Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sports Spectacular Week(s)

This week we started Sports Spectacular Week. Well, weeks actually. Between holidays, nature walking, and birthday parties we have two short weeks before Ms. Q's college for kids classes start, so we decided to do Sports for both weeks. Here is what we will be covering:

-Use non-fiction books to discover sports trivia and/or history. Select interesting facts and create a poster using drawings or photographs. Add information to house timeline.

Language Arts
-Read a variety of sports related literature such as fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
-Brainstorm as many different sports as you can think of, then put the list in alphabetical order.
-Create a new sport! Write the rules, instructions on how to play, about the playing area and equipment needed, the number of players, how you keep score, etc. Then, if you can, go out and play your new sport!

-Ask as many people as you can "what is your favorite sport?" Record their answers and create a bar graph depicting their answers. Discuss your findings.
-Our public library has a collection of I Love Math books so we will be using the sports math book for this as well. The I Love Math books use literature to reinforce math skills. Q likes to read them for bedtime stories so I'm sure she will love having one as schoolwork.

Social Studies/Geography
-Use researching and library skills to learn about sports played in other countries. Then use a map to locate that country.

-Pantomime various sports and have others try to guess what it is (think charades).

-This is the easy one! Play some sports!!! But don't forget to review the rules and safety first-it is school after all.

-Draw yourself playing your favorite sports.

-Discuss what it means to be a team player and demonstrate good sportsmanship. Describe how to display good sportsmanship. See if your library has any story books about good sportsmanship.

I'm trying to work in a field trip to a sporting event but our budget is stretched pretty thin this month with family and friend birthdays so definitely not anything professional. We'll see how it goes.

There you have it-SPORTS SPECTACULAR!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nature Walk Thursday

Today was the first day of Nature Walk Thursday. To recap, our summer plans include spending every even Thursday involved in nature activities. How cool, and timely also, that I stumbled upon The Outdoor Hour. Barb provides free online plans and weekly challenges that connect to The Handbook of Nature Study. I really had no idea or plan about what we were actually going to do on Nature Walk Thursday. I thought Ms. Q and I could just sorta stumble along and figure it out along the way like we usually do. Well, something better just came up! We started with the first challenge today. It was a blast!

We went to Giampeitro Park near our house. This is a favorite spot for playing on the playground so it took a little while for Ms. Q to move beyond the man-made scenery and really see what else their was. We planned for 30 minutes nature walking followed by 15-30 minutes playing, depending on Little M's mood because it would be nearing the time of his morning nap.

The ground was so soggy from the weeks and weeks of rain we have received lately that our shoes were totally wet. We really got into it though and Ms. Q was sad when the timer went off for us to stop. She was consoled however, by the fact that it was now time to go to the playground and some other children had arrived to play while we were walking.

Ms. Q was really interested in identifying the flower she picked from a bush growing near the lake and also in a strange little red mushroom she found. Neither one of us had seen a red mushroom before but we had never really looked for one either. She took a lot of pictures and pasted them into the nature journal she made two weeks ago along with her own drawings of her "specimens" and a little narrative of our "adventure walk" as she called it. M really liked feeling the barks of various trees. I asked him how the bark felt and if different tree bark felt different from others. He's thirteen months old, so he really didn't give me much of a response but it fun nonetheless.

We saw a momma goose with some babies near the lake and Ms. Q was sure to tell me that they were not goose babies but called chicks. I was surprised that she was more interested in the plants she found growing than in the wildlife. I pointed out some turtles on a log, a crane fishing, and the call of a bullfrog in the bushes but she dismissed these things and went zooming over to some flowers growing that she had never seen before. As soon as we returned home she told Fred all about our walk and showed him the things she had collected. She said she can't wait until our next walk and was begging me to give her the next outdoor hour challenge.

Here are some pictures from our nature study.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ms. Q's Birthday

Ms. Q is seven!! That's right she is seven years old. It feels like only yesterday she was a teeny tiny baby. Anyway, we celebrated her day with this delicious ice cream cake that she requested. Yes those are worms on top and cookie crumbs and chocolate frosting for dirt. It was actually very tasty. We went to Sahara Sam's indoor water park for the day. No pictures though, we were having too much fun in the water for that! I guess we could have posed for some outside but Fred barely got the car into the parking lot before Ms. Q was out of the car and into the waterpark!

Here she is with her new bike.

We did manage to get some schoolwork done over the weekend. Here is Ms. Q baking Flag Day cookies. They were sooo good!

Friday, June 12, 2009

America Week

This week is America Week in honor of Flag Day June 14th. We will be discussing the American Revolution and the symbols of the United States of America. Here are our plans.

Read books about the American Revolution (for kids) that include stories about the lives of the colonists and Betsy Ross. Then add dates to our timeline.

Use a map of the United States to identify and locate the original 13 colonies.

Social Studies
Discuss ways to show respect to the Flag. Learn and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Language Arts
See how many words you can think of that rhyme with the word "flag." Put patriotic words in alphabetical order. Write a paragraph discussing your feelings about the American flag.

Listen to the "Star Spangled-Banner" and use the words for copywork. Play patriotic music while we work.

Use tiny pieces of colored tissue paper or construction paper to create a flag. Make cupcakes with miniature flags stuck in them.

Use cut out stars in red, white, and blue to reinforce concepts of addition, subtraction, place value, etc.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Plans for June

Yes I know we are already into June and it is a tad bit late to post about plans for the month. But I am going to anyway. We took last week "off" of unit studies for a little break after the ocean unit and to plan for the summer. We will be doing school stuff through the summer but only in the morning. After lunch is free summer kid stuff!

This is what our days will look like until September.

Start with daily warm ups (as usual) - getting the weather report and recording it on her calendar, writing in her journal, reviewing spelling and vocabulary words, and documenting the progress of her sunflower garden.

Ms. Q will continue to work in her grammar and phonics workbooks. She loves doing workbook pages but I have found some new websites with free games that she will totally love doing more than workbooks.

Both of us hate her math workbook and we actually stopped using it about a month ago anyway. So there will not be any math workbook stuff. We have partially switched to living math with manipulatives and math games and it is really much more fun. The last board game I made up about clocks she asked to play even when it wasn't "school time," so I know she enjoyed it. I do supplement these activities with free worksheets I find online, but again, she likes the worksheets. I think we will use some math online games too. I don't plan to introduce any new math concepts during the summer, just reinforce what she learned this year.

Instead of our usual unit study we decided on theme weeks for the summer. Each theme will last only for that week and will hopefully cover most of the subject areas.

Here is what the schedule looks like for the rest of June:
June 11-14 America Week!
June 18-21 Ms. Q's Birthday Week!
June 25-28 Sports Week!

We just started America Week today, so I will write another post with the plans for the week but we have some other fun stuff for the summer too.

New for the summer are Nature Walk Thursdays! Every even week we will take Thursday to spend at a park or other outdoor space. Ms. Q made up a nature journal to take along and we will be creating a hiking pack with necessary supplies like binoculars, plastic bags, a ruler, magnifying glass, camera, pencils, and crayons. Using her four senses (we left out the sense of taste for safety and grossness) she will record what ever she wants any way she wants about the day.

Also new is our goal of reading one hundred books during the summer! This was sparked by a reading list I found on the New York Public Library's website called 100 picture books everyone should know. These are some of the best children's books ever! Some of the books Q has already read or didn't interest her so we are using the booklist as a guide and adding our own. We are recording our progress on the livingroom wall with a giant bee hive. After we read a book it's name is written on a bumble bee that Q colors and adds to the wall. So far so good!

Well that's it for now but rest assured that the adventures continue.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ocean Lapbook

Alright-here it is: The Ocean Lapbook!

On the first spread is most of the minibooks for animal classification. I found these at homeschoolshare. Ms.Q learned to classify animals into vertebrate or invertebrate groups and then into the five vertebrate and four invertebrate groups.

We created an animal classification diagram on the kitchen wall.

The next page spread has minibooks for spelling and vocabulary words as well as a listing of all the books we read during the unit study. There are some more minibooks left over from animal classification too.

We read the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni and talked about personification.

Ms. Q learned how coral reefs are made. She also learned the names of five of the world's oceans and where they are located (see the map on the right page). The picture is of the food web we created on the living room wall. See below for a larger image. I wrote about this in a pervious post.
Here are minibooks for the layers of the ocean, ocean habitats, undersea explorer Sylvia Earle, and Ms. Q's animal study about dolphins. The dolphin minibooks are from homeschoolshare too.
Here is the ocean layers minibook open.

The final section is two full sized books Ms. Q made during the unit study.

Her creative writing story titled Sea Water is about a turtle and a sea dragon.

And here is her book about the items she collected during our trip to the beach.
She did a wonderful job!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Q's World

Here is what happens when you let a six year old run wild in the backyard with a camera. I think some of them came out rather nice. Allright, allright, I think they are fabulous!

Her assistant.