Friday, February 24, 2017

Term One: Week Four ~ Letter Mm

A bit of a mixed bag week... some things worked really well, others need a bit of tweaking. We're still waiting to get some textbooks (on back order at the bookstore) so it won't quite feel like "real" school until we're doing our full schedule and workload. But we're making the most of what resources we have, and enjoying ourselves as we go.

The Munchkin and I enjoyed some fun, general, alphabet activities... including this puzzle... which is actually WAY too easy for him.  I'm going to have to come up with a sneaky way to pass these on to a friend. 

I found this great book at the library and thought it would be fun to incorporate folding the animals that correlate with our Letter of the Week. So we gave frogs a go, even though it was Mm week this week, and I like how they turned out even if we had some problems. We did realize that the origami paper I bought is too small so we'll try some more when I find some bigger paper.  Also, even the easy projects in here are too hard for Munchkin. 

Both boys spent time this week writing thank you letters. Both boys worked on the last of their Christmas letters while Monster got started on birthday thank you notes. 

Just for kicks one day (and because we're waiting on math textbooks still) I had the two older boys work through a practice math test from the standardized state wide test (NAPLAN). I only had a Year 5 (5th grade) practice book, but decided to give it to them anyway.  It proved to me what I had already heard through the grapevine... the maths test actually tests your English skills more than your math skills.  If you have good comprehension skills you will likely still score well on the maths component of the test whether or not you understand the maths concepts.

Monster scored highly on the test (which I expected since he is a year ahead of the test) but the questions he did miss, were wrong not because he misunderstood the maths concept, but because he misunderstood the wording of the question.  In contrast, Monkey, who is a full three years behind the test (because he has yet to do any Year 3 maths) scored just over 50% on the test!  His comprehension skills are incredibly high and it showed tremendously during this test.

It seems to me, if you are giving a standardized test to someone you should be testing the skills that the test actually tests, comprehension is important, but a maths test should test maths skills!! 

While the older boys were working at the table working on their test and some other work, Munchkin sat in the lounge room pasting pictures in a scrapbook to match his letter of the week. 

On Thursdays we have a co-op day with another family that lives a 10 minute walk away from our house.  Together we are studying history (Ancient Rome), enjoying some science demonstrations, and Latin.  So far it is working well and we are enjoying the time together. 

Munchkin put a lot of effort and concentration into his Mm handwriting pages. I am thankful there are review weeks worked into his Letter of the Week program.  Sometimes we are able to do a lot of activities and other weeks, like this one, time got away from us!! 

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