Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1st Grade Bird Unit resources

Two Evan-Moor resources for the lapbook (I used these because it was what I had on my shelves)

Giant Science Resource Book: Grades 1-6
Life Cycle of a Chicken, Bird Watching Record form and How an Egg Hatches

Animals With Backbones (Scienceworks for Kids Grade 1-3)
Bird Nests & Flightless Birds

Usborne Beginners Eggs & Chicks

Usborne First Encyclopedia of Animals, section on birds

Birds Do the Strangest Things

Kickin' Off the New School Year: Birds

Oh, cool. I have been successful at something homeschooling!

I've been messing around with Banana Boy's science curriculum forever (think: all summer) and yesterday, I finally just grabbed some books and decided to make it simple.

Me? Simple! Ha, that never happens in homeschool planning.

I collected some bird books (I decided now is the time to study birds) and some reproducibles and made some copies. Today I hauled all the kids off to Staples to buy fun new paper.

Then I came home and set up a lapbook.

Now, I've tried lapbooks with the girls and they are really lukewarm over them. Pepper basically hates them. Daisy will putter with hers on and off. RoseBud wouldn't ever touch one with a ten-foot pole.

But Banana Boy, who spent a year in public school Kindergarten, has been groomed to enjoy worksheets.

I began with the brilliant idea to make all the books AND plot out exactly what to put into them before I let him see it. With the girls, I've always tried to invent the wheel as we went along and they got frustrated waiting for me to tell them what to put in a book, decide what kind of book and make the little book.

HELLO! If you buy a pre-made lapbook kit, they've already done all that for you. Kid colors, kid writes, kid cuts out, kid maybe folds a little and kid glues book in.

So, I made and outline of the info I wanted him to learn, cut and folded all the little books and laid them out in the folder. (Do you have no idea whatsoever what I'm talking about? Look HERE.)

THEN I showed it to him. "Look, BB. For science, we're going to learn about birds and you're going to make this folder. See, in this little book, you'll write about what makes a bird a bird. In this book, you'll glue these little pictures about how an egg hatches." And onward and upward.

His little eyes lit up and he began to jump up and down. "Can we start NOW? Can I make it?"

And so, seizing the moment, I sat Sunshine and him down on the couch with me and we read our first book. Sunshine, for all his hyperactivity and gnat-like attention span, LOVES to be read to, AND he listens to the book!

At the end of the book is a glossary. The very first thing BB wanted to do was write down his Bird Words. He carefully wrote each and every word from the glossary onto the feather shapes I had made and then threaded each one, upside-down (so they would be right when flipped over) onto the brad. He was also careful to follow the blue-yellow pattern of the feathers.

Did I mention all this was happening around 6:30 pm after dinner?

Look how cute he is when he cuts!

He completed two and half mini-books for his folder before he lost interest.

I think I've found a winner for this child!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bookworms All

I love this picture of a lazy summer morning at our house.

Rose Bud was a bookworm because she discovered she loved reading.
Daisy came to it late, but once she could read, she never stopped.
Pepper is a voracious bibliovore.
Banana Boy didn't know that you might NOT want to be a bookworm. It's just what you do around here.
And Sunshine? Well, monkey see, monkey do. (He's reading "I Am a Baby Elephant" BTW. At least he's holding it right side up!)

(and for the record, I think Rose Bud was at a sleepover or something, or she'd have been in the thick of it, too.)

101 Uses for Pattern Blocks

Heavenly Angles

Did you know all the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees?

Daisy didn't know this either, so I set out to show her.

First you need a triangle. Mark each of the angles so you will know WHICH of them belong to your triangle. The marks are the curvy little lines in each corner (and I should have marked them with one, two and three lines respectively to show that they are different measures. But I didn't)

Did you see the straight lines in the first picture. Well cut off each corner of your triangle on the straight lines.

Now, like a puzzle, fit the 3 corners from your triangle together (you might need to click on the picture to blow it up so you can see this better). All the corners should point the same way and touch. Keep an eye on the angles you marked earlier.

Do you notice what happens? When the three corners are fit together, they form a straight line. Every time! (We tried out 3 different triangles to check this) Guess how many degrees are in a straight line? Yup. 180. Therefore, the three corners of a triangle add up to 180.

How is this useful? Well, if you know the measures of two of the angles, you can find the measure of the third. Ta Da!

It also comes in handy when finding the measures of angles in other shapes such as rectangles, parallelograms (I love to spell that word!) and when working with angles and parallel lines.

Did I mention that I got 100% on every test in high school geometry and finished the class with an A+?

Anyone have any proofs I can work out???????

Wish List

Ooh, I love a new school year and I love to plan it out.

Implementing it---that's a whole different ball of wax.

But for now I am in the planning stage and it's all fun and games.

I've been pouring over my favorite homeschool suppliers and came across two fun new items that I would love to have.

Composers Lapbook

How cute is this folder? It's arranged like an orchestra. See the conductor there in the front? And all the instruments are tucked into their little pockets.

I'm also looking at the Civil War Time Travelers CD. I'm torn about this one. I have two of their other Time Travelers CDs and we used some of the projects from them, but not as many as I'd have liked for the price. I also already own the Civil War History Pockets and looking at the topics, I see many of the same in both sets. Granted, there is much, much more in the Time Travelers CD, but why not NOT use what I already own instead of spending more money to not use something else.

There. I talked myself out of it.

Yet, if I could find it for $5, I think I'd snap it up....

So basically, we'll be working through Sonlight Core 4 this year with the girls. Banana Boy is going to hang out and maybe listen in a little. I might read through The American Story with him. Not sure. I haven't ended up loving that book as much as I wanted to either. In story-length and illustrations it appears to be for young children, but then some of the language/vocabulary/concepts seem way up there. I guess I'll have to give it another shot to see.

For science I was all set to use Real Science 4 Kids: Chemistry. It will be too much for Banana Boy, so I ordered the updated parts of Sonlight Science K for him. This mostly consisted of the Usborne books I didn't already own. I have the old SL Science K from when Rose Bud was small.

AND since I was doing a SL order ( I had a $25 coupon) I also picked up most of the parts of Science 4. We have the microscope from years and years ago when SL offered it at an incredible price around Christmas. I never used Science 4 with Rose Bud, though, so I didn't have many of the books. It's been mostly revamped anyway, so I bought the new Usborne books that are included.

I have to say, The Story of Inventions has been a HUGE hit. Both girls have been gently spatting over who gets to read it and as soon as one puts it down, the other snaps it up. Rose Bud has read it, too. I read through a couple of the articles and it ranks up there as one of the nicest Usborne books I've ever read. The articles and text are easy to read, interesting and not as discombobulated as some Usborne books tend to be.

We're sticking with Singapore for math. Daisy will begin the 6th grade book next week. Pepper just began the 3rd grade book and BB is working through the 1st grade book.

For grammar, I'm typing up the worksheets from the old Sonlight LA 3, back when the grammar was good! Rose Bud, of course, used up the worksheets, but I still have the answer keys, so I'm retyping the worksheets and will use them with both Daisy and Pepper this year. The grammar instruction was so thorough and so wonderful and Sonlight has changed the format so much, that I want the girls to benefit from this, as well.

We are also continuing with Rod & Staff English. Daisy is skimming through the 4th grade book with the goal of working thoroughly through the grade 5 book later this year. Right now she is mostly working only the Review sections and skipping the main lessons and exercises. Pepper will begin the grade 3 book this fall.

Both girls are also continuing in Sequential Spelling. Daisy should begin book 2 sometime in September. Pepper is about half-way through book 1.

For spelling and phonics, Banana Boy will continue in Explode the Code. In 13 years of homeschooling, SL Language Arts has never done it for us before 3rd grade. I have tried, and I have tried and then I have tried some more, and we have yet to complete a full year of SL LA before 3rd. After 3rd, yes, the old LA was FABULOUS!

Language Arts-wise, my kids have done well doing just Explode the Code and (heh, I just accidentally typed "Explode the COD." snort) reading a lot. For those who have been strong readers by 2nd grade, we've also begun the R & S English book.

Anyway...this will be our main thrust and what I hope to get to every day. I'll share in another post the extras I hope to throw in.