Friday, May 24, 2013

Term Notebook

Remember our term notebook? I used my proclick to whip it up & was pretty content with it. Problem was I only have small proclick spines & have been struggling to find larger, non-spiral, spines. The beauty of a click spine is that you can easily open & close them to add & subtract things or simply move them around.

That's what I need with my term notebook, but because my proclick spine was too small I had to move everything into a 3-ring binder. I don't mind that, but my favourite 3-ring binder, ever, would have to be the Mead Hybrid FlexBinder. And trust me, I've used a lot of binders over the years. I actually own a couple & they hold a variety of lovely curriculum in them. My reason for loving the Hybrid Flex is that it works like a 3-ring binder in regards to adding & taking away, but it moves like a spiral bound. Kinda like my pro-click.. Oh to find bigger clicking spines for A4 paper!

So why didn't I use one for my term notebook? Oh how I wanted to. I have a few friends who've heard me lament the inability to have the perfect notebook. The problem is the Flex Hybrid is only made with US paper in mind. US sized paper is wider & shorter then Australian paper. US notebooks also have wider rings on them, wide enough that when I use my nifty Aussie hole punch it's not big enough. Weird, huh? So, until someone can make them wide enough for US paper, tall enough for Aussie paper, & with the smaller width flex rings I'll have to settle for average! In the mean time I'll show you why my crazy notebook is so full.

Each week I print out a planning sheet, or as it's known in our houe an IG. I make it up in Numbers {excel for you lovely window users}, which is a combination of all the different Teacher Manuals, Cores, & Instructors Guides I use to make our curriculum. This year we have a fair few we are combining due to the boys using different Cores. I also add in what we're reading in each book & other lessons we are doing. It's nice to have it all written out. I cross things off as they are accomplished & move them into my planner. Things that aren't accomplished go onto next week's planning sheet. This week we have a lot that's being moved to next week thanks to sickies in the house.

Behind that I have our proposed Term 2 schedule, which is outdated because it didn't work & we went back to our older schedule from last year which works like a well oiled machine. Behind those {which is why I have a paperclip there} are the books & amounts within each one I hope we can tackle in Term 2. If we don't, no biggie, but for things like Australian History where I'm pulling resources off the shelf it helps me stay on target without too much panic when we finish one time frame & move into another. The gold stars were found recently at a local cheap shop & Jayden was smitten with them. You'd be amazed  how much more effort is put into handwriting when one has a gold star on the line, or three.

Next comes the spelling & handwriting section. I keep HWOT paper in there so I can grab a sheet out to keep things moving. I also have a pdf from the AAS website about how to move quickly through the first 16 steps of AAS Level 1. This has been nice for us so we don't dwell on things we don't need to for too long. There's also the boys AAS Charts in there, they get a sticker, or in some way mark off, each step as we move along. I like to keep them where I can see them & know where they are. It also means if one child is ahead of another they have no idea because I just open up to each child's sheet when it's their turn to work with me.

Next up is Morgan's section, or that's what I call it anyway. It's where I store his upcoming notebooking pages that go with his World Travel's Diary. The flags are kept in the pocket there as well as other images that he'll need over the week. The nifty pocket holds small booklets that went with one of the nifty Passport To studies that we used with his study on Ireland. I also keep the current Cultural Gathering page in there so I can hand it all to him, or he can grab it all, & work on it each day. These dividers came with my flex notebooks & I'm using them because I love the pockets on them & because they can hold US sized paper which is what I needed, at least for this particular section.

Next is science. Morgan is using Sonlight's Science F this year which is all about the human body. This nifty science curriculum came with worksheets which we use at the end of each day's reading. I keep all the notes & pages in this section so I know where they are when we go to work on science for the day. At the end of the term I just put the notes back in their notebook & bring in the next section. As Morgan completes the science text pages we put them in his notebook.

Next up I have Jayden's section. Jayden's main core this year, Animal Worlds, is heavy with zoology so he only has the one section in my notebook right now. This holds his little notebooking pages that he fills out as we study each animal & then he files it into his lovely Zoo notebook. I like keeping them here before he does them so I make sure he fills them out. We do a lot with this lovely core, but I really want him to have something to show at the end of the year for it.

Next is a section for notes, which mainly means lots of blank paper so I can scribble things down as I stumble upon them. Titles of books, ideas for our history, science experiments that tie in, etc. However, I also printed out my Winter Promise Animal Worlds Pinterest board. A while back I was doing something on the computer & Mr S pointed out I could save things as pdf's instead of printing them out all whacky. Then I can open them in my pdf programme & sort them out from there before printing if I want. I didn't sort these plans out, just printed them! I like the visual of all the crafts I flagged for him. Most of them were only flagged for that exact purpose! See the paper sticking up too high on the left? That's how much taller A4 paper is then US paper. Who's idea was it to have different sized commonly used paper anyway?!

The next two sections are in this photo. The section on the left are just completed IG pages. I originally made them going in landscape, but it took up 4 pieces of paper. By changing my layout to Portrait & reducing the size to 85% or something like that I was able to get my plans onto 2 pages. Or one if I print front & back. Much better! I suppose I don't need to save them, but I tend to save all my plans until after our home monitor comes, every other year, & then I feel comfortable moving them out. The photo on the right is for timeline stuff. Sometimes we combine timeline pieces from various resources, but this year Morgan is using ones from Sonlight's Core F. All though we could really use a few more for other things we're covering that one doesn't generally cover in that core! I should also have some Aussie History notes in there, but truthfully they need their own section, all though for that I'm going to have to get a bigger notebook!


At the end of the week my notebook is often closed up on the school table like this. I need to put something in the front cover because even though it's not closed much I hate the blank white space. My kindle & the boys timers are generally close by as well. During the week though, this crazy thing looks a lot more like the first photo, minus the tv remove & chocolate.

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