Category: Dinosaurs

Fun @ 4 : 100 and More

Over the weekend I made some changes to our curriculum and today was the first day we tried to implement some of them.


To be honest, I haven’t been practicing counting to 100 with Thing 1 like I should have, so today we practiced counting to 100.  Using a hundreds chart and our link cubes, Thing 1 counted to 100.

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We practiced out sight words from You Can Read Set 8.  We did a couple of the activities from You Can Read then using our our sight family train and magnetic letters, I had Thing 1 practice spelling the words.

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Thing 1 and I also reviewed the –at family words again, however this time around, I can tell that he has a better grasp of what he is reading rather than just guessing.

Last up in our reading adventure we continued reading with BoB books.  Today I reintroduced the letter sounds for c and d.  We also, reviewed the sounds from last week.  Then I gave him two words to spell using letter tiles.  I really took the time to slow the words down so that he could “hear” the sounds.  He did great and was able to spell the words pretty quickly.  Then we read pages 1-4 in the book 2 or set 1. 


We are continuing our study of dinosaurs this week.  Today we talked about stegosaurus.  However, Thing 1 wasn’t interested in doing a craft, he was really in a hurry to finish school so he could go build a train track outside.  We were able to read 2 books about stegosaurus, the we did a quick bubble map about stegosaurs.

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For handwriting practice, Thing 1 has been choosing one sentence from our bubble map to write.  Today he picked the sentence “Stegosaurus had spikes.”  There are a few letters he has been struggling with and he picked a great sentence to work on those letters.  He did get frustrated, but we were able to work through it.

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 After this it was off to build a huge train track on the back patio.  Love that it is 80+ degrees in November!

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Fun @ 4: Horned Dinosaurs

Today was another exciting day of learning.  Some days I wonder who is more excited in our house, me or the boys. 


We continued You Can Read Unit 7.  We also read half of the second BoB book in set 1.  Thing 1 did great.  I think he just needed a little bit of motivation.

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In math this week we started talking about fractions.  Using pattern blocks I introduced the idea of a whole and 1/2.  Thing 1 picked up the concept in no time.  He even looked at me at one point and said, “that was easy.”  

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Horned dinosaurs was our focus today.  So while I read a book about horned dinosaurs, I had Thing 1 look through all of the dinosaurs we have and find the horned dinosaurs.  However the highlight of today’s dinosaur study was making triceratops masks.  Thing 1 wanted to make a pentasaurus mask, but I was having a lot of trouble making horns.  Oh well.  Thing 1 had a great time decorating and making his mask.  The only part I did was making the horns and the string that holds the mask onto his head.

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What have you done today?

Fun @ 4: Symmetry and Fossils

It felt good to finally get back to “doing school” and both boys were excited and willing to do school today.


Thing 1’s day began as normal, with sight word practice from You Can Read – Unit 7.  I think he enjoys the sight word practice because it is easy. 

After we did our math for the day, we came back to do a little more reading.  Thing 1 tends to shut down when things are hard.  This has definitely been the case with reading.  So I have been searching for a way to help him break through this barrier. 

Over the weekend I came up with a new plan.  Thing 1 is a child who works best with proper motivation, otherwise he just shuts down.  When he was potty training, Thing 1 needed a reward (trains.)  Whereas, Thing 2 needed little motivation, he learned in about 3 weeks, with only a little bit of ice cream as a reward.  So I have decided to offer Thing 1 some reward for trying. 

We are going to use the BoB Books (to start) and work through each book every week.  We will review the letter sounds, work on spelling words using the review letters, and then we will read 2-4 pages together.  Each lesson will be 10 minutes, 15 at the very most.  Each week my goal is to have him read through the entire book two times.  When he is able to do that we will cross that book off the chart I made.  Once we have made it through the entire set, he will get a prize. 

As I sat down today and explained this plan, he was all for it and very excited.  This is the most motivated he has been about reading in a long time.  He was so motivated that he read through all of book 1 in set 1 twice, thus allowing him to cross it off his list.  No surprise to me he did great, proving what I kind of knew in the first place, was that he was ready and can do it. 

Set 1: Book 1  Mat
Reviewed sounds: a, m, t, s, o, n

We spelled: mat, sat, Sam, on, not, am, mom, man (I think that was all)
He read pages 1-8 two times.

Thus tomorrow I will have him go through book 1 again, and then we will move on to book 2. 

Oh, I have also made a chart with 100 squares on it to record the first 100 books that Thing 1 reads.  Today we were able to add the first book to our chart. 

I am hoping that this works and we can keep him motivated.


Today we talked about symmetry using play dough and cookie cutters.  I originally wanted to make cookies, but I ran out of time, so instead we used the play dough. 

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I would roll out some play dough, then Thing 1 would pull out a cookie cutter and we would make the shape.  We would then "cut” lines into the dough and test to see if they were lines of symmetry.  Some of the shapes were easy for Thing 1 to see, while others he struggled with a little more. 

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What was great about the play dough is that we could make light cuts into the play dough (not going all the way through) then we were able to fold it over to see if it had symmetry.  If we made a line that wasn’t correct we were able to make the line disappear without having to make a brand new shape.  This definitely helped Thing 1 when he would struggle to find the line of symmetry.

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Today we began our dinosaur study.  A few weeks back Thing 1 requested that we learn more about dinosaurs next.   He wants to know more than Daddy about dinosaurs, thus our chosen topic. 

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Our first topic was fossils.  So we read Dinosaur Fossils by Leonie Bennett.  While I read the book, Thing 1 used our dinosaurs and some left over salt dough to make fossils.  However, instead of just pressing the dinosaurs into the salt dough, he buried them, since that is how fossils were made.  This meant that I was not able to put it in the over to dry.  Oh well, at least he took to heart how the fossils were made.  Once he realized that it wasn’t any fun to have the dinosaurs buried, he took them out an started playing with them in the pumpkin spice play dough, which made it look like real dirt. 

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What fun activities have you done when learning about dinosaurs?