Friday, June 28, 2013

Kindergarten End-of-Year Wrap-Up, 2012-13

We got a really late start last fall, so we are diligently trying to finish up our studies for Life Science and Ancient History. We still have a good month or more to go for each. Insert a big sigh here...lesson thoroughly learned. We won't be starting late again, as long as I can help it. I had planned some extra fun electives for this summer, but they aren't going to happen and I'm bummed. Good news is we have managed to complete our core subjects this past month, as well as Spanish...again.

Here's what we have recently completed and are doing now.

Completed Singapore Math 1B. Started Singapore Math 2A.

Singapore Math 1BSingapore Math 2A


Completed Hooked on Phonics: Second Grade. Started Evan-Moor Daily Phonics, Grade 1 and Daily Reading Comprehension, Grade 1. We will start All About Spelling 1 and grammar this fall.

Hooked on Phonics: Second Grade

Evan-Moor Daily Phonics, Grade 1Evan-Moor Daily Reading Comprehension, Grade 1


Completed Teach Them Spanish!, Grade 1. Starting Risas y Sonrisas: Spanish for Kids next term. I'm really excited about our new Spanish program, but I'll write more about it later in a future post.

Teach Them Spanish!, Grade 1

Risas y Sonrisas: Spanish for Kids

Life Science, Week 29

Plant Parts

A fun thing about studying plants is that there are so many simple, cheap little experiments that Tessa can do with them. This week, she studied the various parts of plants with most days ending with a hands-on activity.


Monday

After removing the roots from Plant #2 outside, we brought both plants in for Tessa to observe and draw. In ten days or so, she'll observe and draw them again while taking note of what changes may have occurred.
After removing the roots from Plant #2 outside, we brought both plants in for Tessa to observe and draw. In ten days or so, she'll observe and draw them again while taking note of what changes may have occurred.

Tuesday

In this classic experiment, Tessa and I placed white carnations and celery in colored water. After forty-eight hours, Tessa observed the subtle changes that proved that water and nutrients do indeed move through tiny tubes in stems to leaves and flowers of plants. Afterward, I sliced through the stems so Tessa could get a closer look.
In this classic experiment, Tessa and I placed white carnations and celery in colored water. After forty-eight hours, Tessa observed the subtle changes that proved that water and nutrients do indeed move through tiny tubes in stems to leaves and flowers of plants. Afterward, I sliced through the stems so Tessa could get a closer look.

Wednesday

Thursday


Friday
For the sorting activity, we used toy food that we had around the house. Instead of the bulletin board activity, I folded a piece of white paper into sixths and then had Tessa title, draw and label the foods as instructed.

Ancient History, Week 31

Ancient India

When I think of India, I think Hinduism. When I think of China, I think Buddhism. So, I found it interesting that the majority of the books I was able to unearth (and those recommended in our curriculum) for Ancient India revolve around Buddhism. Surely, there are more Hindu picture books out there that I missed. Ah, well. I have to keep reminding myself that history during the grammar years is really about dipping toes and creating pegs to build future knowledge upon. Maybe I'll search our library's catalog by Hindu god, see what I can churn up for bedtime reading.


Monday
  • Read Usborne: Ancient World by Fiona Chandler (pages 70-71).
  • Completed HO map work for Lesson 27, Main Lesson.

Tuesday
Buddha by Demi is a good alternative to the title above. Since both are quite lengthy and pretty much cover the same material, I chose to read only one. Although I'm a big fan of Demi, I felt the colorful illustrations and the more casual flow of text in Rockwell's version was more engaging.

Wednesday

Thursday
How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head has a nice line art picture of the cover illustration at the back of the book that you can photocopy for your child to color. Tessa really liked that.

Friday

Other Books of Interest
Darn it! I knew there were more Hindu stories. Just needed to be a bit more strategic in searching our library's catalog.

* HO = History Odyssey

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ancient History, Week 30

Ancient Africa

While there aren't a whole lot of books about ancient African life and culture, there are quite a few folktales available, so that's what the majority of our studies revolved around this week. Tessa also learned to weave when we crafted African baskets from construction paper.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday
I wasn't keen on the Ancient Africa projects recommended in either History Odyssey or The Story of the World Activity Book, so I went out on my own for this one. Since Tessa had never weaved before, I liked that this craft also taught her the basics of a somewhat practical skill. I knew this project would be somewhat time-consuming, so I went ahead and cut all of the pieces the day before.


Tessa started her basket by gluing the pieces for the framework in a star pattern.
Tessa started her basket by gluing the pieces for the framework in a star pattern. 

Then, she glued a five-inch circle in the center of the framework. Afterward, she folded the arms inward. This created a skeleton of sorts for her to weave the remaining pieces through.
Then, she glued a five-inch circle in the center of the framework. Afterward, she folded the arms inward. This created a skeleton of sorts for her to weave the remaining pieces through. 

Next, Tessa weaved contrasting paper strips through the framework.
Next, Tessa weaved contrasting paper strips through the framework.

After folding in the top of the arms and then gluing them down, Tessa's African basket was finally complete! I'm really proud of her. Tessa diligently worked on her basket for over an hour and completed the vast majority of it by herself. She asked questions about how ancient people weaved baskets throughout the project. Afterward, she commented that she really liked weaving and couldn't believe she made her very own basket.
After folding in the top of the arms and then gluing them down, Tessa's African basket was finally complete! I'm really proud of her. Tessa diligently worked on her basket for over an hour and completed the vast majority of it by herself. She asked questions about how ancient people weaved baskets throughout the project. Afterward, she commented that she really liked weaving and couldn't believe she made her very own basket.  

Other Books of Interest
All of the Anansi books by Eric Kimmel are available as CD audiobooks. A Story, A Story is as well. You may wish to see whether your library carries these audiobooks, unless you fancy reading Ashanti folktales over and over. Anansi has been a big hit with Tessa. She has listened to each title no less than six times a piece so far.

* HO = History Odyssey

Friday, June 21, 2013

Life Science - Week 28

Plants

Woohoo! We have finally made it to plants. This will be our final unit of study for life science. I'm excited, not because I think the grass will be greener on the other side, but because I'm longing for that sweet sense of completion.

We began our study of plants by taking a look at their basic parts. We will follow up in more detail in subsequent weeks.


Monday

First, Tessa put together a paper puzzle and labeled the parts and functions of the pictured plant.
First, Tessa put together a paper puzzle and labeled the parts and functions of the pictured plant.

Then, she looked at parts of a real plant up close. She pointed out the various parts and explained their functions.
Then, she looked at parts of a real plant up close. She pointed out the various parts and explained their functions.

Finally, she drew the plant, labeled its parts and wrote about what she learned.
Finally, she drew the plant, labeled its parts and wrote about what she learned.

Tuesday

Wednesday

Other Books of Interest

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let's Read! - 2012-13

Note: This information was originally featured on my "Let's Read!" page (linked from navigation bar above). I have relocated it here so we can start fresh this school year.

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While writing the post, "On-Level Readers," I decided to create an ongoing list of books that Tessa can read with little-to-no help from me. I have had such a hard time coming up with appropriately-leveled books for her. Hopefully, this list will prove useful to other homeschooling moms.


Current Reading Level - June 25, 2012

Has completed Hooked on Phonics: Kindergarten and Hooked on Phonics: First Grade, Level 1. Reads short vowel CVC and CCVC words as well as add -s, -ck, compound and two-syllable words that fit the CVC/CCVC pattern, and 70+ sight words. She also can figure out quite a few CVCC and CCCVC/CCCVCC words on her own now. However, she won't formally start studying those until later this week.

Clifford Makes a Friends - Norman Bridwell
I Like Bugs - Margaret Wise Brown
Cat in the Bag and Other Pet Stories - Children's Press
Big Egg - Molly Coxe
Cat Traps - Molly Coxe
Little Lizard's First Day - Melinda Melton Crow
Little Lizard's New Pet - Melinda Melton Crow
Little Lizard's New Shoes - Melinda Melton Crow
Mud Mess - Melinda Melton Crow
Snow Trouble - Melinda Melton Crow
Tired Trucks - Melinda Melton Crow
Truck Buddies - Melinda Melton Crow
In My Backyard - Don L.Curry
Read with Dick and Jane: Away We Go - Grosset & Dunlap
Read with Dick and Jane: Who Can Help? - Grosset & Dunlap
Jen the Hen - Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
Mig the Pig - Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
Pat the Cat - Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
Tog the Dog - Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
Zug the Bug - Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
The Pup Speaks Up - Anna Jane Hays
A House for Little Red - Margaret Hillert
Four Good Friends - Margaret Hillert
Play Ball - Margaret Hillert
Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs: Uh-oh! - R. Schuyler Hooke
BOB Books: Sight Words, Kindergarten - Lynn Maslen Kertell
Hog and Dog - Diane Wright Landolf
Dragon Egg - Mallory Loehr
Camping Out - Mercer Mayer
Bugs! - Patricia and Frederick McKissack
See Me Run - Paul Meisel
Play with "a" and "t" - Jane Belk Moncure
Go Away Dog - Joan L. Nodset
Cat the Cat, Who Is That? - Mo Willems


Current Reading Level - August 31, 2012


Nearing completion of Hooked on Phonics: First Grade, Level 2. Adding such digraphs as -ch, -tch, -nd, -ng (-ing), -nk, -sp, -sk and -ft to Tessa's repertoire has boosted her to a higher reading level. Books that were still too difficult a few short weeks ago are now readable! She will study -er, -ly, -es, and -ed very soon, but already knows how to decode most of these endings along with -y and long vowel silent "e" words.


Biscuit and the Little Pup - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit Finds a Friend - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit Meets the Class Pet - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit Wins a Prize - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit's Big Friend - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit's New Trick - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Meet Biscuit!/Hello, Biscuit - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Little Lizard's Family Fun - Melinda Melton Crow
Little Lizard's New Friend - Melinda Melton Crow
Little Wheels - Melinda Melton Crow
Ride and Seek - Melinda Melton Crow
Road Race - Melinda Melton Crow
Fish Had a Wish - Michael Garland
Boy, Bird, and Dog - David McPhail
Gus Grows a Plant - Frank Remkiewicz
Cooking with the Cat - Bonnie Worth


Current Reading Level - January 4, 2013

Well into Hooked on Phonics: Second Grade, Level 1 now. By the end of next month, Tessa should start Level 2. Second Grade focuses on long vowels, and such diphthongs and digraphs as -ai, -oa, -ea, -oy, etc. Aside from highly complex words and those that just don't follow the rules, she is quickly running out of words that she can't decode. Still working on fluency. I think that won't fully come until we quit adding new sounds for her brain to process and remember.

The Snowball - Jennifer Armstrong
Bathtime for Biscuit - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit Play Balls - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit's Day at the Farm - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt - David Catrow
Snow - P.D. Eastman
Our Blood - Charlotte Guillain
Our Bones - Charlotte Guillain
Our Brains - Charlotte Guillain
Our Hearts - Charlotte Guillain
Our Lungs - Charlotte Guillain
Our Muscles - Charlotte Guillain
Our Stomachs - Charlotte Guillain
Ducks Go Vroom - Jane Kohuth
Put Me in the Zoo - Robert Lopshire
Dancing Dinos Go to School - Sally Lucas
My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Calling All Piglets! - Lisa Marsoli
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb - Al Perkins
Flip Flop! - Dana M. Rau
The Eye Book - Dr. Seuss
Ten Apples Up On Top! - Dr. Seuss
The Little Red Hen - Harriet Ziefert
Sleepy Dog - Harriet Ziefert


Current Reading Level - March 4, 2013

Began Hooked on Phonics: Second Grade, Level 2. This is the last Hooked on Phonics book. Tessa will learn the diphthongs and complex consonant blends: oy, oi, ou, ow, au, aw, all, oo, igh, ind, shr, str, scr, spr, spl and squ. Second Grade, Level 2 also teaches kn, wr, soft c and soft g. Tessa already knows the complex consonant blends and a few of the diphthongs, so we are starting to shift focus from learning new phonics sounds to practicing reading. We will be working on improving fluency for the remainder of the school year. This summer or fall, Tessa will continue phonics instruction with All About Spelling, Level 1. Tessa is reading books of varying difficulty now. From here on, this page will be more of a list of books she's read during school than those that are on level. It won't include most of the ones she reads on her own time since I don't keep track of those.

Like a Windy Day - Frank Asch
Castles, Caves and Honeycombs - Linda Ashman
Biscuit and the Baby - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit Takes a Walk - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit Visits the Big City - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Pedro's Burro - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Scat, Cat! - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
BooBoo - Olivier Dunrea
GideonOlivier Dunrea
Gossie - Olivier Dunrea
Gossie & Gertie - Olivier Dunrea
Go, Dog. Go! - Philip D. Eastman
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens - Denise Fleming
Across the Stream - Mirra Ginsburg
Chicken said, "Cluck!" - Sue Truesdell
Too Many Dogs - Lori Haskins
Here Comes Silent e! - Anna Jane Hays
A Good Day - Kevin Henkes
Birds - Kevin Henkes
Old Bear - Kevin Henkes
Pup and Hound Play Copycats - Susan Hood
Too Many Cats - Lori Haskins Houran
Good-Night, Owl! - Pat Hutchins
Titch - Pat Hutchins
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.
Fabian Escapes - Peter McCarty
Hondo & Fabian - Peter McCarty
Eloise's Mother's Day Surprise - Lisa McClatchy
Big Pig and Little Pig - David M. McPhail
The Best Mouse Cookie - Laura Numeroff
The Ear Book - Al Perkins
Brownie & Pearl Go for a Spin - Cynthia Rylant
Brownie & Pearl Hit the Hay - Cynthia Rylant
Brownie & Pearl See the Sights - Cynthia Rylant
Brownie & Pearl Step Out - Cynthia Rylant
Follow Me, Mittens - Lola M. Schaefer
Mittens, Where is Max? - Lola M. Schaefer
What's That, Mittens? - Lola M. Schaefer
The Mole Sisters and the Blue Egg - Roslyn Schwartz
The Mole Sisters and the Rainy Day - Roslyn Schwartz
Great Day for Up - Dr. Seuss
Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss
Sheep on a Ship - Nancy Shaw
Rain Rain Rivers - Uri Shulevitz
Snow - Uri Shulevitz
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit - Il Sung Na
The Life Cycle of a Cat - Lisa Trumbauer
The Life Cycle of a Chicken - Lisa Trumbauer
The Life Cycle of a Frog - Lisa Trumbauer
Cookie's Week - Cindy Ward
Splish, Splash! - Sarah Weeks
Noodles: I Won't Share - Hans Wilhelm
My Friend is Sad - Mo Willems
Every Friday - Dan Yaccarino
The Princess and the Pea - Harriet Ziefert


Current Reading Level - May 29, 2013

Completed Hooked on Phonics: Second Grade. Still working on fluency. Will start All About Spelling 1 this summer or fall.


End date -  June 20, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Life Science, Week 27

Invertebrates - Everything Else

We breezed through the last four units of ScienceWorks for Kids: Animals without Backbones, Grades 1-3 this week since they are very similar to those from Animals with Backbones. Picture books on the subjects covered below often include both vertebrates and invertebrates, so there wasn't much left that we hadn't already read during our study of vertebrates.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday
We skipped "Camouflage, Protective Coloration, Mimicry" (page 66) only because we did nearly the exact same thing during our study of vertebrates. Tessa remembered how much she enjoyed the activity last time, so she went ahead and colored and decorated three beetles on her own time.


Thursday

Atelier Art, Level 1 - Module B, Lesson 2

The Queen of Hearts

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get behind this lesson. It plagued me for quite a while before finally deciding to give it up and move on. My apologies to anyone hoping to see Tessa's completed work for this lesson.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Sylvan Math Flashcards...Perfect for Singapore Math!

It's been a very long time since I have posted anything about Singapore Math. We have just one more week before we complete Singapore Math 1B.

While wandering around Barnes & Noble a couple of weekends ago trying to decide what to spend my $5 Kids' Club rewards coupon on, I came across Sylvan Math Flashcards. I couldn't believe it. Months ago, I had scoured the internet for horizontal addition and subtraction flashcards. The few that I found were not quite right or hard to come by. Sylvan 1st Grade Math Flashcards are a perfect complement to Singapore Math 1A/1B. The addition and subtraction cards are written horizontally and go up to 20. Addition is on one side, subtraction on the other. The 240 cards also feature numbers 30 to 100, place value for ones and tens, number patterns including number lines and skip counting, number comparison, shapes, symmetry, telling time, and money. The only drawback is that the cards are pretty flimsy compared to others. They are a very lightweight card stock (more likely, a heavyweight paper as apposed to a true card stock). As long as a parent is doing the flashing, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I won't be letting Tessa have free reign of them, though.

If you're looking for horizontal flash cards for Singapore Math 1A/1B...these are them!

Sylvan 1st Grade Math Flashcards

Life Science, Week 26

Invertebrate Life Cycles

Although this week was supposed to detail life cycles of various types of invertebrates, it ended up primarily focusing on a couple of popular insectival life cycles. I figured this was okay since we had already covered other invertebrate life cycles during our studies earlier this month and last.


Monday

Wednesday

Tessa's completed "A Ladybug's Life Cycle" booklet shows the various stages of a ladybug's life cycle...from adult to egg to larva to pupa to ladybug. Later that day, she successfully identified both a ladybug larva and a pupa while playing outside.
Tessa's completed "A Ladybug's Life Cycle" booklet shows the various stages of a ladybug's life cycle...from adult to egg to larva to pupa to ladybug. Later that day, she successfully identified both a ladybug larva and a pupa while playing outside. 

Friday

Supplies for our mealworm house...oats, apple chunks, damp sponges, recycled plastic bucket and mealworms. The instructions called for damp paper towels, but I thought sponges might work better.
Supplies for our mealworm house...oats, apple chunks, damp sponges, recycled plastic bucket and mealworms. The instructions called for damp paper towels, but I thought sponges might work better.

Tessa began creating our mealworm house by pouring oats into the recycled plastic bucket.
Tessa began creating our mealworm house by pouring oats into the recycled plastic bucket.

After adding the apple chunks and damp sponges, Tessa helped transfer the mealworms (darkling beetle larvae) to their new home.  We transferred sixty-four mealworms in all. We first thought some of our mealworms were dead. Turns out that what we were looking at were molted skins. Mealworms molt several times as they bridge from larva to pupa stage.
After adding the apple chunks and damp sponges, Tessa helped transfer the mealworms (darkling beetle larvae) to their new home.  We transferred sixty-four mealworms in all. We first thought some of our mealworms were dead. Turns out that what we were looking at were molted skins. Mealworms molt several times as they bridge from larva to pupa stage.

Our completed mealworm house. Now, we watch and wait. It can takes several months for a mealworm to complete its life cycle.
Our completed mealworm house. Now, we watch and wait. It can takes several months for a mealworm to complete its life cycle.

Tessa also observed a mealworm with a hand leans, drew a picture of it and then wrote a sentence about what it does in its new home.
Tessa also observed a mealworm with a hand leans, drew a picture of it and then wrote a sentence about what it does in its new home. 

Other Books of Interest

Ancient History, Week 29

Ancient China - The First Emperor & the Han Dynasty

I have to chuckle at Tessa. She falls head-over-heels in love with one great ancient civilization and then the next. Just when I thought there was no way to douse the flames of her infatuation with Ancient Greece, they dissipated and then flared again for Ancient China. She has created and played with paper dragons, lions and lanterns for the past two weeks, pretending it to be Chinese New Year. From notebook to sidewalk to random scrap of paper, calligraphic numbers dot every possible surface. The sponge that she is absorbed all that was available of the first emperor, Great Wall, terracotta army, Silk Road, Chinese tales and myths. As I busied myself with those menial tasks that all parents must do, I stepped in drips and small puddles of new-found knowledge that pooled around the house. I suspect I'll continue to do so until our road ends in Ancient Rome.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday
I didn't pre-read Stories From The Silk Road, so I didn't realize how good of a book it is and how well it fits with The Silk Route: 7,000 Miles of History before reading it to Tessa. I had planned to read only a couple of random stories from it, but Tessa wants me to read all of them. The stories are in order of how the Silk Road was traveled. The book also provides historical information for the major stops along the way. There is a corresponding story for each stop. Next week, we will start from the beginning.


Other Books of Interest

* HO = History Odyssey