Saturday, 27 February 2016

How Narration works with my multiple kids

We've done group read aloud lessons for many years now and always incorporate narration exercises into our time - I've been asked a few times how I manage narration with multiple kids so thought it was time to try and explain it.

We use narration not as a chance to ask leading questions but as a time for the children to use their words to explain what they have understood from our lesson. For example, when reading a chapter from 'Life of Fred', one child may choose to explain the part of the story where Fred drew a bar graph about how many jelly babies and donuts he ate or they may choose to explain that he walked passed nine vending machines (five on the right and four on the left) before taking the dogs for a walk.

Or when reading History they may choose to tell me all about the Greek fable or about daily life in the village.

Narration is fairly simple on a one to one basis once you get past the first 'I don't remember' (my favourite trick to combat that is to say something silly like 'can you remember what the blue giraffe did?' so they get all indignant and tell me there were no blue giraffes just a story about some king who built a great wall) but the problem with multiple kids became quickly apparent - I could see them switch off when they knew it wasn't their turn to be asked. This prompted me to switch over to 'unannounced narration' where I would read then once finished, pick on a child to tell me about it.
This method seems to work really well for us, they never know who's turn it will be so they all have to pay attention and I've found that when the first child has given me some of the story/facts back then additional children are keen to jump in and tell me about other facts not included in the first narration.

I've also noticed my older children are quiet keen to lead the reading and narration exercises and love putting younger siblings through their paces.

Another trick that works well for us is to split up the tasks, so for example I do the reading then pick a child to lead the narration discussion and be responsible for corrections - a good way to keep them on their toes.

How does narration fit into your homeschool?

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Knights and Castles Activity day

Our local Home Ed group ran a Knights and Castles activity day.

There was plenty of dressing up,

including a reenactor who took the kids through their marching paces,

learning all about motte and bailey castles with play doh,

firing painted sponges at a castle using two different types of catapults

and lots and lots of castle toys : )

Thursday, 18 February 2016

February Book Basket

We are still reading 'Secret life of Math' and 'Mathematicians are people too' but managed to get through all the rest.

These are the read alouds added for February

Danger Zone - always a big favourite, this month it's Spanish Armada

Life of Fred - we finished dogs and have moved onto Edgewood

Although not really a read aloud story, these 'you do the maths' books are fun and we like to work through the problems together

'The Librarian who measured the earth' was a book I read to them about two years ago but it's a fab story and it was time to bring it out again :)

What are you reading?

Monday, 8 February 2016

Making a Roman Bridge

We have been exploring bridges recently and it came to light that only the older two girls remembered building a Roman Bridge at the museum.

I played around for a while trying to create one so the younger girls could understand the importance of a keystone but nothing worked properly until I thought of Styrofoam.

I drew the shape with a bowl and ruler, cut it out with a sharp knife and checked it worked prior to letting the girls make one.


Theirs looked more authentic as they decided to paint it to look like stone.
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