Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sentence Sandwich

Just wanna let you know that our "formal" homeschooling lessons have come to a halt due to vacation and moving (staying in Florida...just different area/ house)! I have lots to plan, pack and get ready my lessons have become very "informal" and on the go! of the many joys of schooling at home!

Thought I would share this quick-to-make idea with you all...the ole "sentence sandwich". I came up with this because Jackson has really proven that he is a natural reader! We still have a lot of skills to learn, but he is excited about being able to read simple sight word sentences and is eager to learn more each day. 

This "I See...(family picture card)" was starting to get stail after a few days on our BiG pocket chart computer this is how I introduced him to a new sight words while keeping word repetition for fluency and maintaining Jackson's reading confidence.

Using multiple sentence strips, I added 1 new sight word, but kept "I see" with in each phrase.  The phrases all overtap each other so that he can still add a name card on the black line at the end of the sentence.

And this is how I turned it into our "Sentence Sandwich" using the sentence strips and pieces of Velcro.  I did this just to make this pile of words easy to carry around (when we read in the car) and FUN!  Velcro makes a fun sound and putting the sandwich back together is like a puzzle to them (and mommy)

And here is what now hangs in the pocket chart/BIG pretend computer screen in Jackson's room.
"Sentence Sandwich" up at the top, family members picture cards at the bottom. 

I have taken some of the family picture/name cards out for this activity.  If you notice we sorted the names by beginning letter/sound.  Sometimes I cover up the picture with a sticky note, so that Jackson has to read only the name.  And he loves to pretend that he is the teacher and watch me make "reader mistakes" reading Nana's name when it's really Nic.  Lots of fun and laughter!  This simple skill will eventually lead us into a reading strategy "Look at the Pictures".

And for my Littest Learner...
Here are the color word cards that I made for Nixon.  Same type concept, just much more simplistic...

Happy Learning!  And thanks for those of you that have sent comments via facebook or blog!  You, along with my amazing children, keep me blogging!  I LOVE hearing from you and feel free to share your ideas with me also!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learning through Discipline

Jeremy and I knew that we needed some type of visual for us and the kids when dealing with discipline.   So where did I turn for ideas...PINTEREST, OF COURSE!  I found this great chart and made it that day!  Check it out... 

My dear friend noticed that "Oops!" is misspelled!  Dang it!  Wasn't going to re-do the whole chart...oh well!

Here's how this chart works at The White House :0)
*Always start the day with your clip on Good Job
*Positive behavoir/good choices= move clips up!  Being on green is great!
*Negative behavior/bag choices = move clips down...not so good! 

Here's the wording on the chart from top to bottom:
*Good Job
*3 minute (time out) Adjust these for age
*5 minute (time out)
*Lose Privilege

We have found that this really works well for us because it helps Mommy and Daddy look for positive behavior rather than mostly negative!  Every human, young or old, feeds off of positive praise, right!

My added touch were the picture clips.  I just printed out "happy" pictures of them and the hot glued them to a clothes pin.

So here's where the "Learning Through Discipline" comes into play!  If either boy has an "Awesome" day, then they are given 3 "fuzzy balls" aka pom poms.  We keep them out of reach and in a special cup...just to make it fun and exciting!
Jackson and Nixon's special cup on the left
Every time Jackson gets more "fuzzy balls", he counts them using his special number line that I made.  Use 2 sentence strips taped together, then stuck round circle stickers below each number.

This is a great visual for him to see how many he HAS and how many more he NEEDS!  Because once he gets 30 fuzzy balls, then he will get to go somewhere special...his choice!  It could be a trip to the aquarium or splash park.  Something special, fun and easy.

Our first trip will be tomorrow!  He reached his 30 fuzzy ball goal, so I'm sure we will be planning an impromptu fun trip in the morning.
So now what?  We keep going...we plan to add 30 more, which will teach him numbers up to 60.

Happy Learning with your little ones!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home-made Computer Fun! (Diffidently no IPad)

In-laws in town this past week = lots of running around town and not enough time for blog!  Sorry this post is short and sweet!

 Something that I'm truly beginning to love about homeschooling is the ability to really let your children drive your instruction!  For example, I (the teacher) had BIG plans for our word wall and family name cards last month, but my boys are enjoying the name cards so much right now.  MY PLAN (a month ago) was to put the cards up on our ABC word wall right away, but that plan quickly changed!  So this is what I did with them:
Moved a pocket chart into Jackson's room along with family name cards and added a keyboard.  Jackson practices "typing" his "I see..." sentence or the family names.  And Nixon is great at picking out his cousin Landon's name card and walking around the house with it.  It's also been a great way to see how they use them during independent playtime. Proud to say that even Nixon has "read" the "I see" sentence in his own little way!
Here's more pics of the set up!

Told ya!  Short and Sweet!  This week, we will be getting back on track with learning at home!  So I'll be sure to keep ya posted on what we decide to do with these name cards!  
Happy Learning Everyone!

Friday, July 6, 2012


"It is THAT time!" said Jeremy, when I asked him what was the next step we needed to take for creating mini-mathematicians in this house!  We both decided to "move forward" after we were sure Jax understood sorting, counting verbally to 30 and using one-to-one correspondence using manipulatives,  more/less and a few other skills.
 So here's how I started intro to addition, last week...VERY SIMPLE!
Index card folded in 1/2 to make 2 sides, a foamy dice (Dollar Tree) and some round dot stickers
Keep in mind, my whole new idea in planning for my "school at home project" is to "work smarter, not harder"!  I do this by planning activities that can be used for Nixon AND Jackson.  (Same materials; different  lesson focus)  And keep in mind, we made these cards (in about 5 minutes) and then used them in a lesson 3 days later!
Here's what we did:
Nixon - fine motor skill development/one-to-one correspondence = peeling and placing stickers on cards while I count
Jackson - used dice to see how many stickers he need to stick on each side of the cards to make it "look like a domino"


Dominoes are great way to introduce addition!  We just decided to make our own = child's ownership and to develop other skills.

This week, we are using foods (goldfish crackers, mini-marshmallows, cheerios) and placing one on each sticker of our homemade dominoes.

Once again, this helps Nixon with counting and one-to-one correspondence while Jackson is introduced to addition (for example: he puts 4 cheerios on one side, then 4 cheerios on the other side of this domino...pushes them ALL TOGETHER to see the "sum" of his addition problem.)  Hope this makes sense!

What a fun way to make your little learners into mini-mathematicians!

Our Unschooled Week in Welly

We had been pushing hard at home for a good 4 weeks. We finished up our BraveWriter Arrow book, Sarah, Plain, and Tall . We completed ou...