Today, I wanted to give you a closer look at what Oak Meadow’s Grade 4 curriculum looks like in use. Bug was a good sport this week and let me follow him around taking pictures of every little thing he was doing, so I think you’ll like it! We do four day school weeks, so we can have an extra day for field trips, or other errands.
Setting it up
First things first, since Bug is new to this Independent thing, I wanted to show you how I set up the program for him so he can really start taking more control of his work. On the weekend before he gets started, I read the week’s lesson, and I use my handy dandy sticky tabs to mark every little thing he needs to do during the week. I color coded mine, so there is a tab for things he should be reading, things he needs to write, and activities he is going to do. I put little notes on them that say things like “read” “write 10” “do every day” and “ask mom for help” when needed.
Bug also has a task jar, that has each daily subject written on a clothes pin. In the morning, I put the pins I expect him to complete on the top of the jar, and he works until the jar is filled, and there are no pins left. For example, I may put a “read” “grammar” and “science” pin, and when he chooses to work on grammar, he can turn to the grammar section of his book, and he knows exactly what he needs to do.
As time goes on, I wont need to do this any more, but for now, it’s working really well!
Today, the big lesson was finishing up his topography project. He was supposed to make a small scale representation of a real place, but he mis-read the lesson and made his to look like the one in the book. Over the last three weeks, he’s spent a lot of time outdoors collecting supplies, looking at the soil, digging holes, and examining the plants to decide which ones he wanted to use. Last week, his project was mostly done, but a certain little sister thought it looked like a sand box, and messed it all up. After we dried his tears, he took a lot of time this morning cleaning it up, carefully re-laying top soil and adding new plants. Now that it’s done, he really wants to find a way to “explode” the “volcano” he insists is in the box, so we’ll probably do that next week.
The big lesson in science this week was continuing our study of geometric shapes and patterns in nature. We went on a walk, and looked for shapes in the trees, flowers, and ground. Shapes are everywhere! Then, we came home, and Bug drew the things he found in his main lesson book.
Day three was all about language arts. Bug finished reading Stuart Little today and started on his final project. He had a lot of choices of things he could do for his project, like re-create Stuart’s boat, write and illustrate post cards, or do a book report. He chose to write a book report (I think he thought it sounded like the easiest option- he was in a hurry to go play) so he wrote about the characters, setting and plot. I was able to see that this book report was really a weak spot for him- we need to take some time working on good paragraphs and summarizing instead of retelling the whole story. All in all, it was a really good day, and I was proud of how hard he worked.
Bug saved art and music for the last day! Today, he drew pictures, focusing on the use of positive and negative space, and worked a little at the recorder. Since it was nice out, we finished the day with some time running around outside and jumping in a pool much too small for them. Tons of fun!
Math is an every day thing in our house with Oak Meadow. The Fourth Grade math book has 1-2 pages per day that needs completed each week. This week, in Math, Bug worked on reviewing the times tables, reviewed place value, reviewed clock reading/writing times on clocks, and Geometric collages.
Language Arts also happens daily. This week, Bug wrote in his Journal and illustrated in a Main Lesson Book each day, we did grammar work with the parts of speech and simple sentences, and did spelling work with practice putting words into alphabetical order. He also reads every day!
And the winner is……
Thank you all for participating in our Oak Meadow giveaway the last two weeks! We have a winner! Beth M. will receive one level of Oak Meadow (she has been notified via email). To everyone else, thank you for entering and chatting with me about Oak Meadow. Have a wonderful day!