Every time we do a ROW of a book, I come away from the school week saying how much FUN we had. This week was no exception and has made me decide that I’m going to be heavily focusing on Five in a Row for the rest of this year. At 3 and 4 both girls LOVE it and absorb soooo much information it just shocks me. We learned all about Australia, where it is on the map, what kinds of animals live there and so much more. We learned big words like Nocturnal and Marsupial…uh yeah…I had to look the second one up to give a proper definition! While using Five in a Row can seem time consuming to me at times, it’s waaaaaayyy worth it when the girls get so into the activities!

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Ok so yes….we ROWed Katy No Pockets by Emmy Payne. We studied all about Australia and Kangaroos. We loved using the Unit Lapbook printables from Homeschool Share for this unit. Here are the girls doing several of the activities that made up the lapbook. They love putting these together and I love having them to go back and review!

Cutting out words that begin with the letter “k”.

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Coloring a map of Australia while we talked about the different Regions, animals, etc.

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Locating Australia on the “earth”….they still won’t call this the globe, which is quirky and I love it. We also found Missouri which happened to be right under the “I” in North America so it was easily found again and again after that realization. We followed the globe around many times to track the journey between our state and Australia.

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Cut and glued animal families and learned the names of babies, mothers and father animals.

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Colored the front page for our lap books.

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Colored a cute little Kangaroo rhyming page and then sang the accompanying song several times along with actions.

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Made a small fact book about Kangaroos.

Here RJ was reviewing everything after it was all placed and telling me everything she remembered (Love that review!)

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MK was telling her “Jingle” dog all about her lapbook.

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The girls put on their craft aprons and put small animals in their pockets and jumped around like mother kangaroos.

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We also did this Kangaroo craft. The girls LOVED this and took it all over the house for 2 days playing pretend with Katy and her baby Freddy. We also drew a city on long butcher paper for them to hop to but RJ destroyed it before I had a chance to snap a picture. We made many buildings focusing on making little squares for the windows. Neither of them have really mastered drawing any shapes except for a circle so this was a good chance to get some practice in.

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We worked on some new Vocabulary words. MK has really been into asking lately when it comes to any new word she does not recognize or understand. So I decided to make that an “official” part of our row. We talked at great length about the words, their definitions and some examples. Words were: Nocturnal, Marsupial, Mob (a group of kangaroos), Deaf (the owl in the book was “deaf as a post”), blind (baby kangaroos are blind when born), and contagious.

Contagious was not a word in our book, but very naturally ended up fitting into our reading one day and turned into an entire beautiful conversation. When Katy goes to the city and receives an apron covered with pockets from a nice man, she breaks into a huge smile. (sorry for those of you who’ve never read this….I know I’m talking totally out of context…I guess that means you’d better just go read it for yourself so you’ll understand! It’s worth it….) Surrounding onlookers initially looked concerned about the kangaroo in the middle of the city. But when they see her big smile, they all smile too. We talked about how Katy’s smile was contagious. I expanded on the concept that when things are contagious they can spread. We talked about good things that are contagious and bad things. We talked about the importance of striving to spread good things like joy and the gift of Jesus. These are the conversations that make me feel so blessed to teach the girls at home.

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While still pretending to be kangaroos, the girls hopped around the room in search of all their letter K words from RRSP. And then we spread them all out and talked about them.

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We continued with RRSP and RRSK this week with letter K and the verse Psalm 34:13- Keep your tongue from evil. We also had some really good conversations about what an evil tongue would look like.

MK putting together her RRSK verse. This week I printed off a version where she had to trace each word before cutting it out and gluing it. She really liked that addition.

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RJ measuring her verse after cutting and gluing it. While she really liked memorizing this verse, she was quite disappointed when she realized how short it was on paper.

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As RJ is a kid who loves to hang her tongue out of her mouth, she took great joy in this week’s verse craft!

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She was saying her verse while showing me the finished picture.

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MK coloring her sight word sheet. She started out making each letter have every color of the rainbow in it. She remembered them all without any help from me. (Thanks to the Minnie Mouse rainbow episode I’m sure.)

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She was extra motivated to trace her letters this week because she got a new marker with an eraser on the end and I let her erase all her worksheets each day after she completed them. This was much fun for her for some reason.

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I had to take a picture of one of her calendar notebook pages. I don’t think I ever remember to take pictures of this part of our school routine. Which is most likely because it is fit in so randomly throughout the day. But I had to snap a pic this particular day because it was her first successful time of making the number “2” on the first try! We’ve been practicing them quite a bit as she learns the date and she was very proud of herself and asked me to snap a picture.

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Making a letter K with our new magnetic lowercase letters set from Fundanoodle. I LOVE this set! It came with the magnets to make letters, the magnetic whiteboard (which both girls and I love) the marker, a great lowercase writing spiral book, and a few extra activities.  (Thanks grandma!!) 🙂 This set is supposed to be lowercase letters but I’ve been pulling out the pieces for them to make lowercase and uppercase each week. I know there will be many letters where we won’t have that option and I’ll have to get some uppercase magnets at that point.

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Making the letter K on the peg board.

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One big change I made starting this week was splitting the girls up for reading and writing time. I’ve been dragging my feet on doing this for the longest time because in most other activities they do so well working together and well….I’m just lazy. But I am soooo glad I finally did this! I was really noticing that we were moving too fast for RJ and she was not catching on nearly as well with All About Reading as she would if I spent more time on each lesson. MK on the other hand seemed bored because most of what we are covering are skills she has already mastered. So this week I was able to breeze through 3 lessons with MK and focus repeatedly on just one lesson with RJ until she got it. I’m just sad I didn’t make this change a few months back!

Ziggy was helping MK identify the longer words.

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MK coloring her letter K worksheet. She is almost at capital Z with her lessons but I’m just letter her do the coloring sheets that coincide with our weekly letters. We are both such creatures of our routine that it felt unnatural to do any other way!

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RJ worked a lot of counting syllables of words. We did the suggested activity for her lesson and then throughout the week I also pulled out several other syllable counting activities. I really think after hitting it from several different angles she is catching on to the idea and is not frustrated because I was able to take it at her pace.

We used her letter K RRSP cards and she put a jewel down for each part of the word as she said it.

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Then she would put the pictures in with the corresponding number on her pocket chart.

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We also played a game where she would hit her tambourine once for each part of a word and then tell me how many syllables. She loved this game, even though it took her a little longer to catch on.

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Here are some of the Kangaroo themed books we read this week. My favorite (besides Katy No Pockets of course) was A Kangaroo Grows Up by Amanda Doering. This b0ok wasn’t necessarily cute or super catchy…but it was chok full of information. I learned a ton from it about the life cycle of Kangaroos and the girls really seemed to get into it as well!

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We also watched several videos of Kangaroos hopping and one rather disturbing one of a joey drinking milk from his mother (of course the girls wanted to watch it several times..) This week was such a blast and we are looking forward to ROWing “Lentil” next week!

I’ll be linking this post up at HomeschoolCreations.  Be sure to check out all the fun preschool ideas over there!