Friday, August 29, 2014

Five In A Row: Madeline

We read Madeline this week, which is about a little girl who lives in an old house in Paris with eleven other girls and one night she has to be rushed to the hospital to have her appendix removed.

Our calendar board and bookshelf this week...

This week was a super fun week, partially because I knew this book really well and partially because there's just a lot that can be done with it.  That and we had a very special field trip.  I was super excited for this week and had a lot of fun with both kids going through this unit.

Taking a "tour" through France of famous French landmarks...

We started off learning about France and French culture, then the Eiffel tower, then the human body, then language and food.  So fun!  We also had a special treat in that Grams joined us for school this week!  I was extra appreciative as she had taken French in school at one point and actually knew how to pronounce the words :)  (Mommy FOR SURE appreciated this!)

Coloring Eiffel Tower pictures with Grams...

All done!

Aside from having Grams join us, some other highlights of this week were…

We made yellow hats out of paper plates/bowls that looked like the ones the girls wore in the story:

Painting our hats yellow!

Read a book of first french words:
Learning French words with Grams!

A day of experimenting with French-style food including croissants with Nutella, vegetable soups with french bread and French Toast with eggs and bacon for dinner!

LadyBear loves Nutella...go figure :)

French lunch!

We learned about some of the different organs in our bodies and what they do...

Lungs, heart, liver, stomach, large and small intestines...

Working on a body book...

Our wearable human body complete with lungs that inflate/deflate and an esophagus with see-thru stomach!

But the biggest highlight by far this week was an ambulance tour with LittleBear's former Sunday School teacher and very generous friend Mr. J. :
Lots of ambulances!!!

Checking Daddy's vital signs!

LadyBear really liked the buckles...

LittleBear helping Mr. J. pull the stretcher out...

Turning the lights on!

Talking on the radio!

Asking questions...

That was a super fun field trip that we are most thankful we got to experience together!  We had a very thorough tour of every cabinet and storage space and learned a ton!  LittleBear is STILL talking about it, as you can imagine :)  Thank you so much, Mr. J.!!!!

We are thankful for a super fun week this week!

LittleBear's best coloring job ever!

Resources and printables I used for Madeline can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France on Youtube
The Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body episode from the library

Go Along Books we used for Madeline (* indicate the ones we especially liked for this unit):
* Madeline Says Merci: The Always-Be-Polite Book by John Bemelmans Marciano
* Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson
* My First French Book by Kingfisher Publishing

* Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body by Tish Rabe (Cat in the Hat Learning Library)
* The Usborne First Book of France by Louisa Somerville
* France in Pictures by Alison Behnke
* Ambulance by Christ Oxlade
* Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
*Another Trip Around the World by Leland Graham and Tracy Brandon
The Eiffel Tower by Christopher Ryan
France: Enchantment of the World by Liz Sonneborn
France: Enchanment of the World by Don Nardo
A Child's Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures and People by Heather Alexander
A First Atlas by Two-Can

Our story disk at home on our map...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

LittleBear's "Favorite Place" and LadyBear's Newest Favorite Activity

Today we were invited to a friends birthday party at FLIPS gym in Waco.  It was so fun!!

LittleBear cheering LadyBear on at the end of the balance beam...

It was LadyBear's first time and LittleBear's first time in a while going there, but he was so excited all week and kept saying this is his "favorite place."  He couldn't wait to show LadyBear all the fun things to do.

LittleBear getting a pep talk from one of the coaches...

There he goes!

Sadly, Momma is not the best at photographing high speed activities, but rest assured that even though the pictures are blurry, there was nothing but smiles from both kids. 

That little blur in the middle jumping into the foam block pit is LadyBear...

LadyBear's strength and determination helped her do everything the big kids were doing except for the long trampoline, which she wasn't quite old enough for. 

swinging over the foam block pit...

Here are two videos for your amusement...LadyBear did not want to come out of the foam block pit!


LittleBear being brave:

We are so very thankful for wonderful friends who give us opportunities like this.  Happy birthday, K!!  Thank you!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five In A Row: Lentil

This week we read a book that none of us had read before, but really enjoyed and that was Lentil.  Lentil is the story of a little boy who lives in Ohio and wants to make music but can't sing.  He decides instead to take up the harmonica.

Our calendar board/bookshelf...

As I said last week, the Five In A Row teacher's manual outlines lots of things you can do for each subject during the week and then there are printable packs and worksheets for free online that you can print off, which include maps, word searches, mazes, flags, graphs, copywork, etc.   We did less worksheets this week than we did last week, but we did more hands-on type things.  I think the book we are reading next week will go back to being more worksheet type activities (stay tuned!).  But, lest I get ahead of myself, we'll go one week at a time. 

LittleBear and LadyBear hard at work...

We read this Bible story and discussed the different gifts and talents that each person is given and talked about what we think ours are.  LittleBear then tried to learn how to play the harmonica, which he was super excited about. We also talked about the state of Ohio and America, in general.  We also learned a lot about our five senses this week and had lots of hands-on fun! 

He loved playing the harmonica!

Monday we talked about our sense of touch and looked at this fabric texture book I made for LadyBear (a baby gift for her that really came in handy!) and also played with a sensory bin of lentils!  Both kids loved the sensory bin and thankfully our vacuum took care of the stray lentils just fine :)  In fact, the sensory bin made several more appearances as the week went on.

Lentil sensory bin!

We took a day and talked about each of the other senses as well along with a "what is it?" activity that helped drive home the point about how all of our senses work.

What does LittleBear feel?

We also spent some time talking about our country, our military and what patriotism is.  I confess I have not taught him as well in this area as I should have, but hopefully this week helped him better understand who our armed forces are, what they do for us and why we love our country so much.

Working on a military art project...

Our field trip this week was to Baylor's campus, which is super familiar to the kids, but I wanted to show them something they might not have noticed before.  All around campus are these beautiful lampposts with plaques on them representing a Baylor student or alumnus who died while serving their country.

 One of the most recent plaques of a high-ranking officer killed in Iraq in 2003...
Recently a book called Soldiers of the Wooden Cross was published and it tells about each of these men and women.  We chose three out of the book (Evelyn Maureen Middleton, Merlin Shepherd Neff and Kim S. Orlando), read their story and found their lamppost on campus.

Reading about Merlin Shepherd Neff next to his lamppost...

If you have any connection to Baylor and have wondered about these lampposts in the past, please do yourself a favor and check this book out.  It has wonderful biographical information about each person and also lots of pictures of correspondence, medals, patches, vehicles, etc.  I definitely want to check it out again and go visit more lampposts!

We did take time to stop and smell the roses...

Both kids really enjoyed this book and I will certainly keep my eyes peeled for it at the used book store. 

LittleBear's finished project...

Resources and printables I used for Lentil can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
Star Spangled Banner video sung by Whitney Houston
She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes video
The Kim Wilson Blues All-Stars video

Go Along Books we used for Lentil:
Squeaky by Ashley Elizabeth Blair Tetzlaff (LadyBear LOVES this book and most others by this author)
You Are Special by Max Lucado
The Five Senses by Sally Hewitt
The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole (super detailed, but LittleBear liked it)
I Wonder Why Lemons Taste So Sour: And other questions about the senses by Deborah Chancellor
Look, Listen, Taste, Touch and Smell: Learning about your five senses by Pamela Hill Nettleton
We're Different, We're the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates
Ohio Facts and Symbols by Emily McAuliffe
Our 50 States by Lynne Cheney
H is for Honor by Devin Scillian
A Paper Hug by Stephanie Skolmoski
Memorial Day by Jacqueline S. Cotton
Veterans Day by Jacqueline S. Cotton
Veterans Day by Rebecca Rissman
Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden
America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney
The Wall by Eve Bunting
Soldiers of the Wooden Cross by Frank Jasek

Our story disk at home on our map...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five In A Row: The Story About Ping

Our three pairs of feet...this is how I love spending my days!

So we kicked off our Kindergarten year here at Crestwood Oaks Academy with The Story About Ping, which is all about a little yellow duck who lives on a boat that travels the Yangtze River in China. 

Our calendar board/bookshelf...

The Five In A Row teacher's manual outlines lots of things you can do for each subject during the week and then there are a ton of printable packs and worksheets for free online that you can print off, which include maps, word searches, mazes, flags, graphs, copywork, etc.  I won't show you everything we did because that would be a long post with a lot of pictures of worksheets (not so exciting if you weren't there).  However, I will tell you we did some of each along with our math, grammar and handwriting pages, and I think this week we struck the right balance for us (yay!). 

LadyBear looking for the duck in a tube of farm animals...

Some highlights of the week were... a science experiment on buoyancy and a rousing game of will it "Sink or Float?!"

Sink or float!??

We also watched a few videos, which I also believe there is a time and place for (though now if you ask LadyBear about China, she'll automatically announce that Big Bird was there...*sigh*).  We took two field trips for the week including getting lunch from our favorite Chinese restaurant (Magic China!), where we talked about rice (how it's grown, etc.) and in what ways our meals are similar/different.

Chinese food!!!!

We also fed ducks on the Brazos River underneath Waco's famous suspension bridge.  We had way more ducks than our last feeding adventure and even saw a momma Mallard with ducklings!  We talked about the different kinds of ducks we saw and watched them swim, heard them quack and talked about the river.

 feeding the ducks...lots of different kinds!  Momma is in the middle with her babies...

And lest you think I am "Pinterest Perfect," I will confess that one area I did let suffer was Art.  I am just not good at incorporating formal art projects into school, which makes me sad because I love the subject of art and think it's really important.  I had even planned what projects to do, but we ran out of time.  Since I knew this was a weakness of mine, we joined a Co-Op this fall which offers a pre-k/k art class that will meet once a week, which LittleBear will enjoy taking with his best friend E.  I am going to do my best to get the art projects in at home, but I'm not going to stress if they don't get done because we have this Co-Op class.  So there you have it...honesty :)

And yes, she has marker on her face...we don't forego art completely!

Both kids enjoyed this book quite a bit and we are thrilled to have already had this one in our library.  I'm sure we will continue to read it for years to come :)

our bookshelf this week of go along books

Resources and printables I used for The Story About Ping can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
Big Bird in China (Youtube)
Modern Marvels: The Great Wall of China (Netflix)

**NOTE** When I was researching books to supplement this unit, I had a really hard time finding a comprehensive list from anyone, so I'm going to put the list I compiled at the end of these posts in case it is helpful for someone else later.  If that's not you, then feel free to ignore it :)

Go Along Books we used for The Story About Ping:
The Five Chinese Brothers
Children Just Like Me (specifically, the pages talking about the girl from China)
The Magic Boat
A Grain of Rice
Little Pear
The Empty Pot by Demi
Usborne Beginners: China
We're From China
Ducks Don't Get Wet
The Yang Tze: China's Majestic River
Ms. Frizzles Adventures: Imperial China
D is for Dancing Dragon
The Ugly Duckling (a short version for LadyBear and a longer version for LittleBear)
The Fuzzy Duckling (a little Golden book for LadyBear)
My First Book of Chinese Words: An ABC rhyming book
Shanyi Goes to China (FYI- there are parts that refer to offerings to other gods and burning money for ancestors to use in the afterlife, which surprised me, but then gave me a good opportunity to talk about what we believe and how others don't always agree.)

A few that we tried to InterLibraryLoan, but didn't get:
Watch it Grow: Duck
Ducks Quack
Explore Asia
Children of Asia
Ling and the Magic Paintbrush by Demi
Young Fu of the Upper Yang Tze
The Year of the Panda (Schlein)
Good Times Travel Agency Adventures in Ancient China by Linda Bailey
The Great Wall of China by Leonard Everett Fisher
Little Pear and His Friends

LittleBear adding the story disk to our world map...