Friday, February 5, 2016

Homework Help: Multiplying and Dividing Fractions


Our 10 year old was given the opportunity to do sixth grade math in fifth grade. We were psyched that he was going to be challenged more in his favorite subject. The program is pretty much self-taught and while it's gone well, there has been one hiccup ... fractions.

My son normally does mental math at the speed of light, but fractions ssssslllllllllloooooowwwww him way down and that's pretty frustrating for him.

As he struggled through his homework, I agonized over a way to help him. While it's true that games and activities are always my first choice, I knew he was going to need some kind of cheat sheet to refer to as he worked through page after page in his workbook.

Hence, this printable was born.


Seeing as though my fraction activities continue to be some of my most popular, I'm guessing you followers (and the kids you work love and teach) will find this useful.

Print the PDF free from Google Drive here

Teachers - if you're prompted to request permission to access the document, use a PERSONAL email address. Most schools block emails from outside their domain, prohibiting me from granting you access.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Polymer Clay Penguins


Our six-year-old has had a fascination with penguins since ... well, like ... forever. We have so many penguin stuffed animals it's like a colony. To add to his collection, we made a few out of polymer clay.

This is a wonderful activity that exercises fine motor skills.



Supplies & Step-by-Step
Polymer clay (we used FIMO) in black, white, and orange
A stove or toaster oven
Scissors

  1. Roll the black clay into a medium sized ball; this is the head.
  2. Roll another larger ball for the body. Squish the ball into an egg shape and stand on one end to make it slightly flat on the bottom.
  3. Either set the head atop the body and apply pressure to affix the two or after doing so, using a finger smear the clay on the head down toward the body to make a smooth bowling pin shape.
  4. Roll a ball of white clay and then flatten to an flat egg shape. Add to the penguin body.
  5. Roll two tiny balls of white clay and flatten. Either use these as the outer eyes or place the circles side by side and gently press together, pull the bottom to form a heart. Affix as the face.
  6. Roll two teeny black balls. These are the eyes. Press gently onto the face.
  7. Roll two small tubes of black. Pinch the ends and flatten for flippers. Attach to either side of the body.
  8. Roll a small football shape out of orange clay. Clip one end horizontally with scissors to make the upper and lower parts of the beak. Clip to shorter, making a flat surface with which to attach the beak. Press onto the face.
  9. Roll two tiny orange balls. Flatten. Clip two tiny triangles out of each to make penguin flipper toes. Attach to the bottom of the body.
  10. Add a hat, scarf, eyebrows, etc. to accessorize your penguin!
  11. Bake in a 250 degree toaster oven for 60 minutes (roughly 15 minutes for every 1/4-inch thickness of clay).
  12. Let cool and then play with - maybe even write a story with your new penguin as the main character or make a stop motion video!


Read
To go along with our craft, we read two books, both which cleverly address how a penguin who wants to fly handles being a flightless bird. Both are utterly enjoyable. These sweet fiction books are beautiful and fun. Check them out!




Our penguins were inspired by the creations shared at How To Instructions and Bonnie Bakes.

Monday, February 1, 2016

After School Linky (2-1)

Welcome to the party!


I'm so glad you stopped by. I hope you'll find inspiration here.

Last week's party was amazing (as usual); here are my favorite ideas/activities that were shared.

Googly Eye Monster Valentine at Our Whimsical Days.

 Free Healthy Choices Printable from Moms & Munchkins.


 Henna Hands Craft from Royal Little Lambs.

 Beautiful Painted Butterfly Doily Craft for Kids at A Little Pinch of Perfect.


Teaching Onomatopoeia with Picture Books from Embark on the Journey.

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.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sign Language Sight Word Decoding (free printables)


I'm not sure how it happened but the other night I explained to my boys about Koko and how they'd taught the gorilla to communicate with sign language. We watched a YouTube video which captured all of our attention.

To expose my sons a little more to American Sign Language, I made some fun printables (the boys were my hand models). Click on the links in the list below to download the free PDFs from Google Drive.
  1. A-Z alphabet cards
  2. 1-page American Sign Language Alphabet cheat sheet (on the same PDF as the cards)
  3. Sight word cards spelled with sign language for decoding

I gave my six year old son the last two of these three printables (with the cards cut apart) and explained to him that he needed to decode the sign language letters to figure out what the sight word was and read it to me. 


He enjoyed the challenge, especially because many letters resemble a fast, just with different finger formations.


To go with the activity, we read two great fiction books that provided some context for our activity. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

After School Linky Party (1-25)

Welcome to the party!


Wow. Last week's party was AH-MAZE-ING. Did you check out all the creative ideas, printables, and experiments that were shared? If not, you MUST!

Here is just a snapshot of some of the brilliance shared at last week's party.


 Area and Perimeter with LEGO Duplos from School Time Snippets

 Blends Card Game (cr, cl, fr, gl, gr) at Boy Mama Teacher Mama
 Teaching Coin Recognition and Coin Value at Mosswood Connections

Nerf Gun Math from There's Just One Mommy

 Ancient Greek Vases Art Study from Royal Little Lambs

Wiggle to 100 from You've Got This



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.