Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hands of a Child Lapbook Giveaway....

We are giving away the 400th lapbook creation from In the Hands of A Child

What is a Lapbook Project Pack?
A Lapbook Project Pack contains both the activities and the lesson plans, or research guide, needed to complete the activities.  Imagine your child not only learning about the life cycle of a butterfly, but also learning how a butterfly's tongue works through straw painting.  Students don’t just read the story, Blueberry Sal by Robert McCloskey- they enjoy a “blue day” complete with a recipe for blueberry pancakes, making a “blue” collage, and don’t forget painting a “blue” picture!

Lapbooks take the topic the student is studying and help break each concept down for them. Lapbooks take what they've learned about that concept and place it into some type of foldable or graphic organizer. The wonderful thing about this visual and tactile way of learning is that the brain will often store the information as a picture instead of text, and for a lot of students this means instant retention. Besides that, they are fun!! (as a way of learning and teaching)

Why is this a better way to learn?  How does this help me? 
Student learning improves when lessons incorporate hands-on projects or crafts.  Children learn by doing.  Lapbook Project Packs put learning into their hands!  The possibilities are endless when your student begins a lapbook with a Project Pack from In the Hands of a Child.  There are no age or skill limits, and any topic or subject can be worked into a Project Pack.

When you purchase a Lapbook Project Pack from In the Hands of a Child, all the work is done for you-the parent/teacher, but not for the student.  In addition, Project Packs are easy to store, are an instant review tool, a scrapbook, and a ready-made portfolio of all your student’s studies. Plus, storage is simple and easy because they fit in a file cabinet, magazine rack, or portable file box.

How do I make a Project Pack?
A Lapbook Project Pack is simply a file folder refolded into a shutter-style book.  Open a file folder flat, fold each side into the middle and crease the fold neatly.  There you have it!

What supplies do I need?
You need file folders, paper in different colors and weights*, your student’s favorite coloring tools, tape, glue, scissors, and a stapler.
The contest is almost over. 

Click  this link to the original entry.

To enter do any or all of the following:

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(Be sure to leave a separate post for each entry.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making animal cells

This is an old post.  During our plant and animal cell unit we made cells.  We happened to be staying in a hotel in Brentwood Tennessee during this science unit.  So our work area was a bit smaller.  It was alot of fun and yummy.

Jello, skittles and starburst.

The nucleus.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Following directions art activity

This past week on the Scholastic Teacher Express website.  I filled my hard drive with many, many, many awesome books.  I have to admit....My name is Renita and I am a Curriculum Junkie!!  They had a $1.00 ebook sale.  I cleaned up for next year's Social Studies.  When we finish our Geography unit this coming summer, we will be starting US History.  That includes US Presidents also.  So I ordered plays and art activities to go with each section.  Some timeline stuff too.  I also ordered most of the boys Language Arts activities also.  Cleaned up...saved Hundreds of Dollars!!!

Anyway....I found this one book on Following Directions with Pocketcharts.  I actually ordered this series through Grade 6, since this is an activity that needs to be constantly worked on in kids with Autism.  We completed our activity out of it.  I set up a project station at the kitchen table.  I put out the patterns, decorating supplies, pencils, scissors, and glue sticks. 

Now I have pocket charts, but since we have this cool bulletin board above the kitchen table for scheduling I thought I would dual purpose it.  I wrote out the steps on the sentence strips (by the way...Dollar Tree is a great place to purchase these.  We use them for spelling words also).

We changed the directions up a bit.  We turned our snowmen into ourselves.  I added the step of gluing their picture on the top of the snowman's head.  I thought it was cute. I will date them and save them along with all my other precious souvenier memories. 

There is lots of cut and paste activities.  I highly recommend this book!!!  Great fine motor and perceptions skills activities!!  I look forward to incorporating an activity every week.

Sledding Day....

Sledding time!!!  We wanted to take advantage of the sledding hill when it may not be so busy.  So we thought today would be great!  And we had it to ourselves for part of the time. 

Eventually another family came and brought this really cool sled that they graciously allowed all the kids to take turns with.  It was fun!!

Joe and I even took turns going down the hill with Caty.

Check out the videos of the kids screaming all the way down the hill..(I warn you, turn down the sound!!)

After an hour we were all frozen and since this lovely spot is only 10 minutes from our house.  We went home and watched movies together.  I did pack hot cocoa though for that short ride home, so the kids were warmed up before we got there.

Welcome to Russia....

We signed in our passports.

We used Google Translate to hear how to say our names and even some cartoon characters names in Russian.  The phrase below is Welcome to Russia.

We learned about Russian nesting dolls.  We colored pictures of them.  I didn't have the supplies in the house to create our own set.  We also colored beautiful Faberge eggs sheets.  Joey did an awesome job staying in the lines.  

We watched a History Channel special on Faberge Eggs.  It was wonderful special and full of historical  pictures and accounts.  We found it on Youtube.  We had to watch it in 10 minute segments, but it was worth it.  So then we decided to make our own fabrege eggs.  We used inflated balloons with newspaper and glue.  Quite messy and required alot of adults hands-on.  The only one to enjoy it was Caty. 


Then we used decoupage glue and tissue paper to cover the dried newspaper.

 Here's our masterpieces drying.   We took down a curtain in the school room area to allow more light to come from the porch.  We left the rod brackets up to create an art display/drying area.

Joey also spent some time trying to learn a little about chess.  He enjoyed it alot, but he got frustrated at how long a game could take. 

The girls thought they could learn too. Turns out they just like using the pieces to play dolls.  They played the king and queen were boyfriend and girlfriend.  They had all the pawns say a prayer together to start their day.  It was cute.

We were going to have Russian tea cakes and tea this week.  Unfortunately that and our meal were put on hold.  We will have to post that later.  I think because winter has hit us full force, it is a good time to continent hop again!  We are going to look at Antarctica next week.  I have a fun penguin project planned and Youtube was full of videos on Antarctica travel.  I would even be willing to travel there to marvel at the beauty I could see through their camera's eye.  That was until I saw the cost to travel there......will never happen!!  Thinking warm thoughts till next week.

We now have a URL....

I had my hubby get a URL for our blog today.  Sooo excited!!  You can now type in and get to our blog! 

You can also email me directly at

After getting this awesome idea from another mom in our home school group, Joey and Brayden will be starting their own weekly blogs next week.  Joey is excited.  Brayden is too obsessed with his Xbox 360 right now to care.  When he sees it all set up he will get more excited.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sensory week.

Our youngest child has sensory issues that she has been receiving therapy for.  Well as I am blog hopping around reading about all these awesome ideas for kids, I keep reading about sensory tubs.  So I put one together for her.  By the way, this link has some AWESOME ideas.

Our tub has instant potato flakes, white rice and cut up sparkly garland.  I dug out some of Caty's arctic animals to play with in the snow.  The girls kept running to their room and getting out new friends to bury in the snow and make snow angels.  We also have some pine cones to make trees out of.  I am going to buy some hot cocoa this weekend and make one up that they need to dig and find all the mini-marshmallows.  They will love that!!

Caty's got a little nuts today with the spoon.  We had to redirect away from the tub because she thought it was funny to dump the snow.

Our friend David was visiting again!  We tried to make snowflakes out of cooked spaghetti.  I saw this craft before and cannot find it now.  Basically you dip the cooked and cooled noodles in glue.  Shape them to resemble snowflakes and add glitter while they are still wet.  Our snowflakes stuck to the wax paper.  The girls had fun playing with the slimey noodles!

It's a good thing I got glitter on clearance at Michaels for 25 cents a package.  I turned my back and the girls went crazy with sparkles.

I was able to get one snowflake off the paper.  It was cool looking and plenty sparkley!!

If you decide to try this, dry the noodles on paper towel for a few moments.  It will make a difference in the glue sticking to the noodles or not.

First LEGO club meeting

We have some talented kids in our homeschooling group!!  Today was our first LEGO club meeting.  I wanted to find a club that Joey and Brayden would enjoy that didn't involve playing a video game.  Our group doesn't currently have a LEGO club, so we started one!  This month, since we have such a wide range of ages and skills, we brought a creation already made of a favorite character from a show or book.  You can tell my boys love Pokemon right now.  (I really wonder by kids with autism are so drawn to this series.  Thomas the train, Disney's Cars, Bakugan, and Pokemon.  I just don't understand.)

Poke' Ball
Lydia wanted to build Rapunzel.  Notice her long hair!
Brayden's creation was a form of Pikachu.

And this was the rest of our group.
Cookie Monster

Star Wars cruisers

Greg from The Wimpy Kid series

A Hot Wheels Truck

It's Ferb!!!
We plan on meeting once a month.  In January we will be building houses with icicles and snowmen in the yard.  Everyone will bring their own LEGO board and a box of blocks.  We will work at keeping them separate.  I want to let the kids choose their own theme each month.  It will make it more exciting for them.  But SHHHHHH...don't tell them that it's actually educational.  LEGOs are great for fine motor skills and visual perception skills!!!