Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wiggly Worms

This week we took a look at the ever popular topic in this house....WORMS! We did W is for worms last year. I was able to use some of the same activities. But, this year Ava could do them more independently and Dominic and Lilly were more interested in participating. Our curriculum offered a neat activity on dissecting a gummy worm and we enjoyed many worm related books and stories. One thing I am finding with home schooling while raising 4 little ones is that its a little harder to grab the camera when activities are occurring. I usually have a baby on one hip or am trying to keep another from getting into something they shouldn't. But here are a few pictures of our week! 

Thanks to Papa and Mimi the kids now have a worm compost right in our school room! We were able to dig a few worms our of the bin for some worm observation. We looked at how to identify the head and segments. We described how the worms moved and looked. 

This next activity (that came from our curriculum) was a hit. After looking at a real worm, we did some work with a gummy worm. Ava had to draw the worm, measure it as is, measure it stretched as far as it could be stretched, count it's segments, and compare and contrast this worm to a real one. She also had to taste and describe the different colors of the worm. That was probably her favorite part! 

In her journal, Ava, completed a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the gummy worm and earthworm. Prior to the activity, I created the different phrases. She had to sort and glue them in the appropriate place on the diagram. 

Ava did some measuring work. This was an activity we did last year too. She had different types of yarn, beads, and other material all cut in different lengths. We called them worms. She had different pictures of animals. Her job was to find which worms measured the same as animals.  
We, of course, had to make a worm snack! This year we just used yogurt and sprinkled the Oreo cookies over the top to give it the dirt affect. Easier than making dairy free pudding since Dominic is allergic to milk, and much healthier! They loved it just the same!  

Ava had lots of fun practicing writing her numbers in the window with Crayola window crayons. This is an activity I plan to do for practicing sight words too!

We spent some time reviewing fact and fiction. I wrote down all sorts of things that were true and false about our family on sticky labels. Some of the labels said things like, "Ava is taller than Daddy.", "Dominic likes to be called Big Buddy", "Lilly's eyes are purple", etc... We read each one and sorted them as fact or fiction.

We then practiced our skills at finding fact and fiction by reading, The Diary of a Worm. We read it two times. The first time we read it for enjoyment. The second time we went page by page finding information that was true about worms, and things that were made up just for the story. We recorded our findings. 

Ava is loving any time we spend doing our reading lessons in our reading program or time practicing sight words. This week we didn't have time to work with sight words as much as I would have hoped. But she did do this activity. I color coded different words. We practiced reading them. Then, she had to stamp each word with the correct color.   

This was a simple little worm project that we did to practice cutting skills and just for fun too. 

Dominic's worm!

Ava's worm! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Look at Leaves

Okay I am going to keep this post honest (not that I am not honest in the others). Maybe a better term would be keep it real. This school week was one that was all planned out one way and really just didn't go the way I had planned. First I have an almost two year old and almost three year old. For those who have gone through the twos and threes I don't need to explain anymore. Sometimes they are super cooperative. And, well, sometime they are just not! This week...not so much. Second our youngest has a lot of medical needs. He has been with us for just two months and we have already had 35 appointments for him. This week alone we had 5. Thank goodness we home school. Otherwise Ava would be late or miss preschool all the time just trying to fit our little guys schedule around hers! We had to fit school time in at odd times this week. It started on Sunday afternoon, happened throughout the week, and we finally finished the weeks plans Friday night! So glad its a new week and we get to give it another go!

This week we took a look at leaves and explored why they change colors and fall off the trees each fall. In our math series, Ava, is continuing to practice numeral recognition and working hard on mastering writing her numbers. In reading she has really taken off. She tries to read anything and everything put in front of her! Her reading lessons are really clicking and she is currently having fun reading her way through the first Bob Book series as well as the classic Sally, Dick, and Jane books.

Here is a glimpse at our not so smooth home schooling week! 

Ava and Dominic took some time to observe the colors of fall right in our front year. They then had to paint what they saw. 

Daddy took the kids on a leaf hunt. Ava was very excited to share all the beautiful leaves she found. We examined them closely and discovered that leaves have veins and teeth (that function differently than us of course!) We read some great non-fiction books that helped to explain why the leaves change colors and fall of the tree each year.

In her journal, Ava reflected on how she used her senses as she hunted for leaves. She illustrated her thoughts and dictated what to write. 

The sensory table was filled with sticks, leaves, acorns, and buckeyes. 

One of the center activities was to count dots on a leaf and place the leaf in the correctly labeled section of the tray. Ava worked on numbers 9-13 this week. 

Dominic worked on strengthening his fine motor skills with a beading activity.

Another art activity we worked on was a hand print fall tree. I helped the kids create the trunk and branches of the tree by painting their hand and arm and pressing it on the paper. They used a sponge and brush to create the leaves. 

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Ava worked on making a collage with some of the leaves she found. 

Another center activity was working with opposite cards. 
Dominic practiced using the scissors.