Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Couple of Reading Resources

In one of my last posts, I talked about what I planned on doing to help my DD along with reading. We've decided to spend a lot of time on vocab, and since she's reading above level, the biggest challenge has been understanding some of the text that's above the 5th grade reading level. Her gaining access to understanding is dependent on her becoming familiar with otherwise unfamiliar words. So I've decided that we're going to read and read and keep reading. In her reading when she encounters a word she isn't sure about she is to log that word.

I've created two logs as resources. One is for logging the books read, and the other is for logging vocabulary words encountered in those books. During her 30 minute reading, she's to log the words, and at a later time, she is to go back through the book and use context clues toward word meaning. Her instructions are to try to use the clues while reading, but writing them down at that point would take too much time away from reading.

Info on our featured book for the next couple of days, along with it's lesson plan, can be found below. Below, you will also find vocabulary and reading logs.These logs are two pages each. In case you need more sheets for the month (and you'll definitely need them for vocabulary), please print more of the last page of each document to suit your needs.

CLICK for Daily Reading Log CLICK for Vocabulary Reading Log
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Reading Level: 5.5
About: The lives of ten amazing African-American women are included in this book about the search for human rights in America. From Harriet Tubman leading slaves along the Underground Railroad to Shirley Chisholm running for the Democratic Party's presidential candidacy, the inspirational acts of African-American women are celebrated.
Lesson Resource Link: Here

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Black History Lessons

Basically our Black History has been reading books and discussing. Hopefully we'll have time to do more. If you're looking for books to read, then there are 8 on my previous post. Meanwhile, I wanted to share two lessons I found that correspond to two books we've read. I'll update as I find more. Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
Link to lesson plan.
Link to lesson plan.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Last Couple of Weeks In Review

Since Christmas break, we really haven't been able to get into a groove. We've had tons of frustrating moments, and we've just haven't gotten a lot done. To add to the fire, I'm trying to learn a couple computer languages, leaving less time for lesson planning. Since we're not in our house, we don't have dedicated space like before. We use our bedroom. Thankfully, I decided to change venues, making a break to the living room. Instead of just starting a lesson, I went back to how we did in kindergarten with something similar to a circle time. It was funny because she wanted to sing all our old circle time songs. The change of setting really prepared her for learning. When it's warmer, I may take her to the park a few times a week to do lessons there.

Here are some of the things we've done in the last couple of weeks. Don't judge! We run homeschool in the afternoons and on weekends, basically whenever we can. I'm looking forward to Valentine's Day. There will be no school on that day. That'll give us time to catch up on lessons, and I can actually do a deep condition on that hair of hers.


This week we worked on making change. We used post-its to put prices on random items. Using real coins, we counted up from the amount charged using pennies until we got to a multiple of 5¢ or 10¢. Then we would used the appropriate coin(s) to get the original amount given by payee.

In addition, reviewed mentally adding double digits and +8 and +9 rules (+8,+9 video coming soon). I really want to concentrate on mental math, but like anything it takes lots of review and practice, practice, practice.


We're supposed to be ending our unit (which began at the beginning of the school year) in personal narratives (See Our Forray Into The Personal Narrative). She's been wanting to write fiction since the beginning. I'm getting ready to move on, but now she wants to write a book about her recent experiences. This week we began chapter one which is about two manuscript pages. For the first time, they don't include any drawings, and I like it better that way. My "bad mommy" thoughts are that I hope she has forgotten or that we can divert her attention and write a book of fiction. We need to move on from this never ending personal narrative unit. Maybe we'll do both. Who knows!



We haven't done a lot on reading, and honestly, I don't think she's improved that much. Her teacher says it's because she's already so advanced, but for me, I do believe that she should be a year ahead of where she placed at the beginning of the year (5th grade 3rd month). She's just now begun to start reading books at school at the grade level she tested in at the beginning of the year. The only thing that I think would keep her from reading higher would be vocabulary. Her vocabulary is already kind of cool for a 1st grader. I often giggle when she uses words like putrid or abhor. They're not big words, per se. They're just words you don't hear that often from someone her age. She's getting some of the words from her gifted class, but the great thing about it, is that she's actually using these words. I learned the words just for tests, but she's figuring out a way to use them in daily life.

My reading plan of attack is two fold. First we'll concentrate on vocabulary. I'll present more words, reward her for using them, remind her to use them, and use them myself. We already have a notebook to write down new words, but just haven't used it that much. We'll try to do a word daily and then add these words to her spelling lists. When the word is first introduced, it'll be her job to figure out the pronunciation. Then she'll have to write sentences using the word.

Secondly, we'll institute a timed reading session everyday- thirty minutes on weekdays and two thirty minute sessions on weekends if time permits. Our library day is Thursday. I'll pick out books at our local library. She'll pick out a book daily at her school library. Some of the books we're reading are above.


Same beat as here, Non-Drumma Momma.


Bridges and handstands.

Black History

For music and black history, we've been learning "Lift Every Voice." She loves the tune. In addition we've been reading about African civilizations and important figures in African American history. Next week, I plan on using lessons from Jawanza Kunjufu's Lessons in History: A Celebration of Blackness.


Finding Subject/ Verb, Linking Verb vs. Action Verbs, Adjectives. You can find the first part of our lesson, here.