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Saturday 28 March 2020

Learning at home using junk mail

As millions of parents face the reality of home schooling I can feel the anxiety in the air peaking! Never fear Classroom Ponderings is here to help you shoulder the burden. Your school may or may not have provided you with lots to do already but here are some activities that might help you with your kiddos at home just using magazines, newpapers or junk mail.

1. Use old magazines or junk mail brochures for cutting practice. Use the pictures to create a collage picture, if you have writers they could write a story to go with the picture. If you have littles that need cutting practice draw shapes around the pictures or different kinds of lines that they can cut along.

2. Use the magazines to do a word hunt for spelling. You can choose a spelling pattern (your school may have already provided you with a list) or words beginning or ending with a certain sound. Find words with 1,2,3,4 or more syllables, find compound words, find rhyming pairs, extend this by asking the children to add more on to the list. If your little is still learning about letters and sounds then start an alphabet wall/chart that can be added to over time as you find pictures and words that start with that letter. Limit it to learning 1 letter over 2 days.

3. Shopping brochures are great for learning about money and numbers in general! Give your child an amount they can "spend" and have them cut out the item with the price. They will need to work out a total and then how much change. This activity obviously needs to be leveled accordingly and helps with skip counting, if you have toy money around that is great to use, if you don't maybe use some coins to make rubbings and then cut them out. Make paper notes by drawing and colouring them in. (yes I guess technically this could be counterfeit but hey we could also be going into a global financial crisis, we need to prepare ourselves!) If you raid your recycling bin for boxes and other bits and pieces you could set up a shop area with shopping lists (writing), labelling, signs, pricing and of course social distancing rules in place.

4. Cut out the numbers to use for place value. Make a place value mat with the hundreds/tens/ones columns, you can of course extend this to thousands or beyond if your little is up to that. Kiddos can place numbers in each column and draw MAB to represent them. MAB's are hundreds, tens and ones blocks that represent the value of a number. You could ask them to make a number greater than or less than a particular number and using a blank number line ask them to place it on the number line according to its value. For littles who are just learning about numbers, cutting them out and putting them in order is a great way to start fluent counting, they could then count objects such as rocks or sultanas to represent that number or draw how many it could be.

5. Give your kiddos one page of the newspaper and tell them they have to make the longest paper chain they can with that one piece. Talk about how they could do it, then measure how long it is against another person. This teaches them about length, comparison, problem solving. Get them to do it more than once so they can see if they change their strategies can they make it longer!

These are just a few ideas to start with, I will be back with more in the coming days! Wish me luck I will be homeschooling a Grade 10!

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