## Friday, April 14, 2017

### US Geography: Northwest Coast, Far North, and MORE

The time is flying by... and we've finished our last region in U.S. Geography and started the third block of the Old Testament. I've made pages on the website filled with curriculum notes for both, so check there for more details.

So, some quick notes about last week before it's a too distant memory. And then I will do a post about this week and the new main lesson block.

Why the "and MORE"? Because we made sure to cover the U.S. Territories and Tribal Lands in addition to the States.

Poem - "Buffalo Dusk" by Carl Sandburg

Math Practice - dynamic addition, dynamic subtraction, dynamic long multiplication, dynamic long division with rounding to the hundredths place, order of operations

Don't underestimate the power of daily math practice. The pages I'm using are great because she writes the problems horizontally and so the students have to rewrite vertically to solve them, which involves lining up the place value correctly. I especially like problems like

.4 + 18 + 5.709 + 906.03

79 - 3.0062

And I had a student who automatically rounded his answer (in addition) and knocked off that hundredths place because, as he told me, "There's NEVER more than two digits." We had a long conversation about it. So remember to give your students lots of different types of problems, or they will end up with these assumptions and distortions, like there are no digits after the hundredths place. Think about it. Are you giving enough variety?

Morning Pages - we started using Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook and the kids love it! I read a section until it comes to a "If You Dare" challenge and then that's our writing prompt for the day

The Great Debate over the Oxford Comma mini lesson

continuing our read aloud story, Minn of the Mississippi

Monday - trip to the library to return books, check out books, and participate in the weekly homeschool Lego Challenge

Tuesday - trip to the university for the "Edible Book Festival," a celebration of recipes which are puns on book titles

my favorite was "Game of Scones" -- and she had two types of scones arranged on a checkerboard woven placemat, to look like a chess game -- but the winner was "Cakes on a Plane"

Becca started veg and herb seeds in peat pellets for our home garden

Wednesday - Farm Day

participating in Carbondale's 11 Days of Compassion, including Leah going to the SIU Craft Studio to make Random Tokens of Kindness at the clay studio, and me going to Gaia House for the NVC workshop

Becca's extra activities including going with me to vote on Election Day, attending her poetry workshop at the library, volunteering at Flyover Garden, and the Sustainable Cooking Initiative (a lesson on building a solar oven)

choosing dates for our upcoming field trip to the Trail of Tears State Park and Cahokia Mounds, both in Missouri

more U.S. Geography: working on our clay models of adobe houses, hearing about the Northwest Coast (Houses of Wood; If You Lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast; Echoes of the Elders: The Stories and Paintings of Chief Lelooska with CD) and the Far North (Houses of Snow, Skin, and Bones; Building an Igloo), adding the Northwest Coast to the MLB, adding Alaska and Hawaii (and biome maps and some Inuit art), adding U.S. Territories (inhabited, uninhabited, disputed), looking at the Original Tribal Nations Map and comparing it to the current map of American Indian Reservations (PDF) and adding a description of tribal lands to the MLB

finishing up our main lesson block with U.S. Territory reports and a fabulous feast representing Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands!

working together to score the presentations using the rubric

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