Friday, July 31, 2015

Golden Beads, Japanese Tea Party, and the State Museum

Kindergarten Week 9

Day 37 - Monday

Have you noticed that we've been working with the golden beads a lot lately? I can not stress enough how thankful I am that we backtracked and worked through the golden beads sequence from the beginning. M went from total frustration and wanting nothing to do with math, to choosing math first almost every day!

I reviewed the tens board presentation, and we built the quantities from 10 to 99 to match the numerals on the board. M mostly watched (I offered to let her take over, but she wanted to see me do it).

When we reached the end of the board, M said "Next comes 100!!"

I then used the numeral cards to make random numbers on the board. M used the golden beads to put the matching quantities next to each number.

When she finished her bead work, she chose to the Day of the Week tray. She put the days of the week cards in order from Sunday through Saturday, then flipped over the control card to check her work. She has this mastered now. I need to add more challenging calendar work for her to do!

I suggested that we try an I Spy game to practice the sounds she is working on in her reading lessons. Instead, she grabbed one of her I Spy books from the shelf. I realized that she can now use these books independently! She can read the list of items to find on the bottom of the page, and she is getting so much better at finding the objects. (Now if only she could apply that same level of concentration when finding her shoes...)

While she worked through her I Spy book, I took out the knobless cylinders. I put each set in order on a rug, then started stacking them and combining the sets in different ways. My "work" caught M's attention, and she put her I Spy book away and asked if she could join me.

She spend a LONG time exploring with the cylinders, and we reviewed a lot of the vocabulary as well.

Day 38 - Tuesday

After a two week break, we were back to co-op for the Art and Music session. This first day was a music session. We danced like different animals to A to Z, The Animals and Me (which the kids LOVED) (affiliate link). Then we made mini rain stick / shakers out of cardboard tubes filled with different sized beans. After sealing the ends, we gave each child a pre-cut piece of contact paper to decorate with feathers, sequins and colored paper. We wrapped the contact paper around the outside of the paper tube and taped along the seam. This was a really easy way to decorate the instruments without using messy glue!!


We did a group presentation introducing the bells (how to carry and play them properly and how to match to the control bells). After snack, we had a special Musikgarten class with lots of fun nature and animal themed rhythm activities.

That afternoon, we attended a Japanese class at O-CHA Tea Bar downtown. M had so much fun! They learned how to say and write several words in Japanese, counted to five, tasted traditional and bubble teas, and tasted several flavors of Mochi ice cream.

Day 39 - Wednesday

On Wednesday we headed down to Columbia to meet some friends at the South Carolina State Museum. I was excited to find out that the State Museum offers free admission to homeschoolers! The museum was fantastic, and we will definitely go back!

Some of M's favorite exhibits were the cotton gin and model buildings from the late 19th century, the Native American displays, and the giant robotic bug exhibit.

Shespotted a luna moth on the wall of our building when we got home!

Day 40 - Thursday

The second co-op day of the week was an art day. We learned about Andy Warhol and pop art. After a lesson on Andy Warhol, the kids learned to draw abstract flowers, and learned about contrasting colors by finding colors that were opposite each other on the color wheel. 

They applied this knowledge by sketching abstract bouquets of flowers.

After snack, they made their own liquid "chalk" to paint on the driveway. 

After co-op we went out to watch the progress on our house! M is excited to see the walls going up, and it's really starting to look like a house.

Day 41 - Friday

M chose to start with golden beads again. She worked pretty independently on this, and matched the beads to the numeral cards she chose.

She is making a lot of progress in her reading book - Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (affiliate link). We are going in order, but she already knows some of the letter combinations from other work. She will often complete two or three lessons at a time. This week she completed lessons for the "oo" sound (as in good or book).

She wrapped up with a little handwriting practice in her sand tray.

Successes and Challenges

Successes this week -

  • M is making huge strides with her math work. It's very exciting to see her confidence grow as she becomes more comfortable with larger quantities.
  • M's reading level blows me away. It's incredible to see how far she has come in such a short period of time. She is choosing to read more books and magazines on her own, and is starting to sound words out in her head so her reading sounds much more fluent.
Challenges this week - 
  • I'm still trying to figure out how we can make the most of the time at co-op. It often turns into a social time, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it means that I feel like we have to have a second work period in the afternoon when we get home. We're throwing around ideas for accountability for the school-aged kids when we start back up in the fall.
  • I need to find fun ways to work on handwriting. M writes a lot, but in her own free writing she often chooses to write capitol letters or will form the letters incorrectly. She doesn't seem to make the connection between the handwriting practice we do and the writing she does at other times.

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