Home School Tips

It's the New Year: Journaling

 on December 29, 2013

One of my most treasured possessions--my kid's journals from elementary school.

My oldest daughter and son both had the same 2nd and 3rd grade teachers. Both of those lovely ladies had a daily journal entry assignment. And I am so thankful they did.

At the end of the year they get to bring home their journals, each day was complete with a picture and an entry!  Can you say precious!?

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

 on December 27, 2013

A  historical fiction classic from 1983.

Remember reading this book in third grade? I do.

The author got the idea for this book after hearing a story of a young boy who was left in the Maine wilderness for the summer and was befriended by Indians.

I recently sat down and read this with my first-grader. Wanting to be just like her big brother, she asked to read a "good book, that isn't girly."

Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

 on December 17, 2013

Have You Filled A Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud and David Messing is a great little story to use in your classroom when teaching kindness.

This book does an excellent job of using metaphors to explain how important it is to love and encourage others. 

Treasure Map Fun

 on December 13, 2013

My girls love to make up new games to play together and, one afternoon, when I settled down to work a couple of hours in the dining room, I was pleasantly interrupted by their play.  Two girls were hiding in the other room while the third was busy hiding their afternoon snack, and creating a treasure map to lead her sisters to the delicious end.


Snowflake Lessons

 on December 13, 2013

Especially in December, I think it's important to give schoolwork a bit of variation....if nothing more than to grab the waning attention of the students!

I was making snowflakes using coffee filters with my daughter.  She cut out all the sides and it was breathtaking when she opened up the snowflake.  I wanted her to show me exactly how she did it!  So, she obliged and this is what her coffee filter looked like before she opened it up. 

Christmas Ornament Multiplication Memory Game

 on December 8, 2013

This is a fun way to have your students practice their multiplication facts and have some holiday fun!

Give the students ornament printables to cut out and color in groups of two.

After they have decorated and cut out their ornaments, have the students write one multiplication fact on the back of half of the ornaments.

Then write the answers on the backs of the remaining ornaments.

Have the students mix up their ornaments and put them in a zip lock bag.

Let the students trade with a neighbor. 

Measuring Student Names

 on December 8, 2013

This is an excellent math activity to use when teaching students about area and perimeter.

Each student will need graph paper, a pencil and markers.

Ask the students to draw their name on the graph paper with a pencil, then they will color in the letters with markers.

The Mailbox

 on December 4, 2013

The Mailbox has been a wonderful resource for teachers since 1979! What started out as a magazine for teachers chalk full of ideas for the classroom, it has evolved into one of the number one teacher resources, thanks to the internet.

The Mailbox offers educational tools for classrooms up to 6th grade.

The website has plenty of free activities, but also lesson plans for purchase.

10 Hooting Owls

 on November 18, 2013

Okay, there about a million counting books out there, but this one by Ed Allen and Simon Williams is a MUST HAVE for your preschoolers and kindergartners!

This adorable little story helps your children learn to count backwards and forwards up to ten.

Teaching numbers above 10!

 on November 13, 2013

My daughter is having a little bit of a hard time recognizing her numbers above 10.

Let's face it, when we first start seeing all these numbers, how do we know when it is a teen, or a twenty something?!?!

"If the one is in front, it is a teen?" She asks me. 

"Yes.  Well, wait. Not if it is an 11, or 12." 

See? Confusing!

So, each night we are breaking out the Rummikub game to use the tiles to practice our numbers.


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