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Monday, December 14, 2009

rainbow boxes

Our school year in Australia is about to end, but I thought I would still show you one method that has been successful to help organise some of the boys' school work.
Inspired by the work boxes that have been around a bit this year and not being able to purchase the system as shown I found this alternative.

We call them rainbow boxes.
I started by setting them up for B3 as a way for him to work more independently.
Then as he was enjoying them and having success with them B4 wanted to have some too.
I found the best way for me is to set them up for the week, if I had to do this daily it would all come unstuck in a hurry.
Any printed sheets I label Monday through to Friday and they work their way through these.
I have found this has been good also for learning the days of the week.
B4 only does 8 activities and we use the top two drawers to hold the Math-u-see manipulatives and his finished worksheets.
We start the day with maths so the math-u-see is in the top drawer.
I usually include some number fact work or speed tables for B3 in the next drawer.
Handwriting follows- I cheated this term and bought a handwriting book for each of them and this has been a great time saver.
B3 then has a spelling exercise and writing exercise and some reading exercises.
B3 has been struggling with his reading but we have put in a big effort this year and he is finally getting somewhere although it is still hard work.
I also include some phonics work, sight word work and an art book.
I bought the tudor system this year it has been great for the workboxes as well.
I was also putting in some science experiments for B3 as he loves science but I have been a bit slack of late.
I have at times also included some knitting, sewing or other craft or puzzles.
They will do these activities for a week and then I will change it around.
I have found this an organised approach and with the aid of a checklist keeps the boys on task and accountable for their work.
I was hoping that it would also help B3 keep a track of his things as he is always misplacing one thing or another.
One day we were discussing this in the car on the way to town and I said to B3,
"Why are you always losing stuff?"
and B2 piped up and said,
" Because he is good at it!"
We all had a good laugh at that.
Anyway B3 still seems to lose things because he puts them somewhere and forgets instead of putting them straight back in his drawers- something we will need to practise next year.
B4 can still be a handful to get him to sit at the table and learn- so some days I just make sure he does the basics and then I let him go and do his own work which is usually something inventive. 
I said to VCH that for Christmas we should just get him a roll of tape, some hot glue gun sticks and a pile of cardboard boxes, he would think it the best present out.

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