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Everything posted by min

  1. Dishwasher, except the very few things that aren't dishwasher safe, or which are too big to fit. I blitz out the blender with water and dishwashing liquid, then it just needs a quick rinse. I'll stack up and run again later if it doesn't all fit. (It uses way less water to run the dishwasher than to wash by hand, though that's not my reason. :) Still, I live in a place with water restrictions and every bit helps.) I always put in pots, pans, dishes, plates, sharp knives, wooden spoons and cutting boards - wooden and plastic. My favourite board was lost in a move, but it must have been in the dishwasher practically every day for the better part of a decade. :( Min
  2. Thank you! I'm very interested in the next lot when you have them. Bye Min
  3. Julie, it gets good and hot here too... and I've heard of several people's worms dying. :( One person suggested freezing 1-2L soda bottle of water, and putting it in the top of the worm farm with the lid just cracked open a bit so as it defrosts it dribbles out slowly. It would have to help. We do something similar for our rabbit in summer, though the lid is tightly done up. On hot days I need to have 3 in rotation to get through 24 hours. I even do this with the air con running. I'd like to try the worm farm in the garden bed(http://milkwood.net/2010/10/12/how-to-make-a-worm-tower/), though it will be a year or so before I get to that stage. I'll probably buy a commercial one to begin with as it comes with eggs etc, and if it is successful DIY some more. Min
  4. If I can, I try to make as big a batch of whatever (casseroles and bolognese spring to mind) and freeze several meals for one cooking effort. The bolognese can also become lasagne sauce, so I used to layer up a couple of them sometimes, too. I used to make mega batches of bolognese in a huge stock pot, or in casserole dishes (plural!) in the oven). Other things that my kids like are crumbed chicken (breadcrumbs - prepare the chicken as usual and then freeze, but add extra breadcrumbs to absorb any moisture) and home-made hamburger patties (flash frozen, then transferred to a bag or box, and then they defrost quickly on a plate before cooking). Also, homemade pizzas - I used to make several Friday-night-dinners worth of pizzas and freeze them (uncooked), to be cooked on the day. Another thing I found useful was a rice cooker as it could be started at a good moment and then left for an hour or two if needed and be ready when I wanted it. It is also nice to have some cupcakes etc in the freezer so that you can just whip them out if you have guests. Bye Miranda
  5. Hi We do AAS as afterschoolers. 2 of my kids aren't great spellers and it has made a huge difference. I've used it two different ways... First of all, as directed, with the magnetic board and tiles, once or twice a week after school or on the weekend. It was easy enough as they were younger then and had fewer activities etc. I had a third grader and a first grader then. I think the trick is to just accept that you can only do 15 minutes (or whatever you decide) once or twice a week (or, whatever you decide) and that it will take longer to get through each level. Now they're a couple of years older it is harder to fit it in, plus we now have a half hour drive each way to school, so I've rejigged it to be done on audio players in the car. Will have to see how that goes as we'd only just started doing it with audio and have just had school hols, but so far so good. Min
  6. A couple of people were interested in doing AAS with audio recordings. I've just started to do it that way with my kids, so it is probably a bit early to say, but so far so good. We're afterschoolers so our time for schoolwork is necessarily very limited. I want to do spelling in the car on our half hour commute to school, and also take advantage of the strong auditory memory of one of the kids. I don't think doing it this way has saved us any time, but it has meant I can put in my effort at a time of my choosing, and the kids can work independently. I started recording the step (on my computer, using Audacity) and have virtually recorded the whole thing. Most steps are taking more than one session as I'm trying to keep it down to about 10 or so minutes on the recording. This is because they have to pause it periodically and write. I start by saying "you will need" whatever it is (word bank etc) so they can gather their materials (which I've pre-assembled into a file, with some writing paper). Then I do some review for them - I dictate four sounds, and they have to write them down. Then I give them the answers so they can mark their own. Then we run through a few of the rules cards, and give the answers. If the step says to build a word, I get them to write it down and then do whatever the teaching point is. So, it might be "write these words - pony, p o n y; milk m i l k". After each exercise I give them the answers so that they can self-mark. I also spell out each of the dictation sentences. If they've made a mistake, I've got a section in their files for "review with Mum" and they jot it down and show me at the end. If the step needs more than one session, I try to divide the dictations up so they do some with each session. Also, the last session seems to be mostly a "test" of the list words and the last dictations. At this point they're given a choice to do the test or go back and do the previous lessons first. I'm sorry that was such a long post! I know there are a couple of other people on this board who do AAS in a similar way - I got the idea from their posts. Best wishes Min
  7. Thanks for reviving this thread! Some great ideas. FairytaleMama, I don't know if you ever got an answer to your question, but we do foreign language in the car: Michel Thomas Method. It is great, but requires someone to be "in charge" because you have to hit pause and play very often! We find it a great use of otherwise "dead" time. We have also recently discovered Horrible History audiobooks, and have been listening to one of them. I've been looking through iTunes podcasts and there are squillions of them. I've subscribed to a bunch to prelisten and see how suitable they are. Bye Min
  8. We got this one for a year or so: http://www.csiro.au/resources/ScientrifficMain.html Min
  9. Sandragood1, that's brilliant! Thanks for sharing! Min
  10. Have you looked at Cozy Grammar? http://www.splashesfromtheriver.com/ Min
  11. Oops I just realised that we don't have the "Kids" version of the software. The non-"Kids" version still has games and I was able to choose a kids path for learning to type. My kids are grade 3 and up. Min DD wants me to put in this: :lurk5:
  12. We've also got Typing Tutor Platinum. The kids enjoy it and one of mine has already learned all the keys except the numbers. We've only had it a few weeks. It has games that they enjoy. Min
  13. Hi Amber Not sure if the website mentioned it, but this year NAPLAN changed from narrative to persuasive writing. It boils down - from what I could see - to a five paragraph persuasive essay. NAPLAN is done early in second term (second week?). Min
  14. I'm experimenting at present with recording the AAS lesson onto an MP3 and having the child work through it on an MP3 player. They've done a couple of lessons each and so far so good. It hasn't saved *me* any time, lol, but I can do it at my convenience, and then each kid can do so as well. I'm aiming at them doing it in the car. I looked at Phonetic Zoo, but it looks like it isn't really designed for kids under about grade 4 (?) and when I did the placement test one of mine placed at still needing AAS. (They seem to suggest AAS levels 1-3 and then move in to Phonetic Zoo.) The older would have been fine with Phonetic Zoo, but I already have AAS and like it and I'm seeing if we can stick with it, albeit done in a different format! Min
  15. Jen, in short... It says that the full sound is "yoo" and that sometimes we say it in full, and sometimes not. Examples - use and (pron. yooz) and tube (actually, we also say tyoob, but I think the US pronunciation would be toob). Have you found the Chatterbee? It is the user forum for AAS and I've found it very helpful, especially as I've had to make a few adaptations for our non-US use. Min
  16. Jen, sorry, I've given you some misinformation. It is in level 2, step 10, page 57 (assuming we have the same edition). Will also PM you as this thread is a few days old now. Min
  17. Jennifer, did you mention Math Rider on another thread this week? If so, it was your recommendation I followed when doing the free trial. So far it is a big hit! Thanks! Min
  18. Someone on here also recommended mathrider: http://www.mathrider.com/ We're doing the 7 day free trial at the moment. So far it seems enjoyable. Min
  19. The sound "yoo" is taught that the full sound is "yoo", and that sometimes the "y" is dropped off, just leaving the "oo". I think it comes up fairly early in AAS L1. Min
  20. Jen, in my accent (Australian), there is no difference between the sounds in odd and cost. We have, however, 5 different sounds of a! I have modified the cards/teaching to reflect our additional sounds. (short a bat, long a baby, ah bath, aw fall, short o was) This hasn't caused any problems, but I did have to modify a couple of lessons to include an extra rule and the additional sounds (in our "dialect" the word "was" follows a rule, it isn't a rulebreaker). Min
  21. Thank you. I found this list of variations between Canadian/US/British spellings (we mostly use the British spellings here). If those are anything to go by, it sounds like the main issues will be ise/ize (recognise) and the ce/se noun/verb thing (licence/license), and then the odd word like cosy, kerb, lasagne and tyre. http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm Min
  22. Thanks, Happy Camper. Do you know how they handle the English/US spelliings? Thanks again Min
  23. Hi everyone I'm looking to move to Phonetic Zoo for one of my kids who has a great auditory memory. We're afterschoolers, and I'm hoping that it will work to do it in the car on our 15-20 minute commute to/from school. We're currently doing AAS (which I love), but I can't think of any way to do that in the car! My questions: Is it really independent? I'll be driving so I can't be too "hands on" with the helping. Is it realistic to do it in the car? I'm realistic about neatness/car bumping etc. Does it really only take 10 minutes? Or is it 10 minutes of audio and then another 10 minutes of writing? It looks as though the English/American spellings are addressed, but I can't see how that works. We need English spellings as we're Australian. Thanks! Min
  24. I bought Typing Instructor Platinum last week and the kids are loving it. http://www.amazon.com/Individual-Software-Inc-8037781-Instructor/dp/B001UHMVKO Min
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