Monday, August 31, 2009

Newly Uploaded MFW and Workbox stuff

Hello all! I have just uploaded the timeline pieces for the second half of the year.

Timeline Pieces 2

Also, I have uploaded the blank Workbox tag template too.

Blank Daily Worktag Grid

Here are some workbox tags I've made that I thought I would share. They are in no way, shape, or form organized in much of any way.

Workbox Extra Labels4


Friday, August 28, 2009

If at first you don't succeed...

...try, try again. I was going to attach this to the previous post but I felt like this warranted its own entry. This is my new workbox system I am going to try this year. I think I may have mentioned that I was an Industrial Engineer in my previous life. My mother tells me that I am always analyzing a process. I can't seem to help myself. Anyway here is my new take on workboxes.

There are 2 hooks with these hanging by the door. This will be where each child physically checks in and checks out of school. "Checking In" means taking your hang-tag set down and go to your desk to begin work for the day. "Checking Out" means hanging up your hang-tag with all the little cards for that day turned over (to the back or white side). Read on if you're thoroughly confused right now...

I have each page for each day already loaded and ready to go based on a master schedule I made up (I am using Adventures in My Father's World curriculum). I will use this grid to help me determine what to fill each child's 6 workboxes with. The most helpful thing with using a grid is so that I could see where I needed to stagger the "work with Mom" activities for each individual child. Most of the boxes will be with standard items each day but one or 2 each day I will just throw random and/or fun things. Here are Monday, Thursday, and Friday's daily pages...



All Week

If you click on the above pictures you will see that there is a hard ("hard on the card" for any of you that have sat in on one of Sue's seminars) velcro dot on the front of the card and the back. This way everything is all self-contained which means no pieces to keep up with so hopefully none to be lost. All the girls have to do is turn the card over when they're finished with that activity.

Here they have checked into school for the day and both girls have completed their Calendar Activities (hence the first square which read "Calendar Activities" has been turned over)

I have re-labeled all of the drawers with permanent numbers. It was getting to be a huge pain for me to bend down and put all of those velcro'd labels back on each drawer. Sounds like I have real problems, huh? But there is another advantage because we found that the number tags were always falling off of the drawers and getting lost in other drawers, on the floor, etc...

Finally, when they have turned over all of the individual cards on their daily hang-tag they hang it back on their hook and they're done with school for the day. They have officially "Checked Out"

Now I'm checking out. Later!

Week 2 - Christopher Columbus

Jesus Poster
I let the girls paint white foam core poster boards with watercolors then sprinkle on a little salt. They turned out really nice.

Coloring their "Jesus - The Lord Saves" - first picture to glue to the board.

Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria
The girls made their boats. We found it easiest to wrap the foil around some "boat shaped" object.

We may make these again to sail again next week. Next time I think we should skip cutting the excess off and actually try to shape a bow and "poop deck" (as the Beautiful Feet book called it!!!) I think it may ultimately make the boat more stable for sailing. Also, I read online somewhere to use model magic and/or drinking straws instead of play-doh and pencils. That did seem to help it float by making it as light as possible.

The finished product...

Sailing in the sink. We were going to take them to the pond this day but Ms. Priss said she didn't think that was a good idea if they were going to float them in the tub that we'd better wait a day. I'm glad I have her so I don't always have to be the one thinking.

This doesn't really have to do with school but

Q: What do you get when you mix perler beads and audio books?

A: A mommy that can't keep up with her ironing...

(notice all the lightbulbs? I'm stockpiling. I'm not going to be left high and dry when Congress won't allow us to buy these any longer and all that is available is those wretched mercury filled lightbulb wanna-be's. Now if I could just get my hands on some merthiolate....)

Ms. England brought her 2 girls over on Thursday. Who knew science experiments involving air flow could be so riveting?

Yes, my child is trying to climb the column.

Some more ziploc math games....This afforded the Mommies time to chat about school stuff.

Bon voyage... The string tied on to the mast was Ms. Priss' idea too. Hmm...think somebody could have some control issues? Anyway, we found they worked best sans string and let the good Lord take it where it may.

The Santa Maria was the only one that made it the length of the retention pond and they found a grasshopper to put in it to make the voyage. I guess he was playing the part of Christopher Columbus. Could this be San Salvador?!? And look at those natives! They only have one huge arm with a claw on the end!!! (in case you can't see there were crabs roaming around).

What a great week!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Have I told you lately that I love you....

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
Fill my heart with gladness
take away all my sadness
ease my troubles that's what you do

For the morning sun in all it's glory
greets the day with hope and comfort too
You fill my life with laughter
and somehow you make it better
ease my troubles that's what you do
There's a love that's divine
and it's yours and it's mine like the sun
And at the end of the day
we should give thanks and pray
to the One, to the One

I recently heard on K-Love (Caleb - as Little Bit calls it) that this song sang by Van Morrison and Rod Stewart was originally written as a prayer. I think that is very cool. Anyway, have I told you lately how much I love My Father's World?

Here are our Friday boxes (should be Thu but we started on Tue this week).

Box #1
Both girls got the same thing in their first drawers - brownie mix.
How cool is that? Brownie Mix in a workbox drawer!!! I love it.
We will make brownies, then ice them and pipe all of our family's names on them. We are going to take some to my grandmother and have lunch with her after school today. I'm thinking since footlong subs are $3.99 at Harris Teeter that sound like a good idea.

Box #2
Handwriting practice
A, B, a, b
print for Little Bit
cursive for Miss Priss

Box #3
Exploring American History, Timeline, Lief Ericson timeline piece and the most important part: tape to tape it down with. Separating the tape and the timeline will insure they HAVE to work together on that 'un.

Box #4
Lief Ericson narration/dictation/copywork activity
(both boxes are the same)

Box #5
(Experiment to follow - I didn't really want to put raw eggs in their boxes)

Box #6
Addition cards to be used with a set of 0 - 9 number tiles
I found these lovely freebies from The School Bell. Great site with lots'o stuff.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Of Centuries Timeline PDF

Thank you Mrs. Cuddles for converting to a PDF for me!!! It is over 100 pages. Hope you enjoy!

History Book of Centuries

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A great first day

What a great day we had!!! Today was our first day of school and what a blessing it was. First things first. Usually I am a big flake and I always kick myself thinking...oh I should have done that - whatever that was that I didn't do. But one thing I can proudly say is that I have been religious in taking pictures of the girls on their first day of school.

Well, here it is...a clean classroom!!! Take a good look. It won't stay this way for long.

This is what I started with (and pretty close to what it normally looks like)

I read them this sweet book about the meaning of our Pledge of Allegiance, got up and looked back and seriously this is how I found them. We recited the pledge many times last year but I never had sense about me to explain it to them. I think this REALLY meant something to them.

Adventures in MFW starts out the year with having you discuss names and your child's names. They suggest you discuss their names' meanings. Well, one of my DD's name meaning has a negative connotation. I have NEVER shared with her what her name meaning is defined as. I have a bit of a problem with the whole name meaning idea, anyway. Anyway, my philosophy is that name meanings honestly are of little or no value. Rather name meanings have come about because of the personality traits or lives of historical individuals who had those names. (This may be a classic argument like which came first, the chicken or the egg too, I guess).

So I altered the dialogue a little bit. Instead of what is in the TM, I said this instead:

When you meet someone new, one of the first things you learn is their name. Everyone has a name. And names are very special. We remember people by their names. When you make an impression/memory on someone they remember you by your name. Even though you didn't pick your name it is part of what makes you, YOU. So how do you want your name remembered?

I wrote down some things that they and I thought about them and put their name at the top of the page. They WANTED to add to the list so it went in one of their workboxes to be completed later on. And the completed sheet? It will go in their notebook. Have I mentioned I love this curriculum.

Finally, our Red, White and Blue snack. I knew I was stretching it to get Ms. Priss to eat strawberries and I knew better than to even consider blueberries. But I figure, you can eat just about anything dipped in chocolate then sprinkles. Needless to say it was a hit.

Oh my gosh...this is soooo good!

Thumbs up!

Anywhooo...thought I'd share how I'm incorporating workboxes. At least for this week (and maybe even for a few more days) I am following the advice of MFW and using a gentle approach. And uh...making my life easier in the process. Therefore, some of the group activities I am going ahead and filling workbox drawers with. These are my filled workbox drawers for the 2nd day of week 1.

Drawer #1: My "Why You're Named..." letter to her.
(Oh yes, did I mention how much I love this curriculum?)

Drawer #2: Map/Geography Activity

Drawer #3: Science

Drawer #4: Read Aloud.
(This is a Beautiful Feet book - wonderful books)

Drawer #5: Pattern Block Activity Sheet
(the one extra thing that I threw in)

Drawer #6: Silent Reading - 10 min.
(they will choose one of the Book Basket books)

Both sets of drawers this week are pretty much identical. In future weeks I will post a schedule and we will probably do our Calendar activities, Bible, History and/or Science first thing. Then I will load up workboxes with Primary Language Lessons, Spelling Power, Saxon Math, Art assignments and any other extra manipulatives I'd like them to do.