Saturday, July 21, 2018

Term Two Evaluation: Monster


Reading ~
* You can see from my Weekly Review posts that we read (aloud and independently) a LOT.
* A book list is included in Monster's portfolio with all the books he reads each term.

Writing ~
We still use and LOVE the following curriculum
Institute for Excellence in Writing Program
Teaching Writing: Structure and Style

In Term Two Monster wrote eight paragraphs on the following topics: The Shang Dynasty Use of Bronze, How Animals Use Earth's Magnetic Field, Sanderlings, Eastern Curlew, Static Electricity, and Landforms.

I cannot say enough good things about the IEW program. It is truly worth its weight in gold. Along with improving the boys writing skills, it is a quick and easy way for them to show their learning in a variety of subjects without having to complete stacks of boring worksheets.

Spelling ~
We continue with Ozspeller lists that I source online.
Monster is working through the Advanced lists.

Handwriting ~
Foundation Handwriting Yr 6

Grammar ~
This year we are using Junior Analytical Grammar
Term Two we worked through units five, six and seven: subject & verb, adverbs, and sentence pattern 1 & 2


Cambridge Year 8 textbook.
We completed chapters three and four covering the following topics:
Length and perimeter, Circumference of circles, Area, Area of special quadrilaterals, Area of Circles, Area of sectors and composite figures, Surface area of prisms, Volume and capacity, Volume of prisms and cylinders, Time, Introducing Pythagoras' theorem, Using Pythagoras' theorem, Calculating the length of a shorter side, Equivalent fractions, Computation with fractions, Decimal place value and fraction/decimal conversions, Computation with decimals, Terminating decimals, recurring decimals and rounding, Converting fractions, decimals and percentages, Finding a percentage and expressing as a percentage, Decreasing and increasing by a percentage, The Goods and Services Tax (GST), Calculating percentage change, profit and loss, Solving percentage problems with the unitary method and equations
We also completed pre-tests and chapter summaries for each chapter.


We did a unit study on electricity and magnets this term. Below are all the science books we read (either aloud of independently) during Term Two:

"Magnets and Electromagnetism" by Alfred Smuskiewicz
"A Look at Magnets" by Barbara Alpert
"Electricity and Electrical Circuits" by Sally Morgan
"Making a Circuit"
"Circuits and Conductors" by Louise and Richard Spilsbury
"Benjamin Franklin" by Scholastic
"Electric Ben" by Robert Byrd

"Migration" by Kimberly Jane Pryor
"Epic Animal Migrations" by Camilla De La Bedoyere
(This was a rabbit hole we followed after learning that some animals use the earth's magnetic fields to navigate their migrations.)

We finished our unit about Human Reproduction.
We finished reading:
"Puberty Boy" by Geoff Price


For Term Two we continued our in-depth study of Ancient China
We read the following books as part of our unit study:

"Two Enchanted Tales From Old China" by Gabrielle Wang
"Shang Dynasty"
"Chinese Myths and Legends"
"The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China" by History Detectives
"Shang Dynasty China" by Great Civilizations
"Traditional Stores From China" by Saviour Pirotta

** We are still working through the adult non-fiction book about Confucius, so our Ancient China unit study will have to stretch into Term 3 just a little bit. However, we still intend to start looking at our next unit study, which is Medieval Europe and the Plague**

History is one of Monster's (and mine as well) favourite subjects, so we read LOTS of other history books along the way besides just what is part of our planned unit studies.

Every year we do an extensive read aloud focused around ANZAC Day so the following books are what we read this year. Each year I try to find new books to add to what we already know and love. This year we found some wonderful new books.
"Lest We Forget" by Kerry Brown
"Simpson and His Donkey" by Mark Greenwood
"A Day to Remember" by Jackie French
"Why Are They Marching, Daddy?"
"Grandad's Medals" by Tracy Duncan
"Forward March" by Christobel Mattingley
"Bessie's War" by Krista Bell
"ANZAC Cottage: The House That Was Built in a Day" by Valerie Everett
"Meet the ANZACS" by Claire Saxby
"Digger" by Mike Dumbleton (a new book - well loved - we read it numerous times)
"Do Not Forget Australia" by Sally Murphy
(in my humble opinion EVERY Australian should know this story)
"The Poppy" by Andrew Plant
(goes well together with the previous book - and should also be compulsory)
"ANZAC Animals" -
such fun to learn about ALL the various animals that played an important role in war times.

Additional ANZAC Day books that Monster read independently:
"One Minute's Silence" by David Metzenthen
"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle
"The Donkey Who Carried the Wounded" by Jackie French
"Memorial" by Gary Crew

Below are other history books we read on various topics:
"The Fascinating History of Your Lunch" by Jackie French
"The Roman Gladiators" by Louise Park
"A Long Walk to Water"
"Free Diving" by Lorrae Coffin
"The Spartan Hoplites" by Louise Park
"Sorry Day" by Coral Vass & Dub Leffler
"Voyage to Botany Bay" by Chrissie Michaels
"Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years" by Jackie French
"The Girl With No Name" by Pat Lowe


We continued our water unit through second term, going more in depth and in focus for Monster. We also began a new, in-depth unit study on landforms. Then, similarly to history, because we all LOVE Geography, we read LOTS of other geography themed books through the term. Below is the list of books read aloud and/or independently through Term 2:
(I'm including books in the list that were read specifically for Monkey's lessons, because 99.9% of the time Monster listens in)

"Malaysia" by Exploring Countries
"Culture in Malaysia" by Melanie Guile
"A Water Report - Natural Water" by Michael & Jane Pelusey
"Culture in Thailand" by Melanie Guile
"Horrible Geography - Monster Lakes" by Anita Ganeri
"A Water Report - Water Supply" by Michael & Jane Pelusey
"A Water Report - Water Use" by Michael & Jane Pelusey
"A Water Report - Water Conservation" by Michael & Jane Pelusey
"All About Thailand" by Elaine Russell
"A Water Report - Water Quality" by Michael & Jane Pelusey
"A Water Report - Recycled Water" by Michael & Jane Pelusey
"Islands" by Landforms
"Caves" by Landforms
"Mountains" by Landforms
"Caves" by Learning About Landforms
"Islands" by Learning About Landforms
"On the River" by Roland Harvey (a beautiful picture book about the Murray-Darling River system)
"Understanding Landforms" by Geography Skills


We got an unexpected bonus this term for Latin.
As the school year in America ended midway through our term, I was able to get some free curriculum through a homeschool website, through 31 August.  One of the free items was Visual Latin 1 & 2 for free.  We aren't certain this will expire at the end of August but in case it does, Monster has been working through the program as quickly as he can.  Again, it is completely independent.  He generally completes one full lesson per day, 3-4 days per week.  Each lesson comprises three videos, several worksheets, and a two page (50 question multiple choice) quiz. There are 30 lessons to complete in Visual Latin 1 and another 30 lessons to complete in Visual Latin 2, so this curriculum is more than sufficient for this year AND next year!!

We didn't get as much work done for this elective as we had hoped, but I'm still pleased with the work that we did complete. I read "Storm Boy" by Colin Thiele, aloud to Monster, then he read it independently so it would also count for his Premier's Reaching Challenge for the year.  Monster also continued writing IEW paragraphs about various water birds of NSW, including: Sanderlings and Curlews. These were more in-depth papers involving reading four different texts about the birds, doing research and taking notes on each resource, and then combining all the information in to a well written paper.

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