Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Notes -- Year 1

Paddy invented a reading/sentence awareness game, or rather revised one to be more fun.

The charter school is having him work on whether something is a sentence or not a sentence, a concept rather difficult to get across to most 6 year olds. I've tried before with my older kids! The method was a worksheet where you could cut out pieces of two easy sentences and assemble them like a sort of puzzle. That way you can talk about the parts you need to make a sentence whole.

Paddy assembled the sentences easily but then he started looking around for more things to do with the paper slips. He came up with the idea of writing more sentence bits on cards. He dictated them to me and I wrote them in pieces on index cards. He ended up with a short story something like the following, using the given names from the worksheet:

Dan got injured.
The ambulance came fast.
Kim ran to help.

This reminds me of how John Holt said that children, like all humans, never want to be the "object" of some educational endeavour. They want to control the process themselves.

Anyway, I thought this might be a good approach for some language building for him and Aidan in future..... building short stories then cutting them out to reassemble. It might be good for Aidan's sequencing.

I found a couple of online quizzes to help with the sentence awareness:

Also, here are two games on identifying continents:

I've been reading ED Hirsch's Cultural Literacy since I guess that was the idea upon which the K12 was based. So I'll probably be blogging about that in bits and pieces.

Steph commented that I was always going to be a DIYer whether or not I was using a set curriculum and I think that is very true! One of the things I hated about a "set curriculum" which I used my first two years of homeschooling was that the kids never really got the concepts down thoroughly because the material was so sketchy and moved so quickly through the new ideas. One day you would cover "what is a sentence", the next day "types of sentences" and so on. It was a recipe for frustration and shallowness because the kids basically had to figure out what was being asked and comply with the mechanics of it, rather than understanding the truth within themselves, so to speak.

This program is more usable than the one I used back then because there are quite a lot of manipulatives to back up the concept being presented, and you have the option of skipping the assessments and doing them later when understanding has sunk in better. But being a DIYer I find myself looking for ways to supplement and reinforce the material that will suit my particular Year 1 child.

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