Our Week of Gifted Homeschooling 1/12/15 – 1/17/15

This week was a really great week! Madison loves her Art class at the ArtHouse and completed a painting she titled ‘Tornado.’ I’ll be honest, it freaked me out a little with the smiley face. But, she did a fantastic job and I am proud of her. Art classArtShe had a lot of fun at a robotics workshop put on by North Texas Mensa Youth. She named her robot Hip Hop Bot. 🙂 Robotics WorkshoprobotAnd here is a video of it in action! Madison also had a blast creating with gears in her Lego Robotics class. lego robotics Madison loves going on nature hikes. She loves the outdoors and would be outside all day, every day if she could! nature1 nature3  nature2Madison is close to mastering her multiplication. She is now currently working on her 12’s. We will see if she can master them and retain them all long term. I was given some great information on visual-spacial learners and I am looking in to how to teach that type of learner as Madison has quite a few similarities regarding the things she struggles with, such as phonics, spelling and remembering Math facts. I came across some very helpful links on the Hoagies Gifted page.

Madison was very excited this week to do her EPGY Math. This is what makes homeschooling worth it. Hearing her say, ‘This is so awesome!’ She HATED Math in First Grade with the new curriculum and was very frustrated, so it makes my heart very happy to see her love Math. I love the fact there is a chart that shows me her progress and grade level for each subset of Math and as a whole. It also shows me her average percentage and the concepts she has learned with the scores. I don’t however know what she is going to learn. I am a bit of a control freak, so it has taken me awhile to come to terms with that being ok. Whatever system they use is working, so I guess I’ll go with it. She can’t get past the ‘EPGY’ guy. There’s no way she can ‘beat’ the system. She has to enter her answers and it will stay on the same section and explain it in further detail if she misses any. I really like that. They are coming out with a new version very soon. I will have the choice to stay with the version we have now if I choose. I am going to preview the new version in a webinar on January 21st. I am looking forward to it because I would like to see what it entails. I hate to change something if it is so successful. Yes, who moved my cheese…but when it comes to my daughter’s learning and Math especially, I am very cautious. My other hesitation is because she thinks the current version is ‘awesome and amazing’ and I am happy she is so excited to learn without extra frills. I am grateful they are allowing me the option to choose. I about had a meltdown until I found this out. 🙂 Now as she gets older this could change and I am also happy there is another option to help her stay excited about Math. 🙂

Here is a video of the new version that is coming soon! http://vimeo.com/111015615. They offer this to all schools. It would have been amazing if Madison could have learned Math this way. It doesn’t require any help from the teacher (trust me, I know) and they can soar to whatever heights they can. And it documents and tracks everything they do. It is a win/win and I personally think the schools that do not offer it to their Gifted students are missing out on a huge opportunity to raise the bar in their district. Here are some examples of what Madison is currently learning: fractions division dataMathmatical SentencesGiftedandtalented.com also has articles, events, resources and research at the bottom of the page that are worth checking out. And free games in their Challenge Zone.

Madison was very excited to move from narrative paragraphs to informational paragraphs in EPGY English. She continues to work on sentence structure, sentence composition and parts of speech. We continued cursive and keyboarding with Handwriting Without Tears. Her Wordly Wise vocabulary words this week were cocoon, suitable, spanned, average, border, timber, moisture and fluttered.

Madison enjoyed reading the following books this week:

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Amazing Grace by mary Hoffman
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Morning Girl by Michael Dorris
Morning Girl by Michael Dorris
Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
Chester Racoon and the Acorn Full of Memories by Audrey Pen
Chester Racoon and the Acorn Full of Memories by Audrey Pen
An Angel For Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant
An Angel For Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant

As you can see they are all not at her reading level. She enjoys books at her grade level too, so I make sure I include them. Just because she can read at a much higher level doesn’t mean she should all the time. She is still a 7 year old. 🙂

And we finished up:

Who Was Helen Keller by Gare Thompson
Who Was Helen Keller by Gare Thompson

I am continuing to read The One and Only Ivan to Madison:

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Helen KellerThis week we completed our Who is Helen Keller? unit from Moving Beyond the Page. As Madison read the chapters in the book she continued putting events on the timeline of Helen’s life and answered questions orally. She also learned about before and after adjectives (choice of words and grammar), Braille, learned that commas separate words in a list (grammar), made a timeline of her own life, mapped out Helen’s life journey on the East coast section of a map worksheet, wrote bio poems of Helen and herself, learned about author’s voice, practiced writing with voice, and created a biography scrapbook of Helen for her final project. Madison really liked ‘making Braille’ and seeing if we could figure out the words and creating her final scrapbook project. This curriculum really allows her to be creative and keeps her fully engaged. I am so glad we are using it, because Madison enjoys it so much.

Here is the timeline Madison created of events in Helen Keller’s life. Madison wouldn’t have had to use extra paper if she had put the events on the top and the bottom, but she will know for next time. 🙂 Helen Keller Timeline Here is the cover from Madison’s final project: Helen Keller scrapbook The skills in this week’s unit were:

*Use text for a variety of functions including informational.

*Recall main, idea, facts, and details from a text.

*Describe concepts and information in own words.

*Write structured informative presentations and narratives when given help with organization.

*Read aloud with fluency and expression any text.

*Make predictions about text.

*Plan and make judgements about what to include in written and oral products.

*Use media and technology to enhance presentation.

*Increase oral and written vocabulary by listening, discussing, and composing texts when responding to literature that is read and heard.

*Discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, and concepts within and across texts.

*Connect and compare information within and across selections (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama) to experience and knowledge.

*Discuss the effect of an author’s choices for nouns, verbs, modifiers, and specific vocabulary which help the reader comprehend a narrative or expository text.

*Attend to spelling, mechanics, and format for final products in one’s own writing. *Use capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphs in own writing.

*Create a readable document.

*Use legible handwriting.

*Compose first drafts.

*Reread drafts for meaning and revise.

soundWe also wrapped up our Moving Beyond the Page Sound unit. Madison did a sound demonstration, made a phone out of cups and string, learned about animals and sound waves, learned about high pitch and low pitch with musical bottles, a stereo spoon and other household objects, she learned about wind, percussion, and string instruments and made a homemade version of each, she learned about music, and her final project was designing her own instrument. That was her favorite part of this unit.

Here is Madison with her Instrument she designed and created: Musical Instrument Design It’s hard to see, but she cut off the bottom of the milk carton and covered it with Glad Wrap so it would vibrate and amplify the sound.

The skills for this week were:

*Show how frequency can be changed by altering the rate of the vibration.

*Show how the human ear detects sound with a membrane that vibrates when sound reaches it.

*Demonstrate how sound is produced by vibrating objects and vibrating columns of air. *Show how the size and shape of a variety of instruments can change frequency.

*Observe and describe how sounds are made by using a variety of instruments and other sound-makers, including human vocal cords.

Morning GirlNext week we will begin Morning Girl from Moving Beyond the Page for our Language Arts Unit. The standards we will cover in this unit are:

  • Analyze characters, including their traits, relationships, and changes. (Language Arts)
  • Answer relevant questions about text in writing and discussion. (Language Arts)
  • Connect and compare information within and across selections (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama) to experience and gain knowledge. (Language Arts)
  • Connect experiences and ideas with those of others through speaking and listening (Language Arts)
  • Develop drafts. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, and concepts within and across texts. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss the effect of an author’s choices for nouns, verbs, modifiers, and specific vocabulary that help the reader comprehend a narrative or expository text. (Language Arts)
  • Distinguish between fact and fiction. (Language Arts)
  • Draw and discuss visual images based on text descriptions. (Language Arts)
  • Edit for appropriate grammar, spelling, punctuation, and features of polished writing. (Language Arts)
  • Edit writing toward standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses. (Language Arts)
  • Generate ideas for writing by using prewriting techniques such as drawing and listing key thoughts. (Language Arts)
  • Identify the importance of the setting to a story’s meaning. (Language Arts)
  • Locate and discuss author’s specific word choice. (Language Arts)
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions. (Language Arts)
  • Participate in rhymes and songs. (Language Arts)
  • Present dramatic interpretations of experiences, stories, poems, or plays. (Language Arts)
  • Read and comprehend text by recognizing its structure. (Language Arts)
  • Read expository materials for answers to specific questions. (Language Arts)
  • Read orally with fluency. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to stories and poems in ways that reflect understanding and interpretation through writing, movement, music, art, poetry, and drama. (Language Arts)
  • Retell a spoken message by summarizing or clarifying. (Language Arts)
  • Revise selected drafts to achieve a sense of audience, precise word choices, and vivid images. (Language Arts)
  • Use text for a variety of functions. (Language Arts)
  • Write structured, informative presentations and narratives when given help with organization. (Language Arts)
  • Write to record ideas and reflections. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze environmental issues, past and present, and determine their impact on different cultures. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the effects of change in communities and predict future changes. (Social Studies)
  • Compare similarities and differences among cultures in various communities. (Social Studies)
  • Compare similarities and differences between self and others. (Social Studies)
  • Define geography. (Social Studies)
  • Describe similarities and differences among families in different communities. (Social Studies)
  • Use geographic terms to describe landforms, bodies of water, weather, and climate. (Social Studies)

Environments ChangeWe will also begin Environments Change from Moving Beyond the Page for our Social Studies Unit. The standards we will cover in this unit are:

  • Ask and answer questions about an organism. (Science)
  • Cite ways that living organisms depend on one another in their environments. (Science)
  • Communicate findings about simple investigations. (Science)
  • Describe properties of rocks. (Science)
  • Explain a problem and identify a task and solution related to the problem. (Science)
  • Identify characteristics of living organisms. (Science)
  • Identify that heat causes change, such as ice melting or the sun warming the air, and compare objects according to temperature (Science)
  • Identify, predict, replicate, and create patterns using charts, graphs, and numbers. (Science)
  • Observe and describe properties of rocks, soil, and water. (Science)
  • Observe and record changes. (Science)
  • Observe and record functions of animal parts. (Science)
  • Observe, describe, and record changes in size, mass, color, position, quantity, time, temperature, sound, and movement. (Science)
  • Observe, measure, and record changes in weather, the night sky, and seasons. (Science)
  • Plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations. (Science)
  • Recognize what animals need to live and grow. (Science)
  • Analyze environmental issues, past and present, and determine their impact on different cultures. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the effects of change in communities and predict future changes. (Social Studies)
  • Compare information from different sources about places and regions. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how weather patterns, natural resources, seasonal patterns, and natural hazards affect activities and settlement patterns. (Social Studies)
  • Describe human movement in the settlement patterns of rural, urban, and suburban areas. (Social Studies)
  • Identify and describe the people, vegetation, and animal life specific to certain regions and describe their interdependence. (Social Studies)

I am very excited about the new units. As we go, each unit seems to contain more and more exciting information! In next week’s post I am hoping to capture and record all of the hands on activities Madison does at home. Sometimes it takes a concentrated effort on my part to remember to grab the camera. I am going to try really hard because she does so many other things too like building her own creations with Legos or creating one by following the instructions (once and awhile, lol), snap circuits, fun games for one, drawing, imaginary play, etc… Here’s to another exciting week! Cheers!

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