Friday, May 13, 2011

Third Quarter Report for Annalise

Annalise has exceeded the compulsory educational requirements of New York State, as detailed in the Commissioner's Regulations, Section 100.10, for the 2010-2011 school year.

English Language Arts (ELA)


Annalise's interest and ability to read independently have increased greatly this quarter. She has enjoyed challenging her emerging skills while playing computer and video games, learning how to use various features of her new DSi, beginning to independently navigate the internet, practicing elements of phonics and word recognition in familiar books as well as testing herself with text in print and on screen (she likes trying to read subtitles), and through reading in her environment, both at home, at local businesses, and while traveling.

Annalise enjoys being read to from a variety of sources. She enjoys poetry and fictional stories (those about horses are current favorites). Mom has been reading Alice in Wonderland aloud to Annalise using her new tablet computer's E-reader. At the time of this report, we have reached Chapter 7.

Annalise especially enjoys nonfiction books about animals, human or animal anatomy, and natural disasters. Recent selections have been Snakes, an Usborne book, Undercover Frog (she used the book as a guide for her independent "dissection" of the included frog model, and DK Weather.

Annalise demonstrates a great deal of comprehension of materials we have read. Her play and conversation are filled with passages of text, and many plotlines and inventions are based upon what she has learned. She is beginning to extrapolate from the information we've read to make further conclusions on her own.

The variety of materials she enjoys reading and having read for her have led to some rather unusual recognized words, such as ventricle, aorta, and sapphire.


Annalise's writing and spelling skills continue to develop in concert with her reading skills. She has command of a growing written vocabulary, and is far more confident in the possibility of figuring out how to spell a word by attempting to write it.

She writes frequently, using words she knows, abbreviations based on first letters or the sounds she can readily identify in the word, and invented spellings. Her version of "cursive" used to be simple squiggly lines, but has now begun to be based instead on connecting her printed letters in a way that suggests she is starting to grasp the process and intent.

She has become interested, of late, in combining words, names, and pictures, and in writing books.

There are far fewer reversals in her letter characters than at the beginning of the year, and she is showing a greatly increased ability to predict how much space she will need to write what she wishes, as well as understanding the need for spacing between words.

Annalise enjoys spelling words she knows orally, as well as adding new ones to her vocabulary.


Annalise continues to have an extensive and widely varied speaking vocabulary. While she still sometimes generalizes and is confused by tense forms ("rid" instead of rode; "writ" instead of wrote), the incidences of this are greatly reduced this quarter.

She is becoming far more able to articulate her strong feelings, and her spoken sentences are becoming more complex. She continues to be a fluent and fluid speaker who has great confidence in her ability to speak to people of all ages.

Annalise is beginning to be quite interested in word origins and definitions.


Annalise has visited bookstores this quarter, independently selecting items to explore further and/or purchase.

She understands that various types of literature and other media are available through the library, and enjoys literature both on paper and via electronic sources.

She is becoming increasingly familiar with the parts of a book. We have explored tables of contents together, and I have used the index to help her find information she was interested in.

Annalise understands that books, libraries, and various online resources may be used for research. She enjoys following links listed in books, as well as Google and Wikipedia, among others.

Resources have included, but are not limited to:
Free access to home library and visits to local book stores; reference materials; computer with Internet access; games, programs, and television programming; interaction with older brother; discussion and wordplay; assorted media for writing and typing; parent facilitation.

Arithmetic -

Annalise continues to enjoy manipulating numbers and mathematical concepts in a wide variety of ways.

Annalise enjoys building in two and three dimensions, using pattern blocks, blocks, Legos, and assorted other media. She has an understanding of balance, symmetry, and asymmetry.

She has recently developed a strong interest in game shows that deal with economics such as The Price is Right. She has begun budgeting and is learning to count her own money, and is fascinated that Jeremiah can both count money and predict how long it will take to save his allowance for specific purchases.

She is learning to tell time and understand many other units of measure; including inches, gigabytes, degrees, miles, gallons, etc. She enjoys measuring with rulers, measuring cups and spoons, scales, and invented measurements.

Annalise is quickly gaining confidence and ability to perform the four basic numerical functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). She has a basic understanding of fractions, negative numbers, and decimals. She continues to enjoy writing both equations and inequalities.
We celebrated Pi Day (March 14). Annalise and her dad baked a pie, and she and I watched a video wherein the value of pi was played as a musical piece.

Annalise remains interested in exploring both the abacus and calculators, and we played several math-facts based games on Mom's new tablet computer.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; games; money; manipulatives; abacus; educational programming; clocks, calendars, and charts; real-life applications; free access to home and public libraries; calculator; parent facilitators.

Sciences -


Visit to Five Rivers Nature Center in Slingerlands, NY - Live and taxidermic specimens of NY Wildlife; NY bird wing display; live bird observatory; maple sugaring tour (life cycle of maple, tree identification by bark and branch, sugaring process,tools of the trade, photosynthesis); specimen discovery table (branches, seeds, bones, stones, feathers, etc., as well as a variety of magnification devices and an identification key).

Visit to the Children's Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, NY - Touched and learned about live, freshly molted rat snake; watched feeding of dead mice to boa constrictor; other live fish, birds, mammals, and reptiles and their habitats. Annalise greatly enjoyed talking with the staff member who was caring for the reptiles during our visit.

Visit to the New York State Museum in Albany, NY- Mastodon exhibit and puzzle; live turtle and fish. Studied various insect mouth parts using a microscope. Birds and Animals of New York exhibits. Fossils and shells.

Attended Journey Through the Body at Colonie Center in Colonie, NY - Annalise fully indulged her passion for anatomy by exploring lungs, hearts, skeletal structure, ear, brain, and mouth models, digestive/excretory system exhibit, and others.

We cared for friends' flock of over 30 chickens while they were away for the weekend. Learned about diet, normal free-range chicken behavior, including mating, scratching, roosting, laying, and avoiding predators. We collected eggs, discussed fertilization, and candled some.

Annalise continues to passionately enjoy National Geographic and PBS programming about animals and ecosystems. Current favorites are the honey badger, platypus, horses (domestic ans wild), and dolphins. She has enjoyed learning about snakes via her Usborne book and related links - she prefers venomous snakes and spiders.

She has continued her own personal project of building a strong and mutually pleasant relationship with our dog and cat, and is now able to direct Corki (the dog) to do several tasks and tricks, spend quiet moments with Margot (our Manx cat) and is learning to keep her energy calm and assertive with both animals.

Annalise has explored and observed a wide range of flora and fauna on her own. She has captured and done simple experiments with caterpillars, ladybugs, and earthworms, as well as learning about their life cycles, diet, and habitats. We observed crows and a turkey vulture feeding on a deer carcass. We have also observed Canada geese and wild turkeys, as well as live deer.

She has been very interested in the growth of flora in our yard. She planted Chinese forget me not seeds and gladiolus bulbs which are starting to sprout. She has helped me with more flower and vegetable plantings, and we have discussed root structure, the need to prepare the soil, water needs, and photosynthesis.


While attending Journey Through the Body, Annalise and Jeremiah were invited to appear with other children and WNYT anchorwoman Benita Zahn during the Live at Five newscast. Annalise was able to observe, close-up, the staging area, moving in and out of props, cues, tests, green screen, cameras, lighting, and other aspects of filming.

Visit to CMOST - Annalise enjoyed completing a stacking task using astronaut gloves, light play, a digital planetarium show on the history and future of the telescope ("Two Small Pieces of Glass"), wind turbine, and meteorological reporting.

Visit to NYS Museum - Annalise explored a microscope, printing press display, and A train displays.

Through programming on PBS, Annalise learned about gears and gearing, and about watts and other units of power.

Annalise has built independent creations with mechanically moving parts, using our gear kits; and has played games involving matching gears and building (Spaghetti and Marshmallows) using Mom's new tablet.

Annalise has become far more adept at internet navigation this quarter. She has learned to use a variety of games and functions on her own new DSi, and has been exploring Mom's new tablet computer.


Annalise discussed building with pulleys, and what she would use as rope.

Observed and conducted activities involving combining substances to create reaction or a new product. Baking soda and vinegar fill a balloon; made goop and silly putty at CMOST. Continued exploring independently.

Many cooking experiences, both independently and with parents.

Looked at Periodic Table of the Elements app on Mom's tablet, and discussed several elements, what makes an element, and some common compounds with which she is familiar (salt, water).


We attended Journey through the Body, where Annalise indulged her passion for anatomy with giant models of the brain and heart; giant interactive displays of the mouth, intestines, and ear; bones, skeletons, and X-rays; healthy and diseased lungs; digestive and excretory systems; and many other activities, discussions, and displays.

Annalise "dissected" the model that came with her Undercover Frog book. She spent time exploring internal organs and skeletal structure, as well as exploring the book's pictures of muscular structure.


Annalise enjoyed using a magnifying glass and her senses to explore several rock samples while at the NYS Museum. She identified fool's gold ("that's iron pyrite!") and quartz. Enjoyed browsing through the mineral exhibits in the museum, especially the phosphorescent varieties and Herkimer Diamonds, which we saw at the Herkimer Diamond Mines last fall. Looked at a gemstone book with the Discovery Room facilitator.

Annalise continues to be extremely interested in exosystems and animal habitats. She has spent considerable time this quarter observing the changes spring brings.

We visited the Five Rivers Nature Center, learning about the maple sugaring process, and how weather and the health of the ecosystem affect the process.


Annalise continues to be both fascinated and frightened by natural forces, especially, at present, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. She has had many questions about recent news reports of local and international natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and wildfires.

We explored online, and then went outside to observe and photograph the full perigee moon. We discussed the moon's orbit, and the meanings of apogee and perigee.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; frequent access to pets, other domesticated animals, and wildlife; various natural surroundings; models and specimens; free access to home and public libraries; games and programming; access to assorted technological devices and components for building/inventing; tools, materials, time, and space for free experimentation; discussion and observation; parent facilitators.

Social Sciences -


Annalise has explored both paper and online maps this quarter. We have checked several locations on the United States map, and she has explored the world atlas and globe independently.

She is beginning to be able to read legends, and is able to read a compass. We've discussed scales, and, briefly, latitude and longitude; and the international date line.

Annalise had real-life experience with geography during a 3 day trip to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Maps and supplemental directions were integral to our travel. Discussed mileage, learned more about reading road signs, and length of time to get from one destination to the next.

We had a houseguest from New Mexico, who brought with her a bit of tumbleweed from her desert home, and showed Annalise some pictures of black widow spiders (a favorite fascination of Annalise's), which are indigenous to her area.

During a visit to the New York State Museum, Annalise explored many aspects of New York state history. Exhibits visited included the A train, NY Metropolis (Holocaust refugees; tenement life and Millionaires' Row; Sesame Street; NY coastline; historic schoolroom; Empire State Building; prehistoric creatures; and Dutch Colonial era archaeological finds (mostly pottery). Briefly explored NY logging exhibit.

Annalise has become more interested in following current news stories this quarter. She followed reports of the natural disasters in Japan, and the local and national reports of flooding. Some discussion of the World Wars, the Holocaust, and the Vietnam and Korean Wars. She also enjoyed watching portions of a PBS special on Ireland, and an Arthur episode that featured the Amish.


Annalise continues to visit many local establishments, and to develop relationships with staff and other visitors. She had her first overnight playdate with friends Alana and Gabrielle.

She is becoming more aware of how her own actions impact those around her, especially within her own family. She is more able to control her impulses and use reason instead.

She continues to have strong friendships with friends within our homeschool co-ops, with cousins and long-term friends, and to be able to forge temporary friendships with other people she encounters.

Annalise also is confident and self-assured in dealing with adults she finds interesting, or whom she needs to interact with in order to attain a personal goal. She is becoming far more tolerant of and kind to much younger children, with whom she had little patience until recently.

We have discussed some aspects of our national and state governments, because Annalise has had some curiosity about how they work. She was impressed to learn that laws were made at the Capitol Building, which we visited when she was four, and which she remembers.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Opportunities to travel various roads and trails by car, bike, or on foot; free access to home and public libraries; computer with Internet access; current events; historic sites; games and programming; discussion; parent facilitators.


Annalise continues to be very interested in exploring and creating art in various media, as well as performance art. Particular favorites this quarter have been giant pipe cleaner sculptures, costumes, and props; paints and ink stamping; cooking; creating bouquets and planting; creating torches and tent stakes from natural items, drawing; making books; coloring; much creative play alone and with friends; play dough and silly putty; storylines for her Littlest Pet Shop characters, model horses, and baby dolls; and computer art of many varieties.

She has been exploring with combining colors, and her art is growing more refined and detailed.

We have explored pottery at the New York State Museum, as well as discussing various exhibits and their artistic elements. Annalise created toilet paper roll art (alien, bull, necklace) during an activity in the Discovery Room.

Annalise has begun editing FlipNotes on the DSi, as well as exploring photography and photo morphing and editing.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; games and programming; exploration of environmental art; ample materials and free time for artistic exploration in a wide range of styles and media; free access to home library; materials for building and dramatic play; parent facilitators.


In addition to exposure to music throughout her daily life, Annalise has begun singing with the goal of perfecting her performance of favorite songs. She has found help in an episode of PBS's Fetch! that featured voice lessons, and through Mom's explanation of breathing rests and voice projection. She sings with clear awareness of notes, melody, and rhythm, and with depth of expressiveness.

She is able to identify many musical instruments by sight and sound, and enjoys exploring a variety of household instruments, such as harmonicas, moroccas, tambourine, and rhythm sticks; and also enjoys exploring the piano at our homeschool co-op.

She has watched several performances on YouTube, and also friends from co-op playing acoustic and electric guitars.

Annalise enjoys singing scales, and is beginning to apply her awareness of them to her own understanding of the music she hears.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Recorded performances; access to sheet music and instruments; television and radio programming; computer with internet access; free access to home library, including music; materials for invented instruments; discussion; parent facilitators.

Foreign Language Arts (FLA)-
Annalise enjoyed learning words and phrases in French, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish this quarter.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Computer with Internet access; free access to home library; exposure to written and spoken languages via programming, games, and environmental sources; discussion; subtitles and dictionaries; parent facilitators.

Health -

Safety (Traffic and Bicycle Safety and Regulations, Fire Safety, Fire and Arson Prevention; and Other Safety Issues as Needed) -

Annalise has had ample opportunities to practice traffic safety during family walks on Albany streets, independent walks and walks with Jeremiah on our rural road, and while crossing parking areas.

She has learned a great deal about vehicular safety, which has been a particular interest of hers during recent car outings.

We have discussed how to escape a car that becomes submerged, and the reasons behind the steps she would take (rolling down windows, unbuckling, and swimming in the direction of the bubbles).

Annalise is becoming more aware of bicycle safety, as she grows more adept at riding her two-wheeler (although she hasn't become confident to take it on pavement yet, preferring to ride inside or on grass).

We have discussed our home fire escape plans, and discussed several aspects of fire safety (feeling doors for warmth, staying below the level of smoke, and what to do if her clothes catch fire), as well as different types of fire and the basics of fire extinguisher operation.

General Health Issues -

Annalise explored many aspects of health during our visit to Journey Through the Body. She had her EKG and pulse oximetry read; checked for germs on her hands before and after washing, had the opportunity to inflate healthy and diseased lungs; learned about the amounts of fats and sugars in various food items; components of a healthy body; and many ways to care for her body and its internal and external systems.

At home, we have discussed nutrition and portion sizes; nutritional values and components of favorite foods; ways of stretching and challenging her body safely.

Physical exercise of many varieties continues to be an important facet of Annalise's day to day life.

Resources have included, but are not limited to: Events, and activities; woodstove; opportunities to travel various roads and trails by car, bike, or on foot; computer with Internet access; games and programming; discussion; indoor and outdoor play spaces; environmental sources; parent facilitators.

Physical Education -

Annalise indulged in various physical activities this quarter, including but not limited to the following:


Snow shoveling, climbing, digging, and sculpting

Roller skating (first time - she could move and navigate with moderate use of rails and walls by session's end).

Bicycling (with and without training wheels; inside and outside on grass).

Running and nature hikes.

Stretching and yoga.

Designed own workouts with 2 and 3 pound free weights

Exercise ball balancing



Frisbee and assorted ball play

Tag, hide and seek, and other running games


Dancing and mock fighting with brother and friends

Balancing and stunts

Playground equipment, bounce houses, and trampoline play


Resources have included, but are by no means limited to:Indoor and outdoor play spaces; programming; excursions into nature; activities and events; group and individual exercise and play; discussion; programming and games; parent facilitators.

Attendance -

February 2011: 145 hours Year to Date: 1046 hours

March 2011: 132 hours Year to Date: 1183 hours

April 2011: 123 hours Year to Date: 1306 hours

No comments: