Saturday, 26 September 2015

August 2015: Grade One Language (Letters Z, H) & Maths (Number 1, 2)

Week 1

Snippets from our week…

This week we began to introduce the Six Sense Numbers program from the Earthschooling curriculum. Mr 6 already has an excellent grasp of numbers and is able to calculate quite challenging sums in his head. Six Sense Numbers is allowing us to really explore each number individually in a creative and holistic way, and to finally bring the numbers to paper for the first time. Both boys are really enjoying this experience. 

As a way of introducing the number each week, I decided that rather than have the 'Container Story’ we have been using for our Language Block cover both literacy and numeracy, instead we’d use a visiting ‘pirate' who leaves a treasure map each week. The map contains compass directions, counting and measurement as clues to where the ‘treasure’ is hidden. Each week the map is increasing in complexity. This has been a lot of fun! 

The ‘treasure' is a gold-painted wooden number token with the number stamped on one side, and the equivalent Roman numeral on the other side. Also included in the pirate booty is a chocolate coin each :)

In circle time we have been practicing counting forwards, backwards and skip counting using manipulatives and lots of big body movement, catching and clapping. We also made a multiplication ring by hammering fine nails into a wooden embroidery hoop.

Number 1
This week we explored the Number 1 using the sweet story ‘Brother Acorn’ from Sieglinde De Francesca’s lovely book ‘A Donsy of Gnomes’. 
Story: ‘Brother Acorn'

TL: Blackboard drawing: One acorn seed
TC: Tactile exploration of Number 1
TR: MLB Story Picture

ML: Number practise
MC: Modelling Number 1
MR: 1 sided Mobius strip

BL: Making ‘Stone Soup’: Many ingredients, one soup
BC: One planet Earth
BR: Treasure map leading to the Letter 1 token and treasure!
We made a Multiplication Ring this week from an embroidery hoop.
The wood split a little in places as we hammered in the nails, so we will have to treat it gently.

Other Happenings...

In other exciting news this week, Tasmania was caught in an intense snowy weather pattern which only happens roughly every 20 years, and as we were snowed in for 5 days up here in the mountains. We declared a snow holiday for most of the week! Here are some pics of the snowy fun :)
Day 1: Snowed in!
Day 1

Day 2: Snow drifts building up against the doors
Feeding time for the chooks and ducks!
Snow ducks
All of the families in our little community got together and built a huge igloo with the children.
So much fun!
Day 4 of our snow-in, and we are walking to the gate to pick up grocery supplies kindly left by our neighbours
Day 5 - Snow finally receding. We can finally get out!

Once we were able to drive the car out, we were all keen to catch up with friends and see the outside world. We spent a lovely sunny day nature journalling at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, and on the weekend went to the Model Train Show.
A day spent nature discovering and journalling with friends in the Botanical Gardens
Model Train Show 2015
Model Train Show 2015

Week 2

Snippets from our week…

Letter Z
We explored the Letter Z (Z is for Zebra) using the African fable ‘How The Zebra Got His Stripes’, a version of which can be found <here>.
Story: 'How The Zebra Got His Stripes’

TL: Blackboard drawing: Z is for Zebra
TC: MLB Picture Alphabet 
TR: Letter practise

MC: Modelling Letter Z
MR: Walking the Letter Z

BL: Needle-felting Alphabet Bunting 
BC: Bread dough Letter Z
BR: Z/z wax resist watercolour
Number 2
This week our “pirate" left the boys another treasure map which led to a Number 2 token. The pirate also left us a story for the Number 2, ‘Snow-White & Rose-Red’, which can be found online <here>, though we read ours from the gorgeously illustrated book ‘An Illustrated Treasury of Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ illustrated by Daniela Drescher.
Story: ‘Snow-White & Rose-Red'

TL: Blackboard drawing: ‘Snow-White & Rose Red'
TC: MLB Story Picture
TR: Writing practise

ML: Two hands to knead the bread dough
MC: Modelling Number 2
MR: Skip counting by 2’s on our multiplication ring

BL: This week’s pirate treasure map
BC: Walking out the number
BR: 2 sides to a coin, playing ‘Heads or Tails'
We also learned about Odd and Even numbers with a funny little story found <here> which the boys absolutely loved and asked me to tell over and over! We got out teddies and used some Cuisenaire Rods as math manipulatives to explore the idea of odd and even further. We also practised skip counting by 2’s in our morning lesson.

Odd and Even numbers by climbing up a ladder
Dividing the “berries” evenly between teddies

Week 3

Snippets from our week…

Letter H
We started off feeling well and enthusiastic with the letter H (H is for House) using the story ‘Mother Holle’, a version of which can be found <here>, though we again used our copy of  ‘An Illustrated Treasury of Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ illustrated by Daniela Drescher. The story was particularly appropriate given our snowy weather of late and as I told the story using the story props, the snow began to fall outside again!

Story: ‘Mother Holle'

TL: Blackboard drawing - H is for House
TC: Story Puppetry
TR: MLB Picture Alphabet

ML: Wax-resist watercolour painting H/h
MC: Modelling Letter H
MR: Needle-felting Letter H bunting

BL: Letter practise
BC: Walking out the letter form
Artwork & Handwork

Mr 6 finally finished his homemade calendar month for August!
Mr 5 finished stitching his Nature Journal bag.
(I stitched up the sides with occasional help)
Mr 6 needle felting stars for a mobile. He sanded the twisted willow branch first.
However, as the week progressed we all were hit very hard with this year’s nasty influenza strain, which saw the entire family mostly in bed for well over a week! The poor boys were barely awake an hour in total each day, but lots of rest, cuddles, chicken broth and VitC/Elderberry syrup slowly had us all on the mend. We took almost 2 weeks to recover.

Week 4

Snippets from our week…

Another snowfall, this time just a dusting.
Blanket forts and quiet play.

We continued to slowly improve as the week progressed and spent our time resting, reading, quietly playing (very unusual for two normally very boisterous boys!) and I spent time birthday prepping. Toward the end of this week we celebrated Mr 6 becoming Mr 7! This birthday was a rather low key affair as energy levels had not yet returned to normal and we even ate Indian takeaway for dinner as no one felt up to cooking, but we had a lovely quiet family day.

Finishing the peg doll animals chosen by Mr 6 for his birthday ring
The entire animal menagerie finally finished! 
Mr 7’s birthday breakfast and his new pentatonic wooden recorder
7 times around the sun <3

Candles lit for the evening birthday meal.
The following weekend, we were all feeling much better and we celebrated Mr 7’s birthday with special friends in true Tassie style - outdoors, at the beach, in the drizzling rain! :D Despite the unfortunate combination of inclement weather, an outdoor party and a number of friends unable to come because of illness, he had a wonderful time. Here are some pics from his 'Wombat beach tunnelling' birthday party :)

Friday, 25 September 2015

July 2015: Grade One Language (Letters M, V, W, N, X)

Week 1

Snippets from our week…

Letter M
We explored the Letter M (M is for Mountain) with the Norwegian fairytale “The Princess On The Glass Mountain”, an online version of which can be found <here>. NB. There isn’t actually a mouse in the original story, we just added that to our drawings for fun :)
Story: ‘The Princess on the Glass Mountain'

TL: Blackboard drawing - M is for Mountain
TC: Story: Puppetry
TR: MLB Picture Alphabet

ML: Letter M/m wax resist watercolour painting
MC: Walking the Letter M
MR: Making homemade marbled marshmallow

BL: Modelling the Letter M
BC: Needle-felting alphabet bunting
BR: MLB Letter practise
Natural Sciences with M
This week we started a Moon Chart Calendar to observe how much of the moon is visible as it waxes and wanes in the night sky. We were lucky to have not too many cloudy nights and were able to record quite a nice chart over the month of July. We also discussed the ideas behind moon planting in the garden.

We were also very fortunate to have clear starry skies all week to watch the special event of Jupiter and Venus aligning.

Mr 6’s Moon Chart completed for July

Over the weekend, we went on a family hike up Hartz Mountain. We didn’t quite make the summit before the weather closed in, but spent a lovely family day together.

Climbing Hartz Mountain in the Southwest Wilderness

Week 2

Snippets from our week…

Letter V
We explored the Letter V (V is for Valley), using the story ‘The Valley of the Weavers’ which is found in the Oak Meadow Grade 1 curriculum. 
Story: ‘The Valley of the Weavers'

TL: Story Puppetry

TC: Blackboard drawing: V is for Valley
TR: MLB Picture Alphabet Letter V (with a volcano!)

ML: Letter V/v wax resist watercolour painting

MC: Walking the Letter V
MR: Handwork: Weaving

BL: Homemade Vanilla Slice

BC: Modelling: Letter V
BR: Letter practise
We enjoyed a day at the beach with Grandparents and discovered fairy gardens <3

Week 3

Snippets from our week…

Letter W
We explored the Letter W (W is for Waves), using the Gaelic fairy story ‘The Selkie Bride’, a version of which can be found <here>.  We also watched the lovely Irish film ‘The Secret of Roan Inish’, which is a beautiful gentle tale and tied in perfectly with this week’s story.
Story: ‘The Selkie Bride'

TL: Blackboard drawing: W is for Waves

TC: Container Story intro to the Letter W
TR: MLB Picture Alphabet Letter W

ML: Letter practise

MC: W/w wax resist watercolour
MR: Letter practise

BL: Modelling Letter W

BC: Watermelon slices
BR: Needle-felting Letter W bunting
We also spent a day collecting sea glass, shells, rocks and crabs in the tidal rock pools of one of our local beaches. No seals were spotted this time :) 
We did find a stuffed seal at the Marine Discovery Centre in Woodbridge though, as well as lots of fun things to explore in the touch tanks.
A visit to the seashore and to the Marine Discovery Centre.
Collecting and classifying types of sea glass. 
Our classroom for today!

On the weekend, we ventured into the Huon Valley to join in on Willie Smith’s annual Winter Apple Tree Wassailing festival. The highlight for the boys was the Morris Dancers and the costume competition.

Week 4

Snippets from our week…

Letter N
We explored the Letter N (N is for Needle), using the Irish tale ‘The Pot of Gold’, a version of which can be found <here>. Using the much loved poem ‘The Leprechaun; Or Fairy Shoemaker’ by William Allingham, found <here>, I repeated an excerpt from the poem through the story:

"Tip-tap, rip-rap,
  Scarlet leather, sewn together,
    This will make a shoe.
  Left, right, pull it tight;
    Summer days are warm;
  Underground in winter,
    Laughing at the storm!”
by William Allingham

Story: ‘The Pot of Gold'

TL: Story Puppetry
TC: Blackboard picture N is for Needle
TR: MLB Picture Alphabet

ML: Wax resist watercolour
MR: Walking the Letter N

BL: Needle-felting bunting Letter N
BC: Modelling Letter
BR: Letter practise

Handwork this week was all about sewing, stitching, needles and repurposing old felted jumpers into new creations...

Week 5

Snippets from our week…

Letter X
We explored the Letter X using the story ‘The Extra-Ordinary Crossroads’ found in the Oak Meadow Grade 1 curriculum. We also learned about Australian Aboriginal “ X-Ray paintings” as they are known, and we had a go at making our own using cotton tips and finger tips.

Story: ‘The Extra-Ordinary Crossroads

TL: Blackboard drawing: X illustrating crossroads and ‘X’ marks the spot!
TC: Story Pupperty
TR: MLB Picture Alphabet

ML: Wax resist watercolour
MR: Learning compass points

BL: Needle-felting bunting Letter X
BC: X-ray paintings inspired by Australian Aboriginal artwork
BR: Modelling Letter X


A few extra little projects we have be working on...
Clay modelling
Beeswax modelling 
Fabric pen and crayon fun
Cardboard castle made for a friend’s birthday! 
My Handwork: A handmade doll as a gift for my Mother In Law <3

In The Winter Garden