Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pineapple Ukeleles and Bookfairs

George's light purple uke was beginning to show strain after three years (it was a $30 entry model, not really made for regular practice and use), so we ordered an exciting pineapple uke from Jackson's music a few weeks ago. It arrived last Monday, and George has been happily strumming away ever since. George is especially happy that his older brother, whom he looks up to very much, keeps admiring the pineapple uke and asking to play it a bit.

In math George has made GIANT strides. We have deciphered fractions and functions involving fractions completely! Fractions of course were not new to George, but since the middle of third grade he's not "got" them. (George would have begun going through additional testing to see if he had a math learning difference as well had he returned for fourth grade. He already had a lengthy IEP to accommodate his gross motor and fine motor challenges, as well as a SLD in written expression.) We discovered that if we viewed all fractions FIRST as circles/wedges, George got them. He has mastered all the fourth and fifth grade fraction work with circles and now is verifying that what he's learned also works with triangles or squares or fractions of money or candy or what have you. (We're using pennies here at home and a muffin tin to divide up to 1/12.)

In literature, I made a tactical error. After he finished up Hoot, I thought I would reward him by showing him the movie. Within about ten minutes he was outraged at the changes made for the movie and asked to please not watch any more. Sigh. He then had his defenses up and decided Al Capone Does My Shirts falls into the category of "history lies". I thought since he loved Alcatraz's history he would enjoy it. Wow, I read that one wrong.

On a happy note, George's older brother's school has their Scholastic book fair this week, so we whipped over there and George chose the next three novels he will read himself. First up: Liar & Spy. While he reads I will read faster and develop a discussion outline for us and a miniproject outline. (For Hoot, George had to develop a set of characters with defined relationships and give them unusual names a la Carl Hiassen.)

George's pen pal relationship is going well. They boys have exchanged letters a number of times, and he doesn't dread having to write, which is wonderful.

George has also been doing some self reflective writing, both in journal form and in a looser, survey form I made for him called Three Things, where the risk-taking items are hidden and so not as alarming to him. Here's an example.

Saturday we'll be heading to the Battle of Guilford, so we will refresh ourselves on that today and tomorrow.

Happy weekend!

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