## Thursday, September 18, 2008

### Table Top Time

I started this week with something new I'm calling table top time. Others might know it as circle time or meeting time. At our house we're going with table top time.

Basically, we meet at the school table after read aloud time (which is right after breakfast). We say The Pledge (every American child needs to know the Pledge to the Flag, yes?), we check on the weather and record it, and we talk about what day it is using our trusty calendar.

Once all those housekeeping details are finished, we hit the books. There's math workbook time and math manipulative time. I-6 does his reading- practices site words stuck to the poll next to him, reads his daily story aloud to me, arranges sentences with word cards, and writes down his sentences for the day.

J3 works on whatever suits him at that moment- this day it was Boggle Jr. He also loves pattern blocks and the alphabet pages for the Cuisenaire Rods.

E10 does his math and spelling. R8 does math and grammar work. Here's a sampling from our first day.

I-6 took his turn with the pattern blocks before doing his math page
J3 chose Boggle Jr today. You have to match the letters with what's on the card.
I-6 insisted I show you all that he finished the butterfly with precision.
Today for our grammar lesson we talked about how the author of Arabella, Wendy Orr uses sentence fragments on purpose throughout her book- author's license. This was the perfect opportunity to remind R8 of how to write a complete sentence. Boy...for a girl who randomly capitalizes words in the middle of her sentences and is not a stranger to the occasional sentence fragment, she sure knows her stuff! Imagine my surprise when I ask what the subject of a sentence is and she says immediately, "What the sentence is about!" In fact, she told me everything that went onto the Checklist Poster below. This is hung where she can look right at it from her seat.

I have a few things to add to table top time including the daily geography moment and possibly our foreign language time. This is the time when we'll complete the week's Sketch Tuesday and two times a week we'll do our Nature Study. We night even mention what happened that day in history but I'm still thinking on that one.