A Homeschooling Tool for Personalized Teaching

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In his 2015 book “Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education,” veteran teacher Ken Robinson emphasizes that students learn best at their preferred speeds and in their preferred manner. Engaging them as individuals is the heart of raising achievement.”

The personalization of education is limited in the classroom setting, yet in homeschool scenarios it allows learning to thrive.

According to a 2009 study of standardized testing, homeschoolers scored in the 86th percentile, regardless of  parents’ income, amount of education, teaching credentials, and level of state regulation. Research also suggests that homeschooled kids get into college more often and do better at the university level.

Tools for Home School Personalized Teaching

Laminating Customized Flashcards

Flashcards of been a standard for teaching for many years. They engage active recall and help students self-evaluate personal progress.  On the subject of languages, 93% of teachers say that flashcards help students learn more effectively.  Yet due to costs and limited classroom budgets, flashcards provided for schools tend toward more generic subjects and the most common lesson plans.  Offering customized flash cards in a homeschool setting, allows the teacher to “learn” what engages the student most in different subjects  and create customized flashcards that fit the student’s learning path. For example, creating alphabet printables that incorporate a child’s love of animals makes the lesson more accessible. Similar free printables can be found online or created for math, science and other subjects.

Personalizing Worksheets

A creative homeschool teacher can also craft an assignment that fits a student’s daily experiences with personalized worksheets. For example, play time, crafts and other school activities can become a lesson in telling time. Laminate this telling time printable (which is dry erase, so it can be reused every day) so that activities help a student learn scheduling and  time.

By laminating the personal projects you create for your student, you provide durable learning tools that align with the student’s aspirations and interests and make learning more than just fun–they make it personal!

Select one of these personal laminators  for your homeschool teaching tools.

Organizing Classroom Bulletin Boards for the School Year

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As a teacher, you probably have awesome bulletin board ideas for your classroom already planned. But the prep work involved can be time-consuming. So it’s important to get started early (preferably before school starts) by preparing bulletin board backdrops ahead of time, you can make the final creative decorating less stressful. Also get a bulletin board storage box to keep all of your bulletin boards clean and protected throughout the year. Storage box folders keep each bulletin board theme separated, along with add-on bulletin board supplies (photos, cut-out letters, etc.) that you will need for final decorating.

Organizing Your Bulletin Board Ideas

Make a list of your bulletin board themes. Of course your list is huge, but narrowing your themes down to boards that will be most helpful and useful to your students can make your boards a big hit. Date each selected theme so you know when it will makes its appearance during the school year. Perhaps start with a welcome back to school board on the first day of class, shift to a holiday board around Halloween or Thanksgiving, etc. The dates will ensure you stay on track when it’s time to swap out themes.

Preparing Your Board Backdrops

Whatever type of bulletin board you use, a backdrop theme color is essential for organizing  your idea by color or material. The backdrops also keep you focused on each theme.

Here are some cool backdrop materials to considers:

Plastic Tablecloths left over from summer picnics make great board  covers. Also the plastic is durable and acts as a clean background for colorful pinups.

Eye-Catching Aluminum Foil– Very cool backdrop for science project boards or Christmas boards.

Versatile Cotton Fabric. A trip to the fabric store before school starts gets the creative juices flowing with colorful options and even patterns that will make a fun and engaging board that is easily covered with staples or glue.

Create a Add-Ons List

Now that you have the board backdrops ready, make the list of add-ons you will hang from each board. If you are not quite sure what add-ons to use, include the essential materials to make the add-ons into the bulletin board storage folder so you will have them when the time comes.

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Bulletin Board Storage Box Folders have handy list areas where you can write your add-ons that will go on each bulletin board.

 Show Time!

The day before each board gets seen by the class, simply hang your prepped board, pin up or staple up the add-ons and you are ready in no time.

Check out more bulletin board backdrop ideas at Organized Classroom.

What is the Safest Laminator for Children?

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Laminators can be a fun and helpful tool around the house. You can make crafts with the kids or even create learning templates like flashcards and reusable dry erase worksheets.

But laminators, like any other machine, can be harmful without supervision. The average laminator can reach temperatures of 200 degrees!

Here are some helpful tips to ensure safe laminating:

1. Make sure your laminator has HeatGuard. This feature ensures that the exterior of the machine stays cool to the touch.

2. Make sure to unplug your laminator when you are finished using it. If you tend to be forgetful, get a laminator with Auto Shut-Off.

Here is a laminator with Auto-Shut Off

Here is a laminator with Heat Guard Technology

Choosing the Right Laminator to Fit Your Classroom

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Laminators are essential to teachers. However, laminators come with many different features and in many different price ranges. How can you decide when a more expensive laminator has more bells and whistles than you need? Or when a low priced laminator not up to the laminating demands of your typical school day. Here are a few questions educators can ask themselves to better select a laminator that fits their classroom.

Performance

Having a laminator that heats up faster or laminates at a faster rate may seem like a luxury, but it can be worth the extra cost. These efficiency features help you get your laminating done a lot sooner, which means more time with your students.

The Saturn 3i 95 is a reasonably priced laminator that features 1-minute warm-up with InstaHeat Technology. It can laminate a document in roughly 60 seconds.  Other laminators can include smart features like AutoSense, which allows you to change pouch and document thicknesses without making any adjustments to the machine-another great time-saver!

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Saturn 3i 95

Safety

Working around children means taking extra precautions with your classroom equipment. If this is a concern, you may want a laminator with built-in safety features. HeatGuard Technology keeps heat inside so the laminator is safe to touch. This allows you to keep your laminator out on your desk without worry.

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Price

For most teachers, classroom budgets are the primary factor in purchasing a laminator. If you can compromise on other features, you can get a good laminator workhorse for a low price. The M5-95 is a light performance laminator, but it does the job. The compact size makes it easy to be stored in the classroom, or even taken home at night when you have more laminating to do for the next school day.

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M5-95

 

 

 

Why Do Teachers Love Laminators?

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You may have wondered why so much extraordinary excitement and zeal is expressed by teachers over something as mundane as laminating. There must be a bevy of office supplies that would conjure more interest and joy, you would think. But the relationship between teachers and laminators is one based on practical need and the inevitable reality of teachers working beyond expectations to help offer students the best educational tools.

 

With the high cost of teaching supplies, many teachers are forced to find creative ways to offer learning tools more cost-effectively to their students. Many dig into their own pockets to pay for additional materials that are not covered by school budgets. Beyond that, learning materials that are acquired eventually wear out and new ones are needed. This is where laminators come in.

 

With the right laminator a teacher can produce learning materials that are durable and custom made to fit a class. Flashcards can be made on any subject and once laminated can prevent tears and spills that would destroy paper or cardstock flashcards. In the hands of children, laminated flashcards can be reused year after year, saving teachers and school districts on supplies. Creative teachers can also customize, making specific flashcard decks for special education students, or students learning English as a second language. But laminators can go beyond flashcards.

 

Teachers can create dry erase worksheets that can be drawn on, scribbled on or even spilled on again and again and then reused the next day!

Teachers can also create:

  • Learning board games
  • Take home craft projects that will not fall apart
  • Lesson plans
  • Name plates for student desks

The Best Laminators

New laminators currently available from Fellowes feature InstaHeat Technology, allowing the machines to warm up in 30-60 seconds, eliminating the typically long wait for laminators to be ready. In addition, the new laminators feature AutoSense, which automatically adjust to changing pouch sizes so no manual adjustments are required. This feature is perfect for teachers who alter between card sized and letter sized lamination.

Browse the Fellowes website to pick the best laminator for teachers.

Find Free Laminating Templates for Education:Download templates

Flashcards help with learning languages

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Teaching Spanish with a Laminator

Language education always works better with teaching tools. Laminators allow educators to make useful flashcards that are durable and waterproof, sparing classroom budgets for more important things (like class trips to a Spanish restaurant!) In fact, 93% of all teachers say flashcards help students learn languages.

Here are some great flash card templates that can get teachers started introducing Spanish to students:

 

Months of the Year can be taught with these Spanish-English Month of the Year Flash Cards

Learning numbers in Spanish can be fun with these Spanish-English Counting Flash Cards

The names of animals in Spanish is a helpful approach to teaching young children Spanish. Use Animal Name Flash Cards  to make a game out of learning.

Learning words useful for travel makes that class trip more meaningful. Use Spanish-English Travel Flash Cards to get kids ready to speak fluently to the waiter at the Spanish restaurant.

Look for other great laminating ideas with free downloadable templates at the Idea Center:  Fellowes Laminator Idea Center

Need help selecting the right laminator? Click Here.

 

Encourage Reading. Let Kids Make Custom Laminated Bookmarks

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One way to keep kids reading is to turn it into a fun and easy craft project. With a laminator and your personal computer, you can get the kids creating cool and interesting bookmarks that they can say they made themselves.

On your computer create a document in a word processing program or paint program that is 2.78” wide by 6.47” long. This is your bookmark template.

You can decorate it on the computer with images, quotes from favorite books or designs. You can also print the templates and let the kids design the templates with crayons or markers.

They can make scary bookmarks for scary books and silly ones for silly books. The possibilities are endless.

Once the kids are done decorating, insert the pages into your Fellowes laminator.

Trim the edges for cool, durable bookmarks that will last  the new school year.

For free bookmark templates  that are already designed, click here: bookmark templates

Look for other great laminating ideas with free downloadable templates at the Idea Center:  Fellowes Laminator Idea Center

Need help selecting the right laminator? Click Here.

Laminating Fun ID Badges for Kids

badgesDo your kids what to be members of a secret club? Have special crime-fighting skills? With a little imagination and a laminator you can make this happen.

Creating fantasy ID badges lets kids imagination soar. And it’s easy.

  1. Help kids create a wallet-sized photo ID in a word or paint program on the computer
  2. Make sure to use a cool photo. Make spaces for name, special powers, secret agent abilities and secret club membership
  3. Print the document on index cards.
  4. Laminate to create awesome ID cards they can keep in a wallet.

 

Birthday Party ID Cards

For a birthday party, collect photos of all the kids invited and laminate special  VIP Members ID Cards to get into the party. Kids can flash their B-day ID at school so everybody knows they were there!

 

Look for other great laminating ideas with free downloadable templates at the Idea Center:  Fellowes Laminator Idea Center

 

Need help selecting the right laminator? Click Here.

Get the special laminator offer: Laminator Sale

More Laminator Ideas on Pinterest

Flash Cards Are Essential for Home Based Education

Keep Kids Learning with Homemade Flash Cards

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Research shows that teachers typically spend between 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. So how can learning over the summer be fun?  Here are some fun homemade flash cards you can make in minutes with a laminator.

 

Try flashcards for basic English. These free downloadable templates can get young minds thinking.

 

Want kids to start Spanish? Try these fun and stimulating flash card templates.

 

For some kids, it will be their first day of school ever. Get them confident for preschool or kindergarten with alphabet flashcards.

If your kids struggle with math, these fun math flash cards make the subject accessible and fun.

Multiplication Flash Cards

Division Flash Cards

Addition Flash Cards

Subtraction Flash Cards

 

Some other helpful links:

Home Schoolers Laminate

Some Home Laminating Ideas

The Impact of Round Flashcards

 

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Study Reveals How to Make Better Flashcards for Learning

In a  study of by the Montessori Primary Classroom of laminated teaching materials, square vs. rounded flashcards were tested for their engagement among children.

Results showed that children were more likely to handle and interact with the rounded cards. The study came as a result of children pricking their fingers on square edge flashcards and thus tending not to use them.

On average, each classroom saw the rounded cards used 1.54 times more per day or 7.7 times more per week. Between 80% and 100% of responding teachers rated the rounded corner cards excellent in the measured areas.

The children in the study commented on the edge of the square cards as being “pokey” while no comments were made on the rounded corner cards.

In addition the study revealed that cards laminated thinner than 1.5 mil became difficult for children to pick up, leading to a greater thickness recommendation for flash cards overall.

“Teachers may improve student interest in and repeated use of card  materials if they use a laminate thicker than 1.5 mil and round the corners. Rounding the corners will not detract from the appeal or usability of the cards, will overcome the resistance some children stated to squared  corners, and will remove the tactile distraction of “pokey” corners,” Julia Volkman, Montessori Primary Classroom Researcher

Get free flash card templates here: Free Flash card templates

See the videos for using laminated teaching materials in class: Video Demo

Recommended 5 Mil classroom laminator: The Saturn