Preschool :: Year End Assessment 2010

This is the first year that I have opted administer Charlotte Mason style exams with Buddy. I have never done any formal preschool type lessons with him.  Rather, I’ve allowed him to explore his interests and occasionally squeeze in lessons when I can catch him in the right mood. Formally, he does math and mini lessons in reading and writing.  He sits in on science and history lessons and I’ve gradually required more from him in terms of output. 

Read-Aloud:
1. Which was your favorite read aloud book from this year?  Why? 


Percy Jackson.

2. Can you retell a part of your favorite read aloud?

All of it.   




History / Geography:

1. Tell me what you remember about Muhammad OR Charlemagne OR Eric the Red OR Leif Ericsson OR another historical figure of your choice.



(will add his response soon)

2. Who were the first Europeans to discover North America?

The Vikings


3. Show me Great Britain, Romania, Honduras, New Zealand, France and Scandinavia on the map. What can you tell me about one of these countries?

Buddy could only show me where Russia and Norway are located on the globe. We’ve obviously got some work to do.

Science:
1. What was your favorite science unit this year.     SPACE

2. Tell me something you have learned about space.


I learned that there are 8 planets in our solar system.  They revolve around the sun.  The planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune!

3. Tell me about your favorite planet.

Jupiter is my favorite because it is the biggest.  It is a gas giant.  It has lots of moons.  Jupiter has a small ring.

Music / Art Appreciation:

Here is what Buddy said about learning piano and guitar.

My favorite songs that I like to play are I Was Working on the Railroad, a folksong.  I also like A Horse with No Name that I am learning on the guitar.


Shakespeare: 

1. What can you recall about The Twelfth Night.
I liked The Twelfth Night a lot.  It was about a ship hitting rocks during a storm and sinking. The captain threw everyone off and then he jumped in but he didn’t lose his hat because it was strapped onto his chin, I think.  The captain and this one girl swam up onto a beach.  Then the girl wanted to be like a boy. 
2. What was your favorite scene?
My favorite part was the ship wreck in the beginning. 
Field Trips:
1. Of all the trips we’ve taken this year, which one was your favorite?  Why?
Pine Mountain Observatory because we got to see the big telescopes 
2. Describe two things that you learned on this trip.
I learned how the telescopes work and what the stars look like.
Future:
What would you most like to study or are most looking forward to studying in the coming year?
I want to study more about the Asteroid Belt. 

Second Grade :: Year End Assessment 2010

As summer has arrived, we opted to end the term with Charlotte Mason style exams for the second time.
Poetry/Memory Work:
This is one area in which I continually drop the ball.  I’d love to incorporate this into our curriculum, I just haven’t been able to do so thus far.

Read-Aloud:
1. Which was your favorite read aloud book from this year?  Why? [The Named; The Lost Years of Merlin; 21 Balloons; Odd and the Frost Giants; Into the Land of the Unicorn (Unicorn Chronicles book 1); Strawberry Girl; Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief; Bud, Not Buddy; The Ahkenaten Adventure (Children of the Lamp trilogy book 1); The Adventures of Robin Hood]


My favorite book this year was The Ahkenaten Adventure because I consider Gins as magic people like fairies.  I also like it because they went to Egypt and slept outside by the pyramids.

2. Can you retell a part of your favorite read aloud?

I liked the whole thing.  One part that stands out when they went to Egypt.  They slept outside by the pyramids. They had a picnic by using their magic powers to make the food they wanted.   




History / Geography:
We didn’t even come close to finishing The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages.  We are presently on chapter 18 of 42 … even if we work hard through summer, I doubt we’ll finish by September.  Oh well.  I’d rather move at a pace that is comfortable to ensure they have a firm grasp of the chronology than speed through. It is not a race after all. 

1. Tell me what you remember about Muhammad OR Charlemagne OR Eric the Red OR Leif Ericsson OR another historical figure of your choice.



(will add her response soon)

2. Who were the first Europeans to discover North America?

Leif Ericsson was the first European to discover North America.  He discovered the northern coast of Canada. He came over from Greenland.


3. Show me Great Britain, Romania, Honduras, New Zealand, France and Scandinavia on the map. What can you tell me about one of these countries?

Scandinavia includes Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark.  The first three countries are so far up that it is really cold.  The northern parts of these countries are in the Arctic Circle.  They eat lots of fish.  In Norway, they eat lefse and flatbread.

Science:
1. What was your favorite science unit this year.     SPACE

2. Tell me something you have learned about space.


I learned that there are 9 planets in our solar system.  They revolve around the sun.  The planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto! Pluto is at the end but I still consider it a planet.  

3. Tell me about your favorite planet.

Pluto is my favorite planet.  I learned that Pluto is a Dwarf Planet.  That makes me sad.  It is smaller than our moon.  It has three moons of its own, the biggest is called Charon.

Music / Art Appreciation:

We didn’t study composers or artists as we have in the past.  However, both kiddos began taking piano lessons.  Through their studies, they have been introduced to new composers.  Here is what MeiLi said about learning piano.

My favorite songs that I like to play are Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven and Marche Slave by Tchaikovsky.


Shakespeare: 

I selected  The Twelfth Night because it is one of the plays that will be performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this year.  I had expected to attend a performance in the summer and thereby sprinkled different readings throughout the year.  As we progressed, I discovered that they have a Family Performance and figured this was a better option for us as it would be our first performance of this caliber.  Unfortunately, The Twelfth Night will not be performed until September so we have several months yet.

1. What can you recall about The Twelfth Night.

I liked The Twelfth Night a lot.  It was about a brother and sister that got separated during a storm when they were on a ship.  The girl washed ashore with the captain.  She disguised herself as a boy.  This led to lots of confusion when her brother later came to town.
2. What was your favorite scene?
My favorite scene was when they all got mixed up.  
Field Trips:
1. Of all the trips we’ve taken this year, which one was your favorite?  Why?
My favorite field trip this year was the Pine Mountain Observatory because I like space and they study space up there. 
2. Describe two things that you learned on this trip.
I learned how the big telescopes move and how they find the galaxies.  When we look them, we see what they looked like millions of years ago.  I also learned how to see the constellations in the sky like the Big Dipper. The hottest planet is Venus because it has all these gases that trap the heat from the sun inside like a blanket.
Future:
What would you most like to study or are most looking forward to studying in the coming year?
I am looking forward to studying the human body in the next year.  I am also excited about learning about Africa with my best friends Jesse and Maggie. 

Buddy’s Midyear Reading Evaluation

I have been having much more success teaching Buddy to read than I did with Sweetie (she and I just butted heads too much). When we first started, I tried to use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons but it was clear that he didn’t like it either. I thereby opted to go with a suggestion a veteran homeschool mom had mentioned to me early on … simply putting sight words on 3×5 cards and slowly building from there.

We began with words he’d picked up on his own; train, stop, go, Polar Express, North Pole, round trip, and engine. Then I introduced the Now I’m Reading! series by Nora Gaydos. I read the first book aloud to him a few times then we read it together. Of course, as he read, he relied solely on the illustrations and his memory. I then wrote the key words from the reader on cards and we practiced daily. The following week, we proceeded with the second reader and did the same. Additionally, we started using a phonics workbook and added the words it introduced to cards as well.

With the cards, we’ve also started practicing writing skills. I lay out the cards he can read independently on the floor and ask him to pick a few to make sentences. He writes out this sentence in his writing notebook. On Wednesday last week, these were his sentences:

I go to the North Pole.
I go see the train.
I am happy.

He is now comfortable reading 50+ words and though I have to bribe him with stars (that can be converted into dollars and treats) to sit down and practice, he doesn’t get as frustrated as Sweetie did. He is progressing very well and I’m so pleased.

Year-End Assessment

As summer has arrived, we finished the term with Charlotte Mason style exams for the first time. I recorded her answers which was a lot of fun for her and for me. All of her answers were narrated and she worked all but two math problems mentally (#5 and #6). Here are the questions I asked… here responses are shown in green.

Math:
1. How many dimes are in $1.00? Ten
2. How many quarters are in $0.50? Two
3. How many nickels are in $0.20? Four
4. I give you five boxes. Each box has two cookies in it. How many cookies did I give you? Ten
5. Sally bought 356 peanuts on Monday and 167 peanuts on Tuesday. How many peanuts did she buy altogether? 523
6. There were 700 children at a park playing. 468 of them were boys. How many of them were girls? 232
7. What is 4 x 3 ? 12

8. What is 5 x 6 ? 30

Poetry/Memory Work:

Much to my chagrin, we didn’t do much memory work this year. DD did learn one verse from a Mandarin song, which she recited perfectly.

Read-Aloud:
1. Which was your favorite read aloud book from this year? (Farmer Boy, The Egypt Game, Bat 6, The Klipfish Code, Meet Kirsten, Kirsten Learns a Lesson, Kirsten’s Surprise, The Phantom Tollbooth, Tales from the Odyssey, Up Close: Jane Goodall) Why?

My favorite read aloud book was The Klipfish Code and The Egypt Game. I liked The Klipfish Code because it was in Norway and we’re are Sons of Norway lodge members. I learned that if you didn’t follow the rules of the Nazis you would get taken away. I liked The Egypt Game because we learned about Egypt and the kids in the book had a secret game.

2. Can you retell a part of your favorite read aloud?

First it was just two girls and one little brother and then they asked two boys to join them. One of the boys didn’t really like it but the other boy did. They played The Egypt Gametogether, all 5 of them. The little boy had a toy octopus and he lost it there. They looked everywhere and they finally found it.


The game involved a bird bath and a sculpture that they found. They put it on top of the bird bath and it was the queen. They checked out books from the library and learned more about Egypt and started using Egyptian hieroglyphic for words.


Writing:
1. Write in your best handwriting…
“Good morning, Jimmy,” she greeted him. “My, we all looked spruced up.”

History / Geography:
1. Tell me what you remember about Cyrus the Great OR King Nebuchadnezzar OR Alexander the Great OR Sargon.


Alexander the Great was the ruler of Greece, Egypt and the lands all the way to India. He was only twenty-two when he conquered all of that. He wanted to go even farther and conquer India but his knights didn’t want to. He realized this and changed his mind and he stayed with the stuff he already had.


2. Describe how they built the Great Wall OR the pyramids OR .


The pyramids were built with big blocks. They made the blocks by hand. First they made mud and sculpted it like a block and let it dry in the sun. They then set the blocks on top of another block to make the pyramids. It took lots and lots of soldiers to carry the blocks because they were so big. It took a log time.


3. Show me Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, Greece and Norway on the map. [Perfect accuracy.]


Science:
1. Tell me something you have learned about the earth.

The earth’s outer most layer is called the crust. Then the mantle or magma. Then it’s even hotter in the outer core. Then the inner core is even hotter, it is so hot and with all the pressure it is very solid. Solid.


There are different kinds of rocks; sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. Igneous rocks come from out of lava. If it cools very slowly, it can form crystals. If it cools fastly, there are no crystals at all. Just very tiny. Not so big ones. Sedimentary is formed by shells and dirt and dead animals. Sometimes they form fossils and sometimes they get to be rocks. This happens by lots of pressure and many years. Heat and pressure make metamorphic rocks by changing other rocks.


Volcanoes erupt when lots of magma comes up through a hole and oozes out, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. And they can make lava tubes and cinder buttes. The closest to us is Pilot Butte, Awbrey Butte, and Lava Butte.


If an earthquake happens, hide in door entrances or under tables.

2. Tell me about your favorite animal.

Cheetahs and Dolphins and my most favorite animal is Penguins. Penguins live in Antarctica. It is very cold there. They get to see the Aurora Australis. They are yellow on their necks and a little orange. Their flippers and back are black. Their bellies are white. Their beaks are orange. They do not fly, they swim. They are a birds. They have a backbone. Penguins eat fish. They swim together in big groups. When they have babies, the mommy lays an egg. The egg goes to the daddy while the mommy collects food.

Music & Art Appreciation:
1. Which composer did you like the best [Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel]? Which piece was your favorite?

My most favorite composer that we learned about was Handel. My favorite piece was Royal Fireworks Music because the lyrics were funny when King George’s pants caught on fire.

2. Which artist did you like best? Which was your favorite piece and why?


My favorite artist was Degas. My favorite piece was The Little Dancer because I was taking dance class when we learned about him. [We actually studied Degas during her Kindergarten year… ]

Shakespeare:
[Another area that I didn’t get to as much as I had hoped. We read only two as retold by E. Nesbit; MacBeth and A Winter’s Tale.] Which Shakespeare play was your favorite?

The Winter’s Tale because it had a bear in it and most of Shakespeare’s plays don’t have a bear.