We were busy this week. Sometimes a good lecture about "responsibility" works wonders.
Language: noun gender, reading poetry
Math: LBF - partial products multiplication, money problems, linear counting, stamp game - static subtraction, Challenge Math word problems,
Zoology - animals of North America, animal riddles "who-am-I?"
Bells - matching notes on the staff and naming pitches
Sensorial - brown stairs - missing stair exercise, color tab 2 - matching from afar
Practical Life - dressing frames
T finished the traditional noun grammar boxes. I think we have 4 boxes. I made these up on the fly using the KotU albums and support albums as a guide. This is the Noun Gender lesson. Most of the English language does not rely upon gender distinction any more the way other languages do. Korean words differ depending upon if the speaker is male or female. S calls T "oppa" because she is a younger sister. D calls T "hyung-a" because he is a younger brother. Spanish also relies upon the gender distinction and the article often makes this distinction as does the last vowel, though the latter doesn't always hold true. "El libro" ends in "o" and "el" indicates this words is masculine. "La chica" ends in "a" and "la" indicates this word is feminine.
Though usually gender neutral, English does still have a few particulars that denote gender specificity. I introduced T to two sets of masculine/feminine cards and one set of masculine/feminine/neutral cards. T arranged the cards he thought were male, female, or neuter and we used the dictionary to find the definitions of words he didn't know.
After this lesson we will move on to noun classification and proper/common nouns as well as concrete and abstract nouns. (These materials can be found in the KotU support albums. Thank you Jessica!)
T picked back up where he had left off with the animal stories. (I wrote about this work earlier in the week here.) In this second packet he honed in on the flatworm, probably because these too kind of make me feel icky.
We looked up "flatworm" and "tapeworm" in particular. He did a tiny bit of iPad research. (Personally, I don't like researching on the iPad too much because even with filters on, you never know what you are going to come up with, and some of it can be pretty inappropriate for, well, any eyes.
Then we took out our Montessori R&D nomenclature booklets to read a little bit more about the phylum platyhelminth and then he chose to draw a picture of his favorite looking flatworm and wrote a few sentences about tapeworms. I think they went something like: "they lay eggs" and "they live in human bodies especially in the brain, eye, and heart." Disgusting. It didn't help my stomach to know that there are more than 3500 different species of flatworms around the world. Ugh.
T surprised me this week by remembering a lot of the long bead frame multiplication. Humn. Some days there is just an empty cavern up there in the space where their brain should be, and sometimes that empty cavern lights up and has ideas and remembers things. Go figure.
I used Keys of the Universe elementary albums, and this isn't the first LBF lesson which I was 100% prepared to give. We did review that 2 x 20 is the same as 20 x 2 and that when you multiply any number by 10, you simply add a zero to the right.
Then instead of writing only the finished product and using the bead frame for the arithmetic, T decided he wanted to notate all of the partial products and do the multiplication (or skip counting in his case) and addition on paper with a pencil. I am all for motoring forward, if it doesn't create large obstacles and giant gaps in the long run. So we did. And he did fine.
I took MBT's advice and stayed with him while he did his problems this time instead of moving away. I have also taken to reminding him, and the others, to avoid distraction and focus on his work at hand. These reminders work very nicely and he actually finished three problems. You should have seen that look of triumph on his face when he figured out he had gotten the right product...AND when he figured out that skip counting helps him figure out multiples. (Thanks for that one MBT.)
Here you can see a little of his notation. He is multiplying by a two digit number here, so we deconstruct the multiplier. Here his multiplier is 38, so we decided to multiply by 8, and by 30 and then combine these partial products to get our final product.
His notation on the upper right side is his deconstructed multiplicand. He just separated out the hierarchies, and will multiply each by "8." Then he did the same in preparation to multiply everything by 30. Then we decided it was simpler to multiply everything by 10, and just add a "0" to the end of each number and THEN multiply everything by 3. His deconstructed multiplicand (multiplied by 10) ready to be multiplied by 3 is on the lower right hand side. He calculated each partial product and then added through on paper to get his final product.
Hallelujah for skip counting. He didn't get far with this material last year because he didn't know his multiplication and addition facts. This year, he knows most of his addition facts and can skip count and these skills made this material SOOO much easier.This one of those measurement lesson topics we need to cover sans album support. I think the albums say, "oh, don't forget to cover this." I am a literal, calculated, judgmental mind and leaving me with, well, nothing makes me feel queasy.
You may have already seen our sensorial money materials from Hello Wood here. These are the new cards I purchased from ETC that cover money in a bunch of different ways. (I will not go into all the ways, but over time, if you click on that "money" tag at the bottom of the blog, it will cull all the money-related posts for you. I intend to get some shots of each stage of this material.
And for the love of ---, if you are going to order this, get it laminated, or printed on plastic (if you like really slippery cards that don't stack well.) I have to laminate all of these, and it is a HUGE pain and time sucker. Ugh. And I can't even watch Korean dramas on TV while I do this mind-numbing work because I need to read the subtitles.
Anyway, T did one set of cards that adds coin denominations under $1. I cut these, laminated them, and cut them again (you never know when someone is going to dump water all over your cards...I didn't want paper edges) and then stuck answer stickers (I made) on the reverse side as a control. It annoys me that I haven't yet found a suitable container in which to store these. (When I grow up and have to work outside the home I am going to be a plastic container/envelope/little folder/basket/wooden box/metal tin purveyor.)
Then he tackled these cards which add denominations larger than a dollar.
This set comes with a bunch of plastic coins. I was reluctant to let the kids have this set since I think it would be much nicer to have real US coins on hand, but we belong to a Credit Union that doesn't have a branch out here and we haven't transferred anything to a brick and mortar bank out here yet...so unless I send back to VA for some rolls of coins (or create a hassle getting cash back at the grocery) it is plastic coins for now. They are a lot lighter.
T is kind of like me. He likes to know what to do and the right way to do it. These cards are pretty one dimensional and he feels pretty comfortable adding these denominations, so he was way into this material this week. (I need to get my butt in gear and laminate and cut the rest of the sets before I need to start making Thanksgiving pies.)
Here we are back to Challenge Math. (I first posted about this material here.) T took this out again, and lo and behold, skip counting came in handy again.
I have him use his working notebook as "scrap paper" and to write his equation. AND I can see here that he did a little music notation, and pasted that in upside down. Oh, dear.T loves working with the bells. He has a pretty good sense about this material. And I can't say that he has practiced that much. Humn. Some just have it I guess. Here he is working with the matching cards Jenn so nicely shared on the KotU message boards.
I realized that we had forgotten stems, so we quickly went over that the stems either extend up or down. They extend down for notes that hit at or above the mid-line of the staff and for anything below that point, the stems extend upward.
There are two identical sets of cards in this material packet. Each card shows the staff and a single whole note. These notes range from middle c to the c one octave above. On the back of each card, I stuck a sticker with the note name on it in one of two colors. In the above photo T is looking at the note, naming it, placing it in front of the bell and then singing the pitch and then playing the pitch.
In this photo, he matched both sets of cards and "wrote" each pitch on our green staff boards. He'll likely need to practice all of this only once, or possibly twice more, before we move on from here. He used his C-Major control chart to check his answers. The direct aim of this lesson is to help the child memorize the sequence of the placement of the notes of the C-Major scale on the G-clef staff.
And then he made this face.
S got a new material this week, our Waseca biome animal cards for each continent. (Don't get me started about how difficult it was to acquire these cards. Let's just say that there were many shipments from Waseca, a number of phone tag episodes, and lovely customer service that paid for all the extra shipments while I waited an extra two weeks to get my hands on the right materials.) Needless to say, after all that waiting, S was delighted to get her hands on these cards.
These cards don't come laminated. (Read my note above about purchasing non-laminated items...arrrh.) So, after laminating just the cards for North America, and sticking them in their cabinet, S finally got to explore them. (Waseca makes these awesome cabinets that FIT THE MATERIAL!! We have primary drawers and will need to get different drawers when I want to display the elementary materials. Our cabinets, we have two, sit on the shelves behind D's Practical Life shelves.)
We set out the picture cards and talked about bodily features, like skin covering, appendages, color, etc. Then we labeled them and checked our work with the control card set. After this she got to work coloring, very precisely and very scientifically, these animal pictures to make her own field-study booklet. (These cards come with blackline masters.)
T saw S coloring in her Waseca biome animal pages and he really wanted to do this work too. He said he only got the chance to complete the field-study pages for Europe when he was in his Montessori Primary classroom. (Must have been because they were doing a Europe continent study. It made me feel really good to know that we have card sets for all the continents.)
T and I went over these cards a little differently than I did with S. First we laid out all the cards according to class, mammal, bird, fish, mollusk, arthropod, etc. Then we examined all the cards and took a gander at labeling them using clues from the pictures and our brains. Then we used the control cards to check our work.
A note to others who have this card set, and also have a child like mine who is a stickler for details: in the Wetlands set, the card control for the snail says it is an insect. It isn't. Snails are mollusks, not arthropods. T didn't like that this set was mis-labeled. It IS a primary set so maybe there aren't mollusks in primary sets, but I would have thought either they would have omitted the mollusk, or labeled it as such. Oh, well, kudos to T for picking this out. He ends up being my tester for most of the materials and always picks up on my mistakes.
More stamp game for S. (First posted here.) This time with static subtraction. I don't know if you can see it in the card holder, but we marked the first card in the set, so she can tell when she has cycled back to the beginning.
S is practicing her chain counting. (First posted here.) Here she is doing the hundred chain. Linear counting is a primary work but S hasn't done this yet, so we are going over it now.
Reading, reading, reading. Everything in sight.
In this picture you can kinda see how small D's table really is.
Oh, D was really really D this week. You can almost experience his little-big personality right through the photos on the blog. *sigh* I wonder what real Primary Montessori School would have been like for him. He is such a ham. He has a lot of energy and he is an extrovert feeding off of the attention of others. When he is up to his antics no one can work.
I've been trying to focus on him a bit more lately, giving more lessons, sticking closer by him, checking in when he needs some redirecting, and generally being more focused on his development and progression through the materials. Sometimes this works, and other times he does what he likes.
You can see above, he is exploring our weights set. (I need to get an additional set of customary weights to be able to use the card materials that I purchased...so I haven't formally presented this lesson to anyone yet.) D is trying to find how many geometric solids and how many weights he can get into the scale buckets.
We worked a bit on the brown stair this week. First we constructed the brown stair on the mat. Then D closed his eyes and I removed a stair piece and reconstructed the stair. Then D opened his eyes, and figured out where in the sequence to replace that missing stair. And each time he completed the stair he needed to "walk down" the stairs.
D has already constructed the brown stair from a random set up. He can construct the stair using random prisms located across the room and not available for viewing at the site of construction. Now we are doing this extension and later we will hide prisms around the environment and construct the stair by selecting them individually.
We also worked more with the Color Tabs box 2. Here he is making color matches from across the room. We put a single tab of each color in the set on a tray and placed it behind T's chair. Then at the mat, I asked D to find the matching "red" color tab. He left the red-tab on the mat, walked across the room to the tray, selected the matching red-tab and brought it back. If the tab did not match, he went across the room and searched for the red-tab again.
This is what pj's looks like in the middle of the morning when everyone else has decided to "get ready for the day."
After these exercises that required a lot of heavy lifting (brown stairs) and walking around (color tabs) we needed to quiet down a little bit, so we read a number of passages from this book. It has great illustrations, real literary words, and great topics and themes. We highly recommend it.
And after a bit more independent literary exploration we got back to....
...our regularly scheduled D-programming. Goodness.
I will leave you this week with this very cute, if I may say so, set of shots of D doing his dressing frames. This is the snap frame. He also did the hook-eye frame and the button frame. (I am not going to go into what these are all about here, but I promise to write about these sometime very soon when I give a formal lesson.)
A bit about next week...I am making Thanksgiving dinner for friends...a bunch of friends. I fully intend to do school Monday through Wednesday and possibly Friday, if the tryptophan and carb-overload has worn off. I don't know how much blogging I'll get to in the first half of the week between vacuuming and making gluten-free pies, so you may just see a huge post at the end of the week. (All our guests are local so no one is sleeping over at our house on purpose.) I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!