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Everything posted by J&JMom

  1. Thanks for the recommendation on Angel of the Square. Needed a read aloud for next week's study of Russia in geography with my 7th grader. My library didn't have a copy, but it was only $2 on Amazan Kindle.
  2. I have a shelf in our 'library' that has magazine boxes. Each one is color coded for a kid and holds one subject's worth of materials - textbook, workbook, notebooks, readers, etc. When it is time to work with me in that subject, they bring the whole box to my table and when done, file it away.
  3. I have used Treasures from 2nd grade through 6th and have been very happy with it. Excellent link, btw. I found a likewise link but for Florida resources years ago. Everything you need except the student text is there. Lots of material to juggle, but I downloaded all to my ipad and switched between at will. I agree with the writing. I used their prompts but taught it my own way. I supplemented the program with daily fiction read aloud (20 minutes daily in early grades up to 1 hour a day now in middle school), novel studies (use TpT guides for chapter books in a couple of weeks to MP guides at 1 book a quarter in 5th grade and up), and independent reading - 30 minutes daily on self-selected, but AR ranked materials. No projects or tests, just discussion except for the novel studies.
  4. I've used Glencoe Florida Science (8th ​http://glencoe.mheducation.com/sites/0078693918/index.html) for several years now. It's a little dry, but gets the job done as a spine.Got it super cheap for TE, SE, and CD with printable workbooks, etc on eBay - like $10-15 for the collection. For the most part, the labs were good. Used many of the virtual labs in a pinch. I supplement with Bill Nye, BrainPop, etc. as interest allowed as well as read alouds, Tinker Crates, and field trips. Sorry, not familiar with the Grammar/spell/vocab as we used Holt Literature in the middle grades.
  5. We read...a lot. For middle grades we did: 1 - Literature Anthology daily. 30-minute classes. Various genres and styles read in class and discussed with an occasional project, paper, and/or quiz. Units centered around skills and used for testing. Each of the 7-9 units a year ended with a week-long writing project with a capstone research paper for 2+ weeks. 2 - Novel Study - each 9 week quarter had an MP or other guide book assigned 2x a week and a test at the end. Usually not the MP one because IMHO they are waaaay too detailed. So 4 of those a year. 3 - Independent Reading - I used their reading level and Accelerated Reading goals for 30 minutes daily that they reach by reading and discussing with me their books. Otherwise, they wouldn't pick up a book at all. Sigh. I incentivise these goals by awarding ever biggest/taller trophies for increasing points earned year by year. I also give 1/2 credit for books read under their level to simply encourage reading. 4 - Read Alouds. For 1 hour daily, I read a fiction read aloud. It could be for fun, a classic, tie in with social studies or current events. Sometimes I'll read the entire novel that was an excerpt in their literature anthology. A nice mix of 30-40 titles over the course of the year. No tests, papers, or anything, just a good discussion is all that is needed. I also read 1-3 nonfiction titles a week as well that pertains to content classes.
  6. Language Arts - Holt Literature 7 anthology for reading and writing, Novel Studies (Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, The Giver), Grammar (IXL and Moby Max), daily fiction read aloud and independent goals Math - Glencoe Mathematics Course 2 with IXL & Moby Max Science - Glencoe Science 7 with labs (virtual and hands-on). Documentaries and field trips as appropriate. Weekly nonfiction read aloud tie in Socials Studies - Holt McDougal World Geography with lots of documentaries, projects, field trips, and CNN 10. Weekly nonfiction read aloud tie in Elective: French - Bon Voyage 1A and DuoLingo Elective: Music - Piano Lessons, Practice, & Theory with a composer study or two Misc. once a week classes: Health (Teen Health Course 3), Greek Mythology, Critical Thinking Company games, and anything else I can think up.
  7. I am showing my age, but back in my day, high school was, well, high school. You took a series of classes for 4 years, graduated, and THEN you went to college. Dual enrollment was rare, and AP classes were for the gifted and talented, not the general population. I recall the privilege reserved primarily seniors in the top 20% of the class. You had to apply with the grades to back it up. Yet, on this board and at the public high school my son will be a freshman next year, the expectation is to start college coursework earlier and earlier. For example, my son can take AP Human Geography as a Freshman with no admission requirements other than a willingness to work hard. He hasn't even started high school yet and they are willing to sign up for college level work on his say so? To what advantage? I don't get it. If you graduate high school with an associates degree or pretty close to it, what is the point of high school? Is high school too long these days? Should it only be two years? And for some students, college is NOT the goal. What about them? I guess many dual enroll to save tuition in college, but I think it puts undue stress on some kids. College level work should be saved for, well, college! I remember the saying that "college is the new high school". I thought then it meant that to succeed in today's world a college degree is necessary. I think it has now morphed into college replacing high school with this jumping from middle school to college level work. What is the place of high school in today's educational strata?
  8. I worked as a wedding planner when I was in college - before the days of all the fancy wedding shows - and my brides back then (20 years ago) paid an average of 10-12K on their North Texas affairs, of which I collected about 10% as my fee. I usually saved the brides the cost of my fee by finding discounts where I could. My own wedding was at Disney World 16 years ago, and we paid $10K (not counting engagement ring, travel costs or honeymoon) including pictures at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey & Minnie at the cake cutting, and a horse-drawn carriage with the usual stuff of photos, video, music, etc. Granted there was only 11 of us at the destination wedding. The price of weddings is crazy now, but I am sure the planners enjoy the fees. I priced out our Disney wedding recently, and I am not sure we could afford it now.
  9. Looks like my 14-year-old got his first zit. I want to start him on a mild, daily regime but don't want to break the bank. He has like two zits on his nose and doesn't need the dermatologist just yet. Both his dad and I had very mild cases of acne resolved quickly with OTC, but it has a been a while since I shopped for such things. What do you recommend?
  10. I live a town over from Mr. Beck and would jump at this opportunity, but I will still have one of my own at home. He posted a job description on Facebook and included travel and an extensive background check. But if I could bring my son...
  11. TTUISD also offers credit by exam if you don't want to repeat the homeschool classes, but check with the school if they will accept it or not.
  12. Language Arts - Holt Literature 7, Write Source, Novel Studies (Treasure Island, Hobbit, Anne of Green Gables, ? MP Guides) Math - Glencoe Mathematics Middle School Course 2. Science - Glencoe General Science Middle School Course 2 Social Studies - Holt World Geography, Sheppard Software Online Map Games, Amazon Prime Free Country Documentaries Foreign Language - Glencoe Bon Voyage 1A (first 1/2 high school text) Elective - Music - Piano Lessons, Practice and Composer/Genre study. Supplemental - IXL entire, Study Island for mostly Math, CNN Student News, Scholastic Science World & Jr. Scholastic Magazines, Tinker Crate, Glencoe Introducing Art/World Art as we study regions, Glencoe Teen Health 3, Percy Jackson Greek Gods, Critical Thinking digital programs (various), tons of read alouds, and independent reading.
  13. I arranged a tiny immediate family only 'promotion' ceremony for my 8th grader. I ordered cap & gown off Amazon ($25 each), a fill-in-the-blank certificate (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FW5I73U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $3 when I ordered) and paper covers ($10 total) I used MS Word to print, and made cupcakes. The ceremony included mp3 files playing 'Pomp" and Whitney Houston singing the anthem. Then I said a couple of sentences about our accomplishments in home school, presented a transcript, reading trophy, and his completion certificate. Finally, I pinned a 'Class of 2021' pin to confer Freshman status. Then we went to lunch. It was over in less than 10 minutes, lol. Pictures took longer. When I was in 8th grade, my public school did not have cap & gown but rather dressed up for a promotion ceremony for the entire grade followed by a semi-formal dinner dance. Since he is leaving home school for public high school, I believe a rite of passage was in order to mark the occasion. My younger got to dress up for the fun of it. He is still in middle school as a rising 7th grader, but older brother did get a cap/gown photo when he left elementary in public 4th grade, so this makes up for that. FYI - the decorations were from Amazon (~$10 for plates, napkins, cupcake supplies, banner & balloon), the trophies, pin and other medals from Crown Awards online (~$25 for a couple medals, trophies, pin & shipping).
  14. I always check independent work the beginning of that class the next day. I review the questions with them and correct together; however, for my 8th grader in algebra, I gave it back for a second attempt before reviewing together if still incorrect. Written assignments checked the next day. If assignments are incomplete then there is a consequence usually a loss of a privilege for a time (ie, video games for the rest of the day). I don't hound them to complete their work. That is their responsibility at 6th and 8th grade.
  15. My sixth and eighth graders had these long term assignments: Assign on a Monday - Due that Friday - expect about 1 hour a day including instruction. PowerPoint/Prezi Presentation on various research topics - roughly 1 a quarter Standard 3 or 5 paragraph essays - roughly 1 a month Art Projects requiring extensive time 2-3 Week Projects - expect 1 hour daily. Annual Science Fair Project - 1-week research essay and material gathering/experiment design, 1-week experiment and data gathering, and 1 week for write up and oral presentation Research Paper - 1-week topic selection & narrowing, 1-week reading and notes, 1-week writing and revising. Sometimes gets stretched to four weeks. 8 weeks - Quarterly Novel Studies. Read assigned novel and complete workbooks with vocabulary, comprehension questions, and end with a final exam. Expect roughly 1-2 hours of work per week to finish on time. For longer projects other than essay where I hand them a Rubric with the assignment I give a grading sheet with deadlines and rubric for each phase of the project.
  16. We do it all. My kids are expected to: - participate in a language arts basal textbook (anthology of short stories, excerpts, poems, plays, articles, etc) which focus on a skill during our daily LA class. Tests are routinely given per story and Unit of study. - Novel study - read a teacher-selected novel with a literature guide over the course of the quarter. - Read Alouds - shared novel of the week (on average) and nonfiction books relating to content areas of study or interest. We discuss as we read. Average over 100 titles a year. - Independent Reading - set quarterly AR goals for time/level and they read what they what with no tests/etc. - A couple of times a year, I'll assign a nonfiction book to read and summarize. Such as, right now, their reading/writing assignment this week was to select, read, take notes, and compose a summary of what they read as it relates to the topic for their science "fair" project. The "fair" is only the two kids :) This has been the routine from fifth grade through eighth. In the younger grades, novels (chapter books) were covered more frequently.
  17. We have enjoyed the "Who Was..." series. There are about 140 books in the series (Who Was...Where Is.. What is...), and we have read about 70 of them. These are light, relatable reads that take about an hour to read aloud.
  18. I have used these free resources with success with my middle schoolers: https://betterlesson.com/community/unit/5233/research-paper The downloadable pdf workbook found in lesson 1 is a good for a beginner. https://my.hrw.com/la_2010/na_lit/nsmedia/website/wrda//html/l1/home.html This series of power point presentations go over all aspects of the process. http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/workbooks/language_arts/rprw/68rprw.pdf Another workbook
  19. Here is the list, so far, of the books read aloud to my 6th and 8th graders. The historical fiction and many biographies tie to their social studies programs: Ancient for 6th and Civics/US history for 8th. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3267647-nancy-zey?shelf=2016-17-read-alouds&utm_campaign=mybooksnav&utm_content=mybooks_cta&utm_medium=web&utm_source=homepage These are supplemented with independently selected and assigned reading as well as their literature anthologies (short stories, articles, excepts, and poems).
  20. I put together a year-long, daily technology elective this year for my 6th and 8th graders: Part 1 - Microsoft office. I used the first few lessons from a college intro text and worked the lessons with them watching. 3 weeks each on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Future cross curricular projects, papers, and lab reports required the use of these programs. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1285169530/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $9+shipping Part 2 - HTML I worked through the first few lessons with them watching. 5 weeks. Then the boys created their own basic websites for 3 weeks. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1111527989/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $ 8 + shipping. Another hold-your-hand college intro text. Part 3 - Programming. Here the boys were split up since my oldest has some coding experience with the same programs I am using with my novice 6th grader. 6th Grader - 1 month working through "Coding With Scratch" https://www.amazon.com/Coding-Projects-Scratch-Jon-Woodcock/dp/1465451420/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491347747&sr=1-6&keywords=coding+with+scratch I used an older edition I already had 2 months working on Bitsbox subscription boxes - 4 in total (1 was an older box from 8th grader) www.bitsbox.com 8th grader - Online Python programming course through "Homeschool Connections" subscription $30 a month - 3 months to complete half of the semester long High School level course. Instead of 1 week per lesson, I had him take 2 weeks thus only completing 7 of the 14 available lessons in the 3 months. Project - Took 2 weeks off the regular schedule in the middle of Part 3 to do internet safety course found here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/lesson/digital-life-101-6-8 They enjoyed the game https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digital-compass It helps that both my husband and I are (were) professional programmers.
  21. I started using TT6 this with my sixth grader who was stumbling with retention using Envision Math. He loved it and finished the entire CD series in about 3 months. He averaged 3 lessons a day and took about 45 minutes to finish it all (about 60 problems). Granted, we were about 60% of the way through the Envision, but switched when he bombed a benchmark test which tested what he remembered from that 60%. I also supplemented with MobyMax everyday while on TT (after taking their placement test) to fill in any wholes. TT is very computation based with limited problem solving. Each lesson has a video, 5 practice problems and the problem set which includes 2 "concept" true and false questions about that lesson, about 20 straight computation problems with lots of spiral review (maybe 5-7 of those problems will deal with that lesson), and 1, yes only 1, word problem. . I plan to use Study Island and IXL for the rest of the year as well as Moby Max to solidify concepts and problem-solving now that he has gained confidence in math. The confidence boost was worth the investment and the program has a high re-sale value if eBay prices are anything to base it on.
  22. Not a full course, but a suggested book. My boys enjoyed it last year. Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chp Kidd. https://www.amazon.com/Go-Chip-Kidd/dp/076117219X
  23. My Life, My Religion BBC Series on world religions that followed kids as they went through their rites of passage. All on YouTube [Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0QRIm7_QNg&list=PL5s73Bw1qh6jQzikMzmp56PmvWM7sd8Sx The following is an excel spreadsheet of loads of free documentaries on Amazon. There are dozens on countries around the world. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PG2KL9CqqyiKBtx53d-eSX47ZkP284WCIBcYyJtPgkA/edit#gid=0
  24. I have 3 fold reading in our homeschool: 1 - Literature class reading daily - I use an anthology which I read/discuss/test with the student. My current 6th grader uses California Treasures by McGraw Hill. This ensures I cover all the genres and skills with shorter, manageable stories, poems, and articles. There may be a paper or project every few weeks or so. I also assign a twice a week novel study with a guide each quarter. 2 - Self-selected independent reading. I use Accelerated Reader (http://www.arbookfind.com/) to gauge the reading level and assign a quarterly point goal (http://argoals.renlearn.com/). They get 1/2 credit for books below their level. There are no assignments or tests with this reading, but I do expect a verbal summary and opinion when finished. 3 - Read Alouds. These are the books I select to read/discuss with both of my boys. We have a novel and several nonfiction books that tie into content/current events each week. I do this because neither of my boys would pick up a book if given a choice though they love the read alouds and generally enjoy their own selections.
  25. I have used EasyCBM for some of what you are looking for - fluency - word or passage, comprehension for K-8. It also has math assessments. Anyone can register to use their free "lite" site. It has national data to give you percentages to see how your student compares. It also stores the scores and provides graphs over time. For prosody, you will need to listen (record?) and determine. https://www.easycbm.com/
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