Monday, May 19, 2014

Second Grade in Our Home :: Exams, Term 3

Now that this school year is all wrapped up, I thought I'd share our exam experience for Term 3 in case you're gearing up for exams of your own.  (You can also read about our exams for Term 1 and Term 2.)

As usual, some of the exam questions are my own and some are from the wonderful sample exam questions over at Ambleside Online.  I usually look at those first and then make changes and additions to suit our family.  And keep in mind that I have two children in Year 2, so they aren't both answering all these questions--I give them options.

The Questions

Describe how you get ready for the day in Italian.
Describe what the people in this room are wearing in Italian.
Answer the following questions: "Quando e il tuo compleanno?  Quando e il compleanno di tuo papa?  Quando e il compleanno di tua sorella?"
Translate the following numbers into Italian: 43, 99, 57, 81, 16, 63.
Sing "Pioggia, Vattene Via" or "Testa, Spalle, Ginocchi, e Piedi."
Recite "Filastrocca della Lana" or "Farfallina Bella Bianca."

Recite one of the poems you memorized by Christina Rossetti this term.
Besides the ones you memorized, what was your favorite poem that we read this term?  What was it about?

Play your recital songs.

Physical Education:
Play a proper game of bocce ball.
Jump rope for twenty jumps.
See how long it takes to throw the ball into the basket five times.

Find the remainder: 21,463 - 9,783.
Find the quotient, writing the remainder in terms of a fraction: 970 / 54.
Find the sum: 3 3/4 + 5 1/8.
Find the product: 470 x 52.
What is 1/8 of 64?  What is 1/3 of 90?
Give your best estimate: what is the square root of 67?
Complete the following timed division test.
Complete the following Challenging Word Problems.
Play a game of Percents orFractions War.

Free Reading:
What was your favorite book read during free time this term?  What did you like best about it?
Draw a scene from one of the stories in Tanglewood Tales.  Describe briefly which scene you have illustrated, either in writing or orally.

Sing "Pange Lingua" or "At the Cross Her Station Keeping."

Folk Song:
Sing "Froggy Went a Courtin" or "I Love You, California."

Recitation - Bible:
Recite the Nunc Dimittis or the Magnificat.

Write the following sentence in your best printing: Hopping frog, hop here and be seen.  Plodding toad, plod here and be looked at.
Copy your name in your best cursive.

Tell of Christian's experience in the Valley of Death.  Whom does he meet there, what difficulties does he encounter, and how does he get through it in the end?
What do you remember about Christian's stay at the house provided for pilgrims by the lord of the Hill or about Christian's battle with Apollyon?
Tell your favorite story from Robin Hood.
Tell me your favorite scene from A Comedy of Errors or Macbeth.  You can look at our character chart as you explain the story.

Tell about Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt or the Princes in the Tower.
What do you know about The Hundred Years War?
Describe or draw a favorite scene from Joan of Arc.
Tell all you remember of Christopher Columbus' first journey.
Show me whereabouts on the map Christopher Columbus left from and where he landed with his men.  Now show me where they thought they had landed.

Reading Skill:
Please read this passage aloud in your clearest voice.

Religion - Bible Stories:
Tell me about one of the events from right after Jesus' death, using as many specific details from the biblical text as you can.
Tell about one of the events from right before Jesus' death, using as many specific details from the biblical text as you can.

Religion - Study of the Mass:
Tell me all you remember about the Consecration.
What are some ways we can live out the Mass?

Religion - Catechism:
Tell me a favorite event from the public life of Jesus as described by Mother Loyola.
How can we know that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Our Lord?
Choose one of the apostles and tell me all you know about him.

Describe what Ezra and Nate encounter in the Orient or on their voyage across the Pacific to get there.
Where did ships during Ezra's time take men interested in finding gold?  Trace their journey on this map and tell me what you remember about the gold rush.
Tell me about the Andes.  What animals live there, and what is the geography like?
What do you remember about the South American plains?
What city is to the north of us?  south of us?  west of us?
Describe what happens to Brighty at the end of the book.
Fill in this map of the Western and Midwestern states of America, paying careful attention to spelling.

Nature Study:
Tell me all you can about an animal we have read about this term from The Burgess Animal Book, including its looks and habits.
Sketch from memory one new thing we saw on a nature study outing this term and tell me all you can about it.  It can be a bird, wildflower, leaf, or some other discovery.

Complete this warm-up activity as carefully as you can.

Music Study:
Tell me a favorite scene from Opal Wheeler's Beethoven.
Hum the theme from one of the Beethoven selections we enjoyed this term.
What is a string quartet?
What role does the conductor play in the orchestra?
Tell me about one of the percussion instruments, including what it is made of and what sounds it makes. 

Picture Study:
Choose one of Durer's paintings/engravings/drawings and describe it as well as you can or sketch it.

Show something you have made in sewing to Daddy.

The Answers

Note: For the drawn narrations here that include written descriptions, I let them choose whether they would prefer to write these themselves or have me write for them.  I helped them with spelling and pronunciation when asked.

From Stanley's Joan of Arc:

Lightfoot, the White-Tailed Deer from The Burgess Animal Book, by Gianna
He is called the light-tailed deer because he has a white patch behind his tail, which he raises as a sign of danger to his friends, the other Lightfoots. He has a yard in which he lives in the winter and is kept pawed down by his hooves and is warm. Mrs. Lightfoot has a few babies and they are camoflaged. This makes an enemy, such as a fox, not able to see them because they are spotted with light spots, like the shadow of the trees with the sun going through their leaves. Lightfoot can run very quickly. He has antlers. They are branched. Mrs. Lightfoot does not. Their ears work very well, and so do their noses. They lose the spots on their coat when they are older and they are now just a light grayish brown. It is a beautiful color. They have fear of hunters, foxes, and many other predators. They are mostly found near trees.

A favorite scene from Pyle's Robin Hood, by Gianna
Robin Hood was once longing for adventure. He hadn't had some for a long time, so he told his men that he would blow his horn three times and they would had to come quickly if he did that. So he started along the road briskly and on the road, he came to a bridge, and on the other side of the bridge was another man. He was tall and stout and broad, and they both wanted to cross first. They were in each other's path. Then there began a fight, and finally Robin Hood was tossed into the river. But then he found his horn and blew three blasts. To show him how strong they were, the archers that came (Robin Hood had some archers, and he was an archer himself, actually) shot at a target and hit it so well that Little John decided to be one of their men. They asked him what his name was. “People call me John.” “Then you shall be called Little John,” said Robin. “And you shall be christened.” So Robin Hood took Little John, as he was now called, home. And he was christened by one of them dressing as a priest christening him in ale.

Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt from Our Island Story, by Vincent
Henry V was afraid that the English, because he was sort of a bad king, might drive him from the throne.  So he made up his mind to try to capture France so that when he was driven out of England, he could still be king of France.  So he set out to siege a town called Orleans.  The Orleans held out bravely, but after a long time, they finally gave up.  Henry V's army was very weak, so he had to go back to England, but the nearest way was Calais, and that's where the king chose to go.  The prince, or Dauphin, who was now ruling because Charles had gone made, set out with an army to fight.  The English thought it was almost impossible to win because they were half-starved and were all tired.  The battle began but even though the English were half-starved they still won the battle.  King Henry V went to a French herald and asked him, pointing to a castle, “Whatever that castle name is shall be the name of the battle.”  The herald answered,  “That castle is called Agincourt.”  “Then this,” said Henry V, “shall be called the Battle of Agincourt.”

Christian's stay at the house of the Lord of the Hill from Pilgrim's Progress, by Vincent
Christian arrived at a house, and he saw that there were two lions in front of the porter. A few minutes before he had met two men who had come running back and said that there were two lions that were guarding that house. Christian almost turned back, but then he heard the porter say that they were sleeping and besides that, they were also chained. Then the porter asked him why he had come, and Christian said, “I took a nap, and I lost my scroll, and now I want to find some lodging.” “Well,” said the porter, “I'll talk to some of the other family, and they'll listen to you, and if they like your story, they will let you come in.” When he was led in after he had told why he had come there, the three girls and Christian discoursed until dinner. “How did you know to come here?” asked one of them. “Because I read that my city was to be destroyed, and I myself did not want to be destroyed,” answered Christian. “Did you try to get them to come with you so that they would not be destroyed?” “I kept telling them that our city would be destroyed,” said Christian, “but they would not listen to me, so I finally went away.” “And did your neighbors try to get you back?” “Yes,” said Christian, “but I just closed my ears to them and went on.” “Did anyone try to follow you?” “Yes,” said Christian, “a man, but when he got stuck in the Slough of Despond he went back, so I was left all alone.” They talked all dinner, and after that, they all went to sleep. In the morning, the three girls took him to the armory, where there was the slingstone that David had used to kill Goliath, Noah's Arc, and other famous things. Before he left, they gave him some grapes and a bottle of wine, and also a suit of armor to protect himself. When he went to the porter, he asked him, “have any other pilgrims passed by?” “Yes,” said the porter, “one of them passed by whose name was Faithful.” “Oh, I know Faithful,” said Christian, and he left the house on his way.

Some Thoughts
:: Last time I noted some changes I needed to make to their cursive instruction, and I did see a nice improvement in their cursive penmanship this time.  Moving from stroke-by-stroke to looking at the full letter and then making it in one swoop turned out to make a big difference.  Over the summer, we'll be moving from full letters to full words.  I have to admit, I'm surprised at how hands-on I have found that copywork needs to be!  But I do see that the habits now really do pay off later on.  Both of them have very nice printing at this point, and that's partly due to my being more careful in my overseeing of their work this year.
:: Great literature and history narrations.  I didn't include them here simply because I didn't feel up to transcribing their wonderful but exceedingly long narrations of Columbus from This Country of Ours and from the Comedy of Errors--so many of our books this year have captured their imaginations!  Year 2 is a wonderful booklist.
:: I spent more time on mapwork this term and saw good progress.  The questions that required them to show me places on the map were answered confidently compared to previous terms.  It really does pay to take a bit of extra time with each reading and pull out the map to set the scene for the story!  
:: That said, they both found the Seabird questions difficult despite enjoying the book.  Their narrations of that story were fine all year, but I think I may move Holling back onto our read-aloud list next year, just to be sure they get the plotline.  My son in particular loved reading about the adventures but had a difficult time following Holling's prose, which I consider short but surprisingly poetic.
:: Some other things I want to consider for next year: more time spent listening to our music study selections and more dedicated handicraft time.  I feel like I have those same resolutions and never quite follow through on them! :)


  1. This looks like another fabulous term! I'm glad you post these, it is a helpful reference for me.

    I'm trying to figure out how to include more time for listening to music selections too. I find that I don't want to play them while other things are going on because then it just becomes noise... but when is there not other things going on?? And how long can I realistically expect my younger ones to sit and listen quietly? And if I try to do it when the toddler is asleep, do I risk waking him up by playing it a little louder, or do I play it softly and miss some of the effect of the music? Anyway, just some things I'm thinking about!

    I've found that with handicrafts that if I introduce the skills, they will pick them up when they are inspired to create something. My daughter is knitting, crocheting, and sewing wonderfully at this point, and all I did was give her some basics several years ago. She didn't do much with it for a few years afterward, but then she reached a point of interest and coordination and just took off. At this point she's a better at yarn crafts than I am! I'm seeing the beginnings of that with my son, he's starting to see the sewing machine as a tool he can use for projects he'd like to do. Same thing with his saw, hammer, and screwdrivers. You should see the wooden chainsaws he built for himself and his brother - they are fantastic, and completely his own creation. I might help them brainstorm how to deal with tricky bits, but other than that... they do it. You've probably read Jen's post about the open door - I feel like with handicrafts I open the door by showing them the basics of how to do something (like the basic knitting stitches, how to use a hammer), then let them consider how to use this new tool in their own time.

    Thanks again for sharing this post, I do find it so helpful!

    1. I agree with you about not using the music selections as background noise, which is why we don't play them all that often. Our current approach to music is to listen to the selection at least a couple times while my kids draw in the afternoons and the littles are still napping. (The babies nap with noisemakers, so I can blast it pretty well that way. :)) But I'd like to add a couple more focused listenings. I would do it at mealtimes, but we do morning basket during breakfast and my husband is there for dinner. It would be easier to do if I could do it with babies awake, but like you said...they're not exactly the best listeners. ;) But I suppose listening with a baby accompaniment is better than not at all! :)

      I would love to see my kids progress to the level you're talking about here in handicrafts--sounds wonderful! That is definitely what I am aiming for, and I really like how you described it: "then let them consider how to use this new tool in their own time." Perfect.

  2. Looks like they did a wonderful job this year! Those drawn narrations are excellent!

    I thought I'd add in to your conversation above about music. We do sometimes play classical music just when we are doing things around the house. But we usually have a set time for listening to specific selections from our composer study. Fridays are usually the day when we listen to the specific selection and we also have artist study as well on Fridays.