This is the end of the first semester! How are you feeling? Ready for a break? Ready for the holidays? Don’t worry though, I have plenty of fun to finish off the year in this week’s post, so read on!
Religion/ Math/ Language Arts
- Pull out your Saint Funpack about Mother Rose Duchesne. Complete the activities for Week 12.
- Use different color highlighters to help identify the different forms of prayers in prayers you say everyday. Write down your own favorite prayers, or use this printable that has the Our Father, Sanctus, before meal and after meal prayers. I threw in a couple handwriting practice sheets of these prayers just for extra fun!
- This week students learn about volume. There are more objects in your house that are rectangular solids than you might think. Pull out your shoe boxes, hamburger helper boxes (or anything else in your pantry), and building blocks to measure and calculate volume. Who still has a pack-n-play around? Those are two different volumes depending on whether they’re set up or collapsed/packed. What else can you think of that is a rectangular solid in your house? Share with others in the comments at the bottom.
- Yay! I love interjections! Can you tell? Here’s a fun group activity. Give each of your students a sign/paper with an interjection on it (Hey! Wow! Ouch! Yes! No! Awesome! Help! Hurray! Oh! Yay! Oh No! etc). Write a sentence on the board and have your students take turns standing at the beginning of the sentence with their interjection. How does the interjection change the mood and meaning of the sentence? (sentence example: We are learning about interjections today. It could be “Yay! We are learning about interjections today.” or “Oh No! We are learning about interjections today.” Which describes your class?) Have fun, and let your students come up with some sentences and interjections of their own.
- Have some Beethoven on in the background as you set up your nativity set this year and decorate for Christmas!
- Repeat the exercise from Week 6 and focus on Beethoven’s 5th symphony this time. Play Beethoven’s symphony through once just to listen. Then play it through again, ready to pause when you hear a good example of a change in one of these musical characteristics:
Timbre (pronounced TAM-ber)- The difference in sound between two instruments playing the same note at the same loudness. (ie how a guitar sounds different from a piano) Listen to the sounds of various instruments. Name the instruments you hear during different parts of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
Tempo– The speed or rate of the music. Is it fast or slow? Does it have some fast parts and some slow parts? How does the tempo add to the interest of the piece? Would it be as enjoyable to listen to if it all had the same pace?
Dynamics – The loudness or softness of the music. Is it loud or soft? Does it get loud suddenly or gradually? How does the change in loudness affect the way the music sounds to you? Do you expect the changes or are they surprises?
- Either have a discussion (for the little ones), or have your students write a paper using these terms. How do these aspects of music affect the mood of the piece? Now that you’ve thought about them individually do you have more appreciation for the musical piece? Does it change the way it makes you feel when you listen to it, or what it makes you think about?
- Practice your speech giving skills using the Gettysburg Address. Have your students give the Gettysburg Address to the rest of the family. Then have a discussion about what it meant. (It’s already written for you on the History Cards!)
- You could also use the Gettysburg address to review the language arts topics from this quarter. Underline the nouns, circle the adjectives, highlight the conjunctions, draw a box around adverbs.
- DK Eyewitness Books has a good one on Cowboys, appropriately named “Cowboys.” It is not a ‘story’ book but more of an informational book with great pictures and captions. Each page has a different topic that pertains to the cowboy life. I love these because I can read out loud one or two pages since each page is a self contained topic.
- Kids, er, I mean students, love dressing up as cowboys. Embrace the dress up and playtime this week, and have them do ‘real’ cowboy work. If they are going to play cowboys, make them use cowboy interjections “YeeeHaw!!” Have your cowboys herd their stuffed animals, learn how to lasso (on the stuffed animals, not each other), eat bacon, beans and bread for your meal. Finish up your day around a pretend campfire and sing some cowboy songs like “Home on the range.” (the lyrics are on the back of the History cards!)
- Discuss the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. How did they change the United States? Now relate the time period to your students with the following discussion questions: Have you ever experienced a change in rules at home? (For example, maybe you have a baby and now Legos are not allowed on the floor. Or the family gets new carpet and there’s no eating in the living room. I’m sure you can think of something!) How easy is it for you (or your students) when the rules change? How do you feel about it? How do you think the rule changer (Mom/Dad/Grandma) feels about the new rule?
- Snap along with the history music this week:
- Check out the New England States Lapbook Part 2!
- Print out these CSH States and Capital cards on cardstock. Play the matching game or a variation of go fish with these cards. (Print 2 sided!) Or just use them like flash cards to quiz your students!
- How many paper quilt squares did your family manage to make? Use some packing tape and tape them all together to make your paper quilt. We hung ours on the wall in the school room; it certainly adds a lot of color to the room!
Here’s our family’s 3 x 3 paper quilt hung above our All About Reading Posters.
- Hurricanes are a form of extreme weather your students can learn about this week. Have your students find a hurricane or tropical depression with their name. If there is not a hurricane with their name, choose a famous one that has affected the US within the past few years (Katrina, Rita, Floyd, Harvey or Irma etc) Then write a report about the storm on your own paper or use this printable:
- If you have blue paper, glue and cotton balls, you can make an easy and fun Hurricane craft. Have your students draw a small circle in pencil in the middle of your paper (or where ever they manage to draw a circle). Explain that is the “eye” of the hurricane and there are no winds, clouds or rain there. It’s eerily calm in the Eye. Now use your glue to go around the eye, and then make some curves extending from the eye in a counter clockwise direction (think big C’s that come off the eye, swirling around). Have your students pull apart some cotton balls and stick down to the glue swirls. Write some information about Hurricanes, draw a path, or land nearby, or leave as is for the youngest ones.
- Check out this book called Barn Storm by Charles Ghinga for your early readers (1st-2nd graders). I usually pick harder books to recommend, but this one is a cute one for your ‘just learning to read’ students that goes with our week on extreme weather.
As always, thanks for reading!
During the Holidays: Don’t let all this great information leak out of your little one’s heads. Choose one topic a day to review, even while you’re on break. Pull out some of your insect reports, brochures, or new paper articles and put them under your clear table cloth to re-read during meals. Switch places at the table during each meal so everyone gets a chance to look at a different piece of work!