Thursday, September 22, 2016

Our Snack Store

  Another of Bonnie's inspired ideas is to have a snack store.  Right now, they have five pennies to spend that they are issued at the start of school. They practiced their fine motor threading skills on the second day of school by making little change purses.  Eventually, they will use other coins, learn to make change, be able to earn extra for premium snacks, etc.  Great way to practice math and real life skills! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Early Elementary History Concepts--Comparing Sources/Multiple Sources

Before we get into actual stories of history, we are laying some groundwork.  Too much for K-2nd graders?  Maybe.  But why not give it a shot?  So far, I am happy with their apparent grasp of the concepts I've presented.

For this first concept, we wrote (they dictated) the classic "what I did this summer" compositions.  Siblings were separated and when we came back together, we compared notes and observed which events only one sibling mentioned, which both mentioned, and which they both mentioned but with different details.  It was quite interesting!  I think I asked too many leading questions with my two students, but Bonnie did better.  At any rate, we talked about the fact that they had both had similar experiences but chose different things to highlight.  I asked whether we got a better idea of what happened that summer from just one person's story or from comparing two, and I'm happy to report that they said, "Two!"  So far, so good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Just some general coolness

Today, just some pictures celebrating learning and creativity!  

                                                    Holding a grasshopper (after some ice cream, ahem...)
                                                           Bug eyes!  I was impressed...
Preschool with a special guest! 

Vinegar and baking soda mixing in the lab (yeah, I sorta missed the exciting part...)

             I love the elegant simplicity of this lion drawing.  His cousin didn't give it the praise it deserved and so it became a hurt my heart...

Friday, September 16, 2016

New School Library

We have acquired an amazing new bookshelf, so now we have a classroom library.  I had grand ideas of labeling and shelving them all according to Dewey Decimal, but I decided to use a simpler system for our little guys (this simpler system just happened to coincide with my running out of time and energy!). Each subject has a co-ordinating washi tape on the spine and it' spot on the shelf.  It's working well so far! We do have check-out cards in the backs of most of them and a stamp for checking them out.  We're trying to incorporate some real life/role playing in our centers.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016

I think I'll let the photos do the talking for this year's first day of school!  Technically, we did 25 days over the summer so that we could have a looser schedule throughout the school year, but we took a little break so that we could officially start the school year with a bang!

Last year, we studied world cultures, so I was excited to start off our first day with a book about first day of school customs in other countries.  I just wish there were some homeschoolers in it (although at least it is implied that one boy was homeschooled by his father for a time.

Ice cream pictures drawn with our new ice cream scented markers!

New math and game center

My sister made this amazing tree with a carpet roll, pool noodles, and packing paper! :O

Taking the bus to school for the first time....ha ha ha ha ha....

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Spitball Mancala

        Although "we did school today!" many times since the last time I posted on here, we also did a lot of other things, the most time consuming of which was selling our house and moving temporarily across the country for several months. 

         Now we find ourselves in sunny San Diego, far from the distractions of home, cranking out schoolwork like a boss, and then trying to entertain ourselves.  I delight in traveling light and using whatever I have on hand to make our toys and games (which I then discard when we pack up again.)  And so I bring to you....Spitball Mancala.  It's not really spitballs; I've never made a spitball in my life!  But it is rolled up wads of paper, solidified by soaking and then drying in the oven.  I've never been accused of doing things the easy way, so in keeping with my "let's make this 25 steps more complicated than it has to be" personality, I also painted them with nail polish (since I know I won't be using that all up before I go home!)  That was a gory looking business! 

          Of course, you can play mancala with holes in the ground, but we don't have ground; you can play with circles on a paper, but it's somewhat less convenient.  We had an 18 count egg carton.  Perfect!

         Instead of spitballs, you could use pennies; you could use beans; you could use marbles; you could use any tiny thing that you have a handful of, but we didn't have any, except tiny legos, which I thought of later. 

        "What a cool project," I thought to myself, "I can't wait to post this."  But the fact is, my kids didn't even finish the first game before it was shelved and they started begging for a show again.  Blah...better luck next time, Mumma. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fun with French--Twister

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     When I was a kid, I thought Twister looked like a really awesome game.  When I was a little older, I thought it looked like a really awkward game.  And then, when I was 35, I thought it looked like a fun way to practice a little vocabulary!  I'm not sure I ever played it before, but I did take a turn with the kids and I'm here to tell you that it hurts.  Kind of a lot.  You may be called upon to twist your body in unnatural ways.  My kids complained, but they also loved it!  Especially telling someone else what to do!

French Vocab:

la main= hand
le pied=foot
jaune=yellow (I find this one hard to pronounce for some reason.)

I don't understand why some adjectives have masculine and feminine versions and some apparently don't. Is that right?  The things I don't know about French are endless, so any help is appreciated!  But I do my best--better than no second language, I hope!