Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Calendar-Weather-Geography Morning Activity

 Traditional Morning Routine 


Often the school day for young kids starts with calendar time. There are lots of options for teachers and homeschooling parents. I've use a smattering of ideas from 1+1=1 and a mixture of some of my own materials. However, if you're on the road and trying to homeschool (whether full-time or just on vacation) I found my traditional morning calendar routine wasn't all it could be. 

I have a small 1/2" binder where I hole punch a cheap Dollar Store calendar so my son gets a sense of months and days and where he can practice writing his numbers. We also kept a graph of weather and temperature. However, when on the road, I felt like this needed to be modified. 

Roadschooling Activity to focus on geography, comparative weather, and activities  


Weather changes as we move around the country, and having my kids identify the current geography  increased in importance. I also found we often were comparing weather where we are, with what people back home are experiencing. So including comparative weather seemed like a good idea. And most importantly, I wanted my kids to have a record of things we were doing, from their own perspective. I didn't find anything that matched my needs, so I made this supplement handout to add to our morning routine. 

I designed the handout for a first grade student, but I'm sure it could be leveled up or down just fine. It includes:
  • What is today? A place for child to write the month, day of the week, and day and year. 
  • Today's number: This is where the child takes the number date and makes 4 number sentences. Two that add up to that number, and two that subtract to that number.  For example on March 12; the student might choose (10 + 2 = 12),  (6 + 6 = 12),  (15 - 3 = 12), and (20 - 8 = 12).
  • Where am I? Here the child writes the name of the city/town, state, and country. He also marks the location on the US map.
  • What's the Weather Like Today? Here the child writes a weather descriptor word, includes a current, and predicted high/low temperature for your current location, and one for "back home." 
  • Picture of what I did yesterday: The child can either draw a picture or make a collage that will help him keep a record of all the cool places your family goes.  My kids like cutting from tourist brochures and pasting ticket stubs in this space. Even photos of the latest fish catch have made it into this spot.   
  • Journal: Today.... prompt allows space for the child to write a sentence of something cool that is going on. 


Tips for Using the Calendar-Weather-Geography Activity 


 You might choose to print out multiple copies (back-to-back maybe) one page per day still adds up to be a lot. Maybe you might choose to print it on card stock, laminate it, or put it in Learning Resources Write And Wipe Pockets or the Crayola Dry Erase Boardso that you don't have all the paper to keep track of.  


 Handwriting Without Tears


In case you're wondering, I choose to use the 2 lines promoted by Handwriting Without Tears.  I have found that it is less confusing as my son knows that some letters are tall, some are small, some are descending, and others are capitals. His handwriting has much improved since using the two lines instead of three.

Free Download Printable

Here is a free download on the Roadschooling Calendar Journal. This link will take you to a Google Doc where you will be able to download the pdf. I would love your feedback. 

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