Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 1 Recap - FIAR: The Story About Ping

So we made it through our first week of pre-K! Unfortunately, I feel that it only went well two out of the five days. The Heffalump and Woozle seem to still be retaining information that we covered, so I guess that's a good thing, I'm just a little frustrated at how difficult it is to teach them.

We read "The Story About Ping" each day last week as the curriculum suggests. The Woozle liked this at the beginning, but seemed to get bored by the end of the week. The Heffalump loved the repetition and I 'caught' him reading the book aloud to himself during non-school time towards the end of the week.

Prep work: I bought a world map and put it up, and used a roll of brown packing paper and Sharpies to make a timeline to post on the opposite wall.

What we did during the week:

Language Arts-
  • Read the book
  • Put the book on the timeline and talked about how long ago the book came out - I had one of them put their finger on 2013 and had the other put their finger on 1933, then I pointed out dates in between (when they were born, when their father and I were born, when our parents were born)
  • Copywork - traced the opening sentence.
  • Read a comprehension worksheet about timelines and wrote events on their own timeline.
  • Looked up how to write their names in Chinese
  • Did a Ping word search
  • Read the book "Ducks Don't Get Wet."
  • Talked about the difference between fiction and non-fiction, narrated the story, and filled out an information sheet for the book. I'm hoping to make or have an info sheet for each FIAR book they read so they can have a collection to look back on in their notebook.
  • Talked about the short 'u' sound: -uck, -ut, -ug, and -un. Each day they had a short list of spelling words and a reading comprehension sheet. Friday, I picked two words from each list and gave them a basic spelling test, and we did a word family sorting game.

Bible Study/Character-
  • Talked about obedience. We used the character study series from Confessions of a Homeschooler - I have the other sections saved to use with appropriate books throughout the year. We covered the stories of Noah, Abraham and Isaac, and Daniel and his friends.
  • I had them work in their workbooks. I only planned for them to do one page front/back, but they both ended up working through the first 5 lessons on the first day. After that, I limited it to one lesson per day. The Heffalump made it through the first unit, so we did the unit test on Friday. He needs work with money and counting by 2s, so I'm going to skip the workbook next week and focus on that.
  • Learned how to write numbers 1-10 in Chinese, and watched some YouTube videos to learn the pronunciations. The Heffalump is a strong auditory learner, so he loves anything put to a song. This was our favorite video:

  • They counted and colored Ping's family, and graphed the family.
Observations: Heffalump needs practice writing the numbers and number words and the Woozle only likes to write in uppercase letters, regardless of the print she sees.

Social Studies-
  • Found China on the world map and in their "Children's Atlas of the World," and put the story disc on the map.
  • Colored the flag of China for their lapbook
  • Talked about family units and compared our family to Ping's family.
  • We did an experiment to show how ducks stay dry. I had them cut out two duck shapes, paint one with oil, and drip water on both ducks to see what happened.
  • Made a flipbook of different types of ducks, talked about different bill styles and how the bill influenced what the duck ate, feeding, and migration.
  • Listened to duck calls online at Ducks Unlimited and compared the ducks to the story to determine what type of duck Ping and his family were.
  • Watched "PBS: An Original Duckumentary" on Netflix, and watched YouTube videos of fishing cormorants and Pekin ducks.
I've noticed that the Heffalump and Woozle both enjoy science-related activities, so I'm planning to incorporate more science as we go.

  • Looked at the illustrations in the book, talked about the medium (colored pencils), and drew with colored pencils.
  • Made pipe cleaner ducks. The Woozle liked this project, so we ended up making a duck for everyone in the family:
  • Colored and cut out a paper doll from Education.com. I'm hoping to do these for each country we cover as well, so they can see the differences in traditional dress.

  • Drew and colored a picture of our family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins.
  • Read "The Duck" poem by Ogden Nash and drew an illustration.
That pretty much covers it! I'm trying to be flexible and let them have input as to what they want to focus on and the order we do things. I feel that as long as we read a story and do at least phonics and math every day, then I can fill the rest in with what they want to learn about. Stay tuned for next week's continuation of China and ducks, with a side trip to Australia!

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