Monday, November 23, 2009

working with the families

At this point in the Word Family work, the Enki curriculum calls for working with the three word families we've already introduced, in the form of coloring book readers. Of course, that's designed for kids for whom this material is new. For my accomplished readers, it would be pretty redundant to approach it that way. Instead, I took two stories about the three families and printed one off for each of the boys (without the pictures) to read to themselves and each other. I gave Zoo Boy the "Three Families Mystery", which is a direct story about the "eep" "ail" and "ight" families, and I gave J the "Three Family Hike" which is an independent story incorporating the same long vowel sounds from the three families. I left them on their own to enjoy the stories, and much laughing and amusement could be heard.

I then had them each draw a picture from their story. Here's Zoo Boy's "Three Families Mystery", of the mysterious being going "peep peep peep" while we can see it's tail "sweep". "I wonder what that thing was...?" Zoo Boy pondered afterwards. I love his sense of adventure at drawing something unknown!

J drew from his story "Three Family Hike". Here's the sheep going up the steep mountain to fetch a pail of feed. He got creative with his title, too.

I'm skipping handwriting with this particular set of stories, as we'll be on to another word family tomorrow (well, we'll read it this afternoon, they'll be working with it tomorrow), and I thought a little break from writing might be nice for them (they wrote every day this weekend as well as most of last week). I was a bit concerned that more word family work might be too much for my guys, but Zoo Boy specifically requested a new word family story after working again with the ones we've already seen. So I guess they're not sick of this yet. And it's been SUCH a boon to our handwriting work, I'll continue on for the next couple of weeks as originally planned.

So instead of actual handwriting today, the boys worked on those important muscles and control needed for handwriting by digging and scraping on a block of plaster with crystals embedded inside. This was one of J's birthday gifts, and it's going to take a lot of elbow grease to free up those minerals -- J is motivated because they just discussed minerals in his Geology class last Thursday. He's hoping to have at least one or two of his minerals free to show his teacher when the class meets again next week.

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