Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Born To Be Wild

Mickey's gymnastic coach invited her group to do a fun demonstration at an end-of-year celebration. The girls were thrilled. The coach put together this gymnastics routine to "Born To Be Wild." They had so much fun and it was a very positive experience! It's great to be a part of a gym that celebrates each girl and works on their personal best.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our Day

Today I thought I'd journal about our day. Currently Tuesdays are our busy learning days. The other two days (when I'm not teaching) are usually interrupted by an activity or two! This is what we did today:

1) Started with simple math drills to wake the brain and encourage speed at easy operations. Subtraction for Mickey, and multiplication for Mason.

2) Mickey practiced her words on this site while Mason worked on his First Language Lessons. We haven't done any work on FLL for quite some time. I actually wasn't sure how much of it was "sticking" and had dropped it for some time. When we picked up from where we left off, he remembered everything. We reviewed nouns; proper and common, and then he copied a poem. In the poem he looked for statements, exclamations and questions. He found the nouns and verbs and we discussed stanzas. He practiced reciting the poem and started working on memorizing it. After, he drew a picture to accompany the poem in his writing journal.

3) Next - on to Money Math. Lately we've been doing money math each day. It helps to reinforce the concepts. They are getting much faster at adding the coins together and can subtract amounts with ease. We will continue with this until June I imagine. This is one of those concepts that kids really need to work on regularly or they soon forget. Kids should be comfortable counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 25s - forwards and backwards to 100. Kids shouldn't really start on money concepts until they can do this comfortably.

4) Playtime - Lego. This has become a daily occurence!

5) Story of the World - Chapter 26
Our history unit has been going slowly. Today we focused on Chapter 26 on The Americas. I tied in discussions on continents, mapping, artifacts, equator, North, Central, and South America. While I read, the kids coloured in the appropriate maps.

6) Art

We have been doing a fairly indepth study of animals. Last week we were learning about birds and other "winged" animals. I came across the book "Wings" by Sneed B. Collard III. I love the illustrations in this books. They remind me of images made solely from pieces of paper. I decided to have the kids make pictures of birds, using only construction paper. This was our first attempt. It's a time consuming process, especially if kids cut out each feather. Each of us attempted this project in a different way. I think we'll probably do this one again. We all really enjoyed it.

Mommy's art:

Mickey's art:

Mason's art:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Planet Box Bento Lunch Boxes

Both kids don't require a lunch bag or box but Mickey does need to bring a suitable, healthy, snack to gymnastics three times a week. We discovered these bento boxes at Planet Box and love them. We purchased one stainless steel box and the two dippers, as well as, two carrier bags and two sets of magnets. This way Mason can use the box when he goes to soccer camp or somewhere else that requires a snack or lunch. We love Planet Box because it accommodates a variety of lunch foods and keeps the foods separate. The little dippers can be used for dips or to separate wet foods, like fruit.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


After a discussion with Grannie recently about all things Scotland, Mason became fascinated with Puffins! When I had them write a haiku, he chose to write about the puffin and this is the artwork he created with my favourite art medium of all time; watercolour crayons. I see a big, new, shiny box of many, many colours, in our future!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creationary by Lego

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we are loving games these days. For Christmas, the kids received Creationary - another Lego game. It's very similar to Pictionary. You roll the dice and choose a card. On the card you select the image from the category you rolled. Your job is to build the item on the card and the other players have to guess what you built. There are three levels of difficulty. This game could be played for as long or as little as you like. Lots of fun and great fun for a dinner party!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Harry Potter Lego Game

In the last few months we've really delved into games. The Harry Potter Lego Game is one of our all time favourites. We play it almost every day - for now! It's for ages 8+ but our 6 year old has no problem with it. I think it's more fun if you've read at least the first book (which we have), but not necessary. It can be played in as little as 20 minutes which is great for a quick game before bedtime. I also like that the designers have encouraged players to change the rules of the game and have provided game pieces and ideas for changing the rules. This will keep the game fresh and exciting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Saturday, March 12, 2011


We've recently re-discovered the game "Mastermind". I used to play this game all the time when I was young. My Dad and I would each have a board. We'd even double or triple up on colours to make it really tricky! The kids love it and it's a great game to play while we're waiting and watching at aikido and gymnastics.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I just recently found this site. It's free and allows you to create online, interactive posters. Good for individuals and can also be set up for a class. I haven't tried it with my class but have plans to in the very near future. Will post the results when I have them!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Paul Klee Inspired Art

Here's a few pieces that were done by my Grade 6s.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Paul Klee Inspired Art

We used this idea for a Paul Klee inspired project.

Using graph paper the kids were asked to design a building or city scape using geometric shapes. If they used curves or circles, they were only to use 1 or 2. The graph paper was used for the rough drawing only. They liked that they could make mistakes.

After their plans were done, I took sheets of acetate (overhead sheets) and taped them on top. I traced their lines with a black Sharpie marker and a ruler. Older kids could do this on their own. I chose to do this step for the kids because I knew that using the ruler and trying not to smudge the marker would be too frustrating for them. I wanted this to be a successful project.

After the black lines were traced, I removed the graph paper and turned it over to the white side. The kids had a choice of colouring in their shapes with colouring Sharpie markers or oil pastels. Both are great options. My kids at school are using oil pastels. With the oil pastels, I've found that it helps to colour in one direction. If you go back over your work with the pastels, they seem to pick up bits and almost erase what you've done. You have to go easy and not press too hard. I've also noticed that sometimes the acetate has one side that works better than the other.

Once the shapes have been coloured in the acetate could be mounted on black or white paper or could be hung on a window. If mounting on paper, I would mount it with the coloured side against the paper to prevent smudging.

We really liked this project and I can't wait to show off the work from school. In the future with my younger ones, I would probably give them geometric shapes to trace and put together. This way I can ensure that the shapes are used and that they stay within a certain size and/or proportion. With my grade 6s I also combined this with a lesson on colour and had the students choose one area of their city scape that had to have emphasis through the use of contrast. I'm excited to see their results.