Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Our youngest son had a "fill in the missing numbers in the number grid" math assignment. I thought it would be a snap for him, but as he sometimes transposes numbers, it became a source of major frustration. Oy!
To familiarize him a little more with number grids and some of the quick addition and subtraction you can do with them, I made a few activities. These were inspired by Playdough to Plato's peek-a-boo chart and Mrs. T's First Grade Class number puzzles.
You can download this 100 number grid activity for free from Google Drive here. It's a 3-page PDF.
NOTE: If you are a teacher, use your personal gmail account if it requires you to request permission. Most school districts restrict emails from outside their domain, and therefore I can't grant access and let you know it's available.
Activity #1: 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, 1 less
I printed the number grid on white card stock. I printed page two of the free printable PDF on colored card stock. I cut the center plus-sign out. Then I added white gift wrap tissue squares to the plus signs "arms" making those squares translucent (vellum would work well too), and left the center empty. For the sake of durability, I ran this sheet through my laminator.
With the 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, 1 less page laminated, I wrote some simple math problems on it in the blank area (e.g. 13+10= , 47-10=, 91+1=, 74+1=) with a dry-erase marker. My son placed the laminated page over the number grid so the first number in the equation was in the center. Then he could easily see in the translucent squares which was his answer (i.e. 10 less was directly above, 10 more directly below, 1 more to the right, and 1 less to the left). This made solving the math problems easy!
Activity #2: Number Grid Puzzles
Now I printed the number grid on colored card stock and printed an empty grid on white card stock. I cut the colored grid apart into a variety of puzzles that were about 10-11 squares each.
Once done, I cut the number squares apart and handed him a few piles of puzzles. He arranged them wherever on the blank grid, remembering 10 less is above, 10 more is below, 1 more is on the right, 1 less is on the left. When he completed this puzzle, he moved on to the next. You can make approximately 7-8 puzzles per grid.
Friday, October 21, 2016
One of the most important aspects of telling time is understanding which hand tells you the hour, and which tells you the minutes. To help my son practice telling time by the hour, and beginning to memorize which hand does just that, I made him this fun and simple game.
What You Need
My 2-page PDF (download it for free from Google Drive here)
Heavyweight card stock
Unconventional hole punch (optional)
12 game pieces for each player (we used the flattened glass marbles)
Print one handless clock game board for each player. Print the clock spinner on heavyweight card stock. Fold over the paper at the bottom to double the thickness of the spinner. Glue the folded paper down and cut the spinner and clock out.
Either poke a hole with a nail through the center of the clock and spinner (or use an unconventional hole punch). Thread the brad through the hour hand and clock, separating the prongs at the back of the clock.
The youngest player starts first and flicks the hour hand on the spinner. Wherever it lands, they must read the clock and tell the time. Then they will take one of their game pieces and put it over that number on their clock game board (e.g. if a player flicks the hour hand and it points to seven, they say "It's seven o'clock" and put the game piece over the seven on their game board clock).
The next player does the same. If you already have a number covered that you spin, your turn is over. The next player uses the spinner.
The first player to get all the numbers (aka o'clocks) covered on their game board is the winner.
We read three books with this activity.
Friday, September 23, 2016
My 1st grader came home from school the first week and was distraught that he'd had trouble skip counting by 2s. "Can we practice, Mom?" Um ... yeah!
Since his teacher is also sending home short lists of consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) spelling words, I thought I'd combine the two skills.
I made connect-the-dot pages that when finished form the letters of the alphabet (capital letters only at this point).
Download the 13-page PDF for free from Google Drive here.
I grabbed the spelling list and printed the pages with the letters I needed, cut them apart, labeled them 1-3 so he'd know the order of the letters, snipped the corner of each page (so he wouldn't know which letter he was working on), and told him to start with the star and count by 2s.
He was amused and truly enjoyed the discovery aspect of this activity. First, it was fun to see what letter he made. Then it was fun to see what word the three letters formed (e.g. web, hen, pet, pen, etc.).
Thursday, September 1, 2016
When big brother took his piggy bank coins in to the bank this summer, little brother was mighty jealous. Since he's only had his bank since Christmas, there was only $7.58 in it (which paled in comparison to the $56.36 our oldest had).
He was confused about which coins added to a dollar. To reinforce coin equivalents (e.g. two dimes and a nickel equal the same as a quarter), I made a fun little board game.
I was surprised to see how much my 7-year old enjoyed it. He and I were having so much fun that our 11-year old asked to play next time!
What You Need
PDF of the game board, equivalent cards, and $1 fake money (download it free from Google Drive here)
Heavy weight card stock (white)
Scissors or paper cutting tool
Small objects to use as game pieces (a different one for each player)
Paper towel to erase the marker
Print the game board on white card stock.Trim the white border off the one edge on each page so the spaces meet up perfectly. Tape together.
Print the $1 page on green paper. Plan for $3 per player. You may need to print extra copies of this page depending on how many individuals are playing.
Print the equivalent cards on paper (office or card stock) and laminate. You'll want 2-3 for each player.
Cut all the money and equivalent cards apart.
Each player puts their game piece on the word START. They roll the die and move their game piece the number of spaces rolled. Whatever coin they land on, they will cross off with the dry-erase marker on one of their equivalent cards.
When a player has crossed through all five pennies on that equivalent card, they can erase the marks with a paper towel and cross through one of the nickels on either the two nickels = a dime equivalent card or two dimes and a nickel = a quarter card.
Players continually cross through coins until the cards are filled and then they're erased and a coin of the equivalent value is marked through.
If they roll and land on a dime, but their dimes have already been crossed through on the two dimes and a nickel equivalent card, they can start a second two dimes and a nickel card.
When players have four quarters all crossed through, they are given a $1.
Each player collects a quarter when they roll a number and pass the last space on the board.
The object is not to be the first to finish, but to finish with the most money.
Count the dollars and coins at the end of the game to determine the winner!
I earned $2.56 and my son won with $2.94.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Surface tension experiments are the coolest. This one lives up to the others we've done. We made paper bugs walk on water! Here's how we did it.
What You Need
Downloadable pattern - optional (free on Google Drive here)
Basin or pan of water (we used the bathtub)
What to Do
Either fold card stock and draw a bug so it's back is at the top of the fold and it has large wide feet or print the downloadable pattern on card stock and fold. Do not crease the fold on the paper tightly; if possible leave it lightly creased only. Cut out your bug.
Bend the feet back so your bug stands up.
Gently (this may take some practice for rambunctious kids) place the bug in the water so its feet stand on the surface of the water.
Make several because it may take a few tries; once your bug is submerged, it has to be thrown out!
Why it Works
The surface of the water is like a thin film, formed by surface tension. Lightweight objects can actually balance atop this surface. Once your bug's legs penetrate the surface of the water and it absorbs enough water, it will no longer float. Each bug is for one-time use in this experiment.
This great activity came from 365 Science Activities, which also served as the inspiration for my bug designs. Check it out!!