Oh, it has been a Monday.
We’ve had birthdays galore, some of the kids are sick, and daylight savings time is Just Plain Mean. Because I made two, count ‘em TWO, birthday cakes this weekend, I didn’t get my school planning done and had to pull it together in a pinch this morning.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how difficult the prep is for elementary level kids when using Tapestry of Grace. Even if that’s not your curriculum of choice, you might like the software I use, so don’t look away.
Just to prove how quick and easy it can be, I threw together this decidedly low-budget movie (using Montaj) while I was planning. Before you watch, here are some key things you need to know about how we do Tapestry:
1- My goal is always independent learning. So my upper grammar students are on their own for much of the week, freeing me up to teach my youngers who can’t read. I begin training them for this from day one so that they’re ready to handle it by the time they can read really well.
2 – This year, I started buying all the books for the unit rather than piecing them together through used books and the library. Andrew asked me to do this when the library fees got out of hand. If you break it up and do it unit by unit, Bookshelf Central usually runs a sale right before you need the books. It’s cheaper than Amazon and is always up to date with the current booklist which is HUGE. This makes weekend planning much less stressful because I KNOW where all my books are. TOG books are worth keeping and my kids enjoy re-reading them. Plus, I’ll use them for many years to come. It’s a worthwhile investment for us.
3- I rarely have time to read the teacher’s notes before the week begins. I use the General Information sheet to launch us into the week and I keep the answer keys to the kids’ tests on my clipboard for me to study to know what the highlights are so I can help them learn the important stuff. I’m telling myself I’ll have time to read the teacher’s notes when everyone is wiping their own butts around here.
This video shows you how I compile the weekly packets for my Upper Grammar students and how I create my own clipboard to teach from. I use the digital version of Tapestry and Olly software to make the boys’ assignments look pretty.
It cuts off at the end but what I was trying to say is that by having a designated spot for the week’s books, we (usually) avoid losing them before Friday. USUALLY. Ahem.
Will be back soon with enough birthday cake pictures to give your little eyeballs a sugar buzz…