Friday, January 9, 2015

Brain Dump - Monster

I am starting the planning process for our new school year NOW since the first week of school is right around the corner (27th January) and I'm struggling to keep all the thoughts that are bouncing around in my head in order, so I've decided to "dump" them all into a blog post and hopefully I can organize them better from there.  This will probably be the first of many "versions" of this post and so rather than repeat it in several separate blog posts I will add a different colour each time I add more information.  Thus tonight I start in black... also I will have separate lists for each of the three boys!!


Monster: 9 years old - Year 4 / 4th Grade

Maths Plus Year 4 textbook
Maths Plus Year 5 textbook
  • I hope to fast track Monster through a bit of his maths this year as he has expressed boredom
  • I want to make Logic Puzzles and Brain Teasers a more prominent part of our maths learning
  • We will do 5 minute speed tests of addition and subtraction and perhaps multiplication as well
  • I would like Monster to utilize Khan Academy more this year
  • I am hoping to find some living books about mathematics in the library

Spelling - 
  • I have sourced 40 Year 4 spelling lists from an Australian spelling website
  • I hope to continue to use Spelling City website for practice
  • We will continue with oral daily quizzes and written tests on Fridays
Reading -
  • We have a Reading Eggs subscription that expires end of May 2015
  • I will expect 30 minutes of silent reading to be done daily
  • I will encourage Monster to begin reading aloud in small doses - by reading to his brothers
  • Monster will participate in the Premier's Reading Challenge
  • I will continue to read aloud to Monster daily
  • Read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl and watch both DVDs
  • Read "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White and watch both DVDs
Writing - 
  • I have purchased the IEW Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVDs and Workbook
  • I will have Monster writing (even if only one sentence) EVERY SINGLE DAY
  • We will do picture writing
  • I will have him write short, non-fiction paragraphs about some of the topics he will be studying this year to show knowledge/mastery of the information.
  • I may have him write alliterations to go with the Alphabet plans for Munchkin and Monkey
  • He will continue to write letters to his pen pals - goal of one letter to each per term
  • I would also like him to write to his grandparents - goal of one letter to each per term
  • I would like him to start doing the "writing" for his blog (in the form of typing)
Handwriting - 
  • I will continue to use the Foundations Handwriting textbook as Monster likes it
  • We will use the Year 3 textbook which will begin cursive handwriting
  • Monster will continue to do Handwriting twice a week
Grammar - 
  • I will begin to introduce basic Grammar and expect Monster to practice every day.
Science and Technology:

Science - (Earth Science)
  • Learn about the Earth's rotation and tilt on its axis and its effect on day/night, tides, temperatures and season
  • Use appropriate tools and equipment to collect and record data about weather changes (access BOM website to view and record high and low daily temperatures and daily rainfall - record finding in science notebook)
Read the following books:
"Seasons in Australia - Spring" by Greg Pyers
"Seasons in Australia - Summer" by Greg Pyers
"Seasons in Australia - Autumn" by Greg Pyers
"Seasons in Australia - Winter" by Greg Pyers
  • Investigate how the weather changes affect the Indigenous seasons (eg. dry season)
  • Learn and study about the seasonal changes in Darwin, NT as compared to Sydney, NSW
Read the following books:
"Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo" by Alison Lester

Science - (Living Things)
  • Plants Unit Study - with a focus on Carnivorous Plants
  • Investigate a life cycle (plant some flowers) and observe and record first hand the stages of its life cycle in his science notebook
  • Do the "seed in a Coke bottle" experiment so we can actually see the seed sprout and begin to grow - observe and record his observations in his science notebook
  • Investigate and discuss the role of living things in our habitat (plants, microbes, etc)
  • Watch and discuss and David Attenborough specials on TV or DVDs from library
  • Plan excursion to The Royal Botanical Gardens and specifically visit the Greenhouse in search of carnivorous plants
Borrow David Attenborough DVD on Plants from the library
Read the following books:
"Flowering Plants" by Rob Colson

Science - (Physical World)

Investigate and Conduct Experiments Dealing with the Following Concepts
  • Heat
  • States of Matter (solid, liquid, gas)
  • Forces (movement, gravity, friction)
  • Magnetic Attraction
Technology - (Information/Computer)
  • Continue to maintain his personal blog
  • Continue to use his point and shoot camera to take pictures for his blog
  • Begin to use editing program to edit his own photos for his blog
Humans Society and Its Environment:

History and Geography - 

Use literature to learn about and discuss British Colonization of Australia

Read the following Non-Fiction Information books:
"Australia's Explorers" by Jennifer Russell
"First Australians The Story of Indigenous Australia" by Karin Cox
"Convicts in Australia A Workforce of Prisoners" by Angela Crocombe
"Australian Convicts from the First Fleet to the End of Transportation" by Jill B. Bruce
"Child Convicts" by Net Brennan
"The First Fleet How and Why it Happened" by Kenneth Muir (Australian Geographic History)
"Strangers in the Land The Coming of the Europeans" by Joseph Harding (Australian Geographic History)
"Life in Colonial Australia From First Fleet to Federation" by Kerry Davies (Australian Geographic History)

Use literature to learn about and discuss Australian Geography and History
"Australia the Land" A Bobbie Kalman Book
"Australia the People" A Bobbie Kalman Book
"My Place" by Nadia Wheatley

Begin Reading Jackie French's Animal Series Books
Begin Reading Our Australian Girl Books

Use the Australian Book Traveller Curriculum
Watch "My Place" DVDs

Cultures - 

Environments - 
  • Research and learn about the different environments within Australia (desert, rainforest, beach, bush, wetlands, mountains, tropics) by looking at the different weather that occurs in these environments as well as the animals that depend on this environment.
  • Learn how people can care for these environments and the animals that live there.
Social Systems and Structures - 
  • Research about the local council and the resource systems that they provide such as garbage, sewage, water and other systems that the communities need.
  • Learn about the decision making processes to elect and work in the local government
  • Look at what the roles and responsibilities of citizens are in the local government such as structure and elections of location councils and other community groups (eg Scouts)
  • Research information about process of local products (eg fruit and veg at grocery store) that is grown and changed to become a product for the community such as wool, oilseeds, cotton, rice, mineral ores, timber and/or food crops
Creative Arts:

Visual Arts - 
  • Artist Study - choose an artist and complete a full artist study
  • Make art work by using different techniques and using a wide range of materials (paint, crayon, water colour, oils, pastels, chalk, etc) and different tools (paint brushes, sticks, sponges, etc)
  • Look at different ways you can explore tone, shade, line, shape and texture
  • Visit art galleries and museums to read/talk/write about different artists and artworks

Music -

  • Composer Study - choose a composer and complete a full composer study about them 
  • Listen to music from selected composer
  • Listen to a wide range of music types such as jazz, pop, rock, classical, etc
  • Sing a wide range of songs
  • Learn about and explore different musical concepts such as pitch, tone, structure, duration, dynamics
  • Use different materials (found objects, instruments, body percussion, environmental sounds) to learn about beat and rhythm
Drama/Dance - 
  • Move his body to a variety of different music/rhythms
  • watch a DVD recording of a dance performance - The Nutcracker
  • attend a dance performance and/or drama performance during the year
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Weekly attendance of home school group
  • Weekly attendance of Sunday school
  • Daily outdoor exercise for a minimum of one hour (indoor option during bad weather)
  • Ride scooter
  • Learn how to ride a bike
  • Learn about the different ways you can make healthy food choices - plan and cook a healthy meal for the family
  • Personal Development and Changes - discuss the changes that are taking place (growing taller) and how your body is changing as you are getting older.
Other Activities: (determine what KLAs they fit under)
  • Learn some new board games - Chess, Cluedo, etc
  • Use Lego Creationary set on a regular basis
  • Continue to work on jigsaw puzzles

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