Archives for June 2009

New Tot School Forms

I have gotten lots of emails in response to my Behind the Scenes post about Tot School Tools-requesting the forms I shared that I use to assess skills I am exposing Krash to. I have emailed those who asked the forms but then realized they could be SOOO much prettier 😉 So…I made some new and improved forms for me and for you!

I also want to describe to you how I use them, in case it’s not something you are familiar with. I use the assessment skills I was taught when I was a teacher.

Here is the main form…
It has categories for: colors, shapes, numbers, physical skills, and body parts. You will see there is an extra row in the number section. The first blocks are for number ID-meaning your child can identify the number out of sequence by looking at it. The second set of blocks is for recording how high s/he can count without missing a number.

You will notice 3 sets of blocks for each item, this is to be sure your child actually has mastery knowledge of this skill. You record 3 different times (different days) your child has demonstrated knowledge of the particular skill.

With a tot I assess in a natural environment. This means, I am not sitting at a table drilling K on what he knows and doesn’t know. I am watching and observing him during natural Tot School times, and even just daily times to see what skills he has picked up on.

I also included a blank form, so you can assess any other skills you want your child to know (songs, animals, etc.)

Here is the letter ID form. The most important part to assessing letter id is to remember the ID part. This is not singing the abcs, it is naming the letters out of sequence. It is also important to document upper and lowercase separately, as well as knowledge of the sounds the letters make.

I do not do tons of planning for Tot School, most days/weeks are just me pulling out items to fill up our shelf and trays. I rotate trays when he tires of them. If he still seems interested, I leave the tray out. Sometimes I do get on a planning kick and I made this form for those weeks! Every now and then I like to review my master list of ideas and try to choose some things I haven’t done in awhile. It’s easy to get stuck on the same rotation and then remember something you haven’t done in awhile! I often go back through my old Tot School posts too to refresh my ideas! Your Tot School blogs are also so inspiring to me, I use Evernote to record ideas I want to remember.

On a good week, I would use this form, trying to jot down at least 3-5 activities for 3 different days. This would be in addition to the trays that just stay out (ones he is not done with yet). There’s also a section to fill in certain goals and also a blank notes section. I hope to attempt to use my new lovely form, but who knows if I actually will! As K gets older and we get closer to Pre K, I definitely will plan more. For now, it’s not necessary though.
I also have a bloggy friend, Jolanthe who made a few Tot School planning forms herself that are a bit different than mine, you can find hers here.

Hope these help some of you (scroll below the Tot School blog list to find the link to the PDFs), as always if you have questions, leave me a comment if you want an answer in the comments (to share with others also), orshoot me an email if you want an email answer. I am behind on emails (so sorry), but am trying to catch up!!!!

My Daily Docket…

After my Makin’ Friends Monday post earlier today, Keri asked me to share my Daily Docket. As I mentioned earlier, I got this great idea from Simple Mom, I just didn’t actually use the one she shares, I almost always make my own stuff…I’m like that ;). Here is my adaptation… The top half and the bottom half are the same. If you can’t see, the top box is for the Date, next is Today’s MITs (Most Important Tasks), the bottom is for Calendar Items (dr. appts, etc.), the big box on the right is for Daily Reminders (random things I need to remember), and the middle section is where I write my current Bible memory verse. I print out about 4 of these at a time, keeping the current one on top, and in sequential order under it. As the days pass, I remove the top one, until there are none left.

My next page is a master list of sorts which I use for the entire week (or how ever many days I have of daily sheets). It has the following categories with little boxes for notes: House Stuff, Financial, Photo, Other, Homeschooling, Mom, Wife, Ministry, Misc. Shopping (Internet, etc.), and grocery list (just the small one where I jot down random things I think of before I make the big list).

Following that page is another weekly sheet to help me organize all of my blogs and websites. I have a lot (if you haven’t noticed) and I forget about 1 or 2 sometimes! This helps me glance over them all at once and not forget and leave one hanging! If I have post ideas or things to do, I jot them down under the specific blog.

Finally, I included my nutrition sheet, which I made to go with this website, Nutrition Data. I do not fill this out each day, but try to record at least one day a week just to see where I am at.

Also in my stack is my current monthly calendar for that month. I just keep this attached to the back of my stack so I always have it in case I need a date or something.

I keep all of these sheets hooked together with a clip and make a new stack each time the daily pages run out. That way I am re-writing the master lists every week or so and I am forced to see the things I have NOT done! If I didn’t do this and just rotated the master lists over there are some things I would never do, even though I wrote them down! I used to keep my lists and such in a 3-ring binder, but have since switched to just a clip-that way I can easily fold it up and take it with me if I need to.

I uploaded all of my files (and made the master lists blank for you to fill in your own categories), you can download the entire set, here.

Friend Makin’ Monday ~ Little Tips for Life

I want to start participating in a few weekly memes that I have found that I really like. The first on this list is this great one, Friend Makin Monday. I hope some of you will join up with this also (if you don’t already), as making friends and sharing about ourselves is such a great part of blogging.

little tips for life

Today’s task is to share as few or as many everyday, little tips that you use to make your lives easier. You know- all those special tricks you might have to cook, clean, raise kids, work in the yard, and on and on!

  • I use a Daily Docket, inspired by Simple Mom. She has one to download, but I made my own personalized to what I needed (considering I am not the cook in our family). This has REALLY helped me keep track of the MANY different categories of my life. I have a daily page and then master category pages also to help keep everything in one place. I also keep a one sheet monthly calendar clipped to the back of these too. I try to look at them and update each night and each morning to be sure I am not forgetting anything (although I always forget something). edited: find my Daily Docket to download here!
  • I use snack baskets for my kids, you can see them here. They help a lot with independence for both boys (age 3 and 7).
  • I sort all of my emails upon their arrival. I have a folder for each of my blogs, including folders for need to reply, replied, etc. This does help me but it has not solved my problems yet! Since I write so many blogs, I have lots of emails to answer and don’t always do a great job with that-sorry if you’re one who hasn’t been replied to yet!!!
  • I have a basket in my laundry room for outgrown clothes. When I notice something in the laundry that was a bit too small when last worn, I throw it in the basket. Later on I sort through this basket for give-away, save for next kid, etc. Having this basket helps me not have to do the big sorting job right away.