We opened family presents before dinner, and I am glad we did. The boys were so excited that it took an extra hour to get them to sleep even with opening gifts mid-afternoon. They got some games, train stuff, and .
lots of Legos. They loved the Legos most of all and were so excited to play with them that it was difficult to get them to the table to eat dinner-which was surprising because it's one of their favorite meals AND we had REAL sour cream imported from America to put on top (a vey special treat around here).
After we finally got them to eat dinner, the boys put together a plate of cookies for Santa and some carrots for his reindeer. Owen wrote a letter to Santa telling him that he wanted a "remote controlled boat that goes in the water with batteries" and that Oliver wanted an orange scooter. The note is awesome because it is all phonetically spelled out and written by Owen himself. Something I will treasure for years to come.
Christmas morning was filled with excitement. The boys were thrilled with their Santa gifts. Owen got his boat, of course, but he was more excited about a little wind up robot and an old-fashioned rocket ship. Oliver was very please with his scooter, but was pretty excited about his tool set too. They both got a set of art supplies too which made them quite happy. Thanks, Santa!
After presents, the boys went down to the pool to test out the boat and a squirt gun. Then we went out for a nice brunch at Blu. Blu is located at Riverside, which has some very lovely grounds, so after we ate, we took some nice pictures of the kids.
The boys' shirts in these pictures were made just for them by Masto Designs. They got to pick their own fabric! I would like to note that I think Owen looks way too grown up in these pictures.
And we leave for Krabi, Thailand in less than 48 hours...
Okay, I know this post has nothing to do with traveling or the Swanson Family, but I am super excited about something new that I have been trying in my 7th Grade Pre-Algebra class. For the first time, I am using an Interactive Notebook with my students. I got the inspiration for my first couple of pages from Pinterest, you can check out some of what I have pinned here, but then I took off with the idea. I have loved the results and been very pleased with the effort my students have been putting into their notebooks.
Pictures of our Interactive Notebooks in Grade 7
How it works...
I have been printing out the shapes for my students with a few key words or definitions already typed in. I find that this has helped a lot with my low English students because they can spend more time focusing on understanding rather than copying down definitions. Students cut out the shapes, and then use a glue stick to attach them to the left side of their notebooks. Then we go through an fill in all the "blanks" under the flaps and in the open space of the notebook. Notes are restricted to just the right side of the notebook because the left side is reserved for practice problems. This keeps all of the material for that lesson in one place.
As far as vocabulary development goes, my formative assessments are showing an increase in acquisition compared to what this group of students had previously been showing. I think it is because each vocab word or term has a special place and they can quiz themselves over the words more easily. It's much more visually appealing too.
I did not do a table of contents or introductory page or anything like that for this first try simply because I didn't know how it was going to go over. For Spring Semester, we will be starting a new notebook in both grades 6 and 7 complete with all the interactive notebook trimmings.
I love these notebooks! In fact, I love them almost as much as I loved "flipping" my Algebra 2 and Calculus I classes back in the US. And my students love them too. I have never seen a middle school student take some much pride in a notebooks. Very fun to see!
Orange is still Ollie's color of choice, though he does love "all the colors!" too. He likes to pretend that he is an orange super hero and then assigns each of us a color too. He love playing Legos, trains, and puzzles. He likes orange giraffes, tigers, and puppies.He does not like dogs, crocodiles, or piranhas. He loves to cuddle but hates to sleep. He likes to kick the ball around with Owen, but they both get frustrated quickly because their skill levels are so different. Oliver adores swimming and shows no fear in the water. He dives to the bottom in the pool to retrieve dive sticks. He knows how to jump in, turn around, get back to the wall, and climb out which makes Derek and I feel a lot better about living around so many pools. He enjoys riding his tricycle around but has become much more attached to his orange balance bike.
Oliver loves olives, cheese, fruit, and yogurt. He does not like chocolate. He devoured the pumpkin pie I made for Derek's birthday, but he generally doesn't like too many sweets. Owen even finished Ollie's piece of cake at the party yesterday. He would eat nothing but blueberry yogurt and olives if we allowed it.
Our dude is still struggling to sleep well at night. He has given up his nap and now goes to bed earlier, but he still wakes up at least once every night and comes into bed with me and Derek. It is exhausting, but I know it won't last forever. Oliver is very strong willed and can throw some pretty epic temper tantrums, but he is happy and content most of the time. He can be very affectionate and is still very attached to me. The sweetest thing Oliver has ever done for me was to gently cup my face in his small hands, look me in the eye, and say "You're my best friend, Mommy."
Oliver makes us laugh every single day and is such a joy to have in our lives. I am very proud of the young man he is becoming!