So far we’ve talked about using pizza fractions to create an equivalent fractions table, and to learn to add and subtract fractions.  Today we will move on to multiplying and dividing fractions!  Here is the set we purchased and that you’ll see in the pictures below: There is no reason you can’t just make your own pizza fractions either – just color some circles and cut them in the right number of pieces!  It is important that you are accurate in creating equal size pieces for the fractions, so they can be exchanged for other equivalent fractions through size comparisons alone. Pizza fractions are a greatRead More →

We did a fun experiment today using Bromothymol Blue (BTB), which is a chemical that changes color when exposed to acids or bases.  I purchased it on Amazon.com from a chemical supplier pretty inexpensively, and you only need to use a little – just put a small amount in a cup and add water. To set up the experiment, I set out several clear plastic cups and got out our various supplies.  I filled the cups half full with the BTB / water mixture and then let the kids take turns adding things to see what would happen.  The older kids created a table toRead More →

My kids are very interested in chemistry, so I thought I’d teach them how to balance chemical equations. First, we discussed how substances sometimes change when they are heated or combined, but the basic elements that make them up remain the same (conservation of mass). I gave them an example equation of 2 H2O = O2 + 2 H2. I created 2 H2O molecules using colored marshmallows, and then explained that if the water molecules were broken apart they would recombine and instead of water could become O2  and H2. I took the first 2 “molecules” apart and demonstrated how they could recombine, and allRead More →

Here are more great ways to teach your child to read!  Be sure to read through the “Sandpaper Letters” post first, as it includes some basic concepts you’ll need to know. Reading Along This is something to occasionally do as you go along… get out an early reader book, and point to each word as you pronounce it, and let the child say it with / after you.  This teaches them about left-to-right reading, starting at the top and moving down, and the concept that each grouping of letter is a word. “Pretend” Reading Kids will often memorize a favorite book, and will “read” itRead More →

When my oldest started at a Montessori school for Kindergarten, I noticed all the kids who had attended preschool there were already reading.  My children since have gone there for preschool as well, and are able to read beginner books at age 4, and advance pretty rapidly after that with some practice. My youngest son is eager to read on his own (he just turned 4), and asked me to buy him some sandpaper letters so he can practice on school breaks as well.  So, I thought I’d share with you how to use them, in case you have some eager pre-readers at home asRead More →

Healthier than the fast food meals – and just as much fun! My kids just love the kids’ meals from the drive-through burger places, but it’s not usually in my budget (money or waist-wise!).  So, we’ve come up with our own home version!  My kids have paper bags they’ve decorated with smiley faces, and we make french fry holders out of a 1/4 sheet of white paper stapled together at the sides.  If they are taking their meal “to go” I wrap the burger in a paper towel just like the burger-place wrappers.  The menu is turkey burgers, french fries (“fast food fries” from the frozenRead More →

Last week I wrote about using pizza fractions to create an equivalent fractions table.  Today we will move on to adding and subtracting fractions!  Here is the set we purchased and that you’ll see in the pictures below: There is no reason you can’t just make your own pizza fractions either – just color some circles and cut them in the right number of pieces!  It is important that you are accurate in creating equal size pieces for the fractions, so they can be exchanged for other equivalent fractions through size comparisons alone. Pizza fractions are a great way to give hands on practice addingRead More →

This is a fun experiment from Steve Spangler Science… my crew had a great time guessing which substances would sink or float, and spent several hours playing with it after I went through it with them! Here’s a link to the experiment details:  http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/seven-layer-density-column Thanks Steve Spangler!Read More →

Games are a fun way to reinforce a new language in a way that is fun to  practice, and where the words are used in context so they stick. Here are 2  games you can use to teach Spanish at home: Twister This activity uses a “Twister” game board to teach some Spanish. To prepare,  set out your board, or make your own playing area by placing colored pieces of  paper on the ground. The instructions in Spanish are, “Pon tu [insert body part – hand foot or head] [insert left or right if  needed] en el color [insert color].” Examples: Pon tu mano derechaRead More →

We purchased a set of pizza fractions when my son was ready to learn about them, and have found them to be a lot of fun! This is the one we purchased, that you’ll see pictured: You could also make your own if you are good at that sort of thing. Initial concepts: First explain what the notations on the pizza slices mean. 1/2 means it takes 2 equal pieces to make a whole pizza. 1/3 means it takes 3 identical pieces to make a whole pizza. Explain what it means when a number larger than one is on the top. For example, 3/6 means 3Read More →

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