Monday, January 28, 2008

Angus Lost

This week was dedicated to Angus Lost and proved once again that kids can be unpredictable. If you have been keeping up with the blogs, you will see that we have been doing hands on activities with an emphasis on learning through art work. I hoped that Stephen would begin to enjoy the projects as he saw Rhea working on them, but politely declined the invitations. I had planned this week to de-emphasize art projects this week, and, you guessed it, he wants to be an artist. We had just finished bear hunt and since he knew that there was a cave in Angus Lost, his first project was to design and decorate his own cave. This was entirely his idea and he exectuted it independently. He was also much more focused on his writing, but also had an increased interest in coloring the various characters that he encountered in his books this week. His other crafty activities were taken from the Kumon Method Fold books. We incorporated the horse that pulled the wagon, as well as other vehicles on the road that Angus might have seen on his journey.

Water Color Paintings from Dover
We did both the Old McDonald finger and Dog bag puppet project and the Dog/Cat popsicle project from A Becka Pre-K art. Here is a short performance of Rhea's "show".
Stephen did great with his memory work this week. Angus Lost was organized well and gave the kids the opportunity to tell us what was going to happen on the next page. Stephen was able to recall each scene by the third day and both kids had a great time making the appropriate animal sounds; loudly, of course.

I always try to spend an extra hour with Stephen with Rhea takes a nap. We read My Dog by Heidi Goennel one afternoon and it describes various types of dogs. We then looked up the AKC website to "research" each of these dogs followed by looking up other dogs of his interest.

We also had a wonderful time with our "go along" books this week. One of our favorties was Sally Goes to the Farm by Stephen Huneck. The illlustrations were huge accompained by a simple story and few words on each page. It is a story about a family get together at a farm. One of the families brings there dog to visit with the farm dog and the story takes us through all of their visitations the cow, horse, pig, and goose. Rhea really liked this book and was always quick to point out the page where the dogs join the pig for lunch. The illustation shows the behind of each animal and Rhea would clearly articulate "dog butt, pig butt, dog butt". It wasn't like there weren't other things to focus on in this book. oh well................... She did also always remember the pie that the dogs ate at the end of the book, so all is not lost; no pun intended for Angus's sake.
Another favorite book this week was Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root. This was a cute book about a mom that would milk the cow each day followed by a kiss to ensure milk for the next day. This went great with Angus Lost since Angus finally comes home with the milk man. The mom used the milk to feed her children cheese and for drinking. The little girl in the story was very curious about milking the cow herself. She snuck up the hill, sang the same song as her mother, and milked the cow. She did not, however, kiss the cow. As you might guess, the cow did not give milk the next day and the rest of the book was to convince the little girl to kiss the cow. In the end, she did and all was well. This was a wonderful book to show the kids where milk comes from and its uses. The kissing just made a cute entertainment factor that both kids enjoyed.

Our other books this week included Click Clack, Moo - Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman, Black Dog Red Dog by Lizi Boyd, Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, Angus and the Cat and Angus and the Duck by Marjorie Flack. We are currently working on our transition book for next week's Good Night Moon. It is called The Moon Might be Milk by Lisa Shulman. It is about a little girl that wonders what the moon is made of. She is joined by a series of animals, a cat, hen, butterfly, dog and mouse that give their opinion. This is not a short book, but I think Stephen will like it more after he hears it a couple more times.

Our transition project focused on night and day. Both of these scenes are illustrated in Agnus Lost and this was a great introduction to Good Night Moon. Each child was given black and yellow paper and decorated it appropriatly to illustrate night and day.

Rhea's night time picture. She never made it to her day time picture because she realized that she could blow her cotton balls across the table. She then transferred the same concept to the floor until the dog ate it.

Our final project was to make a pie. The milk man's wagon in Agnus Lost looks like pie slices. I couldn't help but to wonder why a milk man would be delivering milk after a snow storm, but that is what happend in the book. We began by illustrating fractions with a paper pie. Stephen was never able to recall the correct terms, but he at least heard the words and went through the motions. He cut a circle in half, quarters and eigths followed by pasting them back on a whole circle. He was given line guides for his cutting, but did the whole project with very little instruction. Rhea, on the other hand, had a more eclectic approach to the project. After naptime, we took on the task of making our own crust. Butter crusts are usually made with a food processor, but we used a blender. Stephen watches cooking shows in the late afternoon while I cook diner, so he knew what the blender was going to do. I usually don't use it, so this was his first time. He started by running across the room before I turned it on, but quickly came back when he was certain that it would not be too loud. He and Rhea worked out a system of her putting the butter in while he controled the buttons. It was really cute to see them working together. The crust was finished by the time Daddy got home and it was time to make the filling. Tom did want me to mention that it was his idea to also tie in the Sally Goes to the Farm book since the dogs ate the pie at the end. OK, credit given :-) Tom proceeded to mix up his famous pumpkin pie filling with the kids. We picked pumpkin pie to also include the milk concept. We concluded by making spinach pie for dinner, but the kids didn't eat it as I expected. Tom and I enjoyed it!

Stephen learned that we could find recipes on the computer.

We could still use a little more time on fractions by evidence of the kids attempt to cut the pie:-)The week, however, ended with happy faces and happy tummies!

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