Over the past few months, I’ve been drafting up and dreaming up plans to start a little company of some sort based on homeschooling/teaching products. I started playing around with the idea of turning some of the projects that I do with my own kids at home into larger lesson pack units. I began with some math games for young kids based on ten frames, and over the course of the next few weeks, my simple explanation of our home-made learning experiment turned into a 20-plus page resource with activities, teaching theory, and full explanations … and I remembered that I love doing this stuff :).
Ha. I’d forgotten — this is why I always wanted to be a teacher … I love creating learning activities and leading students to that magical, elusive “aha!” moment — given half a chance to write lesson plans, the teacher in my brain starts lighting up ;).
I will still use this blog as an outlet and memory-keeper for our own funschooling adventures; although I will probably mention new products as I finish them because it’s honestly pretty exciting ;), I will never let a sales pitch dominate my stories here.
That being said, I do want to share with you all some of my journey over the past month or so as I’ve been working behind the scenes in dream&create mode.
My vision so far (it keeps evolving as I go) is to create activity-based lesson packs for math to share with homeschooling families, tutors, and teachers. The products I am working on so far are small units that focus on essential concepts that will help students develop a solid foundation in math. These units will cover topics from Pre-K through high school Geometry; partly I’ll pull from activities I do with my own kids as we homeschool, and partly I’ll re-visit activities/projects/lessons I made for my students when I was teaching Algebra and Geometry.
Since I’ll be focusing on fundamental math topics rather than any certain textbook, the lesson packs will be designed to supplement any curriculum. They can be used with younger students to help solidify their understanding of math and, hopefully, get them excited about math and confident in their own ability to understand the subject, or they can be used for remediation purposes to help students who may struggle with a certain topic and need a new experience with the ideas. I’m designing them with a view towards easy implementation for parents/tutors/teachers with clear explanations of how to teach concepts in ways that help lead the student to discover how and why things work the way they do.
I strongly believe in teaching concepts to the point of mastery — not less (leaving holes in a foundation that will cause the whole of Math to crumble later at their feet) and not more (please let’s say NO to redundant worksheets built for a one-size-fits-all agenda). I’m building my lesson packs around this viewpoint — providing scaffolded, step-by-step “discoveries” for students as they begin to own and build upon their mathematical framework, with strategic practice to strengthen and extend their understanding as needed.
My first two lesson packs are almost complete and ready to share; one is about using ten-frames to understand, add, and subtract numbers (up to 100), and one is about building Algebraic understanding with young students through the use of balance scales (with a bonus unit on mathematical properties). I’ll post more info on those in the coming weeks as I finalize them.
Edited to add links to finished products:
Here is my complete unit on Ten Frames for counting, adding, and subtracting up through 100. And here is a smaller version of the unit just focusing on counting, adding, and fact families up through 20.
This past week, I finalized and posted 3 Algebra 1 units in my TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) store. I also discovered some fun digital scrapbooking resources, which have distracted me to no end as I’ve been creating cover images for my upcoming projects ;). (I used Canva.com for the cover pages posted below.) You can see my Algebra Marketing Plan Project (focused on systems of linear equations and basic entrepreneurship strategies) here and my interactive notes mini-book for reviewing linear equations here (Slope-intercept form) and here (point-slope form).
Again, I don’t intend to change the tone of my blog and make it sales-pitchy, but I am super excited about creating content to share with people who are looking to help others enjoy and understand math, so you may see updates here occasionally. 🙂
I also have several more drafts of fun stories and activities and ideas that may be inspiring or helpful to other families … feel free to follow my blog if you’d like to hear more about any of this!
I’d always love to hear feedback, including any requests you may have for certain products!
Have a wonderful day! Thank you, as always, for stopping by and reading my blog :).
If you’d like to see my full listing of products in my online store, you can visit me at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sandra-Balisky
fonts and clip art used in my logo button in this post from Lovin Lit, Kaitlynn Albani, Khrys Greco, and Graphics from the Pond — all at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com. (This is a temporary logo … I will probably update it later.)