It’s Homeschool Assessment Time!

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I will confess, I have not done this in a while. How long of a while? Uhhh…fall of 2013 was the last time.

My bad.

A lot has changed in the past year and a half. Em has shot up several inches and her vocabulary has increased by leaps and bounds. Along the way, she has mastered reading and many other studies.

I thought it was a good time, however, to review with Emily all of the many intricate expectations for the end of second grade. Some would be spot on, others not even on the radar, and many in between.

Today, we began with Language Arts and Mathematics. I was using Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year book. As I explained to Em, “This is simply a guide. Some of it won’t apply to us, some of it can be rather irrelevant, other things can wait, and plenty of it you will have in the bag now or with a little review.”

I first began by explaining the term ‘legend’ to her…X=Knows It, N=Nearly Mastered, L=Learning It, R=Not Relevant At This Time, D=Doesn’t Know It, and U=I Don’t Know/Understand. And here is how it all shook out.

Phonics, Decoding and Word Recognition

  • Decode regular 2-syllable words – X
  • Understand basic rules of syllabication – R
  • Increase knowledge of sight words – X (Dolch Sight Words through the 3rd grade!)
  • Know meanings of common abbreviations – X
  • Read grade-appropriate materials aloud with proper expression and intonation – X

Notes: Em’s reading skills have really improved, some abbreviations were unfamiliar to her, but most were instantly recognized and/or made sense to her quickly.I do not see the need for an understanding of syllabication at this time.

Reading Comprehension

  • Discuss previously read material, recalling and describing details of plot, characters, and setting – X
  • Obtain specific information from print materials – X
  • Follow two-step written instructions – X
  • Identify rhyme, rythm, alliteration, simile, and metaphor in poetry. Read and recognize limericks. – N
  • Experience a wide range of literary materials, including fiction and nonfiction, myths, folktales, fables, multi-cultural stories and the like. – N

Notes: Basically, the reading comprehension is doing well. Em needs more exposure to different forms of writing, and more of it. This is something we will be looking on.

Writing

  • Practice manuscript handwriting skills, improving accuracy and legibility – L
  • Experiment with a range of writing projects, including short stories, poems, nonfiction reports, journal keeping and letter writing. – L
  • Know and use the correct format for a friendly letter, including date, salutation, body, closing and signature. – X
  • Recognize complete and incomplete sentences; be able to identify subject and predicate. – R
  • Be able to identify nouns, verbs and adjectives and use adjectives in a comparative sense by adding er and est. – X
  • Identify synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms – X
  • Change regular verbs to the past tense by adding ed. know the present and past tenses of common irregular verbs (to be, to have, to do, etc) – R
  • Spell phonetically regular words and second grade-level sight words from dictation. – L
  • Capitalize proper nouns, the first word of sentences, the pronoun I, the names of holidays, months, and days of the year, the names of countries, cities, and states, and the main words in book titles. – N
  • Know the correct use of periods, question marks, exclamation points, and quotation marks. Use commas correctly in dates and addresses. – L

Notes: We started and stopped cursive writing over a year ago. Em is committing to learning/practicing ten minutes a day, 3 days a week. As for the rest, if there has been less than enough reading, writing has been even more lacking. We need to remedy that by writing more. MORE. Writing, the act of it, will encourage the building of all of these skills.

Listening and Speaking Skills

  • Be able to retell stories in proper sequence. – X
  • Memorize and recite short poems and rhymes. – N
  • Be able to give a short oral report based on facts drawn from a number of different sources. – U

Notes: Again, the more she reads, the better her skills will be and the wider the breadth of her experience. There really hasn’t been a need for her to produce an oral report. She did give the introduction for her musicianship class through Harmony Project this past Saturday with no mistakes. Her teachers were very proud.

Study Skills

  • Use a “first” dictionary to check word definitions and spellings. – R
  • Be able to alphabetize to the second or third letter. – X

Notes: I think our time is better spent learning how to use a regular dictionary to look up words we already know how to spell (or have in front of us spelled correctly). We did this when defining synonyms et al earlier. This is a better use of her time.

And now…Mathematics…

Number Theory

  • Recognize and write numbers 0 to 100. Be able to read and write number words to 100. – N
  • Order and compare numbers to 1,000 using “greater than” (>), “lesser than” (<) and “equals” (=) signs. – L
  • Be able to count to 100 by 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s. – N
  • Understand place values for 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1,000s. – N
  • Round numbers to the nearest 10. – X
  • Be able to write numbers in “expanded” form through 100s (i.e. 729=700+20+9) – X
  • Understand the concept of even and odd numbers – X
  • Use tallies for counting and score keeping – X
  • Identify ordinal positions from first through twelfth – R
  • Recognize and write fractions from 1/10 to 1/2. Also should be introduced to the terms numerator and denominator. – X
  • Recognize and extend repeating patterns using symbols, pictures, or manipulatives – X
  • Collect, organize and record data using pictorial and bar graphs – X

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Notes: Em recognizes and writes numbers easily, but the word forms are difficult and there are some misspellings. We have not reviewed the ‘greater than’ and ‘lesser than’ signs at all. She only has difficulty counting by 3s, everything else is great. And she is quickly understanding place value. Once I explained the concept of rounding, she showed me a sketch of how to round numbers using the “mountain” she learned on Odd Squad. Once we reviewed how to use tallies she easily was able to translate numbers I wrote on the board into different accurate tallies. I fail to see how the ordinal positions are important right now. We reviewed fractions and she not only grasped the principles but greatly enjoyed the ideas we discussed. She also showed me a bar graph she had learned by playing an Electric Company game on PBS Kids. I am excited by her interest in math!

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Operations

  • Know basic addition and subtraction facts through 20 – L
  • Understand the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. – X
  • Review the commutative property of addition – X
  • Be able to estimate sums and differences to 100 – L
  • Be able to solve two-and-three digit addition and subtraction problems with and without regrouping. – N
  • Recognize the multiplication sign; know the definitions of factor and product. – X
  • Know the commutative property of multiplication. – X
  • Know multiplication facts through the 5 times table. Also know how to multiply by 0, 1, and 10. – L
  • Understand the use of variables and use these in number sentences – R
  • Solve simple one-step addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems, including both horizontal and vertical numerical problems and word problems. – N
  • Apply mathematical knowledge to other areas of the academic curriculum and to everyday situations. – X

Notes: Em does okay with simple addition, but subtraction is still a problem. Basically, she needs more practice with real-life applications of mathematics and possibly reviewing multiplication tables and playing more math games. Until these are mastered, I fail to see the relevance of introducing variables and number sentences.

Money and Measurement

  • Recognize and know the relative values of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar bills. – X
  • Be able to determine values of given combinations of bills and coins, and to write the amount using either the cent sign or the dollar sign and decimal point. – N
  • Be able to add and subtract money and make change. – L
  • Compare and order objects by length, weight and volume – L
  • Be able to read a thermometer, measure temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit, and recognize the degree sign. – X
  • Know the names of the months of the year in order – D
  • Tell time to the quarter hour – L

Notes: Em is doing great adding up various sums of money, but subtraction and making change is not something she has had experience with. We need to work on that. Also, after reviewing writing amounts, she is doing well, but made a few mistakes. We have done very little about comparing objects by length, weight and volume. Will need to remedy this. We will spend this year reviewing the months of the year, she will get better soon. Blame digital clocks for the delay in telling time to the quarter hour.

Geometry

  • Identify basic 2-dimensional figures: circle, square, rectangle, and triangle – X
  • Identify 3-dimensional figures: sphere, cube, cone, pyramid, and cylinder – X
  • Recognize and differentiate among horizontal, vertical, parallel, and perpendicular lines – X
  • Be able to identify congruent figures (same shape, size, just in different position). – X
  • Define and measure perimeter and area – D

Notes: I found most of these rather simple and so did she. We have not discussed or addressed perimeter and area yet. 

And that wraps up today’s assessment. Tomorrow we will cover History & Geography, Science, Foreign Language, Art, Music, and Health & P.E.

After that, I will be posting a plan of action for all of these areas that need to be addressed.

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