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Friday, December 21, 2007

Post This Note on my Forehead

Today is our Christmas Eve so we will be baking cookies: chocolate chip, peanut butter and sugar cookies with icing. There is still a little wrapping to do and a little assembling. All-in-all, Christmas is just about done at our house and then we'll travel to FIL's and then my parents. My mom is having surgery on the 28th so I'm going to be staying with her (and Camille, maybe Jack) to take care of her and do the things she can't do while recouperates, especially while my dad is at work. It looks like I won't be home until the closer to the 4th but DH is bringing Danny home.

I'm going to have a week free of Danny and I'm allowed to look forward to it. I will miss him like crazy by the 3rd day but right now I have full intentions of enjoying it. I pray DH will be okay, seriously. Danny has become a little poltergeist lately, whizzing through the house getting into anything he's NOT supposed to and withing seconds *POOF*, there's permanent marker on something, he's pulled the fudge from the fridge and has stuffed his mouth with two pieces....etc. I think it's "Santa Excitement" b/c every time DH sees the kids, he asks them "Are you ready for Santa?". I'm ready to leave DH alone with Danny, let him see how one sentence can mean hours of restlessness. Danny, "Santa coming?"...."Momma, Santa coming?" few minutes later, "Santa coming?"

Now to the notes on my brain that I don't want to forget after traveling.

1. Double-check activity books for 1600-1850 time period, especially the ones you'll need for this year.

Boston Tea Party Hands-On History √
grades 1-4, $6.95
Which would you rather do--read about the Boston Tea Party OR dress up like an Indian, sneak onto a boat in the middle of the night and dump a whole bunch of tea into Boston Harbor?

This exciting new series is designed not only to bring history to life for your students, these activities actually bring history into your classroom!

The changes that brought about the American Revolution are examined through role-play, active investigation and meaningful activities. Children will learn about colonial life through examining the daily routines of a child of that time. Self-government is explored in activities involving classroom rules. Children will learn to weave their own cloth, experience being 'Redcoats,' plan and act out the Boston Tea Party and discover some fascinating facts about then and now. Teachers are provided with background information, source materials and resources. So push back the desks and roll up your sleevesóhere is history in the making!

Hands-On Heritage Civil War
by Linda Milliken; Grade 3-8, $5.95
After an annotated list of recommended literature, join in the Civil War era as you create a whatnot shelf; design calling cards; make a stovepipe hat or poke bonnet; create a cameo or watch fob; create menus for one week using the normal food allowance for one slave; advertise the underground railroad; make a canteen; study Civil War uniforms; put together a housewife; make a regimental flag; prepare battlefield food; sing musical favorites of the day; write about a famous battle; learn about the generals and presidents of the North and South; and more! This book would be a great supplement to either of the Civil War unit study books we carry, helping your children to “experience” the era!

Colonial America (Easy Make & Learn Projects) √
Grades 3-5; $10.00
This series provides a hands-on way to teach students about early American history. Each book contains around 15 models for students to construct. For each project, the book provides a black and white illustration of what the finished model should look like. Then, background information on the topic is given, usually with a half to a full page of information for each model.

Easy to follow instructions with black and white illustrations show how to assemble each model, and hints for coloring and constructing them are included. The books also include a few questions to ask or activities to do after the projects are done. These questions use the models and background information for answers. Extended activities for every project are included, so students can learn more about the specific topic by reading the recommended books or visiting websites.

Models are constructed using the paper patterns included in the books, which are reproducible. The paper models are fun and easy to construct and will teach students about different tribes and settlements, histories and cultures, and how different people met their needs for shelter, clothing, food, transportation, and more. Make a 3-D Jamestown map, a fold-up book about growing corn, a longhouse you can look inside of, and so much more. The Indian books focuses mainly on the period before European contact (around 1500) while the Colonial book focuses on the early colonies. Books are reproducible, 80 pages, softcover.

** I REALLY like the sound of this, we want models to build, the coverage sounds great and I need to consider getting more like this, other titles in this series: Northeast Indians, Southwest Indians, Easy Make & Learn Projects: Plymouth And The Mayflower(*considering), The Pilgrims, Mayflower & More √

Hands-On History: American Revolution √
by Michael Gravois, Grades: 4-8, $8.50

Capture students' interest with this collection of engaging hands-on activities that help build a deeper understanding of the American Revolution, including the cause-and-effect relationships between the events that led up to it. This valuable classroom-tested resource comes complete with step-by-step directions, reproducible patterns, a read-aloud play, and much more! A great way to showcase students' creativity and tap into all learning styles.

History Pockets - Native Americans √
Grades: 1-3, $10.95

Supplement your elementary studies of history with memorable activities and a personalized book of projects and the facts they’ve learned. Each book is divided up into a series of units, each unit representing one pocket in their book. Each unit contains several parts, including an overview page for you, and then a title for the pocket, a “Fast Facts” bookmark or picture dictionary cards, an “About...” page or small booklet to read and discuss on the topic.

For example, in the Native Americans book, in the Tlingit unit, there’s a title for the pocket along with several picture dictionary cards, a fact sheet, a booklet with illustrations for the child to color, and then two craft projects - creating a potlatch mask that the Tlingits wear to special occasions, as well as a totem pole layer book.

All the pieces you need in this book are included for your use, and there are very few (if any) time-consuming projects, as most of them require only a paper pattern copied from the book and used, making this an easy way to combine some hands-on extra fun and personality into your history study, without expending a lot of time and effort on projects, for moms that are running a little short on time.

Going West!
Grades 2-8, by Carol A. Johmann; $8.75

This book brings the adventure of going west to you through stories, “pretend-it-was-you” decision making pages and activities using common materials. The reading is split between interesting historical accounts of life back then and a fictional story of one family’s decisions going west. “Try It” activities litter the book, encouraging you to do things similarly as they did on the trail, including churning butter, drying apple slices, and playing games. Ideas and directions for other activities, such as constructing your own paddleboat, creating a popsicle-stick Ft. Laramie, holding your very own frolic (complete with treats!) and other western aspects appear every few pages to add even more fun to your journey. Though the frontier is gone, and the journey would only take hours today, it’s fun to imagine yourself on the journey and experience life on the trail.
√= final decision

These are the ones I've pre-chosen but I need to consider them more, like the Easy Make & Learn items, I think the Pilgrims & Mayflower one is worth looking at more closely but I don't have the time now. Today is Christmas Eve for us.

2. Figure out how to split the rest of our studies this year into quarters (DONE!), we should have 2 quarters left (nope 3 quarters). Figure out objectives for the quarter including: poems (DONE!), memory work (DONE!), math concepts to especially focus on, composers/artists for this year, etc. Do music & art as they relate to history.

3. Plan out TOG2 history thru Week 10 with a -planned week off -(DONE!), which will signify the end of the first quarter (?) with a lower grammar focus. Start reading the books we have on hand, figure out read alouds and independent reading.

4. Create memory CDs: two with different material on them to use during the week, a Monday/Wednesday CD and Tuesday/Thursday CD. (Planned but need to create the CDs when I get home)

5. Storykeepers DVDs, plan out enough for a quarter, see #2. (DONE!)

6. Danny's preschool, plan this out too by the quarter and gather activities into baggies for each day. Yeah right, let's see if that happens! Lol, I can dream.

See, my brain isn't working properly, I can't remember what else I was going to remind myself not to forget. Oh bother. Since posting this, I've edited it 4x already b/c I did remember!



Anonymous said...

Hi, Jessica!
You sound pretty busy this holiday. I have been busy also. I have been trying to catch up with life since my dad passed away in September. I had such a busy 15 months prior to his death. I was driving 20 miles three days aweek to care for him. My aunt finally came up to care for him. It was great because someone was with him 24 hours a day which was the help my mom needed.

We just came back from Disney. We so needed to get away from everything after two years of no vacation.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Teacher of One said...

I was looking over your booklist...
Easy Make & Learn Colonial America- I just got that from scholastic, they were having their annual $1.00 sale. You might check and see if it is still going on. Or do you already have it?

Have you checked out They have FREE downloadable books (Full versions). I downloaded many hands on books that might fit in your list.

Projects You Can Build Yourself series
* Colonial America
* Civil War
* Great Pioneers
Tools of series
* Native Americans
* Navigation

There are many historical essays... Common Sense, Monroe Doctrine...
Children's classics. You Can download 3 a day but fill up your queue. There is a lot of smut on there too but is not hard to get around.

Merry Christmas