Friday, November 27, 2015

Plodding Along Slowly-Changing Seasons

We are going slowly. It is just our pace right now. And as for the changing of the seasons, today it is in the 70's. Tonight we are going down to the 30's. The leaves have yet to fall from the trees and I am thinking that we will need to plat bulbs in the next few weeks. I am not used to this zone 8 stuff yet.

Someone is reading!! We call it, "oh, no, who's cracking the code?" As in, all written language is a secret code and the one who is learning to read is actually cracking that code so that they can know the things that other readers know. Somehow, this reverse psychology really has my kids in giggles. The "oh, no, now you can read TOO!!" just makes them want to read more.
These are the easiest of the biome readers I have from Waseca. These are the parts of the biome readers. We also have the animals of the biomes of the world, but these are still a bit advanced for D. D quickly worked through the sound objects, the single word cards, single written words, and phrase commands that I wrote. Now he wants to read sentences and booklets. 

He's been going through our Bob Book series like lighting (I still have some of these left over from when T first started reading at his Montessori school.) And I figured it was going to get expensive real quick to keep a supply around. Plus, there just aren't that many to begin with.

I finally got the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington, to make my own set of early readers like MBT. I cannot recommend this enough. There are literally passages you can just copy from the book onto squared papers, draw some simple pictures to go along the story, and there, presto, a booklet your phonetic child can read on their own. I am SOOO glad I went this route. It is economical, since you buy only one book, and it is logical, since it follows largely the same phonetic sequence and uses few sight words. Now the problem is, that it takes me about twice as long to make these little guys (about 10 minutes) as it does for D to read them. He is reading and cracking the code so I'll take that problem and just get another set of markers.
D is also motoring along with the golden bead collective exercises. In our case, it would probably be more appropriate to call them solo operations. Small groups of children together will learn all four mathematical operations at once using physical quantity and numerical symbols. D doesn't have a collective, or small group. So I'll call him the solo one. As for the mathematical operations, so far, he thinks, adding, subtracting, and multiplying are no big deal. I was surprised that he just understands these operation concepts and thinks the whole exercise is "no big deal." He's kind of like, yeah, I get that, and....what else can I do?

Here I finally have a few shots of him doing multiplication. We are still in the static phase, and I haven't introduced carrying or borrowing to him yet, though he has done the change game. 

Above, he made three deliveries in the same amount. The tray was actually his delivery truck. I asked him to make three deliveries of 1,132. He got the cards, he got the beads. Then we counted everything all together to see how much product, or construction material, was delivered that day. He figured out that the construction site had received 3,396. 
I think he as getting the large number cards during this shot. We use three sets of small number cards to note each delivery. And we use the large number cards to indicate our total for the day inventory. At this point, I don't remember what you use for the multiplier (in this case 3.) Usually it is grey number card...but I don't remember off hand what you use in the first primary introduction.
D decided that the thousand cubes were the building blocks, the ten bars were beams, and the hundred squares were garage pieces. He said that the unit beads were the TNT for demolition. After a few multiplication problems we watched some demolition implosion YouTube videos on the iPad.
He is wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts with no socks. I think it was warm this day. It's been really warm lately.
T has been reviewing his multiplication facts using the checkerboard and our equation cards. He is getting better and faster when he focuses. Focusing is still an issue. Sometimes he uses the stop watch to see how fast he can get a right answer.

And S has decided to go into business in the spring. Since the tree fell down out back, our landscape now has full sun in most parts of the yard. There is finally a TON of space to grow full-sun flowers and S wanted to plant a cutting garden. So that is what she is doing.

Her business idea came from the notion that many plants propagate themselves. My favorite flower, the gladiola, makes more corms each year. So you start out with 5 in year one, by year two, you may get 10. Wonderful, you dig up the 10 and replant them spread out in year two. And then in year three you end up with 20 of them. WHAT are you supposed to do with that many? Buy a farm? Well, you can sell them...or that is what S thought. She also thought that she might like to sell some of the flowers she grows as well, since really, we do only have a finite number of vases in the house. 
So here, S is researching which cutting flowers might grow well in our southern region, and what varieties she might like to plant. She's also been researching what kind of soil they like, what kind of care they need, and when to plant them. We've also worked on a business plan with details like start up costs, materials she'll need to cultivate, process, and sell her product, marketing strategies and display. S said that her business is: "to grow and sell beautiful flowers for display and for giving." I think we may have an entrepreneur on our hands.


  1. Awesome work :)

    (and yes - typically a white card with a black number for the multiplier - as a command card)

    1. Thank you Jessica, as always for the "remember this is what you do!!" reminder! Your words are always so encouraging.

      I have been seriously pulled away from this blog by the CGS course. SOO wonderful, so deep and so fascinating. And it takes, or can take, A LOT of time. I am loving it, and scrambling to "get ready" for Advent and Christmas lessons.

      How many times a week do you teach CGS to a group of children? Is it once a week? Twice a week? And for how long are your sessions? It just takes so very long for the children to calm and be able to remember the space that we are into Advent now and I still feel hesitant to have out certain more involved works, and even present a new lesson since the child isn't settled and may not be able to actually "hear" the lesson. We only meet once a week, if that, and for 1.5 hours. It is so short!! And we are dealing with an entirely new class composition (some have had a year of CGS) of 12 mixed ages, mostly 3 year olds. We take it as it comes, with openness, prayer, and love...but wow, how was this supposed to work?

    2. And I owe you a picture of the liturgical calendar too.

    3. Yes, that picture looks fine - a little less space would have been fine too, but if the Pentecost and the first Sunday of Advent were actually totally aligned, there would be more space in the other part of the year and less space in the summer ordinary time.

      I have seen some calendars, where they have drawn outlines where the prisms are to be placed (not colored in, just to help with alignment) which also helps the children to see that nothing is missing. Just one thought (I've never done it that way myself, but if the children were always misaligning, I would be tempted!)

  2. Wow, Tes is doing the same stuff as D! She too is flying through operations. We're moving on to the stamp game this week. I really need to post something...not enough hours in the day :(. Good to see all the kids work. Cat and Tes want flower gardens too so maybe they'll be asking S for some advice :). Or they can use their allowance to buy some from her...haha!