Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Second day here. K was happy to meet a lot more kids today. She still eats lunch with the 2 girls she knew before, but now the lunch table has grown. She likes her teachers so far and the principal already says, Hi K, in the hallway. She had plans today to hang with her old and new friends at the pizza place near school and is now at the park until I go to work.

When I came back from bringing K to school, I sat for 30 minutes with coffee and emails. Then I set the kitchen timer for 45 minutes and did morning cleaning. I swear by the timer now. By 10am the kids were ready to start on academic stuff.

We did another readaloud chapter from The Witches. Both kids gave great narrations. J then started on another poem for copywork. W wrote out the next sentence from Frog and Toad. He dawdled a bit and lost his place more than once, but then all of a sudden he sat up straight, got this serious look of concentration on his face and said, I get it now. I don't know what exactly occured right then and there, but he was all of a sudden determined to finish writing out the entire page. Throughout, we talked about quotation marks, commas, colons, paragraphs, indenting, and capitalization. I know he doesn't really understand it all yet, but he was happy to get somewhat familiar with it. At the end he was proud of his handwriting and that he finished really fast. I've notice that he writes better on regular wide or college ruled paper than with the usual 1st grade paper (the one with the broken lines between the solid lines). That paper makes kids write so big. W prefers to write small. His notebook has college-ruled paper.

W moved on to math and did about 20 addition and subtraction problems in his bridge workbook. He was fast with that as well, figuring most of them in his head and the rest on his fingers. Then he wrote out the whole capital alphabet as practice. J did a page of vocabulary and a page on longitude/latitude. She had to find a city on the map, then identify it's coordinates. We played around with this last year, so it was more like review. She made it like a game and challenged herself on how many she could get right.

My plan was to start out slowly with only reading, writing, and math for now and eventually build up to structured science and social studies stuff. But the kids literally begged to pleeeeeeeeease do science and even chanted "we want science" over and over. It's so awesome how much they love this. So, I decided to do a basic chemistry lesson on mixtures, solutions, and reactions. We talked about the fundamentals of each and then I broke out the vinegar and baking soda to show them a reaction in action, lol. J had seen this before, but it was all new to W. He was so amazed at the mini explosion, that he had to try it again. I would love to find other household substances that combine to create safe reactions. But for now, they have requested creating their own volcano. Sounds good to me!

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