Monday, September 20, 2010

A peek into our schoolroom

I thought I'd share a few homeschool things with you today.

I've made two new file folder games with those Dollar Tree bulletin board borders.

This first one is just something to keep my daughter busy (and happy) while I teach my son. She was disappointed that there weren't more file folder games that she knew how to play right away, so I created this one to match up the lowercase and uppercase alphabet letters. In Abeka, they call them "little" and "capital" letters, which is why I wrote the directions the way I did. :)

Here is a patterning file folder game. I got the idea from File Folder Fun. They have several that you can print, but I liked the idea of saving my printer ink and just using what I had gotten a lot cheaper - these border cutouts!

In case you're not familiar with the concept of "patterning" (at least by its name), they have to decide what image comes next in the pattern. They choose from the extra matching rectangles in a pocket on the back.

I've also been having a lot of fun making large, cute images for bulletin boards and room decorations. I love Carson-Dellosa images. They're so cute and kid-friendly! I have two of their bulletin board books, and I'm set for images and bulletin boards for a few years.

This is the first set I made:

This is hanging on our wall as an incentive for good behavior. (Lest you think my kids are terrors who rarely exhibit good behavior, I took this picture shortly after I put it on the wall!) When the gumball machine is full, we're taking a trip to the local free zoo. Bonus: When it's full, I can simply take off all the gumballs and start over.

These images are a lot bigger than they look in the picture. I didn't measure them exactly, but they're around 2 feet tall.

No, I didn't freehand them, either. I used this opaque projector to enlarge them:

You can get it from Michaels for $25 (I used a 50% coupon to take it down to $12.50). They sell more expensive models, but you're paying for magnification. I only needed 5x magnification, so that's all I paid for. I think the next model goes to 10x magnification and costs $50.

I had a bit of a learning curve with this type of projector since I'm used to the regular overhead projectors, but I'm pretty comfortable with it now. I discovered the easiest way to enlarge my images was to first reduce them to the size of the viewer on the bottom - 3.25" square. If that still wasn't big enough, I'd try to make sure at least the height or width was 3.25", and it made it a lot easier to "piece" the images together as I traced.

I've been making quite a few visuals lately, so stay tuned for future posts when those bulletin boards (and other decorations) make their way into our classroom! :)


Shore Girl said...

Great ideas and use of the borders. I especially like the bulletin board --- I did something like that last year (just the gumball machine actually) -- but I freehand drew it on a piece of white posterboard. Your gum-chewing kids are adorable --- they really add to the scene!