With the week drawing to a close, we shelved most of our school books today and focused on fun learning activities. We started the morning with a couple of Bible stories, followed by 15 minutes or so of singing along with various Cedarmont Kids music video clips.
Then, it was game time. We began today’s fun with a couple of games of Baby Bear’s current favorite, Ravensburger Teddy Mix & Match, a great tool for encouraging visual discrimination and recall practice. Next, we stepped up the pace by working through half a dozen MindWare Brain Box: My First Pictures cards. Finally, Little Bear and I had some word-building fun with ThinkFun What’s Gnu. (Baby Bear can’t yet spell, so she joined in the fun as our official “Letter Getter.”)
Moving on to more academic tasks, we spent about an hour on phonics and math review. For phonics, Little Bear …
- used color-coded magnetic letters to build short-vowel word families;
- raced to match pictures of rhyming words;
- read Now I’m Reading! Level One: Animal Antics books 4 & 5 aloud without assistance, answered questions about the stories, and brainstormed lists of words in the /-ub/, /-ug/, /-un/, /-en/, /-et/, and /-ed/ word families.
For math, we …
- read the first two chapters of Life of Fred: Apples (which Little Bear has now dubbed her “favorite book in the whole wide world” — high praise indeed!), talked through problem sets, and used groups of seashells to demonstrate the commutative power of addition;
- orally drilled addition facts to 10 (with 28/30 problems immediately answered correctly);
- completed today’s Daily Math Practice, Grade 1 exercise, charting information on a graph and using the graph to make number comparisons.
Once again, we took time to watch today’s episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, which focused on water striders and tied in quite nicely to this month’s ocean/lake/river/pond theme study. Baby Bear then watched an episode of Clifford, while Little Bear and I tackled this week’s primary craft project, a paper tube ocean critter from the Alex Little Hands series. Little Bear chose to create a jelly fish and was able to complete her project with minimal assistance. I showed her how to fold tissue paper squares into triangles, helped her coat her paper tube with thick layer of glue (since the Alex glue sticks are far from the best …), and helped her secure her jellyfish’s tentacles with tape. (Contrary to the imaginings of the kit creators, cheap glue does not bond pipe cleaners to cardboard!) As kid craft kits go, though, this one was cute, relatively complete, and simple enough to be truly child-friendly — and Little Bear was thrilled with her finished project:
In a rare stroke of almost-perfect timing, Little Bear finished her jellyfish just as Baby Bear’s Clifford episode drew to a close. Little Bear then sat down at the computer to complete her next ReadingEggs.com lesson, while Baby Bear and I tackled her craft project.
Baby Bear chose to create a lobster, which was probably the simplest project in the package. The kit really wasn’t designed for two-year-olds, however; so, she required a bit more assistance. I slathered glue on her tube, helped her wrap it with tissue paper, and folded her critter’s accordion-fold legs for her. She decorated her lobster’s claws with stickers, stuck claws and legs in the proper places, added a sticker face, and decorated the lobster’s body. As with Little Bear’s creation, I added tape to help secure pipe cleaner antennae and heavy card stock bits that didn’t want to stay stuck with glue alone. Once again, the finished project made one little girl visibly happy:
Several seashore-themed read-alouds rounded out our day and brought an end to this week’s ocean studies. Among them were …
And now it’s time for little people to sleep and Mommy to gear up for next week’s river and pond study. …