With our new books for math ready to go, I decided we needed a fun way to practice some of those skills that seem to be tripping the kids up! Namely money, time, and "FACTS". After rummaging around the internet looking for some fun games, and a "easy store solution," I realized that I was missing the whole point! I didn't want something that took up a lot of space, nor something that was going to be hard to keep up with, or worse remember! So I chose the bullitin board concept that many public school teacher's go for. Basically because it's fun, colorful, and in my face! How could I possibly forget about it? The stack right next to the door?? That's my desk!
So here's some generic info!
Pockets are made using CD sleeves. I bought several hundred off of ebay years ago. I use them quite often. You will notice that they have 4 to a sheet. I have learned that it is totally ok to cut them apart! So as you can see I have some as 4, and some as just solo! To stick the pocket to the cardstock, I simply used spray adhesive. Works like a charm!
To stick things to the door, I used command strips. (The ones you pull and it pops off without damaging the paint job--works perfectly just like the commercials.) I do cut them into smaller pieces to make them go further! Even without the tab they still work!! Oh and best of all-I have never had anything fall off the door!!
Lamination is just using the Scotch brand laminator! It's cheap (sorta) and works very well.
This is just a simple clock with moveable hands. This way I can change the clock to whatever time I want, and then write the digital time for them. I have added a pocket with little clocks in it. They are laminated. I will have the kids write the current time on the clocks with dry erase markers on the front (analog) and the digital time on the back.
I don't have a download as I pulled these out of a book that I have and just copied the page.
Here's a link that could replace them though:
Clock with Hands: http://www.fi.edu/time/Journey/JustInTime/clock1.html
practice clock: http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/48400/48481/48481_nclockb.htm
The drill cards are simple cards that have addition, subtraction, and multiplication drill cards. The problems are in a random order, with 4 different sheets for each fact family. So + 1 cards have 4 sheets, x 2 cards have 4 sheets, etc.
Division: I am still working on getting the division pages created. . . . Those are a little harder to whip up!
For my 6 year old, we need a bit of place value practice. So I made a small set of base 10 sticks and a small place value answer card.
Base 10 blocks I pulled out of a book. But here is a link to one I think will work: http://www.havefunteaching.com/worksheets/math/place-value/base-10-blocks.pdf
Place Value Cards: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?4t43485mzsknpqs
I printed this 2 sheets per page so that It would be smaller.
One of the hardest things for kids to learn is money, both counting it and making change. this section does just that. Along the top of the door, I have info graphics reminding the kids what each coin is and how much. (And a quick note stating how many it takes to make a dollar) Then I have two sections below. the first is has a bunch of "coins" (laminated) separated into pockets (.50 to .01) And then a problem pocket and a answer card pocket. The purpose of this section is to count the money. HOW MUCH MONEY? The second section is adding the cost of items. The use 2 dice to roll twice. For each roll they select that item from the first or second choice pocket. They fill out the "order form" with the price. Then they add it up. For DD12 she also has to decide if $10 is enough to purchase the items and then decide how much change she would get or how much more she would need!
Most of this I pulled out of a book, but I do have some links for the things I added:
Coin Count cards: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?kkassblm4ieadsk
Printed these 2 pages to 1 sheet to make them smaller
Shopping Trip: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?sjqmwmd4su8zbu4
Printed pages 1 & 3 separately to make them 2 pages to 1 sheet to make them smaller. I also had a second set of items that I pulled out of a book.
More pics of the Money Sections:
I will most likely change things up as the year progresses so that I don't bore the kids to death. And that way I can focus on what the kids need rather than just "drill." So that would be Drilling with a purpose!!
Life Of Fred
The Life of Fred Series of math is where we are going for this year. I have debated over this for awhile and I finally took the plunge. I used one book for my oldest for Algebra and it really seemed to make thing more understandable for her. So I have decided that we will go with it for everyone.
This summer we will actually be using some of the books for my youngest girl (DD8) and I'll get her ahead of her brother. They are at the same level ability wise but I don't want them doing the books at the same time, if that makes any sense. I just want to give her a bit of a head start so that they are working in separate books. It will make it a tad bit easier--for me mentally!!
DD12 will be the Middle School books. She is my "Hate's Math with a Passion" child. However , she started looking over the books and has decided that they just might be doable. WHY?? Well I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they explain the WHY of math as well as having a fun storyline. So I am hoping that this will work out for her.
So planning . . . . Not much, we will just go lesson by lesson. I will be putting these in HST+ (after checking the Math files in Yahoo to see if they are already there!)
Now that is not all that I am planning for math . . . You see Life of Fred doesn't provide much drilling. With a 2nd grader, a 3rd grader and a 7th grader (who struggles) I will need a way for them to drill some of their math facts . . . . So what's a girl to do??
I am going to create a Math drill zone. We have a door that we had our "weather station" on. I have removed it (since we have grown beyond that) and I will post some pockets that will have addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division practice sheets. There will be a "Clock" worksheet that my younger two will draw the time that is on the analog clock in our class room. and then they will write the digital time on! I'll also have a game or two that will work. We have Smath (a board game) and some other to do's that will help! I have great plans for math this year!! I just hope that it's as cool as I think it will be! I'll post pictures up later! AAAAHHH, another To DO!! :)
Some Math Links:
You know you have issues when you have to remind yourself that there are baby steps every day. The image to the left is my current desktop on my PC. I have to see this all the time right now because I have so much going on and so much that I need to do to accomplish it all that I get so overwhelmed.
Getting overwhelmed is fine . . . if you have a back up plan. And right now I don't. I have excuses, distractions, things I "gotta do" that really I don't. All of these "reasons" to do other things instead of what I really need to do . . . this blog post is not one of the "reasons" however! I am using this as my back up! You see, if I can share with someone . . . ahem, you! . . . . that I have accomplished something, then maybe I'll feel the need to, well, accomplish something!
Today I have reached the I'll try to do it step. It's a hard step to accomplish if you don't take the time to do it though. So I best get to it!
American History "History of US" With a million baby steps
American History "Young Peoples" With a million baby steps
Around the World in 80 Days With a million baby steps
Mystery of History Lesson planning (For fall)
Chemistry or Biology (gotta still pick one!) Lesson Planning (For fall)
English Lesson Planning (for fall)
Math Lesson Planning (Actually I have this figured out . . . I THINK!)
Timeline wall (So excited I might do this first!!) (For Fall)
Math drill wall . . . (This is a thought I AM going to put together!)
Co-op Summer lesson for the Scholars (the girls are making me do it!)
So you can see I have a ton to do . . . And this is JUST for homeschooling! I have Time out for Women, Indexing (I am the ward coordinator!) Lesson plans for church (I am first on the sub list . . . makes for often sub duties!) And then there is my duties as wife (FIRST PRIORITY!) and Mom (SECOND PRIORITY!). Really I'm not just slacking . . . well not too much. I do have my hobbies that have proved to be a HUGE distraction. Crocheting is my outlet right now!! (Ravelry.com member: t8ermomma) But I have let it overtake my official "responsibility" time. So I need to put it away, until later . . . . and
Time Out for Women is a great opportunity to strengthen your testimony, stretch yourself, and replenish your inner strength!
Here is the Message that they have posted for this year's theme:
Do you ever feel like your time and energy are being pulled in too many different directions? What if you had the chance to just step back, take a breath, and uncover the things that need your heart most right now? We believe there are things that most need YOU at this stage in your life. Are you ready to give them more of your heart? Join us at the 2012 TOFW TOUR and SEEK THE GOOD in your life--the good you can do, the good you can create, and all the good life has waiting for you.
This year I am on the Crew for Time out for Women. I am very excited and looking forward to this challenge. If you are in the Boise area come September, you should check out the line up for Presenters. If you are NOT in the Boise area, check it out anyways and see if your area is hosting a TOFW!! There are so many all over the US of A!!
Have Young Women?? There is also a Time Out For Girls being held the same weekend!! What a great way to come closer to your girls!!
Click the image for more information!!
So, This year was a bust. I have been homeschooling, I have been mom, wife, Ward Indexing Coordinator, Substitute for a different class each Sunday, and I have been Co-op director, and . . . and . . . and . . . Okay, so you get my point. I have been so crazy busy that I am beginning to wonder if I lost my head somewhere! Between callings at church, Co-op, Time out for Women, and an assortment of other activities, I am sure I have mislaid it!
It has been so bad, that I have dubbed this year an UNSchooling Year! And that's bad. I'm not a big fan of Unschooling. And yet, that's what this year has been. A year of following the kid's interests and focusing on developing their life skills. It's been a great year, but I feel as if I lost a lot of momentum! I'm sure I should have spent way more time working with my 6 year old on Reading. I know I should have been teaching my 8 year old more than just basic multiplication. I know that my oldest, who is now 15, could have used way more in the way of editing skills, and my 12 year old . . . she definitely needs more drilling on math skills. But none of that happened because I totally felt like a whirlwind was going on around me.
So now that my excuses are done . . . On to the real reason for this post! I'M BACK! I fully intend to finish what I have hinted at starting! I plan on getting going on the "History Of US" lesson plan and companion. I plan on Putting forth my lesson plans for next year. I plan on getting ahead of everything before this fall! And I plan on keeping up with my blog, with my crocheting, with my indexing, and . . . Uh oh, there I go again.
Well, we'll take it one step at a time. For starters, I'm going to work on just getting going on the History Of Us! It's not going to be part of my Lesson Plans for next year as we are doing Ancient History. Which is something else I must do . . . I have to take my previous lesson plans and upgrade them to be High School level. That should be interesting to do! Oh well, so much to do, so little time! I think I have to schedule in time to schedule!!
A few things to note, I have fixed a couple of links that were bad! So yeah me! Sorry it took so long!!
Every year as I get ready for the new school year I take a look at the way I had things organized the previous year and I try to improve on my madness well devised plan of attack. This year is no exception. ESPECIALLY this year I should say. Last year I had no plan of attack. You see I moved out of one state, moved in TEMPORARILY with my In-laws, bought a house, unpacked, needed to repair said house, and homeschool the kids while trying to help my darling husband find a new job. All this kicked the entire concept of pre-planning my school year right out the window. And so the entire year I was having to take small breaks in order to figure out A) what I had done. B) what needed to be done. and C) how in the world I was going to accomplish such a feat. And in the long run We are just a couple of weeks from starting the new year and we are still finishing up a couple of subjects. So I decided . . . that just stunk!
So this year I may be going a BIT overboard on the planning. BUT I will NOT be needing to take mini breaks to get the next unit organized. So our year WILL run much smoother. So here is my plan of attack!! :)
THE PRE-PLANNER! Homeschool Tracker Plus has really REALLY come through for me yet again. I love this program and some of the additions they made to it this last year have shown the wonderful versatility to its fullest extent. I am really going to love staying on top of my "master plan" with it. For the last few weeks I have been Scouring the Yahoo Boards for plans to import to speed up my planning process, but I have really loved creating my own lesson plans as well. After importing or creating each separate lesson plan (one per subject/course) I then copied it over to a master plan named for the school year. I archived all the others so that I would still have them, but they wouldn't get in my way.
Normally this would be the extent of my pre-planning. After last year however, I wanted to make sure that I had a plan and I was going to be ready to stay on top of school no matter what curve balls life throws at me. So I decided to make a planner . . . .
THE TORTURE SCHOOL PLANNER! So how did I create my planner? What pages did I add?? I don't know!! I just printed it all and stuffed it in! Ok maybe not. I did have a method to my pre-planning madness!
My plan was to use the assignment report as my order. For a couple of different reasons but the main one was I like that it was neat and easy to read. The lesson plan report is confusing if you just want a check off sheet that you can write the date you assigned something, the date it was done, the grade they received and/or if you skipped it. The lesson plan report just doesn't offer this. And the Assignment report gives dates. Which is NOT what I wanted. I would be scratching out and it would be a mess. So I had to come up with a way to have my cake and eat it too.
So using all the lesson plans that I just created I submitted one course at a time to the assignment grid. While I did this I was figuring out as I went how often each subject had to be done in order to FINISH by June. I then "printed" the assignment report in .pdf format. Now I have Adobe Acrobat Professional, but you can print to pdf just fine with a free program, one that I have used is: Bullzip (http://bullzip.com/) It's very reliable and I have had no problems with it.
Now I didn't want the dates on it. But there is no way in HST to not add the dates so here's what I did! And it's the tricky part. I exported each of the pages from the .pdf into a JPEG. WHAT?? I turned them into jpgs so that I could edit the page! After writing this I decided to figure out a way for you folks without Adobe pro to be able to do this too! And I did it! On line there is a website that you can convert PDF's (or any other file type) to a JPG (or any other file type!) It is Zamzar (http://www.zamzar.com/) This is a FREE service. It even has the ability to set up an online media file storage system if you choose. I think there is a free file service and a "paid" one. Now you do NOT need to set it up, they will just email your file to you at your email address. I used it to convert a 4 page pdf into jpg. I did not set up the file storage service, it took about 1 min for the file to convert and be emailed to me. The 4 page pdf was turned into 4 jpgs. one for each page. Which is exactly what my Adobe Pro did for me.
**SO WHY DIDN"T I CHANGE IT TO A DOC FOR OFFICE??? Well very simply put, I did!! Zamzar makes it into an image for the document. Which you would still have to edit, but it's kind of a pain to get it where you need it to go. You can't just highlight and delete. Creating it as a JPG is the easiest!
For the next step you open paint (or any other graphic editing program you may have--most have the free paint program (listed in accessories) that comes on windows based computers--I don't have a clue on MACs!) Open your document, and zoom in so that you get a good view of the date columns. use the rectangle selection tool (the dotted rectangle) and draw a box around the date. Then press the delete button on your keyboard. It's GONE! Keep doing that for all of your dates. Also, if you have points or sessions on your report that you want to write in after the fact, delete those too!! IF YOU GOOF and accidentally delete a line or something: Press CTRL and Z. This will undo what ever you just did. If it was a while a go, you can just keep pressing it until you get to the right correction.
Once you have your boxes empty and you are ready to print it--you need to crop it first! set your view so you can see your entire page in the main view. I set my view to 50%. Then use your select rectangle tool again and drag it around your entire "printed" section. Leave off as much white as possible. Then Right click in the middle of the page and choose CROP. It should remove all the white space.
Now go into file, then page set up. I find that paint is funny in that it spreads the page over 4 pages. So i click on FIT TO and change it to 1 by 1. This will force it to print it to just one page. Now I print the file to pdf at this point. Choose print, chose your pdf printer (Bullzip or your choice) and print it. It should print up just fine, it may be on the tad smaller side, I find that paint does that--but it's still easy to read. I print it to pdf so that if something happens, the page gets ripped, kids spill juice on it, mom enters the wrong dates on the wrong page (I have NEVER DONE THAT!! Ok only once or twice!) etc. I find having the file already edited saves me a ton of headache later.
This seems like a lot of work, but believe me, once you get going it takes seconds to edit a file and print it. In the long run, your nice, neat, organized planner will be worth it!
So that gives you your "lesson plan" pages. I print each subject separately, but back to back within that subject.
Other pages that I add to my planner! For the kids' planners (I only created one for my older two kids so they can keep track of what they need to do!) Their planner includes (and in this order):
How does this all work with my other organization plans?? Very Nicely Thank You! Workboxes is my main organization tool that I use with the kids. By having the older two with their binders, they can actually know way ahead of time what needs to be done. their boxes don't change a whole lot, I use it basically to store their books and other paraphernalia. The younger kids' boxes are now easy to fill because I just look at my planner subject by subject and I add in what is coming up next on my list. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeasy! :)
Looping is also just one check mark off. This way if they get done with their boxes and we still have time for school, they can just start up at the top of their boxes and start over--their next lesson would be the next one on the page in their planner. It really does lend to a very smooth transition.
So what is everyone else doing???
Well it's official . . . I have been dubbed a slacker! So life has been hectic and I have had very little time to sit at the computer and "get creative" but I have a few excuses too!
American History was put on hold because quite frankly, I didn't like where I was going with it. The book I was using while extremely interesting, was a bit "TOO TRUTHFUL" for my younger kids. I'm all for the truth, but sometimes you need to sand the edges so that it doesn't do more harm than good. So I put it aside and I have been looking, searching, for an alternate "spine." AND I HAVE FOUND IT! BUT it's even more work to get it ready . . . so I have put it off . . . SLACKER?? YES, I will accept that title.
The new set is "A History of US" by Joy Hakim. I found most of these at a Used Curriculum sale (bought almost the entire set for less than $18 and a friend had an extra of the one book I was missing). Now I don't know about you but the guides just aren't an option for us due to financial reasons . . . soooo . . . . I am of course trying to come up with a schedule. And I will be mixing in projects from Home School in the Woods' Time Traveler's series. Not all projects will be "covered" at least I don't think we will do them all at this point . . . but they all look so fun we just might decide to do it anyways!
I have a friend demanding I finish ASAP so I will do my best to get something figured out SOON (read this as this week!) and will flush it out a bit as I go. Hang on folks cause it could be a FAST and bumpy ride! :^D
Well I have finally gotten desperate enough to figure out the work around to the changes brought on by Mozilla 4.