Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 8

I hope I'm providing enough variation in how I present these.  I may have to get back on some of these posts and change things if I determine some approaches aren't working.
Timeline: Song and hand motions from CC's website.
Science: Parts of the sun.
This site from Nasa has a printable parts of the sun. Of course we'll repeat, repeat, repeat like drill sergeants. 
or this

History: This is such a long week for history.  I will either bring the large map and print out pictures
 of the explorers for us to sail around their paths. The alternative is having them get out their Geography 
folders (yes for history) and have printed out little explorers for them to move to the correct location.
  I think the most important thing, especially for those working on memory masters would be repeating the song. 
However some need visual aids and the maps with little explorers would be a great visual. Like this one:
Geography: I'm so glad this really coincides with the HIstory sentence.  Today we will kind of smush
 the two subjects together.  We'll make a little GH on the Cape of Good Hope, an M on the straight of Magellan, 
a CI o the Canary Islands, and T on the Treaty of Tordesillas.  
Then we'll spend some time drilling them in order, then out of order. 
Math: 14's sing the song while we pass around a bean bag.  Hot potato style!
English: We'll do a little chant on this one.  I think to help them with a visual I'll print out the list with 
large bold capitol beginning letters to help them remember the order.
Latin: Review from last week. I like cutting up the posters and having them put them in order.
Review Game: Rocket

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 7

Timeline: Today after the song and hand motions I'll try to allow for kids to lead the song while pointing to the cards.
Science: Yipee!!! Space!  I've been anxiously waiting for the weeks about space.  I thought we could do an acrostic. Good Daughters Visit New Nanas
You can also draw a star and write each type in an arm.  Mine is too little.  Make yours bigger:)

History: We'll do the good ol' song.  Then on the dry erase board we'll erase a word or two each time we go through the song.
Geography: We are really just going to repeat, repeat, repeat the peninsulas and trace them on our Geography folders
Math: We did this for the 7's, but it's worth doing again.  We just have thirteens this week. We'll do the cakewalk approach.  Our class has eight kids so I'll lay out 7 foam sheets.  One student will start in the middle, the others around on the foam sheets in a circle.  We'll sing the 13's song and I'll randomly stop them and whoever is on the foam sheet marked with a star (appropriate for today) will move to the spot in the middle.  
English: stickin' with the Chicken (song)!
Introduce the endings and how the pictures tie in.  Sing the CC song. 
Review Game: This will be our first time playing our Simple Sponge Stack game.  

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 6

Timeline: I think for today we'll wear Grecian leaf crowns (I'll either make them of paper and pipe cleaners, or dollar store leaf vines). You know I'll include the song and hand motions.
Science: Can be sung to "Come Thou Fount" .
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
What are six forms of pollution?
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
What are six forms of pollution?
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Noise,    Air,Water, La-nd, and Thermal
Call for songs of loudest praise
a-and Ra-di-o-ac-tive
To help them remember the types of pollution I thought of some actions
noise- point to ears
air- point to lungs
water- like you're drinking a cup
land- point to feet
thermal- fan yourself like you're hot
radioactive- all I could think of was act like a robot :)
History: I'll print out the sentence and cut it into strips, keeping the artists with their art, after we sing the song a couple times I'll let them put their sentences in order.
Geography: This seems like a good week for an acrostic.  Really you could just have them remember it spells PACCU, that's simple.  Peter And Claire Cut Umbrellas.  Get out our Geography folders and find all these mountains. Since it's a shorter section we could spend a couple minutes using the fly swatters on the big map.
Math: For the 11's I'll write them in a column going down the board and just point out how it's simply counting.  Then for the 12's (this will be fun!!) I'll bring a plastic egg carton we have from our Resurrection Eggs.  I'll have it filled with empty Easter eggs and while we sing the twelves we'll see if a student can move the eggs from the carton to a bucket on the other side of the room one at a time.  I won't have them balance them on a spoon, it will take long enough just to use their hands.  While they are running the eggs we'll be singing the twelves song. 
English: CHICKEN DANCE!  again :)  Just a note: make sure you get up and move for this.  Do the clapping part and everything.
Latin: Today as we repeat the latin grammar we'll sit in pairs and pass a ball or bean bag back and forth.
Review Game: BINGO!!

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 5

Okay, I'm really trying to get better at blogging.  I've been consistent for three weeks which is an improvement.  However, yesterday I saw how many views my blog had, and decided I needed to get better at links- get better? how about just get?  I also need to figure out how to post onto my tabs.  My husband was able to get two tabs set up last night, but I can't do anything but comment.  I don't know if it's because I'm on my ipad, or if I'm just too new and haven't figured it out.  
So, I'll continue to add to the home page and see if I can get the rest learned soon.  Just thought the organization would be helpful.
Timeline: Good ol' song and hand motions.  
Science: Well, I discovered for this science grammar it fits to the song "Found a Peanut"
Found a peanut
How do animals
Found a peanut
re-act     to
Found a pea--- nut just now
environmental change
I just now
they adapt
found a peanut
and they migrate
found a peanut just now 
and they hi-i-ber-nate.
You can bring in a simple visual to give one example of how each of these take place.
History: I'll have the kids act this one out.  They'll have a blast being fleas and rats. I'll have one be Joan of Arc with a sword, and King Charles VII with a crown (just paper is fine), they will lead another student who holds a French flag to "defeat" a student who holds and English flag. I'll have a student represent fleas (might print a couple and put them on popsicle sticks), and one student as a rat (could print a mask).  Of course activities like these must be entered with caution.  Make sure your class can handle the activity without getting out of hand.  
Let's see if I can find a printable rat mask, and fleas...
not a mask, but you could put them on popsicle sticks
I wanted them to look scary-ish so the kids would really remember.
French Flag easy enough to make with construction paper
Englands flag 
You might want to print that one :)
Geography: European Cities
There's a great printable for this on CC conected.  I have a picture of it 
I'll see if I can find it.  This picture shows the ship, and you take your European map and mark the cities: London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, and Orleans.  You can sing them to the tune of Yankee Doodle. I'll have to look this one up for you (and me).
Math: The students will each get to pick a style to sing for the 9's.  Like marching,  hopping on one foot... 
10's we will do hand claps to the song.  Two students standing face to face giving a high 10 for each number counted.
English: continue with the CHICKEN DANCE.  Oh Yeah!
Latin: use the poster to introduce the new endings
Again this is from CC connected, sorry it's so hard to search once I download things I don't want to search the connected site again.
Review Game: BANG!!! I hope this goes well.  My kids had fun with it when we tried it out over the summer.  Look at my older posts to find this one.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 4

I'm sitting here waiting for dinner to finish, why must this delicious chicken take longer than its supposed to.  Good thing I have the hungry crew downstairs "working" on filling the new bean bag covers, or they'd be at my feet begging.
Onto the plans for week 4.
Timeline: You know I don't deviate much :)
just for fun I might bring in a fake campfire to sing around today.  Since we start with "Early Native Americans" I thought "Ooh, Teepee" but that's not very feasible.  I do have a little round princess tent, but we aren't all going to fit.  So, it might be fun to sit around a campfire and learn our Timeline today, still with CC's hand motions and the song. Found a cute fake campfire here. 

I might ask my MIL if she already has one (she's the children's ministry director at our church), but if not I'll throw one of these guys together.
Science: I have visuals of these three cycles - THANKS pinterest! I'll just tape them onto the wall and point to them as we repeat the grammar.  If I have time I might give a quick explanation, but moms can do that at home also.  A visual itself gives them something to absorb.
History: Ooh! this one is fun.  We'll sing the song a couple times, and then I'll write the sentence (of course this one's a long one, I'll have to write it before our CC day starts) on the board and we'll erase a word each time we repeat the song.  
Geography: To start I'll have to make sure I know hot to pronounce these (LOL).
I believe we'll be getting out our geography folders for this one.  After they locate the rivers I'll have them trace.  Then if time permits maybe I'll let them use pointers to find them on the big sheet map.
Math: 7's I'll quickly throw down 7 foam sheets. You know the craft foam the comes in great colors and is almost like sheets of paper.  Throw down seven in a circle, have one child stand in the center, the others take their place on a piece of foam and do it cake walk style.  Have the foam sheets numbered from 1-7, whoever ends up on 7 is the one in the middle.  (just came up with that, sounds fun:)
8's- grab the 8's from a couple card decks (playing cards, uno, whatever) Lay them out across the table and have the students take turns pointing to each card as you say the next number.  Maybe I should explain that better.  Have student A come up where you've got the cards and she points to each card as you say the next number, almost like the bouncing ball in karaoke.  
English: Chicken Dance!!! there's a great song on the web- might be able to find the post and link it later.  It's the chicken dance song (who doesn't love) and it fits the pronouns in order.  My class will be doing this for the next few weeks since we learn pronouns for a while. 
Latin: I  will print out the poster from week 3 and cut it into a "puzzle". I'll put stick tack, or masking tape on the back and have the kids come up and put them in order.  After they put them in order they can lead us in the song.  This one is going to have a time limit.  I'll probably give each student 1 min to put it in order so each kid gets a chance.  You could print half sized posters for each kid, have them all do it at the same time at their seat, then go around and have them lead in the song... I like saving on paper and prep when I can.  So, I'll try the one poster.
Review Game: Battleship (check out my previous post, I'm trying to get some of these things linked up, we'll see how that goes )

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 3

Well, I'm a little disappointed... I've had two days of trying.  Trying to get things done, then major glitches.  I had this post already done, and somehow the draft wasn't saved.  
Here goes try #2 for week 3.
Timeline: hand motions, then allow students a chance to conduct the song.  You really have to know your kids before doing this.  If they follow the rules it's a good one to try.
Science: We will chant the ? and answers.  I will divide the kids into 3 groups.  I will have one as the producers- they'll have either silk flowers, or fruits and veggies from my kids play kitchen.  Consumers will have a spoon.  Decomposers will have some of my plastic bugs, like flies and beetles.  As we chant the groups can hold up their items when we say their group.
History: we are going to illustrate the History sentence.  Here we have Eleanor of Aquitaine and her son (no he wouldn't have been a child, but this is an easy way to illustrate that he was her son) Richard the Lion-Hearted.  I'm not sure if you can see, but he's got a heart with a lions mane.  I should probably put a crown on him as well.  Then there's a pic of a sword and shield to represent "fought".  On the upper right corner you'll see my Turk.  I looked in my Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and saw an illustration with the turbans and beards.  So here's my stick Turk.  The crosses in the bottom left represent Jerusalem.  Then a visual of the dates.  You can show yours and as the class sings the song, have them draw their own.  Make sure they are trying to sing along. For older students you can even have them write the sentence underneath the illustration.
Geography: I'll bring my large sheet map
(yes, I need to add Russia, under USSR, I have the old foundations guide:). I'll have the kids use their geography folders to trace the Western European Countries as I point to them on the large map.
Math: While we sing the skip count song for 5's we'll do a hand clap between partners (you know like the old Miss Mary Mack and other rhymes where we'd clap hands in a pattern).  For 6's I'll have saved egg cartons, cut them into groups of 6 egg-holder-spacey-things, pass them out to the kids and have them stack them as we sing.  You could also just pass them around as you sit in a circle and sing.  Just having the visuals of something that is 6.
English: I will have paper with each of the Pronoun types written on it.  We will chant Pronoun Order, Pronoun Order (twice because we have 8 people in our class, and with the 6 types this will give each person a sign) 1st person singular, 2nd person... 3rd person plural.  I will point out that the first 3 are singular (you can give an example, I, You, He/she/it) and the last three are plural (we, you, they).
Latin: It's new this week so we'll go over the endings on our poster from CC connected.
and sing the song several times.
Review Game: We will use our Big Dice this week.  Ooh, this just came to me: "Roll'em Review".  That sounds fun.  Knowing me I'll have to say that in a game show host voice.  Since this is only week 3 and there are 6 sides to our dice I will designate numbers 1&4 for week one, 2&5 for week two, 3&6 for week six.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 2

Here are my plans for Cycle 2 Week 2
Timeline: I don't plan on deviating much from the timeline song with actions from CC's website. It's also a great way to start class the same every week and kinda "rope in" the kids.
History: I will bring my Kingfisher Encyclopedia of History in and give a visual to the kids of William the Conquerer. I also plan on bringing some props this week to "act out" the history sentence.  My thoughts this far include a church type building on paper that I've cut into two pieces.  A crown and sword for William. A crown and mustache for King Harold (he had a glorious mustache:).  As we sing the acting out may look like this:
"After the church split into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox" - have one or two students holding the church and "tear" them in half. 
"William the Conquerer"- person with crown and sword step forward
"defeated King Harold of England"- King Harold steps forward, William gently defeats him, he could fall to the ground/kneel.  
Someone hold up a 1066 sign
The rest of the students hold up their fists as if they are feuding.
Science: We will rhythmically chant the question and 3 types of consumers.  As we chant we'll have some actions:
Herbivores: peel a banana (aka finger)
Carnivores: pretend to cut a steak
Omnivores: pretend to eat a hamburger or do the sign for hamburgers (they have meat, cheese and veggies, so the are omni :)
Geography: Repeat several times the European Waters.  Then have two kids stand by the map with swatters while I call out the waters. You could also repeat the European waters a couple times, call out a water for them to swat.  Then the swatter needs to repeat all of the waters.
Math: three's- a page with twelve triangles and they can write in each skip counted number, 3, 6, 9... Then count them together, sing to song
four's- bring in twelve lego/mega blocks that are the squares with four connectors
like this one.  You can use chalk markers to write the fours on each block and stack them as you sing the song.  You can even pass out the blocks in order and pass around the stack as you sing to allow each student to add a four.
English: You can sing the pronoun definition to "This Old Man".  I plan on writing it on the white board and erasing a word each time we repeat the sentence.
Latin: Print out the page for endings (posted this in the info for week 1) and cut them up for the kids to put in order.  
  Review Game: We will play Rocket review today (got this on pinterest, looks great!)

Plans for CC Cycle 2 Week 1

I came home from my Classical Conversations Practicum full of ideas.  I began putting them to paper week by week.  Here we'll look at week 1and how I'll present the new grammar.
Week 1:
Timeline- We'll start by going over the hand motions (I use the hand motions from the CC timeline on their website so that everyone has access at home to the same video, not trying to find a youtube, that can be frustrating for parents trying to make sure it's the same as what you've presented)  Show the motions for the first card, add the second, repeat 1, and 2, add the third, repeat 1, 2, 3   get my point.  We'll finish off with the timeline song for those first 7 cards.  
Science- for the seven types of biomes we'll do a bit of drawing.  Fold a paper in half both directions, and then into eighths.  They can write "7 Biomes" in the first eighth.  Then draw grass for grasslands,  sand for deserts, shrubs for Scrublands, snow for tundra, apple type tree for deciduous forest,  pine tree for coniferous forests, tree and vines and rain drops for Rain forest.
Don't make your drawings too exact or fancy, because more than likely your students will be quite simple.  Frankly my sand "dune" looks like waves.  The point isn't to have a precise drawing but to keep them simple enough to fit in your time.  Also, just so they can remember a sample of what is found in that biome.  
History- I plan to use the song and these hand motions found on CC Connected website
800 AD
Four fingers on each hand
Medieval Period
LH palm up, RH circles above L palm, then plants fingers into palm on “period”
Pope Leo III
Use your thumbs and index fingers to make a triangle, place it on top of your head (hat)
Bring hands down on head, use finger to make a crown
Stroke/swoosh hair (he had long hair)
Holy Roman Emperor
“Gather” your cape with your right arm and bow.

Songs are easy to remember, and actions help use other parts of your brain so it's engrained.  I was a music teacher and trust me when you combine repetition, actions and song, you get the fastest way to memorize for most people.  I tried to look up the science behind it (at one time I knew why, but should have put it to a song with actions, because I forgot:), but I couldn't google the right thing.  If I just hum the beginning of a song for my kids they can remember the rest without any help.  Remember to give a simple explanation of the action so that they make the connection- kinda forms a picture in their head.
Geography- I like the continents to a song that my kids learned at practicum. I noticed that Africa and Australia need to be switched according to my mini foundations guide.  I'll have to check that against the current foundations guide to see where the mistake is.  I tried switching the two in the song and it works. It's on youtube if you search for Classical Conversations Continents Song by username stephaniesavagetv.    I'll run through the song while I use a pointer to show the locations on the map.  Then I'll give the students each a turn to point while we sing.  Or you could use the fly swatters and have two students stand by the map to swat the continent or ocean I call out (if there is time).
Math- I plan on having the students stand in a line for skip counting the "1's".  Each kid will take one step forward as we count to twelve.  Simple, and no, we probably don't need to expand on general counting, they should have this one down :).  For the "two's" I am going to bring pairs of socks.  I'll hand out the socks and we'll sing the song.  Each student will take turns throwing the socks into a laundry basket as we sing. I've also seen printables for the two's that use the socks.  You could print them and have the kids point to each pair as you count.  I just like getting kids up and moving to keep them focused and use some of that energy they are waiting to use up.
English- You can sing the 8 parts of speech to "One little, two little, three little Indians".  We will sing as we pass a bean bag around in a circle.
Latin - We will sing the song as presented on the CC website, and use a printed poster that has the visual.  I'll probably try to squeeze in giving each kid a turn pointing.  The posters haven't been printed yet but this is what I found on CC Connected.  I just took a screen shot.
 I know they've switched to just saying the endings.  So you'd really just point out the ending, but could show them here how it fits on the end of a word. I wish when I saved things from CC connected it had somewhere who had uploaded it.  I'd have to get back on and look to give this great person credit.  It takes forever on CC Connected so please forgive me.
Review Game: for this first week when we might have a bit more time, since there is less to review, we are going to play the bucket toss game. I explained this in another post.  I sure do wish I was better at  embedding   links.  Right now I just don't have time- gotta get another coat of paint on before dinner.  You won't have a hard time finding it since there's not many posts ;).  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

CC Review Game Jeopardy/Battleship

Kinda excited to try this game.  You know how I've said I like board games and such.  I also love sticky notes :).  
I first called it Battleship, but it may be more like Jeopardy.  Whatever it is (or isn't) it will be fun.
Start your game by making numbered rows.  The number of rows will depend on how many weeks you'll be reviewing.  Most of the time in Classical Conversations we'll be reviewing the present week and previous six.  If you play this in the first few weeks you could do fewer rows.  
Next you'll lay out your sticky notes in columns.  One bright color per column if you have the multicolor pack (which makes it lots of fun:).
When you get all the columns spaced out you will have a hidden subject/week under each sticky note.  
If the student asked for Yellow 7 they'd get History Sentence two weeks previous.  
Each question answered correctly will be awarded points.  I plan on using talley marks.  
Hidden within the subject/week questions will be STARS.
If the student asks for Orange 2, they'd have found a STAR.  The star indicates bonus points.  I will try giving 5 bonus points for stars. The student that uncovered a star will be allowed to pick a second sticky note- if they answer the question correctly they get the bonus points indicated by the star.  This is the variation that reminds me of Jeopardy. 
Simple, Cheap, FUN!

Alternative method of play:
Set up is the same.  Change the stars to X marks and they lose points if the second sticky choice is not answered correctly.  They will need to reach a before appointed point total before uncovering all the X's.  
Example: if you hide 5 X's and set the point goal for 50.  They must reach 50 points before uncovering the 5th X.  
I thought this approach was more like Battleship.
Simple, Cheap, FUN!

Friday, July 26, 2013

CC Review game "Bang"

I am not the originator of this game, by any means. I've seen it here and there, on pinterest, various blogs, all similar in form and fashion.  It can be specified to whatever subject you'd like. I purchased colored craft sticks (guess where? Yep, $ store) and didn't even use 3/4 of the package. I need to put in some un-colored sticks for one more subject since the pack only came with six. Like my other games I wrote the subject initial and week on my sticks. One subject per color. Also on one stick of each color I wrote "Bang". You'll see next to the sticks I have an Easter sock. No, not just random laundry laying around, though that'd be common.  Place your sticks in your random sock for storage, and it hides the sticks while the kids pick them. Game as follows: kid pick a stick, answer the question for the subject and week written on the stick. Next kid follows this pattern until someone pulls a "bang". Then you count the sticks that you accumulated and write down how many you got correct before the "explosion". Start over with the sticks that remain in the sock and see if you can get a higher total. 
Simple, fun and cheap!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Simple CC Review Dice Game

To me,  game dice just mean fun.  I have a good stock pile of regular size dice from various games, but thought it would be fun to actually have big a set that were super size and specific to CC.
You can buy some from teaching supply places, or probably on Amazon, but not for less than $3.
I found craft styrofoam at the $1 store that are approximately 4".  I attempted to write on the cubes with markers, but the styrofoam "ate" the marker tips.  So, I had a bunch of craft foam sheets that I cut to size and wrote my numbers on.  I used the left over fun duct tape (from my transportable trifold white board project) because anything with patterned duct tape is just fun.  Dice=fun, pattern duct tape= fun, so this is double fun.
After writing the numbers on the foam, I taped them to each other around the cube.  I noticed the width of the duct tape really made for a small space to have the numbers on.  So, when I did the second cube I cut the duct tape lengths in half.
You'll see that on the second cube I have large letters (the letters that begin each Classical Conversations subject).  Then somewhere on that large letter I have written the remainder of the subject word.  I thought if I wrote the subject out it would be too small, so the large letters allow us to see a clearly the abbreviation for the whole subject.  (am I making any sense, this vacation is zapping my energy)
The game will play as follows:
students will Roll, answer the corresponding "question", score
SIMPLE!  but remember it's double fun :)
you could simply  take a tally mark score on paper or a board in your room.  
Easy, cheap, simple, FUN, FUN!
Side note: if you have crazy kids in your room that want to toss the dii all over, you could have them toss them into a box to keep the game contained.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Classical Conversations Review Bingo

Here are my dollar store bingo games. I have seen some Tutors who design and come up with bingo cards that precisely correspond to the 6 wks they are reviewing.  WOW!  That's amazing!  I decided that I would just snatch these up and figure out a way to adapt it to be reusable throughout our CC year.
 These are color and shape bingo cards and boards.  I laminated the cards so we don't have to use the little confetti-ish markers. Those tiny markers would just make a mess each time we played, and guess who'd be left to clean it all :).  So by laminating the cards, they will last longer and we can use dry erase markers.  I am just going to write subject/week on each card.  Like this: History 0, History -1, HIstory -2.  The negative and number mean one week back, or two weeks bag.  The 0 would be the current week.  I am just going to randomly write the subject and week on cards.  I don't want to match colors to subjects for a couple reasons.  There are only four colors and seven subjects.  Also, I don't want all the red to be history or a student would have to super excel at History to achieve bingo. Does that make sense? 

So, the game will commence as follows:
Tutor draw a card, read the subject/week, give the "question" to the first student, if answered correctly the class gets to mark the space with their dry erase markers.  Since there are two bingo sets together in order to have 8 boards, I will have a possible two students who call out bingo.  The more the merrier I say.  The combined two sets also allow each shape to have two questions.  Since there will be two red oval cards each red oval card could have a different sub/week assigned to it, so if they don't get the first one correct, they have a second chance.  I plan to do this game on weeks 6, 12, 18, and 24.  
$2 (and some laminating) and a Simple Great Review Game!!! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Simple CC Review Game

You know I've been trying to simplify CC planning.  So, I really only have about 6 games to use throughout the year.  I can repeat  each game 4 times and that takes up the whole 24 weeks of Classical Conversations.  You'll see in my post Planning my CC Year that I actually have 7 games, but you gotta have a spare, and one of the games I plan on mainly doing the first week.

So what is this colorful textured bucket? I should make you guess, but it may be too obvious.  This is one of my reused ice cream buckets filled with sponge "sticks".  Our local grocery store had sponges on sale 6 pack for $1 (I think you can find them at dollar stores and regular stores for about the same price) and I had seen on pinterest how to turn them into reusable water bombs.  I made some of the bombs and had these left.  Our CC director had brought in a jenga game this last year for review and that is where my sponge sticks were born.  
I told you my girls and I are visiting family (hubby's enjoying time for himself at home) so this is the only photo I have with me.  I'll tell you, though,  I cut them to be short sticks, and got approximately five per sponge.  Yes, we have 7 categories and I only have four colors of sponges.  I decided to make that part of the fun.  I'm not having a color per category.  I am writing the category at random on each stick.  They'll pull a stick from the ice cream bucket, read the category and week from the stick (history wk -5: would translate to five weeks back), I'll read the corresponding portion from the foundations guide, if they get it correct they get to stack the stick.  They will stack it like the blocks are stacked in jenga and we'll see how high it gets before falling.  I thought it would be fun to pull a stick and not know what category it will be.  You know most of the kids never want math, at least in our group:).  So, I'm sure it will be a big "ahhh" when they pull a stick and discover if it's a category they like.  
Variation, maybe for the second time we play this, or if you have a group that doesn't work well with winning as a team:
You could have them build their own personal stack to see how high it could get, instead of building as a class.  
I know, this is about $3, I hope you can swing it :)
Simple, yes.  Not much to explain as far as rules, this could hopefully be used for the youngers, middles, and olders.  
Hey, if the game isn't a success for your class, go make some water bombs :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Our Homeschool Area

We have morphed several times with homeschool, as I think most families do.  You find the place that works, the curriculum, the style, the time and you go with what works.  When I was teaching just my oldest daughter we sat at a little table.  When it became the two older girls we needed an upgrade.  This is our current set up, has been for the last three years.
Last year we had begun our year working on Five In a Row (FIAR).  We truly loved diving into great books and doing the unit studies that corresponded.  We combined FIAR with the workbox method.  Each girl had six boxes and I had the top three for things I wanted out of reach of the little one.  Of course there's a handful of papers floating on top, hey real life at it's finest.
Usually I've got cute little theme decorations around.  Last year was a big banana tree with monkeys crossing on a vine.  The vine was a reading chart, they'd move a leaf for every 10 pages read.
Now we are trying to get our home ready to sell, so I've taken down much of what should be prettying up our space.
I love having the murphy desks.  All their items stored inside and hiding while not in use, but ready when we need them.  For now I like having the set school area.  I think it reminds them that when we are here, we need to set toys aside and focus.  This is where we do our book work.  Work sheets, math pages, things of that sort.  We always have a bit of that to do.  
Half way through the year we started as part of a Classical Conversations group that meets on Mondays, so we are not at the desks on Monday.  Then every other Tuesday we have MOPS, so again, not at the desks.  I also try to break up desk time with movement and activities.  No one likes to be pinned up too long. 
Here's what we have on the inside.  A file folder to hold their work books.  I pull out the pages that they need to complete for the week and put them in their work box.  If they finish all their math pages early, Tues, Weds, whenever, they can play math games on my ipad, or if both girls have completed a subject for the week we can all play a game together.  I like allowing them to see what should be completed for the week and giving them a bit of freedom within those boundaries.  There are days for each of us that we really don't feel like doing much.  So, as long as they are done for the week, some days they can be a little slow.  However the reward is there if they work hard and get done early.
They like to put up things on the cork board in the back to decorate. Then there are disinfectant wipes- NO, not really.  That's our make do pencil case.  It works well for keeping tiny hands from spilling our pencils EVERY DAY (seriously, she did).  You can tell she's also left some "art" all over the desk.  Creativity at work.  
You see on the side there's a little hook closure and the chain that keeps it level when open.
I wish I had taken pictures of when we made the desks so I could do more of a tutorial on making them.  Basically a box made of boards, with a lid on hinges.  You really could make them whatever size suites your needs.  I'm not the first, so there's probably a tutorial out there :)


Friday, July 19, 2013

Planning my CC year

I am a great planner. Don't worry I'm not really bragging. I can plan all I want, but sometimes when it comes to getting it finished I let life get in the way, or sometimes laziness/exhaustion. However, the more I have planned the more likely I am to get something done. At least that is my theory/hope. I also like to use my momentum. When I got back from Classical Conversation Practicum I was so full of information and excitement that I started getting my year laid out. If you remember in my post about my class on wheels (I should insert a link, hmm. my first link on the blog lets see if I can get it figured out...that's the best I can do. That's my first embeded link, I hope it works) I showed you a mini cycle 2 book in a glittery phtot album. I printed out a second copy of the mini book to do my planning on.

Planning my CC year

I am a great planner. Don't worry I'm not really bragging.  I can plan all I want, but sometimes when it comes to getting it finished I let life get in the way, or sometimes laziness/exhaustion.  However, the more I have planned the more likely I am to get something done.  At least that is my theory/hope.
I also like to use my momentum.  When I got back from Classical Conversation Practicum I was so full of information and excitement that I started getting my year laid out.  
If you remember in my post about<a href="http://"> my class on wheels</a> (I should insert a link,  hmm.  my first link on the blog lets see if I can get it figured out...that's the best I can do. That's my first embedded link, I hope it works) I showed  you a mini cycle 2 book in a glittery phtot album.  I printed out a second copy of the mini book to do my planning on.  

Each week I have written ideas for how I'm going to present the new material.  I wish you could see my chicken scratches but the pencil is showing up so light.  
I'll try to post my weekly ideas a ways in advance of when the actual week happens.
For now I wanted to share my plans for review games.  My thought/theory/hope is that if I have six review games that the students like, I can keep it to simply those six games.  Why six? That would mean I only need to reuse each games 4 times through our 24 weeks.  I figure they won't get old using them four times.  
Here are the six games I plan to use:
Bucket Toss review (this is a bit more time consuming and we don't have much to "review" the first week so I figure it will work for this 1st wk)
Rocket Review
Disc Toss
Big Dice
Sponge Stackers
Wait I said six, and there are seven listed.  Well, one must need a reserve in case a game is a flop.  You never know what kind of class you'll have, perhaps rowdy.  You may need to adjust the games to your specific group.  Another reason, is that I tend to be indecisive.  
So, next week I'm headed on a trip (leaving the hubby to fend for himself) to visit my sweet nephew (oh, and his parents whom I adore).  I thought I better start a series that I can work on while I'm away: Review Games.
Today we'll chat about the Bucket Toss.
Easy enough?  yes, but sometimes it's the simple things we overlook/overthink.
I am just using old buckets from around the house.  I don't like purchasing what I've got laying around already, even if they'd look "nicer".  Kids don't care about that, we do.

You can tell two are ice cream buckets and one an old easter bucket.  All you need is something that will catch your bean bags.
These are from a yard game someone gave us.  They're cute and just the right size.
The game will be played as follows:
Have the students line up if your room permits, hand out a bean bag to the first three in line.  The first is asked a review question, if they get it correct, they toss their bag into the bucket.  You can have each bucket labeled with a point value and keep track of the points on the board.
If you find your students miss the buckets, you can hang onto the bean bags, instead of passing them out.  You could give them three chances and hand them the bags they need.  However, I'm going to stay away from this if possible since it is so hard to fit in everything into a CC day and more throws take more tie.  
Simple and fun.asZ

Thursday, July 18, 2013

CC Tutor traveling white board handle

Okay, yesterday I showed  you my traveling white board.  Well, it was incomplete and thanks to your accountability I needed to finish it today.  I was being lazy and waiting to have my hubby drill the holes. Good grief, Ari, like you've never used a drill.  Get to it!

To start I layed my board accross a bench (the play egg underneath is not necessary:).  
Get your handy dandy drill and bit.  I think my bit was about 1/4 inch.  The main thing in choosing your bit is making sure the hole it makes going to fit what you're going to put through.

Of course I could only find one of my carabiners.  I'm not sure where the kids played with them last.  I also had some mini bungie chords I found in Target's $ section.  The rings are hinged and left over from my Timeline cards. Then there's the strap left over from a foldable play yard since I couldn't find my mommy clip.  I"ll still use the mommy clip when it comes up.  We are in the process of getting ready to move and so some things are just out of place, or already in my in-laws attic.
Ready to measure where to put the holes.
I folded my strap in half and laid it on the center opening.  This told me about how far from the center to drill my holes.  I marked just inside the edge of the strap so it wouldn't be to tight. Make sure when you go to drill that your board is secure.  I put my knee down on the side I wasn't drilling- or if you want to be even more safe have a friend help, or use a clamp.  Also, I suppose I should reccomend safety goggles since we're messing with power tools. :)
About two fingers down (yes very precise:).  It was very easy to drill through.  I putt a cardboard box underneath to catch saw dust, then brushed the dust from the top into the box for easy clean up.
Threaded my rings through.  Since the bungie was too stretchy to hold the weight, much as I expected.  Then snapped my handle on. I'm sure you could use some straps left over from a suitcase, backback... whatever's laying around.  
It works!  I know those rings can loose their "grip" and come open after multiple uses, so I may have to find a replacement later.  For now this is great and the rings go through both layers to hold it closed as I carry.  TADA!  For as unplanned as this project was... turned out allright.  
You're all set to make your own.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CC Tutor Traveling white board

Today's post will be rather simple.  ( I have to work my little delivery job this weekend, so I suppose I should spend some time on prep work)
Some of the classrooms at our facility have small white boards which is great.  However, I'm not sure I'll have the time I need to write everything when we show up the morning of CC.  I'll get there early, but I'll have an 8yr old, 6 yr old, and 2 yr old with me.  They are "helpers" of course, but just in case, I'd like to be mostly ready when I arrive.  So, I know you can find the foam trifold display boards at many stores.  Those work great.  I just had to do a trifold white board.  We love whiteboards and use them often at our place.  I thought that would be easier than putting paper in sleeves each week, printing all the memory work... 
We are supposed to be able to model teaching with a stick in the sand.  Showing that parents need no special equipment, that they can just write out memory work for their children.  (blah, blah, get to the white board already lady).
So, at hardware stores they have available showerboard/whiteboard.  It's not magnetic :(, but hey we're simple.  So I had the hubs bring home a large piece of showerboard.  I had figured out what size I wanted my traveling whiteboard to be.  It's about 4'w by 3' h when folded up.  That is the size of the center panel.  So divide 4 by 2 and you get the size of the two side panels 2'x3'.  When you go to cut the shower board be aware that your saw should be coming from the brown back side.  Our saw made a line down the white side when we ran the saw along the front.  
Then take a pencil and lay it between the center panel and one of the side pieces on the top and bottom.  The pencils space out the boards so when you use your handy-dandy duct tape as a hinge the boards will be spaced enough to close.  Tape along the front, remove the pencils, then tape the  back.  Then do the other side panel in like manner.   I also went around the whole opened up trifold with tape just for a finished edge.  I folded it around the edges.
Maybe I should give a visual so you have some clue what I'm jabbering about.
The closed trifold board.
Here it is open.  The kids even left a little work of art for us:)
You can see along the bottom edge I have plastic sleeves for the timeline cards (8, 1 from the previous week, and 7 from the current week).  I currently have the attached by one clear self adhesive hook and loop disc at the top.  However, I shall be adding a second on the bottom in order to keep them from swaying.  
One other adjustment yet to be made is putting a handle on top.  The plan is two drill holes handle width apart and use those hiking clip things... what are they called? Come on brain. Thanks to a search engine, not my brain, the name is carabiner.  Place a carabiner through the two layers of the folded board and somehow make a handle between the carabiners.  Ooh, idea.  I could use my jumbo size cushioned carabiner as the handle.  Those "mommy" clip things that are supposed to hold all your grocery bags.  I'm sure my "instructions" for the "handle" are quite clear.  So, clear that I'll post again to show the finished product.  I don't want  you thinking I'm as crazy as I sound.
We had a bunch of leftover showerboard since hubby bought the super size. So, I had him cut them into individual whiteboards for each student in my class.  I also finished the edges with fun tape.
I thought I said this was a simple post.  I may not have been completely accurate.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CC Tutor part 2

Yesterday we started our Tutor informational series (that sounds a little formal), and today we will do another installment.
Let's start by looking in the main compartment.
Upon opening the lid you'll find a set of 8 dry erase crayons  and 9 pencils  all ready to go for any map drawing or games.
One great thing about thrift stores is finding old sheets.  This one became a large CC map of Europe.  They really would like us to use the same maps that appear in the CC Foundations guide.  So, I asked my hubby to bring home an old faithful overhead projector.  Took me a little while one evening to outline with a fabric marker, then color with good ol' crayons.  I iron set the whole thing and there you have it..  It's about 5'x4', but rolls up nice and small to fit into my class on wheels.
Here are my quick reference guides to CC week by week.  I found them on pinterest, printed them, and put them in a 4x6 GLITTER photo album (like $1 at Target).  Yes, I had to have glitter. Just puts sparkles in my day if I need some.  These don't replace my CC Foundations guide, they are just easy to hold and flip through for review games, and I couldn't afford the little cards CC has available.
As you can tell, since most of the items in this class on wheels are re-used or from dollar stores.

I had to throw this photo in of an out of place doll.  I guess my 2 yr old thought she should go for a ride.  
I have here all my timeline cards in a little tote.  I laminated mine (with some free laminator sheets from my MIL) because I didn't have the money to put them in a binder with the clear sleeves.  This took a while (my kids helped) but I wanted to protect these valuable cl-assets (sorry had to throw that in).  Then I put them on rings and they fit in this little tote that I already had on hand (also $1 item).  I am not sure that I will bring the whole set of cards each week.  More than likely I'll just bring the set we are working on, but I like that they all stay in my rolling tote so my CC stuff is together and ready. 
                      Here are folders ($1 for 2) that I put together for each student.  Inside each folder there are clear plastic sleeves containing the maps we need for Cycle 2.  Now I should have all the maps ready for the whole year.  In the sleeves they are dry-erasable so we can practice and erase, and repeat.
On the front of these folders I will have the student write their name.  Each week if they bring in hand drawn/traced maps from home they will get a sticker on the front of their folder.  Thought this was a neat way to let them see how much extra work they are doing.  Also, there might be a bit of peer pressure if the other students can see someone hasn't done many. It might encourage them to do more.  The stickers are on a roll all boxed up and also a $1 item.  The stickers must help kids do extra work, because right on the box it says "motivational stickers". 
I was tired of taking pictures of individual items, and thought you might be too.  So, these guys were gracious enough to pose for a group photo.  Re-stickable tabs to hold my place in my mini cycle 2 book, or foundations guide.  Index cards a little more for my kids own presentations. Homemade game cubes.  I hope the kids find these as fun as I thought they'd be.  I will do a quick tutorial on making these in a later post.
So there you have the main compartment to my Classical Conversations Class on Wheels.
Hope it gives you some organizing ideas.