Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Math "Notes"

We have been still running full steam ahead with our math learning at home. The boys will continue on their math studies throughout the summer. Mostly because they need the continuity, practice and reinforcement.

We are working with the Teaching Textbook series. It has been going well and we have found that the components we have added to using this program has really helped my 13yo be very successful in using this program.

The component I am referring to is our Math Notebook. I posted about this a short time ago and you can read the post here.   As an update, I wanted to share  a bit more about this and how consistent use of this has made us SO successful in our math.

My 13yo's Math Notebook has become a mainstay in his math learning. Before doing any lessons he writes his notes from the lectures in his notebook.  While working with the TT program he is allowed to go back and check his notes if he has any questions during the practice lessons. He is seeing just how helpful this can actually be.

Recently, I saw this blog article and thought this also might be a great thing to add to our Math Notebook or Notebooking if you wish to call it that.  It explains how to use Mini-books in your notebooking, but I decided this could be great for multi-step math learning also.

We started incorporating this into my older son's math notes. He has been less than enthusiastic about taking these notes, but I am sure once he sees how helpful they actually can be and he starts working consistently with these he will find he was missing out!

Here are some examples that he is working on:

It will take some time for him to try this out but I believe he will see the benefits of this soon.

He is off to a good start~

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cells - A Lapbook

We are gathering our projects together this year for our portfolios. Finishing up things and tying up loose ends on things we started and had not finished. Here is a lapbook we created from a "Cells" Lifepac we worked this year.


cover

we add in our experiments also and cut out things we do from the Lifepacs
 as you can see, its a combination of things we cut out and things we created

another page

we add pictures and diagrams

you can't see it really well, but on our last page I usually make a "pocket" for  notebooking pages and odds and ends like a list of websites we used etc.
here is a notebook page I created also. 
If interested, you can find the printables I made for this lapbook here. And also here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Reference for Math



This site is a great site ( Society for Quality Education: Stairway to Math) I wanted to share about to use for notes for your Math Notebook.  Also if you use Mini-Offices for your math reference there are many sheets here you can use to add to the mini-office for more advanced understanding in math.

This is the same website that provides a remedial instruction program for reading as well titled Stairway to Reading.  don't let the online form intimidate you once you give the information, sign up is free and you will receive the downloads and program. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nature Study- Ebook

I just added a new Nature Study book to the LAH Bookshelf. (see Exploration) - this is a great book for learning about many things- Nature!

Read  and download the the book here.  I wasn't as crazy about the Kindle format on this one but love the PDF version you can download just look to the left to choose which format you want.



The book has much to offer for information, great book for your curious nature learner like mine!

Note~ a few others being added also by Margaret Warner Morely; 
Little Wanderers, Wasps and their Ways, Flowers and their Friends, The Insect Folk and Grasshopper Land.  and The First Book of Trees

Here is the site where I learned about these great finds.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Virtual Notebooks~

We have used Microsoft OneNote for about two years now and my teen absolutely cannot live without his OneNote. He uses it for just about every class except Math at this point.

I just learned about this online Notebook platform called "mySchoolNotebook" and from the way things look it seems quite simple to use. I think this could be great for any learner who may not have a newer computer and doesn't have the Microsoft OneNote software.

We are going to check this out over the summer and look at how we may be able to use this for my younger teen who doesn't have the OneNote on his desktop computer.

I thought I would share this in case others might wish to check it out also~

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Math Notebook

We began working on Geometry this week with my 13 year old. I think he is beginning to enjoy the change of pace that Geometry offers from the regular practice of multiplication, division and fractions.

Today much or our math was learning the basics and writing notes in our Math Notebook.  I have been fairly consistent with encouraging him to write notes and add things to his Math Notebook and I think this is really starting to take on a greater meaning.

Math notebooks or learning journals ( whichever you wish to call it) can be an important component in your home math learning. When new concepts are introduced writing about them and adding pictures about it can really help with the processing of the new information.  You then, can go back and refer to the notes to review and make sure the understanding is there.




When we first started working on Geometry some things were getting confusing for him~ the difference between lines and lines segments. When to add those lines segments or when to subtract the segments to find the answer etc.. once I saw this, I immediately encouraged him to write these notes and new concepts down into his Math Notebook under his Geometry section.















We made a Math Notebook a while ago once math started to get more involved. I divided the composition book with tabs that you can write on and peel off and move around if you need to.  The Notebook is divided into sections of concepts, so that way, he can pick a tab/topic and flip right to it, instead of having to thumb through lots of pages.









Breakdown of our Math Lesson: ( Review, Teach Me, Lesson )
( This breakdown has changed now that he has gotten older. When he was younger it would be broken down like this: Review, New Lesson, Correct together, Teach Me Back)




Review
While learning new concepts we almost always go and review the new concepts in his math notebook and read them over together.  I like to make sure we are on track and that he is processing the material before entering into another lesson. I have found this quick review really helps him stay on track and helps him better appreciate his abilities. ( the time might vary on this review depending on what he has learned, it can be from 5 minutes to 15 minutes) *note, if at any time I see he just didn't understand it or during the teach me time below, he did not understand we stop and stay at that point and I pull worksheets off the internet or we find things on line to use for extra practice in that area.

Teach Me
We may do this while reading over the notes in the Math Notebook or do it separately by closing up the notebook after we have gone over it and he shows me what he knows. At this point he is the teacher and I practice complete autonomy, whereby I just listen and look to see how he articulates the information back to me in helping me understand it and in turn I learn if there are any trouble spots or bumpy areas we may still need practice with. He gives practice problems and will explain steps for the concepts. After a while he has begun to enjoy this. I at times play a bit dumb and ask questions to try and slip him up and he picks right up on it and we usually have a good laugh. Its a good thing, because when a child can teach something they are showing mastery  (everyone knows you can't teach something you don't understand ) and in this case, while practicing this component your keeping a close pulse on your math learner and where he is at. This teach me time may happen once or twice a week not every day~ .

Lesson
My son's lesson is from the program Teaching Textbooks, so we will sit together and go over the lecture video first and may stop it in between in case there are questions or problems with understanding. Notes are taken and after that if he feels comfortable with understanding the information he will start his lesson.
At this point with his lessons I stay close by, in time I plan on him becoming more independent, but he is just not ready yet. He works completely on his own yet will ask a question sometimes so I am sure to be close by in case he needs me.  The program grades itself so every answer he gives he knows automatically what is right and what is wrong so if one is wrong we sometimes will go over it to see just what might have went wrong.

If you have not considered using and starting a Math Notebook / Learning Log/ or Math Journal you may want to try it out for a few months to see if this helps your math learning at home. I have found it to be very helpful for my special needs child.

If and when you do I would love to hear back your experiences and how it might have helped your math learning at home.


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