Friday, August 21, 2015

Whirlwind of activity

Wow. For some reason, DJ decided to take a tour of nearly everything on his shelves this week. Note that we are still NOT doing school in any formal sense of the word. But that doesn't seem to stop DJ.

Here is a list of all the activities he chose to do this week in no particular order:

M&D Pattern Blocks & Boards
Guidecraft Feel & Find shapes
Little Blue Truck Book
Knobbed & Knobless Cylinders
Golden Bead Subtraction
Sandpaper Numbers
Cards & Counters (1-10)
Sequencing Cards
Sandpaper Letters
Movable Alphabet
Touch Tablets w/ blindfold
Binomial Cube
Trinomial Cube
Zoology puzzles
Living/Nonliving cards
Rhyming Cards
Classification Cards (bathroom)
Parts of a Car (3-part cards)
Table washing
Making PB&J sandwiches

Whew. I don't have pictures of it all but here is what I do have:

The Little Blue Truck is one of DJ's favorite books particularly because it is so well suited to acting out with miniatures. All you need is a blue truck, a dump truck, some farm animals and a patch of mud (cut from brown paper). This week, we couldn't find DJ's blue truck so he agreed a grey van could stand in.

DJ played with his Guidecraft Feel & Find shapes and his Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards this week. He doesn't like to use the blindfold with the Feel & Find, but he still has fun matching the shapes to their 2D board. He also really enjoys his Pattern Boards. When he received it a year ago it frustrated him because the shapes wouldn't stay still as he placed new pieces but now he's a pro and likes to make his own patterns as much as matching to the prepared boards.

To my surprise, DJ pulled out the Cards & Counters this week. He mostly mastered this work last spring. You will notice he has the number 2 upside down. And it frustrates me that he is sitting above the numbers instead of in front of them. But I was happy to see he placed the counters in the pattern of twos with the odd counter centered below. And he even remembered which numbers were even and odd.

I didn't get a picture of his work with the sandpaper numbers but he also "worked" with the large number cards. He read them off as he laid them down, "1-ten, 2-tens...4-hundreds...6-thousands" which was great practice for him, but as you can see he was, um, quite creative with the pattern in which he laid out the cards. I wonder if he was influenced by the games of dominos he's been playing.

Next he said he wanted to work with the Golden Beads so I presented dynamic subtraction, which is subtraction requiring exchanging. I chose the starting large number cards and told DJ he could have that many beads, so he gathered the appropriate quantities. Then I gave him a set of small number cards and asked him to select the number that he would allow me to "steal" from him. He chose 2,341 which was great because it meant we'd have to exchange when we got to the 10's.

When it was time to take 4 tens from his pile of 3, I said "oh no! What should I do to get more 10's?" He immediately started to go to the store to get more from the box but I stopped him and said "those aren't yours so you can't take them, where else can you get more 10's?"

He looked at me confused, so I held up a hundred square from his pile and said "how many tens are in a hundred?" And his face lit up and he replied "ten 10's are a hundred!" When he went to the store to exchange, I had him put the 10-bars on the hundred square to reinforce that he was handing over one of his hundreds in exchange for an equal quantity of 10-bars.

Later that morning, he pulled out the sandpaper letters and movable alphabet that he's been avoiding lately. I was thrilled to watch him from across the room because those sandpaper letters you see laid out are from his "don't know" pile of letters that he's been struggling with and he actually knew most of them! Then, it's hard to tell in the picture but he has spelled out "akt" and told me it says act. Which makes sense because he knows k makes the same sound as c and doesn't know when to use one over the other. Honestly, I don't either. It really annoys me that we have two letters that make the same sound and sometimes we use them together!

He then selected the story sequence cards we have. He pulled out the 3-sequence cards first but refused to do them because they didn't have rubber bands on them. Hah! But he did amazingly well with the 4-sequence cards without any help from me. You'll also notice that he's still wearing his nighttime pull-ups. Getting this child to wear clothes is such a challenge. I'm looking forward to cold weather where natural consequences might get him used to getting dressed!

Then before I knew it after lunch, DJ had the binomial & trinomial cubes out. The bi- is still easy for him while the tri- confounds him.

When he finished that, he chose the sandpaper touch tablets to work with. He had ignored these so much last year that I actually had removed them from the shelf. But then he saw a picture on Facebook of a girl working with them and demanded I bring them back. These are best used with a blindfold so I brought that out and he identified several matches.

That prompted me to try to introduce using the knobbed cylinders with the blindfolds. He LOVED the knobbed cylinders last year and has mastered everything about them except using them stereognostically (ie blindfolded). I selected one of the blocks and I began handing him cylinders from it for him to replace by touch only. The second one I gave him was the short, flat disc and he immediately said "this is the green block!" That means that this cylinder block matches the Knobless cylinders that are painted green. And he recognized it just from the touch of one cylinder. Wow. But of course that meant he pulled off the blindfold and ran to get the green box of cylinders.

At that point, DJ noticed the blue basket (behind him) was full of all of our card works. He selected Living & Nonliving and got to work sorting them. Unfortunately he became confused when he got to the pictures of the dump truck and teddy bear. He's been watching too many cartoons lately that animate and anthropomorphize trucks and animals so he wouldn't believe me when I said dump trucks don't eat and teddy bears don't have babies. *sigh*

So then he pulled out the parts of a car 3-part cards that I made for him. In the past he's only worked with the picture cards before but this time he noticed the words at the bottom and tried to match them to the short word strips. He has the right idea. He said "bumper. B-b-b-bumper. Where is bumper?" But there were too many word cards and he couldn't find it so he got frustrated and moved on. (By the way, sorry for the lighting in these pictures. The sun comes in the side window in the afternoon so it's actually fairly bright in the room but the excess light from the window makes my pictures dark).

Finally, he pulled off all of the zoology puzzles we have (dragon fly, eagle, penguin, beaver, frog, fish) and removed every puzzle piece. Ugh. We've been working hard on not walking up to a shelf, dumping a big work and then walking away, but that bad habit still creeps in here and there. But with some help from his dad, he was able to put all the pieces back in their puzzles and get them back on the shelf. Whew.

And finally, some practical life moments:

School "officially" starts September 9th. I'm so excited for the new year!

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