Monday, January 21, 2013

Co-op update: Monday January 21, 2013

I must apologize. I wasn't my usual energetic self today folks. Think I'm fighting off something. Thank you for getting the kids a little early today. As the day progressed, my energy seemed to be dissipating! The kids were good today. They had two play times outside and both times, they brought themselves in without my asking. I think it must have been a bit cold for them. We also had some hungry children today! It seemed as though the food never went away! 

As the kids arrived, I had a few of them finish their painting from last week. 

We started the lessons with this inspiration video and had a good chat about it afterwards.

In the book we're currently reading, "The BFG," the author uses quotations throughout as the story is a constant dialogue between the two main characters, Sophie and the BFG. For some reason however, the author uses single quotation marks and I'm not sure why. I believe it's the British standard. Anyhow, I gave them a lesson on the use of quotation marks and we studied some examples. Afterwards, the kids worked in pairs on a worksheet, inserting quotation marks where appropriate. This was a breeze for most of them.

I gave them each a copy of a passage from "BFG". As you may know, the BFG has his own unique language. For instance, he calls humans, human beans, rather than human beings! The play on words is brilliantly done, although somewhat challenging to read aloud! The kids get quite a kick out of it! After reading through the passage, I had them re-write the passage with their own interpretation of the language. As they re-wrote it, they had to play close attention to the usage of punctuation (especially the quotations).

Outside time!

After some much needed time to run around outside, we moved on to math. We reviewed what an angle is and talked about right angles, acute angles, and obtuse angles. They made them with their arms and on paper. The only measuring device we used this week, was an index card, for making right angles. Next week we'll try using a protractor! After making a few of each type of angle, we looked at a variety of triangles and named the angles in each.  They were dying to draw their own. They tried to create as many different types of triangles as they could, by utilizing the 3 different angles.


I have a new game called "Numenko," which is a simple, yet effective game for practicing numeracy skills. It's good for all levels because you can keep it as simple (+/-) or as complex (x/) as you like. You're essentially making a number crossword and trying to use up all of your tiles!

We started a new art project today. Before the kids had lunch, they used tape to create birch bark trees on their page. This tape will eventually be pealed off and the white of the page will be the negative space which will represent the birch trees. After lunch and some more outside time they put a watercolour wash over top. Next week we'll complete these pieces.

We finished off the day with more reading of "The BFG" and did a comparison study of the two characters, Sophie and the BFG.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Co-op update: Monday Jan. 14, 2013

Thank goodness the temperature went down today and my muddy backyard froze. Otherwise we wouldn't have had the greatly needed outside time today!

We started the day off with a writing exercise. For my own kids I haven't put too much pressure on them when it comes to writing. Up to this point they have written for pleasure and when I ask them to, but I've never really edited their work. I have to tread lightly when it comes to Mason and writing and I knew that if I pushed the editing, that he would revolt! Today I had the kids write a Show and Tell exercise. They had to chose a special item that they would like to share in Show and Tell. The catch however, is that they can't actually bring in the item. They must write about it. We discussed all the things that they would need to tell us in order for us to get a complete picture of the object. Half the group was able to do this with little trouble and could easily have moved on to editing and the other half really struggled with the content of their piece. We will work on writing a little each week but I'll try and do it in a pressure-free way!

We review perimeter and then moved on to area which we have talked about before. We compared the methods of using a picture (and counting squared units) to the ease of using a formula and the two dimensions. We tried some easy rectangles and then moved on to composite figures which could be divided into multiple rectangles. They then had to make as many shapes as they could with an area of 20 sq. units. We shared answers and then I had them find the perimeter of each shape so they could see that although the shapes had the same area, the perimeters were different.

To sum up our learning, I gave them each a strip of toilet paper. They had to make a composite shape with the toilet paper and then calculate the area and perimeter. Many jokes were told during this exercise! BOYS!

After math we moved on to art. We attempted to finished the piece today but the watercolour painting took longer than expected. Most will finish it next week. Mickey stayed inside today and finished hers.  

The kids had a good half hour outside while I prepped for lunch and the afternoon activities. 

After lunch we moved on to our BFG unit. We talked about visualizing a story. As I read, I had them visualize what was being read and they had to draw a picture and write down any adjectives the author used to help create that image. We also added to our BFG word bank and our plot line. Before I started the next chapter we went over the 5 senses and adjectives that could be used when describing each sense. As I read the next chapter they had to write down any words that applied to 3 of the senses; smell, sight, sound. 

After our novel study the kids had free time and the games came out!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Co-op Update: Monday Jan. 7, 2013

Is it just me or did the holidays go by extremely quickly! Anyhow, the kids arrived full or energy and stories today. We started the day hearing about everyone's holiday and their favourite gifts!

We did a writing exercise which had them reflecting on the past year and then focusing on the upcoming year; their hopes, dreams, resolutions, etc... They were really into this exercise. I have put their sheets in their portfolios but if you'd like to see them before the end of the year, let me know! They are enlightening, some amusing, thoughtful, and mature! 

We continued on to math and did a quick review of perimeter. Some are still getting perimeter and area mixed up. We solved some very simple perimeter questions and then I had them make some polygons with given perimeters. The kids liked the challenge of this and were all successful!

After a bit of practice I gave them a word problem. Of course the majority of them did this in their heads!

After math the kids had a quick snack and then we all went outside and played, British Bulldog, Ship to Shore and then I left them to have some free time (while I prepared for the next activity).

Today we added to our Canada unit. We had a discussion about the Canadian Shield, where it's located, it's significance, what industries it provides, and the challenges it presents. The kids coloured in it's location on a map.

Today we focused on Ontario. We talked about the provincial flag for Ontario and the different components of the flag. While they coloured the flag and drew Ontarian icons on their title page, I read a few pages about Ontario.

Time for lunch and more time outdoors. The kids REALLY need the outside time today. Even after all the running around, they never tired out!

We continued our BFG study. I talked to them about plot graphs, the 'hook' and the 'climax'. I had written all of the events that we have read about so far, on the white board. As a group, we read through them and then they put them in order. We started drawing a plot graph in our lapbooks and added the events as they happened.

Using this image for inspiration, the kids started planning their piece. We started with a horizon line and drew a tree using organic lines. We used permanent marker for the tree and they'll be using watercolours for the rest of their piece.

We'll finish these off next week. Thanks everyone for a great day!