Sunday, October 29, 2006

Defining Curriculum

In the comments below Carol has asked what I use for Copywork, Composition and Reading Comprehension. I decided to answer this is an entry as there are others who might be wondering the same thing.

Copywork is usually copying the same Bible verse every day for a week complete with all punctuation and capital letters in their place. Tink is part of a Bible Club called Awana. Awana is structured similar to the girl scouts where you earn badges and awards for things you do. Her copywork verse is the one that she needs to memorize for Awana lesson that week. I have also used poetry for copywork.

Composition is just another term for composing stories. I have Tink write at least one story a week. I do not correct the story. She would get too discouraged if I did. On the following story I complimented her on the sequencing she did. There will be lots of stories to write and as she learns more and more in grammar and spelling and story structure the stories themselves will begin to take shape better. We've been doing a lot of work on topic sentences and putting your story in order as it happened. I was proud to see evidence of that here. We work on that type of thing in other English classes. By the time she actually writes a story she's so proud of it and it really is her best work. If I would use that to work out storywriting on she would be devastated as would anyone who writes or draws something only to be met with negative reviews. This is her story from this past week.

A Pumpkin Story

Once upon a time I went to a pumpkin. I saw the biggest pumpkin. But it was to heavy. I Fond other one it was to small. I look for other pumpkins. I fond one that was perfect. I ast if I could get it. My mom said yes. I was happy. We went home. We cut it opened the pumkin. We tuc out the seeds. We made eyes and a nose and a mothe. Then we put the pumpkin out for Halloween.

She asked me how to spell; other, Halloween, biggest, and perfect. I guess she thought she knew how to spell the rest. When she finishes her stories we put them in a 3 ring binder. I'm hoping to see great improvement by the end of the year and by using a binder we will have all her stories to compare the early ones with the later ones.

For Reading Comprehension I use a Scholastic book that consists of paragraph size stories. They're usually about facts such as facts on frogs, insects, airplanes, pilgrims, the planets etc. In other words they're not just nonfiction little stories. They are paragraphs packed full of info at her reading level. At the end of every paragraph story scholastic has designed questions to see how much of the story the child has comprehended.

Here's a sample story from the 2nd grade book which she is now doing.

Tigers are the worlds biggest cats. Most tigers are bigger than lions. A tigers body can be as long as a car. A tiger can even weigh as much as two adult people! Tigers are good hunters. Why? They are good at jumping. They are fast. They can see well in the dark. When tigers hunt at night they surprise other animals. A tigers favorite foods are deer and wild pigs. They also eat other animals, like monkeys, buffalo and goats. Tigers live in Asia. They live in different types of homes. Some tigers live in rain forests. Others live in the woods swamps or grasslands.

Now the comprehension questions are these.
1. What is a good title for this story? A. animals B. Cats C. Tigers

2.What animals do tigers often eat. A. deer and wild pigs B. pigs and dogs C. birds and lions

3.Where do tigers live? A. Africa B. Mexico C. Asia

Write a sentence telling why tigers are good hunters.

And that's all there is to it. Just a paragraph with a few questions but it helps Tink tremendously since she is hampered by a reading comprehension at a kindergarten level. In true Charlotte Mason fashion I also use narration to help her with comprehension.

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