Wednesday, October 29, 2014

United States BINGO (Teacher's Edition)


Three years ago, I made a United States BINGO game for my oldest son. It used some hand-colored states graphics I drew that vanished with the death of an old laptop.


But since that time, numerous teachers have asked me to create more game cards. Having made new states graphics (this time digitally) for our states and capitals pegboard, creating a 30-card set was finally possible.

This new printable is free for download on Google Drive here. Enjoy!


Both my son and I tried to check each card to make sure none had duplicate states, but it's possible we missed one. Please let me know if you find an error.

Monday, October 27, 2014

After School Linky (10-27)

Welcome to the After School Linky Party!



The air is turning cool, the apples are crisp, and inspiration is brewing in the cauldron.

Here are some of my favorite ideas and activities from last week's party.


Bubble Gum Consonant Blends Game at Boy Mama Teacher Mama.



Build a House! Math Bingo at Teach Beside Me.


Free Printable Sight Word Game at Brain Power Boy.





Paper Mache Plates at Mosswood Connections.



Pythagorean Theorum at Empowering Parents to Teach.


Viking Ship Craft for Kids at Happy Brown House.



Vocabulary Words Study Tips and Tricks at The Educators' Spin on It.


What have you been doing with your kid(s)? Please share!

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Magic or Science? Leak-Proof Water Bag

I've seen this experiment on loads of blogs and for good reason. It's guaranteed to make kids' jaws drop. It seems more like magic than science.


Here's how we poked holes in a bag without it leaking.

Step 1: Sharpen pencils to a fine, sharp point.


Step 2: Fill up a clear zip-top plastic food storage bag so it is 2/3rds full of water and seal it closed.


Step 3: Hold the bag up and slowly insert pencils piercing the plastic, going through the water, and out the other side of the bag. Make sure you don't poke the eraser all the way through. Why stop with one? Keep putting pencils in!


Step 4: Be amazed that the bag isn't leaking.


Step 5. Move the bag to the sink to remove the pencils. Water will squirt out everywhere!


Invite kids to form a hypothesis about why this works. My boys thought the pencils were so tight that the bags didn't leak. They were close. The polymers in the plastic are chains of molecules that separate but don't break when poked with the pencil. They squeeze in so snugly around the pencil, it forms a tight waterproof seal.

This experiment came from the fabulous Steve Spangler.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Collect, Sort, Graph, & Count Fall Leaves


The Autumn foliage colors peaked here last weekend. We soaked in the opulence during a trip to a state park, apple orchard, and CSA farm. The family fun was a springboard for several leaf activities, all of which were fun.



1. Fall Leaves Hunt
The last leaf hunt my son went on, we packed some crayons and made rubbings. This time, we left the crayons at home and just let our eyes search out eight various types of leaves. (Click the picture below to download a free PDF of the ID page I made.)


I clipped a page with the names and images as a cheat sheet onto a mini clipboard. It was up to him to make tally marks or simply X through the names or images. We tucked the leaves in a gallon-size ziploc as we walked the trail.



2. Sort by Color and Make a Life-Sized Graph
I pressed the leaves between layers of paper towels (since a few were wet) under a heavy book. The next day, they were ready for us to use. I grabbed some leftover painters tape and made a big grid on the carpet in our living room. I made red, orange, yellow, green, brown, and purple cards as well as a numbered set. I placed these on the grid to complete our empty graph.

It took the boys no time at all to deduce what they were to do. They immediately set to work. "Is this purple or brown," they would ask each other. I loved their decision-making and how well they worked as a team to complete the graph.


When it was done, there was a three-way tie between brown, yellow, and red leaves. (This idea came from Little Giraffes.)


3. Sort and Graph by Type
When we'd finished our leaf color graph. We removed the leaves and the color cards, and I placed two other cards at the bottom of the graph: maple and oak. Now they graphed which we had more of. The clear winner was maple!



4. Arrange from Smallest to Largest
As they cleared the graph of the leaves, I grabbed several and asked our 5-year-old to put them in order from smallest to largest. He was a little lost at first but I asked him to "Find the smallest leaf" and it was removed. Again, "What is the smallest leaf now?" And so it went until we had them all lined up.



5. Preserve by Laminating
Lastly, the boys picked their favorite leaves from our collection and I put them in plastic laminating sleeves, running them through my personal laminator, to save and admire for weeks and months to come. They look like stained glass in our window! (This idea came from Mama Smiles.)


Monday, October 20, 2014

After School Linky 10-20


Welcome to the After School Linky Party!


Did you go pin crazy at last week's party? There were SO MANY great ideas and activities!

Here are a few of my favorites.

DIY Refrigerator Letter Magnets at Look What Mom Found


Fire Safety Week at Planting Peas






Gruffalo Themed Shape Animals at The Educators' Spin on It




Word Family Blackout at This Reading Mama


What have you been doing with your kid(s)? Please share!

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

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