Monday, December 8, 2008

Trey's Lessons December 1 - 5

Last week Trey started a new unit in all his subjects, so he's right on track, even though it was a short week due to a craft show I was preparing for. He did independent reading on Monday, and since my craft show was on Tuesday, I took the day off. But he was a trooper and buckled down on Wednesday so we wouldn't get behind.

We discussed the environment and the four things that change an environment: temperature, light, soil, and water. We did a couple of different experiments. During our lesson on temperature, we got out our handy dandy thermometers and recorded the temperature throughout the day in different parts of our yard (shady spots, sunny spots, etc.) To demonstrate the difference in soils in different environments, we took soils samples from different locations in town. We measured them, added water, shook them up, and observed them overnight. Then we recorded the layering differences in each jar. We also discussed how God made each animal specifically for it's environment (i.e. camels live in dry areas because they are able to store water for longer periods of time). We were supposed to dig up earthworms and observe how they tend to go deeper into the earth when temperatures lower. But since it was pretty cold that day, I guess the worms were already half-way to China, because we weren't able to find any! LOL!

As you can see, a lot of our week was devoted to Science. We were also busy with our other subjects as well, but since he got so excited with Science, I let him run with it. I've summarized what we did with our other subjects below.

Read Discovering Deer Isle, Maine
Identify states Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusettes, New York, New Hampshire, Maine
Use old magazines to make collage of different kinds of boats.
Internet activity: Look up Lobster Fishing Boat, add to collage.
Discuss the importance of fishing in Maine

Language Arts
Learn to use guide words in a dictionary / Review alphabetical order skills
Play Dictionary Game (race to find a specified word in the dictionary)
Discuss why words with er, ir, ur have the same /er/ sounds. Examples: bird, church, herd.
Continue cursive Handwriting Practice.

Review addition/subtraction, fact families, carrying, writing the number word in digits, writing digits into number words. Adding coins. Money.

Gary and I have discussed the idea that Trey needs to be challenged more in Math. Addition and Subtraction for a third grader is just not sufficient in our opinion. I've wrote about this before, but the boxed set of curriculum I ordered is not exactly challenging for my son. I am doing a lot of supplementing in all subjects, just so he won't get behind the public schools should he want to go back in the future. (I've left this decision up to him). I have been downloading additional worksheets from edhelper, but I'm not sure this is doing much good. This was the ONE thing that I was scared to death of, because I'm HORRIBLE at Math. If anyone out there knows of any good (and free/low cost) Math programs, please let me know!!


  1. Try looking into Math-U-See ( I started with a couple of other curriculums for my kids and this one works great for all of them even though they each have very different learning styles.

    It focuses primarily on one particular math subject per year. "Alpha" starts out with addition and throws in money, and time-telling, word problems, etc. "Beta" the second year is basically subtraction with money, time, and word-problems. My oldest is in "Gamma" and she's doing multiplication....

    Anyways, the reason for the "see" is that you use manipulatives for it so they can actually SEE the 2 "10's" and the 3 "1's" in the number 23. There are also dvd's that go along with it with a teacher that explains the concept to the child. I'm sooo not doing this curriculum justice!! But, look into it. Everyone that I know that starts using this curriculum always sticks with it and has nothing but good things to say about it:)

    I wouldn't worry about your son still working on addition and subtraction in 3rd grade. Those are the very very basics that they need to even attempt the higher stuff. If they don't have it down really good, it can slow them down later:) Not saying that he doesn't have it down just saying that with math you realy want them to master a concept before moving on. It really needs to be done at the child's learning pace, not the public school's pace. If you rush them, they won't neccessarily "get" it and they'll get frustrated....and in turn you'll be frustrated.

    Ok, sorry for the early morning mega-comment. I'm rambling:) Hope this helps!

  2. By the way, the first year is the most expensive because you have to buy the blocks, but after that it's relatively inexpensive...around $55/year for the student and teacher packs. I remember other curriculums being upwards of $75/year so it's even pretty easy on the pocketbook. They used to have a placement test on their site so you know what year to start them in but if he's got addition and subtraction down pretty well, you could just order "Gamma" and start multiplication. Ok, done rambling now;)

  3. Oh Wow...Thanks! This is very helpful! I'm going to check that out! Thanks again!