Look it up.

An article I just published on Medium, on how homeschooling taught me how to learn.

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

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Aaand, it’s over!

Today was officially the last day of  classroom work for me until February.  The classroom has been cleaned, materials put away, and the list of materials turned in to the office.  Now to try to make some sense of my poor craft room/office here at home!

As promised, here are the pictures for the board games. First I painted them over with a base coat of white. On the first one I used stickers to decorate it, but you could also easily print off any design you wanted and glue it on. A coat of resin will finish the whole thing off as soon as the glitter glue dries, and then I’ll print off and laminate colorful cards with pictures from their vocabulary words on them.

The kids can then sort the cards by short-vowel sound, and hopefully have fun doing it.  I love the sparkles!

I would like to make something like this for my Sunday School classroom, but for sequencing; perhaps make numbered squares on the board, and matching minicards of the illustrations (I LOVE http://www.freebibleimages.org because you can download the .pdf to print off for illustrations and also the .jpg files to use to make games and activities to reinforce learning!) so that students can put them in order.  I could even make two and have them split into two teams and race to put the cards in order…the possibilities are endless!

Time Constraints and MiniBooks

Sometimes in a classroom it can be hard to commit yourself to doing a whole lapbook.  There’s the cost, of course (not that manila folders are all that expensive, but it does add up), but more than that, there’s the time commitment.  And as carefully-thought-out as your lesson plan may be, there will always be something that takes longer than you thought, or that needs explaining more than you expected, or simply interruptions that you didn’t plan on.  (Such as the student who threw up in the middle of the classroom floor….)

Sometimes a lapbook that was supposed to be finished in a week hasn’t gone home for almost a month.  Sometimes pieces somehow get lost and lapbooks end up incomplete.  Sometimes I just can’t think up enough original elements to make a whole lapbook.

More and more in the past few weeks, I’ve been doing individual minibooks and sending them home with the kids the same day.  One of our favorites is the Flip-Flap Book  , a version of the Shutterfold minibooks.  We do a four flap book, so the folds are really simple, which means that little hands can do them on their own (and I save a TON of time!).  Half sheets of colored paper make fun little books to record the day’s vocabulary words; the English word goes on the outside, and the Spanish word and a picture go on the inside.  Read more