Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Elementary Math Charts Packet

Ever wished you had a math poster to help your child remember how to solve a particular math problem, or where the hundred thousands place was?  Well, now you can print out free math charts that can be used as math posters or to include in a math journal or notebook. 

You can print these charts for free here.

Sailor Sums Addition Game

My kids loving playing games, and I love when I can sneak some learning into the games.  Here is an adorable sailor themed math game for practicing addition facts.  Best part? It is free!

Sailor Sums

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Literactive Website for Beginning Readers

Literactive is a great website for beginning readers - and the best part, everything is totally FREE! The site contains leveled guided readers, phonics activities, and a ton of supplemental reading material to help your child learn to read! You may peruse the website for free, but you do need to register to download materials.

Oregon Chai Twitter Party - Win a Kindle Fire!

I am a HUGE tea drinker.  I have never really developed a taste for coffee, but you will most days see a Chai latte in my coffee cup.  I also love Twitter parties!  The two are coming together on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time when Oregon Chai is hosting a Twitter party!
Twitter partygoers will be steeped in great conversation, learn tips for finding MeTime with decadent chai recipes and win tea-rrific prizes! 
Prizes include:
* an oversized, custom Oregon Chai tea mug, 
*double-walled, acrylic iced chai tea cup 
and a variety of Oregon Chai Original teas. 
*Plus, one lucky chai-ticipant will win a grand prize Kindle Fire! 
If you have never been a part of a Twitter party, it is super easy!  
Just follow @OregonChai and use hashtag #OregonChai to join the fun. 
ALSO, one lucky Oregon Chai Facebook fan will get the chance to win a $5,000 Chai-scape makeover for their backyard. As an extra bonus, 1,000 fans who enter will get a chicOregon Chai Iced Chai Tumbler. Check out the "Chai-scape Your Backyard" Facebook tab tomorrow to learn more:

Disclosure: This is an Oregon Chai sponsored post.  I wrote this post as an entry to win an Amazon Gift Card.

Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School Review and GIVEAWAY!

After founding a successful network of Charter schools (the Success Charter Network in Harlem), Eva Moskowitz partnered with Arin Lavinia to write Mission Possible, How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School.

The book gives the details about how a a charter school in the middle of Harlem, emerged as one of the top schools in New York City and State within three years with enrollment of neighborhood children selected at random.  The results of this school were on par with public schools for gifted students and elite private schools.  If you saw Waiting for Superman you saw parents anxiously praying and hoping that their children would win the lottery to be accepted into these schools.

But, Mission Possible is not just a tale of the school's success, but also contains lessons and strategies that can be used by school leaders, teachers, parents, and policymakers to create similar results that can close the academic achievement gap.

I was excited to read the book because although I have my Master's Degree in Elementary Education, I am always hungry to learn more to improve my teaching craft.  Some ideas that I garnered from this book were:

* Making School Magical - Would the students go to school if they didn't have to?  Teachers at Success Academies WANT to go to school .  The curriculum is rigorous so students are never bored, but they also add joy to school with magicians and jugglers performing in classes, field trips, and more. A quote from the book I particularly liked was, "Don't doubt that kids will get it if you consistently make the instruction both challenging AND interesting."

*Reading is the starting point for all else - The school uses the THINK Literacy program which uses a balanced literacy program that includes reading and writing workshops, guided reading, read alouds, shared text, book discussions and more.

*It's all about the adults -  This was very interesting for me, as I had never heard this to be the focus in education.  Usually we say, "It is all about the students".  And while I think that focusing on the student is important in education, I agree that we must also focus on the adults who provide the education.

Education is a hot button topic at the moment, and at the same time, teacher moral is at an all time low. One of the reasons I think teachers are having a difficult time right now is because the country treats teaching so much differently that it does other professions. While we would never question the expertise of a doctor, a lawyer, or an accountant - everyone seems to have an opinion about how education should be reformed.  I think everyone has an opinion because everyone has been educated in some shape or form. Many people have spent years in the classroom (as students) and feel they know what should be done.

I really appreciated reading the authors' take on what should be changed because they have been there and lived it from the teacher's side.

You can learn more from Eva Moskowitz by following her on Twitter, or liking her page on Facebook.
Ask her a question on Twitter if you have one because she will answer them!

With help from The Sits Girls, I’m giving away a copy of the book. It also comes with a DVD that demonstrates the techniques described in the book.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 2, 2012

To-Do List Freebie

Are you anything like me?  Running around like a chicken with your head cut off because you have so many things to do that you can't remember what you have to do!  If so, you will love this freebie from Rowdy in Room 300!  Just visit her blog to print out this great little to do list with all of your weekly to do's in one place!

Safety Signs

One of the most important environmental print for your child is being able to read and understand safety signs.   To keep your child safe, they should be able to read all traffic signs such as Stop signs, pedestrian crossing, and the walk and don't walk signs.  Teach your child to read these signs so that they know where it is safe and where it is not safe to cross.  Children should also be aware, that just because there is a safety sign posted, vehicles may not obey these rules, so it is important for them to look both ways and to make sure that cars have made a complete stop before they proceed across the street.

It is also fun to have your child practice reading the parking signs as you go for a walk or a drive to give them a real reason for reading.

Finding Math Problems In the World Around You

I love finding real world math problems!  Today on Facebook, Aunt Jemima Pancakes posted this:

OK everybody, we’ve got the answer to yesterday’s trivia question! The record for most pancakes made in a day is 76,382! They were made in eight hours in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park and were eaten with 136 gallons of maple syrup!
Just think of how many math problems you can make with just that!   A few that I thought of were:

1. On average how many pancakes were made each hour?

2. How many pancakes were eaten with each gallon of syrup?

Where do you find real-world math problems?

Coupons and Frugal Living - Saving at the Grocery Store

With a family of six boys, you can probably understand why we do everything we can to save money and keep our expenses down.  One of the ways that I do this is to use coupons.  And while I do not get the amazing savings that are seen on the Extreme Couponing show, I do save at least 50% on all of our grocery trips.  I also do have a stockpile similar to what is seen on the show (but just enough for my family to actually use).

Here are a few tips that I use to save money while grocery shopping: 

1. Get coupons!  They have them everywhere from the newspapers on Sunday to on-line.  I use services like Swagbucks and Mypoints to print out coupons.  My boys have also made it a game to spot coupons at the store in blinkie machines or from sample servers. I also trade coupons with some of my friends.  One of my friends has two kids, an 8 year old girl and a 1 year old boy.  She always needs diapers or baby food coupons (which I don't anymore) and I trade her for things like gillette razor coupon codes because razors are becoming a necessary commodity in our house with three of our older boys now in the shaving age!

2. Use your coupons during the Sales! To get the best deals, you want to try to combine your coupons with sales items.  I scan the weekly grocery ads for sales, and try to match them up with my coupons.  I buy multiple items when they are on sale and I have coupons for them, and then stock up on them at that time.    For example, right now our local grocery store has a certain brand of cereal on sale for $1.97.  I have several coupons for $1 off, and that store doubles coupons!  I will get the cereal for free!  Time to build my stockpile!

What coupon tips do you have?

Baseball Addition

Here is a fun baseball addition game to help your kiddos practice their adding skills.  Use two different colored counters.  Each player takes their turn at bat by rolling the dice and following the directions for runs at the top of the game.  Laminate the board for extra durability.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why Not Visit London?

Our family LOVES to travel, but we have never traveled outside of the U.S.  I must say that the Olympics are really fueling the desire to visit London.  It would be amazing to see all of the historic monuments such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and more.  Plus - I have always secretly wanted to ride a double decker bus! 

One problem our family has when we travel is... well... our family size.  With 6 boys and ourselves, it is often difficult to find accommodations that fit all of us comfortably.  Luckily, I stumbled across this booking service for London Apartments  ran by Robert And Polly Arnold.  They are Londoners - having lived there all their lives with their 3 children Rachel, Jonny and Mike, Using their vast knowledge of Central London sights, locations etc they offer a personal service to fit the clients needs.

Featured Apartment
Here is just one of their amazing locations that they offer!  Fabulous!
If your family has also been biten by the wanting to visit London blog as you watch our Olympic athletes, you might want to take a look at their service. 

And.... if your family is lucky enough to be spending a longer amount of time in London, they also offer a longer term service.  They have taken out the aggravation out of finding suitable London Apartments!

Time Management

Time management is difficult for adults at times, so how do you go about teaching your child to manage their time wisely?  Luckily, PBS has some great resources!

1. Have your child divide up their daily activities into have to's and want to's.

2. Using that information, they can make a budget for their time.

3.Have them use that to create a daily schedule for themselves.