Friday, September 6, 2013

Hunting for a Good Book?

Sir Fartsalot
Yesterday I read to Chase from "Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger" for his reading 20.  We left off on Chapter 5.  Today, after homeschool was all wrapped up he dove back into the book.  By dinner time, he read to Chapter 10.  He quickly devoured up his mega meal of turkey pepperoni sandwich and yogurt w/banana and sprinkles (I let him choose leftovers or a sandwich) and right back to the book.  And once I'd finished cleaning up and dishes, I'd come to check on him.  Chapter 26!  Wow!  I gleefully told his Dad and Grandpa and Great Grandma and posted how proud I was on Facebook...  And he had finished the book before bedtime with time enough to spare.  So I let him watch the amusing video in this post.  Highly recommend this book.  It is full of laughs and it's a gas.  (totally intentional pun)
He hasn't been getting enough sleep lately and has been giving us a terrible time for school.  It is pulling teeth to get him to brush them.  And getting dressed is a contest of wills.  I'm trying to keep his school work interesting and fun.  A mix of worksheets and hands on learning.  And games.  I'm on a mad search for games.

Mini review of one game.  The Lesson Plan Diva had a nice little "Where the Wild Things Are" book report trivia game modeled after Jeopardy as a freebie.  So I downloaded it.  Chase really enjoyed it, however, there's some flaws.  The answer and question sheets are incorrect.  One of the answers was wrong and the questions don't match the board.  Her stuff looks great, but I'll probably create my own material next time.  I want to make sure the problems and solutions are correct and not have to proofread every question.  There were many great reviews, however none mentioned the errors.  I'll have to give her a precise review, she'd probably want to know there are mistakes.  It is still a great resource and you just have to check the answers real quick before going over with the kids.  Where the Wild Things Are Trivia Game  I cut out the board for Chase's interactive notebook.  And worked out a prize system for his totals.  20 pts = 1 prize, 40 pts = 2 prizes and 100 pts = CANDY!  He liked that.

I mentioned before that I won Mrs. O Knows' giveaway for Trainer's Warehouse's wonderful Quick Response Whiteboards.  They arrived the other day and they are a big hit!  We received the 12 pk which has 4 of each color handle, red, blue and green.  We're keeping half of them.  Chase LOVES them.  We did a spelling/Pictionary inspired game where I would make a drawing and he'd write what it was and we'd flip our boards to see if we had a match and then switch roles.  Today we did some math stories where I presented him with word, number and picture problems and he would solve them on his board.  Then I did a spelling activity where he would pick the correct word to match the picture where I have several variations of a word written down.  (i.e. picture of a fan and choices were fun, fon, fan, fin and fen)  He would write it on his board and we'd flip.

He's been running around drawing on this and carrying them all over the house as a little sign.  I would highly recommend them!  I'll have to post up a picture of them in use some time.  The packaging for them was great, it arrived in a bigger box and padded with paper.  There was a catalog for their other products and website as well as a few free items.  They gifted me a small doodle pad for Chase to fidget and doodle in between working on assignments.  Hopefully, it will save his work from being covered in his wonderful art.  And a certificate/sign display holder that can adhere to the wall.  I'll figure out a use for it.  The whiteboards are available singles or there's snap on handles and other options.  So if a pack of 12 won't suit your needs, there are plenty of options.  The little dry erasers that come with each board are okay, but they leave a fuzz bit behind.  I end up wiping it down with a baby wipe afterwards to clean up remaining marks and fuzz.  I have heard using WD-40 will make your dry erase boards perform better and clean up easier.  I'll have to give it a try.  It is something I found on Pinterest...  ;P

Another very exciting thing, at least to me, since teaching is very exciting to me!...  Humanist Homeschoolers, will be lending us a Social Studies textbook for First Graders.  They're a secular free resources for homeschool provider.  They receive support via donations.  I'd like to thank everyone who donated books to them so my son can have a better education.  There isn't a 1st grade common core standard, but I want to keep him on par with his peers.  I'd been alternating between Geography, Biographies of Historical figures, Current Events and local/US histories, etc.  Now, I need science, which HH recommended Classic Science: Elementary Life Science as a free curriculum.  I'm excited to have a great start to his school year.

I absolutely gushed and fawned over his reading skills tonight, I hope he feels proud of himself.  He says he didn't have trouble with a single word, and it is the first chapter book he ever read by himself.  Maybe he won't feel so daunted by books like Harry Potter, since they have so few pictures.  This one had pictures every few pages or small pictures in the text.  But way more text than illustration.  He also admired the fonts and design of the cover art, saying how the black and grey border go nice together and he likes the color of the dragon, and color scheme.  I would have to agree.  Looks like he has an eye for design.  ;)
215 page Chapter book