The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

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How to Create Meaningful Workbox Activities

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Evan-Moor blog: young child thinkingDo you ever wish for a magic wand that would help your kids remember everything the FIRST time you told them? That would certainly save a lot of chocolate consumption at my house. Maybe at your house, too?

However, our brains were wired to practice. Even as babies, they listened to us name animals again and again before they could say them on their own. They practiced walking while holding onto furniture before they let go and took those precious first steps. They listened to us read the same book over and over, and then they somehow memorized it and let us know when we missed a word.

The reality is that kids need to practice. Practicing skills can give kids the opportunity to increase both their abilities and their confidence.

In the homeschool world, children often have “workboxes” with individual assignments based on what each child’s homeschool program says they should practice. In the classroom world, students have “work stations” or “centers” with assignments to practice either what was taught in a group lesson OR skills that students need to review and practice.

No matter what you call it, one thing is the same:
Our kids need meaningful ways to practice the knowledge and skills we teach them. However, the type of practice makes all the difference.

What makes a workbox activity “meaningful”?
For an activity to be meaningful, it has to be meaningful to your child first. If your child views an activity to be important or fun, they are MUCH more likely to remember the skills they are using.

As our child’s teacher, we can set up him or her up for success by choosing activities that are meaningful to both our child, as well as, what we value. Dare I say, I encourage you to look outside your curriculum. Seek out meaningful activities that inspire real learning for your child, not just giving them activities that set them up to memorize and then forget it all later.

Knowing where to start providing kids with meaningful practice can be tricky. However, I have found TeacherFileBox to be the most economical and time saving method!

What is TeacherFileBox?
TeacherFileBox is a collection of over 450 digital Evan-Moor publications for grades PreK-8. It is available in both monthly and annual subscription options.

How to Use TeacherFileBox:
If you want your child to practice a skill he/she learned in a language arts lesson, you can quickly search for activities in the search bar. You can also refine your search by grade level, subject, and specific skill, too!

For example, if I teach my child a lesson on compound words, I can search TeacherFileBox for related activities to use for practice in their workboxes later that week.

Why Teacher File Box saves time and money for your workboxes:

TeacherFileBox has great options that not only practice the compound word skills, but also offer a wide range of connections to other skills. By using multiple skills within one activity, your child’s brain is set up to be more engaged and more likely to remember!

Blog-Compound WordsGoing back to my compound words example, take a look at this screen shot.

The first activity is a fun game to practice. Another is a connected compound words in a geography lesson. A third option practices compound words with Spanish roots as well. My favorite is an activity that allows the child to figure out compound words using word cards!

If your child needs lots of practice, you have several options for the same price!

How TeacherFileBox helps me create custom workbox activities:
One of my favorite reasons that I use TeacherFileBox activities for my workboxes is that I can adjust the skill level based on my child’s progress.

For example, if my child is breezing through addition and subtraction in grade 2, I already have access to addition and subtraction activities in grade 3.

If my child is struggling with telling time activities in grade 2, I can have her practice activities from grade 1 to build confidence.

I don’t have to buy another curriculum or keep track of multiple workbooks for each subject. I can easily just adjust my search options to find the best meaningful activities for my child.

Workboxes in Action:

One of my favorite series of books in TeacherFileBox is called Take It to Your Seat. These hands-on activities are designed for children to practice skills independently. The Take It To Your Seat series includes these titles (for grades K–6.)  Preview sample centers from TeacherFileBox for each resource:

Another way we use TeacherFileBox in our workboxes is with individualized lessons with mom. If my third grader is studying economics, I can pull an activity from TeacherFileBox for her to work with me while my other child is during her own workbox activities. This allows more focused time for me to work with each of my children one-to-one to check for their understanding, have quality discussions, and keep our learning enjoyable.

The most important endorsement:

Even if I adore a teaching resource, it will only work if my children like it, too. The most important reason TeacherFileBox works for us is because my kids find the activities to be meaningful and not a “waste of time.” This is the most important endorsement of Evan-Moor’s quality and why I personally use Evan-Moor in my daily homeschooling.

I cannot imagine homeschooling without using TeacherFileBox in our workboxes. If you have not tried this combination, then I highly encourage you to sign up for the free trial of TeacherFileBox today.


Amy Michaels ProfileAmy Michaels is a certified teacher with 11 years of elementary classroom experience who is actively homeschooling her own children. Her mission is share the best teaching methods and resources with all homeschoolers. Amy supports parents through her podcasts, webinars, and online training for homeschoolers on her website www.thrivehomeschooling.com.

 

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