One of my favorite blogs to visit is Kim’s at Starry Sky Ranch. It is almost scary how I seem to find there things I am already working on or things that have been in the back of my mind to find more about. I say scary because I never met anyone like me in my local homeschool circles. I love to be Hands-On and Montessori-ish and go on rabbit trails and read living books and research great living foods and re-discover devotional things long forgotten and books long out of print.
Last week I went to the Evan Moor site to research what centers I wanted next when I came across their new teacher site Teacherfilebox.com It advertised that for a monthly fee of 9.99 you could have unlimited access to many of their teacher materials (over 450 books used) and the first month was only .99 for just trying it out…how could I go wrong??!….but I did hesitate to figure out the details… then I was reading at Starrysky Ranch about this very thing…the centers and the new site as Dani reminded me and I decided to take the plunge. My printer has been a bit busy today setting some things together for the current lapbooking project the kids are embarking upon for the next few weeks…Astronomy. I hope to put the finishing touches on my "plan" so we can play with this info tomorrow afternoon after lunch.
For the past year, we have slowly started using and loving the Evan Moor Centers as part of our curricula. (I added the links in the left sidebar) I find that they are a nice compliment for what we are already studying and then some…because many times they are springboards to further exploration. Since we run the gambit of their levels in our age ranges, I have all of their levels going at the same time. For even my oldests(13) they get a lot out of the grade 4-6 range centers. They can be added practice for them or cover a topic that might not have been completely fleshed out for them before…
The first book we purchased was the Geography Centers. I fell in love with them on line by going to the Evan Moor site and clicking on the individual center and it had a function to view the book page-by-page. I was sooo happy to find this book because it enabled me to get more Montessori without too much time researching how I wanted everything to be laid out. It was done for me already. I have always wanted a partner making materials….so far, no one has stepped up for the job… (they don’t know what fun they are missing…sniff!)
I do have an inexpensive laminator from Walmart that does an OK job. I get my pouch laminate from Oregon Lamination…they have a flat fee for shipping (that helps!) There are times when I just take the manipulatives for the centers and just use packing tape onto index cards. I have also used clear contact paper over cereal boxes (cut open) which have proved to be very durable too. I have even just printed on heavier weight paper and cut it out for use. So, it really depends on your preference.
When I copy my centers, I do use the lighter feature when I print to save ink. I also just print the fronts of the cards and not the backs. If I have to, I will often add a mark with sharpie on the back of the card to make it self-correcting. It will save you a bit in printing costs and the bulk of the folder if you laminate the worksheet to make it a write on/wipe off center.
Next up…..History Pockets and other 3D fun things for notebooking/lapbooking/scrapbooking!