Monday, January 4, 2010

First Day Back

Today was our first day back after a long winter break. Our virtual academy gives us the whole month of December off. December was 5 weeks long this year. We did a little bit of work over the break, though, because we were behind. I took the last week of November off so we did that work. We also got caught up on history because we're trying to fit in a 42 week program into a 36 week school year. We also continued with some of the stuff that we do for fun that counts as school: read alouds, independent reading, crafts, and fine arts (going to plays/shows).

Today was our first official day back. Since Mondays are short days for us anyway, I decided to make it a fun day.

First, we did a spelling test for the words we worked on from the last week of November. Mika got all of her words correct, and Sam missed one word: tomorrow.

Then we pulled out a Christmas present for the first time: the game Set. This game was a last minute purchase; I needed to spend $5 to qualify for free shipping and it was on sale for $6. I've seen the game mentioned on an online homeschool forum and it was very highly rated on Amazon.

Set is a simple card game using visual perception skills. Each card has a picture on it, and each picture has four attributes: symbol, color, number, and shading. Each card has ovals, squiggles, or diamonds. Each card has one, two, or three of those symbols. Each card is green, purple, or red. The symbols are outlined, striped, or solid. Got that? So, you lay out 12 cards on the table. The goal is to be the first person to call "set". If you call "set," you must immediately pick up your set, which everyone then checks to see if you are correct. If you don't have a set, you lose a point. If you do have a set, you get a point and keep the cards. What's a set? A set is three cards that are either all the same or all different in each of the four attributes. They have to be a set in all four areas to qualify. So, you can have all red, all solid, all different shapes, and all different numbers. It sounds complicated but it literally only takes a couple of minutes and a couple of tries to understand the game.

Here's Sam pointing out that Mika's set doesn't qualify. Sorry Mika....they are all purple, they are all ovals, they are all different numbers, but two of them are outlines while the third is solid.

The kids LOVED playing Set. "Awesome!" if you ask my kids. I was actually kind of surprised at how much they liked it.

Then we pulled out Equate, which Sam got for his birthday. Equate is basically Scrabble with numbers. The goal is to make true equations rather than words. It comes with the original set of tiles, but you can also buy a basic set of tiles (easier) and an advanced set of tiles (harder). We bought the advanced tiles but used the original today. There are many variations of play to make it easier or harder. We attempted the traditional rules and found it quite challenging. Mika was at a disadvantage because she hasn't learned enough about fractions yet. Even I had difficulty coming up with equations. We played for close to an hour before calling it a game. We decided to ease into this game and play the simpler versions for a while.

Finally, we did our planned math lesson for the day. Mika had a lesson on measuring where the length includes a fraction (ie. 3 and 5/8 inches). Sam had his first prealgebra lesson, adding with negative numbers.

When math was done, it was time for a quick lunch before taking Mika to her computer club. She got to play with the green screen and photoshop.

She said she put the broom on the back of the couch, sat on it, and took a picture in front of the green screen. Then she used photoshop to take the couch and green screen out. Then she popped herself into a background of a quidditch field. Finally, she resized a picture of a golden snitch and added that in. She said her foot didn't show up for some reason so she had to reattach it. LOL And, finally, you aren't suppose to notice that she only has one leg...but she'll fix that next time. Pretty decent work for a nine year old, though.

Then Scott brought Mika home. I made chocolate chip cookies. While making cookies, we all played Set together with Daddy. Now, I'm being a bed for Madelynn and the kids are hanging out waiting for dinner which isn't going to be done so they'll get treated to fast food.

Just a fun school day at our house!

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MammaRuss said...

Wow! Your daughter did an awesome job!!

Meagan said...

I found your blog link on the WTM forum. A green screen would be such an awesome toy. I had to show my husband and he was impressed. Thanks for sharing!

Our Westmoreland School said...

You really did have a great day back! Those games are so neat and the green screen project, WOW.

Looks like you all had fun, thank you for sharing :)

HeatherLee said...

That class looks like so much fun.

We are part of CVA, too. We tried to get some stuff done over the break. But, honestly taking a break was nice.

Are you using SOTW? I finally realized (we are on SOTW 3) that it's ok to skip a chapter or two and it's ok to combine 2 together. It really is. Trust me...

Chickie said...

Any chance you might add a search bar to your site? I would like to find your rock unit study. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I love the Potter picture! Great job to her!