Thursday, December 17, 2009

November Highlights

In case I ever doubted the name of the blog - here is what SharkMan had painted on his face at a recent birthday party. Every time he opened his mouth it looked like the shark was chomping too.

November was a wonderful month. We had a beautiful fall and gorgeous weather to give us plenty of outside activities in addition to our learning time.
I read about the concept of workboxes from several bloggers and tried my own take on it. I set out a box for each activity I want us to accomplish that day. Some boxes have curriculum and some have fun activities like puzzles or art projects. We usually do the first couple of boxes in order and then SharkMan gets to chose which box he wants to do, then we alternate choosing the rest of the boxes. As long as I am organized the night before or that morning, this is really helping our day run smoothly.

We are having a blast in math! In November, we finished our Cuisennaire rods with the Alphabet book and our Logic Problems with Bears from Creative Publications. (I highly recommend the program.)

We continued to work on our concept of numbers. We did a fun puzzle activity from Developing Number Sense with Unifix Cubes. Over a week period, SharkMan measured different puzzle pieces and then put them on the chart showing how many cubes were needed to make that shape.

Another game from Developing Number Sense is Build A City. SharkMan and Papa Shark took turns rolling dice and building towers the corresponding height of the roll. (Good practice reading dice and counting.) When you finish building the city block, they rolled to see if the largest or smallest city was the winner.
Developing Number Sense also gaveSharkMan plenty of practice measuring this month. Below, he is measuring various lengths of string with Unifix blocks.
We also pulled out various jars and containers and measured how many cubes each container could hold. Then SharkMan suggested we line them up from least to greatest. Great Suggestion! I love when he wants to do something before I ask.
We also worked with the cubes to create various patterns. Here SharkMan is working with a pattern book.

Below SharkMan is creating his own pattern turning the blocks different ways (down, down, up) We are learning that patterns aren't just color combinations. Almost anything can be turned into a pattern.

We read a great book called Quack and Count. The book shows different combinations of ducks (numbers) to make seven and what happens to the ducks to increase or decrease their numbers. After reading the book, SharkMan made his own book.
More Math Mats. This time the bears are at a playground. Great practice learning ways to increase and decrease numbers.

We enjoy game playing in our house and whenever we can learn something from it - bonus. Here is a fun game from Family Math. The object is to be the last person to pick up a toothpick. You can only pick up one or two sticks at a time. The game forces you to think ahead to future moves. SharkMan loved it and even Mammaw and Grandpa got in on the action.

SharkMan is using the hundreds board to make a slew of discoveries about numbers. I gave SharkMan a blank 100's board with about 12 tiles in place and he then had to place the rest of the tiles up to the number 50. He quickly got the 10's in place and built from there.

When he finished through 50, he insisted on doing the rest of the board (which was next week's activity.)

Finally, one of our favorite activities came from Primarily Bears. Each day, SharkMan had to dress the bear determining all the different outfits the bear could wear using a set of paper clothers. (Blue shorts & red shirt or Green Shorts & red shirt...) I love this hands on beginning to higher level math concepts. Reading /History

We kept busy this month reading about the history of Thanksgiving. As I said, SharkMan loved Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. We read it almost daily. We also incorporated a unit on the mountains when we read The Apple and the Arrow. Finally, as Thanksgiving neared, we studied eating/food throughout the ages ending with a study on what people eat around the world and a brief study on corn.
We attended 2 homeschool Thanksgiving celebrations, where SharkMan pretended to be... Squanto.

SharkMan had to follow directions to make his own pumpkin pie.

Then he found the perimeter of the cabin using pretzel sticks.

No unit on the First Thanksgiving would be complete with building the Mayflower.

Complete with pilgrims from the Hundred Acre Woods

We played Great States Jr. Pretty easy, but a good review of where the states are and a famous landmark in each state.


With Fall in full array, we took advantage of the weather to go a unit on seasons and why leaves change colors.

We made Fall Faces.

Sorted Leaves

Painted and Stamped Leaves

At SharkMan's suggestion - painted with twigs.

We even made a Fall Leaf Hat.

Just For Fun

We took our monthly field trip to the art museum. This month we looked at costumes in art and then made a costume vest.

SharkMan loved riding his bike this Fall. He's getting fast too.
Still loves to build.

SharkMan and SharkMom painted some pottery and Christmas ornaments. I have to keep some hand prints around.
Painting a Fall Tree
SharkMan is growing so fast! I am so blessed to get to spend all of these wonderful moments with him!

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