Friday, March 7, 2014

School Days: Me Too

Today Me Too gets his own post.

With Dad as den leader, Me Too made his own kalimba in this week's den meeting.

He always has something serious to say that makes me laugh inside.  This week he pointed to the math cabinet and said, "When I move into my own house I would like to take this with me."  "The math cabinet?" I asked.  "Yes," he replied.  "Well, just these four drawers." He pointed to the four drawers full of the loose equations for the memorization sequence.  "I'm going to give them to my wife so she can teach the kids."

Me Too working on a set of Karen Tyler's division story problems.  This envelope happened to be missing the quotient, but for other envelopes he had to find for the dividend or divisor.  Here is a closer look:

He has been choosing story problems daily.  He really likes them.  This was his last packet in his story problem basket.  I'm bumped  Kal-El out of the Evan-Moor basket he was working on and up into the "second grade" basket so that Me Too can now have the "first grade" basket to himself.  Kal-El was so excited about the new basket he completed twenty story problems the first day.

Puzzling over the Adverb, Logical Agreement game.  The vocabulary for this was tough!

The Animal Stories packets are tough reading for Me Too.  He generally needs me with him mostly due to the vocabulary.   The cards are hard enough that even I don't always know which animals the description matches.  You can dig your way out of this with the control card or, even better, you can look up the animal in the encyclopedia to make your matches.  Kal-El is usually happy with the latter.  Me Too is usually already tired from reading the card and doesn't want to tackle an adult encyclopedia next.

This was the third packet of Animal Stories in our set.

He worked with several puzzle maps.

He likes working with Montessori geography apps on the iPad as well.

In the last couple weeks Me Too started and finished all of the exercises with the multiplication bead board.  Above he is working with the board and the tables charts.

Above he is working with loose equations.  Finally, but not pictured, he drew products and had to discover all the equations that fulfilled them.

One of his many word studies was a study of  "long-oo" versus "short-oo."

 He helped prepare the specimens for the "Needs of Plants" work.

He really likes the Albanesi command cards for geometry.  In the photo above he has taken every figure out of the geometric cabinet one at a time and categorized by name on a chart according to number of sides.

He's a busy little guy and only a small amount of his work is pictured.  He has been particularly busy with the stamp game.  He finished working through our whole drawer of dynamic subtraction equations.  He does the equations with the stamps until he understands how to do the carrying.  As soon as he reaches that point he prefers to do them just on paper.  He did two static multiplication equations with the stamps and worked through all of the static multiplication equations in the drawer abstractly on paper as well.  Next week I have to show him dynamic multiplication with the stamps.  I need to get him going on the small bead frame as well.


  1. wow! He IS a busy guy! I love the comment on taking the Math cabinet drawers with him - that's hilarious! :)

  2. Yes, command cards, and word problems! Please post more about your thought process/selection process surrounding these! I am wondering about the geography command cards, grammar command cards, and aren't there botany command cards too? And word problems for math...I think you did pros and cons for the KT ones right? And you did them for the new set you have for the grade levels. And now I need to check albanesi too. We just haven't gotten this far yet. I am wondering who will like these though. T isn't much into minutia, loves BIG HUGE, ENORMOUS works. S isn't a strong reader yet. And D would probably play hop-scotch with them. Kidding of course.

    I think it is super cute you dedicated this post to Me Too!

  3. As an after thought - I noticed the envelopes for the word problems (I've noticed them before) and wondered if it is just unspoken that they generally complete all the word problems per envelope, and if so, how many do you put in each envelope? I saw 4 on the mat, but didn't know if that was just a portion. I am trying to up the word problems around here - they can do them if I throw one at them orally, but they will make up a large part of our mandated state testing for the older two, and I wanted them (especially Hoss as a first time tester) to see them in the format in which they are written. Also - does he just label the top of his page with what word problems envelope he was working in, for reference of where he left off?

    1. The only word problems I have in envelopes like that are the Karen Tyler. They are divided up that way because each envelope is an example of a certain type of equation (subtraction missing subtrahend, subtraction missing minuend, subtraction missing difference, etc.,). Karen provided about six equations per type so thats how many are in each envelope. If she had provided more, I would have put more in the envelope. My other word problems are not like this, rather more like the loose equations you would use for memorization...baskets of them with a large number in each drawer. I never told them to do a whole envelope, but they always did. The boys didn't label their page in any way. They just wrote their first initial on the back of the envelope when they finished one. Me Too didn't even need to do that. He always remembers which "sets" of something he did. In the word problem baskets you probably saw that I have a "finished" tab.

      When we do the loose equations for memorization you might remember the boys each have a special box in which they put the finished equations until they've finished the whole drawer and dump them back in to do the next work.

      In the fractions drawers, if there are too many to do in a day they put a paperclip around the finished equations to separate them.

      That's too bad about the state mandated testing. How unnecessarily intrusive :(

    2. Okay - that makes sense. Why I thought I had seen more in envelopes before, who knows - it may be something else I was remembering. Anything I make needs to, of course, hopefully make it through all the kiddos. And sometimes the oldest two are working through the same materials at the same time. I was trying to come up with a good way to keep track of the many operations equations cards I'm making for them to use (when they don't want to make up their own, or they aren't making up a certain kind that is needed, etc.) and I couldn't decide just how to get them to either label their paper or what. The paper clip idea is a good one - I considered making small, three-books out of them, just to keep it together easily, and that would be workable so that more than one person can keep up with where they left off if they get mixed up. I am not a fan of the state testing, either - makes no sense to me for the state to know what homeschoolers are/aren't doing, to be honest. Thankfully, in our state it's only through 9th grade, but still - that's a lot of years of testing for us that some of my children may not love as much as others! I wish there was a way out of it....