N is for Net
We started this week's tutoring session by building with the little bricks and cement from the Teifoc kit. The cement comes powdered and you mix it with water to reconstitute. The ratio is 6 tablespoons of cement powder to 2 tablespoons of water. After you've built your structure, you can soak it for five hours to dissolve the cement and then dry and reuse the bricks.
We talked about the patterns in brick building (this is covered in more detail in the Waldorf 3rd grade Shelters block, especially in Roy Wilkinson's book for Farming, Gardening, Housebuilding) and how it is important to make your structure stable. Then we reviewed the story The House That Ate Mosquito Pie and added a summary of it to the main lesson book along with the stamped brick illustration of the house with two chimneys from last week. I also gave him his dry piece of flat wool felt from last week. I asked him if he remembered the animal which the wool was made from (sheep) and if he remembered the other animal we talked about which was large and shaggy. I read him the "On the Menu" poem for the letter Y from Phonic Rhyme Time, and he remembered that the name of the animal was "Yak." We drew a long line for the yak's long snout and then two short lines protruding from the top for the horns. We also updated his MLB with the L is for Ledge and D is for Dragon from the previous session. When we put the crayons back in the box, we counted them to make sure they were in order and he went on and spontaneously counted all the way to 30, which was a big achievement!
Then it was time for a new story.
I asked him if he had ever been camping, and we talked about that for a bit, and then we read Where the River Begins by Thomas Locker.
We looked at the River illustration in L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z and read the R poem. Then he started talking about fish -- which was a perfect transition to our next letter -- and he carefully listed all the ways you could catch fish (with a fishing rod, with your hands). So I showed him the Net illustration in LMNOP and he said, oh, I didn't know you could use a net!
I showed him how to use tracing paper to trace the pattern; then we cut it out and laid it over the aluminum foil and made the fish shape out of foil. Then we placed a piece of the net bag from onions underneath and rubbed it to get the scale texture on our little fish. Then he colored it with Sharpies (fine tip is better ultra-fine which tears the foil). We used a few dots of liquid glue to glue it to our piece of blue card stock, which is already cut to fit in our MLB, and then I cut the piece of net bag into the shape of an N and we laid it overtop to "catch" the fish, and taped it in place with clear tape.
We ended our session by beginning a potholder. Tracing, cutting, gluing, and weaving are all excellent fine motor skills.
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