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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Math Ideas Work Box

What goes in yours?

I know some use curriculum with their own maniplulatives and some have none, but what about adding to it, or other types of Math Work Box ideas. Get creative, think about what is around your house.

Pom-Poms- Counters, Sorting, Graphing

Popsicle Sticks and Beans- To make base 10 blocks and hundred blocks

Measuring Cups in many shapes and sizes- Provide many different things to measure like, water, colored water, rice, beans, flour, corn starch, and other items. You can provide paper and graph the differences between the materials.

Measuring Spoons- Same as above.

Measuring Bowls - Same as above.

Refrigerator magnets from businesses (Cut them up and glue them to manipulatives.)

Different sized boxes

AAA has free maps available at the end of the year.

Buttons in different sizes and shapes.

A loop of thread stretched over two pencils (or a pencil and a toothpick) becomes a compass.

Nature's manipulatives - including twigs, leaves, nuts, berries


Beans in different colors and shapes.

Plus many, many more.. go look add them to the Math Work Box see what your child comes up with.

Here are a couple of ideas to get those Math gears moving:

Geometry dominoes would also be a great idea. Make domino cards. Begin by listing all kinds of geometry words and have pictures to match each one. Examples: one half could be a square, the other half could have the word rectangle, one half could be a picture of a cone, the other half could be the word rectangular prism. Be sure your words match your pictures.

You could also make dominoes for fractions. The fraction would be on one half of the card, and a picture would be on the other half. The pictures could be different shapes that are shaded to match the fractions you are using...circles, squares, rectangles, pentagons, etc.

Math Math file folder games and centers, add them to your Math Box

Here are some fun things to put into and sites to use with your Math Boxes











So The Work Box Community wants to know what goes into your math Work Box? If your leaving a link, please write a small blurb of what the content is about. Ideas welcome for all grade levels and abilities and anything Math related. Please no ads of your selling a product.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kid-Scheduled Workboxes

I am organizationally challenged. There. I said it.

For that reason, I was not at all sure that workboxes would WORK for us. BUT,...it was also the reason we desperately needed them. We started in September and are still using them. (I will say, however, that I'm *best* at using them on days when we're home and things are "normal." On car-schooling days, the beauty of workboxes is that I throw all his school materials into one tub and carry it to the car!) Here is my favorite way to use workboxes on "normal" days:

(The remainder of this post is taken from a piece I wrote for my blog, love2learn2day.)

My son schedules his day. I love the way this gives him a sense of responsibility. It's also beneficial for our parent-teacher-child-student relationship. *I* am not telling him what to do. The schedule--which he created--is telling him what to do. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem telling my children what to do (or I wouldn't have had FIVE); however, I do think that one of the challenges in homeschooling is the ever increasing amount of directives coming from adult to child. For homeschoolers it's not just parent-child directives, but also teacher-student.

I prepared* schedule cards for this year as follows. (*I prefer to have the child create the cards, but in this instance I needed to figure things out as I worked. Tweaking, always tweaking.)

When my son wakes up in the morning, the chart looks like the one to the left. The orange/yellow cards indicate landmarks that I schedule: breakfast, lunch, rest time, outside play time, my exercise time, etc.

His first job in the morning is to schedule his day using blue subject cards. Each card has a number in the lower right corner indicating approximately how many minutes of school time need to be reserved. I set out the cards needed that day; each card has a corresponding workbox, already filled and ready to go.

Blue cards include subjects:
  • science 
  • math calendar
  • reader/history (Sonlight Core 3)
  • journal
  • art
  • math 
  • writing workshop
  • violin
  • foreign language
  • Bible (Sonlight Core 3)
  • read aloud/history (Sonlight Core 3)
  • history (Sonlight Core 3)
  • cursive writing
  • "extra" (catch-all box)
And a few daily jobs:
  • pick up house
  • pick up room
(Remember, the subjects aren't all done every day. I give him the cards he needs each day.)

Each subject card has a labeled box. (Or at least the ones that use school materials do. Things like "violin" are just part of the schedule and not boxed. I don't have violin-sized boxes! ;)

A few boxes are double labeled like the one at left; we do art and science on an alternate schedule. A few boxes have an additional sticker. The MOMMY sticker.  This sticker indicates how many minutes Mommy needs to help. For a few subjects, it's the entire time. For most, it's a smaller length of time, designed to introduce a subject (teacher/student), followed by some time to do some independent practice work (student).

Each box includes all materials needed to complete the task. In the "read aloud" (Core 3) box at right, for example, the box contains the book as well as the iTouch containing the CD with the poems read aloud.

When he finishes a subject, he empties the box or turns it around so the sticker is no longer showing; he also turns over the related blue card.

We don't move discs or worry about velcro. And he still sets his own schedule. The biggest benefit to me is that I am accountable for having his entire school day ready to go the night before. As I told a friend, it's your basic "lay out your clothes the night before" routine. Just for school.

One of my focus topics on this blog and love2learn2day are hands-on math activities that fit well with workboxes. Check back!

Fun Box Activity

What to do….the wiggles were running through the legs and arms of the kids today. My daughter’s seat had said enough and she was dancing in her seat. The boys were just not able to focus any longer. It
wasn’t a hard day today, and a quick few jumps in the trampoline wasn’t going to do the trick today. I try to have reserves of “fun” activities to take our minds off of learning and take us back to the reason why we homeschool, spending time together. But I was feeling pressure to finish that day’s assigned tasks.
Then I remember a card game I just picked up in the Playing card aisle at Toys R Us.

I pulled out the game and let each child choose a color and then we put them all together. At first the boys were puzzled about doing silly things listed on the cards. The girls loved it right away. After switching the cards around a few times we got a lot of wiggles out and we were able to finish all we needed to get done. This is a great get up and move addition to a reserve of “fun” tricks!!!

This post was brought to you by a guest poster named - Renita, Thank you for your submission.

If you would like add a submission, please email child.workbox@gmail.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

Welcome to Work Boxes

Sue Patrick started the Workbox system to help organize the day for children. It is best if you purchase her book, you can get it through hard copy or ebook, either way you will get lots of great tips on how to help you help your child. The work box system helps your child learn to be independent, stay focused, allows them to learn about schedules and how to work with them. The more you get them involved in that process, the more they learn from it as well.

It is not too early to start them on the system either. You can start them as young as 6 months, of course they can not complete science projects at that age, but just the concept of putting an activity into a box, or tray and allowing them to go to it and focus on it until they are done before they move unto the next will start to set them up for future good behavior habits.

You do not have to limit yourself to just boxes, many of us have had to adapt it and modify it to the individual needs of each child either due to their personal preference, capabilities and of course space is a huge factor for us too. You do not have to be a homeschooler at all to use this system, you can have a classroom, or a daycare either at a facility or at home. With this system the concept is so easily adaptable to any setting and any materials your using.

This system also is very flexible with any curriculum your using, you do not have to use Sue's shoe box style, you can start out like that. before you invest in any of your "storage" products take a look at your learning materials, look at everything. The books, supplies, worksheets, workbooks, teachers manuals, folders, etc. Then ask yourself does mom need a mom workbox system too? Many of us on the yahoo list have found that the children are getting so much out of using this system that we as parents and teachers can also benefit from using something similar. Then after looking at all your supplies look at your space, where on earth will you put it, how many children do you have? take all this into consideration, and then figure out what you will go with as far as shelves, boxes, and storages.

This will be a team blog, So you will be able to get many different sides of the workbox systems uses. So make sure you come follow along, click the follow button, subscribe by email, and join the yahoo lists which will get you personal one on one hand holdings and much more like printables and more.