Monday, May 25, 2009

Rainbow Lapbooks

OK here's the outline for my rainbow lapbooks...we obviously did 2 - one for X-man and one for DJ. A video of a similar lapbook can be found at Lapbook Lessons. On both lapbooks I also cut out small rainbows on colored construction paper making small flaps. On the inside flaps I wrote the name of the color in Spanish and French, on the outside the kids each wrote the color in English.
You can check out the vid of the lapbook here...
Common Printables:
Rainbow Circle Fold: this is so the boys (or me, for X-man) can write how a rainbow forms.
ROY G. BIV: An easy way to learn the order of the colors for the rainbow. I actually cut off the second column of colors and cut them into individual squares. I then wrote the word for each color on each square. The other column was colored by the boys to go with the first initial...I just made it into a game - they take out the cards and shuffle them then match them to the correct color. (For DJ I wrote the colors in Latin on one side, Spanish on the other).
Color Songs: This page (you have to scroll about3/4 of the way down the page) takes each color and turned them into childrens songs - great for learning how to spell each color!
Color Wheel: Easy to identify the colors and how they mix!
Makeing A Rainbow Coloring Sheet: We cut out the center square and the boys colored the rainbow, sun and cloud. This is a great graphic for the front cover or inside the lapbook!
DJ's Lapbook:
Color Spectrum: I attatched this to the following booklet.
How Rainbows Are Made: I printed the pages from this and assembled it into a Minibook (with the previous Spectrum) it's a cute way of explaining light theory.
Prisms: A little flip booklet, attatched with brass fastners, that explains a little about what happens to light when it hits a prism - a raindrop is a prism too!
Newton Mini-Booklet & Complementary Colors Mini-Booklet: We just them out then gave a brief synopsis on how Newton affected Light Theory and we colored the flowers with complementary colors.
Layered Book: We filled this with the Japanese Names for the colors along with their symbols.
Venn-Diagram FlapBooks: these were used for DJ to show color mixing.
Pocket: This pocket was used to hold the Latin words for the colors. I cut a square of every color of construction paper and wrote the name in Latin on it.
X-Man's Lapbook:
Letter "R" Rainbow Traceable: This is to help him learn to write the letter R in upper and lower case.
Color Mixing: learn a little about Primary Colors mixing to make Secondary Colors.
Rainbow Site Words: I just joined these with a brass fastener...they don't really have anything to do with rainbows (other than being on the pic of an umbrella) but can't have too many site words!
Word Color Sheet: This was a great traceable for the Primary Colors.

Winter Holidays

Winter Celebrations - well, seriously this is about Christmas, Hanakkuh, Yule and Kwanzaa. Since they are all very similar and I'm trying to teach my kids about the major religions in the world I decided to make a Lap book containing them all - which means it's a huge lapbook (it took 5 file folders as it was essentially 4 lapbooks combined into Again there was no real pre=packaged lapbook that included them all so here's what I came up with...
*We had a KWL Printable for each Holiday: "what I Know, what I Want to know, what I Learned"
Christmas - Facts about the holiday. We focused on "The Night Before Christmas" book as well as "The 12 Days of Christmas Song" (as this ties in with Yule.) -- Origin of the 12 Days song ; Christian Associations for each of the 12 items in the 12 Days of Christmas ; 12 Days Clip Art; 12 Days activity sheets (we used page 6 to draw and write about the origins of the song); The Night Before Christmas lap book.
Hanukkah - Facts & Explanations. we learned about the 8 nights with 8 lights, then we read the book "The Trees fo the Dancing Goats" where a Jewish family helps their Christian neighbors have a happy Christmas (showing diveristy is wonderful!) the lapbook to go with the story is here. Songs worksheets(Dreidel, Spin, Spin, Spin; Hanukkah) Hanakkuh research printable/Hanakkuh Writing Prompt ; OH we made the background with white plain paper and did potato prints on them.
Kwanzaa - Facts about the holiday. printables ; explanation of the symbols; clip art; Kwanzaa Poem ; Poem; peom 3; kwanzaa song; We also read the "My First Kwanzaa Book"
Yule - For a history we used an article I had written for associated content...Yule Symbols explained; some yule (as well as some Christmas) clipart, clipart2, Yule Prayers 1, 2, 3, 4, Yule Carols, a yule story I wrote was also put into the lap book.

Lapbooking 101

I've been asked several times in the last few days about how I come about designing some the lapbooks I've designed. Here's my advice for starting lapbooking.

Step 1: Choose a specific topic - this is important, for me it's hard to remember to be really specific, I get too general then the lapbook becomes a huge encyclopedia in which I end up doing most of the work.
Step 2: Search for pre-made tools. For this, here is the order of my search:
Ask & Google: for the premade lapbooks (free). So I'll search for Bumble Bee Lap Books and it will list any resources (like blogs and such) that might be available.
Search for ClipArt: again I'm a cheap-o so I search for free clipart that would go with this when we did the Good Night Moon topic I searched for pics that went with he book (baloons, moons, clocks, socks, etc)
Search for Worksheets, Printables and Mini-Books in this topic.
Search for Coloring Sheets in this topic (we use these to decorate the lapbook.)
Step 3: Plan the flow of the book. Generally speaking there are 2 main lapbooks then a mini-office.
Preschool, or short lapbook: this uses only 1 file folder. I've folded them a couple of ways but the most popular is to open the folder wide, then fold in each side toward the middle making the book open in the center.
Double Lapbook: this uses 2 file folders. You could again glue this a few different ways. I've:
Made a Mini-Book: in this I used a stripe of glue down the spine of a folder and just placed another folder within, so that you have a few pages to work with. I think this gives you the most sq. inches to work with.
Just a bit less of a mini-book: in this one you leave the folders just as they are and apply glue to the back side of one folder and stick the front side of the other folder to it, this makes a 3 sheet booklet.
Extra Flaps: This allows you to see more info at once. You fold the folder like you would for a single flapbook (open it wide then fold in the ends). Then you do the same with folder #2. Glue the back side of one of the little flaps to the front side of one of the little flaps of the second folder.
Mini-Office: This is the King of Lapbooks. Its a lapbook that requires 3 or more folders glued back to back, when unfolded you child can set it around their workstation like a cubicle.
Step 4: Plan of Action. Now you need to think about the flow of your story - your book. The front page can be reserved like a title page - I usually do this with the larger lapbooks. Then you place all your tidbits inside. Or you can use the front cover as the intro - I usually do this for the smaller lapbooks, like individual states. I'll place the state flag, flower, etc on the front cover as these are good identifiers of the state so a title page isn't needed.
Then I open the folder and just look for a moment. Do I want to add a flip-book of worksheets? Are there mini-books (small worksheets) in this topic available so I don't need to take up as much space? etc....
This is where creativity comes in...try to think of things they can come back and use - like hand made games and such....I've even made a shoot's and ladders type of game for my preschooler on the topic of the
Step 5: Are there any books available in this topic that you hope to use? Any short stories or poems? If so then this is another means of filling the lapbook. For instance, when learning about Christmas we used "The 12 Days of Christmas" song and "The Night Before Christmas" book and filled the lapbook with these.
Step 6: Cut out all your little tid-bits that you found in your searches. I usually do all the cutting and like 99% of the gluing just for sake of time - my kids tend to make a lapbook in a day as they are already mostly put together the kids just have to fill them in....but I know many mom's who have the kids work on one little piece a day...I would lose the pieces or forget what I was hoping to
Step 7: HAVE FUN!! Lapbooking is a way for your child to learn and son LOVES teaching his dad when he gets home from work. My DH sits on the couch and my son goes over the lapbook with him.

Magnetism & Electricity

So I've finally gotten a PDF program, which will allow me to make my own little flapbooks and such for my boys (I'm so excited!). Now I can finally share the files and designs I've come up with!!

Electricity Links:
Ben Franklin history & impact on electricity.
Thomas Edison - one of the most famous inventors in America
Nikola Tesla - one of the most awesome inventors, who wasn't very popular because of a feud with Edison.
Elementary Experiments on electricity & Magnetism {We will be using the simple circuit and I just made a flip book to go with it, we also used a magnet in several different experiments.}
Fabulous Static Electricity Facts {we also used a baloon to demonstrate these facts in our 3rd experiment}
Alliant Energy has a nice kids site
One of my favorite kids electricity websites - Kids Corner
The US Dept of Energy has also put together a kids energy website

Magnetism Links:
Science for kids on Magnets
Brain POP has put together a nice magnet lesson plan
Fact Monster has an awesome site on magnetism

Here is my mini-lapbook on Electricity & Magnetism

Let me know what you thought!!

Solar System

The Cool thing we did here was make a pop-up of the universe. You can find directions here. Essentially the sun pop's up then the planets are attatches with a bit of wire so that as the lap book opens they hover around the sun...(boy did the boys love doing this!)
k - I promised I'd give y'all the printables and links for our solar system"Ta-Da!"
NASA's "Our Very Own Star: The Sun" this is actually a little book you can print!
Planets Coloring Page
Various Printables (there is actually a very good small coloring book I used for my preschooler, while my older son did the harder stuff!)
Clip Art
Moon Phases (action flipbook)
Live & Learn Press Lapbook
Solar System Printables (these are the more advanced word finds and such)

Veterans Day Lapbook

Jeez, I just can't seem to think Lapbooks are more addicting for adults than kids!
Depending on where you are Veterans day is celebrated today or tomorrow. So I thought I'd gather some printables for everyone...

What are you using?

Colonial Times

The books we have to support our Colonial Times/Thanksgiving lapbook (I made a mini book for each one)..are:
If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern (1992, Scholastic Inc)
Why We Have Thanksgiving by Margaret Hillert (1982, Modern Curriculum Press)
Hands on History: Projects About Colonial Life by Marian Broida (2004 Marshall Cavendish Corp)
The North American Native Americans by Ernest Berke (1963, Lithograph for the Library of Congress)

To support these books and include them in our Thanksgiving Lapbooks, I made 2 mini books ...They can be used as research tools...or whatever; essentially one asks questions about the colonial times, one asks about the colonists...Check out Shannon's Colonial Times Minibooks...

Other great adds to your Thanksgiving Lapbooks:
  • We're doing our lapbook, as well as several crafts that I've listed before - like making a quill pen and felt hats and such......
  • Various links - this site (toward the bottom) has an archive of some great printables for thanksgiving.
  • Dr. Pat's Pilgrim Coloring Pages
  • Homeschool Helper - always a great lapbooking resource with some worksheets as well as templates.
  • Homeschool Share - my favorite lapbooking resource
  • Enchanted Learning - the best collection of Thanksgiving printables I've found!


As a personal trainer, I can tell you the hardest part of a Wellness Plan is instituting a healthy diet...not a fad diet or a diet 'designed for weightloss' I'm talking about a nutrition plan that gives the body all the vitamins and minerals it (not surprisingly) I've been searching the internet, as well as working on my own printouts to help teach my boys about Healthy Nutrition and Healthy Living....Here's some of what I've come up with....

Human Body

Well as you know we did a separate lapbook on Nutrition and the Food's what we did on Anatomy & Physiology.

For our healthy living pages, DJ did a page on Asthma (from which he suffers) and it's instigators. We found this great lesson plan from the EPA on air quality and polution, as well as the Health Effects of air polution...(I also greatly suggest the EPA Student Center for learning about Environmental Basics!)..X-man did a page on the importance of Keeping Clean (why do we wash our hands? Why cover our mouth when we cough or sneeze? etc)

To introduce the idea of Genetics I made cards that looked similar to these (as they were out of my price range). Essentially I took a picture of my husband and myself, well 2 pictures. I expanded them. Then printed them. One of each I cut out the features (lips, eyes, ears, nose, hair). Then I had a blank head I had drawn. The kids got to make a guess at what our next child might look like....then we took a look through the family albums to see where mom and dad got their features...and how DJ got red hair when neither mom nor dad have red hair....(but his great-great-grandma did -- recessive genes!!) We also made a Family Tree - to look back at features in those who came before us...

There are 2 main biographies - Darwin (Wiki) and Rosalind Franklin 'The Dark Lady of DNA' (Wiki) of darwin (1,2) and franklin (1, 2)

Then to understand the Ladder of DNA - we made A MAP OF ME - where we listed those things that made us individuals (even those inherited trates) == (I'll upload my PDF later)....I made a Ladder then on each rung we wrote those trates...including our medical information (allergies, DJ's Colitis, etc).

We also introduced the concept of evolution -- if you're looking for a great understanding of the concept for you. the teacher, you'll find it here! Also here you'll find an easy lesson plan on evolution -- The boys checked out PBS' online videos on understanding Evolution. I also briefly explained the Tree of Life project how it's like we made our family tree to understand Genetics, Biologists around the world are branching their studies of phyllum together to see where they connect! For older children this site is great for comparing the major beliefs in the Orgin of Life (evolution, creationism, etc)
We also did a separate page on First Aid.
This Squiddo is great for lapbooks for kids of all ages!
Gotta go cook ((it is Thanksgiving so I'll finish tonight!!


Well, we tend to take it easy homeschooling between November and New Years. We spend almost all our time making gifts and running around. Furthermore, as many of you know, we celebrate an alternative faith system. So we celebrate the ancient holiday of Yule upon which many of our modern traditions were based. Here's my Yule Lapbook!

Holiday Homeschool

The Holidays are so crazy, I know I wouldn't be able to focus to teach and I know the boys wouldn't be able to focus to we skip traditional school in favor of unschool and a couple of lapbooks. This is what we do in August as well. This isn't saying we don't learn, I still encourage the boys to research on-line any questions they ask me throughout the day. They also have ot spend at least 1 hour on (together) learning. But otherwise, we focus on arts/crafts (making our gifts) and learning about the most popular world-wide holidays at this time of year..... Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc. This is the lapbook we'll be starting on Sunday and continuing till July 6th (the 12th night).

So I thought I'd pop in an idea of our holiday/vacation schedules so everyone could have an idea of what it looks like for us.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
I work for a couple of hours in the morning, so the boys stay at the child care room at the gym, where I work. DJ (who is 7) has to help out. He has to bring 2 early reader books that he has to read out loud to the children, then he helps the child-care workers with the babies in the room (coddling them, protecting them, playing with them, singing to them, etc). X-man does an art project. When we get home at about noon, they eat lunch and can watch Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood then Between The Lions. Then the kids help me on a Yule project (cards, gifts, wrapping, etc). At 2pm the boys go on time4learning. At 3:30 (ish) the boys are alowed to play on either or else Disney Channel's website. Once dad get's home they have to do their chores.

Tuesday/ Thursday
Generally they'll work on a lapbook or we read a story together (chapter book that is generally reserved to bed time). We talk a lot and check out cool things on the computer. Otherwise, we spend most of the day making gifts.

That's about it!!

Mini-Office Ideas

I've had a lot of questions about mini-offices. These are essentially reference books made by mom for the kids to take out.

I fold mine so they can unfold into a sort of cubicle. You can make them for many subjects. You essentially search out the best printables then glue them into the folders (usually a minimum of 4) then laminate the whole thing to protect them from grubby fingers.

Here's some ideas, I'll see if I can find some links to add in.

World Geography:
  • Bodies of water
  • Continents
  • State maps (different kinds - road, topagraphy, water, etc.)
  • United States maps
  • Flags (state and US)

Language Arts:

  • Parts of Speech
  • Alphabet (I used an exacto knife to make a pocket and put in the alphabet in sign language, cursive, chinese, etc.)
  • Days of the week
  • Months
  • Punctuation Chart
  • Paragraph Writing
  • Research writing rules
  • Types of writing


  • Addition / Subtraction / Multiplication Charts
  • Number Line
  • Clock (time)
  • Counting to 100
  • Basic coin chart
  • Number chart & Roman Numerals
  • Basic Charting
  • Problem Solving
  • Ruler
  • Skip counting chart
  • Area/Perimeter
  • Simple Shapes
  • Fractions
  • Liquid Measurement Equivalents

US Geography/History:

  • President Chart
  • State Abreviations
  • Timeline
  • State Nicknames/Fast Facts
  • Famous Americans
  • Native Americans (Sayings, History, Tribes, etc)
  • Morse Code
  • Major American Wars

Science - Notebook (as it's bigger and can hold different sections)


  • Planets
  • Earth
  • Solar System
  • Meteors
  • Satallites

Earth Studies:

  • Layers of the Earth
  • Volcanoes/Earth quakes
  • Rock Cycle
  • Water Cycle
  • Rainbows
  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

Great Pictures and ideas for lapbooks:



World Office

Sorry, when I had made the office lapbook, I had been using a different blog, guess I didn't copy over that

Here's some of the links I used:
Basic State Flags
History of the American Flag
Various State & US Maps
Blank Outline State Maps
World Maps (the whole world)
World Clipart/Maps (including bodies of water & Continents)
Country Maps
Outline Maps
Continents Maps
ABC Teach Maps
Learn the Continents through Poems & Songs


The kids are learning all about China this month (among other here's some of the links we're using....the lapbooks look awesome so I'll download a vid of it soon!!

DJ's 2-4th grade Lapbook: Reference Mat'l
World Fact Book
China: People & Places
Ancient China & Lesson Plans
Virtual Tours of China
Religions in China Lesson Plan
Homeschool Share
FIVE UMBRELLAS Submitted by Jan Five umbrellas stood by the door, The red one went outside, then there were four. Four umbrellas, pretty as could be, The blue one went outside, then there were three. Three umbrellas with nothing to do, The green one went outside, then there were two. Two umbrellas not having much fun, The yellow one went outside, then there was one. Just one umbrella alone in the hall, The purple one went outside, and that was all.

X-Man's k-1st Grade Lapbook: Reference Mat'l:
How People Live in China (Homes)
Kids go to school
Let's Get Ready To Go To China!! (we made our own min-book on these prep facts)
Climate & Geography
Transportation in China
Sun Mini-Book
Wind (since China invented the kite)
Wind MiniBook

Go Wind! By Lilian Moore Go wind, blow Push wind... swoosh. Shake things ,take things ,make things fly !Ring things ,swing things ,fling things high! Go wind, blow Push things... whee! No, wind, no. Not me, not me!

SPRING WIND BLOWS Teach your little performers this chant to help them start thinking about wind.

The spring wind blows this way and that Oops! Watch out! There goes my hat! (Wave hands above head.) The spring wind blows round and round. It blows my hat across the ground. (Move arms in a rolling motion.) The spring wind blows. Spin, spin, spin! Oops, it blows my hat again! (Move hand in a circular upward motion.) The spring wind blows left and right. Then it blows my hat out of sight! (Move hands to the left, then right.) (Wave bye-bye.)

I also found these wonderful printable workbooks on Saving The Giant Panda from the Smithsonian.

The Artic & Magic Tree House

My son has been collecting Magic Tree House books for a while now, so now that he's capable of reading them on his own, he has to do a lapbook on each on as a means of doing a book report.
I'll post what I've made this week for next weeks Polar Bears Past Bedtime so you can see it. (remember the user name is kickbutttidbits with the password kickbuttmama) - This is the Lapbook for the Book report....the following is the lapbook for the Artic and Polar Bears and there are 2 whole separate lapbooks in this I only designed the one above.

Here are some of the worksheets and such we're using in his Polar Bears After Dark book:
All about polar bears by SeaWorld:
Polar Bear Facts:
Polar Bear Families :

Xander's Polar Habitat Lapbook:
Polar Bear coloring page (cover sheet): /
Polar Animals cover sheet:
Polar Bear Cupcakes:
Alphabet tracing
Number tracing
Days of the Week (w/ bears)
Months (w/ bears)
Both of them got to play :
Bears of the Sea downloadable (FREE) board Game.
And we read about Polar Conservation.
We also learned more about creating a Polar Habitat here.
A great printable Artic booklet is here.

Science Time

With a degree in Physics and a minor in Geology I have a love for science, but that wasn't slways the case. In school I was terrified of science and math. I worried that I would be a failure and the teachers often left me in the dust of confusion. In college I had to take intro science courses. When I received my associates degree and was looking to transfer to a 4-year college I realized my best grades were in Science - no one was more schocked than I. Now I hope to give that love of science to my own boys.

With Spring almost upon us we're going to be doing Butterflies. We are purchasing the kit so the kids can watch the butterflies 'hatch' then set them free. It should be cool. We studied states of matter by freezing a bucket of water and experimenting on changing it back to water (liquid) we did this at the same time we studied the water cycle. We froze the water (solid) then ran warm water over it to turn it back to liquid, then boiled it (to make steam - gas) I froze a hardcover book and carefully held it at an angle in the steam and we watched the water droplets collect then run off (this is how we get rain). It really drove the point home. We love doing little experiments. When studying nutrition (we did another lapbook on it) we over fed a plant and watched it die, this drove home how important good nutrition is to all living things. We used playdough to make a planet when we were studying the layers of the earth.

Here are some links we use when looking for new ideas:

Preschool Nutrition

When teaching a preschooler anything the key is FUN, FUN, FUN! Here are some ideas for teaching Nutrition & Health:

Make a Scrapbook Cookbook - this would be a great gift for Grandma as well. I've found some preschooler friendly recepies at:

What Do You Eat? We made a little booklet and each page had a different animal and we explained what they ate, the last page was What I eat with a picture of my son and a list of the food groups.

Parts of the Whole. One of the best tools of instilling a love of math & science later in life is cooking. You are basically mixing completely different items together to make a yummy whole. This is also great for explaining chemical reactions to older kids. I think having the kids have a hand in preparing meals is also a great way of teaching them about nutrition.

Fun with Yeast. Yeast causes things to expand - like bread to rise. We made homemade Amish Friendship Bread, and when discussing what changes are taking place, I needed a way to explain the fun of yeast, so I did this experiment: Place one package of dry yeast, 1/2 cup of sugar and one cup of warm (not hot) in an empty 2 liter soda bottle. Put a balloon over the top and watch it expand!

Where I come from! mini-book. We made a mini-book explaining where comon foods come from. My son colored a picture of his favorite food then told where that food origionated from.
Check out:
Check out:
Check out:

Martin Luther King, JR

I'm back to my busy weekends planning out our week of HS. I've already posted what we'll be learning in regards to the Inauguration, so here I thought I'd add the links for our Martin Luther King JR. Lapbooks (when we're done I'll upload the vid).

Both Lapbooks:

I made a pocket for our coloring pages on Word that has the pic of a mountain and the quote "I have been to the top of the mountain. I have seen the promise land!" Just to keep things a bit tidier.
Color By Numbers image of Dr. King found at
"I have a dream" collaborative banner found at
My Teeny Tiny Book about MLKjr. found at
"When I think about Peace..." writing prompt from
Word banks printed from
Coloring Pages from and

For me: Resources:

Article from the seattle times - MLK wins Novel Peace Prize from 12/10/64
MLK Timeline at
Words to the song "We shall over come" from
Poem: "Standing Tall" by Jamioe McKenzie (about MLK) from
Robert F. Kenedy speaks about the death of MLK from
Article: Why we honor dr. martin luther king jr, from
Dove-Handprint Unity Wreath directions from
Poster of MLK from
Peace Circle ideas from
Civil Rights before & After chart from
Timeline (we made our own for the lapbook but one was printed for reference from
I have a dream speech printed from
D.J.'s middle elementary lapbook also has:
Word Search from
Civil RIghts before and after
MLK Matching worksheet from
Map of the US with places important to the Civil RIghts highlighted, map printed from highlighted by DJ
Diversity writing prompt, MLK report form from
Acrostic Poem, Reading comprehension worksheet, vocab worksheet, adjectives worksheet printed from
MLK Missing letters worksheet from

X-man's Lapbook also includes:

Letter K minibook from
abcteach also has a children around the world sheet that we used to practice writing the word "Peace"

Friday, May 22, 2009

Inauguration Lapbooks

My Inauguration Lapbook

Here's some of the resources we're using:

  • History of the Inauguration (including Facts)
  • Presidential
  • Notable Facts
  • Some great printable like word finds and such. And of course, the king of printable at enchanted learning.
  • We'll even be learning about the history of voting that dates back to ancient Greece.
  • We'll be doing a research project to learn more about Barak Obama. We'll learn about Hawaii (where he lived for a while) as our state of the week. As well as learning about Kenya as our Country of the week (where his family was from).
  • We're also going to learn about Abraham Lincon (whom Obama wants to emulate). And we're going to learn about the freedom of the slaves, and the 15th Amendment which prohibits states and the federal government from a citizen's race, color or previous status as a slave as a voting qualification. Its basic purpose was to enfranchise former slaves.
  • We're using the Letter I as our letter of the week and will be learning some of it's rules (like I before E except after C). My preschooler will be doing the What begins with the Letter I mini-book at dltk-teach. We'll also use this to make signs on what we would do if we were president.
  • And of course we'll combine it with our Martin Luther King Jr lessons and crafts from first-school.
  • And for art we're beginning a chapter on Impressionism Art.

50 Capitals Song

Well I've been trying to come up with a way of teaching the 50 states and their capitals to the boys. I finally decided to set them to the tune of Silent Night.

50 Capitals - via Silent Night

Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
Indianapolis, Indiana,
Columbus, O-hi-o.
Montgomery, Alabama,
Helena, Montana
Denver, Colorado.

Boise, Idaho.
Austin, Texas
Boston, Massachusetts
Albany, New York.
Tallahassee, Florida
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Nashville, Tennessee
These are state capitals.

Trenton, New Jersey
Jefferson, Missouri,
Richmond, Virginia,
Pierre, South Dakota
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Augusta, in Maine
Providence, Rhode Island
Dover, Delaware.

Concord, New Hampshire,
Montpelier, Vermont,
Hartford, Connecticut
Topeka, Kansas
St. Paul, Minnesota
Juneau, Alaska
Lincoln, Nebraska
Raleigh, North Carolina.

Madison, Wisconsin
Olympia, Washington,
Phoenix, Arizona,
Lansing, Michigan,
Honolulu, Hawaii,
Jackson, Mississip-pi,
Springfield, Illinois,
Columbia, South Carolina.

Annapolis, Maryland
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Salt Lake City, in Utah
Atlanta, Georgia
Bismarck, North Dakota,
Don’t forget about D.C.
These are the state capitals.

Frankfurt, Kentucky
Sa-lem, Oregon
Little Rock, Arkansas,
Des Moines, Iowa
Sacramento, California
These are the 50 states
And their capitals

Oklahoma City,
In Oklahoma
Charleston, West Virginia
Carson City, Nevada’s
Those were all the State Capitals.
And the US capital.
Bless the USA.

Teaching Cursive?


Heck, I'm not just teaching cursive, I'm also teaching calligraphy. I think it teaches important motor skills to be able to manipulate the writing implement in different manners and yet still make a legible script.

As a personal trainer, I work with many neurological client (those who've had strokes and such). When trying to strengthen the mind and how it communicates with the body as a whole, I work 2 things: 1) repetition and 2) multi-planar manipulation. Number 1 is obvious, the only way to improve at anything is through high repetitions. Number 2 means taking the same concept and approaching it in multiple fashions - with PT it means planes of motion (front-back, side-side, and rotation) but with all other commands from the brain it also means approaching the same concept (like writing) in different manners (print, cursive, block, calligraphy, etc) not only does this strengthen the writing skills, but forcing a student to repeat similar information in this manner also solidifies the knowledge in their minds and makes recall easier...for instance. I can teach what a diphthong is, and I can give examples...but on an SAT later in life it might list different examples than the ones I'm given. I can hope that their minds will recognize the pattern, or I can get them comfortable to seeing those patterns in multiple lights making a change less, well, different. IMO.

Signing Spot

Recently I was asked to teach a sign language class for young children and their families. So to help the students remember what's what, I started a new sign language site - Signing Spot. I included some vids from You Tube (like Signing Time) I hope y'all enjoy it!!


Kwanzaa Lapbook Tidbits

I'm working on making a giant lapbook of all the major celebrations during this season (as I've said before). Above is the Yule portion of that lapbook, here's the Kwanzaa portion...