ivey league kindergarten: week in review!

Caleb finished the kindergarten level of Hooked on Phonics on Wednesday!  The last few pages taught us a few more helper words like "need, "where," "play," "game," and "me," and also introduced simple compound words like "sunset" and "backpack."

After completing these pages and reading his last two little books, we realized we were done!  Caleb was so proud of himself.

He keeps going back and re-reading the books; he especially likes to read to his little brother.

Caleb seemed a little nervous to move on to the first grade level, so we took Thursday off from reading and did other subjects instead.  Today I insisted we start it, and reminded Caleb that since he's ahead of the game, we can go as slow as we want.  The first grade kit has two levels, the orange level and the red level.  They each have their own set of flash cards and workbooks.  This set also has books to read, and even though we haven't reached that part yet they already look more interesting than the kindergarten books.  We have all the audio CDs for the first grade set so we used the first orange one today.  The flash cards that go with this set are word beinnings, like ch-, th-, sh-, sw-, and so on.  The track on the CD has you go over all the sounds (around ten in all) over and over again, saying that your child needs to master these sounds before moving on to the workbook.  Looking at the workbook, however, I saw that the subsequent pages go over each sound individually anyway....plus Caleb was getting tired of going through the cards over and over.  So we decided to go on to the first page (which had ch- and th- words on it) and do that.  Luckily Caleb caught on to the ch- sound pretty quickly, he just needs to cover that part of the word up at first and concentrate on the ending of the word so he can read the whole thing (like chin and chum).  He remembered th- from the helper words "the" and "that" so his main obstacle there is to pronounce it properly...he still has a habit of putting his top teeth on his lower lip when he says th- so it sounds more like an f sound.  Anyway, we went slow and we're going to review a lot so Caleb doesn't get discouraged.

We also finished Henry and the Clubhouse this week.  Caleb really liked it and he wants to read the books about Ramona Quimby now since she had a pretty important role in this Henry book.  We don't have any of the Beverly Cleary books about Beezus and Ramona so we'll probably get those from the library soon!  For his book report, Caleb wanted to draw the scene where Henry rides in an old bathtub on his neighbor's trailer as they drive it to the dump.  I helped him draw the body of the truck, but everything else is Caleb's!

In math, we learned about nickels and continued to practice counting by 5's.  We also learned more about place value and counted groups of tens to figure out what number goes in the tens place.  Today, the lesson had Caleb do simple addition problems (like 2 + 1) without a number line.  He knew the answer to some of the problems from memory, and for the others he figured out the answer by counting on his fingers.

For Bible time, we learned about Jacob coming home and reconciling with Esau, and then the story of Joseph.  We used the Bible videos on YouTube again, plus it turns out he read about Joseph in his storybook Bible with his Dad.  On Friday we each created a coat inspired by Joseph's special one.  I colored mine, and Caleb opted to use stamps, markers, and glue.  And googly-eyes, because why not?

For science, Caleb wanted to learn more about worms.  If he had wanted to go dig some real ones up, this past week would have been perfect because we've had a lot of rain!  However, right now Caleb is the kind of boy who would rather read about worms than touch them.  We were able to reserve a couple of books from the library, and I printed off a couple of fun worksheets to do.  For one, he cut out a simple ruler to measure earthworms with, and the other had him draw a worm and make up a story about it.  Caleb made sure I knew that the measuring worksheet was wrong because its earthworms had eyes, and he made a point to draw his own worm with no eyes.  I was impressed that he remembered that detail from the books!

Finally, we attempted a fun wiggly worms science experiment.  You're supposed to cut gummy worms lengthwise to make them a little lighter, soak them in a mixture of baking soda and water for fifteen minutes, then drop a few into a glass of vinegar.  The bubbles from the reaction are supposed to make the worms wiggle around.  I could only find sour gummy worms (the kind with the sugary coating on the outside), but we tried them anyway.

Nothing much happened at first.  We only put two or three worm pieces in there to start with (the instructions said any more might make everything sink down to the bottom), but they didn't move around despite all the bubbles.  Caleb said he wanted to try other stuff, and I told him he could, since after all isn't that what scientists do?  He ended up dumping more baking soda in, and that made a few worms float up to the surface and wiggle just a little.  So not quite the wiggling we were hoping for, but Caleb was still satisfied that he got it to work a little bit.  Really, the kid is satisfied with anything involving baking soda and vinegar!

Our Worm Books:
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Yucky Worms by Vivian French

I Can Listen to Stories printable (Kinder Craze)
List of Bible Videos (YouTube)
Jacob's Coat Activity (A Year of FHE)
Earthworm Measuring Sheet (Education.com)
Worm Writing Prompt (Teachers Pay Teachers...part of a free "Worm Day" pack)
Dancing Worms Science Experiment (Playdough to Plato)


ivey league kindergarten: weeks in review!

We've covered a lot of ground in the last two weeks!

Caleb practiced writing his E's and F's...and his G's.  I don't think I have a picture of the G sheet but oh well.  :)

We continued to review previously learned material in Hooked on Phonics and also learned -eg and -el words.  Caleb almost always wants me to write sentences as a way of review so we do that most days!

Caleb also learned more helper words like "for," "my, and "want," and continues to do very well with the little books that came with the kit.

We also ventured into words ending with -ck.  Caleb was a little confused at first since he learned -ack, -eck, -ick, -ock, and -uck all on the same page, but he did fine once we spent a couple of days on it.

Caleb also got out his Smart Tray reading kit he got for Christmas last year from his Papa and Gran.  Since it's a kit for reading, this is really the first time he's been able to use some of it.  It's actually a neat system...you slide a card in and complete different reading tasks by matching words and pictures together using the numbered tiles (the tiles each have some kind of pattern on the back).  Then when you're done you flip the tray over, and if the pattern of the tiles matches the pattern on the back of the card, you know you've done it correctly.  So far he can only do the first three or four cards that came with the set, but as we get further along with his reading we'll keep bringing the kit out so we can get more practice in.

Caleb continues to shine in math; some days he opts to do two lessons in his workbook instead of just one.  During the last couple of weeks, he's learned how to add two numbers by using a number line, as well as how to count by 5's.  A couple of the lessons also had some measuring skills which he really enjoyed.

For Bible time, we learned about Esau trading his birthright for a bowl of stew.  After I read the story out of the Bible, we watched a little video on YouTube that helped bring the characters to life, then Caleb colored his own little bowl of stew.  Even though the Bible clearly states that Jacob's stew was red, we decided it was okay if Caleb's stew was different colors and had lot of veggies in it.

We also learned about Jacob running away from home and dreaming about the ladder to heaven with angels ascending and descending.  We watched a video about it and then Caleb made his own "Jacob's ladder" out of craft sticks.  I made one alongside of him, and while I glued my angels to the ladder, Caleb decided he wanted to glue his onto sticks so they could be puppets.

Finally, some fun random science.  Last week Caleb started asking questions about bones and skeletons, so when we went to the library for storytime I helped him find some juvenile nonfiction books about bones.  We read the books and also watched a fun StoryBots song about bones on YouTube, and then I found a simple skeleton online for us to cut out and put together like a puzzle.  I helped Caleb glue each part onto paper and then labeled each bone we had read about in the books.  I spelled out "My Bones" for him to write on the top (I wasn't going to do everything for him!).

Caleb liked his skeleton but told me he wanted another one that moved "like a toy."  So the next day I printed off the skeleton parts on cardstock and we used metal fasteners to hook everything together like joints.  I'm not sure how long it'll last but Caleb seems to like it!

Skeleton Books from the Library:
Dem Bones by Bob Barner
You Can't See Your Bones With Binoculars by Harriet Zefert
The Skeleton and Muscles by Carol Ballard
A Book About Your Skeleton by Ruth Belov Gross

Handwriting Activity Sheets (Playdough to Plato)
Jacob and Esau Video (YouTube)
Soup Pot Printable (Crayola.com)
Jacob's Ladder/Jacob Meets Rachel Video (YouTube)
Jacob's Ladder Activity Inspiration (Bible Crafts and Activities) 
StoryBots "Bones in Your Body" Video (YouTube)
Skeleton Printable (Picasa)


ivey league kindergarten: week in review!

A little late, but here's what we did last week!

Caleb had a little more trouble with reading at first...I think his main problem is that he sees a word and answers too fast without really looking at it.  Then he gets frustrated that he made a mistake, and sometimes if he upsets himself enough, we're pretty much done with reading for the day.  I tried to find other ways to help him besides just reading out of the workbook.  We used the letters out of an alphabet puzzle to build words, and I also made little flashcards with each word family we've learned so far.

I also wrote down sentences for Caleb to read...this is one of his favorite ways to practice reading, especially if I make some of the sentences silly.

We continued to do a lesson (or sometimes a lesson and a half) of math every day.  This week the book introduced adding numbers by using a number line instead of counting objects that correspond to each number.  It was confusing even for me at first, but once I figured out a way to explain it to Caleb I think he caught on.

Recently I found a nice canister of colored pencils at Walmart (yay back to school clearance!), so right now Caleb is actually really enjoying coloring with them.  He keeps asking for things to color, which is still surprising to me since he used to hate coloring!

We also did a handwriting worksheet for the letter D:

For Bible lessons, we learned about the birth of Isaac, and then about how Rebekah came to be his wife.  I decided to skip the part in between when God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  Caleb probably already knows a little of this story from his storybook Bible, and maybe from Sunday School too, but he's kind of afraid of God right now.  He's not scared enough to not want to learn more about Him (thankfully), but he gets scared when we pray at bedtime because he says God might show up in his room and He's gigantic!  So we're trying to help Caleb understand that yes, God is mighty and powerful, but He is also gentle and loving and just wants to be Caleb's friend.  So I guess I was thinking if Caleb learned that God asked Abraham to do such a thing, he would miss the whole point of the story and instead just focus on the fact that God wanted him to give up his son.  I bet pretty soon we could go back over it and show Caleb how God provided the sacrifice in the end, that Abraham was faithful even when things didn't make sense, and how beautifully it parallels with the ultimate sacrifice Jesus would make generations later.  Right now, I don't think Caleb will see it that way, but soon!

Micah has done pretty well keeping himself occupied during school time...sometimes he insists on sitting in my lap at the table while Caleb's doing his work, but if Micah gets too distracting I try to set him up nearby with some toys and books.

We continued to read Henry and The Clubhouse and also went to storytime at the library now that they've started it back up.  With fall coming up soon, I'm excited that nicer weather is on its way so we can spend some more time outside!

Links (all free!):
Handwriting Activity Sheets (Playdough to Plato)
Baby Isaac Coloring Page (Inspired Dutch Mom)
Rachel Waters the Camels Coloring Page (BibleWise Kids Korner)


ivey league kindergarten: week in review!

This week we covered a lot of ground in our Hooked on Phonics program....Caleb seems to be mostly over his reading jitters and is a lot more confident!  We moved on to words with the short "U" sound (-un, -ut, -ug, -up, etc.) and added some more "helper words" as well, such as "see," "with," and "says."  He faltered a little bit today when we were reviewing everything; he was the one who had chosen the pace this week ("let's do some more!") but I wanted to make sure it all stuck.  After confusing a few of the word families, Caleb figured it out again.  I've found it helps to start each day reviewing a little bit of what we did before, plus he still likes reading sentences I write on our dry erase board:

I need to write down all the word families and "helper words" Caleb has learned so we can find more ways to fit them in.  One funny "real world" instance of how important the right word is:  we saw a commercial on TV where a wife was asking her husband for a MUG, but he couldn't understand her because she was calling out to him from their tiny kitchen and it was noisy in there.  He entered the kitchen and gave his wife a nice HUG, and then went into the next room again.  Caleb thought it was hilarious, and I think it helped to remind him that those words rhyme because they came from the same word family.

We finished Mr. Popper's Penguins this week too.  Caleb loves the part where Mr. Popper uses the telephone to ask about whether he needs some kind of license for his pet penguin; he ends up being misunderstood by many operators, who get his name wrong repeatedly ("Mr. Popwell?" "Mr. Topper?") and end up transferring him to someone in the automobile license department.  So Caleb drew Mr. Popper with an "exasperated face" and I helped him draw the phone.

We did several math lessons this week too.  Caleb can now write his numbers from 1 to 30, and is getting so much better with adding.

We didn't get to Bible lessons this week (oops), but we did do a little science.  Caleb saw something about the different types of clouds on Curious George, so he asked if we could learn more about it.  I found a neat online video about the four major types of clouds (Caleb has watched it at least five times in the last two days!), and then we made models of the different types using cotton balls and glue.

We also peeked outside that day to see what kind of clouds were in the sky.  They were low and covered a lot of the sky so we decided we were looking at stratus clouds right then.  Cirrus clouds happen on sunny days and are those wispy ones that are way up high, cumulus clouds are the fluffy ones you see all the shapes in, and cumulonimbus clouds are the tall, dark, "angry" clouds that are often accompanied by thunderstorms or tornadoes (Caleb drew those in, as well as the rain under the stratus clouds and the sun near the cirrus clouds).  It was a fun activity and I ended up learning right along with Caleb, since it has been many years since I learned about cloud types and have since forgotten most of it!

This was our verse for the week:

Links: (all FREE!)
I Can Listen to Stories Printable (via KinderCraze)
Cloud Types Video (via PBS Learning Media)
Cottonball Clouds Inspiration (via Pinterest; picture only)
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