Are we really almost half way through the school year? If you follow my blog, you'll see some of the unit studies we've been doing in Kindergarten, but I want to share some of the "other stuff" that I've been working on with the girls that don't fall into our weekly themes...
Math and Logic
We're still trying to find our rhythm with math. Instead of trying to get the kids to systematically go through a set of skills (like addition facts that build on each other), I've switched back to giving them a wide variety of math and logic activities every day, most of them in the forms of various games. I've found some neat games in the Family Math series of books which we try to do a couple times a week.
Card games like War and Go to the Dump have been great for reinforcing arithmetic skills for the girls without having them feel like I'm drilling them.
The girls have been really interested in building lately (with Legos, Duplos, Megablocks, etc..) so I use our building sessions to teach them math concepts like symmetry.
We also have some file folder games that I had put away for a while so of course the girls enjoy playing with these "new" activities.
This file folder game with shape matching was especially fun because I wasn't quite sure of the definition of rhombus so L observed how I looked it up on the computer (I want the girls to know how to be resourceful). After she was done matching up the shapes, I asked her questions to make her think about how the shapes could be categorized: Find five quadrilaterals, four parallelograms, two rectangles, two shapes with no corners, etc.. L actually did pretty well with it.
I've been really enjoying our math games lately now that I've decided that it is OK that my kids don't always remember that 2+3 =5... I'm sure that if I set a good foundation of mathematical understanding and logical reasoning that everything will fall into place in time.
Our current read-aloud is D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. I think I'm enjoying it even more than the kids are. At first I was worried about the appropriateness of the content since I remember a lot of sex and violence in the original myths, but this version is definitely toned down for kids (for example, Cronus simply 'defeats' his father in the kids version, skipping over the whole castration bit.. whew!). We're all enjoying the nightly stories.
Both girls are reading from first and second grade texts. I'm trying to provide some variety with both fiction and non-fiction, and I like to challenge them with harder texts to make them sound out words they don't know. I might need to add easier books to the mix , though, since they've both said at one point or another that they don't like reading or that reading is too hard. I don't remember everything they've read over the past 4 weeks, but here are some selections:
George and Martha
The Little Island
Fox in Socks
Dragon Gets By
Pete the Cat
Mercy Watson To The Rescue
Stuart Little Early Readers (not the chapter book)
We Both Read: Dinosaurs
We Both Read: Oh No, We're Doing a Show
Henry and Mudge
Science - A Closer Look (Grade 1)
Highlights High Five back-issues
We've also been playing a lot of storytelling games and learning new vocabulary words.
One day the girls and I observed a gorgeous sunrise and L said she wanted to paint it. They really had fun with this spontaneous art project, and I even let them use glitter glue to make their sunrises extra sparkly.
Both girls, but especially E, have been prolific artists lately. I just had to
brag about share some of their drawings..
We've had some snow and chilly temperatures this week (and, yes, L still chooses to wear summer dresses every day), so there have been a lot of winter and Christmas themes in the girls' drawings lately.
I love this drawing that E made of a car, complete with headlights, steering wheel, driver, and ladybug. Isn't it great?
When E gets mad at me she threatens: "If you don't let me <fill in the blank>, then I'll never draw again and the world won't get a wonderful artist!".