School At Home 101: Getting Organized
One of the challenges parents face with these “Stay-At-Home” orders is figuring out how to keep the kids engaged with learning. Organization is a big part of that. The packets from the school district are good for what to do, but when? In what order? It’s been a learning process and we wanted to share some tools with you that we’re finding helpful as we navigate this strange, new world.
Our top picks for school-at-home organizational tools
This list is in no particular order and focuses on tools we have here at Twisp Daily Art & Business Supply. The prices listed are our prices at the time of writing (April 16, 2020). If you think any of these tools will help your family, call 997-3625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you set up.
Without a doubt, the most useful tool for navigating school-at-home is patience. Although we don’t currently sell that, we’re DEFINITELY looking for a supplier. If we find one, we’ll be sure to let you know.
We’re flipping for a Flip Chart Pad
Traditionally used in making presentations, the 30-sheet, 25″x30″ self-stick easel pad (UNV 35603, $22.99) is Barb’s large-format tool of choice. Her plan is to use one sheet per week and let her 3rd- & 4th-grade boys rip off the page at the end of the week for a super-satisfying signal that it is, indeed, the weekend.
The pad is large enough to divide each sheet into two columns and still have room to write the concrete details younger kiddos need. It’s got two handles up top, making it portable, so “school” can be moved outside in good weather or to another room if a change of scenery is needed. It also has a smaller hole in the middle so it can be easily hung on the wall.
Markers for the flip chart
We have lots of different choices for markers. Barb grabbed the flip chart markers (SAN 22478, $10.99) for her school-at-home setup because this set offers a wide choice of colors. Because they’re Sharpie brand, she knew they wouldn’t dry up or run out of ink soon. Another bonus is that, because they’re not the same kinds of markers the kids use, she knew it would be easy to avoid getting them mixed up.
Want a set of markers for your setup but want fewer color choices? Other colors? Finer points? Smaller points? Scented markers? We’ve got what you need — give us a call, we’ll walk you through the options and then get you set up with curbside delivery.
Pro tip: Use scented markers in combination very carefully … there are some combos that really stink! (Need a fun science experiment? Find the yucky combos!) (Mr. Sketch scented 6pk, SAN 1924064, $6.99) (Mr. Sketch scented 12pk, SAN 1905069, $13.99)
Got any tips or trick you’re using to keep the kid(s) on track? Please share your pics & tips on our Facebook page!
Whiteboard for the win
Darla grabbed a nicely sized 18″x24″ whiteboard (UNV 43722) to help keep her 8th-grader on track. At his more-independent age, dividing the classes and days into a gridded schedule similar to a regular school day helps it feel more like school and gives him the flexibility to fill in the info necessary to jog his memory about what he should be doing for each class. The choice was made not to put precise times on the classes to give Kenny the flexibility to spend more or less time as needed on each days’ assignments.
Bonus tip: It seems that some classes will have scheduled podcasts, live chats and the like. These are on the grid, but he has also set alarms on his smartphone to remind him to tune in at the appropriate day and time. If your student doesn’t have a phone, smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant are great at giving reminders. Also, Google Calendar should operate on the Chromebooks the school uses and may pop up on-screen alerts.
If an 18″x24″ whiteboard doesn’t work for you, we have these other sizes in stock and can get others, just ask:
24×36, UNV 43723, $49.99
48X36, UNV 43624, $59.99
36×48, UNV 43724, $69.99
For the whiteboard, we’ve got a mix of markers going on. As a graphic designer, Darla’s a fiend for colors. While you could achieve the same structure with fewer markers, we’ll go through the whole shebang.
For the underlying grid, this board actually used some Chartpak-brand tape leftover from before computers could be used to make lines. We don’t carry this, but you could achieve the same result with a wet-erase black marker from the 4-marker, fine point, Vis-a-Vis wet-erase set we do carry (16074, $8.59). These wet-erase markers are also used to set up the names of the classes, the times, and other sections that are to stay put week after week.
For the individual class squares, dry erase markers are used to make it easy to change things up and adjust the schedule with very little effort. The 8-marker set used here is item #80078 ($17.99). Darla unabashedly admits this set was selected primarily because of the pink and purple markers that don’t come in smaller sets. For the less color-obsessed, we do have a 4-marker set that includes an eraser and whiteboard cleaner (80653, $14.99). However, for the fabulous color explosion fans, you’ll want an eraser — paper towels work, but a dedicated whiteboard eraser does a nicer job (SAN 81505, $4.29). Even though these markers have a thick, chisel point, a careful writer can use them at an angle in the smaller areas. If you need fine point dry-erase markers, we have those, too.
And then, the other stuff …
Sheet protectors are a good place to store papers you’ll need to refer back to over the course of the week/month/rest of the semester. They can easily be hung near your scheduling center … and the holes are great to tie to a string that hooks onto the “command center” so they don’t go wandering off. We have sheet protectors in singles ($0.25), packs of 50 (UNV 21124, $7.99), or boxes of 100 (UNV 21125, $13.99).
Highlighters … how do we ♥ highlighters? Let us count the ways. Highlighters are priceless for helping draw attention to the parts that need attention so the kids (or you!) don’t feel quite so overwhelmed. We have a huge variety of highlighter options — too many to list, really. They come in singles, packs of various sizes, thin ones, thick ones, and — BEST THING EVER! — erasable. Yes, erasable highlighters. Give us a call at 997-3625 or email us at info@twispdailybusiness if you want to hear more about the highlighters we have that can meet your individual needs.
Well, this is where we’re at right now … how are you doing with getting it all together? What can we do to help? Let us know — even though we’re not open for in-person shopping, we’re here for you, Methow Valley. Thank you, everyone, for supporting Twisp Daily Art & Business as well as all of the other businesses in this valley that make it the best possible place to live.