Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Workboxes

Workboxes work for me. Last Saturday my friend, Jenn, invited Colleen and me to a workshop by Sue Patrick. I had no idea how MUCH I was going to love, love, love this idea. Here is a link to her site but it really doesn't do her system justice. You either have to see her present the idea or read her wonderful book. The general concept is that you use "workboxes" for each child's work for the day. In those boxes you include their work for the day including the "hard stuff", "fun stuff", centers, review activities, etc.. Sue is BIG on reviewing and her idea to always REUSE anything you've ever made is nothing short of genius. She advocates using shoe boxes and a small shelf but I wanted something a little bit more compact and so I opted for these Sterlite drawers:


Now, Sue is probably going to get me because I have not done my labeling like she instructs but I think my girls will be able to roll with it and it's better than what we were doing before with the daily sheets - which ARE good but I was having to print them out every day and it took a lot of writing on either my part or theirs - not nearly as visual as this. I know it is going to be some work filling up these boxes every day/night but I think it will still be better than the sheets in the long run. It will give me a chance to use all of those games and such that I never seemed to get around to using. And as Sue contends they do activities and don't even realize they're doing WORK. When they're finished with a drawer they simply remove the number from the front of the drawer and put it on the top of the unit. If the next consecutive number is not on the drawer front they look on the top sheet for their next task. Eventually I plan to make these a little more visual/graphic but for now a dry erase on the number is going to have to do. When they completely fill the top sheet, they're done for the day and can "check out" of school.


But that's not all. Sue has SO many wonderful ideas. As I mentioned above, she hardly ever does something for a one time use. This is a little idea she had for skip counting (which I plan to use frequently in these boxes).

You know me...I couldn't leave well enough alone but had to embellish it.




Speaking of math stuff. I thought I would post some of the fun and games we've been up to lately. Here are the girls doing some Marcy Cook stuff (domino trains and a fill in the 30's chart)





This is one of my ziploc games. It is called "Plot Your Number". The grid is labeled with a green x axis and a blue y axis and there is a blue and green die. Each time you roll, you plot the corresponding number. So say you rolled a green 3 and a blue 6, you would plot (3, 6) on the grid. The first one to plot a row or column wins. Oh yes, we play that you can remove someone else's marker if you roll a point that is already taken. It just gets them familiar with the idea of plotting coordinates and they seem to like it especially when you bribe them with Sugar Babies.. Would you "plot" for Sugar Babies? Two little girls in our house would.





There's nothing like Daddy coming home early on a Friday afternoon for some extra snuggle time, either.




I will post more of the whole workbox thing ASAP. Gotta quit blogging and go laminate some more stuff!!! TTFN

18 comments:

Hannah said...

Aww, fun pictures! Your girls are very cute. Great homeschooling ideas!

Jolanthe @ No Ordinary Moments said...

love the plotting game - where did you get that from?

and that sue patrick tower...might just have to have you email me more about that! :)

Julie Y said...

I like your use of the stacking drawers! I've read Sue's book and enjoy seeing how people are implementing her system.

cooperkelly4 said...

I love how you have chosen to incorporate this system. Do you mind sharing your number cards file? lol I am font and clip art picky- and I love yours. I am still thinking this through-I am ordering my book today! Thanks, Kelly

Ginger said...

Kelly,
I would gladly but I don't see your email addy... I will see if I can successfully upload to the blog here in a little bit.

schmobes said...

Great ideas! I can see using the drawers much more readily than the shoe boxes. Much more compact. The skip counting embellishment is great! And I love the plotting game.

Renae said...

Plastic bins with drawers are one of my favorite storage containers. This is a great idea for using them! Thanks for sharing it.

Peace to you,
Renae
Life Nurturing Education

Vicki B. said...

okay, I love the idea of the storage container being vertical, having 4 children it will take up less space. But, where did you get it? I cannot find one like it! Vicki B.

Ginger said...

I got the drawers at Big Lots. I believe they were either $6 or $8 for a set of 3, there. I also saw them at Walmart but they were more expensive there. Sam's club online also has a rolling cart (with multi-colored drawers). HTH! Thanks everyone for all your comments. I hope to post some more pics up soon.

Tina said...

I like this idea of the stacking drawers better because we don't really have the space to do it the other way.Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Cuddles said...

Great workbox idea! I like the different ways that everyone is implementing the system.

Have a great week,
~Mrs.Cuddles

4in4 said...

I am lusting after THIS but I can't afford one, much less four! http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=120209

4in4 said...

Came back to say, Costco has it cheaper than Sam's, and two of the 20-drawer ones would be even more cost-effective than four of the 10-drawers: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11134034&search=drawer%20storage&Mo=15&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=drawer%20storage&Ntt=drawer%20storage&No=9&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

Momma Snail said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I love your workbox system. I am thinking of doing this next year because it will help me make sure we get to everything that I keep forgetting about. You have the best homeschooling lessons/ideas!

Sherry said...

I just bought some of these drawers this weekend--now I'm just surfing around for ideas on how exactly I want to use them. :) Anyway, just wanted to say hi!

Mrs Adept said...

Oh I like the plastic drawers/box idea.

Missouri Mommy said...

I have just purchased Sue's book and you said she had many wonderful ideas for the workboxes but I can't seem to find them on her website. Am I not looking in the right place? I would love to see her ideas, especially the skip counting. Can you point me in the right direction?

ServinGsus said...

Hi, just popped over as I was researching the whole workbox system idea. I have to say, it was your site that sold me! Where do you get your printables for things like the skipcounting? Would you mind emailing? lisa@lisagracephotography.com