Monday, January 26, 2009

Our little classoom of two

The week has started off great for us at home. This weekend Nicholas found a cool Batman notebook in the dollar section of Target and asked if we could buy it. Yes, we bought it and it is now his daily journal notebook. I thought we could use a little more routine in our days, so we are now transitioning from breakfast to schoolwork with the daily journal. I write the date and a question on our little chalk board and Nicholas starts the school day with a dated journal entry of at least 5 sentences and has to include the answer the to question. Today's question was his choice: "What is your favorite song?" His journal entry mentions several songs by artists like Smashing Pumpkins and Linkin Park, apparently he can't choose just one :) He wasn't sure how to spell Linkin the way the band does, so I suggested he go look it up on his iPod. While Nic worked on his journal entry, Sydney wrote her own notes on paper using a cupcake pencil.

Today we also worked on math review from previous weeks lessons on rounding numbers, fractions and more review on double digit addition without carrying numbers. Next week we will start carrying numbers. We do a math lesson or review daily, as Nicholas was struggling with math and receiving extra help in this subject at school. He does better with visuals, so part of working with fractions was to help make pizza dough using measuring spoons and cups. Sydney was glad to assist as well, and is now my official salt pourer.

Art will be a big part of our week, as Jeff's birthday is this Wednesday and the kids and I are making him a present. I can't go into much detail without spoiling the surprise, I will have to add details and more photos on Thursday to keep it a secret. I can say that I am working on using several different media with both kids this week, and today we used craft paints. Its always fun when I can find something that both kids can do together. With 5 years between them, it's not always that easy! Recently I found that they both really enjoy Play-Doh, something Nic hasn't played with in several years and a new thing entirely for Sydney. Our supplies were extremely limited, so I decided to use a gift card from Christmas to buy lots and lots of Play-Doh and accessories for them both - thanks Granny!! The Play-Doh also came in handy for more fraction lessons. We made circles out of the doh, then cut them into different fractions so he could really see how 1/3 is actually smaller than 1/2, since the numbers themselves can make you think otherwise.

Naptime for Sydney is just about to come, and Nicholas and I have a project ready to go. We shredded newspaper that is currently soaking in warm water. This will become a new sheet of paper for us with the help of a science kit given to Nic for his birthday - thank you mom and Aunt Sue! The kit will allow us to make 1 sheet of paper per 24 hour period, so this project will be ongoing. The first sheet of paper will be used to write Presiedent Obama a letter. Nicholas has a few questions for him after seeing the Inauguration, so Jeff and I thought he should write to the White House and see what (if any) response he gets. Anything back would be AWESOME, so I am hoping our mailbox brings something (truly, ANYTHING) for him to gloat over. I will be sure to include a scanned copy of the letter once its ready. While ripping the newspaper to recycle, Nic found a picture of Obama and did not want to rip it. He hung it on the fridge instead, and Sydney learned who he was. She also announced that "Present Obama is so cute!" Hahahaha!! (And yes, she says present instead of president.) She later recognized him on the cover of Time magazine on the counter.
More homemade recycled paper will be used for upcoming Valentine's Day projects. The kit will be getting plenty of use!

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