Friday, September 19, 2008

Week 7: Cruising Along

It has been a great week. The kids have done a great job of working and finished with plenty of free time to spare this week. Here's a look at what we accomplished.


Math has gone really well for both girls this week. Jessie finished the last of her IP work on Monday and started a new section on fractions in her textbook on Tuesday. She spent the week adding then subtracting fractions with and without common denominators. The extra time we spent on fractions last year seems to have paid off. She whizzed through her math in half of the time most days and even doubled up her lessons on Thursday to get Friday off from math.

Violet has also begun a new section on multiplication this week after working through a few review exercises. She worked on multiplying by fours so far and is loving math this week. I think the longest she spent on a lesson this week was 30 minutes. She also doubled up on Thursday to have Friday off.

Jessie's spelling is still zipping along. In grammar, she's been identifying and diagramming sentence types. This week we completed questions and commands as well as introduced exclamations. Dictation is going better. I think I'm going to have her try a different pencil grip to try to improve her grip because her hand tires out too quickly with her fist style grip. Her independent reading is starting to slide a bit. She's been "forgetting" to read in the afternoon and her narrations are less detailed than previous weeks. We need to work on more responsibility here in completing assignments as well as diligence in reading the selection more carefully for content instead of whizzing through them like she does with most of her library books. Our CW selection for this week was The Ant and the Grasshopper.

Violet's LA are also going well. We've covered all of the singular pronouns in grammar now. She's having a little more difficulty with her spelling exercises, especially the second page where she is sorting out the words based on a particular sound. It doesn't seem to be affecting her ability to spell the words when it comes time to test. Her handwriting definitely improved this week when I went back to writing out the selection for her to copy. She still doing a good job with her assigned reading and narrations. I believe we have two more weeks of Alice in Wonderland to go. Her fairy tale this week was "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood".


Jessie is making excellent progress memorizing the ten commandments passage for Sunday school. She was very excited yesterday to be caught up with the rest of the kids already since we started a couple of weeks behind them. Violet is just about finished with the 23rd Psalm. I think I'll have her work on it at least part of next week because she occasionally skips a line or forgets what comes next. Both girls have completed our current poem, True Nobility. I think we have time to work on one more before vacation in a few weeks so we'll start something new on Monday.


This week we did a lot of biographies. Together we read about John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) and Davy Crockett. I was unable to get the Johnny Appleseed book that I wanted despite the fact that our library system owns something like 10 copies of it. Note to self: Never try to get a Johnny Appleseed book during apple season. Individually, the girls both read biographies on John James Audubon and Jim Bridger. We narrated and made booklets for all four men in addition to assembling last weeks booklets on Eli Whitney, Osceola, and Sequoyah. For our timeline we added Eli Whitney, Osceola, and Sequoyah from last week as well as Crockett, Audubon, and President Monroe. Even though we're not reading bios on every president, I decided to add them to the timeline at the start date of their presidency as a reference point for the girls to see when things happen. I'm hoping after we come back from the beach to have them start memorizing the presidents.

In science this week, we began lesson 13. Tuesday we completed an trifold booklet on praying mantises. Thursday we completed an accordion style booklet on dragonflies and damselflies. Even though insects are not the girls' favorite topic, they are still enjoying some of the interesting tidbits we come across. Did you know a praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head or that dragonflies can fly backwards because their wings move independently?


Jessie completed lesson 5 in Latin for Children this week. It was our first review lesson so it gave us both a breather to solidify our vocabulary and grammar chants so far.


We finally added some music appreciation this week!! YEAH!! We're using the book The Story of the Orchestra by Levine and starting in the second half where the different instruments are introduced. We read about the string section, learned that pizzicato refers to plucking the strings on the instruments, and listened to the excerpt from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 as an example. The girls like it enough that we also read about the Violin. The selection for listening was the finale of Franck's Sonata for the Violin and Piano in A Major. I think next week when we get to the viola we'll listen to this track again so they can hear the different in the sound between the instruments.


Benny has mastered the short o sound and started his final short vowel! GO, Benny!! In counting to 20, we've made it up to 14. Our country for the week was India. For animals, we simply read a beautifully illustrated version of Rikki-Tiki-Tavi to cover mongooses and cobras. Lest you think we needed more animal books to read, I must explain that we read Rikki-Tiki-Tavi once on Monday and twice on Tuesday and Wednesday before I finally had to tell Benny we needed to read some of the other books before the end of the week. Sometimes less is more when the quality is excellent. For his craft Benny made a cobra to whom of course he gave the name Nag. This one required a bit more help than usual, but Benny loves it. It even went to town with us this morning when we ran a few errands (and no it didn't stay in the van despite my suggestions). I'm still looking for a good mongoose to make into a puppet so he can act the story out.


Rhonda said...

You always have great reports! Love Benny's cobra-it looks like he really enjoys all of the projects you have for him.

Paige said...

Looks like a great week, good to hear your fractions work paid off!