Friday, June 14, 2013

A little of this and a little of that...

Of this....

So sometime this past spring when we were having an off day I sat my kids down to watch a movie and googled "anchor charts pinterest".  OH MY there were so many absolutely fabulous ideas!  An anchor chart is an anchor of sorts to help (visually) review key points of a lesson.  For example you need to make one for a noun - you define it - name of a person, place, thing, or idea - you can use colors, graphics, fonts etc; whatever you choose really to catch your students'/children's eyes and help them absorb that information and make it theirs.  I never knew they were called anchor charts, I always have called them memory posters and we have made them/used them for years here at home and they work SO well for us.  But I was fresh out of ideas for some problem areas we seemed to be "stuck in".  Boy did I find a treasure trove: ideas for now, ideas for later, ideas for everything.  It was TOO cool.

One particularly (kindergarten/first grade) fabulous one (and I am SO sorry, I have no idea whose original idea this one is not mine, but I LOVE it) is the clothespins and hanger math facts.  You grab a hanger (wire) and if you have a hook on the wall hang it on that, we twisted the top so it would fit over the top of our dry erase board and clip clothespins on it.  I write below it (for example) 2 + 3 = and have my child take two clothes pins and clip them on one side of the hanger and three on the other and then slide them all together to get their total.  Or if we are doing subtraction, I clip all of the clothes pins on the left side and have them remove the amount they are subtracting.  I also discovered that I can use my ABC clothespins (I took wooden ones and wrote A - Z on them) and have them clip them on the hanger for alphabetical order, they can build their phonograms, build and blend words by sliding the clips together slowly as they blend one sound into the other.  Really the ideas are endless.

Of that....

I am not sure where you are at in terms of health, finances, friendships, time allowances/availability for your summer but we are not at a place where we can do vacations, outings, etc; this summer.  There are some must do's we have to do everyday, but those only take at most two - three hours what do we do with the rest of the time to make it special and fun and extraordinary?

SO yesterday, I grabbed a movie and popped it in for my kids, a mug of coffee and a pen and paper for me.  I wrote down ALL of the days left until the fall start date for school occurs.  Then I made a separate list of fun things I would like to do with our kids, octopus sprinkler, water balloon fights, ice cream cones, bird seed bread, knitting, tea parties, dress-up etc;  Then I went through and made a small list of absolutely MUST do's every day - tea time & poetry, read alouds, math facts review, Spalding Method, and Memory Review (Presidents, States & Capitols, Major Wars, Explorers, and Vocabulary we gained through math, science, history, reading through the year) and cleaning chores.  After I filled in the must-do's I made a tentative check off list for the "want to do's",  to make sure we get one fun thing/day, every single day this summer with the option of a back-up plan if that day is a bad day.  (examples for back up plans: make homemade playdough, color tab bath time, coloring with crayons, color pencils, and markers, or an audio book from the library). 

I am hoping they look back on this summer as not the summer where we had to stay home a lot, but the summer where Mommy and Daddy played with us

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