Friday, March 8, 2013

Tuesday's Active Learning Group and Week in Review 3/4-3/8

Duncan and I decided to share our last trimester studies by inviting a group of friends to share our introductory day on Tuesdays. So, here is what we did in just under three hours with a group of six middle schoolers and a kindergarten tag-a-long using a little Waldorf, a little Montessori, and a little lapbooking and then tying it all together with Charlotte Mason's patience and short lessons.

Active Learning Group Week 1 

I. Poetry
    A. Introduce ourselves
    B. Define poetry, stanza, end rhyme, and poetic license
    C. Read and discuss Fields section of TheTree That Time Built

 II. Geometry
    A. Short quote about geometry
    B. Brief biography of Euclid (I used the info in the first 2 paragraphs and in the last 2 paragraphs.)
    C. County map to discover points, lines and line segments
    D. A starry night drawing to discover rays
This is my teaching sheet. It is made from small pieces of water color paper glued to a 12x18" sheet of black construction paper.

Mei's County Map

Mei's Starry Sky

Mei's Definition Sheet

III. Biology- Introduction to Botany

    A. Lead students in the Activity for Introducing Botany
    B. Tell the made-up story of Elzeard Bouffier. Here is the story on youtube. I have the book, but told the story more like the woman in the video except with a Southern accent. :)
    C. Read poem Smells by Kathryn Worth 
    D. Define botany
    E. Give students choice of activities
        1. draw tree from my instruction sheet
        2. copy poem from my instruction sheet
        3. work with the parts of a flower set
        4. work with Montessori 3-Part Plant cards
        5. fill in the parts of plant mini-book
This is my instruction sheet. I drew it on 18x24" drawing paper.

Close up of the top left

Close up of the bottom right. This was here.

First page of Duncan's plant mini-book on left and the coordinating teaching card on right

Montessori 3-Part Cards

Parts of a flower learning booklet, pictures from the booklet, and definitions to match to the pictures

IV. Social Studies- Achaemenid Persia week 1 of 4
    A. Physical geography of Iran
    B. Story of Esther 
    C. Fill in a mini-book retelling the story of Esther using WIN's The 7 SentenceStory
    D. Eat hamantaschen
The outside of Sevanne's Esther mini-book, the inside of Mei's mini-book, and the inside of Duncan's mini-book. At the end of the 4 weeks they will be able to put all their work on Achaemenid Persia into a lapbook.

Duncan and I made hamantaschen on Monday and shared them with the group on Tuesday. Here is our hamantaschen ready to go into the oven.

I am not giving grades or assigning homework. This is just a casual three hours of fast-paced introduction of topics. My son will be doing more work with the poetry after reading the poems on Tuesday using the student pages from Moving Beyond the Page Ages 10-12- Concept 4: Systems and Interaction, Unit 2: The Tree That Time Built (LA). Duncan is using MUS Geometry, so this geometry on Tuesday is just for fun. Because he is using Science Daybook the rest of the week, Duncan will not be doing anything else with botany unless he wants to explore it further on his own. He will not be specifically working on the ancient culture introduced, but will be studying that region of the world through stories, poetry, literature, and cultural geography.This week he continued reading in Clouds of Glory, a collection of Jewish Midrashim, and A Picnic of Poems: In Allah's Green Garden. He also read two books by Demi: Rumi and Muhammad.
I guess this is all the stuff that is interesting to share, but he also watched a couple of MUS Algebra 2 videos and did some MCP Word Study, Evan Moor Daily Math, Evan Moor Daily Paragraph Editing, Kumon Math, and Time4Writing.


  1. I love how you incorporate everything into your own style! We have a bit of mish-mash stlye at our house as well-what ever works ;) We love that Worth poem! We put it up on our chalkboards every spring and just copied into our MLB's this week.

  2. Fabulous! I love the diagrams.