Thursday, February 23, 2012

School Days

I have been doing a lot more "topic" posts lately, but I will always try to get at least one "school day" post up each week. Here is a selection of some of our work over the course of the past several days.  It will look like it's all from one day but that's just because my kids like to wear the same outfits repeatedly.  Usually Me Too's pants will change color once in a while.


Me Too has started working with the movable alphabet.  This week he's been working on getting his bearings so he can find what he needs in the boxes.  He has been matching a letter from the box to the sandpaper letters.

 Kal-El has been studying words using the various spellings of long-o.  We practiced OA (boat, etc.,), OW (snow, etc.,), OE (toe, etc.,), as well as studied a list of words in which o-alone makes the long-o sound (old, bold, cold, gold, mold, told, sold, roll, stroll, gross, most, both).  I made him five readers to use this week to practice the target sounds and spellings.

Practical Life:

Me Too has been intent on keeping our classroom clean.  Throughout the week he has been choosing a shelf or two, removing all the equipment, dusting the shelf, dusting the equipment, and replacing the equipment.

Kal-El is still working on sewing his heart using the running stitch.

Both boys caught the pin punching bug this week.  They have punched their way through about 15 pieces of paper.  Here I remember Me Too had traced the elipse, added a fish tail, and was punching out what he called "Bill."  (His pet fish is named bill.)

In the photo above Me Too was actually working at the table for once.  Usually they like to pin punch at what Kal-El calls their "pin punching station."  I store the wool and stylus on top of the geometric cabinet on top of the window seat.  Somehow its the perfect hight for pin punching while standing.  This week one of the things he decided to pin punch was Australia from the continents map.  No, I never suggested it :)


Me Too has worked with the bells daily.  He is an expert at pitch matching and usually does that as a warmup.  Lately he has been working on grading the bells using the method where you test all of the bells to find the lowest, place that bell on the bells board, then test all of the remaining bells to find the next-lowest.  Later he will grade according to interval.

A bell in each hand making a comparison...

Placing the a bell on the bells boards.  The blue paper is something he came up with as a landing pad for the "current candidate" for lowest bell.  He puts what he thinks is the lowest bell there and makes his way methodically through the bells on the tray.  If he finds one that is lower it earns the spot on the blue paper and the other is discarded.  The child has to be very organized to do this work correctly.


Me Too has been working on writing his numbers.  Here he is writing his phone number using number strip paper from Handwriting Without Tears.

The paper on top is the control strip.  He has our phone number memorized, but I've written it on a control strip so he can be reminded how the numbers are formed (I've blurred the numbers in the photo).  Shortly after I took this photo he pulled out his sandpaper numbers to help also. I love that he knows to do that when he's having trouble.

Kal-El has been practicing his numbers, and practicing writing a little smaller, via sudoku.


Kal-El was working with the squaring and cubing chains of six this week.  Me Too stole the short cubing chain and before Kal-El had even gotten a chance to try it had counted it linearly, folded it into a square, compared it to the square of six, and then proceeded to count through the square of six.

He also accomplished some of his own work.  He is working with the golden beads.  Here he is fetching a number of beads according to category for me from the "bank."  For example, I ask him to bring me "3 thousands."  He brings those, we verify, then I claim I've "changed my mind" and ask him to "return them and bring me 4 tens."

We still have some practice to do before bringing out the number cards.  He still sometimes brings me thousand cubes when I ask for hundred squares.  He's confused by the square faces on the cubes.

When Me Too finally let Kal-El have the short bead chain of six he did a great job.  Here he is labeling the chain by sixes and practicing skip counting by six.  He memorized the sequence the first day.

So soon we were on to the cubing chain of six.  Here he has folded it into a long rectangle and has overlaid the six squares of six.

 The next step was to stretch the cubing chain out and start labeling.  He has labels for every sixth bead along the full length of the chain (6, 12, 18, 24...).

Here you can see Me Too at the "pin punching station" while Kal-El was labeling the cubing chain.  He must have done a scientific study and determined this would involve the most opportunities to nearly step on the chain.

 After labeling the chain Kal-El walked the length of the chain reading the numbers on the chain to practice skip counting by six.  He has not memorized the sequence for the cubing chain yet, only for the squaring chain.

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  1. Wow! I'm really envious! How I wish I had a huge room for homeschooling! Houses in my part of the world are extremely small (unless you're a millionaire, no wait maybe billionaire) that it's possible to have a school room! Your kids are really blessed! :) great work!!

  2. Wow great work! I love it! Bunny chose to start the skip counting with the 6 chain too this week! :) We are mearly counting and labling at this time, but I hope she get a bit more interested!

  3. They look so focused. I love the variety of works that they have chosen. Every time I see those bells I smile, glad to see your kiddos are using them. I had to make sure DJ wasn't around when I read this, if he saw those bells again he would start begging:) Thank you for sharing.