Reading Response Journals and Activities Webcast

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Today we are going to talk about Reading Response activities.  I also want to know if any of you use any type of reading response journals or questions to help your child retain what they have read.  Many curriculum have reading response activities that go along with their stories.  But if you’re using your own reading program or just reading books, you might feel that you need something to help with comprehension.

Reading Response Journals are one of the easiest ways that I’ve found to keep up with comprehension type questions.  In my classroom, I had my students put together reading response journals to go along with whatever book they are reading.

There are two ways you can do this.  You can either make a journal for every book they read or you can make a larger journal to keep for an entire semester.  You can make these journals very inexpensively.  This is how I make mine.

I use card stock for the cover.  I have some response questions that can be printed right on the cover or you can cut it out and glue it inside the cover.  Either way works.   You then put in lined paper.  I found a really great site for this.  It is

There are two options that I found.  This one I like but you will have to cut these out.  So more work. The other you will only need to fold and put into the cover.  I staple on the outside because I don’t have one of those large staplers.

The process for this journal is the child either picks one of the questions inside the cover to write about or you can give them specific questions about the book they’re reading.  On the internet you can find many places with questions for almost every chapter of a book.  One of the best places I’ve found for this is “Homeschool Free Stuff”.  Here is the address.  If you look on the right hand side, look under English, and click on “books – supplemental materials”.  There is a long list of books.  If you don’t find your book there, you might need to do a search for the book.  Use the book’s title and then put lesson plans or unit.  This will usually bring up many websites to check.

You can also use Author’s Study, Character Studies, and many other Reading Response type sheets to keep things changing.

My resources for today are:


If you would like to watch the webcast you can click on these links.  There are two because I was cut off and had to start the recording again.

Reading Response Journals and Activities part 1

Reading Response Journals and Activities part 2


Making an edible layers of the earth

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Hi guys, today we discussed how to make an edible model of the layers of the earth.  If you would like to watch the video you can go to this link is for the first part of the webcast.  I got disconnected at one point and had to start the recording over so this is the link for the second part.


The resources for this webcast are:

Lessons for teaching Layers of the earth:  and  The second has many resources.  Make sure you check these out ahead of time, I looked at them quickly.

This link is for how to complete the edible model.

The materials for making the edible model is:

cherry or raisins, large marshmallow, four rice krispie treats or homemade rice krispie treats, Magic Shell chocolate syrup, knife, toothpicks, and food gloves.

I hope you enjoy this great hands-on activity.

If you have questions you can email me at

See you next week!


Famous Artists Webcast

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This past Tuesday my webcast was on Famous Impressionists.  It was a great webcast!  I showed how to make a single, double and even a triple lapbook.  I introduced a wonderful website, Practical Pages, where there are lapbook components, information sheets, notebooking sheets and much more.  We discussed the children copying the artists.  I think this is a wonderful way for the children to study, more closely, the artist’s work.  If a child is copying a famous work of art, they pay closer attention to that art. We discussed how to include the children’s work in the lapbooks.

All in all this was a great webcast.  You can view this webcast at




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Feb. 21st – Making edible earth layer  (fun project for the children)

Feb. 28th – Reading Response Activities

March 6th – History Resources and Timelines


Supply List for “Edible Earth”


Large Marshmellow

2 rice crispie treats

Choclate syrup that hardens


food gloves

Math Tips and Tricks Webcast Feb. 7, 2012

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Multiplication Tricks

When you multiply by 0, the product is always zero.

5 x 0 = 0           0 x 26 = 0

When you multiply by 1, the product will always be the other number.

3 x 1 = 3            1 x 56 = 56

When multiplying by 2, you double the other number.

8 x 2 = 16          5 x 2 = 10

6 trick” – Take the other number you are multiplying and hold up that many fingers.  Count by 5s on each of those fingers and then go back and count by 1s.

9 mental trick” – Take one away from the other number, then say what number + that number = 9.

9 hand trick” – Bend finger down corresponding to the number x 9. Then count the fingers on the left of bent finger and then right of bent finger.

Divisibility Rules

A number is divisible by:

2 – if it is even

3 – if the digits add up to 3 or a multiple of 3

6 – if it is divisible by 2 and 3.

5 – if it ends in 0 or 5

9 – if it is divisible by 3

10 – if it ends in 0.

 Converting between Metric numbers

Kids Have Dropped  Over dead converting metrics

Kilo Heckto Decka   units deci centi milli

This is a pneumonic that will help children learn how to convert numbers within the metric system.

The “O” stands for the units begin converted, etc. liters, meters, …

So if you wanted to change this sentence you could use a “U” instead of an “O”.

Order of Operations

1) Do all Exponents first

2) Do all calculations within parentheses

2) Do all multiplication and division from left to right

3) Do all addition and subtraction from left to right


Reducing fractions – find the GCF (greatest common factor) of both numbers and divide both top and bottom.  (on board)

Adding and Subtracting fractions, you need to have common denominators.  If the denominators are the same, you add the top numbers and keep the bottom numbers the same.

To get common denominators you find the smallest number that both denominators will go into.  Then change the top and bottom of both fractions.  (on board)  The rule to remember is: if you do it to the bottom you have to do the same to the top.

Then you can add the top numbers.

Multiplying fractions, you multiply both the top and bottom numbers.  Then reduce.

Dividing fractions, you change the division symbol to X and flip the second fraction and then multiply and reduce.

 Resources – one of my favorite place to print math worksheets 

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The Schedule for the next several weeks is

Feb. 14th – Famous Artists lapbook/notebook

Feb. 21st – Making edible earth layer

(fun projects for the children)

Feb. 28th – Reading Response Activities