Recap of Creative Curriculum Day 1 & Additional Resources
1 hour is not enough time to teach AND play crib with kids.
We only got through two half-long games. Me vs. 10-year-old. 7-year-old vs. 4-year-old. Needless to say: it was like I was all four players, playing against myself. The kids still learned and I plan on playing more crib moving forward, but it was not enough time overall.
It was very difficult having three children all with different learning levels
My math-inclined 7-year-old thrived
My math-averse 10-year-old needed full attention
My 4-year-old couldn’t grasp the game so I essentially played for him
I suggested the video: How to Play Cribbage (2 players) – IT WAS SOOOOO BORING! Must find an alternative. DO NOT WATCH unless you want to fall fast asleep for a year.
We watched the documentary film: Period. End of Sentence. IT WAS OUTSTANDING!! The kids were super into it and we all learned a lot and reflected in discussion during and after the film.
We used this time to also have a snack, drink of water, and a pee break : )
I took a lot of notes during the documentary. If anyone is interested, I could write up a study guide for students who watch to then read and respond to prompting questions about the film.
Chore time pre-snack and film. Emptying and refilling the dishwasher = happy Mom!
Healthy snack: Fruit shish kababs
Watching the documentary film.
I sent the kids outside to play in the snow
This is when the kids started fighting and running in to taddle. I was working on my laptop by the basement window, watching all the drama go down.
THEN, a gaggle of girls – my daughter’s friends – showed up. I felt put on the spot about whether to allow or decline the play date. I ended up allowing my daughter to go with the girls to the park until noon (only half an hour). I didn’t feel totally comfortable with this. There was no self-distancing going on. The girls stood close together whispering before heading to the park. My daughter came home mad that she couldn’t stay longer and so lunch and the early afternoon activities were shadowed by a cloud of a bad attitude for a short while.
After lunch I put my four-year-old down for a nap and then it was much easier to teach my older two children.
The video host was a little stiff, but the video was short (about 4 minutes) and had acrynoms that the kids wrote down and remembered. We paused the video multiple times to practice along with the instruction. Then we practiced the whole thing from beginning to end. The kids had a blast and learned a lot!! SUCCESS!!
I decided not to have the kids do guided journal writing. Instead I made up a new resource handout and taught them about the “Hero’s Journey.” We talked through the circle in the below resource in terms of Bilbo in The Hobbit.
Then I gave the kids the opportunity to write their own stories, encouraging them to include the danger, first aid stuff we learned about.
My daughter (10) chose to write her story in a Google Doc on her Chrome Book. She immediately sent me a link to share the story with me. She is naturally inclined to storytelling and this task was tremendously enjoyable for her.
My son (7) chose to write by hand in a journal. He is more math-minded and faced a huge writers block for most of the hour we were going to do the writing. He cried and said he had no ideas. I gave him some story idea prompts verbally but he still was panicked that he had no ideas. Ultimately, I googled a list of story prompts and told him to read through it and pick one to do. He read and then got going on his story independently. Here is the list of prompts I provided for him:
At the end of the writing time, my children read their stories aloud and we all told each other what we liked about the stories. The kids had only gotten out the introduction to their stories, so we all agreed that they would continue to work on these stories over the week. A little change to the curriculum I set out, but they are EXCITED about their stories, so that is a MAJOR WIN!!
At the very end of the “school day” I remembered to ask my 7-year-old which prompt he had chosen from the list of 55. He picked #44: A zombie, a birthday cake, and a pair of high heels. He said is only going with the zombie part.
With the Hero’s Journey resource. Oh yeah, here it is…
I told the kids at the beginning of the day that I was doing a “tick” system. For every time I needed to discipline them, I would mark one tick on a piece of paper. If they got five ticked, they would no longer be able to have their reward of 1-hour of screen time after “school.”
My 10-year-old daughter received 2 ticks.
My 4-year-old son received 1 tick.
My 7-year-old son received 0 ticks.
I have to say that I am surprised that they were so good! HAHA! Perhaps it was because they helped choose much of the curriculum as we planned our week together. They are very well behaved kids for the most part, so I guess I am not terribly surprised… proud more than anything else.
The printer was being evil for me today, so I wasted time printing the resource pages. Must do that in advance from now on.
Teaching is tiring!!!!!! I need a glass of wine. 3:30 pm is not too early, right?!?
I took a “prep-time” during their outdoor play to work on my actual job – and I’m back at that now that our learning day has come to a close.
It went by fast and I think, overall, we all enjoyed ourselves. Even I learned new things. That is an added bonus!
I also appreciate that the Creative Curriculum is flexible and yet we did stick to the timeline more or less.