## Wednesday, May 30, 2012

### Flash Cards for Singapore Math 1A 3.2.2 Game

Unable to find the exact materials I needed for the Singapore Math 1A 3.2.2 game, I ended up creating my own. (3.2.2 = Unit 3, Chapter 2, Lesson 2, which is on page 27 of the Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 1A STD ED Home Instructor's Guide.) They were a bit of a pain in the rump to make, so I thought I'd share. The free downloadable PDF file includes flash cards for all addition facts through 5, +0 and +1 as well as all corresponding answers. (See chart on page 25 of the aforementioned Home Instructor's Guide.)  You may wish to tailor what you print to best fit your needs.

 Flash Cards for Singapore Math 1A 3.2.2 Game

For a shorter game, print pages 1-7 (expression cards) and 11-17 (answer cards), then weed out the duplicate reversed order expression cards. (See chart on page 25 of the aforementioned Home Instructor's Guide. This will print expression and answer cards for the first three columns.) There will be a few extra cards at the end of each printed group. Discard those too.

For expression cards only, print pages 1-11. Discard the answer cards that print out on the last page. (See chart on page 25 of the aforementioned Home Instructor's Guide. This will print the expression cards only for the entire chart.)

 At one point, Tessa ended up with a BUNCH of answer cards. I really thought I had shuffled better than that.

The entire deck looked as though it might be a bit much for Tessa, so I decided to use the cards for the shorter game the first time around. We went ahead and used them all the second day. It went well enough, but she was a bit antsy by the end. Me too! Overall, Tessa really liked this game.

## Monday, May 28, 2012

### Blank Number Bonds Worksheet

Found this wonderful blank number bonds worksheet by fivej's when Tessa started studying number bonds a couple of weeks ago in Singapore Math 1A. Thought I'd share. It's so nicely designed!

 Blank Number Bond Worksheet by fivejs.com.

## Thursday, May 24, 2012

### Finally! Handwriting We Like...I Think

If I would have started this blog a couple of months ago, I would have written a lot about our handwriting struggles. Handwriting Without Tears for Kindergarten was perfect for Tessa. I have no complaints. Used with the key components, it's a very good program, especially for young learners. However, Handwriting Without Tears for Grade 1 was a flop for both of us. I started loathing their signature double lines. From watching Tessa write during other subjects, I knew her handwriting could be quite good for her age, but I just wasn't seeing it during handwriting. Half of the first grade workbook is pretty much identical to the kindergarten one. I guess it's good to be consistent and familiar, but for us, it was just too much of the same ole thing. Granted, it may not be as bad for students who don't school year-around or jump right into the next level.

 Handwriting Without Tears for Grade 1 - Without headlines, Tessa's tall letters are inconsistent and often way too tall.

After looking and thinking, looking and thinking, I finally bought a Zaner-Bloser for Grade 1 handwriting workbook for her. The font isn't too terribly different. I had Tessa continue to form letters the Handwriting Without Tears way. The pages are four-color, feature cute little illustrations and the lessons are easy to divide into smaller portions. It was a breath of fresh air...for about a week. What was the problem? Zaner-Bloser prints on high-gloss paper, which is very SLICK. In addition to concentrating on proper letter formation, Tessa worried about her pencil slipping across the page. It wasn't worth the frustration. We had no choice, we chucked it. After a one-day jump back to the Handwriting Without Tears for Grade 1 workbook (needless to say, that didn't go so well...again), I decided to copy the remaining Handwriting Without Tears for Grade 1 content into ZB FontsOnline Plus, which is Zaner-Bloser's wonderful free online worksheet maker. I love that I can adjust the line spacing by choosing different grade levels.

 Zaner-Bloser for Grade 1 - Zaner-Bloser uses four-color printing, features cute illustrations and the lessons are easy to divide. Tessa completed these pages over five days. Unfortunately, Zaner-Bloser prints on high-gloss paper, which is very slick and caused Tessa needless frustration.

 ZB FontsOnline Plus - A worksheet I created using Zaner-Bloser's free online worksheet maker. I copied the remaining Handwriting Without Tears for Grade 1 content into the program. I wanted to use Handwriting Without Tear's worksheet maker for the font, but they do not currently offer a triple-line option as far as I can tell.

We pressed on with my revised Handwriting Without Tears worksheets. Every time I pulled one out, Tessa broke out into a fit of uncontrollable itches and yawns. It was a struggle for her to form one full letter without some part of her body itching. I took this as a sign that I needed to find something drastically different. More looking and thinking...

Thank you, Scholastic Teacher Express Dollar Deals! Hiding within categories I never would have thought to look in for handwriting curriculum, I found these (plus, a few others for later).

We started 15 Reproducible Cut & Paste Mini-Dictionaries this past week. I divided the words among three days, so Tessa copies five themed words every other day. She also hones her hand and finger muscles by coloring, cutting and pasting the corresponding pictures into the booklet. Although I think she knows, I've been careful not to call it handwriting. I think I'm on the right track, as she actually asked to work on her mini dictionary first the second day. My plan is to rotate the eBooks above every couple of weeks to stem off monotony.

 After writing the selected words, Tessa colored the corresponding pictures.

 Then, she cut them out.

 Finally, Tessa pasted the pics into her mini dictionary.

Update: We have since abandoned most of the Scholastic eBooks mentioned above. As fun as they were, the line-spacing used in them is ginormous. After trial and error, I discovered Tessa's handwriting is better when smaller. I switched back to creating my own handwriting worksheets with ZB FontsOnline Plus. I use the line spacing for Grade 3. In addition to copying specific letters and words, I allow her to practice a little creative writing...she gets to create her own sentences using words she selects from word banks. Handwriting is going quite a bit better now.