Sunday, January 30, 2011

January Reading

What we've been reading this month:

Chris -
I'm so proud of Chris. He started out reading the Blues Clues (5stories), Puppy Tales (6stories), and Ready Readers (10stories). By the end of the month he is reading Levels 3 & 4, and Nate the Great!! So he has read a little over 34 books this month! All at his own leisure. None of it was forced. I'm just so happy and proud of him!

Zack - I've been reading to Zack out of this. Zack isn't too crazy about reading. These are great stories that capture his interest and are just long enough to challenge Zack to sit through the last 2-3 pages. Me - I try to balance fiction and non fiction. I usually average two books a month unless there's a reason to read more or less. Like one book has significantly more pages than my usual, has a lot of information to digest or sometimes more if I'm having a bad health month and have to rest more.

The last three books are Amazon linked if you would like to look at them.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Poem

My Montessori Journey had some great posts on poetry. At the beginning of the year I had great plans for poetry. However, I found I had a hard time getting the boys interest and including it in general. When I read this post I knew I wanted to give it one more try!

So I found a basket around my home not in use. Picked a Poem. Found pictures to use and created the poem sheet. Then went to Michael's and bought my items. Total spent: $2.85

We have poetry time once a week on our last day of school using the same poem for a month. The boys loved it right away and when Daddy came home they had to show him! Now poetry time isn't boring. They even ask to do it sometimes before bed in place of a book! I'm so happy about this. I enjoy poetry and felt down that I couldn't figure out how to present it in an engaging way.

One of my favorite aspects of this is that it engages every learning style. Looker, Listener, and Mover. Because of this it captures the interest of every style learner and encourages any underdeveloped learning skills all while having fun and memorizing.

I already have February and March poems picked out. I just need to get all my items together.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lesson 16 ~ Penguin

I'm finally getting around to posting last week's work. :) Here's what we did:

Map Work: On Monday we locate the continent we are going to learn about on the globe. Then I print out a map and they color that continent red and label it. We pull out the Tag map for fun to hear what it says about that continent. Last we read the Rookie Read-About Geography book on that particular continent.

Videos: Tuesday is our class video day. I mainly have this day when we are learning about subjects that are out of our ability to experience in person at that time. We watched a video on Antarctica by National Geographic's Really Wild Animals called "Cold, Cold, South".

Books: On Tuesday we read any overview books I can find on animals living in the continent we are learning about. Then Wednesday is when I introduce the books on the particular animal that MFW wants you to concentrate on. The books are linked if you would like to explore them on Amazon. :)

Music: We did music activity #2 found in the MFW's deluxe kindergarten curriculum. The boys really enjoy this music time. Which we do on Wednesdays. So far we spend about 15 minutes doing them.
I think that wraps up our week involving MFW.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lesson 15 ~ Elephant

It was great to get back to school! In MFW's plan there are four weeks of learning about wild animals. Since there is no section that teaches geography that I can see, I decided to incorporate the continents into the wild animal lessons. So while elephant this week we also learned about Asia! Here's what we did:

Map Work: First we located Asia on the map as a whole.

Then we labeled a few countries in Asia.
I asked one of his grandparents to buy him the leapfrog tag map set for Christmas and it is fabulous for map work. There are little kids located around the world and you can hear them say something in their language, tell you what they eat for a meal, and play music listened to in their country! I thought that was pretty neat.

Books: MFW recommends The Elephant Who Couldn't Forget which sounds cute but our library didn't have it. Their next recommendation is 17 Kings and 42 Elephants. Our library did have that book but I found it ... let's just say ... we didn't read it. :) I did find this Rookie Read-About Geography collection at our library which is fabulous! We checked out one for each continent we're learning about this month. Chris was able to read through them well while learning a few new words and retained what he read. They are on my wish list that is how much I and the boys enjoyed them. Two books we enjoyed were Grandma Elephant's In Charge by Martin Jenkins and Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold.
Music: We finally did one of the music activities that came with the curriculum! The first activity is dancing to Mozart while balancing a bean bag on your head. The boys had fun with it and it was nice including music in our school day. I plan to do one once a week now. I looked them over and they don't take long and there is hardly any planning involved. For the bean bag I put beans in a sock and tied the sock in a knot. 2 minutes!

Worksheets: There are now 5 worksheets a week. One for each day. The last one is a story book they put together. If you don't know and want to know about MFW (kindergarten) - you start out with three worksheets and by Lesson 15 (17 weeks into) you are have 5 a week.
Videos: Amazon's Video On Demand has a National Geographic series called Really Wild Animals. Each episode is $1.99 and they have two for each continent (that we are learning about). I chose one for Asia and they watched it two times during the week. They are around 20 minutes long so it's not a lot of TV time but they get a glimpse of animals in that continent and what parts of it look like.
Well I think that about wraps up what we did with MFW curriculum.