Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Classical Conversations Weeks 5 and 6

I am so sorry I didn't get a CC blog post out last week! It has been a crazy week! So I will include ideas for both weeks in this blog post! I can't believe that we just finished week 6 yesterday! It seems like just yesterday that I was preparing for the first week and wondering how it would all go! And now we are already done with Fine Arts/Drawing! Our location is actually swapping Orchestra and Tin Whistle since our Orchestra teacher will be leaving in December since they are moving. So for those of you who will be doing Tin Whistle next, I won't have any ideas for you until January!
Also, I need some fresh, new ideas for classroom management. I have tried some different things that have worked, and some that haven't. I am realizing more and more that 3 hours of intense classroom time with one break and a lot of memorization for littles can be a challenge! But granted, I am so impressed with these little kid's characters, manners, respect, their obvious work on the material at home, and how quick they usually are to get back on track if I have to call them out on behavior issues!
From the first week, I printed off just a printer paper with their name on it, and made a little book out of it. Each week they get several stickers to put on it when they are all being good. The first several weeks, I would do it during class time, but they were taking too long to pick out stickers and missing the new grammar, so I moved it to snack time or times that certain ones were finishing up (drawing or something else) so that no one was missing anything important.
They also each have a sticker chart and each week if they are good throughout class, they get a sticker and every other week they get to pick out of the treasure box if they have gotten stickers for those 2 weeks. So that is good motivation for them too.
I need some new ideas for some "ice breakers" or times to get their wiggles out and take a couple minute break. It is a long time to sit and work on memory work! If I get some new ideas, I will share them here! Or other tutors/parents can share them here! It would be much appreciated!
So, here are some ideas for week 5 and 6...

Timeline: Say and use hand motions
History Sentence: Split of the Roman Empire: I found this great worksheet on CC connected where the long sentence is in pictures and really helped the kids to learn it. Fall of Rome: I found pictures on Google Image of taxes, slavery, unemployment, and diseases and the song certainly helped! I always use the songs for history!
Geography: I printed out individual passports for each child, and each week they get to glue a stamp on their passport and I just write the name of the new empire we are learning. Then we use our plastic fish/dinosaur/racing car to find our old/new geography and they color them in with dry erase markers on their laminated maps.
Math: Last week we used a worksheet off of CC connected where they just wrote in the numbers under the number that was already printed for them, then they could bring it home and practice. This week, I printed off number charts for them and put them in page protectors and they used dry erase markers to circle the 11's and 12's and it was fun because they could see a pattern as they circled them, and then we all said them together. I just play the math song during this time on repeat.
Science: For invertebrates, we did hand motions for each one and pictures for each one and they really helped them remember it! For vertebrates, we just looked at pictures of each one and said them. I also showed them the acronym FARMB to help remember them.
Latin: Used the clip art charts from CC connected (I think? I am using a book my director put together and I think she got them from there) that shows pictures that go along with each ending. We use the song, sometimes I sing the song and stop and ask which one comes next.
English: We use hand motions for all the prepositions. But we sing ours to the tune of Yankee Doodle, which is what our campus uses. One of our tutors sent it out so we all have the song. It's slower than the CC song!

Grammar Review:
For review, I have been trying not to single out any kids to ask them questions, because it just seems like some kids really know their memory work, and it is more of a struggle for others. So I don't want some kids to get left behind if they don't know past work perfectly! Also, I know that some of my kids might not be able to read, so it is a struggle to find games for new grammar and review without doing any reading!
Last week, we did a human board game. I put the kids into 2 teams with a parent as facilitator on each team. I made squares from 1-10 for each team, and we went back and forth and I had them answer questions, and then they got to "move" on their squares. They could work as a team, with moms helping to cue them and help them come up with the answers.
This week, I put them in teams again, and had them sit in chairs facing each other, in teams. I went back and forth, for example, the first team said the first commandment, the second team said the second commandment, etc. Or I would do the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and they would go back and forth. It went really well!

I always save time at the end for a book or a devotion, cleanup chores (which they are all assigned to on the board, and they love!), and the treasure chest if we have it that week. Yesterday, we ended up being done really early and one of our helpers led the kids in some quiet games. I really need to have some games in my back pocket for when we have extra time like that! Or more ways we can review!

And as always, feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or things you have found helpful in your teaching, parenting, or coaching your child along in their memory work!


  1. I just discovered your blog about a week ago and enjoy it very much! I have the 4 and 5 year olds in our community, and it is hard to find age appropriate games! This is my first year to homeschool, my first year in CC and I am also a tutor for my first year:) So I try to do my best and you have some very good ideas! Thank you and God bless!

    1. Thank you so much! Yeah, I know what you mean. When you are brand new to CC and you are a tutor, you just hope you are doing it "right" and that the parents who have seen it before like what you are doing! But I have gotten positive feedback so I'm glad for that! There is always room for improvement though! Thank goodness for the experienced tutors!

  2. My littles (5 y/o) started losing it the 3rd week, so I've started giving them some positive reinforcement (i.e. skittles) for their participation and good behavior in class. The first week was hard because some of the kids didn't get skiitles every time, but I handed out A LOT the first week so they would all have a chance. I'd say "I'll give a skittle to my singers" or "Kate gets a skittle for sitting so very still" all I have to do is break out the skittle bag when they start getting ansy and they all perk up and participate (with their hands out of course) Ahhh, the power of candy :-) Hope this helps.

    1. I wish I could do that and I had planned to and then several of my moms said not to give their kids that was out the window!! Bummer!