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Friday, January 25, 2013

Fourth Grade Week 27

We finished up another week of fourth grade…only about 13 more weeks left (I think that’s right).  Here’s how our week went…
Bible – Our questions were ‘Did Noah take dinosaurs on the ark?’ and ‘How did all the dinosaurs fit on the ark?’  We read Genesis 6:19-20 and 7:14 for the first question and Genesis 6:15, 1:25, and 7:14 for the second question.
English – This week Caleb worked on personal pronouns; I or me; we or us; and using pronouns correctly.  He took a test and scored 96%.
Reading – Caleb continued to read The Chronicles of Narnia – The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis.
Math – This week Caleb worked on dividing by 4; one-fourth of a number; rounding to the nearest inch; rounding to the nearest centimeter; expressions; and dividing by 6. 
Exploration – Caleb wanted to learn about electricity this week, so I found books from the library for him to peruse.  I also picked up an Electricity kit from Hobby Lobby.  We had a LOT of fun with this topic.  We used a balloon to show static electricity…we made it stick to the wall, had it pick up construction paper snakes, and had it pick up pieces of aluminum foil.  We also used a comb (combed it through our hair) to pick up and move the aluminum foil.  Using the kit, we built a loop and used several loads to show electricity (lamp, motor, and buzzer).  Caleb also completed an electricity notebook/lapbook page.

Classical Conversations Foundations – This was our 15th week with CC.  I actually had Caleb stay home this week because he was fighting the cold/flu stuff that’s been going on.  So, he had to learn it all at home.  Here’s what we learned this week…
  • English – helping verbs has, have, had
  • Science – each continent’s highest mountain
  • History – Henry the Navigator
  • Math – Metric measurements
  • Latin – 1st Declension Noun Endings (singular and plural)
  • Geography – Middle East…Israel, Sinai Peninsula, Suez Canal, Cairo, Gaza Strip
  • Timeline – Japan’s Isolation, Jamestown and Plymouth Colony Founded, Age of Enlightenment, Hudson’s Bay Company, First Great Awakening, Classical Period of the Arts, The Seven Years’ War
  • Science Experiments – This week we talked about prints.  We used modeling clay, a seashell, and plaster of paris to make a print.  We also talked about placer ore deposits.
  • Fine Arts – Great Artists – This week we studied Angelico.  We painted “halos” using metallic paints.
We’re looking forward to completing week 28 and studying invertebrates (again).  Smile  I’m also hoping we’re all turning a corner to get OVER this darn illness that has been ravaging our household.  I hope you and yours are staying well…it’s really bad in our neck of the woods.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Micah’s Kindergarten Plans

Well, I think I’ve finally narrowed down my plans for Micah for Kindergarten.  With Caleb, homeschooling was really formal, structured, and rigid from day one.  However, over time, that has all changed.  So, with Micah, I told myself I wouldn’t be that way.  I’d try a different approach…a more relaxed approach.  Don’t get me wrong…I still have grand plans of teaching him how to read, how to do math, etc.  But – it’ll all be done in a fun way.  Here are my plans as of right now because we all know it’s all likely to change if I keep pondering it.
Bible – Big Truths for Little Kids by Susan and Richie Hunt is the plan right now.  I’m not positive this is what I’ll use, but I’m pretty sure.  I have some other items on hand that I may use as well, but I’m still debating.
Calendar – We will use this time to go over days of the week, months of the year, counting, even/odd, etc. 
Phonics and Reading – I plan to use the scope & sequence from Bob Jones University Press Beginnings Phonics course.  I will also use their Beginnings Phonics workbook.  Once we have finished this, I plan to move on to Alpha-Phonics.  I also want to teach him basic sight words, and I will use this program to teach those.  I will use BOB books to help him with his reading as well, and I also have the reading books from Bob Jones University Press that Caleb used.
Handwriting – Bob Jones University Press Beginnings K5 Write Now!
Language Arts – For Language Arts, I’m going to use a weekly poem to teach basic LA skills…punctuation, parts of speech, capitalization, rhyming words, syllables, etc.  He’ll get a new poem each week, and we’ll read it each day and do a chosen activity or two.  At the end of the week, he’ll illustrate the poem.
Math – I will use the scope & sequence from Bob Jones University Press Math K5.  However, we will not use their workbook.  Instead, I plan on implementing a math notebook/journal.  He will write or draw about the skill for the day.  This is something I didn’t do with Caleb, but I’m really excited about doing with Micah.  I’ve seen lots of ideas on Pinterest, and I really prefer this approach over doing tons and tons of worksheets at this age.  I think it will help cement the concepts a bit more.  Now, we will do some worksheets, but they won’t be required.  When I need worksheets, I’ll just use one from the oodles of workbooks that I already have on hand.  I will also use lots and lots of manipulatives and hands-on games to teach the math skills.
Science and Social Studies – I’m not really worried about these two areas right now.  We may pick a theme or topic each week to read and do activities or lapbooks on, but I’m not going to press myself to get this done.  If it happens, it does…if it doesn’t, oh well.  He may also join in on some of the topics that Caleb chooses.  So, we’ll just see how it all plays out.
Centers and Electronic Learning – I will use some centers and manipulatives to occupy Micah during my instructional time with Caleb.  I’ll need him to be doing something somewhat independent so that I can focus on Caleb.  He’ll also be able to play educational computer, DS, iPad, or Leap Pad games.  He LOVES doing this now, so I’m sure it’ll be a HUGE hit.
I think that’s it…I think I have the basics covered.  I really, really hope that it turns out to be a fun, adventure-filled year of lots and lots of learning and memories.  I’ll share my plans for Caleb’s 5th grade year soon (wow, 5th grade…how did that happen?).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fourth Grade Week 26

This week went much better compared to last week.  It was easier to make it through the week, and the routine went smoothly.  Here’s how the week went…
Bible – Caleb’s question this week was ‘Were people different before the flood than they are today?’  We read Genesis 11:1-9 to find the answer.
English – This week Caleb worked on pronouns, subject and object pronouns, and possessive pronouns.
Reading – I decided that I was going to have Caleb read more fiction books.  He LOVES to sit and read non-fiction, but I think variety is a good thing to have.  So, he has to choose one fiction book to tackle each week (or however long it takes him…he reads for 15 minutes each day).  This week he chose The Chronicles of Narnia – The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis.
Math – Caleb worked on ounce, pound, ton, gram, kilogram, metric ton, changing feet to yards, and solving story problems with division.
Journal Writing – I also decided that I wanted Caleb to write more.  Writing is not something that he enjoys, but in small bits, he’s fine with it.  So, I have him choose a topic each day to write about.  He has to write at least three sentences.  That number will probably gradually get larger, but for now…it works.
Exploration – This week Caleb decided that he wanted to learn more about alligators and the Wright brothers.  So, we picked up some books from the library, and he completed some lapbook and notebooking components.  Caleb also built his version of the airplane using legos.

Classical Conversations Foundations – This was our 13th week of CC, and it’s still going well.  Here’s what we studied this week…
  • English – Helping verbs do, does, did
  • Science – the three types of rocks…sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous
  • History – The Songhai
  • Math – Linear Equivalents
  • Latin – Noun Cases
  • Geography – Ancient Africa – Ancient Ghana, Ancient Mali, Ancient Songhai, Fez, Tangier
  • Timeline – Columbus Sails to the Caribbean, Age of Absolute Monarchs, Protestant Reformation, Spanish Conquistadors in the Americas, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Council of Trent, Baroque Period of the Arts
  • Science Experiments – This week we took a core sample using cupcakes.  This represented a core sample of the earth.  It was obviously a very well-received experiment b/c the kiddos got to eat their cupcakes afterwards.
  • Fine Arts – Great Artists – This week we studied Ghiberti.  The students made a relief panel painting.
Here’s hoping next week goes just as well…and each week after.  Smile

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