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 :)

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