Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Once again, as winter so often does to many of us homeschooling Mamas, I find myself evaluating how the school year is going, wishing it were going better and finding ways to make it better for the spring.  This year I'm not changing much, just adding in Five in a Row to give us a little bit of a direction.  I'm super excited and so are the boys.  I found a great deal on Volumes 1 & 2, and the Bible Supplement along with 19 of the books from another homeschooling mom.  I ordered the download of the Notebook Builder and also signed up for the blog emails so that I could get the Fold n Learns for FREE!  I've already planned out our first week and I'm working on getting our Montessori lessons together to go with it.

We will be rowing Robert Frost's Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening our first week.
This unit is found in Volume 1 of Five in a Row.  

    With this unit, we will have 4 vocabulary words:  Evening, Village, Queer (the real definition, not the slang) and Downy.  We'll be learning a little about Robert Frost, using a Notebook page as our research guide, and reading a few other poems by him.  My favorite is The Road Not Taken, it's kinda a sum of my life!  I'll be introducing my kids to alliteration and poetry.  A few years ago I was given an old set of Childcraft books so we will be using the poetry volume to read other poems through out the week.  We will also be reading other books that we have that relate to snow and winter.  I'll have to post a list of those as I dig through our books to pull them out.  

    For Math, we will be learning about temperature and discussing hotter/colder than.  We will be doing this unit while on vacation in the mountains (we rarely have snow in Louisiana so this unit goes perfectly with our vacation) so we will not be taking our Shiller with us.  We will also throw in a tad bit of geography talking about the equator and how temperature changes the closer/farther you get to/from it.  For science we will do an experiment about the states of matter, Animal Tracks nomenclature cards, What to Wear file folder game, reading the book Snow to learn more about where snow comes from, and also recording the temperature each day to compare when we get home.

    One thing I love about the planning page that I found is that it includes Music, Gym and Cooking.  I don't have any specific music for this unit but if you know of anything that would work, please leave a comment.  I'm really excited about our Gym plans though.  Building a snowman, having a snowball fight and making snow angels.  If it doesn't snow at our cabin while we are there, we'll just go to the nearby ski resort and play in their snow.  We also have some great cooking plans.  Snow ice cream and snow cones.  Yummy!  

     We will be coloring in the state we visit on our map of the US, listing the character traits from our Bible lesson on the character traits Notebook page and also filling out a Field Trip report from the Notebook Builder.  I can't stress enough how great the Notebook Builder is.  It is so full of graphic organizers, report pages, etc.  Well worth the $24 for this download.  I decided to print it out completely and put into a binder.  This makes it easy to plan and make copies to put into my planning binder.  I made the copies that I need for this unit and put them behind my planning page so that when we need that page, it is easy to access.  I will also be including a list of the hands-on activities that we will be using, with instructions and recipes that we will be doing.  If you would like to see a copy of my planning sheet, you can download it here.  

   I will update this post as I go through our other books this week and post a list of related books that we will be using.  Be sure to check back for photos from the week.  It is my hopes that by eliminating several of our weekly activities that occur during the day, I will be able to homeschool much more consistently and also blog about our experiences.  

***UPDATE***

Additional books about snow/winter/poems that will be available for free-reading time during the next few weeks.  Some are story books set in winter, some are books about snow, some are poems or poetry.  Other books may be added to the bin once I plan for Snowflake Bentley and Owl Moon.  Only the books specifically about snow/winter will stay in the Winter Bin when we finish the unit.  I will note those with a *.  

Hickory Dickory Dock By Annie Simpson
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star By Kate Toms 
The Magic School Bus Wet All Over By Joanna Cole
Baby's Book of Rhymes by Lesley Harker
Poems and Rhymes, a Childcraft book
Wild Weather Around the World by Tori Kosara
Shout!  Little Poems that Roar by Brod Bagert
*Hidden In The Snow by Barbara Taylor
*There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
*Snow by Marion Dane Bauer
*Bear's Very Snowy Day by Victoria Ball
*Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George
*Copy Me, Copycub by Richard Edwards
*Where Snowflakes Fall by Claire Freedman
*The Mitten by Jan Brett
*Ridiculous! by Michael Coleman
*An Orange in January by Dianna Hutts Aston
*All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle
*Sunshine and Snowballs by Margaret Wise Brown
*Say Hello to the Snowy Animals by Ian Whybrow

Helpful Links:

Biography of Robert Frost with a video:  http://www.biography.com/people/robert-frost-20796091






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