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Category Archives: writing

Finding a Routine at Home

I am missing my routine already. Maybe your are too. Here is a plan for gathering ideas for your children’s ‘new’ daily routine.

I put together a brainstorming sheet so you can come up with ideas that suit your individual child and family situation. You can brainstorm ideas in four areas: creativity, outdoor activity, academics, and service. This pdf includes a checklist for your child (you could say something like ‘no video games until the checklist is finished’). I also created a sample brainstorming sheet filled in with different ideas I might use. This morning, I noticed that many of the online websites that I’ve seen recommended are having issues, probably too much traffic. Some of you may want ideas that are not on the computer so that your kids are off screens for awhile and so that you can accommodate all your learners. Some of your kids may be overwhelmed by too many choices so keep it simple, you can always revisit the choice/brainstorming sheet.

pic of checklist

(click the pdf below)

I hope this helps. 

IMG_8251 (2)It is intended to create structure while keeping things fun and keeping kids accountable without parental nagging (thus the checklist :). Your kids need you to be a calm in the current storm.

Sample Brainstorming for Parents

Brainstorming for Parents

(I am hoping to post a video in the near future, demonstrating some of the ideas. I would love your feedback.)

Authentic Writing Assignment 

Good old fashioned letter writing… I asked my students to send something inspirational to themselves or write a letter to their parents.  They practiced writing an address then we walked to the mailbox and sent out the letters. This is what one student sent to his parents – I think he’s a genius 😄

  

Authentic Writing Assignment 

Good old fashioned letter writing… I asked my students to send something inspirational to themselves or write a letter to their parents.  They practiced writing an address then we walked to the mailbox and sent out the letters. This is what one student sent to his parents – I think he’s a genius 😄

  

Cursive App

This is my attempt to generalize a skill. ‘Generalize’ is when a learned skill is used in different situations. In this case I worry that improving cursive on an iPad does not necessarily translate to the ability to do neater cursive on paper. Here is my solution. The app is Intro to Cursive from Montessorium. The student traces a letter with a stylus on the iPad then must write the same letter on a cue card. This seems to be far less overwhelming then simply giving the student a cursive worksheet (although I am hoping we can work up to that). Keep generalization in mind when teaching a new skill.

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An Essay Formula

I am introducing essay writing to a few students. We are writing a collective essay on GOOGLE docs – each person researching and writing one paragraph about squirrels (because we keep seeing them out our windows!). Today we talked about the keys to writing an introduction and conclusion. This activity is a lot of fun! Seeing everybody’s typing happening on one document at the same time pushed each student to do his part. It was also less overwhelming and should have a great outcome – a five paragraph essay!

OUR HOT TIP: when doing research, GOOGLE “info for kids” with your topic so that the articles are shorter and to the point!

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A Google App

We are finding the GOOGLE Read and Write extension helpful. My students are using it for word prediction as they type and reading websites or written work aloud. The extension even has a dictionary and speech to text tool. It shows up in the student’s google toolbar everytime and anywhere they log in. You can download a trial. We think it’s great!

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The Vowel Club

We decorated a banner for the vowel club (with washi tape 🙂
The best part was the amazement on the faces of my three kindergarteners when I told them that every word has at least one member of the club included! What fun to teach these little guys!

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