Friday, December 13, 2013

Part 2 Week 16, December 9, 2013

Goodness there are A LOT of pictures this second half of the week. No matter, I am sure more is better in this case. (You will not believe how many shots I deleted because they just weren't carrying the story!) 

Anyway, as I see it, we'll do one more week of school before the holiday and then pack it in for a couple of weeks. The kids have a field trip on Monday, and then I plan to visit our old school (with gifts, as you'll see below) a day next week as well, so the posts may be a little leaner in the photography corner.

After that, during our "break" I plan to buckle down, finish some materials making, give gifts, drink dairy-free eggnog, plan lessons for the first quarter of next year and start "studying" my Keys of the Universe Albums. And I plan to do some more heady posts here, like how I organize, how I figure out which way is up in this web we like to call cosmic education, how I've made some of my materials, and how I plan our schedule, to the extent that I stay tuned.

This part of our week we worked on:
Math: golden beads - primary level dynamic multiplication, 
elementary distributive and commutative properties of addition and multiplication, 
elementary level dynamic multiplication with double digit multipliers and golden beads, 
skip counting
Grammar: Conjunction key lesson (twice) and a lot of interjections
Physical Geography: The Earth is a Sphere and its Consequences

Here we are doing some golden bead work, dynamic multiplication to be exact. It has been a while with this, but T stepped in to help S with the counting, and she finally found her magic wand, and we were off to the races. 

The problem we are working on here is 3268 X 3, which can also be said, 3,268 taken three times. T and S set up three thousands three times, two hundreds three times, six ten bars three times, and eight units three times.
Then we wave our magic wand, and say the magic words, and then there were THREE!
Now they smoosh them all together and count up all that is present.

Searching for the large number cards to represent our product. It helps when the large number cards are placed out on a mat.

So, 3,268 taken three times is 9,804. S doesn't have a problem with the zero tens. She says it in her answer as she reads it, but it doesn't bother her that the zero is red, not blue.

I decided to go onto multiplication after addition and then go back to subtraction afterward. It is a concept thing for me, and for S too. Addition and a multiplication are both number builders. Subtraction and division are different concepts. I suspect shortly after the new year that S will be moving onto Stamp Game multiplication and Golden Bead subtraction.

I wonder what a traditional grammar teacher would say about this photo of our conjunction lesson. Yes, this was our set up. Actually, it was three set ups, one for each child, and also, yes, D did participate too. This Conjunction key lesson is from the Cultivating Dharma Language Album.

We started with S's materials first. I asked the kids for a noun family for each bear. They came up with "the pink bear," "the yellow bear," and "the purple bear" and I wrote these on slips of paper in black ink. And here you can see that they added the wooden grammar symbols for article, adjective, and noun.
Then I asked them to give me the pink bear. Then I asked them to give me the yellow bear, and finally, I asked them to give me the purple bear. And THEN, I asked them "what if I asked you to give me all the bears? What kind of word could I add here that would help me ask for all of them at one time?" T came up with the word "and." I wrote the word "and" on two slips of paper and inserted them between the noun families.

Then I showed them, or rather T produced for me the pink grammar symbol we use for the conjunction. And you can see above, D's hand placing the wooden grammar symbol above our conjunction.
Then I showed them that the conjunction links the noun families together, much like this ribbon gathers the bears together.
Somehow the kids thought that this was beyond hilarious.

Then we went over the etymology of 'conjunction' which comes from the Latin word 'conjungere' which means "join together." And there you have it, S's conjunction grammar key experience.
We repeated the key experience with D's monster trucks.
I don't know that he was a fan of the "join together" part.
And then we did the lesson again with Lego ninjas. How could we not?
Lego ninjas, with a little Legends of the Chima thrown in there for good measure.
This was a spontaneous Lego-grammar extension on T's part. I was able to bring in a little about the compound words here as T was considering the word "policeman," and if he needed an adjective and a noun, or just a noun. With the compound word reminder, he came up with simply, noun.
D is starting his memorization of the ever strong vortex of multiplication facts. Just kidding.
Someone didn't put the hundred board away correctly. We went over some of the vertical and horizontal patterns, but S couldn't get un-mentally stuck, and basically had one of her hissy-fits. (These are very frequent. They have been since birth basically.) So, she decided to abort the mission.
Here is a peek at what I am doing in the classroom when all the other work is going on as well. I am working on making form cards for the Geometry Cabinet for D. He's already done the set I made for the Botany cabinet.
I think that this work was an extension of some atlas reading. T asked what are the different countries I've traveled to, and I said, among others, Spain. Here he is looking at some pictures I took while I was in Seville, Cordoba, and Granada. This particular one was in one of the many Cathedrals in Seville?? Or was it Cordoba? I don't remember.
This was taken from the Alhambra in Granada.
These are ruins within the Alhambra. I don't know why I didn't take a shot when he was looking, but I also attended an afternoon of bull fighting. T had a ton of questions about those pictures, and also recalled a lot from one of his favorite books, The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf.
Someone else likes to do the hundred board right after Noona.

We have a "kid-camera" which is a point and shoot digital. The kids are generally responsible for this one and that includes recharging it. Here S is taking out the battery and putting it in the charging station. I haven't figured out yet what to do with the images we get off the memory card. There are many, but I delete the ones that are blurry, or you can't tell what it is meant to be.
A little stamp game for S. Here is an example of the quantity cards I made up. They don't have a control on the back. But some are useful for an orientation about how to deal with zeros. 
Doing the dynamic addition thing...and that hair!! Goodness!
And finally, we've reached the 9th, grammar symbol, the interjection. (It is the gold exclamation point looking solid in the photo above.) T is Sooo, excited.
From this post alone, you must think that the only thing the kids do is grammar. It isn't. But I sure wouldn't have guessed that grammar would be so much fun. Above, T and I did the Interjection Key Experience right out of the Cultivating Dharma Language album.

I wrote down on a slip of paper the first phrase, "I cut my finger" and T put his wooden grammar symbols above the sentence slip. (I don't know how he knew "I" and "that" were pronouns. We did go over pronouns, but on a day when they weren't really paying attention, and I don't remember that we went over those words in particular. I guess he just gets it.) Then I wrote "Ouch!" in gold pencil and asked him if that changed the meaning of the sentence. He said it did, but then we discussed how it didn't really change the meaning of the entire sentence, but rather this small phrase gave added emotion to what was being said. 

Then I repeated the process with a sentence that made him laugh, "Ewww! That stinks!"

We also went over the etymology and established that the word interjection comes from the Latin word "interjectio" which means "throw in between."
And then he wanted to dive into the grammar box.

We first construct our sentence on the table and then put them in their appropriate slots in the grammar filling box.
(I purchased our grammar boxes and filling boxes from Montessori Outlet. They are so-so. The grammar filling boxes are mis-aligned in some places, glued with gaps here and there. And some of the grammar boxes came with warped lids. The cards are a personal re-design of the file I purchase from Montessori Print Shop. If you want to read more about why I did a re-design, go here.

This is how T feels about grammar.

Yesterday S requested a second conjunction lesson. This time she found four new friends and we tied them up in a pink bow using our powerful conjunction, "and."

After the interjection grammar boxes, T wanted to do more. So he took out his Lego Ninjago graphic novels and got to work finding great interjection phrases.

After pretty much the entire morning, this is what he came up with. That is a lot of interjections.
S curled up in our I-don't-know-if-this-fits-our-classroom pillow and read a book to her stuffed animals.

Then she revisited the pink word cards and whipped through the three folders she took out. No fuss, no muss. Just read right through them. It is amazing what a little confidence will do for you.
And then I guess you could call this not-so-false-fatigue. (I wrote more about real false fatigue here.)

Exploring the fraction circles, it was D's choice.

More skip counting.
Holiday skip counting, but as you can see, there is an error in these hundred boards! T found it, not me. Guess I need to go ahead and make my own.

This may look like a porcupine, but it is actually our Physical Geography lesson from the Keys of the Universe Albums: The Earth as a Sphere and its Consequences. Here we established that if the earth had flat sides, as with the prism on the right, the sun would always hit the surface at a perpendicular, 90 degree angle. If the earth is a sphere, like it is on the left, the sunlight will sometimes hit at a 90 degree angle, and other times, at a very oblique angle.

Then we started to look at the angle at which the sun hits the earth. The chart on the left shows the sun hitting the belly of the earth at a perpendicular angle. Notice the yellow area. The same number of rays of sun hit the earth at an oblique angle, and notice again the yellow area. On the earth to the left the yellow area is larger meaning the same number of sun rays fall on a larger area of the earth when they hit at an oblique angle. 

Looking at the middle chart, we see the same concept in a different way. The width that both sets of rays occupy is the same. The number of perpendicular rays is larger than the number of oblique rays. I asked the kids under which representation would they feel hotter. They said the one with the larger number of rays of sun light, or the perpendicular illustration. 

We even tried this whole obliqueness of light and area of illumination thing with a piece of black paper, a white pencil, and a flashlight. When the flashlight hits the black paper straight on it creates a circle of light and T traced around it and came up with the inner-most circle you see on the black paper. When we held the flashlight the same distance away from that center spot on the paper, but with the light shining at an oblique angle, the area T traced around the light was larger.
Finally, there is the matter of sun rays passing through the earth's atmosphere. When the rays of sunlight hit the earth at a 90 degree angle, we measured how far they must pass through the atmosphere. 
And we marked this measurement with a piece of painters tape.
Then we measured the length of atmosphere the light rays must pass through if they were to hit the earth at an oblique angle. This measurement was much larger. I explained that as the sunlight passes through our atmosphere, it looses energy and heat. We established that the equator is generally where the sun gets to pass through to the earth at a 90 degree angle, and since here the sunlight would retain most of its energy and heat, the earth would be the hottest here. Finally, we established that the poles are where the sun likely passes through the atmosphere to the earth at a much more obtuse angle, and since this would cause the sunlight to lose a lot of energy, the earth would be coldest here.

After a little commutative and distributive review with number cards only, we moved onto multiplication with double digit multipliers and golden beads.
Here we are multiplying 42 * 23. We made our equation therefore, (40+2) * (20+3). In the picture above, he has turned over the 3 in the second term and is creating 20 groups of 40 beads (or four ten-bars.)

Now he is making 20 groups of 2 units.
Here he has exchanged those 20 groups of 40 beads for hundred squares and he has eight hundred squares.
Here we wrote down his first partial product for 40*20 and 2*20 which is 840.
Then he turned over the first number in the second term and flipped up-right the second number to do his distributive multiplication again.
Here he chose to make 3 groups of 40 and 3 groups of 2. He came up with his partial product and wrote that down and is now adding through to find the final product. 
First grade math! Even I, who sees this everyday, still need to pinch myself sometimes to really believe that T can do this at age 7.
Sung to the tune of "O Tannenbaum"...

Oh, gift-y bags, oh, gift-y tins, oh, how you all make a mess.
Oh, cocoa packs, oh, marsh-mal-lows, oh bows, and ribbons and tags
We pack and wrap, and tape and glue 
and shrink wrap and decide for who
Oh, a little gift, for teachers who, we want to say a thank-you!
We have, even as homeschoolers, 20-ish people we call "teacher." So I quickly devised a way to make everyone a little bit of something, that is easy on the budget, and easy on the kid-assembly-line.

(I had seriously thought about making some quick elf tunics, hats, and shoes with jingle bells on them for the kids to wear during our gift-prep practical life activity.)
We learned about volumes.
Practiced our penmanship.
Learned about how heat can change the form and shape of solids.
Enhanced our scissor cutting skills. (S is lefty, but she cuts righty.)
Worked on cleaning our environment. (This wasn't really a part of the extension maybe.)
Learned about the properties of double sided tape.
Remembered the power of snack-time.
And also, had great fun putting together a lot of little holiday giveaways. 
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
P/S, yes, that is the same dress S wore all week, since Monday. Her Halmoni got it for her to wear to Christmas Mass.


  1. OMG!!! Im your newest fan!!!LOL I just LOVE your blog!!! Im so impressed!! your kiddos make an AWESOME job!!!!! IN ALL AREAS!!! WOW!!! AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for share!!

    HUgs from Puerto Rico!!

  2. Love it! Finding new inspiration through your blog! Thanks!