Technology Resources for Kids

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I think children, for the most part, love technology. Why not apply this interest and school for an awesome class for your student?

Bitsboxes This company sends monthly coding projects for your child to do and is geared toward children 6 -12 years old. You have the option of kits coming directly to your house or you can download the projects yourself. Here is a sampling of what they have to offer:

Month 1 – Animal House
The lesson: Coordinates, basic commands

Month 2 – Roboboogie
The lesson: Variables, motion, action

Month 3 – A Land Far Away
The lesson: If/else, tap, drag

Month 4 – Sky’s the Limit
The lesson: Functions, repeat, delay, tap

SKrafty has an Intro to Java and a Java Script class for 6-12 grade. Your student will be able to create games that can be played on any computer.

Khan Academy offers free computer programming classes. I am giving you a link to browse through what they offer.

SCRATCH Developed by MIT students, this free computer coding community offers students the ability to build games and work with animation. There are also lesson plans for you to use and another great thing is that it is FREE!

Code is a free computer science website that many schools use to teach programming. There is a section for students and one for teachers. Their belief is that “Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.” They offer full-length classes as well as one-hour ones.

Homeschool with MineCraft– Students can either choose from self-paced classes or live classes that are focused around subjects such as American history, American presidents, and inventors. There are also classes that use books for their building projects such as Story of the World . There is a building project as well as additional video links your student can watch to learn more about the topic. Classes include Story of the World,  the I Survived series, and American Girl Dolls history. There are classes for elementary students through high school.

Have a great week!  ~ Lisa ~

Veterans Day Ideas to Teach

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Today is a national holiday in which we honor all those who have served in our military. I thought I’d give a little background to when the holiday first began 100 years ago.

This holiday was originally known as Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the peace treaty in which Germany agreed to the terms to end World War I on November 11, 1918, at 11:00.

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On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day, in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans:

ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN

The White House, November 11, 1919.

A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.

With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.

Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.

To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.

WOODROW WILSON   source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day

IDEAS TO OBSERVE AND TEACH THIS DAY:

  • Call someone you know who is serving or who has served in the military and say thank you for their service to our country.
  • Make a card or write a letter to a veteran.  Operation Gratitude
  • Visit a veteran and make or take a treat to them. (cupcakes or cookies decorated with red, white, and blue frosting?)

Social Studies: Read and discuss the above speech that President Wilson made. It’s always a great idea to look at an original source document instead of reading about it secondhand.

Questions to investigate:

  • What were the terms of the treaty?
  • Who signed the treaty?
  • Where was it signed? Why was this location used for the signing of the treaty? Why use a train car and not a building?

What is a primary source document? secondary source document? Here is a resource that you can purchase that is all ready for you to use: Primary and Secondary Sources

Language Arts:

  • Notice that Veterans is a plural and not a possessive noun. Have a grammar lesson to explain this.
  • For your older students, you can introduce vocabulary such as armistice, peace treaty,  memorial, sympathy, gratitude

Math: How many countries were involved in The Great War? How many people died during the war?

Health: Many people died after the war due to the Spanish Flu. Discuss disease prevention. You can read about it and see primary source documents here-  Spanish Flu

If you or a family member has served in the military, here is a list of restaurants that have free meals today: FREE MEALS

My deepest thank you to you who have served us in a military capacity.  Happy Veteran’s Day! ~ Lisa ~ 

 

Parts of Speech: Prepositions

The idea of prepositions can be tricky for children. The definition of a preposition is a word or phrase that connects a noun or pronoun to a verb or adjective in a sentence. An example of a preposition is the word “with” in the following; “I’m going with her.”(source: https://www.yourdictionary.com › preposition)

My young granddaughter is learning about prepositions right now and I was trying to think of a fun way for her to remember the easier ones that show direction. Since it is fall I thought of a squirrel and a tree. What can a squirrel do in relation to a tree?

She can sit in the tree.                                      He can stand beside the tree.

He can be near the tree.                                   She can run to the tree.

She can climb on the tree.                               He can run from the tree.

He ran between the branches.                        She can sit on the branch.

We learn best by involving as many senses as we can so I found a squirrel on wikiclipart.com and a leaf template and created a tree to allow her to move the squirrel around to demonstrate the prepositions. This is just to give you an idea of what I did. I would add to the tree as she learns more prepositions.

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Do you have children who enjoy learning things by song? The Preposition Song

Here is a list of prepositions for you to use as a reference for your own activity.

 

List of Prepositions in English Grammar

 

 

Vooks

I just visited the website, Vooks, and I can see this being a great addition to your homeschool.  It is a collection of animated storybooks from publishers, authors, and illustrators around the world. The animated children’s books are well done and have illustrations that are true to the stories. The book is read aloud with the words being displayed while it is being read aloud. It is kid-friendly, ad-free and age-appropriate and is for children 6 months to 8 years old.

One really great thing is that it is FREE to teachers and homeschoolers for 1 year. You can preview some of the stories to see if you want to subscribe. It could take up to 3 business days to process your request. Check it out 🙂 VOOKS

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Have a great week! ~Lisa ~

Helping Students Write

Writing can feel intimidating, mysterious, ambiguous and frustrating. How can you help your daughter or son get beyond those feelings to be able to write? As I had mentioned before, taking baby steps is where it all begins. Writing doesn’t have to be done in a day. In fact, I recommend you take several lessons (days/ weeks) to complete a writing piece.

Have you ever head the expression priming the pump? It means, ” to take action that encourages the growth of something or helps it to succeed.” You have to do this in writing as well. Think back to the time when you were given a writing assignment and you had no idea of what to say, no interest in the topic? This is how our children feel too!

Create a writing atmosphere. Light a candle, brew some tea or make hot chocolate, have some erasable pens or fancy pencils, special paper, and of course, some type of treat. This lets your child know this is something special and a time dedicated to doing something different. At first, the beverages and snacks may be eaten with little writing taking place, but keep at it. It will change if your child knows you are going to be doing this as a regular part of your school routine. use those fancy pens and paper for just your writing time.

Start with Conversation  You can talk about a fun activity that happened recently. ( a sleepover, a day at the zoo, a soccer game, a friend who came for a visit, a trip, etc) You can also talk about something that has made them sad or an event that is yet to occur.

Jot Down Ideas or Make a List from the Conversation Either you can do this or you can have your child write them.

Use these Ideas for Writing Your son or daughter can write the ideas down in various ways: a poster, a strip of sentences, a comic book, a short video, or a PowerPoint.

Find something your daughter or son is interested in to help them write. This can be Minecraft, Legos,  a favorite video game or a best friend. Set a timer of 2-3 minutes and have them write whatever comes to mind about the topic. This list can be a springboard for the next time you write.

Is your child been asking you for something and you have been on the fence about it? I have had students write persuasive pieces of writing about getting a pet, having an allowance, playing inside, staying up later, and taking a trip. Let them know you will have an open mind so they don’t feel their efforts are totally in vain. 🙂

Set the timer. This will help your child know there is a stopping point. You could be having such a fantastic time that time gets away from you.  Short and sweet lessons are good for everyone. (10-15 minutes)

Write alongside! Yes, your child needs to see you model writing. Not every time is a great writing day and your child can see how you overcome your writing block or when you are enthusiastic about the topic you have chosen.

Share Each person can share something they have written. Your reluctant writer might want to share anything, but ask them to share at least one thing. Be sure you share too!

Praise your child for their efforts.  You are likely to have a child that is willing to try again if you praise them and what they have accomplished.

Here are the erasable pens that I use with my students. They LOVE them! FriXion Pens

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Have a great week! ~Lisa ~