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North Star Geography by Tyler H. Hogan

North Star Geography by Tyler H. Hogan contains sixteen units that cover geography skills, physical geography and human geography. Topics include: what is geography, maps, and navigation, earth’s structure, topography, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, survival and society, environmental stewardship, agriculture, culture, heritage, and government.

My favorite part of the curriculum is that everything you need has already been prepared for you. There’s a student reader, planning schedule, hands-on activities, note-taking pages, quizzes and much more! Everything you need to get started, teach the course, and evaluate your child’s learning.

The student reader includes text and color or black and white illustrations as well as information for the teacher. An introduction

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Teaching at the Co-op

I will be teaching biology, beginning composition, and marketing at Cornerstone Tutorial Center this school year, so I thought it would be fun to blog about my adventures.

For biology, I am using Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, by Wile and Durnell. As we only teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, this will be perfect for you who follow a similar schedule. (Remember, I said it was more fun to teach history two days and science two days!). My plan is to cover one module every two weeks, beginning September 4th.

For beginning composition, I am pulling together a variety of resources to cover word choice, paragraph writing, essay writing, poetry, and creative writing. We will also do some vocabulary and grammar drills throughout the year.

I also created my marketing class

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Homeschool Helper

Homeschool Helper is an app for the iPad that is absolutely amazing! It's perfect for keeping track of your student's grades, attendance, book lists, field trips, tasks, and more. 

Here's why I like it: You can set up unlimited number of students and everything is customizable. No preprogrammed anything. Simple input your child's name, add the courses he or she is taking, track attendance on a simple calendar device (one click), and record grades. The app does everything else including calculating the grades and creating reports. The grade calculator even scales grades and you can change the scale for each individual student!

The reports can be viewed or emailed or printed. You can print a report card, attendance sheet, list of books read, tasks to be done and more.  

The app also

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Reading Fluency

Here's a problem I see from time to time: a child knows all his or her letters and even the sounds of the letters, but still doesn't read. The answer to this, in a lot of cases, is to give them practice reading below-level books. By that, I mean reading books that contain words that are below the child's current reading level. 

These are not always easy to find. The little readers that come with reading curriculums can get monotonous and kids lose interest. Here's how I've attacked the problem with one of my tutoring clients. I wrote a letter to her using words that she knew and a few that I wanted her to practice. I used colorful paper that had a panda on the border, and I signed it "Manda Panda." I even put it in an envelope and attached a pretend stamp on it. Now, everytime she

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Presidents and Elections Unit Study

Presidents and Elections - A FREE unit study created by Cindy Downes that is designed to give primary-age children a brief introduction to the office of the President and the election process using library books, worksheets, art projects and Internet research. Each week, read the recommended book together, complete suggested activities, and obtain additional information by doing the suggested internet research. This unit is designed to be completed in twelve weeks, completing two, 1 - 2 hour lessons per week; however, you can customize it to any length, depending upon how much material you cover and how long you take to cover it. Recently updated with new links and worksheets! 

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Review: See How They Run

See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House by Susan E. Goodman is a 96-page picture book about presidential elections and the election process. Goodman covers the history of democracy, the electoral college, legal requirements for president, campaigning, political parties, campaign financing, and how ballots are counted. Written in 2008, the book includes presidents from George Washington to George Bush.

What I love about the book is that it's fun to read. It presents facts in an entertaining way by including funny sidebars and humorous illustrations. Goodman includes both the bad and good of the American political process and encourages kids to do what they can to get people to vote. If I had to guess, I think the author and/or publisher is

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Teaching Composition Can be FUN!

Most language arts curriculum teach grammar and mechanics, but spend very little time teaching actual composition skills. Here’s a resource that will make teaching composition fun for the kids.

Don’t Forget to Write for the Elementary Grades includes 50 lessons for ages 5 to 12, as well as a self-assessment checklist, evaluation rubrics, and common core curriculum standards.

Here’s what makes this book effective:

  • Each lesson includes activities to get the kids interested in writing such as a watching a video, building something, brainstorming, or role-playing. This sets the stage for the writing assignment.
  • Next, students are invited to discuss the prewriting activity. This prepares them for the actual assignment.
  • Finally, the students are given the assignment along
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World War II Interactive

World War II Interactive for iPad provides a glimpse into World War II, its causes, events, and aftermath. The app includes more than 600 photos, 35 rare video clips, and audios of famous speeches made by Allied leaders.

You can browse by timeline event, media, people, and weapons.

This interactive app is perfect for students, teachers, veterans, or history buffs. I particularly like the app because it uses all the senses: auditory, visual and even kinesthetic (the interactivity of the app itself). Perfect for lesson plans and unit studies. 

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