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Archive for February 24th, 2010

We actually did this experiment twice, as the results were not what we expected…

After one week, here are the two apple slices. The first one is the “mummified’ apple. The second is one we just left out. The second one looks truer to color! The mummified apple has retained its shape, but the peel has turned black, and the insides discolored. I thought maybe it was because I soaked it in salt water before hand.

So we tried again! We did the same thing, without the salt water soak. Here is our apple slice weighing in at 7/8 oz.

And here’s that same apple almost a week later, weighing in at 1/4 oz. It has lost 5/8 oz due to the dehyrdation of the salt/baking soda mix.

But it still looks black. I think we should have given it a month to see moredecay on the untouched apple slice.

Behind the scenes I’ve been working on updating a SOTW Lessons page. I started making this page last year as I was preparing our SOTW lessons, but now I brought it into the blog for easy viewing. Seeing all the chapters lined out on one page makes it easy for me to see at a glance where we are, for current, past, and future lessons. This is a work in progress. I actually told Susan Wise Bauer’s team I was doing this, so that I could come up with something that wouldn’t infringe on her hard work. I think it will actually make people more interested in her program, as well as helping me plan, so everyone wins.

Also updated is our K-1 Weekly Lesson schedule. I’m a spontaneous person, so I don’t have a schedule down to the hour. Click to see full view, or head to the link above. You may notice I finally cut out our Explode the Code workbook, it was redundant. We cover reading/phonics with our normal reading and We cover handwriting in our normal handwriting and copywork for several subjects. Spelling is adequately covered in All-About-Spelling. There are subjects that we haven’t covered yet this year, like Science and Art. I do feel bad about that, and hope to get organized enough to include them. Other subjects, like Spanish/Latin/piano/swimming class/drama classes maybe we’ll start later this spring or summer.

A Sample Monday

If I had to describe a typical day, here’s how a typical Monday might go. As you can see from our lesson schedule above, actual sit-down work is less than two hours a day, so most of our day is spent as freetime. For some reason, we both like to do Math at night, after we both get a second wind. It has become very enjoyable, but the disadvantage is that if we’re busy, we sometimes skip it. I need to prioritize certain lessons to make sure we cover them as planned.

  • 9:00: Wake up, breakfast, shower, check email.
  • 10:00-10:20 – Reading (OPG)
  • 10:20-10:40 – Spelling (OPG)
  • 10:40-11:00 – History (SOTW)
  • 11:00-12:00 – Mama reads aloud, Satori plays, watches educational video, etc…
  • 12:00-1:00 – Lunch
  • 1:00-5:00 – Freetime – Play time. Possible craft. Possible educational videos/movies.
  • 5:00-6:00 – Dinner
  • 6:00-6:20 – Math (RS)
  • 6:20-6:25 – Writing (WWE)
  • 6:25-7:00 – Mama might work on blog, while Satori might color/play.
  • 7:00-9:00 – Playtime, mama workout time, TV time…
  • Before bedtime, Satori reads a few stories from her readers, and then Mama reads aloud from a chapter book.

I chose RightStart for the lack of emphasis on boring worksheets, but we did have a few short worksheets this past week. No problem, they were short and Satori whizzed through them! I have the order mixed up on the photo below, but the first worksheet was the simple addition by 1, for which Satori did not need the abacus. (She doesn’t need it for simple addition either, as she has been figuring simple sums in her head. She probably does this by counting, which I’m not sure is the RightStart way, but she does it fast anyway.)

We covered Level 41 on Monday, which built upon partitioning 10. Instead of memorizing addition facts that add to 10, here’s how RightStart Math approaches this. The past few lessons we’ve been using a Part-Whole Circle set with 10 in the whole circle, and another number in one of the part circles. (We previously photocopied the Part-Whole circle set and then I laminated it, so we can use dry erase markers to use it over and over.) Using the AL abacus, Satori can figure out the other number easily. We practiced this with all the sums, even writing all the possibilities down when solving word problems. We then did the Handshaking Game which was a unique game and used her toys in adding to 10.

A few days of doing this, Satori was familiar with equations for partitioning of ten. She completed the above worksheet on the left, relying on her abacus for all the equations. Then, we played a game that helped her learn her equations in a much more fun way! Addition Memory is a twist on the basic memory game in that you must find two cards that add to 10. The first time we played with all cards facing up, just to get the idea of finding cards that add to 10, such as a 6 and a 4. Then we started for real.

We like to start our Memory Games with a fun design, like a flower or pyramid. This is a smiley flower.

As we found pairs adding to 10, we lay the numbers in pairs face-up so we can visually see the numbers as added reinforcement. The first game Satori used her abacus for all but a few sums.

Mom won the first game (I do not cut her any slack), so of course we played again and again! I think we played 4 times total, each time Satori was relying on her abacus less and less. She knew when she picked up an 8, that she would need a 2. When she found a 5, she’d need the other 5. 9+1 and 10+0 were easy to figure out, I think the only ones she still needs an abacus were for 7+3 and 6+4 and vice versa.

Next time, we will start out playing the Addition Memory game until she has the last two sums memorized, and then we will play yet another RightStart Game to learn our sums to 10 – Go to the Dump!

The cards we use came with the RightStart Level A Starter Kit, and are very nice cards, sturdy and glossy, which should hold up to hundreds of math games through several children!