Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Counselor's Corner

Each month our BSO counselors publish a newsletter that provides important information for our high school students. Please click on the link below to view this month's Counselor's Corner. 

Counselor's Corner

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Business as Usual!

A little snow won't stop our hard working Branson School Online students!

Check out these pictures of BSO students hard at work on a beautiful Colorado snow day!

Anna won't let a little snow stop her from learning!

Sukaina is super focused on her math!

These awesome BSO students are getting a little snow day help from their furry friends!

Future BSO kiddos are loving the snow too!

Mrs. Narayan's class is keeping warm and working hard!

Jonah REALLY knows how to make the best use of a snow day in Colorado!

Have a Wonderful Winter Break!

Wishing all of our incredible students, parents and staff a wonderful and relaxing winter break! 

Make sure to take some time and get outside to breathe the fresh Colorado air. 

                               See you in 2016! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

December Feature Teacher

Branson School Online is home to the most talented and dedicated teaching staff in Colorado! 

Each month we introduce you to one of our incredible Branson School Online teachers. 

Our Feature Teacher for the month of December is:


Mrs. Parlett teaches PE for grades 6-12 at Branson School Online. Read on to learn more about this talented BSO teacher

Years Teaching: 13 years

Years with BSO 8 years

Favorite food – Any Mexican food

Favorite color- Purple

Pets- 3 dogs and 10 ducks

Hobbies- Lifting weights and working out, coaching volleyball

Love about teaching – Helping kids get in shape and living a healthier lifestyle

Love about Branson – The students and staff I get to work with

Favorite Season – Summer... because I love warm weather

Favorite place – Dominican Republic

# 1 item on your bucket list – Go to Hawaii

Favorite author – Stephen King (all of his books)

Favorite sport - Volleyball

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Money Matters

Image result for saving money
Have you ever wondered how to take some of the topics taught in our math classes and make them more relevant to your student's every day life?

Our incredible BSO math teachers have put together the following list of activity ideas. You will find suggestions for all grade levels. Some of the activities will definitely work for multiple ages, so make sure to read through them all. Practicing these skills not only reinforces learning and teaches essential life skills, it also provides parents and guardians the opportunity to spend quality one on one time with students.

The upcoming winter break is a great time to practice money skills and apply learning from your student's math class!

Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Play Grocery Store
 Choose items from your pantry and label each with money amounts that will cost less than $1. Take turns with a sibling or parent to be the shopper and the clerk. Be sure to pay with real coins.

2nd and 3rd Grade
Grocery Store Estimation
Students should round the price of items to the nearest dollar and estimate a total. Start small 2-3 items,  and as they progress, have them choose more items.  Once they master this, give them a budget to make a recipe. Students can choose items needed for a recipe without going over the limit.  For extra fun, make the recipe when you get home.

4th Grade
Grocery Store Multi-Step Problems
Go to the grocery store and pick out several items for purchase. Calculate the change you should receive if you paid with a $20 bill, a $50 bill, etc. This reinforces solving multi-step problems, a skill frequently practiced in the 4th grade curriculum. 

5th Grade
Money Activity 1
1.    Write your weekly grocery list, leaving space next to each item for a dollar amount to be written.
2.    Ask your child to look over the list, think about what each item probably costs, and “guess” a total price for all of the groceries.
3.    Head to the grocery store with your child. On the way, explain that she will be rounding, adding and estimating the total cost of the groceries as you shop. Surprise him/her by telling them that they will get a prize if the estimate comes within $10.00 of the actual total.
4.    As you begin shopping, hand over the shopping list to your child. Every time an item goes into the cart, they should write the actual price and then round it to the nearest dollar (e.g. peas: $2.89 = $3.00). When you finish shopping, ask your child to add up the list of rounded amounts and get an estimated total (bring a calculator or help her do mental math). Compare the estimated total with their “guess” from home.
5.    After checking out and paying for your groceries, give the receipt to your child and have them compare the estimated total with the actual total. If it is within $10.00, offer a small prize. If they don't “win”, offer a “participation prize” to keep them motivated.
Follow-up questions for the ride home are a great way to focus in on what was learned. Try these: What items were least/most expensive? What patterns do you see in pricing? What types of food are more expensive? How can rounding and estimating help you as a shopper?
Money Activity 2
1.    Take out some old take-out menus for food choices your child enjoys. Prices are listed for each food item.
2.    Now tell your child that you will take turns “playing restaurant”, switching off roles of being the customer and the server. You and your child may wish to decide upon different names for yourselves during the role play.
3.    You should start out in the role of server, so you can model the procedure first for your child.
4.    Make sure your child has ample money to pay for items on the menu. Maybe they should even make a trip to the "bank" before going out on the town. When the "customer" arrives, they should be seated at the table and you should take down their order on a notepad.
5.    Total the items on the notepad for your child to see, state the price, and give your child the check. Make change if necessary (no tip required!).
6.    You can repeat this game as many times as you want, switching roles each time. Use a different menu to keep things fresh, or have your child create her own menu.
7.    When you've played a few rounds, your child is ready to graduate to another important, family-centered activity. Tell him that you'd like to arrange takeout for your family, but you need his help. Have him make an "order list" by copying down dish names and dollar amounts, and then calculating dollars for you.​

6th Grade
Cooking Fun
1. Help with cooking a recipe and try to convert the fractions on standard measuring cups into decimals. 

2. Using a recipe, make a double or half batch by adding/ dividing the fractions of the measurements. 

3. At the store (or with any money) try to covert the decimal of the cents into the equivalent fraction using the place value as a guide. 

4. Measure the amount of gift wrap you will need to wrap a present by measuring one of the sides, then add them together. Make sure not to measure to an even inch. You can measure in fractions or decimals. 

5. With the weather getting colder, try to relate the temperature to the equivalent integer when it is negative outside (basically just take the absolute value). This will help reinforce that all numbers, positive and negative, have a value on the number line. 

Middle School
Grocery Card Estimation
1. Have students estimate the price of the grocery cart; try to be within 10%.

2. When dining out challenge the kids with the game who can give the best estimate for the bill. Then have them calculate the tip.

High School
Interest and Principal
1. Practice a scenario where you make a large purchase with a high interest rate credit card and have to calculate the total cost with interest, if you make the minimum payment vs. paying extra towards the principal. 
Making a Living
2. The following is a webquest designed to simulate a student who has graduated from high school, moving out on their own and must create a budget to manage their money. There are links to help find average job starting salaries, rent calculators for varying areas of Colorado, utilities estimators, gas and car expenses, and of course... fun money. After finding income and expense values, it includes an Excel template to create a budget showing whether a surplus or deficit has been achieved.