ivey league kindergarten: weeks in review

Here's what happened over the last two weeks!

Big news...Caleb finished Workbook 1 of Horizons Math!  We did 80 math lessons in three months, so not too shabby!

Caleb caught on to skip-counting by 2's pretty quickly, and he continues to improve with telling time and counting coins.  Workbook 2 also has 80 lessons in it, so depending on our pace, Caleb might finish kindergarten earlier than anticipated.

In reading, Caleb learned sw-, st-, fl-, gl-, cl-, and bl-.  He also earned a few more stars on his reading chart by reading HOP stories and books.

We didn't get to much Bible unfortunately...I think I might have to revamp our approach a bit.  We've realized that Caleb knows a lot of Bible stories but doesn't necessarily see them as more than that.  I might try more of a character/virtue approach where we learn about a specific trait (such as bravery, faith, compassion, etc.), and then find people in the Bible that demonstrated that trait, verses that talk about it, and then find ways to apply it in our own lives.

Caleb found lots of leaves outside and asked if we could do rubbings of them, so we did that one day (we had to give them a day to dry out...we've had so much rain lately that the leaves were pretty damp at first!).

We finished The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  Caleb liked it a lot.  He didn't really want to draw a picture of the story but he did a little bit anyway!

For our next read-aloud, Caleb chose Otis Spofford, also by Beverly Cleary.  He really liked the Ramona character in the Henry Huggins books we read, so we might check some more Cleary books out of the library in the future since we don't have much in the way of Ramona.  :)

One morning, Caleb got out some of his old preschool work and reminisced.  :)

And finally, Caleb's first experience with trick-or-treating!  He still loves Spiderman but said he wanted to be the Hulk for Halloween.  He had a blast, but after awhile he said his costume was too hot and he ended up back home in his normal clothes helping me hand out the candy.

One other thing I'm looking into is better handwriting practice.  I let it go for awhile since he was bored with worksheets I got off the internet, but I think if I got Handwriting Without Tears or something like that he would like it more.  I've heard mixed advice about handling handwriting in kindergarten...some moms say to wait, others say they wish they hadn't waited since they're still having to work on handwriting in the later grades.  Caleb can write all his numbers (thanks to math), and pretty much all of his letters, but I'm not sure he knows how to write lowercase (or else, he doesn't bother, since I see him writing mostly in uppercase).  I feel like we need to do a little more than just reading and math so I'll probably add more writing soon.


ivey league kindergarten: weeks in review

Here's what we did the past two weeks; we took a few days off due to doctor and dentist appointments but still got a lot done!

Caleb is doing a great job with his Hooked on Phonics.  Confession:  we're not using the audio CDs at this time.  We tried it the very first day of the first grade kit, and Caleb found it boring.  The CD introduced all the beginning word sounds at once, and repeated them over and over so it got boring for me too.  I didn't get why they were doing it that way when the workbook would introduce each sound individually.  And since each subsequent track on the CD seemed to consist of the woman reading each word sound, then directing your child to read it on his own, I figured I could do that just as well.  And so far it's working just fine!

During the past couple of weeks, Caleb learned sp-, sl-, sc-, and sk-.  He also earned four stars on his reading chart for reading four stories, including one of the very cool HOP books in the kit (the first grade ones are a lot more interesting than the kindergarten ones!).  We also did a lot of review by building words and reading sentences.

In math, Caleb continued to add using an number line, filling in missing numbers, and reviewing place value.  The workbook also introduced the concept of perimeter...right now we're simply counting inches around a rectangle but he gets the basic idea.

For Bible, we watched a couple more videos about Moses and learned about God leading His people through the desert as a cloud by day and fire by night.  I Googled clipart of fire and clouds, printed them out, and we glued them to a craft stick.

We also learned about God providing manna and quail for His people, as well as water from a rock.  Caleb did this quick activity where he had to find which two quails were exactly the same:

Finally, we finished How to Eat Fried Worms.  Caleb drew a picture of a worm, then had me go back and read aloud the list of condiments that Billy had available to him while eating the very first worm (ketchup, mustard, horseradish, honey, etc.).  Caleb was determined to draw them all, haha!

We started Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and so far Caleb is enjoying it.

Cloud/Fire Craft Inspiration (Hands on Bible Teacher)
Manna and Quail Activity (Dover Publications)
I Can Listen to Stories printable (Kinder Craze)


ivey league kindergarten: week in review!

Here's what we did last week!

Caleb continues to do well with the first grade level of Hooked on Phonics.  We reviewed the ch- and th- sounds, and learned sh-, wh-, sm-, and sn-.  Caleb successfully read two stories, "Matt and Tom," and "Sam to the Ship."  We've been using the sticker chart to document the stories and books he reads along the way.

We also used the Word Play cards one day to build words and review what we've learned.

We also practiced reading sentences with both new and old words.

We continued in our read-aloud book How to Eat Fried Worms.  Caleb thinks it's funny, though I modify some of the characters' phrases as I read (like saying "My dad's going to be so mad at me!" instead of "My dad's going to kill me!", "Come on!" instead of "For cripe's sake," etc.). 

We continued to work on place value, measuring, and counting by 5's in math.  We're now less than 20 lessons away from finishing Workbook 1, so we're very close to meeting the halfway point in Horizons Math for Kindergarten!

We did a few activities for Bible lessons this week.  We're in Exodus, and Caleb is very familiar with this part of the Bible so it was fun finding new things for him to learn.  I found a fun hidden picture sheet depicting when the Pharaoh's daughter found baby Moses:

We also did a hidden code worksheet about Moses encountering God in the form of the burning bush:

Finally, we did a really cool "wheel of plagues" project.  You color the two parts, connect them with a page fastener, and then spin the top part to see each plague underneath.

We've taken a break from memorizing Scripture for now.  I feel like Caleb wasn't getting a lot out of it, and I want him to memorize verses that mean something to him.  I know he can do it, since he memorizes song lyrics and quotes from movies; maybe we need to have some kind of reinforcement system going, or else find a better way to help him remember. 

We checked out a few more library books about the body this week, particularly about how the eyes and ears work.  We didn't do any projects or activities pertaining to science this week; we just read the books!

Baby Moses Hidden Picture Activity (Lessons for Sunday School) 
Burning Bush Code Activity (BibleWise)
Wheel of Plagues Activity (Crafting the Word of God)


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)
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