Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to school tips...

Here are a few back to school tips from Straighten-Up Now

9 Great Back to School Tips
  1. Be Prepared The best overall advice to get ready for back to school. . . start early!! Don't wait until the Friday before school starts to get ready.
  2. Clean Out Go through the house. Get rid of any of last year's paperwork that you don't want to keep. If there are sentimental items you want to keep, store them in a 3-ring notebook. Label it with the child's name, school and year.
  3. Refresh Get rid of any broken craft supplies. Throw out rumpled paper, broken scissor, pencils, pens, crayons, etc. Refresh and buy new ones.
  4. Clothing Prep If you plan on recycling your child's clothing, be sure to get them mended, cleaned and pressed. Don't forget to donate useable clothing and shoes that no longer serves your child's needs.
  5. Shop Early Get the school supply list as early as you can. Show NOW!! If your child is into extra-curricular activities, get lists from the coaches as soon as possible. Buying things early gives you the "pick of the litter!"
  6. Get & Stay Healthy Check with your child's doctor. Make sure your child's immunizations are up-to-date. Check with coaches about sports physicals. Schedule those as soon as possible.
  7. Food Rush Mornings are hectic. Shop now and stock up on breakfast, lunches and after-school snacks. Have on-the-go foods ready (things that can be eaten in the car on the way to school). Put bins in the pantry or refrigerator at child level and label them. Putting items within easy reach of the kids teaches them skills to take responsibility for their mornings.
  8. Uniforms Many schools require uniforms. Items go quickly. Shop early to get the best choices. Purchase a variety (long and short sleeves, shirts, blouses, pants, etc.). Mixing and matching these combinations will provide many outfit varieties.
  9. Learning Area Set aside a special area for study. Make sure it's quiet. Studying in front of the TV is not conducive to good study habits. Make sure to have all necessary desk supplies (pens, paper, etc.)

Back to School Tips 3By following these tips, you and your child can have an enjoyable back to school experience.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Digital Literacy

Boredom Busters!

Check out this homemade backyard roller-coaster that one dad made for his kids!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I'm Reading...

Hunter and I are reading The Peregrine Pact by A.J. Hartley

I highly recommend this book- it is engaging and entertaining : o )

Here is a brief synopsis by Good Reads:

Eleven-year-old Darwen Arkwright has spent his whole life in a tiny town in England. So when he is forced to move to Atlanta, Georgia, to live with his aunt, he knows things will be different - but what he finds there is beyond even his wildest imaginings!

Darwen discovers an enchanting world through the old mirror hanging in his closet - a world that holds as many dangers as it does wonders. Scrobblers on motorbikes with nets big enough to fit a human boy. Gnashers with no eyes, but monstrous mouths full of teeth. Flittercrakes with bat-like bodies and the faces of men. Along with his new friends Rich and Alexandra, Darwen becomes entangled in an adventure and a mystery that involves the safety of his entire school. They soon realize that the creatures are after something in our world - something that only human children possess.

"Fantastic, surprising fun!" - R. L. Stine

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Math Camp!

  This week we had summer Math Camp here at the Cottage.  We were so excited to incorporate math into our everyday by designing lessons that created opportunities for real-life problem solving and skill practice.

We began each day with a problem to solve....we learned about different strategies to solve the problem, including acting it out!  We worked with money, time, quick combinations of 10 and 20, probability, fractions, and operations.  Technology was a big part of our learning this week as well.  So many math apps, so little time!

We also explored numbers using the game "Shut the Box".   We loved this game and discovering all the number combinations we could use to beat it!   : o )

The week finished up with a trip to the splash pad to test our knowledge of predictions and probability, along with some Hopscotch math to test our knowledge of operations with numbers.

We had a blast, and I can't wait for our next Cottage Learning Camp! : o )

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boredom Busters!

Go here to have some summer science fun!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The History of the Fourth of July

I hope this July 4th is a fun-filled family day for all of you!

Most people in the United States celebrate the 4th of July, but do you know exactly why the holiday is so important to our country? Imagine how you would feel if someone older than you (maybe an older sister or brother) kept telling you what to do all of the time and kept taking more and more of your allowance. That is how the colonists felt in the years leading up to 1776. Great Britain kept trying to make the colonists follow more rules and pay higher taxes. People started getting mad and began making plans to be able to make their own rules. They no longer wanted Great Britain to be able to tell them what to do, so they decided to tell Great Britain that they were becoming an independent country. (To be independent means to take care of yourself, making your own rules and providing for your own needs.)
The Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and they appointed a committee (a group of people working together to do a specific job) to write a formal document that would tell Great Britain that the Americans had decided to govern themselves. The committee asked Thomas Jefferson to write a draft (first try) of the document, so he worked for days, in absolute secret, until he had written a document that he thought said everything important that the committee had discussed. On June 28, 1776, the committee met to read Jefferson's "fair" copy (he put his best ideas together and wrote them neatly.) They revised (made some changes) the document and declared their independence on July 2, 1776. They officially adopted it (made it theirs) on July 4, 1776. That is why we call it "Independence Day." Congress ordered that all members must sign the Declaration of Independence and they all began signing the "official" copy on August 2, 1776. In January of the next year, Congress sent signed copies to all of the states.
The Declaration of Independence is more than just a piece of paper. It is a symbol of our country's independence and commitment to certain ideas. A symbol is something that stands for something else. Most people can look at a certain little "swoosh" and know that it stands for "Nike." Well, the signers of the Declaration of Independence wanted the citizens of the United States to have a document that spelled out what was important to our leaders and citizens. They wanted us to be able to look at the Declaration of Independence and immediately think of the goals we should always be working for, and about the people who have fought so hard to make these ideas possible. The people who signed the Declaration risked being hanged for treason by the leaders in Great Britain. They had to be very brave to sign something that would be considered a crime! So every time we look at the Declaration of Independence, we should think about all of the effort and ideas that went into the document, and about the courage it took for these people to stand up for what they knew was right -- independence!