Interactive Notebooks #2

I love a good interactive notebook.  Who said schoolwork couldn’t be fun?

Phonics for Big Kids by Ashleigh (TeachersPayTeachers)

Right now I’m compiling resources specifically for struggling readers  – kids for whom phonics hasn’t worked.

This term’s notebook is working on word families.  Highlighting chunks of words that kids can identify as sounding the same and then using that knowledge to read all words with that chunk.

Pinterest has a ton of resources.  TeachersPayTeachers provides you with premade worksheets for a small fee.  From what I’ve seen some are well worth the money.

It’s inspired me to work hard on my own resources in the hopes of building a little tutoring business in the future.  I just happen to have a theme which has me very excited 🎉

Lil D can be my guinea pig til my library grows, then – watch out mamas, your kids will be happy to study with me (^-^)

Interactive Notebook

Finally, my stationery addiction can be used for a greater good.

I’ve spent the last few days obsessed with interactive notebooks.

I didn’t know I needed one until a pinterest search for maths fact reviews showed me I couldn’t possibly live without one.  I had been researching a way to help Lil D (and all subsequent dotes) remember maths facts. You know, the basics, the ones that come automatically without thought. I think we just repeated it over and over again when we were kids. Not wishing to take a shortcut, Lil D will too, but with some awesome props.

Interactive notebookBasically an interactive notebook is a pop up notebook.  Everything has a pull or an open or a movement that should bring the notes on the page to life. Usually class teachers plan their master copy and have their pupils do the cutting and pasting as they go through the material.  I’m playing catch up.  For Lil D this is a review so hours with a stick of glue and scissors later and I’ve mapped out basic addition, subtraction and time.

With the help of printables from

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Being a huge fan of stationery this was the perfect job for me.  I’m never happier than when I’m making something.  Scissors and paper are good friends of mine.  Time well spent, methinks.  Lets hope Lil D thinks so too (^-^)

Homework Club

Lil D and I have formed a Wednesday afterschool homework club.

Our aim? To be unstoppable (^-^)

This week we had our first meeting and honestly, it was awesome.  I got to see her midweek and she got to go to a coffee shop, spread out and show off her learning prowess.

As we walked to our new study home she chattered about school and her excitement of being in the choir and orchestra.  It was so nice to hear about her day when it was fresh in her mind.  Asking how her week was after the fact doesn’t usually produce such detail and enthusiasm.

First order of homework club was to order our snacks.  No girl should have to work on an empty stomach.  As I waited for my coffee and she, her milk, Lil D counted my change – education straight away!

We went upstairs, chose a seat and as Lil D tucked into her fruit bread she noted that there was “another girl doing her homework”.  A student.  But it made Lil D proud to be part of something.  I rummaged through her books and found her homework diary waiting for her to finish her snack.  As she polished off the last crumbs and I got ready to start, she said “Not yet” at which point my heart sank.  Did she not get that this wasn’t a play date? “Lets take a photo of our first homework club” she continued – ahh, what a sweetie (^-^)

Homework diary checked, we started on her maths.  She was to write the number before or after the one in the question. No problem, except now I’m thinking she should have done the whole page.  *Sorry Lil D if you get into trouble (>.<)

Next reading.  Her homework diary said P28-32 – her book only had 24 pages.  Erm, am I totally clueless about primary school homework?  We read the whole book.  And it was fun.  Dino-sitting is about a dinosaur named Nutter who finds an egg then under the advice of others sits on it til it hatches.  Not into a bird as he suspected but a T-rex.  Lil D loved predicting what was going to happen and read each word with care.

Next she had a choice of a game or spellings.  Unsurprisingly she chose the game.  Little did she know it was a maths game (^-^) Connect Four – simply get four counters in a row to win.  Our twist was to roll two dice, add the numbers together then place a counter over the corresponding number.  Getting four in a row took a while and as we were using smarties as counters, we ran out of player specific colours fairly soon.  Lil D’s greatest joy was to suggest the winner gets to eat the smarties – pity I won (^-^)

Then came her weekly spellings.  In her homework diary a list of 15 words was pasted.  One to fifteen – I love it when a theme comes together.  Out came my alphabet magnets and whiteboard, to Lil D’s utter delight.  (Does she actually like school work or is it all for the love of props?)  As she sifted through the letters I timed how long it took to build each word.  After each build she wrote the word on the whiteboard with its time.  Hopefully the visual and physical building of the word will help fix them in her memory.

To finish we got around to vowels.  Her teacher had been reviewing them with her class last week and I want to be able to mirror what she’s been doing in class as reinforcement.  I started off by asking her to write all the vowels on the whiteboard.  She did so unfazed. I brought out a snakes and ladders board to practice short vowel words.  Roll the dice and read the word you land on.  To call attention to my point I had her identify the vowel in each word too. Easy peasy, but I won again (^-^)

So ended our first homework club.  A good 90 minutes of real work that felt like fun.  She asked if we would still be doing this when she was in P.5.  I hope so, Lil D.  What a great routine that would be. Until next Wednesday, my dear!