Monday, October 12, 2009

Daily Lesson Check lists for easier organization and lesson planning~

We started using daily checklists this year and it has worked out very well. Each day I go through and highlight which lessons they will do. They then will check it off once it is complete or make any notes they need to make with questions or reminders for the next day.

This is a sample of the checklist, I listed all our subjects and also the programs so I can pick and choose according to what I am planning on doing. I chose to do it this way because some days our science or history runs longer, so we may decide to spend some extra time on a topic and having everything listed saves me time to go through re-write something. And somedays, like today, we ended up working on science when we didnt really plan to, which often can happen with us. This way it is already there and I just need to see in my homeschool journal where we left off.
These daily lists takes the place (for the most part) of my lesson planning. I use this and my journal to guide where we will move next. I use the comments section to write in also, to tell me where I might find/use a specific resource or book to do other activities. It works very well and you can find an excel copy of this here, in case you wish to use this and add/delete programs.
(Peyton and Christian Weekly Checklist)
The only other thing I found to be very helpful to me when lesson planning and coordinating resources it to use a binder or notebook for a particular subject.
an example of using a binder~ we are using Mystery of History for our world history for our first semester and the book text comes in a binded book format. I have decided that I will have the binding cut off and three holes drilled so that the entire text can be placed in a a binder. The reason I am doing this is to make it easier to make copies of activities or the maps in the back of the book. I also can make notes on notebook pages and add them to the lessons in the correct places without having a bunch of papers sticking out of the soft bound book.
Having the text in a binder also allows me to pull other resources I have found like internet link resources, books for reading aloud, activities, craft ideas, recipes etc. Having these resources placed exactly where I need to see them works!
I find this to be very effiicient and it helps me to pull resources from all different areas for a particular topic.
This also works very nicely for our Learning Language Arts through Literature as well. The texts also come bound and are in paperback form, so I also cut these off and drilled holes to place in a 3 inch binder. We work out of these binders and extra practice pages for handwriting (which I add in each day for each LLATL lesson) and any grammar notebooking pages I have created and they work on to reinforce the concepts are placed within the pages that pertain to the particular lesson. We can go back and review the next day to again, reinforce the work we have done and to be sure there is complete understanding of the information already learned.
an example of using a spiral notebook~ for math we are using Math On The Level. This program does not use a workbook approach but instead uses a concept chart that you can follow along with teaching books for each subject and concept for teaching math for grades K-8. I chose to take the concept chart and write each math concept in the spiral notebook page (one page for each concept) I then add the teaching book pages needed for the concept the practice pages needed for our 5 a days and then in the middle of the page I write down any resources I think might be fun to use in teaching the concept. It might be a math reader, and online game or interactive site or a craft or particular hands on activity we can do~ anything that I found that would pertain and reinforce the concept.
I then can make notes of certain activities, what my observations might be in this area of teaching and I date everything so I have a running log of how each child is doing in that particular concept.
For me this is approach is very helpful as I tend to be very eclectic in my approach to teaching and I remain very flexible with our boys and fitting my teaching style to fit their needs, learning styles and interests.
Perhaps some of my ideas may give you some ideas for better organization in your teaching at home. Sometimes changing something just a bit can make such a big difference in how our organization functions.
Happy Planning and Organizing!~

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