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Everything posted by mom2bee

  1. 1) How often does he write and how much does he write at a time--a sentence? A few sentences? A paragraph? 2) Has there been improvement in his handwriting up til now? 3) Can you post a few samples of his writing? 4) What is the reason that you've never gotten an Eval or Diagnosis for a child you think may have a Learning Difference? 5) What kind of paper is he writing on? 6) What kind of pencils/pen is he writing with?
  2. Please do not hand a calculator to a sloppy student. It's just a machine and Garbage In -> Garbage Out. A calculator just gives her an electronic avenue to generate an incorrect answer. 1st) Are her answers correct? Meaning, did she get the correct answer to the problem that she wrote down even though it doesn't match what you'd expect based on the problem in the book? 2nd) What does a daily math lesson look like for her? 3rd) Does she produce similarly sloppy work in any other subject? First and foremost, what math is she doing and what does a lesson look like?
  3. Looks good to me! What all is in your ANKI decks?
  4. Option 1: Ultimate Phonics has a reading test that you can print for free and administer at home to determine how well your child can read phonetically. You can administer tests for K-4 level reading and the instructions are on the page. At the bottom of the page it tells you which phonetic concepts are being taught. It's super easy to do. Unfortunately, I don't know of anything as easy to do for arithmetic and this test is strictly measuring the skill of decoding. (Decoding fluency is super important in reading! It's probably 75% of the reading puzzle at the K-2 level) Option 2: You can use the website easyCBM and make a Lite account for free. It has a series of printable assessments that you can print for your students and input the scores for online. I haven't played with it extensively yet. It gives you access to Printable versions of all of the student materials for K-8. Reading has different subtests by grade: K-1: Letter Naming K-1: Letter Sounds K-1: Phoneme Segmenting K-3: Word Reading Fluency NOT PHONETICALLY BASED! Perfectly skipable in my opinion 1-8: Passage Reading Fluency 2-8: Multiple Choice Reading Comprehension Mathematics has different subtests by grade Numbers and Operations Geometry Measurement Numbers Operations and Algebra I'm not personally able to endorse the easyCBM tests, but they are there as a free option for you to administer to maybe look for specific skills that your children might be strong vs weak in for their grade ranges. Option 3: Let's Go Learn has online diagnostic assessments that you can purchase and your kids take online. It's $25 per subject and if you more than 1 there is a small discount. You don't have to do anything but pay and have the kids take the tests.
  5. How to Think Like a Coder Without Even Trying is written to be very kid-friendly. It could be a very good precursor to Programming Logic and Design which is definitely meant for an older audience and I do NOT recommend it for a child under 13! Hello Wold! is a coding book that uses Python to teach coding. Very accessible--it was written by a father who was teaching his 11/12 year old son to code. Once you have a plan for what you're focusing on, come and let me know. I have a huge collection of coding books and resources and I might be able to help you find resources.
  6. The best way might be to simply record yourself reading a list of words using Voice Recorder on your PC. Then you can simply scaffold in as much support as your child(ren) will need. So, they might just need to hear the word one time so that they can type it. or you might create a set "script" that you follow for each word. "The word is (pause) ________" "__________" [syllabicate_________] [A sentence that uses the word_________________] [syllabicate_________ again] "__________" So, for example "rascal" The word is (pause) rascal ras-cal Tom Sawyer is always making trouble for his Aunt Polly, he is a well-known rascal. ras-cal rascal You can run through a list of words within a few minutes if you establish a script and have a source for the words themselves. You can sit down and record a weeks worth of spelling words in less than an hour. If you name the files well, then you will be able to refer to them easily later and assign a list to a younger child or to reassign a list of words that you see being missed often.
  7. It's been true in my experience. I always wished that Zig & Co would've published more DI @ Home type stuff. If you want a good DI program, you have to buy a program designed for the school system outside of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons which is a really wonderfully designed program but it's not enough. Just an FYI: The editions aren't interchangeable for the writing programs. If you have a 1991 writing book, it won't work seamlessly with the 2001 edition and vice versa.
  8. It almost sounds like you can't choose to speed read or not, and it just happens? I was thinking of learning to speed read for my own purposes--I have to read a lot of material in my field and I just want to be able to get through it faster. But would you say that it's detrimental to learn it @Clarita and @Resilient since it seems that you can't "toggle" between speed reading and normal reading at will?
  9. I worked at a school that used Classical Academic Presses Writing and Rhetoric and it was a huge flop for grades 4-6. I hope that the school decides to do something different next year. The students were really bored with the stories and mostly frustrated and most of the teachers hated the program after about 4 months. It did not get better as the year went.
  10. I taught 5th grade this past year for the first time. I worked at a K-8 school so I got to see what the 4th-8th graders writing looked like. I had a couple of students who struggled to write in complete sentences all year long. Most of my students learned to write complete and correct sentences but I had a few whose writing was very sloppy, misspellings were rampant and their thoughts were disorganized. I worked closely with the other 5th grade classroom teachers and checked in with the middle school teacher who was teaching grades 6-8. I'd say that it's definitely a spectrum of abilities.
  11. I'm crossposting this to the Chat Board because I know some of our best and brightest homeschooling momma's don't really frequent the Gen. Ed boards anymore. I am trying to come up with a good sign for my classroom door. It's a 5th grade class. The sign will read something like "STOP. When you enter this room, you must LEARN. But "learn" will stand for Listen Attentively Engage Your Mind or Enunciate Your Words (I have trouble with kids mumbling and muttering and repeating themselves at the same unintelligible volume/pace) Actively Participate Read??? or (Respect Mistakes yours and others) Note-down ??? (I can't think of anything for N. Note taking is an important part of the lesson, but is there something better that I could use?) I'm trying to think of another one for the inside of the room when we leave and are in the halls of the school building... We are about to LEAVE Line Up Egress Quietly and Advance Very Efficiently Hive, I need your help. Any Ideas?
  12. I am trying to come up with a good sign for my classroom door. It's a 5th grade class. The sign will read something like "STOP. When you enter this room, you must LEARN. But "learn" will stand for Listen Attentively Engage Your Mind or Enunciate Your Words (I have trouble with kids mumbling and muttering and repeating themselves at the same unintelligible volume/pace) Actively Participate Read??? or (Respect Mistakes yours and others) Note-down ??? (I can't think of anything for N. Note taking is an important part of the lesson, but is there something better that I could use?) EDIT: NEATLY complete work!!! What do you think of Listen Attentively Enunciate Clearly Actively Participate Read Neatly Complete Work I'm trying to think of another one for the inside of the room when we leave and are in the halls of the school building... We are about to LEAVE Line Up Egress Quietly and Advance Very Efficiently Hive, I need your help. Any Ideas?
  13. Yertle the Turtle and The Sneetches were on my initial list, but I had cut them because the Dr. Suess books take a while to read well and I doubt that we'll have time but I would like to do them at some point any way.
  14. I'd like to compile a list of books that are 1) able to be read well in about 10-15 minutes (or less) 2) very discussable in a group for 9-11 year olds. NO NOVELS! I found and liked Oliver: The Second-Largest Living Thing on Earth. I think it's a great message to share and invite kids to think about for themselves--especially as young-peoples society becomes more and more obsessed with Likes, Shares, Subscribers and Re-tweets, etc... I also like After The Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up. The message on what to do after "a fall" and how it addresses and models the insecurity that follows a set back is good. That's something that I feel that is worth re-visiting with older children. I also remember really liking the book What Do You Do With an Idea but it's been a long time since I've read it and I need to re-evaluate it with this particular activity in mind. But... I am having trouble thinking of/remembering others, so I'm coming to The Hive for help. I'd like to use books that have a message that can promote self-development, self-reflection, and have a mostly upbeat message.
  15. Several of the vintage books from the Open Court Basic Readers series are online as PDFS. These are from the 70s They are at the bottom of Paul Wigowskys Open Court Page. 1.2 Reading is Fun 2. 1 A Trip Through Wonderland 2.2 Our Country 3. 1 A Magic World 3.2 A Trip Around the World 4.x What Joy Awaits You are all available online.
  16. I would guess that if you want to cover History sans-violence or the hard-edged stuff, that you should look into public school textbooks. They're typically written to hit the middle so you can always add to them, but they'll provide the basics without any really upsetting stuff. I can't recommend a specific text/series for History, and it's hard to tell whats in them without hunting them down in person and perusing them. But a list of publishers to get you started would be: McGraw Hill, Pearson, Scott Foresman, SRA, Houghton MIfflin and Harcourt. If you are open to doing US History than Open Court Reading and Writing: From Sea to Shining Sea is a US History Primer written at the 2nd grade level and meant to take ~1 semester. From Sea to Shining Sea coverage of US History is gentle, lacks violence and provides a broad over-view of US history that isn't dumbed down or babyish. You can easily build it out using articles, documentaries and additional books to be meatier if you want.
  17. I just wanted a snazzy sounding title 🙂 In my experience, I have found that for many students fractions are the make-or-break concept for their mathematical literacy and competency in higher level mathematics and I've been working to build out my delivery and scaffolding of fractions. I have found that many students struggle with fractions because often fractions are the first topic in mathematics where context is as meaningful as the numbers and operations themselves. It can be very difficult to work through fraction problems without understanding what the symbols mean. There are a few things that make fractions seem complex to young students, such as: an incomplete understanding of the basic operations +, -, * and / can be uncovered when students begin to work with rational numbers and fractions. Because this is the first time that a student may be exposed to a more nuanced meaning of the operations, their confusion and thus struggle may mistakenly be attributed to rational numbers. the need to be mindful of context and thus unit-blindness the algorithms for calculating fractions can seem very random/arbitrary when you don't understand the operations or the meaning of fractions themselves (or both). an under-developed understanding of fractions and their various context-based interpretations. the widespread use of the notation a/b for different concepts. It doesn't matter what curriculum you use in your homeschool or tutoring. Fractions are a concept that many kids struggle with. In my own teaching, I've found that really developing strong unit-awareness while still working with whole-numbers greatly helps to ease the transition to fractions. Another practice that I've found helpful is getting students very familiar with numerical expressions. Anyway, I want to open the floor now to discussion of strategies for teaching the concepts with-in the fraction concept in such a way that students are not lead-in ever-widening circles of confusion and despair--which is how some kids really seem to feel when it comes to fractions. Most students want fractions to make sense, and when they feel as though fractions don't they can turn to the dark-occult practice of Algorithm Worship.
  18. Topic Moved to the General Education Board with the other Math Talks. Sorry for the confusion.
  19. What in basic school mathematics do you feel is "Need to Memorize" and why? What content, facts, patterns or relationships has your combined insight, experience and education led you to realize is truly useful for students to know as they continue through the continuum of mathematics. Memorized in this context simply means reliably committed to a memory that is easily and reliably accessed and activated when needed. I don't want to get super technical about what it means for something to be "memorized" in this context. Use your best judgement. It can be anything from the scope/sequence of school mathematics. You may quantify your response, such as "Before Grade_, kids benefit from having memorized..." or "To thrive in ____ topic, kids need to have..." One last thing, I know that this question invites a list-style response, but please take the time to explain why something made the list or what it is about it that leads you to feel that it should be memorized. Your justification could provide useful insight for someone else who reads this topic down the line. Please enjoy, 🙂
  20. So, the role that language plays in teaching arithmetic, particularly in primary/elementary school level, interests me a lot. It's something that I've been thinking about quite a bit for a while now. If you had to give each of the operations a simple, plain-English definition (or interpretation) to be used in 1st-8th grade arithmetic, what would it be? Please note the range there. If your definition is only good enough for a sub-set of that range, can you think of a way to improve it? (It's okay if the answer is "no") To be clear, the arithmetic operations are: Addition Subtraction Multiplication Division I'm especially hoping some of our Math-minded homeschooling parents will chime in on this, but everyone is invited to chime in. If you feel that you're elementary math series of choice gives a really good definition for the operations, please share the definitions/meanings that the series uses. (Hint: you may need to check the teachers guide to get the definitions/explanations as opposed to just the student text).
  21. Stick with Abeka is my vote. Abeka has a fantastic scope and sequence for beginning reading and their phonics can be beefed up or pared down as needed without straying from that publisher. The Handbook for Reading is very comprehensive. You don't have to have workbooks and writing assignments. You can just do the HfR and use a wide-tip sharpie on construction paper to make cards for her to hop on, slide together/pull apart, etc. Let her write in sand, diluted soap, or whatever. I wouldn't buy anything. I won't even put in a plug for my favorite and go-to beginning reading program.
  22. I have a a few illustrated hard back version of "classic" books that I like A Little Princess and The Secret Garden both illustrated by Graham Hurst has beautiful illustrations. The Arabian Nights illustrated by Sheila Moxley, retold by Neil Philip is really nice also. The Hobbit illustrated by Alan Lee is a pretty nice D'aulaires Book of Norse Myths (I'm on the look out for the other D'aulaires book of Greek Myths in hardback) I still need an amazingly illustrated anthology of fairy tale, poems, etc.
  23. I have a 14yo boy who greatly enjoyed Animal Farm. He enjoyed Old Yeller more than Big Red, but he liked them both. He enjoyed Animal Farm so much that his dad has decided to read the book as well so that they might discuss it. He requested another lit-book instead of nonfiction. I went to purchase Lord of the Flies for him--I only know the premise, I've never read it--but the font is tiny so I'm going to go look at several copies at the library and try to find one that isn't such tiny print. I looked at The Old Man and The Sea, but I am not as familiar with it and I couldn't judge. The font was much better though, but I don't know if he'd like the story. I'm going to read it to get a better feel for the book. I remember enjoying Of Mice and Men, but I didn't see that book on the shelf either. I remember it being a thin, short book. Any recommendations? Nothing intimidatingly thick or with frustratingly tiny print. Please, I think I have seen lists of short novels recommended by someone ( @Lori D. ?) but I can't find it and maybe it's the wrong user? I'd like to get 5-8 short novels that I can recommend. We'll be blending in lighter 4th-6th grade books, between the "deeper" books. He really liked Old Yeller, The Lemonade War + The Lemonade Crime and I'm planning to do Frindle with him next, but I could use some neat 4th-6th grade books as well.
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