Wednesday, August 31, 2011


We have moved on to our new level and units for the new school year. Joseph and Caroline will now be using Moving Beyond the Page 11-13. The first units are on The Pearl by John Steinbeck, the Hydrosphere and Mesopotamia. Today, they worked on virtual archaeological digs (they loved this! We need to find a real dig for them to see), learned about Hammurabi's Code and got to create a cuneiform with clay and a chopstick.
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Poetry Unit

Here we are, finishing up our first unit in Moving Beyond the Page of the 2011-12 school year. Two year's ago, we were finishing up our first unit of the year and it was poetry. I said at the time, that it was NOT a good way to start a school year for Joseph. This year started out with poetry, also. What a difference two years can make! Joseph LOVED poetry this time around. I don't know if it is a general switch in attitude or if having a poetry book that is all about nature and science can change one's attitude that radically. Both Joseph and Caroline loved The Tree That Time Built. It's a great book for kids who are impressed by electrons and Darwin or anything else scientific. Joseph's reaction to Haiku two years ago was less than enthusiastic. He is still not in love with that form of poetry, but he is more willing to try and understand it. One of the first assignments that Joseph and Caroline had was to write a poem about an endangered species and then create a sculpture of it. Our car was out of commission during most of the month of August, so we had to use what was on hand. We had used up the air dry clay a few days previous and the celluclay was almost empty also. But, we did have several packages of sealed fondant on hand! So, a blue and yellow panda it is for Caroline. Joseph made a manatee, but then promptly ate it.
During the three week unit, they were required to write several different pieces. The requirements ranged from subject matter to poetry style. The end of the unit project was to pull all of this together in a lapbook. This is Caroline's. Joseph, apparently, has inherited my opinion of lapbooks and he would not assemble his. All the parts are there though. Photobucket

Here are Joseph's poetic creations of the last three weeks: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
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and, last, but not least, the Haiku:
These are Caroline's:
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And Caroline's Haiku:
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's that time of year again...

We had our first performance of the year! This past week, Ursula got a call for a last minute performance for the kids at Mansfield's new festival, Mansfield's Wurst Fest. Joseph wasn't able to perform because he was at a Boy Scout camping trip at Lake Lewisville.

We ALL lucked out though. We got a break from the insane heat that we have been having on Saturday morning. I woke up at 4 am to the sound of a very nice downpour. The rain cleared off pretty early, but it helped to keep the temperature down all day. The girls didn't even mention being hot!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First day of school

We have started our school year! Because everyone else will be posting pictures of their first day (new backpacks, new outfits, new teachers, etc.), I thought we would take some pictures of what our first day looks like.
No new outfits here. Well, Caroline IS wearing a new pair of hand-me-down jeans and a shirt that our friend Emma gave her. They were all very excited about their new school supplies though. I bought them each a crate and a box for their own school supplies. Hopefully, we can all keep a pencil longer than one day if they have a place they can put them.
We are starting the year for Joseph and Caroline by finishing up a couple of units that we didn't  make it through last spring. Joseph is doing a science unit on cells, a literature unit (Moving Beyond the Page) on poetry and beginning algebra (Life of Fred). Caroline is doing the same science and literature units and she is starting 5th grade math (Teaching Textbooks).
 Libby started her new level for everything. She is starting a unit on the fifty states and she also has poetry (different unit) and fourth grade math (Teaching Textbooks).
So far, so good! Joseph is very excited to be doing Algebra this year and he loves Life of Fred. We will work hard to finish these units quickly so we can move on to the 11-13 level for Joseph and Caroline.

Looking over assignments for the day.

What Joseph does during his down time. 


Reading poetry.
 Math on her own computer (with last year's literature stacked in the background).

Lab time.
 Wanting to have lab time.