Monday, December 16, 2013

School days

Jayden is nearly finished with his second grade grammar book. I decided that for the remainder of this year, he should work on some fun activities in grammar. May suggested mad libs, which is a great and fun way to practice grammar!

Last week I printed off a couple of mad libs from

 These are his spelling words for the week.
Lately Jayden has been forgetting to check over his work. He forgets to add his name (not important) and the date (important for chronological organization for the evaluator). I've also noticed he is not using his best handwriting. Around the same time I stumbled across this "Check Your Paper" freebie.

I decided to make one similar to that one, but more Jayden-like. I found a Batman picture, and with the magic of Microsoft Word, created this quick little document. I am putting it inside of his workbox and he will check things off (mentally or with a dry erase marker since I laminated it) every time he finishes an assignment.
This week we are working on numbers 1-5 in Spanish.
And finally, in math, Jayden worked on measuring in grams.
He is nearly finished with his 2A textbook, which means he will start on his 2B textbook after the holidays!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Science- the Nervous System

In science we are working on the Nervous system.
After reading a little bit about it, we started on the lab. We wanted to see if we could train our nervous system to respond quicker with practice.

I totally failed to read the directions carefully and we made a bar graph instead of a line graph. But in the end we recorded our findings. 
The results were skewed because we took a pause midway into the experiment. When we returned to do catch 4, all of our responses took longer than catch 3.
This led to the discussion of how scientists often conduct experiments more than once in order to get more accurate results.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Caitlin asked me if she could make a list of things she is thankful for. Number one was "Mom" and number two is "food". I must be pretty darn special if I beat food!

Just before Thanksgiving we attended a library class which discussed the Mayflower and the New World. Below is a picture of the kids pretending to be various things floating in the ocean.
The New World had to direct the blindfolded Mayflower across the ocean without bumping into any of the floating objects.

The kids made their own Mayflower (you can find the template here).
Caitlin and I made our own cranberry bread too! (recipe here) She worked on measurements.
She was super proud that she got to cut the cranberries in half with a knife.
Then she stirred it up and we put it in the bread maker. 
No after pictures though because I forgot!

Monday, December 9, 2013

History- African Art

Last week we finished up our unit on Ancient Africa (which ran a little longer than expected). We made an art project called "Painted Hands". We learned that in Ancient Africa many people painted their hands, feet, and other body parts, usually adding geometric designs on special occasions.

 I traced the kids' hands and we cut out colorful shapes to paste on.

Jayden's painted hand

Caitlin's painted hand
We really enjoyed the Anansi story we read the previous week and decided to borrow a couple of books from the library.
 We also decided to create our own Anansi spiders.
Once their paper plates dried, the kids used a mixture of foam geometric shapes, as well as cut outs to create his face.

Then we stapled on some pipe cleaners for legs.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Jayden just started a new course in Brickapalooza- WeDo Robotics. The description for this kit says:

"Students will be able to build LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors; program their models; and explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as language, literacy, and social studies."

For the first class of the 5 week session, Jayden and his partner had to build a top.

 Then they had to write a program to get the gears to spin and make the top move.

The longest they got the top to spin was 12 seconds! It kept falling off the table or bumping into something, causing it to stop.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Saxon Math & History

Last week we started Caitlin on Saxon Math for kindergarten.

We began with a calendar showing the month of November. I explained the difference between the date and the day. 
 Next up she had to make whatever she wanted with the geometric pattern blocks.
 She chose to make cheeseburgers.
 She also made the letter I.
And finally she made a restaurant counter. The diamonds and triangles show where the customer had to pay for the new cheeseburgers she made.

We are now up to Ancient Africa in The Story of the World.  This will run until the end of this week.
We read a short story called "Anansi and the Turtle". (the video of the story is here). Then the kids colored in a picture.

 The pictures went up on our line as well!
 And finally, Jayden worked on some of his map work.