Saturday, September 5, 2015

Comprehensive Schedule for a First Grader - Week One

Hello!  I've been working with my niece to help her get started in homeschooling her daughter.  They live in Minnesota, so this schedule attempts to reflect their state requirements, their seasons (for outdoor, science studies), their outside activities, and the books available through their local library system.  I hope it might prove helpful to others getting started on the road to homeschooling, as well!

Comprehensive Schedule for First Grade
Week 1
Day 1

Bible - 15 minutes (8:00 – 8:15):


KEY:  Books I sent you in purple 
Library Books in Green 
Things you may need to prep for ahead of time, Blue

You know what you are going to do for Bible, so I am not going to schedule specific things for you.  I am sure you have plenty of Bible story books and/or children's Bibles or books of prayers you can read from.  I am also sending you a few little books, including one called A World of Faith, which gives you one-page explanations about the religions of different children all over the world, which you can then discuss more with her.  You might just read one at a time so as not to be too confusing.  I know that you have memory verses for her through AWANA, too, and if you ever need more there are tons of resources for that online.  The Lord’s Prayer is good to learn at this age, if she doesn’t already know it.  And it is good to learn it’s meaning, for even if she does know the words, she may not know their meaning….            

A World of Faith

One website that has lots of Bible study options is Garden of Praise

(They also have some great picture studies for art appreciation, although I think the written work that goes along with it is better for older kids....)

Reading / Phonics - 20 minutes for phonics and her reading, explanations, etc. - 30 minutes for read alouds (8:15 – 8:35 and 8:35 – 9:05):

Week 1

Day 1

Phonics Pathways - Mom needs to read through the introduction to this book before the school

year begins.  This first bit should be review for her from Kindergarten.  You read aloud to her pages 11 - 15.  This is a short vowel sound review.  After you read each sound once, have her repeat after you.  You should not need to play the games associated with this as she should have received plenty of this info in pre-K and K.  For practice, have her read page 19 after you read through it first.  Remember, these are all short vowel sounds, so the word "so" is not the word we commonly use in speech, but a nonsense word as are the others just to practice short vowel sounds.  s-a (as in the baa sound a sheep makes); s-o (as in the ahhhhh sound that short 'o' makes), etc.  For each subject, it is good to try to jot down somewhere info on what you do for each day of school so that in case anyone wants to check you will have accountability.  So, for this book, I would jot down in the margin, lightly and in pencil, the date you cover each page and a check mark next to each exercise you do on that page (or an x mark by ones you don’t do – an “o” or the word “oral” for things you do orally instead of in writing, etc.)

And that's IT for day one!  Don't require too much each day!

Now, for the reward!

Literature / Read - Aloud Time:

Explain to her that reading silently to ourselves and reading aloud are different kinds of work for the brain and exercise different parts of the brain, so both are important.  She will learn to read this year and will read aloud to you sometimes and you will read aloud to her and discuss what has been read to make sure she understands it.  She can ask questions any time (but you might want her to put her hand on your elbow or knee or something and wait until you get to a good stopping place for her to ask) and you will try to explain to her, if you can, what the answer to her question is or you will make a note and look up the answer together later. 

Tell her that sometimes the stories you read during literature time will be fanciful, made-up stories about things that don't really exist and perhaps never have and never will exist.  Stories such as this are called fiction.  This means the stories are not really true (or we cannot prove that they are true).  These types of stories include fairy tales (fairies are not real, so far as we know), fables (a fairy tale that has a lesson, or moral, in it), myths, legends, and other such things. 

On the other hand, true stories about real people, animals or things are called non-fiction, meaning they are the exact opposite of fiction.  They are true, so far as we know.  These will include books that you read about science topics and most of the history books you read (although you will read fictional stories for history, too).

There are also other kinds of stories, that may tell you about a true thing but may use fictional (cartoon or other make believe) types of characters to tell the story.  An example of this type of story would be The Magic School Bus Books, Ms. Frizzle's Adventure books, etc.  These types of books are often called "informational storybooks" - they combine non-fiction information with fun, fictional characters.  We all know that people and school buses cannot become tiny enough to travel through the blood vessels of the human body, fly out into space to visit all the other planets, or do other such things.  That part of the story is fictional, or non-true.  However, the parts of the human body, the solar system planets and other things that the books tell us about are real and the information given about those things is true.  So the book is part true and part fiction.

Another type of fiction book is called "realistic fiction" - this would be a story that seems so real that you could believe that the people and places in the story really exist and that the things in the story really happened, but they didn't.  Later this year, when you are reading more, you may read some Amelia Bedelia books, or Nate the Great books, and those would be examples of realistic fiction.  After you read a few of their books, you will feel like you know them and might meet them somewhere, but they are not real people....  They were made up by the person who wrote the book - a book writer is called an author.

On the other hand, if you read some of the Frog and Toad books this year, or some of the Wind in the Willow books, you would never think that frogs and toads live in little houses like the ones we live in and talk to each other the way we people do.  Nor would you ever believe that weasels, badgers or other animals of the woods live in houses like people with furniture, taking tea and having picnics - that would be silly!  Those books are clearly fiction

So as you read every day this year, try to identify whether the book you are reading is a work of fiction, or is true (or something in between)....

Books to read: 

Tell her that the books you are going to read from every day are related to the things you will be studying later for science and history, or sometimes will be just for fun.

You will be studying bugs in science at this time, so choose one or more books, as time allows related to whatever bugs you are studying first.  Choose from things like:  Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar; Very Grouchy Ladybug; Very Quiet Cricket, Very Busy Spider, Click Beetle, etc.   (These are informational storybooks.)  Pull these books from your library if you don't already have them at home.

Or, read some of the fictional library books for this week, such as:  I Love Bugs!, The Magic School Bus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs; Diary of a Worm; Yucky Worms; I Wish I Were a Butterfly; The Honeybee Man; Waiting for Wings; The Ants go Marching; In the Tall, Tall Grass; Arrrgh! Spider!; Be Nice to Spiders; Diary of a Spider; or, The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  

Read one to three of these this first morning, depending on how your time is going and how many total books you have to read for lit for the week (divide by 5!) 

If you were able to get The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells from the library, you might read it now, too, telling her that later today you will begin talking about archaeology. 

Write down, somewhere, the books you read today.  I always kept a big notebook with tabs for each subject where I could make notes of what we did.  I would also often put work pages in there under the appropriate tab if they were loose things and not in a book.

Language Arts:  Spelling (~10 minutes); Writing (~10 minutes); Grammar (~10 minutes) – 9:05 to 9:35:

I am hopeful that your books will be similar to or exactly the same as mine in regard to page numbers.  If not, then I hope that at least the chapters or assignments will be similar enough for you to find the pages that I'm referencing.

Week 1

Day 1

Spelling Workout, Level A - this book begins with a little phonics and letter writing practice, which is why I went ahead and chose Level B in the handwriting book for you.  The A level book for writing was completely just writing letters and I am hopeful that she is ready to do more than just that.

This book is really set up for one week lessons, with you doing a page every day and taking the test on Fridays (after you get a little way into the book).  If you want to save it to use again, just place the plastic pages over top of each page and have her write on that. 

The "Learning to Spell a Word" page, just inside the book (page 4, for me) gives you good ideas on learning to spell.  Different tricks work well for different people.  One important thing to remember is NOT to allow misspelling if you can help it, because once done, it imprints and causes the word to be misspelled over and over again.  So watch as she spells her words and immediately correct when you see a wrong letter starting to be written.

In addition to just writing a word with her finger, she can also write her words in sand, shaving cream, whipped cream (yummy), pudding, or other things as you see fit.

We ALWAYS kept a "Trouble Word" list and any words missed in the spelling test went on there and periodically got re-spelled (had to get them correct at least 3 times before they were removed from the list).  You can use the "Spelling Notebook" pages at the back of the book, if you want....

If trouble words continued to be missed, then we would work on writing them correctly to help with memory - usually just one or two times each at that age....

Lesson 1 - Sounds and Letters A-N, page 5.  Make the sound that the letters make, including both long and short sounds for the vowels (A,E,I,O,U) and both soft and hard sounds for any letters that have those, like 'c' (k sound and s sound).  Have her write, NEATLY and slowly, at least 3 or 4 of every letter, both upper and lower case.  Make sure she is making all her circles COUNTER-clockwise!  Date the page and put a check mark at the top to show that you checked her work and helped her to correct any problems.

Read directions to her for all exercises and explain any things she does not understand, any pictures she might be naming something else, etc.

Handwriting, Getty & Dubay Italic, page iv.  Look at the writing guide to help remind you how to make each letter and refer back to it any time you can't remember.  You are going to go through this book using only the bottom pages and when you get to the back, you will flip it over and come back through in the other direction.  Mom may want to read page v, ahead of time, for info she needs about the process. Do page 1.  You are starting out by just making basic shapes.  Try to fill up each line with about 4-6 letters.  Write slowly and NEATLY.  Date and check off each page as it is completed every day.
Grammar, First Language Lesson, Level 1 - Lesson 1 - common nouns.  These lessons really are scripted out for you so you can just read along through them.  You will see how they flow as you go along and how quickly she memorizes things.  If there is too much repetition, you can skip some of that to prevent her from getting bored.  I made flashcards with some of the memory work on it, like the definitions of a noun, etc. that she will be memorizing, so you might want to try that, too.  Also, bookmark your pages that have poems on them so you can quickly turn back to them to have her practice (unless you memorize them, too!)  Date and check off each part of an exercise that you complete each day (as the repetition gets to you, you may not do every single one – or you may do some of the written suggestions orally, etc. – just note that.)

There are 100 lessons of this so you will finish it early (180 days of school) and start the other book I had you get, Primary Language Lessons, near the end of the year, continuing it into next year.

Morning Math 20 minutes (9:35 – 9:55):

Week 1

Day 1 

First day of school, set up your school calendar that you will use throughout the year for "calendar math" - put on your magnet for the month and mention that you always write that with a capital letter.  Put on the date and mention that every year has 12 months in it, starting with January and going through December, so you are nearer the end of the year.  Add any holidays or notable items, such as the "First Day of School" magnet, or any "Go to..." or "Visit..." magnets if you are doing any field trips this month.  If there are any lessons or sports, add those in, too.  For things that you don't have room for on the calendar, or that there are not magnets for, write them below on the write on / wipe off whiteboard.  Just put the date beside them.  If there are no plans, you could still add in a "park day" or "swing on the swings" magnet if you have any parks nearby.... (Note the "Lost a tooth" magnet!)

Note what you did today in the math section of your record book, with the date.

Spanish – 15 minutes (9:55 – 10:10):

Finally found a place online where I can see part of the contents of the main Spanish text you will use (I gave mine away already).

So here's how to set it up:

Week 1 - Week 3

Spanish for Children Chapter 1

Because I am not sure that there are breaks in the CD that will allow you to do just one page or exercise at a time, I will suggest that you listen all the way through each chapter and just follow along with your fingers in the book on the first day, then re-listen and fill out the exercises on the second day.

If you want to re-use this workbook (I have never found extra workbooks-only available for sale), then I suggest placing a clear sheet of plastic over the page and allowing her to write with either a dry erase or wet erase marker.

For those exercises that ask you to cut out, color, etc., then I might suggest that you photocopy those pages if you have access to a color copier that would not be too expensive for you.  If you do not, then you might modify them.  For instance in the exercise in chapter two, where it tells you to cut out and place items in a basket, you might instead place a plastic sheet over the basket and have her draw in items over the basket; or you could cut out magazine pics and place those on the basket; or if this exercise forms a two-page spread, she could draw a line from the items to the basket if you put plastic over both pages, etc.  (I can't tell, from the website, how the pages are laid out in the book....)

Day 1

Read the intro about what you're going to be learning and turn on the CD to listen.  Follow along with the songs on page 69, if you want.

Listen through Chapter One, I assume to end - I'm not sure how they have the CD tracks laid out.  As the children's names are said, just point to them this first day to help her (as I assume she is really not reading).

REPEAT the Spanish words as they say them as much as you can and keep encouraging her to do that, too.  If she isn't saying the words, she won't learn them!

I don't think they read the FUN FACTS that are included on the tape.  You can read these on DAY TWO, so don't stop for them now.

Don't draw the picture yet.  You will do this on DAY THREE.

I don't recall whether or not they read the  CHECKLIST that is at the end of each chapter, but I think they DO read the little cartoon, and that is fun, so listen all the way through if they do and follow along with your finger.

Note what you did in the Spanish section of your record keeping book, with the date.

Spanish for Children

Primary Math Lesson Time - about 20 minutes daily (10:10 – 10:30):

I can't see a picture of these books online, so I am assuming they are basically similar to the ones I used with Liam and am assigning pages based on that.  You may need to modify some, however, if pages have changed....

Primary Math 1A Textbook:  Chapter 1:  Numbers 0 - 10
(I am assuming she knows these pretty well from K)

Pages 6 - 9 - look at sets of zero through 10 things.  Also shown is the number and the number word for each amount.  To the right is also dots of the same number.  Talk about how we can express numbers differently in this way with pictures of things, actual items, dots or bars, the actual written number or the word for the number.  Have her count out zero to ten of something such as the bear counters in the set I am sending for Eli's use. 

Pages 10 - 15.  Have her count the items in each set orally and if you want her to write the amount, place plastic cover pages over each page to keep them clean and use write on/wipe off or wet wipe markers.

Count carefully! 

On page 12, compare sets.  If they are not the same, which one has more (or less)?
Same with page 13.

Also practice counting backwards on page 15....

Since you are not writing in this book, note which pages you do each day, her grade on the work or how she did, the date, etc.

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Civics – about 10 minutes daily (10:30 – 10:40):

You might practice saying the Pledge of Allegiance at this time until she not only understands the words but what they mean.

Choose one other symbol or topic to talk about a little.  I printed out a little book of Patriotic Symbols for you that I found for free online.  You could talk about one of those, such as the Liberty Bell.  Then tomorrow you could make the craft that goes along with it if you want during your Civics time.  You could repeat that with each of the other symbols covered.   If you speak on a subject one day, then review and take two days to complete the craft that goes with it, this should take you three weeks to complete.  Then you could start looking over each of these websites for a short time each day.  (And let me know when you need more if you want help finding other resources….)  Just keep notes of what you do each day in your record keeping book.
Thanks to the Happy Strong Home blog for this! )

A website that covers some national symbols in a straightforward manner:

Here's a government website that has some info for kids:

A Brainpop movie about U.S. Symbols:

Math Enrichment Lesson time - about 20 minutes daily (10:40 – 11:00):

Get out your learning clocks and begin talking about how we have told time with clocks since they were invented and how clocks are changing now to be just digital.  Show her examples of both (in book, if not in your house).  Complete pages 6 - 7 from The Complete Book of Time and Money.  Allow her some time to make her clock tell the times that are shown on the work pages (always winding it clockwise and explain that's why we call it that: because it's the same way a clock moves).  I would let her use these pages up because she will use them over several years.

Collect a good many pennies, perhaps at least 50, as well as probably at least 20 nickels, 10 or 20 dimes, and about 10 quarters in a container where you can keep them for use with money math activities.

Turn to the mid-way point of The Complete Book of Time and Money and talk about the system of money we use in the United States, and again how that is beginning to change and we might stop using coins by the time she is grown up.  Talk about how we base our system on the dollar.  Show her a dollar and tell her that it equals 100 pennies.  Show her some pennies.  Tell her that five pennies equal a nickel and show her a nickel.  Let her count out five pennies and stack them up beside a nickel.  Tell her that ten pennies equal a dime.  Show her a dime and have her count out ten and stack them beside a dime.  Tell her that 25 pennies equal a quarter.  Show her a quarter and allow her to count out 25 pennies (helping, if needed) and stack them beside a quarter.   Complete pages 134 - 135

Date each page as you complete it and put a check mark to show you reviewed the work and helped her correct any errors.
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Art/Music (Monday/Tuesday) / Geography (Wed/Thurs) – 30 minutes (11:00 – 11:30):

Do any sort of art project you’d like.  You may want to decide what you will do ahead of time and pull your materials together so you are ready to go at art time!  If it is rainy and bad outside, you might look at some of the art exploration books I sent you and talk about those.  Do free-form art projects not related to history or science work (you will do other projects during those times).  Otherwise, use your art books to help her explore drawing on her own, or explore other art mediums of paint, pastels, collage, etc.  I sent you a whole stack of books related to art, so just pull from those.  I know you have lots of supplies!  Just note what you do and either save the work (with the date on the back), or take a picture of it to save with the date noted. 

Listen to great music:  Kids’ CD’s that she likes, or Classical Kids and other great, classical music.  As you study different cultures, you can listen to samples of music common in those cultures, too.  Let her listen as she creates her art.

Here’s a repeat of some info I sent you earlier regarding music and art appreciation:

Here is a free, online site for classical music for kids:

When you click on "more," additional info about each month's program is pulled up, along with some sort of activity sheet.

Under the monthly programs, there are options to also listen to Italian composers, instruments of the orchestra, etc.

There are also some good teacher lesson plans you could use throughout the year.  For instance, there's one for Aaron Copeland's music and they have plans geared specifically for K-2.  You download the info and there are links to find the music free, online, as well as directions for related activities.

If you go to this Classical Kids site, there are excerpts (pretty lengthy) of their past productions, such as Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery and Beethoven Lives Upstairs that you could watch and listen to in order to introduce her to some fantastic classical pieces that are very well known:

Also, for ART APPRECIATION, here is a free site where you can pull up any pictures you (or she) like and read about them.  Sometimes there are some questions about them or you can just discuss yourself.  The Simply Grammar book will also have some art study included in it, for purposes of narration....

Lunch Time!  (11:30 – 12:30):

This was just a good, natural break time and I’m sure you will all be exhausted, at least at first, by this time.  During the lunch hour, you can cover some P.E. and Health topics just by allowing her free play (and noting it someplace by date), or guiding her through some exercises in bad weather, etc.  You can also periodically choose a health topic and speak about it shortly as you eat or while preparing lunch.  I also sent you several things on preparing healthy snacks that you can sometimes use with her at lunch time.  Just note what you do so that you can show you are covering this topic (both for P.E., and health).

Here’s a repeat of that info I sent you earlier:

Just running around outside is good.  Old-fashioned calisthenics (jumping jacks, etc.) are good, and here are some kids' yoga poses:

This slideshow takes you through a whole series of poses:
And here's a You Tube to help get started:


I have a "Snacktivities" book I'm sending you.  50 activities for parents and kids to make healthy snacks (and they involve some math activities, too).

Here are some PBS things related to nutrition:

Here are some things related to the current "My Plate" nutrition push by our government:  (while I think some things are wrong, like too much grain still, I think these are ok....)

These are potential questions (several pages of them) to add to a first grade health test.  Just reading through these will give you ideas for little mini-topics on health that you should talk to her about.  These need not take more than 2-5 minutes.  While you are eating lunch (or making lunch together) you could bring up the topic casually.  "Health" need not be a topic regularly taught formally.  You live it out as part of your life: 

And here's all you will need for the year on any topic to help you talk about it!  You can actually use this over the course of SEVERAL years!

Here are some pages from The Complete Book of Science that can be used, perhaps once a month:

Page 42 - 43.  Talk about how the Food Pyramid was used as a guideline for years but scientists finally admitted that it was wrong and now it is not used any more.  Fruits and vegetables should really be moved to the bottom, with grains next (or even at the level of meat and dairy)....  Go ahead and complete the exercise on 43 related to it.  It is still relevant.  We all need to eat more fruits and vegis and less of the other stuff!

On another day, use page 44 and list what you had from lunch from each food group.

Page 45 on another day - cut and paste items for each group to cement understanding of different groups.  Each day you can also just ask, what food group is xxx in?  Do you have a serving of fruit and a serving of vegis?  Etc....

Help her with page 47 to do a grain inventory of your pantry one day.

Lastly, on another day, check memory of the food groups by helping her to write in which group each of the listed foods belong to....

Make "Tummy Yummies" one day, page 39 (Need honey, peanut butter, dry milk)

Make "Brainfood Cookies" on another day, page 39 (Need softened butter, oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, baking powder)  I would add raisins, too, or chocolate chips - yum! chocolate chips, definitely.... 

On another day, use the "Healthful Habits" activity from page 40 - create a public info commercial!

Doing Health once or twice a week and using these activities about once a month will, I think, get you through the entire school year!
Product Details  (Hard to find these books any more, as they are out of print - but they are terrific!)

History (Monday, Tuesday) / Science (Wed / Thurs) – 12:30 to 2:

Ancient History – SOTW I                      Books I sent you in purple

                                                                                    Library books in green

Week 1                                                      Things you may need to look at ahead of time, blue
Day 1

SOTW Intro – What is History and what is archaeology?

Read Usborne Ancient World, page 3.

Read intro from SOTW.  The Activity Guide has some examples of review questions (and possible answers) for you to use following each chapter of the book in order to make sure she understands what you are reading.  Ask her some of these after you’ve read each chapter.  Don’t stress her about it, though!  You want history to be fun for her! 

Read any other library books you were able to obtain, such as:

Me and My Family Tree
Archaeologists Dig for Clues
I Can be an Archaeologist
The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells (use for reading time)

Do an archaeological dig.  If you have a sand box or an area of dirt near the house that is pretty loose and easy to dig, bury some interesting rocks, shells, plastic dinosaurs or other items for her to dig and find.  Use some small gardening trowels, etc. for initial digging but also provide some paint brushes she can use to gently brush the dirt from items as she finds them….

Make “Cave Art”Take a brown paper bag or brown, heavy craft paper and wet it slightly as you wrinkle it up.  This results in an old, leathery look when it dries – sort of like a dried animal skin.  Do this ahead of time so the paper will be dry when you are ready to use it.  Either burn the edges or cut them unevenly to look like a skin.  Use this as your base for art work.  Let her make stick figures, animals such as those you’ve seen in your books (or can pull up online:  Caves of Altimira, Las Caux, etc.)  You can sketch with a pencil and overshadow with oil pastels or chalk (and I would spray with a fixative if using chalk)….

Make a “Coil Pot”Use some of your air dry Crayola “clay” – just in white or a natural color, if you have that, and create a nice, long cigar or dowel shape.  I would say about two feet long.  Begin to coil it tightly around itself to form a small base, I’d say about 4 inches in diameter, then start to stack the coils up to form the sides of the bowl.  Make sure you are pressing down slightly to get each round to stick to the one before it.  This clay is rather dry and not that sticky, so you have to pay attention to that.  You might take an orange stick or other pointed item and make some cross hatching marks in the side of the bowl, if you want, after you finish it.  Or just leave it smooth.  We still have one of these that Liam made at this age!  You can keep it in your school room to store small items, such as counters, or your paper clips, etc.

Jot down what you do each day, take pics of projects if not saving them, list the books you read, and add any map work or coloring pages she does from the activity guide to this section of your record keeping book.

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Day 2

Bible (8:00 – 8:15):

Continue with Lord’s Prayer, memory work, readings from Bible story books, etc.

Reading / Phonics (8:15 – 8:35):

Phonics Pathways, page 21 and 23.  This is more of the two letter blends.  I think these are more confusing than helpful, as some of them, like "so" yesterday, are two letter words that will have very different sounds later, so I don't like these.  I would help her through these two pages today, emphasizing the short vowel sounds, and the second page ends with a three letter word, "ran."  I think it will be better to move on to three letter words for learning to read.  These more typically make the correct short vowel sound in the middle.  At first, you just repeat one or two of the words and have her follow you, then see if she will try them herself.  Keep prompting her if she won't try.  For instance:  What sound does the letter 'm' make?  Mmmmmmmmmmm.  What is the short vowel sound for the letter 'u'?  Remember, the vowels say their name when they make the long sound, but the short sound is different.  'U' makes the uhhhhh sound....  Put those together:  mmmmmmuhhhh....

Again, this book presumes that you may be either starting with a pre-schooler who may not know all their letters and their sounds perfectly (and Kindergarten should have taught her this), or an illiterate person who may not have ever read and so may not know the alphabet well.  Assuming she knows her letters and sounds, these two letter "words" are not all that helpful and may be confusing, so I think it's best not to use too many of them.

That's all for today.  Tomorrow you will start three letter word blends which I think will make more sense to her.

Literature / Read Aloud Time (8:35 – 9:05):

Choose a bug related book from your list provided yesterday.

Choose any of the fictional books you were able to get from the library that are related to your history studies for this week, such as:

Mik's Mammoth
One Small Blue Bead
The First Dog 
(read one; save the others for the next day or so….)

Talk about the difference between fiction and non-fiction.  Remind her that these books are all informational, in that they tell you about something important related to science or history, but they are not about real characters or things that really happened, so far as we know.  The stories are made up by the author (assuming that is true for the bug book you choose – or it may be purely fanciful, like The Ants Go Marching, etc.)

Spelling / Writing / Grammar – (9:05 – 9:35):

Day 2

Spelling, page 6 - same as yesterday.

Handwriting, page 2.  Practice with the letter 'a'.  Write slowly and neatly, first tracing, then making your own letters and words.  Copy the letters to the end of the line.  Put your best effort in the box.  Copy at least three words.  Trace and then copy the sentence once.

Notice that along the bottom edge of each page, it will tell you things you are working on - short i and short a for this page.  On other pages you will work with some sight words, punctuation marks, etc.

Grammar, FLL, Lesson 2 - introducing poem memorization (you will do poems all year as part of grammar work - this is cross-curricular with literature - ANY memory work at this age is excellent for training the brain!)

Morning Math (9:35 – 9:55):

Look at your nice calendar - Today is Tuesday, August 11, 2015.  Have her repeat that after you.  Yesterday was Monday, August 10, 2015 - your first day of school.  Have her repeat that date.  When we put numbers in order, we often count them by using what we call "ordinal numbers" to show their place in line.  For instance, yesterday was the "first" day of school.  Today is the "second" day of school.  Tomorrow will be the "third" day of school.  Each day you will say the date and ordinal number for that day.

Print out some of these pages to use to keep a number scroll for the number of days of school:

(I have the file for this and can email it to you; I am also sending you a couple of pages.  I don't have a link for it....  I think it was a PDF….)  Do you have a good copier that you can use at home?

Just write the number one in the first box of the first page (after 0).  Tomorrow write 2 and so on.  When a page is full, tape or glue the edge of the next page to it.  Tape or glue the top edge of the first page to an empty paper towel roll to create a scroll.  Keep a rubber band around it when not in use.  Add to this each day.

On a sheet of lined first grade paper, write today's date:  Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - note that the day of the week and month are always capitalized and we always put a comma between the day and the number of the date.  Do this every day.

Get out your Thermometer.  Take the temperature outside by leaving it in the same place all the time.  So perhaps find a place where you can tape it, using duck tape, to an outside window that is low enough for her to see the numbers and read them each day.  Mention that if this is in sun or shade, the temperature might be a little higher or lower than it is elsewhere (try not to have it in hot sun).  Show her how to read the thermometer and help her with this each day until she gets the hang of it.  On the whiteboard portion of your calendar board, you might make a space taking up half or a fourth of the board for keeping temperature info for the monthJust put the date:  11th - 79 degrees (use the degree mark - I don't have one on my computer).  Explain to her what the degree mark means and what "th" means  (more on ordinal numbers).  She will read the thermometer and you will enter the temperature each day, with her repeating it.  "Today is the 12th and the temperature is 81 degrees," etc....   

Also draw  a small pic of sun if it is sunny, clouds if cloudy, rain drops if raining, snow if snowing, etc.  At the end of each month, you will tally how many days you have that were sunny vs. cloudy vs. rainy, etc.  This will give her practice with making tally marks.  You can also create a graph sometimes and graph it, to give her work with that, as well....

Spanish (9:55 – 10:10):

Day 2


Re-listen through Chapter One and fill out the written exercises, such as checking off the names of the other children, writing in your name (saying the phrases as you do), filling out the number of items, matching the ages (saying the numbers as you do), filling in your own age (and saying those phrases as you do).

Primary Math (10:10 – 10:30): 

Singapore Primary Math 1A workbook Part One

Do Workbook exercises one and two, using plastic cover sheets if you wish to keep workbooks clean for later use again.  Hmmmm, what to do about coloring on page 8?  Let her color on the plastic? or copy the page?

Practice counting forwards and backwards to ten.  Also start practicing counting by 2's and show her 5 sets of two bears each to show her what you are doing by counting by twos....  Also, tell her that when counting by 2's, we are always counting what we call "even" numbers.
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Civics (10:30 – 10:40):

Continue with suggestions from Monday.

Math Enrichment (10:40 – 11:00): 

Complete Book - continue with Time and Money topics for this month to cement those basics.  Complete pages 8 - 9 and 136 - 137, allowing her time to play some with the clock to make it show the times shown on the work pages.  Ask her some time and money questions and let her use the manipulatives to answer them.  For example:  You have 8:00 showing on your clock.  Can you show me what time it will be one hour later?  (or earlier? but if earlier she will have to wind the clock all the way back around because she should not wind it counter-clockwise....)  Or, you have 10 pennies there, but how many would you have if you took 2 away?  Etc.

Add in Pattern Block Book w/ CD - I can't find a BIT of info on the number of pages in this book.  This year, use the sections on "Explore and Discover," "Numbers and Operations," "Geometry," and "Measurement."  I can't find what the CD is for, either, so can't help much with this.  I am assuming that the items in the first section are simpler, so do one of those activities from "Explore and Discover" and let her play with her Tangrams, or pattern blocks during any time you have left in this period each day for this month.  I would let her use up this book because she will use it over several years.
Pattern Block Book w/ CD | Main photo (Cover)  (Most of her baseline books came from Rainbow Resource Center.)

Art (last day this week) / Music (11:00 – 11:30):

Enjoy art activities or enrichment while listening to good music or fun kids’ pieces.  See Monday for suggestions.

Lunch (11:30 – 12:30):

Work in P.E. time and perhaps more health (if you do it today, you are done for the week as I think twice a week is plenty for health topics).  Just make certain to write down the date and what she did (how much time for free-play or exercise, etc.).  Refer to links and suggestions from Monday.

History (last day this week) – 12:30 – 2:00:

Day 2 (Week 1)

Read Chapter 1, SOTW – The Earliest People

Usborne, pages 4-5

Read any other library books you were able to obtain, such as:

It’s Disgusting and we Ate It!
How People First Lived
Mik's Mammoth (use these last three for literature)
One Small Blue Bead
The First Dog 

And/or Read books I sent you:

Who Were the First People?
Living in Prehistoric Times

Attempt a simple weaving project (need yarn and either an old Styrofoam tray or you could also use a piece of thick cardboard from a cereal box, etc. as your base): 


Day 3

Bible (8:00 – 8:15):

Continue with Lord’s Prayer, memory work, etc. (See ideas listed on Monday.)

Phonics / Reading (8:15 – 8:35):

I don’t have available to me anything showing the full index of Phonics Pathways, so I’m not sure if the three-letter blends start on page 24 or shortly after that.  But turn to the first page that is all three letter blends and start there.  Those are your typical rhyming word families that will allow her to really use her short vowel sounds more easily.  There are also many of these to be found in the little mini-books workbook that you have.  So if you are doing “-an” word family for the day, see if you have a mini-book she can make that uses that same word family.  If you are using the “-at” word family, look for a mini-book to go with that, etc.  After she makes the little book, she can “read” it herself!  Keep these and let her re-read them periodically over the next few weeks as she learns to read.

Just read one page a day from PP!  That’s enough.  Then, if you have time, look for and make a mini-book that goes with the words she read.  Or, pull out your phonics flash cards and pick out some of those that are the same family of words you read that day and let her “read” those (and you might want to keep those out separate and add a few more to them each day, mixing them up and continuing to let her “read” from them….) You can mix things up a bit and do one or the other each day.  Next week, you can start to add in your Bob books, too….

Read-aloud / Literature (8:35 – 9:05):

Choose another one or two of your fictional bug books to read today.  Any time you happen to come to one of the words that she has read that day, let her read it out of the story.

Also choose one of the fictional books related to history to read (see list from yesterday).  If you were not able to obtain all of these, use classic children’s literature for reading time (any books you have at home, or get classics from the library such as Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedelia, Nate the Great, Wind in the Willows, etc., etc.)

Spelling, Writing, Grammar (9:05 – 9:35):

Day 3

Spelling, page 7 - same thing....

Handwriting, page 3 - practice with 'A'

Grammar, FLL, Lesson 3 - common nouns (and, again, if the repetition begins to drive everyone crazy, cut out some of it or modify it).

Morning Math (9:35 – 9:55):
Day 3

Look at calendarToday is Wednesday, August 12, 2015.  Tomorrow will be ___________________ (help if needed, but try to get her into being able to say these herself....) Monday was the first day of school.  Yesterday, Tuesday, was the second day of school.  Today is the __________ day of school (help if needed)....

Read thermometer (help as needed until she gets the hang of it).  Tell her that we read our thermometer in number of degrees "Fahrenheit" - a name that comes from the person who discovered this way of telling temperatures.  Other countries and scientists read their temperatures in degrees "Centigrade," which are a little different - and we will learn to do that later.  Record day / temp on whiteboard and whether it's sunny, rainy, etc.  Let her decide this, so she needs to look well, all over the sky, to be certain.
Thermometer Indoor Outdoor for Classroom | Main photo (Cover)
Have her add to her number scroll and write today's date on lined paper (helping her with spelling, capitalization and commas, as needed).

Spanish (9:55 – 10:10):

Day 3

Draw the picture of yourself and write in a speech bubble.  Practice the phrases on the page.

Primary Math (10:10 – 10:30): 

Singapore Math Workbook

She is going to start to get practice with "ringing" items (circling them), as well as "ticking" them (placing a check mark), so help her get used to this.

Do Workbook exercises three and four.

Is she having difficulty with writing any number? With getting numbers correct when counting items? With counting backwards or skip counting?  Practice more and use counters if necessary to help her cement this basic knowledge.

Civics (10:30 – 10:40):

Review ideas from Monday and continue with work on symbols, etc.

Math Enrichment (10:40 – 11:00):

Complete Book pages 10 - 11 and 138 - 139.  Use clocks to make the times shown on work pages and practice counting some additionally with money, with you asking questions.

Continue with Pattern Block Book "Explore and Discover" section, using Tangrams for reinforcement and extra work (didn't I send you that set of Tangram puzzles already?  There is also a big set of pattern blocks in with the math manipulatives I sent you for Eli that you can use with her, too....)

Geography (11:00 – 11:30):

You will study the United States for “geography” this year.  Of course, you will have maps to do that go along with your history studies for world studies, so this will help make sure you also cover some info on the U.S. (for testing purposes, in the spring).

Start from the familiar.  Use the green section of the Nat Geo U.S. Atlas book that I am sending you.  Start with your home state:  Minnesota.  Read the two page spread on your state, pages 100 – 101.  Look over the map and show her where you live.  Show her neighboring states and where the grands live.  Show her how close you are to the country of Canada (road trip!).  Look at page 6 and show her that this is the key for the entire book that shows icons (pictures that represent something) for things that are grown in the state, types of business, etc.  For instance, the gold bar near you represents that mining goes on nearby.  Talk to her about what mining is. Show her on the small U.S. map at the bottom of page 101 where Minnesota is in relation to the rest of the states in the U.S.  Have her pick out the forests and lakes, etc.  Really explore the map with her.

If you have time left, start to read some picture books related to Minnesota, such as these from your library:

Agate: What Good is a Moose?
Agate, Bear, Canoe:  A Northwoods Alphabet Year
Antler, Bear, Kazoo:  A Northwoods Album of Songs
Big Belching Bog  (Oh, man!  You need to go visit a bog!)
Gathering:  A Northwoods Counting Book
Good Night Minnesota
I Spy with my Little Eye:  Minnesota
The Legend of Minnesota
Lena and the Lady’s Slippers…
M is for Minnesota – 2 titles
Marven of the Great North Woods
Minnesota – 3 titles
Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet

Read from these books, as time allows, today and tomorrow.  As you read about a particular place, look it up on your map in the Atlas.  Keep that book open beside you as you read so you can refer to it often.  As you read about bogs show her how those are marked on the map….

Keep a listing of what you do each week for geography work.  Remember to note all your work in every subject, either in the book itself or in a record book that you keep.  This keeps you accountable and also provides a solid record that anyone can look over to see what you’ve accomplished during the year.

Lunch (11:30 – 12:30):

Note what she does physically for your P.E. time.  If you’ve already covered health twice this week, you are finished with that for now.

Science (12:30 – 2:00):
Week 1
Day 1

Read from your Kingfisher First Book of Animals regarding whichever insect you decide to study for the day.  Pages are found in the Invertebrate section, starting with "Insect" on page 134 and going on to the end of the section.  Just read the general intro on bugs this first day and then read about crickets and grasshoppers if there are entries for them….
Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of Animals | Main photo (Cover)

Then read from library books such as:

Bugs, Jennings
Bugs are Insects (general intro to bugs)
Are you a Grasshopper?
Wee Sing and Learn Bugs (continue next several days)
Try to do about 30 minutes of reading; about 30 minutes of hands-on activities such as those below; and about 30 minutes of work outside (in this case, try to catch and observe some crickets and grasshoppers, sketch them, etc.)

Activities related to cricket senses:

Other cricket activities and exercises: 

I am giving you two bug viewing containers that you might use if you catch some things that you'd like to view and sketch before releasing....  I think you already have a bug box (sensory box) that you could use with Eli along with this, too.  I believe there's at least one of those little bug's eye view viewers in there.  You look through it and get a sense of how bugs see things....  Talk about compound eyes, etc.

To help fill out your study - or for rainy days or time back home, I am sending you a build-your-own- bug sort of set.  It is called Amazing Bugs.  You snap on moving legs or wings, etc. to various bugs as you read through the book.  Some of the snaps are kinda hard to work, but you can just lay them on if you can't snap them....  (I will fit this in to the study later….)

There's also a Janice Van Cleave Insects and Spiders Science Fair Project book.  Not that you have to be entering a science fair to use these experiments....  You can use some of these to guide your outdoor nature study time.  For instance:  the first project:  Catchers.  You could experiment with different ways of catching insects.  The second project:  Diggers.  Go play in the dirt and see what kind of insects (or insect parts) you find there....  The third one:  Jointed.  Catch a cricket (or grasshopper) and look up close at its jointed parts, using a magnifier or your Brock's Magiscope.  Sketch what you see!

Some common facts about insects you should have her work on memorizing:

All Arthropods have an exoskeleton (how would you like to have your skeleton outside your body?) 

All have segmented bodies and jointed appendages. 

All are invertebrates (no spinal column). 

Arthropod phylum includes the:  Insects, Arachnids, Myriapods (millipedes and centipedes) and Crustaceans (most of which live in the sea, save for the Pill Bug).

Insects have 6 legs.  Arachnids (spiders and their kin) have 8 legs. 
Most insects have wings at some point in their lifespan, even if they unhook them and don't keep them all their lives (like ants do, after migrating to new colonies). 

The only common insects that never have wings are fleas, lice, and silverfish.

You might want to make flashcards for this bug info memory work.

Workbook Pages from The Complete Book of Science to go along with Bug Study:

These pages are all perforated so if you are using both sides of a page (or one side is blank), you can pull them out of the book as you use them and store them elsewhere.  I used to keep a big three-ring notebook with tabs for each subject and I would hole punch pages if needed and place all work in order behind the appropriate tab as we went through the school year.  That way, if I ever needed to refer back to something or show it to someone, it was handy and in order.  Just date the top of your pages (I usually did that in the name blank provided) so you can demonstrate when the work was completed. 

With your General Intro to Insects, read page 70 and color the general insect on page 71.  Work on memorizing the main parts of an insect over the course of the week.  Do the general insect arts and crafts on page 72.  Complete the general insect crossword on page 74.

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Day 4

Bible (8:00 – 8:15):

Continue with Lord’s Prayer, Bible stories, memory work, etc.

Phonics / Reading (8:15 – 8:35):

Read the next page from PP.  Then, if you have time, look for and make a mini-book that goes with the words she read today.  Or, pull out your phonics flash cards and pick out some of those that are in the same family of words you read today and let her “read” those (and you might want to keep those out separate and add a few more to them each day, mixing them up and continuing to let her “read” from them….) You can mix things up a bit and do one or the other each day. 

Read-Aloud / Literature (8:35 – 9:05):

Choose another one or two of your fictional bug books to read today.  Any time you happen to come to one of the words that she has read that day, let her read it out of the story.

Also choose one of the fictional books related to history to read.  If you were not able to obtain all of these, use classic children’s literature for reading time (any books you have at home or get classics from the library such as Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedelia, Nate the Great, Wind in the Willows, etc., etc.)

Spelling / Writing / Grammar (9:05 – 9:35):
Day 4

Spelling, page 8 - more of the same.  This is just a beginning of the year review for younger kids....

Handwriting, page 4 - practice with letter 'b'

Grammar, FLL, Lesson 4 - proper nouns

Morning Math (9:35 – 9:55):
Day 4

Today is ________ (help with this.)  Yesterday was __________.  Yesterday was the third day of school.  Today is the ______ day of school (help if needed).  Add to number scroll.  Write today's date.  Read thermometer.  Record the date and temp, with her repeating it, and let her decide if it is sunny, etc.

If this is running smoothly, then add in your Hundred Number Chart here.  Or you can wait a while if you think you don't have time for it yet.  You will just use the tiles that go with it and allow her to practice counting with them.  After she has gotten several numbers on the chart, say 20 or so (pull out just the first twenty or twenty-five tiles first, so there are not so many that they overwhelm her or it takes too long....), play a mystery number game with her:  Tell her you are thinking of a number that is larger than 10 but smaller than 20, for instance.  She can remove all the numbers that do not fit that clue (1 – 9 and maybe 21-25, if you go that high).  Then tell her that the number is larger than 15 (she removes 10 - 14).  Now tell her that the number is an even number, meaning it has to end in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8.  (She removes odd numbers - so she should have 16, 18 and 20 left.)  Tell her the two digits of the number added together equal 9 (so 18).  If this is too difficult for her, simplify or wait until later....

Spanish (9:55 – 10:10):

Day 4

The Complete Book of Spanish - write your name on page 4, practicing the phrase in Spanish, then look at and practice saying your numbers on page 5 and 6. 

Complete workbook page 8.

(I would actually use up this workbook with her as you will use it for several years.  Just put your date and her grade at the top of the first page and then the date on each page from here on out so you can prove when the work was done.  Include the year in the date since you will use this for several years.  Even on pages where you don't actually write anything, such as pages 5 and 6, write the date and put "oral" or "orally" or "oral work" or something to note what you did.)

Primary Math (10:10 – 10:30): 

Use Singapore Math Practice 1A for more extra practice. (I got this cheap at my local Parent-Teacher store!)

Do pages 13 (examples) through 18.  Use plastic sheeting if you want to keep the book clean for later re-use.  Just instruct her on what to do for each page and watch to see if she can do it.  If she can do it on her own (correctly), allow her to - if not, then step in to redirect.

Civics (10:30 – 10:40):

Continue with your work on national symbols.

Math Enrichment (10:40 – 11:00): 

Complete Book pages 12 - 13 and 140 - 141.  Use clocks to make the times shown on work pages and practice counting some additionally with money, with you asking questions.

Continue with Pattern Block Book "Explore and Discover" section, using Tangrams for reinforcement and extra work.

Geography (11:00 – 11:30):

Continue reading from books listed yesterday regarding Minnesota.  Use the map in your Atlas to point out places mentioned, etc.

Lunch (11:30 – 12:30):

Make certain to note anything done for P.E. today (or health, if not completed for the week)….

Science ( 12:30 – 2:00):
Day 2

Read from your Encyclopedia about Ladybugs, if there is info in there on them (may just be beetles in general).  Read about any other beetles, too, like lightning bugs.  You don’t have to read every single spread if there are tons on the same type of insect!

Library books to choose from:

Bugs that Help
Bugs that Destroy
Show Me Insects (just general books – not beetle specific)
Living Lights:  Fireflies…

Some experiment ideas for lightning bugs (do you have those up there?) – they are really a type of beetle, too:

Continue practicing with info you want her to memorize and with any of the worksheets you did not have time to finish yesterday, then go outside to look for ladybugs or other beetles seeking hibernation under loose bark, etc.  At dusk, you might try to catch some lightning bugs, if you have those (or still have them at this time of year) and then you can do that activity to see how quickly they light up, etc.  Whenever you do an experiment, write down the date/time and what you did, what happened, and what you learned from it (this can be one sentence for each of these that she dictates to you).  Store these in your record keeping notebook under your science tab.

You have on hand Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method as a reference tool for you.  It has chapters on all sorts of insects that include loads of background info for you; possible questions (with answers) that you might want to ask her to keep her thinking; and many different types of experiments; also info on how to keep these critters alive in order to observe them.

Also make sure to check out your book:  Attracting Wildlife to Your BackyardIt has monthly projects you can do to help make sure you see as many animals as possible!  Also use your Natural Science Through the Seasons (probably still summer if you are in August) to give you more ideas for projects!

With Ladybug study, do page 75 Complete Book of Science (Ladybug lunch:  (You will need at least one red apple, 2 seedless grapes, 2 lettuce leaves, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 6-10 raisins and 7 toothpicks.)  The picture is incorrect and shows the raisins on the cut side of the apple.  You are supposed to put them on the skin side (black on red)....  You may not have time to do it today, but you can do it as a treat at lunch tomorrow (no formal history or science tomorrow!)

I am also sending you three bug “masks” that can be colored with markers or painted, etc.  (One for each of them!)  They might like to work on those on Friday when there is more time, too….

On your library list you also have an origami bug book, a book to help you learn to draw bugs, and a craft book for kids learning about insects.  You might want to explore those on Friday….


Day 5

Bible (8:00 – 8:15):

Continue as before.

Reading / Phonics (8:15 – 8:35):

Read the next page from PP.  Then, if you have time, look for and make a mini-book that goes with the words she read today.  Or, pull out your phonics flash cards and pick out some of those that are in the same family of words you read today and let her “read” those.

Read-Aloud / Literature (8:35 – 9:05):

Try to finish up any lit related books from science or history topics today.  If already finished with those, just choose to read some good classic works (you could use those Dandelion books I sent you, too!)  Or read more geography books related to Minnesota.  If you have extra books that are general lit that you didn’t read yet, hold them over in case you need them next week. (Remember to re-check any that might be coming up for renewal!  You can probably do this online, without having to go in.)

Spelling / Writing / Grammar (9:05 – 9:35):
Day 5

Spelling - Just for fun, practice spelling aloud five or six of the rhyming words she has done this week for phonics, such as the -an family, for instance:  fan, can, ban, ran, man....  Talk about any words she might not know (ban, perhaps....)

You might prefer to let her do her spelling tests out loud for now, rather than writing them - unless she is a very strong writer right out of the gate.  Just make a note for that day of what words you tested her on and how she did (as proof of what you are studying - in case you ever need it).

Remember to start a "Trouble Word" list if any words are missed.  You will review this next Friday.  Keep it behind a tab for “Trouble Words” in the Spelling section of your record book….

Handwriting, page 5 - practice with letter 'B'

Grammar, FLL, Lesson 5 - introducing story narration.  This is an important part of early grammar work and it is important to get her to add as much detail as possible and speak in complete sentences.  This will help with writing in complete sentences later on.  So, instead of you asking, a question like, “What are your brothers’ names?” and her answering as she typically would orally, “____ and _______,” you want her to answer in a complete sentence:  “My brothers’ names are ___ and _____.”

Morning Math (9:35 – 9:55):

Today is ________ (help with this.)  Today is the ______ day of school (help if needed).  Add to number scroll.  Write today's date.  This is the end of our first week of school.  Tomorrow will be __________.  Read thermometer.  Record the date and temp, with her repeating it, and let her decide if it is sunny, etc.

If using the Hundred Numbers Chart, continue to practice counting with the tiles for that.  Play mystery number game with her if she did well with that yesterday.

Spanish (9:55 – 10:10):
Day 5

Complete Book - practice counting the balloons on page 7.

Complete workbook page 9.

Sing the songs from Chapter 1 in SfC again and/or look at the back of your Complete Book and sing some of those songs (page 205 are all good for now).  "Diez Amigos" on page 206 will work now; the "Name Chant" on page 209 is good for what you are studying now, as is "Adios Means Good-bye."

Primary Math (10:10 – 10:30):

Continue in Math Practice, doing pages 19 -23. On page 23 she may need help with you spelling the words as she writes them, or you can even help her with the writing if need be....

Civics (10:30 – 10:40):

Continue with work on symbols, etc.

Math Enrichment (10:40 – 11:00):

Complete Book pages 14 - 15 and 142 - 143.  Use clocks to make the times shown on work pages and practice counting some additionally with money, with you asking questions.

Continue with Pattern Block Book "Explore and Discover" section (or the next section, if you have finished the first one), using Tangrams for reinforcement and extra work.

Rest of day:


Do any other reading you haven’t gotten to yet for geography, history or science.  Do more science projects, art activities, etc.  Go outside if it’s nice!  Look for bugs!



























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