Sunday, August 5, 2012

Poetry, Copywork & Performance.

Something that I think works really well in our homeschool is our Poetry study.

I loosely follow the Charlotte Mason method of using poetry as copywork (writing practice), but expand upon the idea to include a weekly recorded recitation of the current poem.

+ Copywork (writing out the poem in their best handwriting)
+ Learning the Poem (reading it aloud together each day)
+ Performance (recording their best recitation of the poem on my iphone :)

How this works
First point of call is choosing their Poet of the term (I find it's best to give each of them their own poet, they have a lot of other common and shared work but I don't want to create any performance anxiety issues by adding competition here). Generally I have used the recommendations from AmblesideOnline here (scroll down a little to find recommendations per AO year level) ie. so far this year Lovely has focused on Robert Louis Stevenson and A.A.Milne (year 1) and Hug has focused on Walter de la Mare and William Blake (years 2/3).

This term, however, I have taken the suggestions of Jeanne at Oh Peaceful Day to include Australian poets. That makes sense! Jeanne has written about her Australianised Poetry rotation here. So, now Lovely is learning the poetry of C.J.Dennis (short, snappy & funny. Perfect for him!) and Hug: Banjo Paterson.

Once the poet is chosen, I search our local library system catalogue for books and consult google, to decide upon poems. Generally, I try and fit the poems to the child's level and interests. ie. I don't want to overwhelm L with too much written work so his poems are shorter and funny, if possible, to grab his interest. H, on the other hand can handle a heartier writing session and a more thought provoking poem.

Next, I schedule the poems out across the term. I like to give the boys their poems on Monday mornings and record their recital on Fridays. This, of course, doesn't always go to plan *snort* ;) But basically this is where I say X poem for X week.

Then I go about finding the 'choosen ones' online and copy and paste them into separate documents. I use the same font as they use in their daily handwriting workbooks (we use Targeting Handwriting NSW) and then add blank copywork lines under each line of text using this free Penmanship Print font (downloadable here).

And that's it! Well, kind of it, today is the first time I've gone ahead and prepared and printed the full terms worth of poems in advance ;)  Yay! Pretty excited. Lol. I'm usually scrambling on a Sunday night (or worse, Monday morning) to gather and print that weeks poems.

The boys work on their poem a few lines a day throughout the week and then we record them :) My plan is to upload them to my youtube channel for our own records but so far I've only put up the very first one & am happy to share it for you to see (Lovely reciting "Rain" by Robert Louis Stevenson).

How do your kids get into poetry? x


I forgot to mention that they boys keep their own poetry books.
After each poem is recorded, it is glued in and illustrated. 

I feel like this gives them a nice sense of ownership over the poems. And a point of reference to return to each poem.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Free Download | Olympics Medal Count Chart

I have designed a simple Olympics Medal Chart that I want to share with you! I couldn't find what I wanted online so I made one. You can download the (2 page) file here.

Keep a daily watch on the medal table here at the official Olympics site. The 2 page chart allows space for 11 countries to be ranked - if your country isn't in the top 10 you will probably want to include it also.

How I used it: 
+ We printed these medals (at 40%) to place over the boxes that say gold/silver/bronze and then I had each boy write his own column title to personalise it. Each page was laminated and then the two pages taped together (bottom of first to top of the second). Obviously laminating isn't a necessary step but we haven't had ours for long so it's still a bit exciting ;)

+ Next, I printed out mini flags to be coloured in. This is a great site that has printable flags from lots of countries, I clicked on each of the day's top ranking countries which takes you to a page where you can print a colouring page of the flag (Eg. clicking on Australia takes you here and then you choose the colouring page) - I printed one of these for each child at 25% to fit into the chart. I found that Kazakhstan (included in the chart on day 2) was missing so I googled and found one here (printed at 50%).

+ My boys researched the flag colours (either on wikipedia on my iPad) or on the World Map we have in our learning space *cough* kitchen. Once coloured, they cut out each little flag and wrote the proper country name and IOC country code on the reverse.

+ We have to finish our flag making this morning. I'll laminate these too & then we will attach them to the chart in current-day ranking with blu-tak (no idea what you call this outside of Australia!) and write each country's medal amounts in the appropriate box with a wipeable marker. Once set up, the boys can check the scores each morning and keep their own charts up to date.

+ Once the Olympics are over we will collate the final data and create some information graphs!

I'll post some photos as soon as ours are done. I hope you find use for them too! X

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