Friday, October 29, 2010

Review of the week

Sometimes you just have one of those weeks that don't work according to plan.  For no discernible reason, this past week was one such week.  The schedule didn't work so well and everything was just off.  I find it helpful on weeks such as this to look back and make a list of things we did accomplish... even if they weren't in the plan or on the schedule.  I have to remind myself that these things really do "count".

So what did go on in the Big Ugly House? 
  • Well, M.,B., and J. attended a performance of To Kill a Mockingbird.  It was great timing because they had just read and discussed the book for their literature class.
  • P., TM, and D. all spent time on learning the rest of their lines for Charlotte's Web, the performance of which is in three weeks.  Working on lines has been great for TM because we have been really working on pronouncing the endings of words.  (He still tends to believe that word endings are entirely optional.)   Rehearsing the play has also been good for the boys' reading since they need to follow along, know their lines, and follow stage directions.
  • Along with reading of the play, both TM and D. have spent a good chunk of the past two days walking around working on reading chapter books. I'm not sure how much they're getting out of them since about every 4th or 5th word they need to ask about a word.  But, good readers develop by tackling things that are more difficult than they can easily read, so I don't mind.
  • We finished reading Minn of the Mississippi and J. finished reading The Return of the Twelves to the boys.
  • A. began reading the Odyssey for part of her schoolwork and we had an interesting discussion at the dinner table about feet and poetic form.
  • M.'s mask-making has started a real interest for her and she has been doing some research into different types of mask-making.
  • We made cardboard and rubber band paddle boats to discuss both how paddle boats on the Mississippi were propelled and how paddles work in the water.
  • M. and B. have been watching a lot of Jeeves and Wooster (by P.G. Wodehouse) to work on the accents they need for the show they are in the middle of December.
So, it is a decent list, especially when you consider that English and math did happen each day.  I have to remember that learning happens all the time, whether I have personally scheduled it or not.

And now I have something fun for all of you to try.  One of the science experiments A. did this past week was to dissolve the egg shell of a raw egg.  Take a jar, fill it with white vinegar, put in the raw egg, cap the jar and wait for 24 hours.  The membrane holds the egg together and you end up with an egg that looks like a cross between a water balloon and a bouncy ball.  Plus, it is the perfect lead-in to discussing teeth enamel and what acid will do to it.  It is a great visual lesson.  Try it!


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1 comment:

Marbel said...

That sounds like a fantastic week.

We loved The Return of the Twelves. I think you are the first person I've ever come across who's heard of it!

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