Every year at the beginning of the year I swear that I am going to really work at keeping my bookwork current. I’m usually pretty good about studiously completing my own main lesson book for that first block of the year and then as the year gets busier my bookwork slowly goes downhill. Last year I didn’t complete a single page in my Ancient Greece book! Terrible, I know.
So, while the going’s good, I thought I’d share with you here my work for the year so far. (I apologize for the poor quality of the photos — late night kitchen lighting just isn’t very good.
The first page is my main lesson book rendition of my chalkboard drawing.
The chalkboard turned out decidedly better. I really love being able to draw with white, and not have to just leave negative space for it.
The next one is a page with the Fire and Ice poem by Robert Frost that we’re speaking in class.
I love how this page turned out. This was a great example of how creating a nice looking page yourself can really inspire the students to do their best work. Most of the class created pages that look just as lovely.
On the next page we got into the cold hard facts of the block.
We spent some time studying and working with the properties of minerals. This was a lot of fun. On this page I knew that I was going to include a little blurb about each of the properties and I wanted to include a little picture to go with it but I was short on time. I encouraged my students to take their work one step further and make it better than mine. I have found that one of the best ways to improve bookwork, painting, or any artistic work is to push the envelope a bit. Work on your piece until you are happy with it . . . and then. . . push yourself to take it one step further. We have a tendency to avoid fine detail in our work and that is what makes it truly improve.
Sometimes you just have to have a boring old page of writing. I usually have the students create simple one line borders like this around their pages. I don’t like when they get flowery and overly intricate with their border illustrations when they have nothing to do with the content of the page. I’d rather they keep it simple and draw one line all the way around.
The page no Rocks and Minerals main lesson book could be without — The Rock Cycle.
Though I started out being truly unhappy with my Pacific Ring of Fire map, in the end I actually love this page. I am so glad I ordered larger main lesson books. It means that we can create pages like this one. This one has three different bits of information on it but they all fit together nicely. I really like it.
We’ve got a couple of other pages in the works — mostly writing — an explanation of the rock cycle and a “journal entry” from a man in Mexico who saw a volcano arise before his eyes. Fun stuff.
I really love working in my main lesson book and I often wish I had more time to devote to simple, therapeutic artistic work.