Thursday, May 5, 2011

School Days

We had a great week in the school room. We accomplished two three-hour work periods and spent about two hours in there each of the other days when we had other events scheduled. Here is a glimpse of some of our activities:

Me Too is working with "fabric box one" and a blindfold here. For those who don't know what that is, it is a collection of two swatches each of several types of fabric with different textures (corduroy, silk, tulle). The child assembles the fabrics into matching pairs by feel only. Some kids close their eyes or avert their eyes; my little cheaters need the blindfold. He did similar work this week with sandpaper tablets (matching pairs of different grades of sandpaper) and smelling bottles (matching bottles filled with cotton balls dipped in things like vanilla, mint extract, and peanut butter).

Me Too also worked with the many number rods activities. First he learned to assemble them in order just like the red rods.

Next, he learns to count the segments. This may seem similar to spindle boxes in which he counted out precise numbers of popsicle sticks. That taught him that a number can represent a collection of separate objects. This teaches him that a number can represent a single entity. The arrangement of the rods from shortest to longest teaches that each of those numbers has a position in relation to one another.

Our next step was to separate the rods a bit so Me Too could practice finding a rod that represented a specific number. Here it appears that I had asked him for the "three rod."

I posted about our work with the microscope yesterday.

In these photos Kal-El is setting up the large number cards and the golden beads in preparation for working on building complex numbers.

Me Too thinks the large number cards are fascinating. He is probably right.

Here Kal-El has intentionally assembled a disorganized tower representing 1999. He was so excited to assemble this number he hugged me at the end.

First, he collected the cards for 1000, 100, 10, and 1. Then, he retrieved the thousand cube, one hundred square, one ten bar, and one unit from the golden bead set up. Finally, he stacked the number cards from largest on the bottom to the smallest on the top. If he picks this stack up with his left thumb and forefinger and presses the stack down into his right palm the number cards all slide into position to make the appropriate complex number. Finally, he is told the proper name for that number (one thousand, one hundred and eleven). In the car he likes to analyze numbers now (Mom, 98 is 9 tens and 8 units). With this method he has a thorough understanding of what "ninety-eight" really means and has a leg up on his addition facts. As you can see, the cards build in color-coding for the thousands, hundreds, tens and units to help with his understanding of place value.

Everything in the house has been measured this week. This is a side effect of all the sub-contractors that have been in and out.

Kal-El enjoys building nonsense words with the sandpaper letters, sounding them out, and giggling.

Me Too has been working with pattern blocks.

The boys have been choosing the collage materials most frequently from our art closet lately. Another popular choice has been pipe cleaner sculptures. Here Kal-El is showing his rendering of "a man."

If you are wondering what Me Too is smiling at, it is this:

Me Too likes to work with the lacing cards. His lacing is much more intentional and less like a spiderweb these days.

I picked up these "word builder tiles" at a thrift store a couple of years ago. Kal-El really enjoys them. I just have them on a tray with the blue tiles in one dish and the red in another.

Me Too thinks he can read too. We just let him think that.

Me Too and I have been playing a lot of games lately. He has been choosing "Don't Spill The Beans" quite often. He hates it when he wins. He likes to be the one to spill the beans.

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  1. Wow! Lots of great work! Looks like you have been busy! Bunny is LOVING the complex numbers and we even did some of the unlimited bead material addition yesterday! She really got it so far! I feel like I may be moving too fast, but she begging! I hope that Kal-El likes it too! Happy Schooling!

  2. I love all the measuring, and especially Me Too's face watching the birds - what a sweet boy!

    And yes, I wished we lived nearby too! ;)

    thanks for linking to Montessori Monday!

  3. We love the golden bead material's concrete approach to forming complex numbers too! D is at the same stage as kal-el and loves it. I need to now move on to addition now after a few more practice sessions.