It has become blatantly obvious to me that I need to make a conscious effort in the area of organization. We are 5 months into our learning at home journey and I can begin to feel a shift from “something we are trying out” to “let’s do this thing”!
Our learning year is from June to June, and I can feel that when Mason turns 5 years old (in June) that we will begin to move things to a new/next level. A few more structured activities, a few more activities during the week, as well as a few more activities that Mason does more independently. All of these things are wonderful and I am whole-heartedly looking forward to them. What I am seeing now is the need to find our path of organization.
To be honest, it’s a little overwhelming.
When teaching public school, I had a whole classroom in which to organize work, manipulatives, supplies, etc. Granted, I had many more students, but still. We do not have any extra rooms, or much extra space in our home to use as a “school room”, not that I would be likely to do that anyway. I know it will work. I know there is a way. I need to remember that I am creative, and that this can be done. I also want to do this without spending an outrageous amount of funding on organizational items. I will keep you posted (quite literally!) on how we obtain our organizational haven.
If you have walked this path and have ideas to offer – please feel free to comment below!
Lego Take Away
- Several weeks ago, the concept of “take away” was introduced through Freddy the Front Loader, a learning activity found in the Lego Pack from walkingbytheway.com. This introduced the concept of subtraction, so this week I decided to move into connecting the symbolic numbers with the concept.
- I wrote a subtraction problem and we did the first two or three together. Toward the end, Mason starting making his own problems. This, as it always does, leads to the discussion of what happens when a larger number is taken away from a smaller number.
- I refuse to tell students “this can’t be done”. We had a conversation that if we take a larger number from a smaller number we don’t have enough! In the coming years, this gives a foundation on which to build the concept of negative numbers.
- While sitting at my desk, Mason found one of the die from the Fourth of July pack at 3 Dinosaurs. He asked if he could do it. I didn’t feel like finding it on my computer, printing it out, etc. So, I quickly sketched pictures at the bottom to match the pics on the die and Mason set to rolling and graphing. Gotta’ love the impromptu practice!
Season Characteristics – Fall – Informal Assessment
- Page 9, in the All About Fall pack from servingjoyfully.com, is a cut-and-paste Fall tree. My plan was to use this activity as an informal assessment on what Mason knew about the Fall season characteristics. While he was creating his tree, I asked him what he knew about the season of Fall. I made sure to not give him any prompts besides, “What else?”. I wanted to know what he had truly internalized about Autumn, not what I could trigger in his memory.
- After creating the tree, we used Page 10 in the pack to graph the different color of leaves that had fallen from the tree. A great activity to blend science, informal assessment, math, arts-and-crafts, and cut-and-paste for fine motor skills. Another big thumbs up on this 20 minute activity!
- We did a little acrylic paints on canvas boards and threw in some extra tools such as forks to experiment with texture. Mason put tape on his canvas before painting so that it would create a fun design after the paint dried and we peeled off the tape. Madison was simply more interested in getting as much color on her canvas as possible. She also decided that playing with the bottles of paint was just as fun!