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Saturday, August 16, 2014

How To Enhance Your Learning Environment One Element At A Time.

 I am deep into the cleaning of our classroom and readying it for our back to school start on August 25th. All winter I pour over Pinterest coming up with new ideas to incorporate into our learning environment. Ways to either improve learning, our moods, or just organize things better.

An idea I stumbled across was "Homeworkopoly" (Thanks Teacher.Net for making this available). Now I don't know about you or how you homeschool but I do know my kids. If given a choice they would sit in front of the work and dawdle until the time was up. Not that they don't like learning they just haven't learned time constraints yet. As such many a lesson would be unfinished if I didn't make them finish it in the 'off' hours of the day. This usually results in a lot of complaining and pouting and yes even tears on occasion. So anything to make it more pleasurable for all would be great. So in come "Homeworkopoly" completely free to download. It was designed to be used in a regular classroom setting but I tweaked ours to work just fine in the homeschool setting.

All the parts are free to download and print here. I chose to laminate the board pieces to make it easier to maintain. I then glue gunned them to a sheet of bristol board. It was tricky locating the correct order and spacing. I ended up running back and forth between the table and the computer to double check it was all in the right order. It didn't take the entire sheet of bristol board either so I trimmed the excess off.

After that I used the blank community chest and chance cards and filled them in with fun things to do, or chores, treat options, get off the bus, or out of homework options. Since there is no money in this game I came up with the idea that the kids can have one piece of gum as they pass payday. I also printed up all the rules so I can post them on the wall for the kids to read so we don't have to keep going over the rules. Using two folded over baggies glued to the board to store the cards in is a way to keep them from going missing in between game plays. After I cut out blanks and glued them to the outside of the baggies so the cards could be stored backwards so there isn't any cheating by picking out a special card.

I am hoping adding this element to our learning environment will make doing homework a tad less painful and give the kids something to work toward.

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