Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

Whew the last couple of weeks has gone by fast! I'm a bit behind, here's a look at what we did last week.

A created artwork using quartered construction paper and peel and stick foam leaves from his quiet time box.

J finished his Weather Words Lapbook

A colored this color by number "W is for Weather" page from this printable pack

 He also did a cold/hot sort while practicing cutting, and glued the items into the correct column, also from this printable pack

J read a book about thunder and lightening and answered the questions found at the end. Due to the government shut down the website is not available, I will add the link later.

A did letter mazes in a workbook he received as a gift, it came from Costco

J started working on a daily weather journal that I found here

We played Save The Caterpillar several times for addition review

A had a great time playing with the Link N' Learns and creating "snakes" from one end of the house to the other.

He LOVED the puppets from this printable pack at Homeschool Creations. I think it's suggested that you put them on popsicle sticks, but he liked to put the knights "inside" the castle so just leaving them folded worked well for us.

 Also from the Knights printable pack was this easy game for number recognition and one-to-one correspondance. It was a huge hit at our house, as any game usually is.

A put together this number matching book. I did all of the cutting on this one and he matched up the numbers (with help) and glued them into place. This will be added to some other weather activities for his notebook.

 I found these cute and simple fall coloring sheets and printed them for read aloud time. The graphics are really cute and the boys loved coloring them together.

More from the Knights printable pack at Homeschool Creations. A played this How Many Knights? counting game several times. We turned the number cards upside down and he would randomly pick one and identify it, then count out the correct number of knight cards. I put the mat in a page protector and laminated the number cards and knights for durability. 

 We had a great Saturday taking advantage of some free (and cheap!) activities in our area. If you haven't tried Home Depot's Kid's Workshop I highly recommend it. October is fire safety month and the coordinator at our Home Depot goes all out! There is the typical building project, the fire department was there with fire trucks and an ambulance, the boys got to crawl through the smoke house, eat cotton candy and hot dogs, and they gathered several goodie bags.

We also made a trip to Micheal's Crafts for a special pumpkin decorating kids class. It was $5 for each of the boys and I felt it was worth it. They each received a  9" foam pumpkin and there was paint, paper, googly eyes, and a few other things for decoration. I got a few minutes of quiet time to wander around the store!

 I found these cute little crowns to color and make so the boys colored them while I read and then I cut them out. They provided lots of comic relief since they are obviously too small for their heads. It's suggested that you use a copier to enlarge the crowns. They are the perfect size to share with furry friends for pretend play though.

We've continued playing lots of games to strengthen J's math skills with some addition and subtraction worksheets thrown in. He's been having fun with a Disney book that I think came from the dollar store.

 J has been working on pieces from a medieval lapbook from Homeschool Share. They have two levels available so I picked the ones that I liked from both sets and he's been working on an element each day.

My sister showed me this idea pre-Pinterest days so I don't know where it came from, but I drew lines on a piece of foam paper to make six different squares. In the top squares I glued down foam pieces to create a puzzle of sorts, and then A had to replicate the puzzle in the square underneath. You could have them glue the pieces on but we're keeping this as a busy bag so he just set them in place.

 We played a medieval card game from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Education. It's similar to Skip-Bo Jr. and would be appropriate for a wide variety of ages.

 A used these weather counting cards again, this time I gave him paperclips to put around the edges.

J made a notebooking page for words containing the "ea" blend. He added this printable to the top (I printed it as a half sheet) then he built words using wooden letters and recorded them on his sheet.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reading Challenge: The Boots My Mother Gave Me

Title: The Boots My Mother Gave Me
Author: Brooklyn James
Genre: Adult Fiction

I loved this book from the first word to the last. Harley (love the name!) LeBeau spends her life trying to escape the small town she is raised in, along with the abusive father who inhabits it. With her dreams, Charlene the Chevelle, and a pair of old worn boots her mother gives here, Harley hits the road leaving behind her little sister and Jeremiah Johnson, the only rock in her life, and her soft place to land. Harley finds love in unexpected places, answers one too many midnight phone calls, and proves that despite everything, you can go home again.

Reading Challenges:

Foam Pumpkins in the Tub

I've seen so many fun foamie ideas lately and since we have a ton of foam sheets floating around I whipped up some of these cuties before A took his bath.

With a little encouragement (ie. a fun activity) A will stay in the bathtub for at least an hour. I cut a pumpkin shape from a piece of orange foam, a stem from green, and various facial features out of yellow scraps.
Just dip the foam in water and stick to the bathtub wall.

The boys had a blast creating pumpkin faces.

I also recently saw this in a felt form that would make a great busy bag!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reading Challenge: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire

Title: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson

Loved, loved, loved these books! I can't wait to get my hands on the third book in this trilogy. I picked them up at a used book sale, recognizing the title, but not really knowing anything about them. I do that. My mom got to them first and told me to put them at the top of my reading list. I read both books in a week because I couldn't put them down. They aren't for the faint at heart so be prepared if you choose to delve into these works. Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist and Lisbeth Salander, social outcast, must face their pasts and their futures in these riveting stories that puts socialites, and the social system on prominent display.

Reading Challenges:

Weather Words Lapbook

I was a little skeptical about how well the idea of lapbooks would go over with J, but was pleasantly surprised that he seemed to really enjoy our first attempt. I kept things very relaxed, we worked on an element every other day or so and we split the writing the cutting so he wouldn't get bogged down.

I couldn't find a copy of Weather Words by Gail Gibbons at our library so I ended up ordering it from Amazon. I've loved Gail Gibbons' books in the past and this particular one had rave reviews. I was not disappointed, if you're studying weather with early elementary students this is a great easy to read vocabulary based book to have in your library.

We don't use traditional lapbooks made from file folders, but instead a 3-ring binder and cardstock. (I purchased a HUGE package of colored cardstock at Micheal's in the scrapbooking section with a 40% coupon.)

J had a great time giving A a "tour" of his weather book.

The lapbook can be found here along with a video if you need help putting together any of the pieces.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Reading Challenges: Austin Nights

Title: Austin Nights
Author: herocious

I ended up enjoying this read, though it did admittedly take me a bit to get into. The chapters are actually numbered non sequentially, and after a bit you realize that they aren't really chapter numbers but representations of the speaker and the time. Micheal and Bridget are young and in love, they leave their home in Miami, Florida to reside in Austin, Texas while Bridget attends graduate school. You have to be on your toes while reading the text as the story frequently changes speakers and switches from the now to various points in the past with barely a page break.

Reading Challenges:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Review: Artemis Fowl

Title: Artemis Fowl
Author: Eoin Colfer

It's actually been a number of months since I read this book so I unfortunately can't remember very many details. It came across on a free eBook list at some point so I added it to my Kindle and put in on my heaping stack of to be reads. I'm not generally a fantasy reader, but the story was cute. I read the book in a couple of sittings and would most likely give the rest of the series a try should I come across them at the right time.