Kindergarten Weeks 8/9 {FIAR} The Duchess Bakes a Cake

We spent two weeks learning about all things Medieval with the book The Duchess Bakes a Cake.  The kids had a blast exploring Knights, Kings, Queens, and of course the science behind baking.  Elizabeth especially loved this book and spent several afternoons quietly working on art projects that she instigated during our quiet time.

We also had our first week of co-op classes this week!  We are attending Wednesday classes at Calvery Gospel Co-op.  Elizabeth is taking Spanish, Gym, Phonics and Science Exploration classes.  Ian is enrolled in a preschool class where he will learn letters, numbers, Bible and art.  We are enjoying our day at ‘school’ and the kids are already making some good friends – and so am I!

First Day of Co-op:

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Math:

I know I have mentioned that we are enjoying Rightstart Math level A but each day I am loving it more and more.  Elizabeth is truly forming a solid foundation.  She is able to understand the relationships between numbers and thus she is able to mentally process math facts, whereas before she was simply trying to memorize.  The best part is that it is 99% hands-on and she is able to ‘play’ for math time, which she of course loves.  Many days we do several lessons because she doesn’t want to stop.  Ian tags along (because he doesn’t want to miss out on the fun!) but I will be doing the complete program with him either next year or for Kindergarten depending on when he’s ready for it.  I was so unsure if level A would be too easy, but I’m glad I started at the beginning so we are able to grasp all the concepts correctly.  We will eventually go back to Singapore, which I also really liked, but for now, Rightstart Math is perfect!

She does about 1 worksheet a week.  Here she is working on tally marks (after she had already worked with craft sticks for a few days).

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Handwriting:

Elizabeth finished her Zaner-Bloser Kindergarten handwriting workbook this week!  She is doing great with all her letters, uppercase and lowercase.  We will be moving to copywork focusing on letters and punctuation next.

Ian is continuing to work his way through his Handwriting Without Tears PreK book.  He loves tracing the letters.

Elizabeth is starting to write her own original stories, poems and also writing letters to us around the house!  Here is what she wrote on the back of one of her pictures:

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Reading:

Elizabeth worked on the ‘ee’ vowel team words in All About Reading Level 2.  Ian continues to work through All About Reading Pre-Level.  Ziggy came out to play several games this week.  Ian is learning how to discern what the first and last sounds in a word are, and also continues to review a letter a day.

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Libby is cruising through All About Spelling, She has completed through step 9, and is working on short vowel CVC words.

Learning Through Literature: {FIAR} The Duchess Bakes a Cake

When the Duchess tries to bake a cake without a recipe, she adds in too much yeast – much too much!  She sails into the sky on top of her cake as it rises and the characters much find a way to get her down.

Books we read:

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Social Studies / Geography:

-We found Europe on the map and placed the story disk on our map.

-We learned about feudal society through BrainPOP’s movie Feudalism.

-We explored European castle ruins via YouTube

-Learned the role of a knight in a Feudal society and labeled his armor on a worksheet from Homeschoolshare

Language Arts:

-We learned what characters are and watched BrainPOP Jr. Characters

-We discussed who the characters were in The Duchess Bakes a Cake, and posed the question, “Who is the main character?”

-We completed a ‘Story Street’ worksheet where we reviewed the setting, characters, problem, and solution in our story.

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-We noticed the author, Virginia Kahl, used repetition as a device to make her story interesting.  We raised our hands ever time the phrase “Lovely, light, luscious, delectable cake” was mentioned throughout the book.  Libby really got a kick out of this.

This is Libby’s drawing of the Duchess, and on the back she wrote “I will bake a lovely cake.”

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Science:

-We explored leavening through an experiment with baking soda and vinegar.  How does a cake rise?  We combined baking soda and vinegar in a soda bottle and put a balloon on the top.  We were able to see the chemical reaction and the gas raising the balloon – just as it raises our cake.  We walked through each step of the Scientific Method.  Their hypothesis was correct!

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We then of course baked a “Lovely, light, luscious, delectable cake!”  I read the recipe and they actually worked together to bake the cake entirely by themselves!  We then decorated our cake to look like a castle.

We also watched Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake.

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 Just For Fun:

We crafted catapults from craft sticks and rubber bands and pummeled our castle with cotton balls!

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We made our own swords out of a cardboard wrapped with tin foil, and Libby and Ian also each designed their own crest for their knight shield.

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Finally, we ended our unit with a trip to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.  Both Elizabeth and Ian LOVED this and it really was a fun way to bring history alive.  We ate chicken on the bone and spare ribs all with our hands while rooting on the knights in a lively jousting tournament.

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Ian also began soccer this week, which was very exciting because he had been waiting so patiently to finally be old enough!  He is thrilled!

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We loved rowing The Duchess Bakes a Cake, and like normal, we learned so much more than I ever thought we would!

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