Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Read Aloud Book to Share- and Thinking through the Benefits of Read Alouds

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We started yet another read aloud this afternoon. Tumtum and Nutmeg Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall.  by Emily Bearn and illustrated by Nick Price. 

Its a delightful story about two mouses, Tum Tum and Nutmeg who live in Nuthouse Hall.

We actually were going to begin reading this together a few months back in the Fall but we got wrapped up in another book, so today I brought this out again ~ ( upon finishing our recent Christmas read aloud " The  Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper" by Jean Van Leeuwen) it seems we are back into our mouse stories "kick" again. 

I noticed while reading the Christmas Caper to my youngest ( who just turned twelve last month) that my older son would  come over and park himself on the couch when I would be reading, to kind of check, out and listen to the story.  So I thought perhaps he might enjoy listening and sharing in this read aloud with the two of us.  He was very interested. We had a wonderful hour sitting and reading and chatting about some new words and discussing how the author uses specific words to create a more vivid setting while painting this wonderful "picture" we have in our minds with her words.  

The boys immediately were taken with Tumtum and Nutmeg, even giggling over the descriptions of the characters ~ it was really wonderful.   We plan to read a few chapters a day and even take turns reading to each other (which we often do) also. 

Coincidentally I just found this article written by Lee Binz from The HomeScholar  
and thought I might share her insights into reading aloud as well. 

I think there are many benefits to reading out loud and often flip through my book by Jim Trelease " The Read Aloud Handbook".     

I was just discussing with my husband the benefits of having the boys listen and experience reading aloud~ I really think reading aloud helps create better writers and thinkers, it helps to provide a consistent model for children who can "hear" words written correctly and how words can be very powerful when used proficiently.   

During our conversation, we decided that "Dad" will also add to our reading aloud, at dinner time he will read aloud/share articles or stories from various resources in the newspaper, or on the internet that he feels appropriate.  I loved the idea and love even more his enthusiasm to contribute  to our reading aloud as well. 

Happy Reading! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Learning Sentence Diagramming

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We started a few months back with a new idea toward learning and practicing the parts of speech, sentence diagramming.

My teen is very visual and so when looking toward sentence diagramming I could "see" how this might help him make sense and understand the parts of a sentence, and give the learning a sort of purpose. It most certainly did just that and also made learning the parts of speech much more fun. My teen describes learning the Parts of Speech this way as a kind of puzzle that your taking apart rather than putting together.

We began working the new program called Grammar Revolution (which some of my readers may recall I had posted about previously) and have worked throughout the program.  Now we are on our way to practicing sentence diagramming.

I thought I might share some resources I have accumulated along our way~

Diagramming Sentences from the Guide to Grammar
Free Diagramming Sentences Worksheet

These link resources I plan on using for a combination of extra practice and further learning~ I also plan on using our old Winston Grammar workbooks for practice for sentence diagramming as well. I would guess that any parts of speech/grammar workbook could work very nicely when practicing sentences diagramming. These are what I have on my shelf so we will use these.

In thinking further about this, you could also use lapbooking as a kind of practice for sentence diagramming as well, creating folds that would divide the words and flaps that would show what part of speech your working with. I think this would be neat for younger learners who like to learn sentence diagramming or for children who tend to be very hands on and visual. I may try this with my younger learner as time goes on and will share what we create when the time comes.

Happy Diagramming!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Writing Resource for IEW -

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We have been working through Unit III of the IEW Writing Program and I found this great resource to use for the writing resources (short stories) when writing out the Story Sequence Charts.
We started working with this book the other day and they are such fun! If you have children with a passion for Harry Potter and the characters this might be a fun book for you~ 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An " Epiphany" with Scheduling for My Teen~

~ a copy of my teens schedule that will be in his daily Gmail Calendar, shorter classes, while setting aside our block scheduling~

I began working further on my teens schedule for the new year ~ as I had mentioned in previous posts I was adding/assigning specifics in his gmail calendar so that each day he could go to a specific day and see his work assignments all laid out for him. 

As I worked on this months lessons, I quickly started to get an uneasy feeling as I keyed in and entered his math assignments for the month and then moved onto Grammar and Writing. 

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