Sunday, February 2, 2014

School Days

What follows are pictures of some of school works this week that haven't been featured in other posts.  Notably missing is a LOT of geometry work that I have collected into its own post and hope to share on Tuesday.

I am trying to spark the boys' interest in zoology again.  One of my sneaky tactics was to add our Viewmaster to a basket on the zoology shelves.  We have a Rain Forest Creatures reelFisher Price Marine Life reel, and a Safari Reel Set.  

This week Me Too was practicing all of the different spellings for "long-o." We played the "Cross the River" game from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  I wrote eight different "long-o" words on index cards and 16 tricky words that he's had trouble with over the past few weeks. The are arranged in three columns.  Each row has one "long-o" word.  Me Too had to read each word in each row and "cross the river" by stepping on only the "long-o" words (the "safe" stones) and not the others (the slippery stones).  At the end is a plate of Girl Scout cookies (NOT mentioned in the OPG).

Afterward Kal-El added paper clips to the cards and he and Me Too made ups some kind of game together involving the magnetic fishing poles.

Both boys are still using All About Spelling 

Here Kal-El was reviewing the difference between open and closed syllables and their effect on spelling.

Kal-El only has five pages left in his massive division tables book.

Me Too has the stamp game out here and the drawer of dynamic addition equations.  I guess he intended to use the stamps but he never did.  He completed all of his equations abstractly on paper including the carrying.

He did the "Impression of 10's" exercise with the multiplication bead bars.

Me Too is also working on the third exercise with the multiplication bead bars, finding factors of a product.

We are pulling products out of the box of products that goes with the multiplication bingo board.  In the photo above he's done 12, 20, 15, 100, and 9.  I don't make him pull all of the "ones" for a product unless he wants to (which is very dependent on the size of the product).  He accomplished a lot of fractions work this week as well, but I didn't take pictures.

I'm in the last stages of getting my homemade Cabinet of World Parts on the shelves.  I'll post about the project in great detail when I'm done.  In the meantime, once the cabinet containing the flags made it onto the shelves the boys were tripping over one another with curiosity (as you can see in the photo above).

Kal-El was simply too excited to wait and in these photos is using the new countries of Europe flags on one of my first map board prototypes even though I determined it was a "fail."  It's too small.  Kal-El's solution was to split the flags into two piles, those he knew well and those he didn't, and he's been moving a couple flags from the "known" to "unknown" pile daily.  I'm hoping to have the larger maps completed this week.

He also spent some time on the waterways, islands, mountains, and deserts of Africa.  The 8.5 x 11" size is appropriate for these features thus far.

Me Too spent some time reordering resonator bells and building major scales.

One of their big projects has been learning about the Trojan Horse.  Kal-El read The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War (Step into Reading) aloud to us last week (It was....okay.  I need to get the alternative book recommended in the reviews from the library).  Me Too was captivated by the story and decided to build a "Trojan Dog" from scrap lumber in the basement.  It was a "surprise for Dad" so each day after they finished work they cleaned everything up and hid the project in my Montessori storage room.  

They did all the work on their own, but I insisted on being with them whenever they used a saw or power tools.  I got a lot of other work done while they planned, plotted and designed. Every 20 minutes or so one of them would come get me to watch while they made a cut or drilled a hole.

On the weekend the "Trojan Dog" was presented to Dad as a surprise.


  1. I absolutely love your map boards! I'm going to put that on my to do list! :)

  2. I love their trojan dog!!! We are going to be studying that era soon! My boys would really enjoy the "Cross the River" game, I will have to keep that in mind!

  3. Okay, this post MUST have made it into my subconscious since we did open and closed syllables too. And WOW, congrats to Kal-El since he has gotten all the way through the division book! NO WAY! T told me out right it was BORING, and that is how we got started with the racks and tubes...except now he is done with racks and tubes and we are on to something I need to prepare tonight! (Actually, after his last racks and tubes problem he came and asked me if we were doing the algebraic peg board next, WITH the board on his head.)

  4. With my son - it was a series of Trojan Horses (different styles) made out of... you don't have to think about it: Legos. 3 years after discovering the story of the Trojan Horse, he is STILL working on varieties!

    I have to admit a bit of jealousy that you have the space and the tools on hand for the boys to do their own woodworking; Legoboy has the skills, but we don't have the space (either to store the needed tools or that won't disturb the neighbors - maybe someday soon...). I do my woodcutting at a friend's house but that space is limited too. Maybe not jealous - admiring your blessings :)

  5. I love the wood shop downstairs! How wonderful!