Monday, September 29, 2014

Setting up your History Binders ~

History is a huge topic. It covers SO MANY areas that it can be a bit overwhelming as to how to organize and break down these topics of study.

One the of the advantages of keeping an organized binder is being able to have a place to properly and appropriately document all the information that was covered. You will be happy you have that at years end because it is a great tool for your learner to use as he needs to refer back to things throughout the year and also to use as documentation for what was covered over the year and can be fun looking back at what was learned for your learner.

Here are some suggestions as an attempt to help you get your World History binders organized so that they are functionally effective for your school year:

1. Divide your binder into sections using divider tabs, I like the ones that are plastic and have a place to hold any handouts/printouts for that particular section that they will use later on. (this is just a personal preference, you can use any kind of divider that you find most helpful or whatever you have on hand like I have done in the past) 

We divided our binder into time periods-d (some programs suggest that you divide your binder by continents and chapters but we actually found this to not be helpful at all when you consider using this as a reference if you ever need to) dividing your binder by time period is a great way to add information and cover vast amounts of information easier since history can be learned in this is hindsight, something that I have learned over the past years ) I found that you can use one binder for four years by just adding in time periods as your working. American History at certains periods combines nicely with World History as well, so again working time periods instead of chopping it up into subjects and topics works much nicer and can be more efficient.
Working in chronological order or by choosing whatever time period your learner wants to learn about by dividing up your binder by time period you are able to  work both American and World History at the same time or separately by just adding in your information as your students work ~

Within each of those Divider Tabs, create sub divided sections these are as follows;

Written Work-  ( here is an area to add in any narrations, notes, graphic organizers, essays, research papers, notebooking pages, if you work with Microsoft OneNote like my teen does you can print out the notes/narrations and add them to the binder~  etc., ) 

Projects- (a place to store pictures of projects created for that time period, pictures of field trips of places visited about that topic etc.,) these pictures can be attached to colored card stock and are a great way for presenting and documenting information for year end evaluations. 

Maps and Charts - this is an important part often missed or left out when studying history. Its the geographical part of learning about the past. Don't leave this part out of your binder. Keeping a place to show where things actually happened along with visual graphs to show information helps learners to better process the information and sort things out for better understanding. ( making copies of maps that we read about from online, atlas', and charts we find that helps breakdown statistics and information is a great reference to use as an important component to learning history, refer back to these maps time after time as you learn more) 

Timelines- this also can be a helpful tool but isn't always used in history binders. Some like this information on a wall or like we did use a cardboard project display that we can fold and bring out when we want to. (My teens are not "as big" on using this so we had stopped during American History but I plan on bring this back again because it really helps to make direct connections between World and American History and those connections can be those "ah ha" moments for my learners. I plan on drawing arrows to and from events and write on those lines as well )(If you get stuck for adding time period sections this is a great site to help you as well as this one too.) 

This year, we are adding something new for my teen~ a historical quotes book. I read about this in our RC History as a suggestion and I mentioned this idea to my teen who absolutely loved the idea. It is basically a book ( we purchased a leather bound journal) of quotes from people and events in history the learner finds most interesting and stands out as important to them. They add in these quotes or things as they read and learn about the different time periods in history. (I am having my teen add in the date of the time period and the even that took place during the quote or information he adds in so it is easier to understand when he goes back to read them over) This particular book/journal my teen will keep for all the years he studies history and will be a wonderful keepsake for him.

You will be glad you and your learner took this time to organize your history learning and will enjoy the benefits for months to come~

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