Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 3 Report

It was a good week.

We studied weather and storms. We watched the Bill Nye episode "Storms" and did three weather related art activities from this book. Here's one of them, Rainy Pictures:

I thought it was so fun that I had to make one, too.

We discussed Ancient China this week, and learned a little about dynasties. We discussed the emperor's wife who "discovered" silk, and how making it was a prized secret for a really long time. We also learned about pictograms and painted pictograms of our own to try and communicate messages. We realized there is lots of room for error when you are just drawing pictures, and it would be hard to communicate exactly without written words. We also readwhich is a cute story about a little duck who lives on the Yangtze River in China.

The chapter for this week was largely review, so Noodle did some of it but we mostly practiced more with telling time. She seems to be getting the hang of it now.

Language Arts
Noodle continued reading stories from the Yesterday's Classics First Reader, and I did a couple of Phonics Pathways (PP) lessons with Spud, and then switched over to The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (OPG). He didn't like how PP has "partial words" to read, so I think we'll try the OPG "full word" approach for a little while. He is really good at sounding out the words, but I don't know how to facilitate him being motivated enough to want to read on his own. He's so difficult in this way, in that he can't be pushed into doing anything...he has to find it enticing. I'm not so good at the "enticing" part. Noodle's reading has really improved dramatically over the past four months, but she still isn't really interested in reading on her own for pleasure. I'm not sure how to spark that, if I even can. Perhaps it won't happen until she is reading with ease. I know there is a wide range of "normal," and she's still well within that, but I look forward to the day when she is excited to read for recreation.

Extra Activities
One fun one we did this week was an activity appropriately called "Estimate it!" We first estimated the number of Skittles in a cup.

How many do you think there are? Answers below. (Don't try and count and/or multiply...that's
not really estimating. Okay, maybe it is, but as the kids don't have that skill, we don't do it.)

We then estimated the number of pencils in the pencil jar and the number of marshmallows left out in the bag. Noodle got both the number of pencils and the marshmallows exactly right. Weird.

(I think not all pencils are visible...sorry about that!)On Friday late afternoon we went to one of the city parks and had a really nice time. We had an "early out" day, so the kids finished school rather early, played with the neighbor girl while Sprout took his afternoon nap, and then we packed snacks and headed out to the park. We took Daisy (our bichon frise) with us and had a lot of fun playing fetch and running around with her. We even took her to Michael's afterwards and they didn't bat an eye, in fact they commented on her cuteness.

I know I'm leaving out some stuff that is worth mentioning, but such is life!

160 Skittles
23 Pencils
48 Marshmallows

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