This is what we did this week:
Geoboard - we played a bit with the geoboard this week. I asked M to make different-sized squares and rectangles that were not squares. He also made a couple of designs of his own with squares and triangles.
The Tower of Hanoi - I got a real Tower of Hanoi puzzle. It's very pretty and M was eager to play. He actually asked me if he could play with it. I simplified the problem by leaving only 3 circles on it. I had to remind M the rules a couple of times, but after a couple of minutes he did solve the puzzle! Although next time he tried it, he seemed to be a bit lost. He eventually solved it again, but got frustrated and didn't want to play it any more.
Adding/subtracting - it's a simple game in which I start by placing 4 popsicle sticks in front of M so he can see them. I then cover them and show M two more sticks. I tell him that I'm adding these two to the other 4 and ask how many are there now. He has to figure out the total without seeing the sticks. Whatever answer he gives, I do not correct him, but just show him the sticks and he checks himself. So I continue adding/removing 1-2 sticks at a time in this way. He is usually very good at this game, except when we get to 9 sticks. This is the number that he has a lot of problems with right now.
Yellow is the Sun - speaking of numbers, the RightStart Math curriculum that we use teaches a counting song "Yellow is the Sun". I did not do it because it's in English and M doesn't want me to mix English and Russian in the same lesson (something I totally support). But M was having a very hard time remembering that 7 is 5+2, 8 is 5+3, etc to 10. So I came up with my Russian version of the song. It starts with В мусорке бензин... (A garbage truck has gasoline...) As silly as it is, it's really helping.
Moebius Noodles book I'm working on with Maria Drujkova of Natural Math. The game is so simple to play. Just fold a piece of paper once (any which way you wish) and doodle on it so that at least some of the doodle is touching the fold. Then cut out the doodle and unfold it. Enjoy and explore the wonderful symmetry. In our experience, it's hard to stop at just one doodle. M always wants to make more. So on the next few, I ask him questions - what does he think the new shape will look like if I cut out a rectangle here, a triangle there, a half-circle here or if I punch out a circle, how many will I have once we unfold the doodle. Another really awesome thing that happens is that the game doesn't stop once the doodle is cut out. First, we created a collage with my doodles and came up with a little story about it. Then M wanted to decorate his own doodles and worked on that for a while concentrating on making the designs as symmetrical as possible. He ended up making an alien in a T-shirt and a sparkling palace for his imaginary Electroworld (a world that exists entirely on discarded printed circuit boards).
On the road to the alphabet - we continued with this workbook. The exercises are rather repetitive, but they do help M to hear sounds within words more clearly.
Story-telling - we practiced telling stories, first by sequencing pictures and describing what was going on in them. Then I told M a couple of stories and role-played them. Then he told me slightly different (lengthier and more involved) stories with the same characters.
We also played a few games that reinforce the reading skills by getting M to read syllables. One of the games was called "a magic plate". I divided a cardboard "plate" into 8 segments and wrote one preposition on each of the segments. The idea was to roll a dice and then come up with a sentence that would include a preposition on which the dice fell. I went first.
The dice fell on "к" and I came up with a sentence Я подойду к кастрюле. Then M rolled "над", thought about it for a second and said Мне тоже надо подойти к кастрюле. It was way funny!
I tried a few more times, but each time he simply came up with a word that had the letter or the syllable in it and used that word in a sentence. So we dropped the game for now.
this episode about Home erectus on History channel. We spoke about what a timeline is. He also read a few words such as "nomad", "hunter", "gatherer", "cave" and we discussed why they were important words for his book. M even wrote a couple of words! So it was a whole lot of work and it's not finished yet. More pages are to come.
I'm trying to get M to a) make a cover for his book and b) come up with a little story about a prehistoric boy's life. So far he's not too keen on either. He particularly objects to a cover since he says it's going to be a secret book and it should not look like a book when on a shelf. And he also says that his is more like a picture book or an encyclopedia, so no stories are needed.
And this was our week. How was yours?