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Thursday, May 13, 2010

MEP organization... in pictures

Our math organization in pictures... :)

We use MEP.  We like MEP.  That is, those of us that like math like MEP...
and thankfully, most of us around here like math.

MEP is available to homeschoolers, and we can access all the MEP lessons, teacher's books, overhead masters, manipulatives (number cards and lines) online for FREE.  However, in order to use the curriculum, it must needs be printed.  In this post, I'm going to show you how I did that.  And how we keep our math things in order.  :)   If you would like to have a feel for how we do math, you can hop over to this post at Jeanne's ohpeacefulday!  we do very much the same thing.

[If you don't use MEP, this post will be very boring.  You have permission to skip to the end.
your welcome.]

On the computer...

1) First of all I have a folder on my computer named MEP (very intuitive, yes?)
2) Inside that folder are more folders... Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, etc.  (yes, I downloaded them all at once)  Some of the files used to be password protected, but the password was accessible by e-mail. 
3) Inside those folders are folders titled... Practice book, Lesson Plans, Copymasters, and Spanish (MEP has years 1-3 in Spanish!  woohoo!)
4) In each of those folders are the pdf files that correspond for that year's math.

This way I can find what I want very quickly (even offline) when I have to print off the next section.

Getting ready for Year One...

1) I print off the Practice book first.  This is the book that the student actually looks at for her lesson.  For year one I print the pages full size* and put them in a binder.  For my boys in year four I actually print them as half sheets of paper to save paper and ink (more on how to do that in a moment).  There are 175 pages if you print off the whole thing at once.  Double sided that would be almost 90 sheets of paper.  I only print one pdf file section at a time, 15 double sided pages.

(note the pages from the files are size A4... 
that means you should check the 
option when printing that says fit to printable 
area or adjust the page/paper 
size settings if you print to normal letter size paper - 8.5x11)

2) Next I print off the Lesson Plans.  These ones I do print in booklet style to save paper and ink.  [How to print booklet option: After I click the print button, in my printer settings I look for the option that says Page Handling or Page Layout (or something similar to that) and I choose booklet printing (not to be confused with multiple pages per sheet which will print the pages side by side not like a booklet).
(258 pages divided by 4 per sheet = 65 pages)

I make sure that the page size is set to A4 and the paper size to whatever paper I'm printing to.  My printer handles the rest.  I can fold them in half and have a little book... but I cut mine down the center and have it spiral bound like this: 

You'll notice it's crooked... yeah, my printer was having issues. VERY troublesome.

3) I print off the Copy Masters that correspond with the lessons I'm teaching.  You could print ALL of these off at the same time or in sections like I do the Lesson Plans.  It is nice because they have divided the lessons up in the same way for Practice Book, Lesson Plans and Copy Masters.  I print them off booklet style again but I don't spiral bind these I leave them loose leaf and tuck them inside the Lesson plan book to hold the place.  I don't use them all... but they have been SUPER helpful and it is worth it to have them handy... (150 pages divided by 4 per sheet = about 37 pages)

4) Lastly,  there are the posters.  You will need Posters 1-10 during the first half of the year one book.  I was printing them off as I came to them which was rather disruptive to the lesson.  It is easier to have them printed off ahead of time and stored in plastic sheet protectors like this: 

Of course, there are a lot of MEP users who just pull them up on the computer screen and look at them.  That might work for you too.  I prefer to have them printed.

5) Here are our math things.  I collect crayola marker caps from the markers that have dried up, poker chips, little stuff that we can use as counters like pop lids, bottle caps, etc.  I also have a handful of dice and some peanut butter jar lids for sorting.  I printed off the MEP number & shape cards and keep those in one of those snack size zip locs...  All of this goes in the little orange basket that we pull out each day at math time.  Also seen above kept in a sheet protector are the number lines.  I keep one copy in the notebook and I give one to Bria to keep in her notebook.  We use the number line quite often.

For a comprehensive discussion on the compatibility of MEP and CM read Jeanne's post here.
Jeanne has another post that blows this one out of the water for an intro to MEP.  It's pretty long and has EVERYTHING you'll ever want to know... I'm just showing the different steps for getting organized that I've used which pretty much line up exactly with what she's already noted.

Here's the link to the yahoo group for MEP homeschool users

HAH!  My friend Phyllis just gave me an award!  She's so nice.  Don'tcha think?  Well, I'm posting it here... I'm kinda unsure about the whole award thing.  Not that I am ungrateful.  I am not.  Well, you can read more about all that HERE.


Richele said...

I do find your (and Jeanne's) MEPS post fascinating even though I let Mr. Steve Demme do all the math teaching around here.

Nice manipulatives!

Silvia said...

Great. I have almost everything but the posters. However, I did up to lesson 7 and now I'm just holding off with my oldest for six or more months. I'm going to be doing some reception lessons. After all she's only 5. But I did that thing with the more than, less than, with counting bears and she got it.
I like having it all, and I sometimes look at the big concept of the lesson to do it a bit differently for now.
Between you woman (I keep saying you rock), and Jeanne, we have it all done for MEP users! and apart from printing, it's ALL free.

MamaAngie said...

I like your manipulatives! Their very colorful and resourceful. I've never heard of MEP before. I'll have to look into it some more. What do you like best about it?

Monica said...

I just found your blog tonight and I already LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!! I have been wanting to find out more about MEP, I just recently purchased A Child's Geography: Explore the Holy Land and I really like the pics you posted; and, well, I just love your blog!!!!

Jeanne said...

Love your manipulatives.

Thanks for the links too. You are much more organised than us, I'm ashamed to say...

Phyllis said...

Yes, I know what you mean about being unsure about the award. I was a bit unsure when I received it...but life is too short to worry about such things...just go with the flow. And about me being so sweet...I love the compliment, but no, it was not out of sweetness that I nominated you. I nominated you because I LOVE your blog and have used it a lot and enjoy it very much. You deserve all the awards you get.
Oh, and by the way, I also love today's post.

amy in peru said...

Maybe someday you'll be converted... ;) I too formerly was quite dependent on Steve Demme. He has a LOT of cool ways of remembering things! :)

Yeah. NO rush. I'm doing 2 lessons a day with Bria until she seems to hit a wall and she's 7 :) though admittedly I'm starting late...

@ MamaAngie,
well... I LOVE how comprehensive it is, how it thoroughly teaches a matter... from lots of different perspectives! I love how it incorporates hands-on and even though it is also the thing I don't like about it, I like how involved the teacher is. I love how detailed the lesson plans are so that I know just what to do and how much time to spend... :)
to name a few things! :)

Wow, thanks! You're too kind. :) [blushing]

Organization is rooted in necessity... with 5 kids I would go CRAZY without some sense of order :) but it's relative. I'm not as organized as I would like to be ;)

I still think it's very sweet of you to like my blog let alone to think it award worthy :)

I appreciate you all. Thanks for reading and contributing!! This is what makes blogging much more fun :)

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I have never heard of MEP before and had to click through to Jeanne's post to see what it stood for. :) So you are really liking it now? How long have you used it?

amy in peru said...

oh yes. it is really a very good math program. realizing it's quality long ago, I was only hesitant because of the teacher time required (40 min/day per child - I combine the time). but I really do feel it is excellent and now wish I had started both my boys from the beginning... I was just lazy. we are just struggling with one boy in math (it's always been a struggle with him, though sometimes less intense than other times).

Martine said...

Hi Amy,
Do you know if there is anything like this available in Dutch? Probably not... It looks great! And how's Javen doing today ;-).


Martine said...

Oh, it's also available in Spanish, of course... I am already downloading a few things, it looks great. I think Leon is ready for this (or already past year one maybe, he is just too smart, I'm afraid...).

amy in peru said...

@Martine, sometimes as you know being smart can be difficult! ;) I would suggest starting him in y1 regardless and setting the timer for 40 minutes and doing as many lessons as he can do during that time... that includes the teacher lesson plans because there are a lot of ideas for cementing the ideas in there. Bria already knows much of what is presented as well, but some of the problems are presented in an interesting or more challenging way that I'd be sad for her to skip it. Plus, later on in the program, it is assumed that the child will have certain understanding... the lessons build on previous experience...
Especially since you have all the time in the world to be working with him ;) and there is no rush!


Monica said...


Just wanted to thank you again for the blessing that you have been to my homeschooling life! I am doing MEP Year 1 (7yo ds) and Year 3 (10yo dd)! I actually started with Year 3 yesterday and my reluctant and discouraged math learner is ALREADY enjoying MEP! Wow! Praise God! I felt like crying when she said, "Mommy, I REALLY like this better than our old math. I think I am getting it now"!!!! Amazing!
Now Year 1 is not getting started until tomorrow....eek! scared!
But, you and the amazing Jeanne have been so wonderful and resourceful that you have made me a little less intimidated of MEP! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Also, we are doing Year 1 and Year 3 in AO! How do you do it with more than 2??!!! I am feeling a little overwhelmed but again blessed as well!!
Ok, way too long of a post. But I am just so grateful and feel so blessed to have you and your blog to refer to!
God bless!

Anonymous said...

I like your orange math basket. What's in the small Division binder?

Tracey said...

Hi Amy
Im just starting HE with my 4 year old, we are in the UK so he would be due to start school this sept. Im loving your blog its been so helpful already with the math and reading side of things, at the mo Im reading everything I can so I feel a bit prepared! And deciding what to use. Hes still so young and Im loving what I read about CM so we will take it slow. Just wondered if you used the MEP for reception age and what you thought? Thankyou so much for taking the time to blog its so helpful and inspiring. Blessings Tracey

Amie said...

Thank you for this post! I am about to begin MEP Y1 with my son. I think I am falling in love with your blog...I will be returning... ~Amie in Alabama

amyinperu said...

I haven't used Reception yet. I really want to, it looks so fun! With multiple students, I just don't have time. But I do recommend doing it if you have time! ;)

Catie said...

This is SO great!! I'm starting my oldest this year using the CM method and I've decided on MEP Math. :) It's really confusing at first, but this post, A Peaceful Day, the Yahoo group and the AO Forum have been SO awesome. I just don't know where I'd be without all of the help. I'm so thankful for all the work all of you ladies have put into all of this (MEP and CM homeschooling in general.) God bless!

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