Back to school for the family and me

Everyone has started school by now — the kids at home and at my school. I have a few observations:

  • The water wasn’t working all morning at Chrysalis. Meaning I got to take my fourth period newspaper class on a “field trip” to a nearby building to use the facilities.
  • My Conceptual Physics class was a blast this morning, when I could get a word in edgewise. There is a proposal that we call it something less intimidating, however.
  • I’m teaching Web Page Design to one class this semester.

Leif Eriksson report

We’ve worked hard this week on a Leif Eriksson report Rachel has due at school next week. Her assignment was to choose a presentation method (poster, Power Point, report, etc.) and an explorer.

She chose the Power Point option. Which means I needed to teach her how to use the software. This is the first time my livelihood and my child have intersected. She’s a great learner! Now, if only I could get her to tone down the garish animations and slide transitions. I’ve come up with a few tips for teaching Power Point to elementary students:

  • Start with the concept of slide. Rachel didn’t have a physical analog because she’s never seen photographic slides.
  • Tell them to place only one fact per slide
  • Put the words down first. Don’t bother with pictures on the first pass.
  • Bullets should have no more than six words after them. Full sentences aren’t encouraged.
  • Add pictures to most slides. If the show is being presented before a live audience, you may be able to remove most words.

As for learning about Mr. Eriksson, she has read four books from the public library. I’ve also taught her to write facts on note cards to help organize her thoughts. She can tell you all about Leif the Lucky who found North America accidentially and didn’t want to explore without his father.

This project is way cool!

Missing my Rachel

It’s been just over a week since Rachel went to her father’s. We spoke for the first time last night. She tells me the best part of camp is that they get to drink slurpees once a week. She also reports that dad’s dog Toby is wonderful.

When she returns, we’ll do the back-to-school shopping (school supplies!) and not long after, she returns to school. This time to a Marietta City School.