Saturday, November 15, 2014

"M week" -Moon, Marshmallows, and More

As we thought of more "M words" in the week we added just a bit to the part on the right.  "Map making men roasting marshmallows and meat in the meadow with a monkey for money."  M is definitely the easiest letter when coming up with an object that looks like and starts with the letter in question.

As always, I search for pictures online of real things or in the alphabet books that we have to give me ideas of what to put on the chalk board.  I change them a bit, but it helps a lot to look at pictures of mountains before trying to create them.

And of course, if the object I want to add into the picture is hard to put in I just do the hand holding the item.  I find this funny, but I don't know if anyone else would get my sense of humor.
 I really like doing a letter a week because I can use the same frame work for all three girls, but then focus specifically on their level of learning.  With the oldest we can talk about words and concepts and go more deeply into thinking about all the things that start with that letter.  She loves to do the chalk board and see what I come up with too.  Then with the little one I can simply talk about the alphabet and just that one letter of the week.  We talk about colors and she listens to the stories we read.  The middle child joins the youngest some and the oldest some and we still do their work-boxes and practice their reading.  It's been a great way for me to feel organized with a structure to it all in a creative way instead of just feeling like we are doing the same work books over and over.  My oldest especially likes this creative "unit" project based approach, and the middle one is a bit more ready for another workbook I think.  ;)
My girls chalk board designs.  The oldest did the one on the top, the 6 year old did the middle one and the 3 year old did the one on the bottom.  I made the "M" over her magical looking colorful clouds of chalk design so we decided that "Magic" would be a good description for her picture.

My "Jamberry" test with the chalk.  I use chalk made for paper so it's a richer colored, softer, kind that stains the wall if I'm not careful!  I wondered if it would mess up my jams, but nope!

 We did this a few years ago "Doodle on the moon" is a free printable and the girls had lots of fun with it again.

What would "M week" be without "Marshmallow Math" time?  I didn't get a picture of the 3 year olds, but she was even doing pretty good with making shapes.  She was especially delighted with her triangle.  The 8 year old created a dodecahedron (a 20 sided figure!)

On a different day we did some Math with M&Ms and the girls voted it their favorite project.  Actually, specifically, subtraction was their favorite part of this learning time.  We used a graph, we counted, we divided, we multiplied, we subtracted, and we mostly did it in real life while I showed them what it would look like if we wrote the "problems" down using the "language" of math.  Really trying to emphasize the concrete world before teaching them how to use math formulas and the language of math in general.  I'm seeing some "clicking" moments with my oldest and don't doubt that all this will come easier to her later because we've started learning math in this way.

The 3 year old counting.
My oldest wanted to make a stocking for her cat.  So, we broke out the fabric and she did it!

And it turned out great!  I pinned it for her, but she sewed the strips and it all together so well on her own.  How many 8 year olds do you know who are doing things like this or this well?

Mac and cheese while watching a "Wild Kratts" about Monkeys or something.  ;)

One day we focused mostly on Music.  I've had this cd for a long time and never got around to putting it on.  The coloring book that came with it was all voted off the island, so we did something else.

As the girls listened to the music and the different instruments they came up with sounds and patterns that they thought the sounds would look like.  The 3 year old is "dancing" her two hands holding the pastels to create her art.  My oldest ended up creating a "music book" with a picture of herself on the cover playing a violin (because she said that's what she wants to learn to play) and each page was a different color according to what sound it was representing.  When I say she made a book I mean that she actually sewed the binding of it all on her own and everything.  It was neat to see what they all came up with.

The 6 year old's drawings of how the music sounds "look."

Friday we bought gluten free oreos and chewed them into the shapes of the phases of the moon.

The chewing was a favorite part of this, but the whole time we listened to "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven and watched the moon's phases.  I then played that song on the piano while the girls all danced to it.

Ta da!

They actually got a little sick of eating these so when the Daddy came home he enjoyed a little pre-dinner snack of left overs

You can see my computer in the background showing the moon video which you can find here Movie with the Moon

I found this online and printed out 3 of them to use with our cookies.

My oldest said she already knew what some of the phases of the moon were called.  How do you know that I ask?  Oh, she learned it from the Tangled tag reader book.  Well, there you go.  ;)

A book we bought this week was a favorite as well.  About a Moose who has a pretty magnificent "Moosetache"and it's about decorating and getting ready for Christmas so it seemed to fit.  I'm trying to decide when I want to decorate and am thinking I need to do a purge to make room for decorations!  It's feeling cluttery and crowded in here as always.
Product Details"Mooseltoe"

I'm almost done making our little "math gnomes" which is a fun way to introduce the four processes to children (waldorf style) so we'll have a bit more of "m week" at the beginning of next week too and I'm still reading through some of our stories that I'd gathered from the library and from what books I had already.

math gnome story 

 The girls have been enjoying the stories from this book "Tell me a Story" Product Details
And it's a good example of a compilation that you can find and just look through to get a bunch of stories that have words in the title that start with the letter of the week idea.  I went through it and sticky-noted all the ones that seemed interesting that went along with the week.  There are a few stories in this book that I probably won't read to my girls, but for the most part I like it.  The language is rich and they are quite imaginative.  I've always loved fairy tales for this reason.  They don't have to make sense always, but the great thing about them is how they are surprising and interesting.

My oldest still has a "movie making" kit that her Daddy got her, but they haven't done that together yet.  It's for a clay-mation sort of idea. 

"M week" was fun and we'll add a few more days of it onto this.

Then "N" for "nothing" week.  Yeah, you really want to know what that's all about now don't you.  ;)

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