Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Curriculum 2011-2012

Here are a few of the items we will be using in our homeschooling efforts for the upcoming year:


Luke decided he needed to be in all the pictures, so I appeased him : )  - Just know that the materials are not all for him - he is bright, but not yet reading novels!

Daily 5 and The Cafe-

I love the fact that the "sisters" researched solid based reading practices to develop their system, and I will be incorporating it into our reading curriculum.  The Daily 5 consists of :

1. Read to Self
2. Read to Others (to Mom, Dad, or Brothers)
3. Listen To Reading
4. Work on Writing
5. Word Work (See Spelling/Words Their Way Below)

For read to self books, the boys will self-select books from either our home library, the library, or purchase that we make from Amazon using our SwagBuck earnings.  The books will be at their independent level (books they can read on their own with no assistance.

Luke is 5 and in Kindergarten so he will be working on various emergent readers, some store bought, some I make, and some printed off the internet based on letters and sight words he is focusing on each week.

Cody and Tyler are 9 and 10 and in 4th and 5th grade respectively.  They both read at about the 5th -6th grade reading level, and will be reading novels they choose. 

For Read to Others Books, the boys will read books that are at their instructional level (where they may need help with a few words).  I will select these books based on skills they are currently working on.

Tyler and Cody will also work on novel studies together.

Listen to Reading will be books on our Nook, books that we have on cd, and books that we have mp3s of.  It will also include Mom read alouds.  The purpose of listening to reading is for them to hear a fluent reader, and what good reading sounds like.  It also allows them to access and understand books that they may not be able to decode yet.  For example, Luke is not yet reading, but he loves to listen to Magic Tree House books.  I ask him questions as we are reading to help build his comprehension.

Work on Writing will include them writing in their journals, and working on writing lessons.  I plan on using some Lucy Calkin ideas (still need to purchase that book) and a book on using Non-fiction as mentor texts that is also on my wish list.

Word Work - Will include various activities using their spelling words from Words Their Way.  I will have hands- on activities such as shaving cream writing, scrabble spelling, using magnetic letters, wikki stick, this magnetic writing toy, etc, as well as games included in the Words Their Way Curriculum.


As I stated before, we will be using Words Their Way for our Spelling Curriculm.  I like that you assess the student to see what level they are currently working at, and then move from there.  I have a link to the assessments here if you would like to try it with your child. 

I also was lucky enough to have studied with Dr. Bear, one of the book's authors, while working on my Master's Degree, so I am very familiar with the program.  If you ever have any questions about this program feel free to ask, and if I don't have the answer, I can always ask him!

We have the main book which gives lessons and ideas for all of the ages, but I also have the various levels so that I can just copy a week's worth of words rather than having to think them up on my own.  I do have some word sorts that I have made which are posted here, but it is less pressure on me each week to use these.  They are not necessary, I just chose to use them. 

Luke age 5, Kindergarten - Letter Name-Alphabetic Spellers
Cody and Tyler 9, 10 4th and 5th grade - will start in Syllables and Affixes Spellers and later on in the year will move to derivational relations spellers. (They are almost done with the Syllables and Affixes lessons).

(And ignore my messy corner there - trying to get ready for the upcoming year and BlogHer and I am in a bit of dissary!)


For math we will be using the Balanced Math Program which involves the following components:

1. Computational Skills (Daily Math Review and Mental Math)
2. Problem Solving
3. Conceptual Understanding
4. Mastery of Math Facts
5. Formative Assessment

For the Daily Math Review, I will make these up using the skills that the boys are working on and need continued practice with.  I will also include past skills they have learned to make sure that they are retaining what they have learned.  This is a blank template of the math review page that you can print out and fill out by hand, or pre-type problems in before printing.  An example of a completed third grade math review is here.  I will be sharing the ones I use for the boys throughout the year, but the idea in the book is to include skills based on your own child's needs.

For mental math we will use a variety of math challenges and games such as: hundreds chart games, Number Ninjas, and Number Tile games.

For Conceptual Understanding, I will use lessons from the Mini-lessons for math practice books above.

Mastery of Math Facts will involve flash cards, games, and timed "Math Mad Minutes".

Formative Assessments - are basically just tests to see what the kiddos still need to learn to drive their instruction. These will be based on the daily math review and daily lessons.

Social Studies

Luke age 5 Kindergarten - Community, Family, All About Me Units
Cody age 9 - 4th Grade - State History - We live in Nevada, so that means all about Nevada
Tyler age 10 - 5th Grade - US History

We will use a mix of resources - a few novels that follow the time period, internet, encyclopedia, research, etc.  Especially with Tyler and Cody, I want them to work on self-learning and researching skills.


Will also be a mix of resources, but this will be my main text and go to resource for the units we work on.

Almost completely forgot this!  So I am using some OLD pics of Cody with our choice of Handwriting Without Tears.  We have used this for years and we all love it!  The boys love using the chalkboard to "wet, dry, try".

I am writing this post as part of the Not Back To School Hop.  If you would like to share your curriculum plans, be sure to hop along!  I would love to see what others are using!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

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Cara said...

Your curriculum decisions seem a little off the beaten path to me. Why have you chosen the way you have? I'm always interested in the folks who do things a little differently from the pack. :)

Kelly said...

I chose the items I did this year based a lot on trial and error from past years, and also based on the fact that the boys aren't the only learners - mom is constantly learning too! I finish my Master's Degree in Elementary Education in December, so a lot of my decisions were based on things I had learned during my own research. As I said in the post, I studied with Dr. Bear, and he influenced a lot of my thoughts on literacy. My math professor was very Montessori oriented, which I loved, and that influenced - basically I am eccletic! LOL!

Mrs. O said...

Love the pics! I think it is so cute that your son wanted to be in the pictures. Stopping by from the Hop!

Leila- All Meant To Shine said...

Hi! I am stopping by and now following you from the NB2S blog hop! I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing! Have a great year!!

Char said...

Hey Kelly,
Wow girl, you're so organized. I flirted with the idea of homeschooling my daughter but when my son came along 18 months later I found it was difficult to teach them because they are in such different stages.
I'm open to any tips you might have.
The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom

Lisa Fox Tognola said...

Nice site Kelly---and reader friendly!

lisa tognola said...

Nice site Kelly--and reader-friendly

Jackie said...

Your choices look great. Words Their Way sounds interesting. And, I too, love that your son wanted to be in all the pictures. :) I have used Handwriting Without Tears in the past.

We currently use Time4Learning for our core curriculum. It has science, math, social studies, art, language (spelling and writing). They also do all the record keeping for me and I LOVE that. We also supplement with Teaching Textbooks because my daughter needs a little extra help in math. Oh, one other thing I like about T4L is that my daughter can work on a grade level above and below where she is currently placed. So if she is at a 6th grade level, she also has access to working on 5th and 7th grade levels in each subject.

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