Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A Bit Better!

Well, thanks for all those sympathetic comments folks! Life these last two days has been a BIT better - not quite the number of tantrums, but still some excessive stroppiness! But hey just tomorrow to go and I have deliberately scheduled minimal work for the 'last day of term'  - good thing really as I have to pack for a weekend trip to the inlaws! I am so not relishing the over five hour train journey (three changes) with five children and then back again on find a good book to try and loose myself in!

Today I had a lovely moment - a moment that told me I'm doing so badly and my children are developing, exploring and learning along the way. I was doing maths with Jacob and English with Joel and I suddenly spotted that they were both doing a touch of art at the same time. I never imagined maths and art to fall together in the same lesson, but Jacob was colouring a lion's head as he answered the questions in his maths exercise. He carefully selected the appropriate shades of yellows and browns and made a really lovely looking lion. Joel had to colour some objects beginning with letter 's' in a seaside picture. He decided of his own accord to turn it into a colour blending experiment - well I guess that's art & science really! He made some interesting shades of stones and got really excited when he mixed pink with green and got brown!

On the note of achievement... Jacob did a four page 'revision' exercise in his maths today, covering addition and subtraction with carrying and borrowing, multiplication and division within the 2 & 3 times tables, word problems with a jumble of requirements (i.e. one would meen adding, the next multiplying, the next subtracting, etc...) meaning he had to deduce which  operation was required before he could work out the answer. He didn't flinch and he got 100% - How chuffed was I?!
 Just as a measure, this is the boy who couldn't add 2+3 without using his fingers at the start of this year! He's come a REALLY long way. Singapore Maths is Fabulous! Even learning his tables, we tried the tradition 'recitation' route, but it didn't work. Singapore basically use a slow & steady with lots of repitition route and Jake can now tell you any multiplication or division within the 2 & 3 tables within the click of your fingers!! I am very impressed - as you can probably tell!

I'm going to make some achievement certificates now and present them to the children tomorrow - highlighting the areas I think they have done really well in this year.

I guess Jacob's progress is quite obvious in Maths, but he has done really well in English too. He has progressed from print to a very neat-for-a-7-year-old italic join. He can write completed and well structured sentences. He is a good speller. He uses Capitals and full stops in the right places most of the time. He understands the 'parts' of a sentence. He can use word compressions without making too many mistakes. And his reading has really moved on too - He has read two of Jan's CoreK read-alouds as readers these last two weeks (the Dolphin ones). I'm going to read them back to him though - so he hears the stories with a little more fluency to get the 'meat' out of them.  It's a shame Jan wants them back really as I see so much 'potential' for study in them,. Anyway, I digress!

For Joel: he has learnt to read - big achievement of course. He has the basics of addition & subtraction under his belt and a good understanding of most other basic maths concepts (shape, size, ordering, fractions, etc...). His handwriting has progressed from scratchy, nervous squiggles, to very respectably legible with some basic joins of vowel blends (ae, ai, oo, etc...).

I've put together my schedules as word documents - just thinking how to make them accessible to you all!


Nic said...

Wow Caroline what great achievements have been made this year - well done to you all. Really like the idea of certfifcates - my two respond really well to stuff like that. Enjoy the 'summer holidays' - hope you carry on blogging though!

Nic said...

Wow Caroline what great achievements have been made this year - well done to you all. Really like the idea of certfifcates - my two respond really well to stuff like that. Enjoy the 'summer holidays' - hope you carry on blogging though!

Jax said...

Interesting to read how things are progressing for you, but had to lol at the art in maths lesson! ;-) Looking forward to your schedules if you figure out a way of sharing.

Jan said...

You're missing a very important NOT in the second paragraph - a moment that told you you're NOT doing so badly!

I'm not in a hurry for the dolphin books, but I do have some new dolphinny books you might like to borrow to go with those. I lent you the Boxcar children didn't I? I'd quite like that back when we see you.

Hope you have a good weekend in Portsmouth

merry said...

So come on... exactly WHAT do you have stored up for September - i neeeeeeed to know!