{sharing sunday}: guided journal pages

journal2 - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-com

a simple share from our school to yours (or to your home!) — enjoy!

this share: guided journal pages we keep easily accessible in our writing center. asking the author some open ended questions, reasons to explore some and write some and simply enjoy the process.

journal1 - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-com. . . . . . . . . . 

our downloadable pdf daily journal page can be found here

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our downloadable pdf guided journal pages (a set of six) can be found here

make a craft: flower word families

flower word families - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-com. . . . . . . . . .

our writing corner is a popular space at our school. it is designed specifically for one person and is a language rich space to do some journaling, explore words and language, or simply take out a white-board and create what you need to.

recently we’ve been adding words and “word families” to the repertoire of sight and spoken words, specifically for our older children to incorporate into their journaling, but for everyone to experience. we find ourselves singing many “rhyming words” with claps, stomps and often much laughter. we find the rhythm of rhyming in our stories and poetry read during our days together, in our songs and chants during many chances to sing and dance.

Reading Rockets (a program of WETA) has a wonderful article on Phonelogical Awareness as well as the importance of the pre-reading skill of Rhyming Games. So why go through all this chanting and rhyming and general silliness over words like rat, hat, cat, mat, {and} pat? Well … it’s so vital and so important! Reading Rockets nicely states: “Developing a child’s phonological awareness is an important part of developing a reader. Young children’s ability to identify rhyme units is an important component of phonological awareness. Research shows that students benefit from direct instruction on rhyme recognition paired with fun activities that target this skill.”

and, so, we chant and march, we rhyme and clap … and we sing often very off-key (and enjoy each moment!) …
and we make flower word families together! 

:: make a craft: flower word families

materials: 
:: brown paper bags
:: paper in varying colors (I used card stock and vellum because I had it on hand)
:: wooden popsicle sticks (I used ones 6 3/4 x 1/16″ found at a craft store)
:: scissors
:: markers
:: glue

how to: 
:: I used a 3 1/2″ punch-cutter for the flower center (it’s quicker than I can cut on my own) and free-hand cut the petals
:: I asked the children to help the assemby of the flowers — using tape to adhere the petals onto the flower, using markers to color the popsicle stick stems while I quickly cut flower-pot shapes out of a grocery store bag
:: once the flowers were assembled, I marked each with “_____ xx” for our word family “base” (in our case, we used “__ed” “__ap” “__op” “__ug”) and then asked the children to listen to the sound of the “base” and then asked if we could start rhyming (and entered each word spoken on the petals)

:: what language rich activity can you do today? have you marched and rhymed today? (try it … it’s such fun!) 

the painted ladies

this month we have been diving in deep into the process of ‘how things grow’ — from seeds and plants to ourselves and the animals and creatures around us. what better way to really watch a life cycle than to invite in this process to our nature center. and, thanks to the folks over at ‘insect lore’, we found everything we needed to have this experience be {hopefully!} successful.

welcome to our painted lady caterpillars: spikey, orangie, julie, harry and tiny {who really is tiny!}

part of our enjoyment with these new creatures is also watching and observing over time — journaling is a big part of our rhythm and how we regularly express our experiences and share ideas collectively. there is such a wealth of resources from other home schooling caregivers and this is no exception. the butterfly observation notebook, from 123 homeschool 4 me {http://bit.ly/19heRw2}, that we’re using is wonderful and just a perfect size for small hands. daily we’re turning to the magnifying glass and the jar the caterpillars arrived in {multiple times a day, really!} and recording what stage of development our five friends are in as well as what they’re doing. often we’re observing things we haven’t a good answer for — so we hit the books we have on the subject to learn more {like, why is there evidence of what looks like a web?}.

join us on our adventure of caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly this month! we’re excited to have you along!

the painted ladies