Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More Fun Today

  We had a great day today and got so much done I'm sitting here in awe!  We started school rather late since the younger boys were quietly and happily playing video games and Ian was watching the Curse of Oak Island while I got to exercise, paint my nails and put on make-up!  It's been a long time since I've felt "put together" and it was rather a nice experience.  The boys all pitched in to clean all of the floors in the house. They grumbled at first but then I pulled out a dollar store sock and they were fighting over who got to clean-- let me explain.  We have a Swiffer sweeper and I stopped buying the cloths for it years ago.  I was inspired by a post on Pinterest to buy some fuzzy socks from the dollar store and stretch it over the bottom.  This way I can wash and reuse them.  I have no idea if it was the color of the sock , the ease of sweeping the Swiffer along and having most of the dirt and dust stick to it instead of making a pile to vacuum up, or just the novelty of getting to use the Swiffer again but I sure wasn't going to complain when the boys kept looking for more things to clean.  They even swept my craft room floor and I can't remember the last time that was cleaned. 

    Once our housework was done Evan and I worked on making some turtle cupcakes.  They came out looking so adorable but if I never see another gum drop again I'll be a happy lady.  I had no idea it would be so hard to trim them down and cut the fins out.  The kitchen sheers and knives kept getting gummed up, the pieces stuck to the plates and half the time I felt like we could barely get them to fit on the top of the cupcake.  Looking at the joy on Evan's face though was priceless and I know I'd do it again in a heartbeat. 

   While we were working on the cupcakes the older boys took their math minutes and played another game of On a Roll.  They were amazing!  They quickly figured out their mixed numbers, reduced fractions, and compared them to determined who won.  A time or two they corrected one another's work (or computation skills) and they really enjoyed doing it.  The game was tied up right until the very last round.  Alec was thrilled to finally win a math game and Ian was a great sport about loosing.  Evan and I finished up and used some dice for a quick math activity called roll and tally.  We wrote numbers on our paper and tallied how many times we rolled the same number.  It was Evan's first time using tally marks and it seemed like a fun way to learn them.  He turned it into a real game and claimed himself the winner when he was the first one to make two groups of 5.  His interest had petered our by then and so I let him go play for a bit. 



Evan's tally sheet- he kept rolling 3's and 7's!

   The older boys went on to practice spelling words.  I often write sight words for Evan to read on the popping materials from packages and boxes and the older boys get jealous that they can't join in the fun.  I had a brainstorm this week and told the boys if they wanted to write their spelling words themselves onto the poppers they could then pop them all when they were done.  They thought this sounded like a great idea and happily set to work counting out how many they needed and writing their words in permanent marker on them.  Their words are written in cursive so it's great practice in reading cursive too; something I find they both really need.  Alec actually practiced his words twice because he wrote them in "regular" English alongside the cursive words and then wrote them on his poppers.  They had a ball jumping on stomping on them when they were done.  Evan saw his brothers having fun and so I offered to write up some sight for him to pop too.  He used his Bumble Bee Transformer to help pop the words and he got most of them right on his first try (or guess; if you ask him).  We got a tiny bit of a science lesson thrown in when the words kept getting stuck to the Transformers feet.  Evan proudly told me that was due to static electricity caused by friction from the feet on the plastic. 





  
















       While they were hard at work writing their words, Evan and I finished up his last sea turtle book.  We read Sea Turtle Hatchlings together.  He sounded out all the labels on the pages and we learned about the Loggerhead sea turtle (again!).  We quickly moved onto reading another Piggie and Elephant book.  We re-read Elephants Cannot Dance! and I could tell his heart just wasn't in it today.  He was getting frustrated and kept making mistakes; often trying to insert more words than what was actually on the page.  We talked about tracking the words, getting our mouths ready with the first sound of each word and taking our time.  I finally took over 3/4 of the way through the book and just finished reading it to him.  I've learned that it's not worth making it a chore and to go with him on the days he's into it; trying not to stress about it on the days he's not. 
     I asked all three boys to work on a rough draft of this month's post card.  Ian quickly wrote up a really great 4 or 5 sentence post card following the same basic wording he's used for the past few months.  He wrote quickly without complaint a did a great job on almost everything,except spelling and a few capitalization errors, but compared to where we were a few months ago with writing- I'll take it!  I offered to proof-read and correct him so he could copy his final draft onto the post card tomorrow.  Alec grumbled, cried and moaned the whole time he wrote his one sentence.  He tried writing a pretty long sentence in great big letters and claiming he couldn't fit anymore.  After quite a while I finally took pity on him and offered to write what he dictated to me.  We did get a paragraph down.  I miss my little kindergartener who loved to write and make up his own stories.  I hoped that by backing off of writing for the past two years he would have found his way back to making up his own stories but I just don't know what else to do.   Guided by some questions from me, Evan too quickly dictated a paragraph about our state and we declared school "done."
    The boys made lunch, with Ian making a grilled cheese sandwich for both himself and Evan.  While we ate a quick lunch I read another few pages in Harry Potter and then we all got ready to leave for our Gym class.  Once there the boys had a ball running through the obstacle course (over and over and over again) and playing gaga ball.  It was a great class and they were all tired, hot and sweaty when it was over. 
   We ran a few quick errands and ended at the library.  Alec eagerly checked out his last Spirit Animals book and proceeded to bury his nose in it for the rest of the night.  I was so happy to see my avid reader immersed in a book again! The younger two boys went outside to play with their cousins until it was dark out.  All in all we had another fabulous day! 

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