Monday, 14 April 2014

Place Value, Fractions and Dinosaurs!

Today has been great so I'm going to blog while Scooby Doo's on the tele!

I only have Sylvie with me today.  I know, miracle of miracles.  It's the first day she and I have spent along since she was 15 months old.  We've had the odd hour or two but never a full day.  I think she's enjoyed the quiet and the space and I've enjoyed the opportunity to learn a bit more about her!  She's quite calm when she's not being prodded, poked and badgered all day long! I've also discovered that she's a very quick learner when not distracted by Bea and Annabelle!

We started early with a bit of reading.  Oxford Owl on the IPad.  She wasn't keen on doing this and decided she wanted to read a book about dinosaurs instead.  All great news so far as I was concerned!
She ended up drawing the 'cheese head dinosaur' - the same dino that she made a model of yesterday.

Can you see the Dinosaur? It's actually a Gerrothorax from the Triassic period.  Pre dinosaur actually.  So there you go!
Sylvie drew some pictures then wrote out interesting facts about 'cheese head', (I don't know??!!!).
She was happy doing this until Ivy decided she wanted some attention and sat on Sylvie's books.

When we'd done this I decided to introduce place value.  I'd prepared some props ages ago and I've given the subject a lot of thought.  Ideally I would have done this when Sylvie was a lot younger, but I didn't so that's that.

I think that Sylvie's main learning style is kinaesthetic so I made the learning as tactile as possible… basically I went down the Montessori route.  Montessori is great for Sylvie.  I find the 'proper' Montessori supplies expensive to buy and the home made ones time consuming to make however, having three children who can ALL use them makes it feel worthwhile.

So, here's what I did, inspired by a pin on Pinterest….

Instead of waffling on about what we did I'm going to link directly to the site I used for inspiration because I think it's great.  The only real difference is that I used home made props.  I attached paperclips to lolly sticks for the tens and units and bundled 10 lolly sticks together for the hundreds.  I gave up when it came to thousands - we just stuck with hundreds when using the lolly sticks!
As well as using lolly sticks as visual prompts I also used pegs from Bea's peg board.  Each group of pegs corresponds with a particular value so the red pegs go with the red numbers which are the thousands, the blue pegs with the units which have been printed in blue, etc. etc.
I also employed our Education Cubes which I think are fab.  Well worth the purchase.  It took me forever to find them on line - I thought they could only be purchased from America but I did eventually track some down though I can't remember where from.

I wrote various numbers on paper and slotted them into the yellow cube.  Sylvie threw the cube, tried saying the number out loud.  If she couldn't read the number straight away she came over the white board, wrote it, built it using the coloured numbers, built it using peg board pegs then built it using lolly sticks…. lots of seeing and feeling to help her understand.

Anyway, HERE IS a link to the Pinterest page….  The original pinner links to a video which is great.
Sylvie now has no trouble with place value at all and she understands how to add and subtract in rows.  One of the benefits of covering it now that she's a bit older I suppose.  I will be doing this with Bea next week though, now that I feel confident using this method.

Take it Easy

I think life has been very easy for my girls of late as I've been rather pre occupied.  I think I mentioned that we'd bought a garden shed/office... well, I have to actually pay for it at some point so I've been sewing like a Ninja.  I've been working every evening and a little of each afternoon for the past couple of weeks and I'm still no where near in credit enough to pay for the darn shed!  I'm also a bit distracted because I'm interviewing potential seamstresses all day tomorrow.  The girls will be off to their grandparents.  
My friend Emma took them to the Botanic Gardens on Friday morning as I was making an instruction video for my website.  They have a wonderful time.  They played with another two children for four and a half hours solid.  They had such fun!!!!!

It was my birthday yesterday and I was gifted £50 so I'm having a hair cut and taking the family to the Slug and Lettuce for tea tonight.  Woo hooooooo.

The bean project is going well.  All of the beans have sprouted so we'll plant them on Wednesday.

My dad's polytunnel and veg patch is looking rather good.  I'm not so sad about giving up the allotment now that my dad has turned his garden over to veg.  We still have somewhere to dig and grow and to watch nature do its thing.  Makes me feel happy!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Moving on

I have decided to leave this space behind and to move on to pastures new.
Our new blog is ...

See you there!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Quick photo update

Just a quick photo update of the last couple of weeks.  Prudhoe Castle and Finchale Abbey....  both fab days out! And yes, we've got a dog!  Roxy.

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Allotment

Here are some pics from inside the frankentunnel.

These pictures were taken about a week ago but the pots and the beds look nothing like this anymore - they are totally awash with life!  The pots are full of corriander and basil and the beds are full of, well, all sorts!  I've lost track!  The strawberries are coming on really well - I'm so excited to see what they'll give us!!!!!

Outside's looking good too.  We've planted about £40 worth of potatoes...  I know, a huge amount, and some of them have started to push through the top soil.  It is SO exciting!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Reaching for the Sun

We've had a busy day today.
We had fun at Chester le Street Park then headed to the allotment to see what's growing!

Sylvie and I made a 'bean teepee' type thing!!!!  I've got some photos to upload in a bit.
It was a great day and all being well, we'll have a glut of veg to see us through until next Spring!  I've got a lot to learn about storing food to make sure it doesn't go mouldy and rank but I'm up for the challenge!

Sylvie and Bea started at 'Rainbows' tonight.  It's a pre girl guide club that runs weekly throughout the school term.  They were in there for an hour and they came out with rosey red cheeks and happy smiley faces!  They LOVED it, thank goodness!  I'm chuffed to bits!!!!

No reading or writing but lots of planting, counting, running, happiness and smiles.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Northumbrian Holiday

We had our first family holiday last week and it was just perfect.
We went 30 miles up the road which was great as it meant we didn't feel the need to fly around doing 'touristy' things because we already know what's there!
Here's where we stayed in North Granary.
What a joy!
We initially booked a small cottage but on seeing a family of 5 the owners upgraded us to a bigger place which meant my dad could stay with us too!!!!

Some pictures from the week...