almost rather choose a book that I'm sure that I don't have, since so many of our books are still in boxes. [sigh] But the crafts to go with it is a fun idea. I'll have to ponder that. I'll bet we can come up with something fun to do with Little House on the Prairie!


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