Monthly Archives: October 2010

Final project for Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

We are finishing up Another Celebrated Dancing Bear this week. I am actually a little sad to be moving on because I have enjoyed this book so much and we’ve both learned so much! I came up with last minute project idea that we did this afternoon. While studying Russia, we learned about Faberge eggs, which are very expensive jeweled eggs that were made for the czars. I thought it might be fun to let Elliot create his own. I got a wooden egg and some craft “jewels” at Hobby Lobby. He had so much fun! It also got him interested in the names of gemstones, so I looked those up and we talked about that as well. By the end of the project he was referring to many of the jewels, like rubies, emeralds, and diamonds by name. It’s so fun when we learn something I had not planned on teaching (never would have occurred to me). I’m discovering that’s a big part of homeschooling….if you just follow the interest of your child, they will end up learning so much!

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Moving on to the Next Workbook!

Elliot completed his first Explode the Code workbook! (we started with book 2 since he started out reading fairly well.) He’s very proud of himself and excited to move on to book 3 next week. It was ten weeks of hard work and he is definitely reading on a much higher level.

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Afternoon Projects

This afternoon, after we were done with “school” for the day, we ended up doing some more fun projects. We went to the park earlier in the day and “explored” the paths and noticed all the beautiful leaves changing colors (I’m kicking myself for not having my phone with me, thus the reason for no pictures), so we collected up handfuls of them to take home with us. (Guess who got to carry all these leaves home in her pockets. Yep, that was me.) One thing we’ve been doing a lot more since we’ve been homeschooling is taking the time to just stop and look at the world around us and learn as much as we can that way. I get so excited when an unplanned project just happens because we’re inspired by what we’ve found in nature. The kids wanted to do something meaningful with their leaves (as opposed to just throwing them out), so when we got home, we made Fall leaf collages. They both really enjoy anything that requires gluing, so this was lots of fun for everyone.

Then, they were just so artistically inspired that neither of them wanted to leave the table, so I let them color some coloring pages I had printed out for our Russia unit. They are both so obsessed with colored pencils at the moment, so of course that was the medium of choice.

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Samovar

Just in case you were wondering about the meaning of the word samovar, as I mentioned in my last entry, is one of Elliot’s vocabulary words, the definition of samovar is: “A metal urn with an internal heating tube, used in Russia for making tea”. I had never heard the word before we read the book, so I am definitely learning a lot throughout along this journey too.

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Language Arts for “Another Celebrated Dancing Bear”

There are quite a few new vocabulary words that can be taught from “Another Celebrated Dancing Bear”. Elliot is always curious to find out the meaning of new words he’s not heard before, so from the very first time we read the book, he was asking me to define a lot of them. I made a little game to help us remember the meaning of all the words. I can now confidently say that Elliot knows the meaning of the following words: czar, glum, magnificent, audience, jealous, samovar (do YOU know what that is?), pyramid, comical, embraced, and elegant.

First we reviewed them and matched each word with its definition.

Then we set it up as a memory game. Elliot loved this so much that we had to play four times! I never realized this would be such an effective way of teaching new vocabulary.

And as usual, we discussed some of the elements of our story and he narrated in his own words what happened in the story while I dictated it.



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More on Russia

One of our library books showed all of the letters in the Cyrillic alphabet, so I had Elliot attempt to write them. He did a pretty good job! Apparently his writing skills expand beyond just English!

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Letter Tiles

My kids are both fascinated by letter tiles. When Elliot has already done a lot of writing and Caroline is tired of me quizzing her on letters, I can bring out the letter tiles and they seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are doing “school”. I have a set that has both upper case and lower case letters, which I have divided into separate bags. It’s perfect because Caroline can use the upper case letters, which are the only ones she can recognize at this point, and Elliot can spell out words with the lower case ones, which I would prefer anyway because that is how he is used to writing them.

First he practiced his sight words.

Then we tried spelling out some words that have final blends, which is what he’s been working on in his Explode the Code lessons.

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Zoo Trip

We enjoyed a beautiful day at the zoo this weekend. We had a great time seeing all the different animals. We were also pleased to have found a couple different types of bears!

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Elliot enjoyed dancing to “Kalinka”, a Russian song.

Elliot enjoyed dancing to “Kalinka”, a Russian song.

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Matryoshka Dolls

Tonight we painted a set of matryoshka dolls to go along with our Russia theme. And, naturally, they were bears to go along with our bear theme! We enjoyed it! I think Elliot will be playing with these a lot and I’ll probably be picking up a million bear halves all over my house for a while. I just can’t get over how much fun we’re having and how much we’re learning with this book!

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