I used a journal format as my means of record keeping when I was teaching kindergarten. This was helpful with keeping track of the school year and traditional lesson plans weren’t the best way of recording our year. I had a yearly overview and curriculum that I used, but didn’t write out any formal plans as I discussed in my previous posts. There are a wide variety of journals and I picked a style that was most comfortable for me. Here is an example of what I did:
Monday, August 22
Reading– Today Malcolm and I worked on singing the ABC’s. I had him write the letters in rice. (Note: This is done by having a plastic, resealable container of rice that little hands and fingers can write their letters instead of paper and pencil.) I read aloud Ten Terrible Dinosaurs, by Paul Strickland
Writing– He wrote his name and the word policeman when he drew his picture for Social Studies. We are starting to make a book of community helpers.
Math-Sorting/ Counting/Graphing- Malcolm sorted M&M’s into colors and we counted how many of each color were in the bag.We made a graph for each of the colors and as a treat ate ALL of them! 🙂
Social Studies- Community Helpers We read People at Work, by Bobbie Kalman and Malcolm drew a picture of what he might like to do when he grows up.
Art-He drew a picture of a policeman.
Science/Health– We read My Five Senses, by Aliki Malcolm had to guess five different items by smell only. I put them in plastic snack bags and had him close his eyes and guess what the items were. cinnamon, cotton ball with vinegar, cotton ball with cologne, a stick of spearmint chewing gum, a fresh lemon slice. We discussed colds and how you can prevent them such as, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, wash your hands, sneeze into a tissue or the crook over your arm, etc.
You can also have your junior and senior high students keep a journal or blog of their studies. You can check progress this way and be independent, while still having your input and guidance. One of my sons visited coffee shops since he is interested in having his own one day. He kept a blog about where he had been, likes/dislikes, what he had to drink, house specialties, and photographs of the shop.
I hope this series has helped you with your lesson planning. I pray your school will be filled with many days of laughter and awe-filled days as you teach your child(ren).
Lisa, we’re going to start a family blog this school year! Each child is assigned a block of time to type on it, and a subject to work on each day. My oldest will type a “warm-up essay” one day, journal about the school week on another day, and type out one or two of her writing assignments on a third day. Patrick is going to post his book reports, and I’m hoping that one of the grandmas will decide to keep up with his reading and post a response! My littlest ones are going to do narration posts about history, as well as dictate some journal reflections so that the blog gets their impressions of the school week as well. We’ll invited friends and family to read our blog, and my blooming writers will feel like they are publishing for an audience. And as an added bonus, we’ll get a little bit more exposure to technology and making it work for us. I don’t want my kids to think of technology as bad or dangerous, but know how to use it. Now the technologically challenged mom just needs to figure out how to set up the blog…
What great ideas, Kerry! I’d be glad to be part of the “audience” if you need more people to respond to the children’s writings. Please give an update on how things are going.
I’d love for you to comment, Lisa! We’ll send you an invite when it’s up and running. We’ve had a great summer, and haven’t gotten a lot of “school” done-we’ve been doing VBS and drama camp and swim lessons… but we’re trying to gear up to hit the books again soon. Andrew hasn’t hit the “click” with reading yet, so I may be calling to see if you would be willing to try to work him in to your tutoring schedule. He’s starting to get frustrated at even the mention of reading, and I’m wondering if we need a big change of approach to move forward at this point.
Count me in! Contact me if you need me.