## Sunday, December 28, 2008

### Calendar Binders

Make a calendar binder for your child to learn about the calendar. Use the routine here, or one of your own to go along with the binder.
Items to put in binder:
1. Monthly Calendar. Print out a calendar page for each month. Have your child write the correct number each day. Practice counting the days of the month each day.
Blank 2008 - 2009 Calendars (for those children who can write their numbers)
Dotted 2008 - 2009 Calendars (for those who are practicing writing numbers)
2. Place Value Chart. Add a 9-pocket sports card (or business card) insert from Wal-Mart or office supply store. They can be found in the 3-ring binder supply section. (see picture above for example) Use 3X5 index cards cut in half to write ones, tens, and hundreds and place in top row. The second row is where your child counts the number of days as they pass. One sticker is added to the “ones” card for each day. Once a card has 10 stickers, it is moved to the “tens” column. On the 100th day, the 10 cards in the tens column packet get bundled together with a paper clip and are moved to the “hundreds” column. The Third row is where the child places the number cards for each day. (Your child will need three #1 cards, and two cards for the numbers 0,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.
3. Monthly tally sheets. Place a blank sheet of paper for each month in the binder for a monthly tally mark page. Your child will add a tally mark for each day of the month. Circle groups of five. Practice counting by fives.
4. Monthly weather graph page. Print out one weather graph page per month. Your child will determine what the weather is for the day and graph it. Ask math-related questions about the graph such as "Which one has the most?" - "Which one has the least?" - "How many more ___ than ___?"
5. Tooth Loss Tally Chart. Print out one tooth chart page for the entire year. Your child will keep track of lost teeth by keeping a tally.

### Dr. Seuss Printables

If you are doing a unit on Dr. Seuss, you will love these worksheets:
Word Search (positional words, here, there, etc.) (K-3)
(one digit, use colored gold fish crackers or multi-colored Swedish fish candy for this activity for yummy hands on fun!) (K-1)
Dr. Seuss Subtraction (one digit) (1-2)
(Read the sentences, and use one of the words to fill in the blanks) (K-3)
Print these out to make a fun file folder game, or play concentration and match-up the upper and lower case letters (K-1)

### Kindergarten Assessments

If you need to see where your child's strengths or weaknesses are, here are a few assessments you can use. These would also be great for your child' portfolio to highlight their accomplishments!

Kindergarten Portfolio (cover sheet along with some sample pages - name,birthday, age, family members, etc.)
(Child looks at pictures,identifies beginning sound and writes upper and lower case letters)
(Call out random numbers for your child to write down)
(test your child's knowledge of positional words such as on, up, under, etc.)

## Sunday, December 21, 2008

### Scrabble Spelling

Looking for a fun way for your child to practice their spelling words? Have your child use the scrabble pieces here to spell the words on their spelling list. See how many points they can get.

### Five-Word-Rule

Wondering if a book is right for your child? Have him open it to any page. If there are five words he doesn't know, it's too difficult.

## Sunday, December 14, 2008

### Science Up Close

Science learners will love the interactive Science lessons found on Harcourt's Science Up Close site. The site has interactive explanations and demonstrations covering a variety of topics in Science for grades 1 through 6. The graphics are amazing and the explanations are very clear and easy to follow.

The site is organized by grade level and contains multiple topics for each grade. For example, Grade 3 contains 16 interactive resources covering a wide-variety of topics including photosynthesis, fossils, water cycle, lunar eclipse and even how a door knob works.

### Number Matching Game

Here's a fun game to work on number recognition with your child. This can also be made into a file folder game.

Number matching game
Print on cardstock and cut out to create the puzzle.

### Alphabet Matching Game

Practice letter recognition with this fun activity.
Alphabet matching game
Print on cardstock and cut out to create the puzzle.
Can also be made into a file folder game.

### S-A-N-T-A

Here is a great way to work on letter recognition with your child while singing a fun song. Write the letters : S, A, N, T, and A on 5 band-aids using a sharpie or black marker. Stick the band-aids to the tips of your thumb and fingers to spell Santa. Wigggle the labeled fingers to match the letters as you sing this song:

### Saving Money on Workbooks

Homeschooling Doesn't have to be expensive if you are inventive! Gradelevel workbooks can be expensive. Why not reuse them? Your child can practice their skills by re-using the pages, and younger siblings can use them later. Tear pages out and put them into sheet protectors and use a dry erease or wet erase marker for writing! I use wet erase markers and wipe them off with either a baby wipe or a spray bottle with water and a paper towel.

### Balloon Blow Up

Introduce your child to the world of chemical reactions with this fun experiment.
Combine two common household ingredients to cause an exciting, safe, chemical reaction.

### How Long Can The Ball Stay Up?

A blown column of air will suspend the ball in mid-air… but for how long? Find out with this fun experiment!

### 1000 Wins Math Game

Grab a deck of cards, and practice your childs addition skills! Adding 3-digit numbers gets easier with this easy-to-learn and fun-to-play card game.

## Saturday, December 13, 2008

### Schoolhouse Rock

Many of us grew up with school house rock - and now our kids can too! A rocking fun way to learn about parts of speech, American history, government, science, and multiplication tables too.

A Noun is a person, place or thing.
Verbs
Prepositions
Zero, my Hero
Conjunction Junction
Them Bones
Mother Necessity

## Friday, December 12, 2008

### Suggested Book List By Age

Wondering what books your kids should be reading? Head over to this site for a list of suggested books by age.

## Sunday, December 7, 2008

### Airtyper

If your child is working on their typing skills, then head over to Airtyper for a fun challenge!

## Wednesday, December 3, 2008

### Spelling Sites

Whether your child is ready to enter the national spelling bee, or struggles to spell, here are a few great spelling websites for you to check out:
• Get the 28 Rules of Spelling - Free!
• Scripps National Spelling Bee - Free resources, study suggestions, spelling word lists that include parts of speech, language origins, pronunciations, definitions, and sentences for thousands of words.

• 2009 Spell It! - The official study resource of the Scripps National Spelling Bee from Merriam-Webster.
• Free Homeschool Spelling Course - 30-lesson homeschool spelling course for students in grades 6- 8. includes printable spelling rules and step-by-step lessons.

• Free Spelling Worksheets - Free spelling worksheets for elementary grade and remedial students including spelling rules like "silent e", consonant blends, plurals, suffixes, prefixes and even word search games to reinforce spelling.
• Spelling Hangman - This classic kids game helps hone spelling in a fun and engaging way.
• Word Safari Game - Practice spelling while playing a fun online video game.
• Alphabet Soup Spelling Game - Try this arcade style game that will challenge your spelling skills.
• Spelling Games - Play and learn with these games based on the Dolch Sight Words list.
• Catch the Spelling - Players use the arrows on their computer keyboard to move "the catcher" to catch falling letters in the correct order to spell out a designated word. Younger children and non-readers will need parental help.
• Scrabble, Boggle, and UpWords - These terrific board games from Hasbro improve spelling skills. Click on the link to play the games online for free.
• Funbrain: Spell Check - Need a little drill and practice work? This site offers an easy and hard spelling test. There are 20 sets of 4 words offered in each test. The Spell Check game is designed for 4th grade through Middle School. Younger children may find the Spellaroo version of the game on this site a little less difficult.

## Sunday, November 30, 2008

### Reindeer Facts

Supplies:

Brown construction paper
stapler
white paper (construction or lined)
crayon or markers

Directions:

1. Have your child trace his/her hands on brown construction paper for the antlers.

2. Fold one piece of brown construction paper and several pieces of white paper to make a triangle ( you may need to cut the paper into a square first). Staple the pieces together with the antlers on top.

3. Have your child draw the eyes and nose on the reindeer with crayons markers.

4. Have your child write the following facts about reindeers on the pages inside their book.

• Both male and female reindeer have antlers.
• Reindeer live where it is cold and snowy.
• Reindeer use their hooves to find food beneath the snow.
• Reindeer travel in large herds.

### The Night Before Christmas

Introduce your child to the poular holiday poem The Night Before Christmas with this fun interactive presentation.

### What Sense Are They Using?

I just learned about something interesting... You can see what sense a person is using when they are thinking about someting by watching the direction their eyes move! Try it out by asking someone to recall a pleasant memory then look at their eyes!Here is what their eye movements might tell you:

• If they are remembering a scene, they are probably looking up to their left & if they are imagining a scene then they are probably looking up to the right.

• If they are looking up, they might be remembering a smell.

• If they are looking ahead into the middle distance, they are probably using more than one of the systems.

• If they are looking to the right, they may be imagining sounds, & to the left they might be remembering sounds.

• If they are looking down to the right they are feeling something through the body about the scene, & down to the left, they might be remembering an associated emotion.
• s
And lastly. if they are looking down, they may be remembering a taste.

## Thursday, November 27, 2008

### Starfall

Starfall is an inexpensive way to inspire a love of reading and writing. Primarily designed for first grade, Starfall is also useful for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and second grade.

Let's face it, kids love computers, this is a fun way for them to master one of the most important building blocks for learning mathematics.

Ask your children to complete the 'Review', 'Study', 'Drills' or 'Test' steps for one or more multiplication tables.

After completing a test, your children can click 'Report Card' for a record of their achievement, which they can print for your review.

## Sunday, November 23, 2008

### Real Life Math Fun

Real-life applications of mathematics while having fun? Is it possible? Yes! Created by teachers for teachers, the Math Academy tools and activities included in these booklets were designed to create hands-on activities and a fun learning environment for the teaching of mathematics to students.
The Math Academy, Can You See It in Nature? - Explorations in Patterns and Functions program includes hands-on activities for grades 3-8.
The Math Academy, Play Ball! - Explorations in Data Analysis & Statistics program includes hands-on activities for grades 3-8.
The Math Academy, Let’s Go to the Mall! - Explorations in Combinatorics program includes hands-on activities for grades 3-8.

## Saturday, November 22, 2008

### String File Folder Game

Folder contains strings of different lengths and colors and the following instructions:

a. Which string is longest?
b. Which string is shortest?
c. Put the string on the floor in a line
i. Walk forward on the line
ii. Walk backward on the line
iii. Jump over the line
d. Put the string on the floor in a circle
i. Hop around outside the circle
ii. Walk on tiptoes around the circle
iii. Walk on heels around the circle
iv. Jump inside and outside the circle

### EyeWitness to History

This is a great site for your older kids (or mom's who want to brush up on their history knowledge). Your ringside seat to history - from the Ancient World to the present. History through the eyes of those who lived it, featuring events from the Ancient World to today.

## Sunday, November 16, 2008

### Make A Compass Rose

Compass Rose
A compass rose is a design on a map that shows directions.
What You Need:
Paper
Pencil
Crayons or markers
What You Do:

Draw a compass rose beginning with a large circle. Add a small circle in the middle of the large circle.

Draw a four point star within the large circle.

Fill in the directions using standard abbreviations at each point including: N = North, S = South, W = West and E= East.

Add another four point star across the first four point star.

Fill in the remaining directions using standard abbreviations at each point including: NE = Northeast, NW = Northwest, SE = Southeast and SW = Southwest.

### 5 Little Pumpkins

Your little guys will love this fun mini-book!

Page 1 and 2 (color) (B&W)
Page 3 and 4 (color) (B&W)
Page 5 and 6 (color) (B&W)
Page 7 and 8 (color) (B&W)
COVER (color) (B&W)

### Roman Numerals

Is your child learning about Roman Numerals? These posters will make it super fun! Print them out to hang up on the wall or place them in a sheet protector in a binder.

Numbers 1 to 10
Tens, Hundreds, Thousands, etc.

Looking for a way to teach your child about place values? Print out and hang up these posters for your little learners. (You can also put them in sheet protectors in a binder)
Use this worksheet to practice their skills!

K-3

4-7

8-12

Make a Lapbook:

What is the Constitution Activity Sheet - Write about the purpose of the constitution and when it was written.

Bill of Rights - Write each one of the first ten amendments.

Preamble - Copy work - Copy the Preamble to the Constitution.

Delegates - Write the names of some of the delegates.

Separation of Powers - Define separation of powers.

Checks and Balances - List checks for each branch of government.

Impeachment - Define impeachment.

Path of a Bill - Draw a flow chart showing how a bill becomes a law.

## Saturday, November 15, 2008

### US Map Practice

Test your geography skills...Can you label the states before time runs out? http://www.pibmug.com/files/map_test.swf Can you drag and drop each state into its proper location on the map? Place the State

### Math Facts Practice

Looking for a way for your kids to practice their math facts? Here are some sites to help!
Timed Tests (Printable)
Print these sheets out and give your child 5 minutes to complete as many as they can. Once they have mastered the set, they are ready to move on.
Timed Tests (On-line)
Your child can take these tests on-line independently.

### Construct a Word

Learning to read is a big job, kind of like building a house. Children need certain skills to form the foundation. This activity is a fun way to practice several of them. Children select single letters and endings to form words (like b and -ed for bed). The online tool knows how many words can be formed with each ending, so children are challenged to keep going until they get them all. As they build words, children are exposed to rhyming sounds and can learn about the different sounds letters and blends make. These skills are essential, not only for reading but also for writing and spelling.

Here’s What to Do:

In this online activity, children first select one of nine word endings. They then begin making words by choosing beginnings, including single letters of the alphabet and letter blends like cl-. When children form a word, they get the satisfaction of seeing it deposited into the word bank. Cha-ching! When they’re done, be sure to have them click on the Word Bank so they can print out their list.

More Ideas to Try:

• When traveling on vacation or a field trip, play “Rhyme Time.” Take turns selecting something you see along the way and see how many rhyming words you can think of. What starts with cow could become how, now, and bow. Wow!

• Use the word bank list to create a book. Children can do it the old-fashioned way and simply draw a picture to go with each word. Or they can go high-tech, find images on the Internet, and create a digital book using PowerPoint.

• Set a word goal. How many words can children place in their own personal word banks? Could they reach 25, 50, or 100? When they reach their goal, be sure to celebrate in some word-worthy way, such as a trip to the library or bookstore.

## Tuesday, November 11, 2008

### Alphabetical Order

Is your child learning how to put words in abc order? Have them practice their skills with this fun game.

### Dolch Sight Words

What are Dolch sight words? The Dolch Word List is a list of frequently used words compiled by Edward William Dolch, PhD. The list was originally published in his book “Problems in Reading”, The Garrard Press, 1948. Dolch compiled the list based on children’s books of his era. The list contains 220 “service words” that have to be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency. The compilation excludes nouns, which comprise a separate 95-word list.
Many of the 220 Dolch words can’t be “sounded out” and have to be learned by sight. Hence the alternative term “Sight Words”.

From 50-75% of all words used in school books, library books, newspapers, and magazines are in the Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary of 220 words (preschool- 3rd grade). There is no way that some of these words can be sounded out.
I found some powerpoints to practice these words with your kiddos here:
Here is a list of other websites that have the Dolch word lists available for printout and use:

http://www.janbrett.com (The prettiest and most colorful)
http://www.fcboe.org/schoolhp/shes/sight_words.htm
http://www.kidzone.ws/dolch/kindergarten.htm (Kindergarten sight words list)
http://www.learningbooks.net/xDolchSpanish.html (words in Spanish & English)
http://www.theschoolbell.com/Links/Dolch/Contents.html. (This site contains a wealth of information. It has a complete lesson plan that can be used, along with all the materials necessary. I highly recommend this.)
Check it out!

Not sure what reading level a book is at? Use this website to finding the reading level of books in your local library (or personal book shelf!):
Leveled Book Lists

Sitton Spelling Word Lists and Unit Activities by Grade Level:

### Spelling City

Check out the Spelling City website! You can type in your child's spelling words, and games, quizzes and tutorials (where words are read aloud) to students are created. Great site!

### Pumpkin Seed Multiplication

Use pumpkin seeds for a great "hands-on" way to teach multiplication with this fun activity.

## Sunday, November 2, 2008

Looking for a fun way for your child to learn their math facts? It doesn't have to be a struggle with the fun games at this site. There are one player and multi-player games including: meteor mutiplication, drag race division, and jet ski addition. There are also some language art games such as: Capital penguin and coconut vowels. My kiddos loved the site, and I thought I'd share my find!

## Friday, August 22, 2008

### Homeschool Math Challenge

If the US team has 31 gold medals and China has 47 gold medals, how many more does China have?
Good Luck!
Kelly

## Thursday, August 21, 2008

### Building Your Child's Math Skills

1. Find numbers in your world. Have your child look for numbers around them: the kitchen clock, the calendar, a cereal box, a TV dial, a stamp or inside her shoe. Have her write down the numbers she sees, or give her a number and ask her to look around the house for examples of the number. Show her how numbers are used by pointing out the movie times, weather forecasts and sports statistics in your daily newspaper.

2. Two, four, six, eight, now it's time to estimate. Estimation is a great way to increase a child's number sense. Give your child a bowl and some marbles and ask your child to estimate how many will fit. Then count afterward to compare the actual number to the estimate. Helping your child learn to make appropriate predictions will help her see how numbers are used in everyday life. Learning to ask, "Is my answer reasonable?" will help her as she tackles math problems in the classroom.

3. 100 Things. Understanding the concept of 100 is difficult for young children, even if they can count that far. Suggest that your child start making collections of 100 things — rubber bands, watermelon seeds, pebbles or buttons. You can divide the objects in groups of 10 or 2 or 5 to see how these smaller groups add up to 100 in different ways. Glue the objects onto a piece of colored construction paper for a math collage. Seeing 100 will help her visualize it.

4. Unlock the code. Write out all the letters in the alphabet on a sheet of paper, leaving room underneath each letter for a number. Under each letter, write the numbers from 1 to 26. In other words, a=1, b=2, etc. Practice writing coded messages using numbers rather than letters. You can use the code to leave simple messages from one another.

5. How tall are you? Many families record the height of their child on a door or wall chart. If you do the same for everyone in the family, your child can join in the measuring and see how the heights compare.

6. Play grocery store math. The supermarket is an ideal place to use math skills, particularly for older children. Point out that yogurt is \$2.59 a six-pack. Ask how much it would cost to buy 3? Your child can round up to \$2.60 or \$3.00 and figure this out. Talk about how she arrived at that number, point out how the estimate differs from the true cost. Or get the latest advertisement announcing sales from the grocery store. Have her look at the specials on fruit and determine how to spend \$10.00. Supply her with paper and pencil, and maybe a calculator, as well, so she can practice using calculators the way adults use them every day.

7. What's on the menu? The next time you go to a restaurant, hang on to the menu while you are waiting for your meal and play some math games with your child. Ask him to find the least expensive item on the menu, then all the items that cost between \$5 and \$10 or three items whose total cost is between \$9 and \$20. This will not only fill the time while you're waiting to eat, it will show your child how math is used every day.

8. Cook up a math game. The kitchen is a great place to practice math, as long as there's an adult home to supervise. How many tomatoes will you need to double the recipe for sauce? If you put 10 slices of mushroom on the pizza, ask your child to put to twice as many olive slices. How many is that? If there are three people in your family and 15 strawberries to divide equally among them, how many strawberries will each person get?

9. Measure the distance. You don't have to leave home for this game, although it's ideal for vacations. Get out a map that indicates the distance in miles between cities. Measure the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and between Phoenix and San Francisco. Which is greater? How does that compare to the distance between New York City and Chicago?

10. Change up. Give your child an assortment of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Put a piece of fruit on the table and tell him it costs 45 cents. Tell him he needs to find five coin combinations that equal 45 cents. Change the item, raise the price and find five more. Keep a tally of all the ways to pay for each item.

## Monday, August 18, 2008

### Getting Organized With Printable Planner Sheets

Help kids (and yourself) keep track of their school work as well as events, appointments, extracurricular schedules, and study schedules.

## Here's How It Works:

1. Kids read any 8 books.

2. Kids use the Summer Reading Journal to tell us their favorite part of each book. A parent/guardian signs it when it's complete.

3. Children bring their completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 29th & September 2nd, 2008.

4. Barnes and Noble gives them a coupon for a FREE book! They choose from a list of exceptional paperback titles.

### Making Your Own Flannel Board Stories

Would you love to have a flannel board for your child - but worried that you can't afford all those pricey sets? Now you can make your own! (Or have your child make a few sets for themselves!)

Step 1: Print out some coloring pages from the internet. This is a good site for finding some. If the pictures are too large you can always make them smaller by shrinking the images on a copier or scanner. (Or using Paint on your computer)

Step 2: Color in the pictures using colored pencils (doesn't fade or bleed)

Step 3:
Cut them out, laminate them in contact paper and stick either a magnetic strip on the back (for use on a white eraser board) or the loopy side of a piece of adhesive Velcro (for use on flannel).

Step 4: Keep sets stored in labeled manila envelopes

If you need to make your own flannel board, simply
cut two sides off of a large box so you have a large hinged piece of cardboard shaped rather like a large book that can open and close, then cover the outside in contact paper. Hot glue a large piece of felt to the inside.

Tip: You don't have to stick to coloring pages for your flannel board - Make letters, map pieces, numbers, etc. for a great learning toy that will grow with your child!

## Wednesday, May 7, 2008

### Amazing Site For Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers!

Do you have a toddler or preschooler itching to learn? Then check out this amazing site filled with read along stories, fingerplays, games, and more just for your 0 to 5 year old!