Saturday, June 13, 2015

Final Countdown/Summer Learning Goals.

We are in the final countdown... One more week of school for Ellie and me, then summer vacation is upon us.  You can catch my countdown on my photography Facebook page.

No big travel plans await this year, and days stretch out wonderfully ahead of us.

Ellie didn't qualify for extended school year (ESY), and I didn't sign her up for summer school.  Instead, Ellie and I will be doing "Mommy and Ellie summer school," a.k.a, staying home and doing some learning activities.

I figured that posting this publicly would be good accountability.  Here's what we're working on.  Please ask how it's going so I stay on track!


Ellie has been in love with this Rainbow Number set recently.  Of course, half the time she uses the dots (counters) to build a snowman, but the rest of the time, she tries to count and she identifies the numerals.  I love the visual and it's cheaper than Numicon, which I would love to invest in at some point.

The link above is from Amazon, but I got our set on Zulily.  I just don't know how often it's up on Zulily - I usually find it in a special needs type collection.

Other early math skills include sorting and of course 1:1 correspondence.  I've been counting everything.  Ellie has, too, but her 1:1 correspondence and even rote counting need some help.  We often watch letter and sound videos when I do her hair, but we may switch to counting songs.

"More and less" is an early math concept that I think Ellie is developing, but I want to be more intentional this summer.


I've dropped the ball on the DownsEd materials, but I still love them and the concept.  Ellie has the readers and can "read" and point to the words in some of the books, but has trouble identifying the words out of context.  I also printed up a bunch of readers from DSFOC in both English and Spanish for some of my students who don't have Down syndrome, but who are visual learners.  I'll be bringing those home this summer to read with Ellie and work on sight words.

In terms of phonics, Ellie knows her letters and sounds, so we'll just keep building words with her favorite flashcards and making the sounds for each letter.  She loves that activity.  I spell a word (i.e., "CAT") and we make the /c/, /a/, and /t/ sound.

Here's the uppercase version of the flashcards.  They also have sight words.  Again, I've found cheaper on Zulily (but you have to pay shipping, so it's kind of a wash unless you have Zulily credit).

Ellie LOVES her flashcards.  I think the textured letters help keep it interesting.  We won't use them for handwriting as our school district uses Handwriting Without Tears and I love it!


Although books fall under literacy, I need to add this as a separate section.  Ellie has already gotten ahold of baby sister's books and is memorizing them!  I'm going to encourage this so Ellie can "read" to Caroline!  Her current favorite is "10 in da bed and the little one said ROLL OVER ROLL OVER and they all roll over and one fall out OUCH!"  (Which is almost what the book says.)

A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on

Ellie is continuing to take gymnastics this summer and is also signed up for four 1:1 swimming classes.  Wish us luck.  She isn't always agreeable in the water, although she seems to be turning over a new leaf this summer!

In our spare time, we need to get our house ready for baby sister, and Mommy wants to learn more about using a speedlite for her camera.  So I have a feeling this summer will fly by!  We also have yet to hit the spray ground, which I plan to correct very soon!

Happy Summer!  What great learning do you have planned?

P.S.  There's affiliate links here, and everything is a link to a product I own and like.  

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