October 16, 2020
Virtual School: Week 6

A short week of virtual school due to Thanksgiving.

We spent Monday cooking, painting and playing board games. Elizabeth and Matthew played a game that involved dressing up and pretending that Elizabeth was Matthew's piano teacher over zoom. It was a pretty spot on imitation of Mrs Shana, to be honest. Then they worked on their lego movie a bit.


A hermit thrush flew into the corner of our window (the actual wall?) and stunned itself. Elizabeth gave up most of her recrée to help me bring it to the wild bird rescuer who lives not too far from us. That's how I know it was a hermit thrush. She reckoned it had maybe hit another window before hitting us - it was flying very erratically before it thumped down onto our deck. Michael came too (he always tries to come along for any car rides).


Kindergarten stations this week: leaf bubble sensory bucket (playing with syringes!), coloured ball pit, little wooden animals, wooden tractor shape sorting, wax pixy sticks, wooden and magnetic tangrams. They read a story about a monster "le grand cornichon" and had all sorts of related activities. No photo apparently but in my opinion it did not exactly resemble a pickle. Amelia "read" the class a library book about monsters - she has memorized "ce n'est pas mon monstre" apparently. They also worked on geometric shapes and making graphs. A few rendez-vous were devoted to asking the class who liked chocolate or vanilla ice cream (for instance) and using bar graphs to figure out who liked what more. They asked Amelia how many balls she had of each colour in her ball pit, so we spent some time counting and writing down the numbers. Turns out we've misplaced a few... Right now we have more red than anything else!


Elizabeth worked on a presentation about the different species of fox. They've switched to giving them the entire week's worth of work at once, which she appreciates.


Matthew's class has also been working on graphing and sorting, and they did an evaluation towards the end of the week. They've started doing small groups for reading during asynchronous time. I spoke to his other teacher this week. One problem is that Matthew is using technology to cheat (eg an assignment on the proper article 'le' or 'la' is much easier if the software is correcting you). She says they are going to switch to using PDFs and have purchased Kami for exactly this reason. I'm not sure if this is going to be a panacea though because Matthew has discovered that Kami has built in text to speech which means he can avoid reading and get the computer to do it. He's also a big fan of copy and pasting things, and if he doesn't know what a word is he'll fire up google and see what comes back.


In general he has spent more time fiddling with his computer than concentrating on schoolwork (although he is always getting it done). On one hand he's figured out how to do a frightening number of things in Windows (changing icons on all his saved desktop links so he knows what they are), but on the other he accidentally put himself into the wrong part of the network and then couldn't access stuff.

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