August 25, 2004

First Lessons

We decided to ease into our first lessons today. I don't really plan on "starting" for two more weeks. However, Rhiannon needed some distraction so we pulled out some of our new books and did some lessons.

We started with the first two lessons in First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind by Jesse Wise. Here we learned the definition of a noun and then memorized "The Caterpillar" by Christina Rossetti. We used this short poem to name the nouns that were "persons" and she enjoyed memorizing this.

We moved onto review lessons in Phonics Pathways by Dolores Hiskes. We were reviewing the ck and k sounds and the end and beginning of words. We read several sentences and many words and just got back into the swing of phonics. She had been reading every day but recently took a break for a few weeks and we needed the review. Most of her difficulty came when she tried to rush so she just guessed instead of sounded out the words. When she takes time to think about it she rarely messes up.

Then we did our big "lesson" for the day - we started our Miquon Math! We just did the first worksheet and introduced both of us to the concept - we played around with a variety of things to do and did quite a few lessons all on the same worksheet - though when you look at the markings on the worksheet you would never know! I like the hands on and conceptualizing that goes on with Miquon.

Today we learned about sets and the basics of using the "rod stair" with cuisenaire rods. We talked about how to identify and count objects in a set and to compare sets. Rhiannon matched sets with numerals and then practiced writing those numbers. She also learned how to use the different size rods to represent the different sets. We began by counting out one to one correspondence for each item in the set with a single small rod and then placing those rods in a row and comparing the size of that to other rods. Then we used several rows of rods to demonstrate how different groups or sets can represent a single set (6 is 2 sets of 3 or 3 sets of 2 or 6 individuals). We then compared smallest and largest sets and talked about how the "rod stair works" how each is one step higher than the last or how if you add one more you get the next number. It was a great lesson and fun. We went to do two more activities with the set but Rhiannon is sick and asked not to do anymore - so we stopped for the day.

It was a great first day of lessons and a nice way to gradually move into things. I think I will let her watch a movie now to relax (she is sick) and work with Ciaran and Sirah.


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