Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Quarterly Report

SCHOOL YEAR: 2011-20112
THIS QUARTER COVERS: 7/1/11 to 10/12/11
DATE SUBMITTED: October 13, 2011


Mikro is progressing at a satisfactory level or above in all subject matter.

We have had instruction in all the following areas, as per Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education and Mikro’s Individual Home Instruction Plan (IHIP): Reading, Writing, Spelling, Language Arts, Math, History, Geography, Science, Health, Physical Education, Music, Visual Arts, Patriotism and Citizenship, Fire Safety and Prevention, and Traffic, Bicycle and General Safety. Mikro had no absences from instruction this quarter, and has exceeded the required hours of instruction (225). Highlights for the Quarter include:

Reading/Language Arts:

Mikro reads fluently and well above grade level. His reading comprehension is wonderful, and he can narrate back a good summary of what he reads. He enjoys making up rich and detailed stories, riddles and jokes. We are working on grammar and spelling using a variety of videos, workbooks and online lessons from Time4Learning, Lesson Pathways. and other online resources. Mikro successfully completed the Summer Reading Game at Croton Free Library well ahead of schedule. Mikro still struggles with his penmanship, but is slowly improving. He has learned about the Dewey Decimal system and is quite proud of his newfound ability to find library books for himself. He is keeping an electronic journal on his laptop, which also serves as a vehicle for working on spelling, composition and self editing skills.

Some of the books read independently by Mikro (in addition to those listed by subject matter in other categories below) include:

The Silver Casket, The Darkling Curse, The Smuggler's Mine and The Treasure Keepers, all by Chris Mould; The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford; Wild Wings by Gill Lewis; The Seal Pup by James Otis Thach; Ellie’s Long Walk: The True Story of Two Friends on the Appalachian Trail by Pam Flowers; The Riches of Rangoberra by Jane Weber; The Brave Little Parrot by Rafe Martin; Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System by Sandy Donovan; The Shelf Elf Helps Out by Jackie Mims Hopkins; A Smart Kid’s Guide to Doing Internet Research; A Smart Kid’s Guide to Avoiding Online Predators; and A Smart Kid’s Guide to Internet Privacy, all by David J. Jakublak; Team Mates by Tiki and Ronde Barber; Sally Dog Little, Under Cover Agent by Bill Richardson; Champion: The Story of Muhammed Ali, by Jim Haskins; Time Warp Trio books: 2095; Summer Reading Is Killing Me; Sam Samurai; It's All Greek to Me; Your Mother Was a Neanderthal; Marco Polo; Me Oh Maya; The Not So Jolly Roger; See You Later, Gladiator; Knights of the Kitchen Table; Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge?; Oh Say, I Can’t See; Da Wild, Da Crazy Da Vinci; Tut Tut; The Good, The Bad and the Goofy; Viking It and Liking It, all by Jon Sczieska.


Grammar for Children Series: Nouns; Verbs; Descriptive Words and Phrases; Sentences; Punctuation, all by Schlessinger Media; Library Skills for Children: Using the Dewey Decimal System (Schlessinger Media).


We are working on two and three digit addition and subtraction with regrouping, and single digit multiplication using real life math, books, workbooks, games, drawings, original word problems and manipulatives. Mikro uses online math resources such as BrainPOP, Adapted Mind, Dreambox, IXL Math, Kahn Academy and Time4Learning. We have introduced the concept of division and its relation to multiplication. Mikro is enjoying learning about geometry and constructing paper geometric solids.


The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Eisenzberger; Times Tables Made Easy by Joe Harris; Math =Fun: Multiplication by Jerry Pallotta; Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins; Stacks of Trouble by Martha Brenner; The Monster Who Did My Math by Danny Schnitzlein; Millie's Diner: A Multiplying Menu by Dayle Ann Dodds; Corkscrew Counts: A Story About Multiplication by Donna Jo Napoli; Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class by Barbara Esham; Sea Squares by Joy Hulme; Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream by Cindy Neuschwander; Beast Academy sample chapter on area and perimeter by AOPS; Marvelous Multiplication by Lynette Long; Multiplication Made Easy and Division Made Easy, both by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson; Anno’s Math Games II by Mitsumasa Anno; Clean Sweep Campers by Lucille Recht Penner; Divide and Ride by Stuart J. Murphy; Division by Ann Becker; Full House: An Invitation to Fractions and The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon both by Dayle Ann Dodds; How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty by Nathan Zimelman; The Mathematical Journey of a Lifetime by Sarah Katrchner Clark; One Hungry Cat by Joanne Rocklin; Pigs Go to Market: Fun with Math and Shopping; Pigs on a Blanket: Fun With Math and Time; Pigs Will Be Pigs (Money); Pigs At Odds: Fun With Math and Games; Pigs on the Ball: Fun With Math and Sports (Geometry and Shapes), all by Amy Axelrod; A Very Improbable Story: A Math Adventure by Edward Einhorn; The Warlord’s Alarm; The Warlord’s Beads; The Warlord’s Puppeteers; The Emperor’s Army all by Virginia Walton Pilegard; Math Manga Mysteries: The Lost Key (whole numbers); The 100 Dollar Robber (money); The Fishy Fountain (multiplication and division); The Ancient Formula (fractions); The Secret Ghost (measurement and distance); The Kung Fu Puzzle (time and temperature); The Book Bandit (geometry), all by Melinda Thielbar; and The Runaway Puppy by Lydia Barriman.


Math for Children: Multiplication (Schlessinger Media); Zeros: Multiplying and Dividing by 10, 100, 1000 (Schlessinger Media); Einstein’s Math Video Tudor Vol. 3 (Multiplication and Division); Math for Students: Multiplication and Division (Schlessinger Media); Math for Children: Money (Schlessinger Media).


Multiplication Mountain by Hap Palmer.


The Number Devil computer game; various games on Dreambox math online.


We have discussed fossil fuels and alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power; the history of the space program, the end of the Shuttle Program and possible future directions for space exploration; experiments aboard the International Space Station; insects and arachnids; oceans and marine life; microbiology and microorganisms; viruses and bacteria; how computers work; computer viruses and other malware; electronics and robotics; flight and aerodynamics; ecosystems, habitat and food chains; classification of animals; evolution, symbiosis and parasitism, climate change, ecology and conservation.


A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston; Wind Power by Polly Goodman; Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers and Wetlands by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Phillipe Cousteau; DK How Things Work Encyclopedia; Human Space Exploration (World Book); The Hydra by Dr. Stanley Shostak; Insects and Spiders (Reader’s Digest); Living Things That Poison Itch and Sting by Phyllis S. Busch; Sea Jellies: Rainbows in the Sea by Elizabeth Tayntor Gowell; The Secret Life of Fishes by Helen Buttfield; Electric Animals by Natalie Lunis; Invertebrate Zoology by Ellen Doris; The Lab Cats Switch On by Russell Stannard; Mantises by Sylvia A. Johnson; Monsters of the Deep by Stewart Ross; Science Detectives: How Scientists Solved Six Real Life Mysteries (Editors of YES Magazine); The Time and Space of Uncle Albert by Russell Stannard; At This Very Moment by Jim Arnosky; Me…Jane [Jane Goodall] by Patrick McDonnell; Make It Work: Insects by Andrew Haslam.

Magazines: Ranger Rick, National Geographic Kids, Kids Discover and Zoobooks.

Videos: Mikro watches educational programming on PBS, the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, Science Channel, NASA TV, Planet Green and Animal Planet. He regularly watches educational programming such as NOVA Science Now, NASA TV, Monster Bug Wars, Nature, Wild Kingdom, Mythbusters, How It’s Made, Brain Games and Dinosaur Revolutions. He has an extensive collection of science and nature DVDs, which he watches as a treat before bedtime. He also watches Bill Nye the Science Guy and other scientific programming online.

Classes: Mikro is taking a six session series of classes on a combination of topics in the science of flight and space at Science Museum of Long Island. Recent topics included deceleration using parachutes with an egg drop experiment, building and launching rockets with class A engines, and experiments being conducted aboard the International Space Station (involving magnetism, static electricity, crystal growth, and botany).

Field trips: City of Water Day on Governors Island; American Museum of Natural History: special exhibits: The Brain and Frogs Alive! as well as the Hall of Biodiversity and Reptiles collection; several trips to the New York Aquarium ; NY Hall of Science, special exhibit Science Under the Big Top and Science Playground; Maker Faire, a weekend of hands on science activities, robotics, lectures on robotics and hands-on craft activities; Bronx Zoo; many nature walks where Mikro has observed such things as blue crabs fighting, birds caring for their young, hummingbirds feeding, lizards basking, butterflies pollinating flowers, dragonflies mating; beachcombing for treasures such as seashells, dead horseshoe crabs and mermaids’ purses; stargazing with a telescope and following NASA's scheduled sighting opportunities for the International Space Station; watching a meteor shower.

Projects: collecting and observing bugs, monitoring nest boxes and bird feeders, maintaining a compost heap, building simple Arduino circuits, building electronics kits, maintaining a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat.

History, Geography & Patriotism and Citizenship:

During this first quarter we have continued our study of Ancient History, focusing primarily on Ancient Japan and Africa, but also including China, and Rome. We have used Susan Wise Bauer's The Story of the World as a spine, have gone through sections on Japan and Africa, as well as maps, videos, nonfiction and fiction concerning the cultures studied.

We have had discussions about dynasties, feudalism, totalitarianism, world religions including Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, the Silk Road and trade, civilizations of Ancient Africa including Great Zimbabwe and the Ashanti, Dogon and Swahili peoples; and the myths, folktales and legends of Ancient Africa, Japan, China and India.

In American History/New York History/Patriotism and Citizenship, we have discussed the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the Constitution, the function of governments, the Bill of Rights, rights and responsibilities of citizens, immigration, slavery, racism and the Civil Rights movement. Mikro attended the reading of the Declaration of Independence at Van Cortlandt Manor and watched artillery drills, patriotic speeches, and period songs and dances and participated in musket drill and artillery drill. Mikro learned about the history of the Old Croton Aqueduct , hiked on the Aqueduct trail, and visited the Croton Dam.



What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?; Shh, We're Writing the Constitution; And Then What Happened Paul Revere; Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May; Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?; Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?; Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?; Why Not, Lafayette?; Who’s That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?; Who’s Saying What in Jamestown, Thomas Savage?; George Washington’s Breakfast and George Washington’s Mother, all by Jean Fritz; 1776: Yankee Doodle America by Wendell Minor; I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White; Madame President by Lane Smith; My Senator and Me by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy; So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George; Jon, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith; Now & Ben by Gene Barretta; If You Were There in 1776 by Barbara Brenner; The Liberty Tree by Lucille Recht Penner; Ropes of the Revolution by J. Gunderson; Sons of Liberty by Marshall Poe; Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas; The Revolutionary War: An Interactive History Adventure by Elizabeth Raum; House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes; KidsDISCOVER Colonial America.


Ancient Cultures: Japanese Gods and Myths by Rebecca Kingsley; Drums of Noto Hanto by J. Alison James; Tanuki's Gift by Tim J. Myers; The Loyal Cat by Lensey Namioka; The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth; Life As a Samurai: An Interactive History Adventure by Matt Doeden; K is for Kabuki by Gloria Whelan; Hokusai: The Man Who Painted a Mountain by Deborah Kogan Ray; Appleseeds: Children of Ancient Japan (Magazine); Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams; Ho Lim Lim by Tejima; The Inch High Samurai; The Adventure of Momotaro the Peach Boy; The Monkey and the Crab; The Moon Princess; The Sparrow’s Inn; Grandfather Cherry Blossom; Click Clack Mountain and Urashima and the Kingdom Beneath the Sea, all by Ralph F. McCarthy.


National Flags by Dwayne E Pickels; Geogra-Fleas: Riddles From All Over the Map by Joan Holub; Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions From Around the World by Selby B. Beeler.

Field Trips: Van Cortlandt Manor; Pompeii: Life and Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius at Discovery Times Square Exposition Center.


Ancient Civilizations for Children: Ancient Africa (Schlessinger Media); Children’s Stories from Africa (Monterey Media); Wonders of the Ancient World: Ancient African Civilizations (Schlessinger Media); Wonders of the Ancient World: Ancient African Architecture (Schlessinger Media); Families of the World: Kenya; US Geography for Children: The Northeast (Schlessinger Media); US Geography for Children: The Southeast (Schlessinger Media).


Mikro learned about the various families of instruments in an orchestra and enjoyed watching a multipart video series called Let’s Make Music, featuring episodes on each instrument family. He enjoyed a live performance of classical music by Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall. He also attended a musical performance of The Yellow Brick Road, an adaptation of the Wizard of Oz with a latino flavor, and was introduced to salsa and meringue musical styles. Mikro also enjoyed a performance of The Secret History of the Swedish Cottage at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park. At home, we have introduced such musical genres as jazz, country, rock and roll, blues, reggae and calypso via selections from our large music collection. Mikro was introduced to playing the guitar by his uncle Rob, and also learned about the science behind electric guitars. Mikro is experimenting with a keyboard synthesizer and is learning to play “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.”


Mikro has continued his drawing and experiments with various media, including clay, watercolors, markers, acrylic paints and collage/assemblage. We have looked at art books on Vincent Van Gogh, Japanese Art and Chinese Brush Painting . He has also enjoyed paper piecing three dimensional geometric forms and constructing polyhedrons with upcycled pop bottles. Mikro’s favorite subjects for drawing are microorganisms.

Phys Ed:

Swimming Lessons at Silver Lake (Level Three); hiking, kayaking, park days with
homeschooled friends; soccer and basketball informally with friends and family; trampoline.


We have discussed good nutrition, the basic food groups, the food pyramid, safety issues related to food allergies, basic human needs, vision and eye safety, maintaining adequate hydration, personal hygiene including dental hygiene, why drugs, alcohol and smoking are unhealthy, HIV and AIDS,and the perils of drunk driving. Resources include: NIH “See All You Can See” and “Open Wide, Trek Inside” websites.

Traffic, bicycle and general safety:

We have discussed the importance of always wearing a bicycle helmet, of looking both ways before crossing the street, obeying traffic signals, watching cars for signals, safe and appropriate behavior on public transportation, seatbelts, carseats, not distracting the driver, what exit signs and emergency instructions (e.g. on the trains) mean; water safety; boating safety; strangers, staying where mom and dad can see you, what to do if lost or separated from family, how to avoid getting lost in the first place, how to ask for help. Mikro knows his name and address (though not his zip code), and his parents' names. On trips outside our neighborhood, he wears a dog tag engraved with name, address and phone numbers, as well as information regarding his food allergies, and he knows that he should show it to police if he becomes lost. Mikro has a cell phone and knows how to use it to call for help, or contact his parents in the event he becomes lost. Books: Survive Alive: In an Emergency by Neil Champion. Videos: Health for Children: Staying Safe: Strangers, Cyberspace and More (Schlessinger Media).

Fire Safety and Prevention:

We have discussed what to do in a fire emergency, including formulating a family escape plan, stop drop & roll, get low and go, exiting the house immediately and not returning, trying to wake family members, but leaving if unsuccessful, telling firefighters if family and pets are still inside, using a cell phone or going to a neighbor to call 911, and waiting at a designated location for family members. We talked about fire prevention strategies. Mikro successfully completed the rounds of all the fire activity stations at the Croton Fire Fair twice to earn rides on a fire truck. Books: Stop, Drop and Roll by Margery Cuyler; Contain the Flame: Outdoor Fire Safety by Jill Urban Donahue; Safe Kids Fire Safety by Dana Meachen Rau. Videos: Safety Smart Science: Fire with Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Dated: October 14, 2011
Signed: Me & Kev

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