Monday, June 24, 2013

Making Matching Cards from Dollar Store Flashcards

Using dollar store flashcards is an easy way to make a set of matching cards.   You need to have two sets of flashcards.  At left in the picture below is the flashcard set I used, along with a set of blank jumbo playing cards, on the right.  Because these flashcards have occupations on both sides, I needed to glue them onto the blank cards (for matching cards, there needs to be nothing on one side or the same design on all the cards on one side).

Because I wanted to make Spanish practice cards (for occupations), I cut off the words at the bottom that named the job and told about it.

Then the pictures were glued onto the blank cards.

I always like to laminate matching cards, because we use them a lot, and when the backs get dirty, it's harder to use them to play matching card games (!); so I had these cards laminated, and then cut them apart, keeping the rounded corner appearance.

We have made several different sets of Spanish vocabulary card games, from different flashcard sets-- it usually involves gluing onto blank cards (because it is rare to find flashcards that only have pictures on one side); this takes time to do, but the finished result is very nice, and when laminated they will last a LONG time!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Da Vinci, in Words . . .

What would it be like to be a 15-year-old apprentice, living in Florence, Italy in the 1400's?  What kinds of art and learning would you encounter?  What would you hear about the Medici family, and the other families who were contesting for power in Italy?

Catherine Jaime's book, Leonardo the Florentine, paints a picture of all of this, with details that portray what this time period (Renaissance) was like.  This book is about Leonardo da Vinci, who spent much of his life as an artist and inventor in Florence.  Towards the end of his time there he began work on "Adoration of the Magi," his first large painting (about 8 feet square).

If you'd like to read about Renaissance times, or about Da Vinci in a historical fiction format, this book is a perfect fit.

There is also a sequel to this book, that tells about Da Vinci's further work in a different Italian city-- called Masterpieces in Milan (see earlier blog post about it here).

We used both books as read-alouds.  We read them out of order-- the Milan one first-- but it didn't seem to matter; both were books that held our interest, and we enjoyed learning more about Leonardo da Vinci and the culture of his time.

There is a third book available in the series-- we'll have to start on that one next . . . it is called To Mantua and Beyond, and picks up where the Milan book left off, through several more years of Da Vinci's life.

Catherine's books are available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.