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Friday, August 12, 2011

What we are learning -Week 2 America Unit Study

We finished reading Pedro's Journal this week. The kids really liked it, and it feels good to have finished. They also did a draw/write page on Pedro's Journal, telling what happened in the beginning, middle and end. You can see that here.

History/Reading/Writing and Literature

Both kids did a report on an explorer. Peyton did a full page report on Ferdinand Magellan and Lexi did a half page report on Jacques Cartier. It was good practice, but I must say they really were not prepared for this much writing so soon into the unit. (Nor was I.) We just took it step by step. I had Peyton jot down 4 sentences about the explorer on Tuesday. Then he added supporting sentences to 2 paragraphs on Wednesday and 2 more on Thursday. He writes really big and double spaced it all, so his 4 paragraph report turned into a 4 page report. (Well it looks impressive.) I was proud of them both, it wasn't an easy task and they both worked hard on it.

We updated our timeline to include events and people we read about this week.

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We added some words to our Illustrated Geography Dictionary. Bay, Peninsula, and Sea. As we learn these terms we will add them each week.

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In Grammar we learned about commas. The kids took dictation one day. This didn't prove to be too good for dd, the process frustrated her. She had never done it before. I got some advice from friends and they said it is best to have them copy first, then dictate after they have copied it a couple times.

I really like the grammar in this unit, but I have decided to switch over to Queens Language Lessons. Before I found this unit study, I was already pretty set on getting Queens. After I got the unit study, I saw that grammar was already covered, and I think she did a really great job in the scope covered. I think Peyton would do good with it as is, but Dd needs much more direction, and I want her to be able to work more independently. I think she needs much more copywork, and I really did not want to have to plan, and pull this out of the existing unit. I may add in some of the grammar lessons that I feel would add to what they are doing, and not be too tedious. Since I felt Dd needed Queens, I just felt it would be best to put them both in it. There is a clear path to continue on in it, so I don't have to be concerned with where to go once we finish the unit study. My primary purpose in the unit study was getting history and science both covered. (Which it does.)

In Science we learned about ocean depths, trenches, and ocean pressure. We watched this video on the ocean bottom. And this experiment on water pressure.

Nature Studies- We did a "What do I see" scavenger hunt. Both kids listed 36 things they saw in nature.

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In Math Lexi worked on simple multiplication facts, and Peyton worked on finding the mode, median and means. We reserved 1 day for dice math and the number sense video.