Friday, January 17, 2014

Week in Review: Oak Meadow Kindergarten ~ Week 2

We started the week off with a circle time using new verses and songs for the week.  Our regular opening and closing verse our now posted on the wall in our school area although sister can already recite them from heart.

Our letter of the week is B.  One of our new songs incorporated a butterfly and I prompted sister to try and draw a butterfly using the letter B.  She created what she referred to as a butterfly family:

We also read our story for the week, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which had an alternate ending to most of the versions we've read.  Sister identified the changes to the storyline when I asked her what was different and said she preferred the happy ending where Goldi and the bears became friends (me, too!). 

Sister had a doctor's appointment mid-day, so brother went to stay with his grandparents and the two of us had the opportunity to get into some crafting that would normally be difficult with his eager hands nearby.

The curriculum suggested making butterflies out of tissue paper and old-fashioned clothes pins- since we had standard clothespins lying around, I decided to just go with those.  We also had a plethora of tissue paper from the weekend's birthday festivities, so we had the option to create a variety of colored and patterned butterflies. 

When I laid the folded tissue papers on top of each other, sister had the idea to cut all of them at once-

Success!  I loved witnessing her satisfaction as she watched her creations come to life.

We happen to use clothespins for our hanging art display in the kitchen, so the butterflies have found a good home. 

We also tried melting some crayons between wax paper to fashion butterfly wings.  The directions on this one were a little vague, so I'm not sure that they turned out as intended but sister was quite happy with them. 

I'd envisioned putting them all over the windows, but she wanted to keep them together, again as a "family", and I was happy to let her take her own direction with this, even if  though this hasn't always been my inclination.

This was one of our longer crafting sessions and when I asked sister midway if she wanted to keep going or not, I was happy to hear her say "I want to do more because this is fun!".  Homeschool win.

We got out our new watercolor supplies out today to paint with the color yellow, emulating the sun which happened to be shining on this wintry day!  Sister labeled the initial elements of her drawing as the sun and a sunflower, and as she added detail, described it as "sweatiness coming down from the sun!". 

It wasn't long before brother swooped in for a take over of my painting which I happily obliged to. 

We headed outside later to try walking and running the shape of B and very much enjoyed the opportunity that this dry (!) and sunny day gave us for a much loved warmer weather activity.

Today, we reviewed what happened in the Goldilocks story we'd read.  We looked at the curriculum's example of how to turn a B into a bear, and sister made her best attempt, though she declared it looked more like a beaver and I'd have to agree.  Hey- it works!

The curriculum suggested we write an alternate ending for the circle time song we are singing about a butterfly and a beech nut tree, so sister put a spin on it through drawing and I dictated the story for her:

Later in the morning, we came together to review the songs we'd learned from the Wee Sing CD last week and went over the lyrics to two more.  Sister used a scarf to dance along with some of the songs which I regrettably did not capture on film.  I also found the original Wee Sing booklet (printed the year after I was born!) which has a finger play for each song or rhyme, some of which were new to me, too (hard to come by when you've taught preschool for a number of years).  We listened to the CD through lunch and up until nap time as I've found it makes a nice descent from upbeat and active into more quiet and peaceful songs. 

For our first morning of math this week, we had a discussion about the number 1.  I gave some examples of objects that are 1 whole with many parts (our bodies, trees) and sister excitedly looked at the book shelf and related this concept to books (with many pages!) and bookshelves (with many books!). 

As I plan to elaborate on more some time, sister has already mastered all of the content in the Kindergarten curriculum which made it tempting to bypass it.  But I feel convicted about the choice to be where we are having already seen her gain a deeper and more meaningful understanding of previously learned concepts in addition to all the creating and exploring she is doing on a daily basis. 

Here is the picture sister drew to symbolize 1 and the object that the story we read used to demonstrate a whole with many parts: the sun.

For science time, we took a look at the seeds we planted and drew/recorded some observations.  You'll notice sister using the block crayons to do some shading on the pictures of the seeds and above with her 1.  I'm please to see her using these (as recommended by Oak Meadow) with more enthusiasm since she was initially hesitant to let go of the control that finer tip writing utensils allow for (wonder where she gets that from...).



We'd spotted a sprout in the oranges as you can see in the above photo and drawing, but Daddy later confirmed that is was a weed from the garden and not one the product of one of our seeds.  This led to a good question and answer session between he and sister about the time it takes for plants to grow (since Mommy was fooled, too and this is definitely not her area of expertise!).

Note:  For all other content areas we are starting at the beginning of the curriculum year, but for science we skipped ahead to the corresponding season: winter.

Earlier in the week, I decided to try and promote a little more routine within our mornings.  I let sister know that before we could start school each day, she would need to get dressed, make her bed, and tidy (much preferred to the ill received "clean") her room.  Though met with some resistance initially, I was pleasantly surprised when this morning, she informed me she was going to get started before I even had a chance to prompt her!  My other goal has been to start circle time no later than 9, which we met maybe 3/5 days this week.  The special education teacher in me is going for a set criteria of 4/5 opportunities!

Onto math: to expand on the concept of number 1, sister drew a picture to represent her idea and I again dictated alongside.

We also got out a stash of popsicle sticks that, much to sister's dismay, I had been hoarding for a couple of weeks now.  First, we counted out 31 sticks since this is the maximum amount of days we can have in a month.  Then, we used the sticks to count by 5, bundling 3 groups of 5 and adding two solo sticks to show the 17 days we've had this month so far.  We counted ahead to see when the next time we could bundle our sticks would be (Monday!).  I regrettably cannot remember where I found this idea online, but it's out there somewhere.

We later used modeling clay to play around with letter B and number 1.  Sister created a tree from her number 1, and made a B structure dedicated to her mama B.

As you can see, sister has also gotten into the act of documenting her work.  I made and met a goal of only using our nice, new camera for photo taking this week, and hope to learn more and improve with time. 

Our final task of the week (and the most daunting for mama: going outside and doing science?!) was to build a terrarium out of a glass jar.  We went outside to uncover some shade loving plants that we could transplant, and it didn't take long before we'd found a tree next to our pond that had just the right bit of moss and soil.  We nestled it into our jar, watered it, covered it with plastic and a rubber band and positioned it in the kitchen windowsill. 

It turns out that taking a brisk walk in the fresh air didn't feel half bad either.

"Today was good, today was fun, tomorrow is another one." -Dr. Seuss

No comments:

Post a Comment