Nerd in the Brain! I’ve finally decided to take all of my experiences as a teacher (public school, community college, and home school), a math nerd, and a reading nut and squish them together into something awesome (I hope!).
We won’t be posting about Nerd in the Brain too terribly much here…it is a separate thing, after all. I did feel like it was worth a mention for a few reasons though:
- Grace is actually taking a pretty big part in this whole thing. She’s helping with ideas, proofreading materials, and testing activities and games. She’s a helper and a guinea pig.
- I’ve decided to add some free resources to Nerd in the Brain. I’m hoping the other home schoolin’ families out there will get some use out of them. (Other teachers, too, of course!) Right now, there is only one game available, but I’m hoping to add something new to the free resources each week.
- I like to share resources here…Nerd in the Brain is just one more of ‘em.
- We’ll be adding new literature guides and lesson plans (of the non-free variety) every couple of weeks. You may get some use out of those, too. Again, we’re just getting started, but we’ll be adding materials to help with fantasy, science fiction, and dystopian literature. There will also be math and science lessons in the near future.
- Nerd in the Brain will do giveaways from time to time. I’ll announce them here so all of you teaching lovelies will have a chance at winning some free loot.
Now I’ll leave you with some pictures of Grace enjoying some Operation War. (That’s the free resource that went up today.)
So, Grace and I started using Spectrum Science a few weeks ago to get a broad overview of science for the sixth grade. It’s a really good resource with accessible and interesting reading passages. A lot of the questions accompanying each passage actually make a person think, rather than just regurgitating what was just read. There’s just one problem…there are very few hands-on activities. Well, as some of you may have gathered, Grace is a hands on kind of girl. Especially with science. So, I went questing (if sitting in my chair and clicking links and whatnot can be considered a quest) and found Middle School Chemistry.
It. Is. Fabulous.
Middle School Chemistry is a homeschool teacher’s dream. The lessons are laid out in a clear and logical order. The site provides student reading, activity sheets, full lesson plans, relevant multimedia – everything you could possibly want to plan a lesson. The supplies needed in the activities we’ve done so far are already in our home or cheap to acquire. Did I mention that the site is beautifully organized and easy to deal with? And it’s free! Just fabulous.
It also has nifty features like providing the standards addressed in each lesson by your grade level and state…you know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re teaching those middle school years, the site is definitely-super-100% worth checking out. (No, I wasn’t paid or encouraged in any way to write this…I just really think it’s that awesome and wanted to share.)
Here are some pictures of Grace doing the first lesson earlier this week:
Investigating to see if water molecules are attracted to each other.
This lesson also had a food coloring in water demo to show that water molecules are always on the go…coincidence that we just did this last week with Science Wizardry. :)
Water molecules, unite!
Water molecules stick together well enough that you can guide a large drop through a race track. :D
So, Grace and I have delved into the world of “lapbooks.” That seems like a goofy term to me, so we’ve just been calling this first one a “history folder” or the “Mesopotamia folder.” ;) Basically, it’s just a whole giggeldy-ton of activities that all get attached to one folder at the end…then you have tons of foldables and graphics and whatnot all in one nice, tidy spot. Several people have asked me how these are going (we’re working on one in science too), so I thought I would share how this one turned out. I purchased this set of activities from HERE. (I think all of their items are on sale for half price through tomorrow.) When we finish our “Foundations of Chemistry” folder, I’ll also share that one.
Today we did Rocket Math. Rocket Math is a game that helps you learn math. It has adding, subtracting, shapes, and things like that. I use it to practice multiplication. Kids younger than me can use it too. You get to build a rocket and send it out to space. You have to answer math questions too. Little moons that have numbers on them float around, and only a few have the answer to the question. You also have money. You have to answer MORE questions to earn money. the more money, the more parts for your rocket, and the more parts, the faster it goes. I love Rocket Math!!!:-D
Have you ever played a game named ”Squeebles?” It’s a really good game that helps you learn multiplication. The ”Squeebles” that I’ve rescued so far are Jingo, Bash, Bug, Baz, Trig, Lex, Globbo, Swipe, Zuma, Toastie, Flush, (he looks like a toilet) and Pip. I love this game, and I play it every day. You have to save all of the ”Squeebles” from the ”Math Monster” by answering the times tables. Each ‘Squeeble” has a personality. I love math!:D
A year or two ago, I decided (quite on a whim) to paint the dining room table with chalkboard paint. I thought it would be fun to draw and write during dinner. It turned out to be a great place for jotting phone numbers, keeping score in games, and writing notes to each other. Now I’ve discovered that it’s also great for school! Grace and I wanted to make a large diagram of the water cycle, so we used different colored chalk and note cards to make it happen. Grace wrote the definitions of water cycle words on the backs of the note cards and we took a picture of the whole shebang. Now we have a picture we can refer back to and a lovely set of flash cards for studying the water cycle.
The artwork is stunning, no?
I’ve been tinkering with the blog a bit…I’m sure it will be a constant work in progress. I’ve rearranged some of the things over there on the side bar. I’ve also added a tag cloud, so you can easily check out just what you’re interested in. Other new additions….a field trip page for sharing field trip photos and info, a resources page for sharing anything awesome we come across, and a widget on the side that displays what we’re reading. The “what we’re reading” widget includes what I’m reading for fun, what Grace is reading for fun, and what we’re reading for school (which, of course, can also be fun). I think those are all of the changes….for now.