What we are using

10 September 2012

Week 5 With Focus on Math


LB has been spending her evenings listening to David Tennant read How to Train Your Dragon to her (isn't that sweet of him?).  She has decided that it is time for history again and wants to study Vikings which are always fun.  We're using our trusty Time Traveler for most of our historical information along with a globe and some books on Norse mythology.  She spent some time in the afternoons practicing her longsword skills with her sister and breaking down boxes to fit in the recycle bin with the those wooden swords.  The Good Times Travel Agency book on the Middle Ages arrived, and judging by her reaction to the book, we might be ready for the Middle Ages next week. Although, I just might pick up their Viking book if I can find an inexpensive copy so we can stay here a little longer.

Science, Writing and Reading:
LB started avoiding the CLP Nature Reader so I decided it was time for a switch.  I pulled out the Daily Science 2 workbook and did a few lessons a day with her.  She read each lesson, answered the questions, and talked about the discussion questions with me.  It was a fun change.  I changed out the writing to poetry copywork from our old, tried-and-true IEW poetry book.  I also brought up a shelf of mixed level books from our basement library so she can have independent reading which really excited her.   I can't really decide where we stand on reading this week, but she did make it through a stack of books.

Dogs aren't very good at math.

Currently math is going well.  I'm pretty sure I have low expectations gained from years of failures teaching math, but I like math with LB right now.  We're doing a chapter of LoF Cats which is too easy and too fun to really count.  We follow that with a section of R&S Math 2.  It starts with what should be review of basic operations on numbers.  This week we started  subtracting from 6.  The math was easy, and we made it fun.  She doesn't have these facts as automatically as I think she should so I'm not skimping on this step.  We're also using toys.  We use Calico Critter toddlers which to the casual observer may not make good manipulatives, but they are for LB.  For the 6's, I chose 2 sets of triplets that each have 2 girls and 1 boy.  Each and every math problem had a story this week.  Six toddlers were playing when the 2 boys decided to chase the girls.  How many girls did they chase?  Six toddlers where playing, but the 3 kittens had to go home for their bowl of milk.  How many meerkats were left? I made a lot of silly math stories which were completely unnecessary, but she didn't have to stop and think or count the toys even once.  She knows how many kittens she has and how many are boys.   I told a lot of stories, and she did a lot of math.  It is clicking a lot better than any of the other math we've done.   After the calculations, there is place value work, skip counting, and other math that is very easy for her. Math is a marathon.

I think it really helps me to have clear goals of where I want to be in math by the beginning of 6th grade.  My previous big plans with contingencies based on when we hit Algebra were just too vague to really be useful.  I know now that by 6th grade I want her to be solid on computation along with some basic geometry, fractions and decimals.  That is all I am aiming for right now.  I know how to achieve that.

CC's School:
CC's school doesn't give the kids grades until their parents get very detailed evaluations at the end of the semester.  Instead of a numerical grade, each quiz, test or paper is supposed to have detailed feedback which is supposed to help the kids improve and not circumvent a conversation about the work.  Based on her recent quiz in Latin, I think she must be doing okay.  The comments on the different sections were: "Super", "Great", and "Terrific."  The overall comment at the top was, "WOW!!"  That must mean she did alright.   Her only trouble so far has been with the phrases in the vocabulary that use declensions she hasn't learned yet.  My attempt to explain the more advanced declensions to her gave me a great deal of respect for a guy that could successfully explain that to a whole gaggle of 6th grade girls.

CC's Allergies:
I bought two air purifiers for medium sized rooms which we put in the two classrooms where she spends the most time.  We have 5 hours of school covered with those two purifiers.  So far, it has helped tremendously.  She might survive weed season after all.

1 comment:

Faith said...

Sounds good! My goal for math has been that they are able to do Algebra in 8th grade. I've found some kids click earlier than others. Some of my kids were right on the level each year and others pretty much learned it all in 6th and 7th and were ready by 8th. Anyway, i enjoyed reading about your math approach!