Using Ordinary Notebook Paper Day 10: Planners & Assignment Books

Welcome to iHN’s Hopscotch at Blog, She Wrote! My topic for the 10 day series is Ten Ways to Use Ordinary Notebook Paper. Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!
 

Today’s notebook paper topic is: Planners and Assignment books. No series on using notebook paper would be complete without another look at my simple spiral planner and the assignment books I use with my kids. I started out with a store bought college ruled spiral and now I make my own with the ProClick and some of my favorite 8.5 x 11 Staples college ruled notebook paper.

The assignment books allow us to lay out the day’s work for each student and it’s a place for them to write down the other things they do for the day. Here’s an excerpt from my first post on assignment books- “We all love the new assignment books. The kids like to see things laid out for them and I like giving them the target for the day and being able to dialogue with them about it. One of the things I like best is the simple lined paper format for each day. Once again, it’s very freeing and it’s been very effective so far.” Click the link on the original post to read more about how we came to using this format.

Of course my planner is plain notebook paper as well and I still adore it even after I made the modern edition two and a half years ago. Very early in our homeschooling I used a spiral notebook and after years of forms and organizing formats, I decided to simplify again and it’s one of the best homeschooling decisions I’ve ever made. The link will take you to all the posts on my notebook paper planners. Some are the more recent style, but this link will take you to my first post and you’ll see where I was and how I arrived at the picture above. I invite you to read it and experience the freedom of a simple planner!

I mentioned a bonus post and you’ll see it sometime soon. I’ll place in the category here with the other notebook paper ideas. I appreciate your feedback during this Hopscotch series and I hope this series has been helpful to you.

Thanks for joining me!
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Please visit the other bloggers participating in iHN’s Hopscotch over the next two weeks. While you are taking a look at the other Hopscotchers, check out the Pin It to Win It giveaways sponsored by Prufrock Press.
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Using Ordinary Notebook Paper Day 9: Engineering Paper Upgrade

Welcome to iHN’s Hopscotch at Blog, She Wrote! My topic for the 10 day series is Ten Ways to Use Ordinary Notebook Paper. Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!
 

Today’s notebook paper topic is: Another Close Relative- Engineering Computation Paper. Once again departing from the purest approach, I thought it might be enlightening and entertaining to fill you in on “engineering computation paper”. We started using this with our oldest son when he started getting more advanced in math. Not because he needs engineering paper, but because we thought it would help him to treat it more seriously. In short, it’s a motivational tool.

What’s engineering computation paper? I knew you’d ask! It’s a yellow shaded paper with a blank front and a graph paper back. The paper is light enough that the graphing lines on the back are noticeable on the front. So you can use them there as well. The margins are specific and the top has sections for properly labeling the assignment. Apparently, there is a format for engineers to use it and Dan knows how it’s done. He taught E14.

As you can see, we are Life of Fred users and our text right now for ninth grade is Advanced Algebra. Engineering Paper is the notebook paper of choice for our advanced math students. It comes in handy when you have to graph lines, for example. It also makes your math look complex. Even simple addition looks amazing on engineering paper. What’s not to love?

In fact, it might make a great motivational tool for J7 who considers himself an engineer already. He wants to skip formal math and go right to tinkering and solving issues. I think I’ll put the paper to the test tomorrow!

Only one day left of the series, but I’m going to do a bonus post. Stay tuned.

Thanks for joining me!
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Please visit the other bloggers participating in iHN’s Hopscotch over the next two weeks. While you are taking a look at the other Hopscotchers, check out the Pin It to Win It giveaways sponsored by Prufrock Press.
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Using Ordinary Notebook Paper Day 8: First Cousin to Notebook Paper

Welcome to iHN’s Hopscotch at Blog, She Wrote! My topic for the 10 day series is Ten Ways to Use Ordinary Notebook Paper. Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!
 

Today’s notebook paper topic is: First Cousin of Notebook Paper- Primary Paper. I debated a bit on whether to include two closely related relatives to ordinary notebook paper because they may not be considered so ordinary. But, I simply could not leave them out! I’ll feature one today and one tomorrow.

Primary paper is a MUST for younger students and my favorite of all time is the paper printed from Startwrite software. In fact, I love it so much it’s one of the very few products for which I am an affiliate. It is so versatile and I use it everyday. It’s the ordinary notebook paper I use with my second grader and I typically use it through third grade. Before you think your kids are too old for it, consider using it for cursive writing for your older kids.

Startwrite

I use the Startwrite primary paper in a variety of ways. Here are a few:

  • Copywork- With the software I can type out any copywork I’d like. It can be traced on dotted line  letters or copied. I can type it out in solid type (of varying fonts) and have my student copy it on the following lines. In the picture above, I made a page of copywork from our current FIAR story- Pumpkin Runner.
  • Plain half sheets of paper- I can make copywork or just plain paper in half sheet for so my students can draw pictures above it. This works splendidly with programs like Draw, Write, Now.
  • Plain whole sheets of paper- As they get older and can write longer but still need bigger lines, this is very useful.
  • Notebooking Paper- You can do full or half sheets and add pictures or glue pictures or elements to the page and still have lined paper for younger students to write on. This is my chief complaint lapbooks. They usually do not account for the less refined fine motor skills of younger children.
  • Narration- I love to make copywork from my students’ narration to me. Simply type as they narrate to you and when you are finished you have a copywork sheet made from their own words.
  • Notebooks/Assignment Books- I can use my ProClick to bind these papers into a spiral notebook for younger kids. I think I’ll do a bonus Hopscotch Day this week to remind readers of how we do assignment books here. Of course it uses plain notebook paper!

There are many ways to use primary paper and in particular Startwrite paper in your homeschool. The software is a great investment and will give your young students an skill appropriate way to complete notebooking assignments without frustration. 

In fact, this is the only software I used for handwriting after my first child did a more formal program. You can choose letters that have arrows for letter formation and make nice instructional and practice sheets and I love that I can do that with my child’s own words or the text from the things they are already studying.

Tomorrow I’ll share another close cousin of notebook paper. Thanks for the grace on the delay of Day 8′s post!

Thanks for joining me!

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Please visit the other bloggers participating in iHN’s Hopscotch over the next two weeks. While you are taking a look at the other Hopscotchers, check out the Pin It to Win It giveaways sponsored by Prufrock Press.
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Using Ordinary Notebook Paper Day 7: Dictation & Grammar

Welcome to iHN’s Hopscotch at Blog, She Wrote! My topic for the 10 day series is Ten Ways to Use Ordinary Notebook Paper. Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!
 

Today’s notebook paper topic is: Dictation. Many of you may be familiar with using dictation with students to improve their writing skills. Using copywork and then dictation for language arts is a natural extension of our literature unit studies. Using well written books is a great way to introduce children to grammar and the next best tool for the job is your well stocked pile of notebook paper!

I choose a few sentences or more typically a paragraph from a book we are reading and I read it aloud to my student. His job is to write down the sentence as he hears it and then I add a grammar exercise to it on the second day.

It may take some time for your student to catch on to listening and writing. I don’t mind repeating myself as we build this skill, but eventually I will not repeat the sentence and once we’ve finished, I edit the paragraph. The following day I add some grammar questions to call out some skills.

I choose the paragraph based on what my student needs work on- I can always find a great example of the use of a comma or possessive nouns when I need one.

Once we go over the grammar questions and activities, I have the student rewrite the paragraph with any corrections. It’s a nice way to tidy up the lesson.

If you’d like to know what resources I use as a reference tool for grammar, please see the list in this post called Thoughts on Grammar

Thanks for joining me!

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Please visit the other bloggers participating in iHN’s Hopscotch over the next two weeks. While you are taking a look at the other Hopscotchers, check out the Pin It to Win It giveaways sponsored by Prufrock Press.
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Using Ordinary Notebook Paper Day 6: Writing with Word Cards

Welcome to iHN’s Hopscotch at Blog, She Wrote! My topic for the 10 day series is Ten Ways to Use Ordinary Notebook Paper. Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!
 

Today’s notebook paper topic is: Writing with Word Cards. This is a little tidbit I’ve shared before within another blog post and I thought it would be worth mentioning again all on its own. I started using this with my then younger reluctant writer daughter and it still works today with her and with her younger brothers.

You can use this technique with creative or more technical writing- with a curriculum focus or free writing/something you put together as a writing prompt. In this example, we used Story Starters by Karen Andreola as our inspiration for writing. Actually, Karen provides a lot of writing helps already within her text, but this using word cards is just one more tool in my writing toolbox for my kids. When they are younger I like it for picking out key items they need to include in their writing. As they get older I still like them to help my kids focus on word variety.

The downside is that a set of word cards may sort of lead your kids down one path vs another depending on the words you provide. In this example, I added the word storm to the list though none occurs in the prompt- so it’s definitely a leading sort of word.

How does it work? I provide the cards in a library pocket based on the prompt. The cards have words on them that must occur somewhere in the student’s story ending. You can have a student look at all the cards and begin writing or you can have them choose a card one by one (from inside the pocket) and add a sentence to their story using that word- this works pretty well for reluctant writers.

Of course all the self-editing and editing parts of the process remain the same, but the word cards give some more framework for the written response. It also adds a kinesthetic approach to writing if only in a small way. 


Again, this is a quick and thorough way to enter the writing process for a student and provides another way to coach your student on his writing. You can even make the word cards from notebook paper, but in this case I used index cards. Notebook paper is a flexible tool to use with word cards. I usually have my 5th grader skip lines and write on every other line- another way to modify the use of wide ruled paper with younger students. Skipping lines allows their writing to be spread out more and provides more room for editing.

I hope you enjoyed this quick writing idea using word cards and notebook paper. Join me tomorrow for another great way to use ordinary notebook paper in your homeschool!

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Please visit the other bloggers participating in iHN’s Hopscotch over the next two weeks. While you are taking a look at the other Hopscotchers, check out the Pin It to Win It giveaways sponsored by Prufrock Press.
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