At Home Learning: April 1st & 2nd

Well, 3 days into our lessons at Cedar Tree Elementary, and already we find ourselves taking liberties with our detailed timetable! Although I feel like we benefit from some structure… this schedule is going to be pretty hard to maintain! I’m sure that as we go, we will find a happy medium between structure and down time …

Yesterday started off even smoother than Day 1 … with our youngest student (2-years old) showing up to class fully dressed- instead of butt naked as she was for the entire morning of classes the day before!! We had a wonderful productive morning, then my eldest and I took a break from the schedule in the afternoon.

Today, Day 3, was incredibly mellow. The day began with me realizing just how cluttered and messy our house has become. We decided to cancel morning classes due to necessary Tidy Time. The girls played and I spent most of the morning tidying the house! It felt good!

Morning Learning Time

Writing

On Day 2 we began with journal writing. I gave our eldest daughter three possible writing prompts from 37 Writing Prompts for First Grade by Journal Buddies. She chose “If you could be a dessert, what would you be? Why?” and wrote a short 2-3 sentence response in her journal.

On Day 3, I used my daughter’s excitement about her upcoming birthday to plan a writing session that she was invested in. She worked on creating a birthday wish list. It turned out to be rather extensive, giving her plenty of practice printing and spelling new words!

Mathematics

Crossword Puzzle Math: still pursuing my goal of making Math fun, I found this Simple Addition Math Crossword. Our eldest loved it.

Telling Time – An Introduction: One of my goals is to teach our daughter how to tell time. With a real clock, not digital! I found this amazing website called Miss Giraffe’s class, and she has some wonderful ideas on how to go about this. For our Telling Time Intro, we tried a couple of these activities. I started by drawing a clock on my chalkboard that shows 1:00. I explained to our daughter how we know that it is 1:00, and how the hands move around the clock. I then gave her this printed blank clock face by Craft ‘N’ Home and she numbered the clock. We trimmed a little bit off the paper and slipped it in a ziplock bag. I told her various times (3:00, 7:00 … all on the hour) and she drew the hands on her clock to represent that time. Once she had the hang of it, I asked her what 12:00 might look like.

Next, we looked at how to write time. We used this telling time worksheet by Yes Coloring and our daughter wrote each time below the clock. Then, as suggested on Miss Giraffe’s Class website, we talked about the concept of time. When we move from 1:00 to 2:00, that represents 1 hour. How long is that? What can we accomplish in one hour? Our eldest really enjoyed this lesson, and I’m looking forward to building on it in the days to come.

Gym

For gym class on Day 2, we decided to try a few movement videos from GoNoodle. We tried Unicorn Noodles (in Español), Snow What I Mean!? and Footloose. We moved, jumped, and danced along with the videos!

Art/Craft Project

Barbie DIY Clothing & Accessories

I asked our daughter what craft she wanted to do for our Art/Craft lesson on Day 2 and she chose this 30 Epic Barbie Hacks and DIYs video. I have to say, some of the crafts in here look pretty amazing and we were excited to try them out! We tried three DIYs: first the Barbie swimsuit out of a ballon. This was an epic fail – I should have snapped a photo! The swimsuit bottoms were huge, while the top was much too small! This one unfortunately ended up in the trash! Next we tried the pyjamas made out of a medical glove. Given the current pandemic we happen to have medical gloves on hand … but they are all white! The outfit worked fairly well, but it looks more like Barbie is wearing a hospital gown than a cute nightgown!! For our third and final DIY we tried the shoes made out of hot glue gun. We (I!!) didn’t quite think this one through, and used a large amount of Saran Wrap, and at my daughter’s request, tried a very tall boot. And of course we don’t have red glue (where did they get that?!). Our boots are a bit lumpy … and quite challenging to take on and off … but we had fun! To sum up this craft, I’d say that the DIYs look very very simple in the video, but proved to be much trickier in real life!!!

Doorknob Sign

My husband is working from home. We set up a desk in our bedroom so he could have a “quiet” space away from all the commotion. He’s been on a number of Zoom (video) calls lately, and I’m worried we will pop in one time and inadvertently Zoom bomb his meeting!! So today we made him a sign for the door. My eldest did all the writing and illustrations.

Reading with Nana

Every day around 3:30pm, my eldest FaceTimes with her Nana. She loves this time of day: special time for just her and Nana. Our daughter chooses a book to read to Nana, and then Nana sometimes reads a book (or chapter of a longer book). Then our daughter tells Nana about her morning at school, and shows Nana the activities that we did together. While they read over FaceTime, my youngest and I often snuggle on the couch and read books together as well, or get started on dinner.

Afternoon Learning Time

After our morning of activities, we have outside play and lunch. On Day 2, by the time the little one was asleep for her afternoon nap, my eldest and I were tired out! We chose to skip our afternoon lesson in favour of some relaxation time.

Today we started our Tu/Th afternoon learning time project: Animal Detectives. This is an activity that was started in school before Spring Break: the children choose an animal, and write what they know about the animal, what they would like to know and then what they’ve learned about the animal after some research. Our daughter came home from school very excited about this project, and she couldn’t wait to do the research and receive her detective badge (more on that soon). Today our daughter decided to learn more about cheetahs. She wrote about what she knows and what she wants to know. Then we watched the Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari video on cheetahs.

Afternoon Outdoor Play

When my husband finished work yesterday, we went for outdoor play: a 45 minute family bike ride. It was cool out, but the sun was shining. A perfect end to the day!

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