“Train” Your Brain

Train Your Brain

 

School is officially in session it’s time to Train Your Brain.

Welcome all to Fall!

Excitement is building as my creativity has soared over the last couple weeks. Thanks to the expertise of Bamboo Rocket Apps, my blog is getting a makeover.  With the transfer of my site, I will be better able to build and grow.  So, invite your friends and family as we launch on a journey and get ready for an exciting adventure with Venture2Learn! With fresh, innovative ideas and a creative approach to teaching, leading and learning I am ready to share my unique teaching style. I look forward to meeting more families on the same journey, learning from them and growing as a community.  I’m bubbling with promise of what’s to come!!

As I worked on setting up my classroom for preschool, I created a couple designs that I wanted to share today.  This adorable “Train” your brain was inspired by my little one’s love of transportation.  Together with his help, we designed each train car, engine and caboose with simple shapes.  See if you can find an identify all the until lines and shapes we used.  Each shape color choice is selected by him. For our math cars, we used Pixabay, a free image site, for each car, truck or form of transportation.  Our little four year old is in love with his cars and loves to count, build on and identify his shapes.  Have a little one who loves trains, cars or automobiles, this set is for you! Shape Train contains a set of 12 shapes an engine and caboose. The number set includes a numbers building from 1-12 an engine car and caboose.

Travel to my Etsy Page to see the Shapes Train and Numbers Train listings.  Below is a preview of our train.

 

 

Summer Family Adventures Week 10

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Summer Family Adventures

August 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our August Summer Activities.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Week 10 Adventures!

Monday: Sports Day  7 minute Superhero Workout We are going to try a new app I just heard about that takes kids on missions while they exercise.

Tuesday: Eating Fractions During snack time, we will divide yummy foods and learn about fractions in a real-world setting.

Wednesday: Exploring Science– We will explore science in our own backyard with this scavenger hunt. Scavenger Hunt

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Thursday: Life Skill Discovery Drawing a birthday notes and thank you cards. Our youngest has his birthday this week and gifts have already arrived.  Starting early, I want my kids to show they are thankful treats by sending thank you cards.

Friday: Art Class Painting with Ice Cubes.  I’m creating a new recipe so once we try it and love it, I’ll feature it on the blog.

Family Adventure

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Water Day  

Today we will grab our swimsuits, Buckets, Water Guns and Water Balloons and enjoy a water day! Looking for a way to bring water to your own party, check out Home Depot’s Blog on  PVC Pipe Sprinklers and games.

Summer Family Adventures Week 9

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Summer Family Adventures

August 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our August Summer Activities.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Week 9 Adventures!

Monday: Art Class3D Art.  From our collection of recycled goodies and boxes we will create 3 Dimensional Art

Tuesday: Life Skill Discovery with cooperative teamwork; each child will choose a game to play as we work as a family to avoid disagreements and problem solve.

Wednesday: Sports Day– Time to get out and rides our bikes/scooters around the neighborhood.

Thursday: Money and Time On the Hour. Using chalk and boxes, we will create large analog clocks and use our bodies to practice time on the hour. Skip Counting by 5s and 10s will be our money work for the girls.

Friday: Exploring Science. An adventure awaits at Jim’s Gems and Gold where our three will mine for gold and treasure.

Family Adventure

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Horseback Riding 

Last summer, on our road-trip through South Dakota,  we traveled to see family in the Black Hills. A highlight of that adventure was horseback riding at their ranch. So, when asked what they wanted to do this summer, our  kids requested a horseback ride. Currently, I’m researching affordable options in the Sandhills of North Carolina area. Pictures of our adventure hopefully to come soon!

Summer Family Adventures Week 8

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Summer Family Adventures

July 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our July Summer Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Week 5 Adventures!

Monday: Art Class. Handprint Art.  From our Collection of Art, Cooking & Life Skills of On my Own Cards, the kids will follow the directions to create Handprint Hedgehogs.

Tuesday: Cooking with Math Time to make healthy cookies!. I’ll let the kids choose from one our sweet tooth picks on this weeks menu.

Wednesday: Sports Day– Since our move, we are on the quest to find a new martial arts school for our oldest and the other two would like to also try.  Today they will all get a workout at the gym.

Thursday: Life Skill Discovery Writing a Letter.  Our oldest decided, after reading the first couple of Harry Potter Books, to write a letter to J.K. Rowling.  So we asked each of our kids to choose their favorite author to write to and we will turn it into a fun life skill project. Check out this week’s posting on which authors were chosen.

Friday: Exploring Science. Exploring Science, we may head up to the local city and try out one the science museums today.

Family Adventure

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Blues Cafe or Museum!  

With our recent move, and all the crazy that goes with a transition, sticking to our activity schedule was a challenge.  So, we have some catching up to do on our Summer Wish List. This week we are going to try and head to a local museum and head to the Blue Cafe for our family adventures.

Summer Family Adventures- July

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Summer Family Adventures

July 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our July Summer Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Here is our family "Bucket List" for the summer

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These are our Summer Goals (A line through them means we have already accomplish):

Each month we will have a different themed adventure map. Weekly projects will be outlined on the map and detailed on the blog  This month, I created a beach scene that will later be used for a fun game board and reading chart.

Daily Challenge

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Daily we ask the kids to:

Summer Family Adventures:Week 2

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Summer Family Adventures

Week 2

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List. For a review of our week 1 adventures, click on this link

Here are our week 2 goals:

Monday: Life-Skill Preparing and Packing for a trip – Our kids will learn why lists are important as they sketch their own and help us pack for the move. Family Trip Packing List

Tuesday: Exploring Science Discover a local beach and learn about the creatures who call that habitat home.

Wednesday: Music Break– Practice on the ukulele and guitars, begin to learn the basics of reading music.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.

Friday: Cooking with Math. Measuring out Trail Mix for our Road Trip.

Family Adventure

Road Trip

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On the road again!! Our family is traveling to see family this week and meet the newest family member a sweet little boy.  The kids are sure excited to have some cousin playtime and we can’t wait to see my brother and sister-in-law!

Summer Family Adventures

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Summer Family Adventures

June 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Here is our family "Bucket List" for the summer

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Summer Goals:

Each month we will have a different themed adventure map illustrated by my husband. Weekly projects will be outlined on the map and detailed on the blog  This month, he crated a silly snake that will later be used for a fun game board.

This week's daily challenge

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Daily we ask the kids to:

Week 1 Adventures

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Monday: Science Experiment- make parchment paper. Click this link to see a video of how we created our paper.  It was a quick, easy and fun craft that took no more then 15 minuets.

Tuesday: Writing- from yesterday’s paper making the kids created stories and scrolls.

Wednesday: Art Class– a local artist and friend hosts an class for kids Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  We are headed over to the Chill in the morning , where she’s teaching, to paint.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.  Today is also the oldest birthday!

Friday: Cooking with Math. We will be baking a cake for her birthday party with the kids help.  However if you are looking for a terrific resource projects with easy steps for grades pk-2, check out “On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills“. We will be using this resource throughout the summer.

Family Adventure

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Blueberries and blackberries are ready to be picked.  We hope to fill a couple buckets of fresh fruit.  We may also make a quick stop at the local beach to enjoy the beach, before we move.

 

Good Fortune Eggs

More "Egg"cellent Activities

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Check out today’s Easter Egg activities:

  1. Good Fortune Eggs

  2. Money Matching Eggs

  3. Golden Egg Treasure Hunt

Good Fortune Eggs

This morning, as the girls prepped for school, they also pitched in to help clean.  The oldest grabbed the dust rag and started cleaning off the blinds.  She may have used a bit to much water, creating a soppy mess; however her heart was sure in the right place.  Our other daughter swept the floor clearing the floor of dust. All the kids were so cheerful and helpful, it started me pondering a fun incentive. As I got to work on my projects today, I came up with extra chore eggs. My husband suggested I add a little advice of each egg hence the Good Fortune Egg idea was hatched. Each egg, on the outside is labeled, Thank you, Wow or Good job.  Inside the egg is a positive phrase with a small amount of change as a thank you for a job well done.   Here are some of the sayings we used:

  • It’s the sweet things you do that make us smile.
  • Aren’t you sweet! Thank you honey!
  • Daddy and I are so proud of your work.
  • That’s what we call perseverance!
  • Good belief in yourself! You did it!!
  • Than you for your help! You are an “egg”cellent (excellent worker).
  • Thank you for always saying please and thank you. You are “egg”tra special.
  • We love spending time you with you. You are “egg”tra (extra) sweet.
  • You are sweet to help! Thank you!
  • You really made us smile today! Thank you!

To download our full list of positive phrases, egg praise. You could even use this idea without the extra money. Just a positive praise would be a lovely reward.

Easter Store Match

For a fun math game, consider creating a matching game.  My middle daughter loves collecting recyclable goods for her play kitchen. I found twelve containers and labeled them with a variety of change amounts.   Then, I took an empty egg carton, placed twelve plastic eggs with the matching coins.  The recycled items and plastic eggs were placed into a “center” bag for her to pick up and practice her math skills. This fun activity could be used in all sorts of math matching activities.

  • Matching shapes
  • Matching numbers to objects (manipulatives)
  • Matching capital to lower case letters
  • Matching larger amounts of money for older students.
  • Matching time
  • Matching fractions

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Treasure Hunt

Find the Golden Egg!

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Last year I created an adventure race for my daughters spy party.  Ever since then treasure hunts are requested for every celebration.  Using the same format from last year’s race, I have come up with an interactive Easter Egg Treasure Hunt. Each clue created has activity that is either a mind puzzle or an athletic event.  The clues are placed in plastic eggs and pre-dispersed according to the destination. To create golden eggs, I found chalk eggs at Target in the $1.00 bin and used spray paint turn them into gold.

 

Here are the clues I wrote.

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Clues 1 & 2

Clue 1: Sweet Little Peeps, don’t fall asleep. Run along until you hear the beep.

  • The clue in the Car.

Clue 2: You put me together to carefully find the next clue you must piece together with your mind. To find the right path just relax in a bath.

  • The clue is in a bathtub
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Clues 3 & 4

Clue Three: Now it’s time for a training of sorts. Head out to the “obstacle course”. Hop onto the logs but don’t fall into the bogs. Balance well my friends, you don’t want to wiggle and end into the bottomless pit of vipers you see. Now climb to the top of the bars to free the clues you seek but don’t make a peep. Silent as a ninja but quick don’t sleep.

  • The next clue is outdoor near our pull-up bars and pretend obstacle course.

Clue Four: Now thing my dear team, what is half of one? Where would you find a fraction of fun? What is 1/2 of 4? What is 1/2 of 2? What is 1/2 of 12?  Add those numbers together and what do you get? Now find the clue in the numbers you drew.

  • The numbers connect to display our house number.  The next clue will be in our mailbox.
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clues 5 & 6

Clue Five: Directional Challenge: X marks the Spot. Look at this map you will clearly see where the next clue for the treasure surely be.

  • The map is a picture of our living room. The clue is hidden in the treasure box on top of a cabinet.

Clue Six: Careful with this clue you wouldn’t want to brew up trouble. Measure your steps well; you wouldn’t want to scare the morning bear.

  • The next clue is by the coffee pot.
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Clues 7 & 8

Clue Seven: Training Time Count Down to 1:

  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 9 sit-ups
  • 8 burpees
  • 7 long jumps
  • 6 spider walks
  • 5 push ups
  • 4 jogs in place
  • 3 star jumps
  • 2 frog hops
  • 1 min. of plank. After you are done, your next clue will be given to you.

Clue Eight: Decipher the Code

  • The next clue will be near the piano keyboard
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Clues 9 & 10

Clue Nine: Time to Show off your bunny skills. Grab a bag and hop, hop, hop. Your team must jump from start to stop. To the side of the house, quite as a mouse. Your final clue awaits, just race to the finishing gate.

  • This activity is a race with Walmart fabric bags hopping along the side of the house.

Clue TEN: unscramble the letters of this final clue, to uncover the mystery you seek. You have completed your task. Now is’t time to bask. But please be aware, you’ll need to share!!

  • The letters unscramble to form the words: guitar case where they will find their Golden Eggs

To download our clues, click here: Easter Treasure Hunt

 

 

Learning on Holiday

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This weekend, for my 40th birthday, our family is headed on a grand adventure to Hawaii. The last couple weeks have been spent gathering teaching material and creating fun projects for my 3, 5 and 7 year old children.  In order to make the most of space, I’ve tried to come up with projects that don’t require a lot of storage but still spark creativity. During our trip, I plan to blog about our family learning adventures.  We hope to travel and learn on the go creating a classroom without walls. We are excited about the learning possibilities and adventures we will have with our kids!  Here are some of the projects I’ve created, so far.

Travel Journals 

With the different age levels in mind, I created personalized journals.  Designed not to be to labor intensive, I want the children to be excited and enjoy writing in their logs. For my preschool child, he can circle the type of activity & weather and rate the day.  Then he can draw a simple picture while I write down one sentence about his drawing. For my kindergartener she can also circle the type of activity, weather and rate the date. Additionally there is a space for a picture and sentence prompts for details about each day. For my 2nd grade child, I have the same as the 5 year old but with words rather then emoticons to rate the day.

This year, I bound each of their journals into a fun personal book.  First, I added a blank page to each side of the book.  I then hauled out my sewing machine and stitched one side of the book for a spine. Using a sticky back foam pages, I attached it one to the front and the second to the back to create the cover.  Using patterned duct tape, I reinforced around the outside cover for a finished look. Originally I was just going to tape the spine, however the sticky foam continued have edges that popped up and I figured this would make it easy for children to take the book apart.  So, I ended up taping around each side.

Learning Modules

The teachers are sending home some of the material they are covering in class but this holiday gives me the opportunity come up with create projects and writing prompts for my students. So with that in mind, I created different modules for three children.

1st up is my preschooler.  Found on Mrs. D’s Corner, I absolutely love her morning work binder.  I purchased, downloaded and modified to fit my little one’s needs.  In this binder, I have practice for learning to spell his name, his street address, phone number and understanding weather.  To add to this idea, I designed suitcases that I laminated for all my kids to practice packing according the season, putting the months and days in order and housing their personal information for the velcro sheets.  Towards the back of the binder, I also found some fantastic clip art story boards to use with dry erase markers.

Each of the girls have a binder/folder filled with projects and activities. There is music and movement, a Hawaii Glyph, a short play, reading comprehension for the older and following directions for the younger.  I’ve also included a variety of working with words and language development for each girls designed for their level.  Each girl has a daily activity that I used a few years ago while teaching in Colorado. This one page is chalk filled with daily math uses.  There is number of the day with ten frames, hundred charts, calendar, patters, temperature, clock, analogies and either sentence editing or site word practice.  Then, there is my favorite section, writing lessons.

Writing Projects

During our time away, I have created a variety of writing prompts themed for our time on the island.  There is a prompt for creative stories, procedural writing and comic.  I also created a movie strip from a suitcase to design a picture story.  Each prompt can be used for a variety of levels by offering more or less help when writing stories.  I am also taking a few blank books for when inspiration hits or to save brochures and pictures from the island.

Books

Our evening routine is not complete without story-time.  With that in mind, I looked for island themed books.  Here are some of the Hawaii books we found. Some are on kindle with others are paperback.

 

 

That Lightbulb Moment

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“Oh, wait Mom, I get it”.  Just the words I was waiting to hear all weekend!  That lightbulb moment when you see the spark of excitement and the eagerness to share their learning, I adore those moments. S, my oldest daughter, brought home a diagnostic report from a math exam last week.  After reviewing and analyzing the report, I noticed her main struggle was “recognizing equivalent forms of 2 digit numbers using tens and ones”. Here is an example:

2 tens + 5 ones = 1 tens + ______  or 2 tens + 5 ones = ___ tens + 15 ones

That afternoon, we pulled out the cubes and traded tens for ones. But, it still wasn’t mastered.  Over the weekend we reviewed in a variety of different ways but, she was still confused.  Then, on Sunday night, an idea took root.  Earlier that day, the family took a trip to Michaels. The girls asked to take some of their chore money to spend.  That is when it hit me; money, she loves playing with pennies and dimes.  So, here is the activity I came up with.

I folded paper into an accordion and placed a problem on each top fold.  Beneath the fold, was reserved for the answer.  Continuing the problems to the back of the paper, I added five problems.  The accordion pages she deemed magical as the questions kept appearing. Pulling down the piggybank, I collected 10 dimes and a pile of pennies.  For each turn, I had S trade 1 dime for 10 pennies. Towards the last problem, she had that lightbulb moment.  The excitement was evident as she raced to tell her Dad what she discovered.  On the outside, it doesn’t seem like a challenging problem, however sometimes it’s getting past the stumbling block of frustration to finally reach the solution.  Great job, little S, we are proud of you!