Monday, November 16, 2009

"Discovering Great Artists"

Have you seen this book yet?  No?!  Go find a copy!  Having finished up the Art Book that we've been working on since the beginning of the year, we're now moving on to lessons from Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl and Kim Solga.  When we first bought the book we pulled it out and did one of the activities, Botticelli "Art in the Round".  Then I decided that we should probably cover some basics like primary and secondary colors, warm and cool colors, texture, etc, before we moved on to creating actual works of art.  I'm so glad we did, but we are ready to get back to Discovering Great Artists!

We concentrate on visual arts on Fridays, and this week we will be completing the Giotto "Egg Paint" activity.  I'll be back with photos once I have them!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


My mother just returned from a trip to Florida and came bearing gifts for my boys.  One of those things was a little booklet of butterfly tattoos.  The boys love them!  We looked up their butterflies online and during my search I came across these beautiful printable Butterfly Identification Cards from Iowa State University's Reiman Gardens.  I'm going to print the ones found in our area out on cardstock and maybe laminate them.  I'll stick them in a basket by the window or near the door and I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time reading them, and in the future (when fair weather returns again) searching for them on our summertime nature walks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bird Notebooking

After coming across Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Feeder Birds Coloring Book (pdf file) I was inspired to have Nik create a bird notebook highlighting the birds we read about in The Burgess Bird Book for Children.  I'm so pleased with it and how much interest Nik has shown in the birds we've read about.  He continues to ask me to play bird sounds in the background while he completes his notebooking pages.  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds page is my favorite guide and includes sound clips of the typical voice of each bird.  I wish I could carry it with me when we go on nature walks!

ETA ~ Angela posted a wonderful companion guide to The Burgess Bird Book on her blog, Satori Smiles.  She calls it A Burgess Bird Book Companion and it is awesome!!! 

Although we have read the first five chapters of The Burgess Bird Book For Children he has not completed notebooking pages for all of the birds highlighted.  I will continue to update this post as he completes new pages.  And yes, he picked the background papers himself.  :-)

Pages 2 & 3

Carolina Wren

American Robin

Eastern Bluebird

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reading Skills Assessment

Earlier this week I decided to give Nik a reading skills assessment out of curiosity.  He seems to be reading really well, and I wanted to see if I was imagining things.  :-)

I used the first assessment in this article.  It doesn't assess reading comprehension, but it was free and quick, and I was only looking for a general idea anyway. 

So for the 3rd month of his kindergarten/1st grade combined year, Nik is reading at approximately a 2nd grade, 4th month level. 

I plan to use the assessment a couple of times throughout the year to see how he progresses.

Halloween Costumes


 (who wouldn't stand still long enough for a good picture)