Sunday, May 30, 2010

What if Questions for Stories

If your child is having a difficult time thinking of what to write about, they might want to visit the What if Genie. The What if Genie randomly generates writing topics for your kiddos to be inspired!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tessellation Creator

A tessellation is a repeating pattern of polygons that covers a plane with no gaps or overlaps. Tessellation Creator is a wonderful new site that allows you to make your own on-line. Lots of fun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sesame Street Magazine

I loved Sesame Street when I was a kid, and all my boys have loved the show, so I was excited to find a free download of the magazine to check out with Luke and Cody. You can download a free copy here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Watch Magic School Bus Videos

If your kiddos are Magic School Bus fans, you will want to head over here to watch the videos free online!

What episodes/topics are available? They include: Animals, Archeology, Biomes, Buoyancy (Floating and sinking), Cells, Chemistry (Kitchen Chemistry), Computers, Coral Reefs, Decomposition, Electricity, Energy, Engines, Flight, Food Chains, Forces and Motion, Human Body, Light, Microorganisms, Molecules, Plants, Rainbows, Recycling, Smell, Sound, Space, Structures, Volcanoes, Water and Weather

To watch, go to: The Magic School Bus Science Videos, select and click on a topic. All shows under that specific topic will then be displayed. Click on the desired episode and begin to watch!

Learning About Frogs

Frogs are found all over the world from the rainforest to the tundra to the desert. This site highlights the work that the American Museum of Natural History has done with these creatures both in the field and in the museum.

Here are some more ways to learn about frogs:

Learning With Frogs - Addition

Learning With Frogs - Number Recognition

Learning With Frogs - Sorting and Graphing


Scijinks is a fun site developed by NASA.

The site provides free information about weather, space, atmosphere and satellites through engaging multi-media animations, images, activities, games and downloadable teacher resources.

When you get to the site you'll see a featured presentation in the center of the screen. Directly to the left, you'll see a menu that includes:

*Weather - Learn from topics such as, Ask a Weatherman, Weather Folklore, Write a Weather Adventure, Bad Weather Joke Machine and more.

*Hurricanes and Storms - Find out how a hurricane forms? Watch a "Parade of Floods."

*Clouds, Water, and Ice - Check out a "Gallery of Glaciers," try some of the "Classroom Activities" that can be tweaked for homeschool use.

*Tides and Oceans - Discover what causes tides and why they're weird sometimes. View a "Gallery of Oceans."

*Atmosphere - Get the answer to the age-old question, "Why is the sky blue?"

*Seasons - Learn why the Earth has seasons.

*Satellites and Technology - Make a weather satellite, learn all about GOES, and be "Spuzzled!" Lots of great satellite info here.

*Space Weather - Learn how weather on the sun affects us, check out the weather on other planets, enjoy a "Gallery of Space Weather."

You can also click on the horizontal menu near the top of each page that includes:

Fun & Games - A selection of fun games from the extensive menu described above.
Now I Get It - A selection of popular topics from the extensive menu including "What is the Scientific Method" along with ideas for a weather science project.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The periodic table in pictures for kids free printable

These printable periodic tables are amazing! You can print one out for free. There are multiple versions. I printed this one out on cardstock and placed it in a sheet protector.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Writing Numbers

If your little one is working on writing his/her numbers, here is an idea to try.

The Supplies:

* Printable number worksheets (see below)

* Sheet Protectors

* Expo Dry Erase markers

Put the worksheets in a sheet protector or laminate for durability and reuse.

To print out the worksheet Luke is using here click here.

More Free Number Worksheets

Number Tracing #6-10

Number Tracing #1-10

Number Tracing #1-20

Number Tracer #1-10 Worksheet

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Learning About Fire Safety

Here are some fun learning activities to learn about fire trucks and fire safety:


Fired up Math Facts

fire safety word problems

Fired up Fact Families


I'm a firefighter emergent reader

Fire prevention week reading comprehension

Change Maker Game

If your kiddos are learning about money, you will want to check out this fun game!
Figure out how many of each bill or coin that you expect to get back when you pay for something. For example, if something costs $3.75 and you pay with a five dollar bill, you would expect back one quarter and one dollar bill.

If you get the answer correct, the amount of change is added to your piggy bank. If you get the answer wrong, the correct amount of change is subtracted from your piggy bank. The more money you get in your piggy bank, the harder the questions will get.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Words Their Way Spelling Assessments

We absolutely love Words Their Way for spelling (although I am a bit biased having taken one of my literacy classes with Dr. Bear). If you are thinking about using this program, you might want to give your kiddos these inventories to see what level they are at.

Primary Inventories (For Kindergarten to 3rd grade)Directions for Administering the Spelling Inventory
Primary Spelling Inventory

Elementary Inventories (1st grade and above)Directions for Administering the Spelling Inventory
Elementary Spelling Inventory

Upper-Level Inventories (upper elmentary and above)Directions for Administering the Spelling Inventory
Upper-Level Spelling Inventory

Graphic organizers

Graphic organizers are an effective tool for allowing students to think for themselves, or to organize information. Here are just a few:

Character study
Cluster/Word Web 1

Cluster/Word Web 2
Cluster/Word Web 3
Cornell Note Taker
Fact-and-Opinion Chart

Five W's Chart
Flow Chart
Four-Column Chart

Garden Gate
Ice-Cream Cone
Idea Wheel

Inverted Triangle
ISP Chart (Information, Sources, Page)
KWL Chart

Observation Chart
Persuasion Map
Planning Chart

Problem-Solution Chart
Pros and Cons Scale
Sequence Chart
Spider Map

Step-by-Step Chart
Story Map 1
Story Map 2

Time-Order Chart
Tree Chart

Venn Diagram

Did You Ever Wonder?

Did You Ever Wonder? is a cool site where scientists discuss what they're exploring. Each scientist is introduced with a question which reflects the kind of work they're doing on a daily basis. A fun way to learn about science! Nice exploration into careers as well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Reading Programs

Borders Reading Program

Age Range: 12 and under

Kids under 12 simply have to read 10 books over the summer to earn a free book.

When you get to the website, download the summer reading form. As your child reads books over the summer, simply fill in the titles on the form. When your child has read 10 books, take the form to a Borders or Waldenbooks store and choose a free book from the selection offered including, Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, and The River by Gary Paulsen. No purchase is necessary to participate. The form must be completed and turned in by August 26, 2010.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

Kids read 8 books and get 1 free. B&N also offers free, downloadable Parent and Educator "Activity Kits" to enhance learning through books. Get all of the details at the website.

Book Adventure

This free reading motivation program, sponsored by Sylvan Learning, is for students in grades K-8. As explained at the website, "Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes."

Scholastic Summer Challenge Campaign

Scholastic has a free online summer reading club for children that began on April 30, 2010. Kids 8 and up can go online and read to help set a "World Record."

All of these programs are designed to motivate kids and their families to read often.

Don't forget to check your local library - many offer summer reading programs with prizes. Some food chains such as Pizza Hut, Chuck E. Cheese, and McDonald's also offer summer reading programs that allow kids to earn tokens for games or free food, although not all stores participate. Just inquire to learn more.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Popcorn Words

This game is super fun for practicing sight words, or popcorn words as they are sometimes known. The monkey will say a word, and the child will find the popcorn container with that word on it.

Stop The Clock Telling Time Game

If your kiddos are learning to tell time, you will want to visit Stop the Clock. It is a fun on-line game where the child matches an analog clock with a digital clock. They can practice beating their own time.

And for more telling time practice try: