Sunday, February 7, 2010

Weekly Review - Week 22 (Jan. 25-29) and Week 23 (Feb. 1-5)

Due to a family emergency, the past couple of weeks have gone by in a blur for me. I do know that school was done and progress was made. Rocket Boy continues to do a good job managing his time. He completed tests in Pre-Algebra and Grammar. Additionally, he did a fantastic job on a paper about the Industrial Revolution. Late last week he started to read Kidnapped and is in the process of making a book jacket style book report.

In science, he was able to finally get to the tomato DNA - the pictures are stuck on my phone right now. I'll download later when I have it with me.

Our co-op started up again this past week. We use our co-op for enrichment activities, not for academic classes. This semester, Rocket Boy is taking a class on acting, called "So You Want to Be an Actor?" and a class on cryptography, called Cryptoclub. I have the privilege of teaching the Cryptoclub class, the first co-op class that I have taught solo. We are using the book, Cryptoclub: Using Mathematics to Make and Break Secret Codes, published by A.K. Peters, Ltd.. This class will be a lot of fun. We started by discussing vocabulary and learning how to shift Caesar ciphers. The great thing about this book and this class is that the student use mathematics skills up through pre-algebra to solve the ciphers. It's a great way to help them see how the mathematics skills that they have are used every day. The primary reason that I picked this course to teach is that my son saw the book and asked me to teach it! It's great to be able to grant a request like that. Much to my surprise, this has by far been the easiest class that I have taught in this environment. This book even has a free teacher guide, answer key and student workbook that you download from the publishers site.

Winter has come to the southeastern United States and Rocket Boy was excited to be able to play in the snow last week. I was out of town and missed most of the fun, but did get to see some pretty landscape when I arrived home. That same winter weather derailed the regional First Lego League championships, so the kids have to do their regional on February 13. Those who qualify for the State Championships will have to go to the state competition the very next weekend. We hope to be one of those teams, so we are looking forward to two busy weekends. The good thing is that the team is well prepared and will have a somewhat relaxing week leading up to the regional competition. If you haven't already checked it out, take a look at the team's video:


Mandy in TN said...

Cryptography sounds like a really fun co-op class! Let us know how it goes. :-)

Kysha said...

Cool! I've never heard of that book.