Monday, January 11, 2016

Letter O preschool day

O is for Octopus!
Gathering Activity: Build with blocks or paint color circles (cardstock works best, but ordianary paper will do) I encouraged the children to make four different colors.  Some of them wanted to paint 3 or 4 color circles.  A few of my younger ones just built with duplos and had me paint for them.  I'm not super picky as long as they have fun.  (Boys especially often learn from blocks and Legos better than paint.)  I used finger paint since thats what I had, but I'm sure washable tempera paint would be best.  I had a pile of q-tips and paint brushes and textured items to stamp with, but what I liked best was painting the textures with a q-tip and then stamping.  I was going for octopus camoflauge so I did orange swirls for coral, q-tip dots for bubbles, blue/green/purple for rocks, and I did a purple fish.  The kids free paint was very cute, the ones I did were a bit boring. I didn't have any full circles left for the picture, sorry!
 If a child's color circle doesn't have four, distinct backgrounds or if they want to use colors from more than one circle you can cut and paste/tape down onto the card stock and then outline it with a sharpie.  

If the paint dries, these can be assembled at class, otherwise make holes for the fasteners and show the parents a sample and have them fasten at home.  I put our paintings in the dehydrator for 20 minutes to speed drying times, but that is probably not something most people have on hand.

color circles



Letter Awareness:
We looked for the letter O on favorite food packages and ate some!  Orange juice would have been good for this or cheerios and Froot Loops.

Literacy:
Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan
before reading=Do you go to bed at night or in the morning?  When do you think baby owls go to bed?  What does an owl do for fun all night long?  This is a funny kind of bedtime story because the owl goes to sleep in the morning!

Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan
before reading=does anyone ever bug you? do you ever want to be alone where it is quiet?  Do you know someone who is shy?  Are you shy?  An octopus is shy, watch her hide in her cave and watch everyone else play!  
while reading= when she is happy in her cave she is ________(orange)
how many seahorses come to tickle her?________(1,2,3)
When she leaves the cave what color does she turn?___________(blue)
When she is stripey can you find her?
Here she turns pink!
When she is scared of the eel what color does she turn?___________(white)  
See how she changes shape when she swims fast.
After she sees the whale she looks bubbly, where are the bubbles?
She misses her friends, so she goes home, can you find them all?  What fish is the prettiest?  Do you see the shark?

Science:
Watch this 4min video of real octopuses playing hide n' seek.  Gray plant, scared giant cloud, brown rock, green plant.  Where's the Octopus?  (I skip over the color cells part).  There is a 1 min mimic octopus film that shows zebra stripes and the octopus being a poisonous fish too!


Free Play and Take Home Craft:

I finish with free play while we assemble the take home craft.  

brass fasteners ($3 walmart), tape, glue stick, doubled sided tape (if possible), sharpie marker (optional).

top layer: Print the octopus on transparency paper (similar price to color prints) or trace onto a page protector with sharpie and cut it out.  Print the text pages on regular paper glue or double sided tape together.
:
I attached the octopus text page on top of the transparency with double sided tape for speed, but glue or cleat tape on the edges could workk too.  Put this on top of the color circle.  Stab a hole in the middle with an exacto knife or something very sharp.  Insert a brass fastener.  If the color circle is still drying just put the holes in the transparency page and color circles.  The pages can be fastened together later.




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How To Win The Science Fair

I tell my kids that the entire purpose of going to school is to learn how to communicate ideas, whether through numbers, writing, spelling, music, pictures, charts, graphs, or just body language.

Any college professor will tell you his job relies on publishing his work.

Science Fair is the same.  The actual quality of the scientific research is only a fraction of the overall science fair judging.  I think that is fair because the same is true in the real world.  The look and feel of the display is the largest part of the score, they also get scored on following the instructions and rules, as well as the student's ability to talk about their project knowlegeably with a judge (again back to communicating ideas).

First of all I tell the students that the goal of their project display is to be the one that first catches everyone's eye from across the room.  Secondly, when people get close they can get the entire concept in just a glance.

They will notice your project first for the following reasons
1-great use of color
2-great use of graphics and icons
3-have a 3-D attention-grabber if possible
4-the title will arouse curiosity and be just the right size to read from a distance, but not too big.
5-the entire project is understandable with minimal reading, tell the story of your project with pictures.
6-projct display is very neat and organized

When people get close to the project they will be able to find the entrie scientific process from beginning to end by reading left to right and top to bottom.

The displaly will be entertaining and educational.  If the title of the project is a question, the answer will be clearly stated, not hidden at the end of the conclusion in small print.

When possible the colors and accents colors will go along with the project theme.

If a tri-fold board is usesd remember the majority of people viewing your project will only be able to view the middle panel.  So put your best stuff there (i.e. pictures), put the text boxes on the sides.

Plan ahead, so that you have time to let spray paint dry or send pictures out to be processed at the cheapest price.  Finish your project one day early, just in case something goes wrong at the last minute!

Do NOT break the following rule!
All text must have sufficient contrast!  Light text on a dark background or dark on light.  No dark text on medium or medium text on anything!  Since printers are black you must rule out printing on almost all colors, but white and maybe light pastels.  In order to have a two-tone color scheme on your display it is almost always best to have a background color.  And then use colored borders on your pictures, charts, and text boxes.  Most boards start out white, but for 1-2 dollars you can buy a can of spray paint and change the color.  You can also use wrapping paper, butcher paper, or contact paper.  This is the science of getting noticed and requires as much thought and time as the scientific research you do.

Storyboard:  Plan your display.  Sketch your board out to scale on paper.  Plan how much room each picture, chart, or text box will tke including the colored borders if you will be using those.  If you will have an attention-grabber sitting in front of your display, make sure it won't be blocking something important on your board.  This is important, because when you type, you will know how much space you have and how big to make the fonts or how big to print the pictures.  It helps you avoid printing things out too big or too small.  It helps you know when you need to cut and trim text.

If you will have a report with your display choose a cover that matches the board and is visually appealing.  These little detail set your project apart and get the judges attention instantly.  The don't know why, they just like it better.

If the title of your project is a question, have the answer in large text, not at the end of your conclusion paragraph in small print.  On the electrical conductors project below the answer to the question is highlighted in yellow in the conclusion paragraph, that is another idea.

Use icons whenever you can.  They communicate the idea of your project more quickly and effectively.  Icons are colors, color schemes, fonts, and pictures, that people already recognize.  For example, when we see golden arches, everyone thinks McDonald's or fast food in general.  Icons draw people in and get remembered just like a catchy song.
My son did a project on electricity.  He put in minimal effort and there were three other projects in his class that were almost identical, all of them were better experiments, but he won first place anyway because his project most effectively communicated the idea.  He used a lightening bolt icon for electricity.  Electric shock fonts, glowy red X buttons for pictures of non-electrical conductors and glowy green check marks for pictures of things that did conduct electricity.  He took a very basic experiment and conveyed it very well with his display.  He did the ultimate contrasting colors: black and white.








My daughter did a project on probability in the game Settlers of Catan.  Her icons where dice for probability and the correct font for Settlers of Catan (I'm sure no one thought "cool she used the right font!"  Nope, they just stopped in there tracks when they saw the font and said "cool that's my favorite game!"  You might not realize that people react to the font as much as what word they spell when seen from a distance.  Notice that her question was done with graphics and words.  It was about will you roll resource cards or the robber.  You can read it below or just glance at the pictures.  Since the odds in Catan are right on the cards, this wasn't ground breaking science, but the idea was conveyed very well and she also won first place in her class.  Purple and lime green are her favorite colors,  I thought it was a wild color choice, but she pulled it off and it was the only purple/green project at the fair.  The title is medium color text on medium color background, but because it was larger it was still enough contrast to be readable.  It didn't work quite as well with the other text boxes.


When I was a kid I was in a school that prided itself on winning at state every year.   What I am writing is what they taught me there.  My science fair project was on pendulums which don't really have a good icon to go with them.  Instead I went for the attention-grabber.  I cut out about 1/3 of my project board and built a giant pendulum to hang in its place.  The board itself was bright yellow.  You could not miss it!  It had crowds hypnotized by the pendulum all day.  It won 2nd place.

I also did a  group history fair project on water rights, which isn't generally a crowd pleaser, but we changed that.  For an attention grabber we had a 12x12" plot of grass with a minature white picket fence running down the middle.  One side of grass was lush and one side was dried and brown.  Fences are iconic of border disputes.  We used a yellow project board with red and blue accents.  My project won 2nd place at state.  After the awards strangers came up to me and out of the hundreds of projects they had seen all day, they always remembered mine.  In eighth grade I went to Nationals in history fair with a multi-media project.  It wasn't a display board, but most of the principles I'm sharing here apply.

Another tip is to rehearse the interview (not all science fairs have judges interviews, but at the higher levels they definitely do!)  Have someone look at your board and ask a question about each thing on it.  For science fair you give yourself a bonus with judges if you mention ideas for further research in the interview when they ask about the conclusion, because it isn't something most students have thought about, but all academics include this information when they publish findings.  It just makes you look really great to have thought your project through completely.  Dress nicely.

It goes without saying that you should choose something you are interested in and do a great experiment.  You should be creative and not just do the "which popcorn pops best" or "volcano" experiment.  Creativity, quality, and effort of project are minimally important at the school level and become more important at the district and state level.  One year my daughter did a pile of research on sugar and how it affects the brain.  She set up a study with a bunch of children where they did memory games before and after eating a certain amount of sugar.  The findings were astonishing, it was a fantastic project.  The display wasn't.  I had given her my tips, but she didn't believe.  She used a white project board, difficult to read fonts, and almost invisible light pink boarders on her text boxes.  There were no pictures and the title and all writing on the board were very small.  The only people who stopped by to see the project were people who had been in her research that were curious about the results.  She had to explain the results because they couldln't tell by looking at her display.   Needless to say she didn't win.

My final tip is to read your science fair instructions carefully and follow all rules.  Don't lose points in judging over something silly like not having permission slips from participants, not having a graph, or displaying real food when its prohibited, etc.

If you follow my tips, you will have a science fair project to be proud of.  Win or not (you probably will) you'll have an eye catching project that everyone who stop and look at and discuss and remember.

Here are some other winning projects, most of them use one but not all of my tips and the pictures are terrible, sorry!!!  These are from the distric science fair which means all these projects won at the school level!
I liked the clothesline icon with the fabric shrinking project.

Paw print icons for the pet handed-ness project


C&H sugar bag colored project board with great 3-D graph.  There was a picture of the drink with a ziplock of how much sugar each contained in front of it.

Attention-getting color scheme


Told the story of her project with three colors on the board background and easy to understand pictures in the center of the tri-fold, avoided lots of text boxes with too many words.


The title is repeated in picture form with a brain lifting weights, I love it!
On the right side, the pictures with the arrow between them is a great way to graphically present the results of their experiment.


 Title makes me curious, the video game controller under the title is a great attention grabber.



The comical cocoa cups took this title "Hot or Not" from boring to interesting.  The pictures are great, but were probably expensive, choose the best pictures and make any money you spend count.  I like the ones on the bottom left although the girls could have brought the actual cups to display as well.
The conclusion on the right was easy to read


The whole project is easy to understand in a brief glance, I noticed this one from a distance.



Bright attention grabbing project, with great pictures, nicely labeled right in the center.


Its easy to find things on this board, the title is easy to read, its easy to understand at a glance.


Great icons for "emotions", nice color scheme!


I see this science project done every year and it is always an attention getting project.  This is an example of winning despite not having a terribly difficult project.



People just loved these attention grabbers!  The little shampoo bottles on the board are a cute idea, but you can see they would be better if they were bigger.


This project display was so cute!  A great use of color.



.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

PTA Reflections: Explaining the judging rubric

In the PTA Reflections program, "Interpretation of Theme" is worth 20 pts out of 40.  Students also get up to 10 pts for Originality and creativity and up to 10 pts for Technique/skill level.  Notice that for each entry I ask myself two questions: 1) Is the concept described in the artist statement related to the theme? 2) Is the concept conveyed in the art?  They earn higher points the deeper and more thoughtful the concept is.
Click on the graphic below to see the actual judging rubric.  Then on to the art!




Example #1 Pretend the theme was "YUMMY!"

Artist Statement: "trees inspire me"

Concept related to the theme: no
Concept the artist gave clearly communicated: yes!
 Score 4 pts

Artist Statement: "I love the state fair, everything there looks yummy"
 
Concept related to the theme: yes, I like it because it is heartfelt.
Concept clearly communicated: no, this picture clearly shows a funnel cake stand, but that isn't the overall message of the picture.  There are no people drooling.  There is no actual yummy food in the picture at all, just a food stand.  I love the picture, but yummy state fair food is only partially conveyed,
 Score 8 pts

Artist Statement:"I think donuts are  yummy."

Concept related to the theme: yes!   A very basic, obvious interpretation of theme, perfectly related to theme.
Concept clearly communicated: yes!  This picture definetly makes donut lovers think "yummy".
 Score 12 pts

I get a large number of projects that are really fantastic, but that are only marginally related to the theme or else only marginally communicate the artist statement.  I find myself scoring these as the 10pts and it is probably the most common score from me as a judge.


Artist Statement: "I think lots of different things are yummy."
  
Concept related to theme and well thought out: YES!  This student has put all their personal favorite yummy stuff.  The difference between this and the last one is that the first took almost no thought to come up with and this one took some real time and "reflection".
Concept clearly communicated:  Yes, I don't even need the artist statement, the concept comes through perfectly, I love the smiley face!!!
Score 16pts.

  Artist Statement: "Yummy really depends on your point of view.  Are you a fish or a cat?"  


Concept well thought out, full of "meaning purpose and integrity":  I still don't know what that means, but I tell kids and judges to look for emotional response, human connections, deep thought, art that motivates you to change or think differently, anything that really sets it apart.  This student really "reflected" on the theme in a deep way and it is obvious.
Concept clearly communicated:  Yes, it is very clever.  Wow!  Score 20pts.  


Example #2  using 2016-2017 Refelections Theme is "What's Your Story?"

"trees inspire me"

Concept related to theme=I'm skeptical, it seems like a stretch it seems like only a part of the story at most, I wish they'd written a more detailed artist statement to help me believe it.  Only partial points for related to theme.  A story could be what defines you, it usually has a begining middle and end or at very least a start and end.  A story could also be a journey, a transformation, a change of direction, an epiphany.  This concept is close, but not quite there.

Does the art clearly communicate "trees inspiring me"?  Yes (kind of), I am inspired when I look at it, so if I really stretch I can say yes.  However if I am honest it doesn't really show trees inspiring the artist.  I'm generous because this is already quite a low score, but if I'm teaching a student how to do a reflection, I would encourage them to show how the tree is affecting them, rather than just a really great tree.
4 pts


"I love the state fair"

Concept related to theme=yes, it tells what the artist loves.

Does the art clearly show the artist loves the state fair=no, it is just an amazing state fair picture and no one in the picture seems to be showing how much they love the fair,  when I look at the picture I think about great colors, funnel cakes, and ferris wheels being fun, but not that someone's favorite thing all year is the state fair.
score:A simple concept, not clearly communicated: 8 points for interpretation of theme


"My story is that I am like these donuts, my life looks fantastic on the outside, but once you get underneath the surface its a lot like everyone elses."

Concept related to the theme and well though out: yes, it is pretty personal to say that your life looks really cool at first glance, but is rather ordinary in reality.  This is also a bit more complex concept than the other projects had which is great.

Concept clearly communicated by the art: No, I don't see the story from the artist statement portrayed in the art.  How would you portray this concept?  Yes I see donuts, but they don't tell a story.  Some students might put a catchy phrase with the donut such as "life is a pink frosted donut with sprinkles".  That would help.  Perhaps they would show a girl in a pink sparkly dress eating a donut, so you can see that her story has to do with the donut.
This is a difficult concept to convey and I don't think they pulled it off.

Summary, great concept, but not really communicated by the art.  This is the most common score I see. 10pts for interpretation of theme.

"I think my story is best told through my favorite foods.  Food is a big part of life and people have lots of food emotions and no two people love exactly the same foods."


Concept related to theme: yes, very well thought out!  I would score it higher than just a simple, similar concept like my favorite food is Jelly Belly Beans.
Concept clearly communicated in art: absolutely!
score:16 pts

For this theme, I'm expecting things such as some sort of unique moment that changed them to be portrayed, the thing that makes them unique, something close to their heart, something that illustrates their mission or purpose in life, a tribute to their roots, or their personal trials or dilemmas.

Perhaps collage or a picture that shows movement, or a snapshot depicting that crucial moment in time, or perhaps they find a way to portray their story with a picture that clearly illustrates what is going to happen next or that illustrates the  dilemma perfectly like in the cat drooling over the fish in one of the earlier pictures.

"My Life in 23 years painted on my own nails on my 23rd birthday"

I know this isn't a student's project, but it fit really well, so I'm showing it.

Concept full of meaning, purpose, and integrity? Yes! Integrity: this is her, no excuses, not what she thinks other people want her to be.  Its honest and entertaining!

Clearly Communicated?  Amazingly well!  I think Jessie Mills has a fun concept full of meaning, integrity, and purpose and that it is clearly communicated.  She put all 23 years of her life in mini pictures on her own nails!  Check out her blog post where she describes every single year here!

Note: I don't own any of these pictures, they are from internet searches (however the cat/fish picture is a composite I made),  I just share them for educational purposes.  Thanks.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

How To Combine Dens For Cub Scouts?


Cub Scouts is designed for dens of approximately 7 boys, but if your entire pack has closer to 7 boys this post is for you.

To have a combined den, you need one den leader for about every three boys or else rambunctiousness tends to be a problem.  If you combine dens and then the group grows a bit, you'll need more help.

In a combined den, the boys won't earn their rank every year, it will take longer depending on how many ranks are combined, so if you can't accept this, don't combine dens.  I would suggest starting to get used to the idea of not getting a rank exactly on the boys birthday.  It makes everything else easier.  

My pack simply did not have enough adult leaders to pull off three dens.  We should be thrifty with the time and energies of our adult leaders, so the simplest solution is to combine dens.  

As I just said, I try to find simple solutions, so when a boy who is earning lots of adventure badges but not all the required ones for his specific rank has his birthday, I write down his birthday as the rank completion date, buy the patch and save it.  If he moves, I would give him the patch before he leaves, since the new place won't understand combined dens.  If he stays in our den he will easily complete the requirements for each rank during his time in cub scouts, when he does, I'll give him his patch.  The boys don't mind waiting because they are earning cool badges each month.  The parents and leaders are confused, but I just say be patient, its a combined den, he'll get it eventually!  The boys still graduate from the title of Wolf to Bear or Bear to Webelos on their birthdays.  (If your small pack uses school years to divide ranks, write down the last day of the school year as his complete date.)

Besides the rank advancement issue, combining dens is really easy.  Make a list of what adventure badges each boy in the pack has already earned.  Then make a list of what needs to be done.  Alternate between the different ranks the best that you can.  I would recommend doing more Webelos and Arrow of Light badges at first, so that any boys who are about to leave Cub Scouting have the best chance possible of earning their Arrow of Light.  Any cub scout can earn their Arrow of Light even if they didn't earn their Wolf or Bear.  They need to earn 9 required Webelos/Arrow of Light adventure badges plus 5 elective Webelos adventures.  In a combined "Wolf-Bear-elos" den you would offer at least 3 required Webelos adventures and at least 2 Webelos electives a year.  If you are trying to help a boy earn his Arrow of Light you may offer a few more Webelos adventures and electives the first year to help him out, but the variety of adventures would even out in the future.  The older boy who wants to earn his Arrow of Light in a combined den right after it combines will need a little extra help to get it all done.  Here is what we do outside of den meetings to help get all 14 adventures done for the Arrow of Light.  After a year this won't really be an issue anymore.   

Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure:  this adventure is assigned to the 11-year old scout leader to teach.  He does it every January for the boys turning 11 that year.  The Webelos and 11 year old scouts do it together.
Webelos First Responder: Can be taught in one day if you go to the fire station.  This can be a one day badge for Webelos only.  If you only have one webelos, have his family go through the badge together and then visit the firestation for a family activity.  Look to see when your local firestation has its openhouse each year or perhaps you have an EMT as a friend or relative of one of the boys in the pack...
Webelos Duty to God and You: We do a yearly children's program at church.  If the sunday youth leader (primary president in our case) discusses how the program teaches duty to God and what the boys can go and do as a result, they have finished this adventure.)
Arrow of Light Duty to God in Action: We have a church "Faith in God" pamphlet with lots of activities the boys can use to complete this adventure.  We recommend the boys and their families work on this together.
Webelos Electives:  Our boys go to "Webelos Woods" which is an overnighter where they can earn three elective adventures in one day!!!
Parents:  What are the professions of the Webelos' parents?  There is a good chance there is an adventure they could easily teach their boy at home in their area of expertise.  Also, if the boy does two team sports during the year, he is very close to earning his Sportsman Adventure.  See how many he needs to get outside of den meeting and then put them on the calendar so they don't all have to be done last minute.


How to Combine
Step 1  List all the required adventures for each age group except the Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure.  Divide this list by three.  Try to divide the adventures up by type so they get the same curriculum as a regular den.  It doesn't divide perfectly, but it is close.  If you split up the den in the future just give the boys credit for what they have done and finish what they have remaining.

Required Adventures by Type for each rank:


Wolf
Bear
Webelos/Arrow of Light
 Suggested Month
Outdoor Adventure
(hiking)
Wolf Paws on the Path
Bear Ferns Feathers Fur
Webelos Walkabout
September
Outdoor Adventure
(day camp)
Wolf Call of the Wild
Bear Necessities
Arrow of Light Camper
 June
Participatory Citizenship
Wolf Council Fire
Bear Paws for Action
Arrow of Light Building a Better World
 November
Leadership Development
Wolf Howling at the Moon 
Grin and Bear It

(Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure**)  you could substitue Webelos Aware and Care which is a good leadership adventure.
 January
Personal Fitness
Wolf Running with the Pack
Wolf Paws of Skill (actually an elective)
 Webelos Stronger, Faster, Higher
 May
Scouting
Skills
Wolf Finding Your Way (actually an elective)
Bear Claws
Webelos First Responder

Webelos Cast Iron Chef
 July
Character Development
Wolf Duty to God Footsteps


Bear Fellowship and Duty to God


Webelos Duty to God and You

Arrow of Light Duty to God in Action


 March

** "Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure" should be done each year even in a combined den.  Webelos can meet with the 11-year old scouts to complete this.

Pack Plan Sample

Required Adventures
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Outdoor Adventure (hike)
September
1.Webelos Walkabout

1. Bear Ferns/Feathers/Fur
 1. Wolf Paws on the Path
Outdoor Adventure
(day camp)
June
2.Arrow of Light Camper

2. Wolf Call of the Wild
 2. Bear Necessities
Participatory Citizenship
November
3.Building a Better World


 3. Bear Paws for Action
 3.Wolf Council Fire
Leadership Development
January
4. Wolf Howling at the Moon
4. Bear Grin and Bear It
 4. Webelos Aware and Care
Personal Fitness/Other
May
5. Webelos Stronger Faster Higher
 5.Wolf Running with the Pack
5.  Wolf Paws of Skill
Scouting Skills
July
6. Webelos Cast Iron Chef


6. Bear Claws 
 6. Webelos First Responder
Elective or Character Development
March
7. Bear Duty to God (Religious Knot)
7. Wolf Duty to God

 7Webelos Duty to God
12. Arrow of Light Duty
 to God



“Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure” by 11 year old scout leaders in January.


Step 2
List all the possible elective adventures. Pick five elective adventures to offer in your combined den for each year of your plan.  Choose at least one each of Wolf and Bear and at least two Webelos.  If you know they will get electives at Cub day camp or Webelos camp or some special event, save those adventures for later.  I left one month free to make up, work on religious knot, or another adventure if so desired.

(This is my annotated list with stars by the ones I was thinking about proposing to the den leaders for the pack plan.  Choose based on what you know about your leaders and boys.)

Cub Scout Elective Adventures (I categorized them myself just to help me sort them more easily)
CC=Culture/Community, STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
S=Sports 0=Outdoors 

1.     CC Wolf -   - Collections and Hobbies  
2.     CC Wolf -   - Cubs Who Care   
3.    CC Wolf -   - Digging In the Past* dinosaur theme lots of fun
4.     CC Wolf -   - Hometown Heroes   
5.     S Wolf -   - Paws of Skill * (plan for year three when we don’t have a sports adventure)
6.    S Wolf -   - Spirit of the Water maybe a fun summer adventure?
7.     STEM Wolf -   - Adventures In Coins   
8.     STEM Wolf -   - Air of the Wolf*  cool ideas
9.     STEM Wolf -   - Code of the Wolf*  very easy to teach
10.  STEM Wolf -   - Germs Alive! health education  
11.  STEM Wolf -   - Motor Away *
12.  O Wolf -   - Finding Your Way* (taught at daycamp)  
13. O Wolf -   - Grow Something (springtime?)

1.     CC Bear -   - Bear Picnic Basket- recipes, cooking fun, shopping
2.     CC Bear -   - Beat of the Drum- crafty, Native American Culture
3.    CC Bear -   - Roaring Laughter-Comedy super easy to teach
4.     CC Bear -   - A World of Sound –music around the world, hands on
5.     CC Bear -   - Critter Care   
6.    S Bear -   - Marble Madness *
7.     STEM Bear -   - Baloo the Builder* fun  (Home depot?) (day camp)
8.     STEM Bear -   - Forensics  *
9.     STEM Bear -   - Make It Move * 
10.  STEM Bear -   - Robotics, very cool*(order bristle bot kits ahead of time, university robotics lab?) 
11.  STEM Bear -   - Super Science, good, not quite as cool as robotics  
12.  O Bear -   - A Bear Goes Fishing*
13. O Bear -   - Salmon Run    boating and swimming (best done with families)

1.     CC Webelos -   - Looking Back, Looking Forward (history)   
2.     CC Webelos -   - Fix It (home repairs)
3.    CC Webelos -   - Project Family* (completes three Faith in God activities) 
4.     CC Webelos -   - Aware and Care   (similar to wolf cubs who care)
5.     CC Webelos -   - Art Explosion* (completes one Faith in God activity)
6.    CC Webelos -   - Build My Own Hero  
7.     CC Webelos -   - Maestro!   
8.     S Webelos -   - Aquanaut (best done at a camp)
9.     S Webelos -   - Sportsman (good for athletic boys to do at home)
10.  STEM Webelos -   - Adventures in Science* 
11.  STEM Webelos -   - Build It* (great if Dad does woodworking to do at home)
12.  STEM Webelos -   - Earth Rocks! *(offered at camp)   
13. STEM Webelos -   – Engineer (offered at camp)
14.  STEM Webelos -   - Game Design (very cool, good to do at home though if programming on a computer)  
15.  STEM Webelos -   - Moviemaking* 
16. O Webelos -   – Castaway* (might be offered at camp)
17.  O Webelos -   - Into the Wild   
18.  O Webelos -   - Into the Woods (offered at camp)   


3-Year Plan Sample (fill in the elective adventures you propose doing, you'll probably change it every year, but at least you have a plan to start with)

Year 1 (2015-16)
Year 2 (2016-18)
Year 3 (2017-18)
Wolf                  
1. Code of the Wolf
Wolf
1. Digging the Past
Wolf
1. Motor Away 2. Paws of Skill
Bear
2. Robotics
Bear
2. Marble Madness
Bear
3. Make it Move
Webelos
3. Art Explosion ***
Webelos
3. Project Family***
Bear
4. Forensics
Webelos
4. Adventures in Science
Webelos
4. Game Designer
Webelos
5. Castaway 6. Aware and Care
5. Make-up
5. Make-up
7. Make-up

***requirements also pass off Faith in God requirements

  
Step 3 On a calendar, fill in what required adventures will be done in what months keeping in mind the seasons, holidays, and school schedules, etc.  If possible avoid required adventures in the summer.  Then fill in elective adventures.  Also note if any adventures will be done at day camps.  With a three-year plan your Webelos will be missing a lot of required adventures!  They can get the religious ones at home and three at camp.  Then if you do a few extra den meetings to earn some extra adventures, hopefully they can still get the Arrow of Light.  By year two, there shouldn’t be any extra work to get Arrow of Light!!!   Filling in the calendar is messy, you may have to rearrange a bit before it is just right.  You can do this as a committee or on your own.

Scouting Year 1
September
Webelos Walkabout (Webelos Duty to God Webelos only)
October
Bear Robotics
November
Arrow of Light Building a Better World
December
Webelos Art Explosion
January
 Wolf Howling at the Moon (Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure (Webelos Only)
February
Webelos Adventures in Science
March
Bear Duty to God
April
Wolf Code of the Wolf, Arrow of Light Duty to God (Webelos Only) 
May
Webelos Faster, Higher Stronger
 Day Camp
(Webelos First Responder, Webelos Engineering, Webelos Earth Rocks)
June
Arrow of Light Camper
July
Webelos Cast Iron Chef
August
Make-up Den Meetings or another fun elective!


Tracking Sample after three months combined:
Cub #1 Webelos earned 
bobcat, wolf, bear, first responder and cast iron chef,  cyber chip, parents guide
Webelos walkabout, 
Bear robotics
Webelos Art Explosion
Cub #2 Bear earned
bobcat, wolf, bear necessities, bear claws,
webelos walkabout 
bear robotics (all but #2)
Webelos Art Explosion
Cub #3 Bearearned
bobcat, wolf, bear necessities, bear claws, cyber chip, parent's guide
webelos walkabout
Webelos Art Explosion all but #1, #2, #3
bear robotics 
Cub #4 Wolf
bobcat, paws on the path, hobbies and collections
webelos walkabout
bear robotics (all but #2)
Webelos Art Explosion all but #1, #2, #3
Cub #5 Wolf
bobcat, paws on the path, hobbies and collections
webelos walkabout
bear robotics 
Webelos Art Explosion

How will the boys earn their rank advancement???  
I want the simplicity of a combined den, but I feel bad that the 8 and 9 year old boys won't earn their rank advancement by their birthday without doing adventures at home, what can I do?

Have the pack offer birthday awards, 1-year awards, or achievement awards to 8-year olds and 9 year olds, they could have a ceremony, get a toy or treat, or even earn a special pack pin such as a paw print or a star.

Age Level Question???
 What about the age differences on the different adventures?  Since you have a small pack, help the younger boys as needed, let the older boys mentor and develop leadership skills.  In some cases a 3-mile hike will be too long for the younger boys, but for the most part combining three age groups works, examples of mixed age groups are 4-H (often 3 years at a time), Activity Day girls (four years at a time), siblings, girl scouts (they do two years at a time), etc.

Arrow of Light Question???
We are an LDS den and are combining.  Our Webelos need 14 Webelos adventures to earn their Arrow of Light and we will spend half the year doing Wolf and Bear adventures, will they miss out?  

Not if you plan ahead.  Do 6 adventures in den meeting.  Have the boys do their duty to God adventures at home as they are supposed to be done.  Many scouting districts offer a Webelos camp that does 3 adventures in one day.  Look for something like that for your boys because that would bring them up to 11 adventures.  Have the 11-year old scout leaders teach the "Scouting Adventure" badge, so that gets boys up to 12 adventures.  So you have to squeeze in two more adventures.  Look at the talents in your ward, see what the boys are already doing, see what parents or committee members can help with.