Firework Even/Odd Number Worksheet

Firework Numbers stickerWhenever we have a family gathering (like Fourth of July that’s coming up!), I like to have something for the kids to do. Whether it’s a craft, new game, something to color or an educational page worth a candy, I don’t feel prepared unless I have something planned in case they don’t find something to entertain themselves. Check out this page. It’s super simple: just color the fireworks based on if they’re even or odd.

Download the PDF: Firework Numbers

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Fourth of July Graphing

I forgot to tell you about my Fourth of July graphing page for 2nd – 3rd grades! I posted it over at We Are Teachers at the end of June. Just head on over there and download it so you’ll have it for future use! Click here to get to my We Are Teachers Post!

Fourth of July Fireworks preview

Fourth of July Words Freebie

Fourth of July Words preview

I just posted a new worksheet over at my TpT store! It’s perfect for summer school and year-round schools. Be sure to check it out!

 

 

Firework Letters Sort Activity

Fourth of July Letters preview

Tomorrow’s Fourth of July! Yay, America! Check out this free printable page all about sorting letters (consonant vs vowel). It’s simple: color the letters based on the type of letter. Then enjoy a hot dog and the fireworks!

Click here for the free printable PDF: Firework Letters

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10 Tips for Keepin’ up on Math Skills over Winter or Summer Break

Encouraging Math STICKERHere’s a fun list of ideas to encourage math during the Christmas or Summer Break:

  • Challenge others or challenge yourself. Online math strategy games at Calculation Nation provide a safe environment for elementary and middle school students to challenge themselves and challenge others. Games involve fractions, factoring, symmetry and comparing perimeter and area! Give your kids graph paper and tell them to create a dream house up to X square feet. To be extra challenging, limit the square footage of a single room.
  • Play strategy games with friends and family. A great way to spend quality time. Games such as Contig, and other free board games. Play as teams while learning so you can talk about strategy and then move playing individually. Try something like Scrabble, but skip the calculator when totaling each player’s score.
  • Talk to your children’s teachers before the break. Ask questions that show you are concerned about their development and maintenance of mathematics skills and fluency. For example, ask, “What do you see as my child’s strengths and weaknesses in math? What could we do while at home to develop or improve his/her weakest areas?” There are probably fun class activities or games that you could replicate a home.
  • Read books that contain mathematics content with your children. There are books at every grade level that can engage students in thinking about math! Some suggestions include Ten Apples Up On Top! (elementary) or The Great Number Rumble: A Story of Math in Surprising Places (middle grades). Want classroom activities to support math and literature? Check out Exploring Mathematics through Literature: Articles and Lessons for Prekindergarten through Grade 8. Head to your local public library and challenge your kids to find 3 or 4 books with math concepts (and ask them to defend their choices).
  • Create a number book with your child. Use this template with your preschooler or kindergartner and have them decorate each page with pictures, stickers or stamps (or even glue beads or macaroni) that show the number on the page. For more advanced students, ask them to write expressions that equal the target number. For example, for the number 6, they could write 3X2, 10-4 and 2+2+1+1. Also consider having them write and illustrate a story that deals with math or numbers.
  • Do projects with your child. Bake cookies or work on a home improvement project. Real-world applications of mathematical ideas, especially measurement, are everywhere! If you are stringing up lights, work with them to estimate how many sets you will need and calculate the total number of lights used. If you are baking cookies, have them figure out what is needed to make a double batch. Asking your child what they’d like to cook or build; they’ll have more buy-in on the activity that way.
  • Exercise your body; MATHercise your mind! Take in a sporting event, even if it’s only on TV. Keep track of yards gained and lost from running versus passing plays of their favorite football team or the shooting percentage of their favorite basketball player. Work with them to make comparisons between two of their favorite players and display it graphically. Check out the lesson connecting rate of movement to football on Illuminations, appropriate for middle and high school students. If you’ve got kids playing on a sports team, consider having siblings keep the stats on their sibling or sibling’s team.
  • Have a problem of the day. Work through one new problem before or after dinner each night. Figure This! has an awesome assortment of interesting problems with hints and solutions, so you don’t have to be a math wizard to facilitate! Let older siblings write the problem of the day for younger siblings. Be sure to have them teach their younger siblings how to find the answer.
  • As a family, track your calorie intake or your finances. Are you consuming more food during the holiday season than you would otherwise? Are you spending money on gifts? Becoming aware is important in establishing control. You may also consider how much time each day you spend on each activity such as watching television, eating, sleeping. Ask your kids to predict how much time is spent on each activity. Make a graph. Ask neighbors or cousins to track their time on each activity as well. Then compare both family’s experiences. Finally, brainstorm how you can manage to fit in alternative activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Seek out a volunteer opportunity that appeals to both you and your child. From cooking for a shelter, to collecting food for a food drive, to collecting coats for the needy, there are lots of opportunities to estimate and use math to project how much your efforts mean to others. Ask your child to look for math in the activity. Write about it in a journal or draw a picture.

(Many ideas in this article from are from NCTM) Share your ideas by commenting below!

Experimenting with Candy! (Guest Post)

Candy Giveaway STICKER

Giveaway coming later this week!

With summertime fun and sugary snacks providing so many distractions, can your children actually learn anything over the summer?  Yes, they can, if you sneak in some science with fun activities like candy experiments.

Our family created candy experiments when my oldest daughter was four, and wanted to put Nerds in water. Since her first experiment, we have destroyed candy in dozens of ways and learned about chemistry, physics, and nutrition along the way. Here are a few of our favorites.

Melting:  If summertime heat makes your kids complain that they’re going to melt, try melting candy to see what’s inside.  If you microwave Starbursts, you’ll see shiny spots of oil that separate out from the candy. If you microwave chocolate, you might start the blooming process, in which unstable chocolate crystals start to move and separate, causing white cocoa butter “bloom” to form on the outside of the bar.

Cotton Candy Experiments:  Some candy experiments use cotton candy, a summertime staple.  To make cotton candy vanish, dip a puff of cotton candy in water. As capillary action carries water up the network of tiny candy strands, the water dissolves the candy from the bottom up. You can also weigh cotton candy to see how much sugar it really contains–you might be surprised to see that cotton candy is mostly air!

Find Hidden Candy:  You’ll find hidden sugar in all sorts of summer snacks, from popsicles and ice cream bars to “healthy” power bars and sports drinks. To help your kids see how much “hidden candy” they’re eating, read the snack’s nutrition label to see how much sugar it contains. Then weigh candy on a kitchen scale until it matches the weight of the sugar on the label.  Eating the snack would be like eating that amount of candy.

You’ll find more summer learning experiments in our book, Candy Experiments, or at www.candyexperiments.com. Enjoy summer learning!

Loralee Leavitt is the author of Candy Experiments, Road Tripping, and Candy Experiments 2 (coming in January 2015). Follow her candy adventures at www.candyexperiments.com

Grammatical Poetry – Summer Activity for Kids

It’s that time of year… the weather’s getting warmer and the kids are getting really squirmy! Must be the end of the school year! But learning’s not over (it never really is, right?)! Here’s a summer-themed language arts activity for kids that reviews grammar and helps them create a poem about summer time! Click here for the PDF: Grammatical Poetry- Summer

Here’s what the page looks like:

Grammatical Poetry- Summer

Click here for more grammatical poetry!

Summer Memories Writing Project

Summer Memories- draw own picture STICKER

One of the best ways to preserve memories is to write them down. Help your students preserve a fun summer time memory be encouraging them to write it down. Encourage them to focus on details that help make the story rich. Motivate your students by allowing them to share their written memory with you, the class or other students. Here’s the free printable worksheet that goes with this activity. There are 2 versions (one provides space for your kids to draw a picture, and the other doesn’t). Click the links below to see the PDF: Summer Memories- draw own picture   or   Summer Memories- with picture.