Learning Plan: Grade 2 & Kindergarten (2009/2010)

Cinder Grade Two Learning Plan (2009/2010) • Flora—Kindergarten Learning Plan (2009/2010)

Note: We did not have to report to the school board for Flora’s Kindergarten year, so this is still primarily Cinder’s Learning Plan–but with notes for Flora throughout


Key Objective: To continue to foster Cinder’s love of learning and exploration; to continue to foster Flora’s love of learning and exploration

Evaluation and assessment: Project, Portfolio and Progress-based, Qualitative

Focus for Cinder: Hands-on experiments and experience in natural and physical science, physical activity and health, exposure to wide variety of books, events and people

Focus for Flora: Plenty of opportunities for art, music and dramatic play, physical activity and health, exposure to wide variety of books, events and people

Note: Our overall approach to Cinder and Flora’s learning is holistic and integrated. The breakdown below into subjects is for the purposes of the learning plan only.

Expected highlights for 2009/2010
World Skills Festival (September 2009)
Bug Jamboree at Ellis Bird Farm (August 2010)
Calgary Reptile Show (September 2009, April 2010)
Junior Skywatchers’ Course at the Science Centre (February 2010)
Drop-in gymnastics classes and regular swimming (Fall/Winter 2009/10)
Beginning rock climbing (Fall/Winter 2009/2010)
Art class at North Mount Pleasant Art Centre (Winter/Spring 2010)
Calgary Rock, Fossil & Gem Show (May 2010)
Regular visits to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and Reptile World in Drumheller
Regular visits to the Calgary Zoo, Calgary Science Centre and Creative Kids Museum, Glenbow Museum (especially the Discovery Room), etc.
Homeschoolers Day at the Zoo programmes, November 27, 2009
Homeschoolers Day at the Science Centre, Monday, September 28, 2009, Wednesday January 20, 2009, Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Homeschoolers Day at the Glenbow Monday, October 26, 2009 Tuesday, January 19, 2010 and Wednesday April 28, 2010
Family Sundays at the CPO: Judy & David’s Symphonic Adventure, November 22, 2009; Peter & the Wolf, March 14, 2010; Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood, May 16, 2010
Y Stage Cookie Cabaret: Beneath the Banyan Tree, October 26, 2009; Oz, January 24, 2010; King Arthur’s Kitchen, March 14, 2010; The Tooth Fairy, April 11, 2010
Calgary Young People’s Theatre: Story Theatre: Warm Stories for Cold Nights, Calgary Public Library, October 2009; Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, December 9-13, 2009; the Daily Mischief: Haunter Summer, February 10-15, 2010
Loose Moose Theatre for Kids: some of Snow White, October 31 – November 22, 2009; Young King Arthur, February 6 – 28, 2010; The Emperor’s New Clothes, April 3 – 25, 2010
Calgary International Children’s Festival (May 2010)
Various programmes at the Calgary Public Library, including Leaves! Reptile Party, Magic Shows, and Christmas Concerts

Key resources
Our extensive in-house library of books, games, puzzles and toys
The treasure-trove at the Calgary Public Library
Variety of on-line resources and research databases, as needed
Interesting places, interesting events, interesting people, and other community resources


Objective: To explore and experience the natural world, and to gain through experience an understanding of its underlying laws
This continues to be Cinder’s passion and forte and entry point into most other areas of inquiry. His key interest there right now appears to be honing in on physics. Additionally, building various structures has assumed new levels of importance. We look forward to fostering these interests and watching them develop and flourish.

For Flora: Flora loves nature and bugs and dinosaurs. She gets a lot of secondary exposure to “hard-core” science via her brother, but her forte is empathetic relations with animals. She plans to learn more about all the different animals in the world this year.

New Resources
Mythbusters DVD series
Horrible Science series of books (Scholastic UK), including Nick Arnold’s The Stunning Science of Everything
Biographies of scientists from the Dead Famous series of books
Bill Bryson’s The Really Short History of Nearly Everything
Magazines: Ask, Click, YES Mag and KNOW Mag
New Alberta Science Foundation Crates

Carry-over Resources
The Magic School Bus series (originals, teleplay adaptations and chapter books)
Usborne Books Look Inside Series
Usborne Pocket Scientist: the Blue Book and the Red Book
Usborne Book of Knowledge
Various experiment books
The Amazing Dirt Book
Atlas of the Human Body
The Periodic Table: Elements with Style, Rasher/Adrian Dingle
Birds of Alberta
Bugs of Alberta
Reptiles and Amphibians of Canada

Film Resources
Planet Earth (DVD)
The Blue Planet (DVD)
Walking with Dinosaurs (DVD)
Kratt Brothers’ Be the Creature (DVD)
Acorn the Nature Nut (series)
The Jeff Corwin Experience (series)
Eyewitness Natural World (series)
The Way Things Work (series)
The Magic School Bus (DVD)
Other nature and science documentaries as identified and needed, with a heavy reliance on the Discovery Channels available at the public library

The Calgary Zoo
Calgary Science Centre
Rothney Astronomical Observatory
Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Drumheller
Reptile World, Drumheller
Chemistry kits
Assortment of body part models


Objective: To continue to foster love of books and reading, and to provide plenty of opportunities for developing communication skills with a variety of media

Cinder will continue to be read to from a wide variety of children’s and adult literature, from old favourite board books and picture books through to chapters books and relevant reference books. We will continue to play word games and rhyming games, and to highlight phonemic patterns in words through play, and to ensure he was plenty of time to spend “privately” with books, cracking the literacy code in his own way and at his own time.
A key part of Cinder’s language arts education this year will continue to be conversations and story exchanges with peers, younger children and intelligent, interested adults. Additionally, Cinder continues to help his little sister with her letters, sounds and word identification.

He has also recently started creating his own stories, and showing more focus and interest in writing; we will continue to follow his lead in this area and ensure he has opportunity to pursue those interests at his own pace and with no pressure.

For Flora: As science is Cinder’s forte and entry point, language is Flora’s. She’s been practicing reading and writing for the past year-plus, and we expect that to continue this year. Her two new favourite resources are a LeapFrog Pad and a Scooby Doo Wipe-off Word book. She’s also currently obsessed with palindromes.

New Resources
Cross-word puzzles and basic word searches
Calvin & Hobbes comic books
Nate the Great series
Henry & Mudge series
Selections from reading list from Five in a Row

Carry-over Resources
Sample Booklist
Phonics and phonemic awareness books
Jen the Hen series, by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
Bob Books, by Bobby Lynn Maslen
Hairy McLary books, by Lynley Dodd
Favourite authors
Mem Fox
Robert Munsch
Dr. Seuss
Sandra Boynton
Mo Willems
Lynley Dodd
Linda Bailey
Mary Pope Osborne
Currently being read
Magic Treehouse series
Magic School Bus books
Scooby Doo chapter books
Usborne Search Books
Usborne Puzzle Journeys and Puzzle Adventures
Much non-fiction

Additional resources
Several letter, alphabet and word games

Retired resources that didn’t really work for Cinder (for reference)
Between the Lions DVDs (but Flora loved it)
Moveable alphabet
Montessori traceable letters


Objective: To foster comfort and familiarity with numbers and number games

Cinder will continue to explore mathematical literacy through a variety of every day activities, which will include baking, shopping, allowance administration and saving, money counting and sorting, measuring things, building models, etc., as well as more contrived but still hands-on activities with manipulatives and geometric shapes.

The emphasis remains on oral or tactile practice. Cinder will also likely continue to work on memorizing addition and multiplication facts for fun.
An additional tool this year will be some math through literature reading, through books such as the Sir Cumference series and others.

For Flora: Flora plays with numbers through song, and we anticipate many more repeat airings of The Googols’ Addition Celebration, Multiplication Vacation, Math Jam, and other musical-math resources.

New Resources

Murderous Maths

Go Figure!
Function machine games
Octopus Math
Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander
Additional books as needed, including titles by Brian Cleary, Loreen Leedy, Ann Whitehead Nagda, Greg Tan, Wendy Clemson and others

Carry-Over Resources
Montessori-style manipulatives (beads, 3-D geometric shapes, etc.)
The very countable, pattern-filled world around us
Marilyn Burns books
What’s a Million, by Stephen Kellogg
On Beyond a Million, by David Schwartz
Monopoly and other board games


Objective: To provide Cinder with as much physical activity as he needs to be a healthy and happy child

Our recognition that Cinder needs an immense amount of exercise and physical activity is one of the critical reasons behind our decision to homeschool. Cinder will continue to participate in a twice weekly gymnastics drop-in program and we will continue our twice weekly family swims. This year, we are adding rock climbing to the agenda.

Additionally, we will continue to ensure that he is outside running, biking, playing on playgrounds, chasing butterflies, throwing snowballs etc. as much as he needs to be. (Most days, the minimum amount of intense physical activity seems to be four hours.)

Cooking, baking, meal-planning and discussions about nutrition and healthful life practices will continue to be part of the daily routine and education.

For Flora: Flora will be continuing her formal gymnastics classes, which she loves, as well as swimming. It also looks like she will be taking baby care very seriously this year—she has been seriously practicing with all her dolls.

The Great Outdoors
Gymnastics rings and overall set-up of children’s room
City of Calgary swimming pools and leisure centres
Skating rings
Parks and playgrounds
Gymnastics class
Stronghold Climbing Centre


Objective: To expose Cinder to the diversity and complexity of the social and cultural world of the present and the past

This remains an “incidental” area that we explore with Cinder through quality reading, discussion, participation in local multicultural events and travel. Despite plans to pay no attention to it last year, it loomed large in our regular activities, and we expect the same thing to happen this year.

For Flora: Flora is very much appreciating the Magic Treehouse Books relating to history as well as the Good Times Travel Agency books, and we expect to continue reading these intermittently throughout the year.

New Resources
Horrible Histories, Horrible Geographies and Dead Famous series
DVD—Canadian Geographic Kids
DVD—Horrible Histories
DVD—Building Big series with David MaCaulay
DVD—National Geographic videos at the library
Festivals and Events
Canada Day activities (July)
Global Fest & Fireworks Competition (August)
Area pow-wow dances
Aggie Days (April)

Carry-over Resources
Maps, atlas and globe
Puzzle maps
Good Times Travel Agency series, by Linda Bailey and Bill Slavin
Magic Treehouse chapter book series, by Mary Pope Osborne
What I Believe: a young person’s guide to the religions of the world, by Alan Brown and Andrew Langley
Children from Australia to Zimbabwe, by Maya Ajmera
Geography from A to Z: a picture glossary, by Jack Knowlton

Heritage Park
Fort Calgary
Fort Edmonton
The Glenbow Museum
The Military Museums
The Aerospace Museum in Calgary (and most towns we happen to visit)
The Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton
The Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina


Objective: Exposure and enjoyment

We plan to continue attending a variety of plays, shows, concerts and festivals to allow Cinder to experience and enjoy the arts in a variety of forms. On the practical side, Cinder is free to draw, paint, construct or model with clay whenever he wishes; he likes clay work and model construction. He will likely take formal art class at the North Mount Pleasant Art Centre in the winter.

Chiefly under the influence of Cinder’s musical sister, we plan to continue attending the CPO’s Sundays at the Symphony and listening to a variety of music, children’s, classical and modern.

We plan to continue to explore drama, both as appreciative audiences of Loose Moose, Children’s Festival, Y Stage and other appropriate plays, and as participants in self-created play.

For Flora: Flora is a musical child who has had the bad fortunate to be born into an unmusical family. She will continue taking her Orff Music classes, attending CPO Sundays at the Symphony, and listening to a variety of music, children’s classical and modern, as recommended to us by more musically inclined people.

She is also very fond of drama and imaginative play, and she and her brother will likely both participate in a drama workshop this year.

New Resources
Calgary Young People’s Theatre performances and possibly workshops
Audio CDs and Audio books from the library

Carry-Over Resources
Arts, crafts and modeling projects at home
The Discovery Room at the Glenbow
The Creative Kids Museum
Community arts festivals
Loose Moose Theatre for Young People
The Y Stage
Calgary Children’s Festival performances and events

How to Draw Dinosaurs
1-2-3 Draw Ocean Creatures
Usborne Book of Art
Other books as appropriate
Artists biographies in Dead Famous series

Fall 2009
Flip Factory: Gymnastics
Calgary Young People’s Theatre: Drama Workshop
Winter 2010
Junior Skywatchers’ Course at the Science Centre (February)
Art class at North Mount Pleasant Art Centre (Winter or Spring)
Glenbow Museum: I Am An Artist class (March/April)

Fall 2009—Working Schedule

Monday: Home Day
Tuesday: 10-12 Inglewood Pool; Flex Afternoon
Wednesday: Home Morning, 1-1:45 Flip Factory for Flora, 2-3 Flip Factory APHSers Open Gym
Thursday: 10-12 Inglewood Pool; 1:15-2 p.m. Orff Music for Flora
Friday: Flex Day: One of (a) CBE Field Trips, (b) 2-3:30 Flip Factory Drop-In, (c) Science Centre, (d) Glenbow Discovery Room, (e) Other
Saturday: Home Day / occasional library programmes
Sunday: 10-12 Rockclimbing, once a month or so one of (a) 1-3 Family Sundays at the Glenbow, (b) 3-4 Y-Stage Cookie Cabaret, (c) CPO Family Sundays at the Symphony (d) Loose Moose or other plays/events/library programmes

Winter 2010—Working Schedule

Monday: Home morning, 1-3 Artisana Craft Co-op/Wildflower Art Class
Tuesday: 10-12 Inglewood Pool; Flex Afternoon
Wednesday: Home Morning, 1-1:45 Flip Factory for Flora [one-on-one science reading time for Cinder or rockclimbing with Sean] / Park meetings with APHSers
Thursday: 10-12 Inglewood Pool; 1:15-2 p.m. Orff Music for Flora [one-on-one science reading time for Cinder]
Friday: Play days, science days
Saturday: 12-1 Flora Ballet, 5-6 Rockclimbing Cinder,
Sunday: Family art class 12-1:30, Library programmes, CPO Family Sundays at the Symphony, festival


One response to “Learning Plan: Grade 2 & Kindergarten (2009/2010)

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