Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 1 Impact

My impact report for our first week is up (ignore the school year stats, that isn't right).  He seems to enjoy ScootPad so far.  He is enthusiastic about the practices and likes earning rewards.  And he likes knowing the answers, so far, he has gotten some good marks.

Almost prepared for next week.  Have to put a few more assignments into his notebooking pages.  I've got some great Common Core aligned activities lines up.  I've been using resources mostly from TeachersPayTeachers.  I've been collecting the freebies from the newsletter and clipping what I need for his notebook.

Riddle Me This! Apple Pickin' Edition Freebie from Teacher Bits and Bobs is superb.  I've printed them all smaller so I can fit them in the notebook, then pasted the answers onto the backs of the clues.  This leaves enough room to make a fold flap, which I glue down to his notebook.  Then, under each flap I added an apple fact.

Other recommended resources, Sticky Notes & Glitter, The Lesson Plan Diva, Notebooking Pages, Spoonful, It's the Little Things...  I'll add more links as I come across them.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rebecca Redux

I've finished the coloring of the redesign for one of the Lolli Gang characters.  Here is the new Rebecca.  Now a true Lolita with plaid school girl baby doll dress.  I colored her in a style reminiscent of a t-shirt graphic I made in high school.  Where you use 6 or less colors and layer them on top of each other to get the effect you want.  Here I've used Black, white, red, peach and grey.  I made a greyscaled version as well.

The line art is hand drawn then colored in Photoshop.  I made png files with transparent bgs so she can be used like a sticker.  I'll probably be incorporating this picture into the design of this blog.

Rebecca was the character I related the most to.  She was inspired by Tank Girl but all her own style.  She was a little bit punk and a little bit goth and a little bit of everything she liked.  There wasn't really a central character.  But she was the character that most represented me.  She was fun and obnoxious, she did what she wanted to and always smiled.

It's good to revisit these characters I loved so much but did nothing with.  I had wanted to make a Flash comic, but never did.  I only learned the basics of using Flash anyways.  I really like how she came out.

And the Winner Is....

Me!  I've been entering giveaways like mad lately and by luck, I've won one of the Mrs. O "Knows" giveaways she held for her one year Blogversary.  Congratulations to all of the winners!  I've won a set of Quick Response Whiteboards.

 So what are they?  They are double-sided dry erase boards on a handle.  Great for making quick answers or playing games.  I'll be teeming with ideas of how to use these soon.  Hopefully, it will be a fun exercise for Chase to use this homeschool year.  I think I may donate the rest to his local school, since we'd only need 3 of them at a time.  I don't know what colors we're getting,  I hope red, since it is Chase's favorite color.  I'm partial to red myself ;D

Looks like Trainers Warehouse has a lot of useful and fun teaching peripherals to make school more entertaining.  I'll have to browse through their catalog a little more thoroughly.

Redacted more personal thoughts and posted to my personal blog...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First week - Midway through

Chase has a strong interest in game development.  So we found this Google Chrome app called Gamestar Mechanic.  It is a fun site that he can make his own maps and level difficulties.  He'll be working on this during computer lab today along with his ScootPad assignments.  This is his reward for following directions and staying on task in class today.

We've been having issues with cooperation, which resulted in him getting computer restrictions.  He has had to earn his free time back.  The last two days without computer has been torturous (for us as well as him), so he is excited about computer lab today.  He has earned his free time after school today, so it should be a good day for me to relax and get more work prepared for the rest of the week.  

Math and Science Notebook
I am out of assignments readied for Math and Language Arts.  We're notebooking for these.  Fo L.A. I've made his reading and comprehension questions more interesting by modeling the stories on his favorite characters and toys.  So far, I have a Lego City story which I used the Lego Comic Builder to make a colorful little comic book to print out and paste into his notebook.  I made a Calvin & Hobbes story for his next day's assignment.  I drew a few frames to paste in and wrote up a summary of the strips.  And Day 3, I made a Ninjago story, paraphrasing some of the world origins from their site.

Fortunately, he has lots of interests, so the list is endless what I can write about.  But I only made 3 days ahead and now I need more assignments!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Classroom Friendly Sharpener Linky

This is a list of several blogs hosting a giveaway for the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener.  It is supposed to be super quiet, quick and makes perfect pencils.  There's some that have reviews of the product and they seem to have very happy customers on Facebook.  So, I want this.  We have an old school style sharpener that suctions onto the table.  But I hate it, it works fine and all, but it about falls apart and loses suction constantly.  So it is a bit of a hassle.

I've entered all the ones below.  Most use Rafflecopter for entries and have extra chances to enter.  Good luck everyone who enters.  Some of these expire soon.

Pencil Sharpener Giveaways

Rafflecopter Embeds


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tears and Cheers

So the first day of school was a mix of emotions.  He was kind of combative at first.  We had to do a restart.  He had started gaining then losing behavior rewards before I could even show him what the reward system would be like.

Sokikom and ScootPad are both roaring successes.  He loved the fractions game on Sokikom and said "I love fractions"!  And he eagerly wanted to do the tests/practices on ScootPad once he learned you can earn 50 coins for math and 25 for language arts/reading practices.  And the spelling assignment was 'easy peasy'!  After the student does a few tests the site places them on a learning path to determine their pace and placement.  So the level will be perfectly tailored to him.

And ScootPad allows you to add in your own rewards.  I need to adjust the prices, making sure there are plenty of low priced items.  He really liked the "Stand up and dance" reward/  I played Blue October's Jump Rope song, a favorite of his.  So he got out some sitting at a desk energy and enjoyed himself.

We only did light work today, mostly focusing on getting him familiarized with what programs we'll be utilizing.  After school was over, he still wanted to play on the math games for Sokikom.  ;D  He does love math.  The word problems he kind of balks at, but just straight out equations seem to be no problem.

His overall review of the day, "Boring and fun".

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Freebie - Homeschool Verification

I've just discovered that JoAnn Fabrics has a discount program for teachers called Teacher Rewards.  Excellent!  Well, when you sign up, they want validation that you are a homeschooler.  So, I dug through my e-mails to find the verification code that was sent to me last year.   It was in an ugly e-mail.  So, I've made a handy little card.  Print then cut out, it is business card/credit card sized.  Glue them back to back and laminate.  Or carefully use clear packing tape.  It works to give a little extra protection.  Now, I can bring my card with me and maybe I'll find other teacher discounts everywhere we go.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BlogLovin' and The Lolli Gang

I've just joined BlogLovin, so need to add my link to it in a blog post.  I've seen a lot of people using BlogLovin, and I might connect my other blogs there as well.  Honestly, I joined because of another giveaway which had BlogLovin following as a required step.  I've missed a few giveaways already because I wasn't signed up. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So, I'll take this moment to also share the giveaway which brought me to BlogLovin in the first place.  The Primary Chalkboard is a collaboration blog between several teachers/bloggers that focuses on 1st and 2nd grades.  They are having a grand opening giveaway and an awesome back2school e-book freebie that would be a great resource for homeschool and teachers alike.  The focus is on the classroom, but still, lots of great printouts.

I've noticed TpT is seriously lacking in varied artwork of the kids, or at least EVERYONE uses the same styled art for every worksheet you find on there.  So, I'm going to rejuvenate some old characters of mine and make them more age appropriate.  The Lolli Gang was a group of misfit kids, kinda preteen/young teen aged.  A goth/witch girl named Cess Pool, a punk girl named Rebecca but had a rather inappropriate nickname, a sort of art/emo type (made his character before emo's existed) named Skot and a dead (ghost) ska kid who always wore a collared shirt with a tie, his name was Jimmy.  I made these characters in 1999.  I wrote one 'comic book' on notebook paper and using ballpoint (it was my tool of choice back then).  It had a very stylish look to it.  They would have semi childish adventures and a bit of all age clubbing.  Basically, kinda like my teenaged years.  Which would entangle them in mature situations.  For example, the first book, Jimmy died.  But he would return every frame afterwards as a ghost following his friends everywhere.

So, to adapt this idea to a younger audience, I still want them to be misfits, however younger and Jimmy will be an imaginary kid instead of dead.  Don't know if I'll go so far as to make complete stories for them, but I will bring these alternatively styled kids into classroom settings.

Wow, just checked through my entire DeviantART gallery, I thought I had them up there, at least the cover page.  But looks like I never transferred it from my old account, which is now a closed account.  But here is an old scan of Rebecca's character.

Rebecca from Lolli gang by GillianIvy
My style for the strip was a mix between Tank Girl and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.  I've decided I'm going to steer this blog to be more my style.  I'm not a typical homeschooling Mom.  Even though I dress normal now (or rather don't go out and do anything so wear t-shirt and jeans 24-7 with my hair grown out and naturally colored), I am still the same goth/punk girl I was in high school and throughout my adult life.  I might not go to clubs any more, but I still have the same friends, listen to the same music and love steampunk, goth and punk fashion.  I'm not going to pretend to be some socially acceptable blog mom.

I don't care if I don't make money on TeachersPayTeachers because my stuff isn't normal enough.  I've always done my own thing and that is what I'm still going to do.  And I bet, there's plenty of goth and punk teachers/moms who want stylish resources that don't all look like those big smiley kids.  And I know kids relate to characters rather than big headed stick figures.  I might add a bit more kawaii styling into their designs as well.  I'll probably rename the characters as well, since gangs doesn't sound very good.  The name had a few elements in mind, Lolly, as in under age, lollipops, and lollygagging (funny old word that means dawdling) and gang to mean group.  I'll have to put some thought into it.

I think I'll have to redesign this blog as well.  I really hate this template.  I'm a coder and CSS designer, I should have at least one decent looking blog.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

River of Words Contest 2014

River of Words Contest

This contest is open worldwide for ages 5-19 years old.  Multiple entries are accepted and you can enter as an individual, group or facilitator.  Go to their site for full details.  About 100 finalists and 8 Grand Prize Winners will be selected in April 2014.  A great opportunity for children to have a creative outlet and share their creations.