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Sphero 2.0 the Robotic Sphere Teaches Programming and More – Review

Sphero 2.0 the Robotic Sphere Teaches Programming and More – Review

Maybe we were easily impressed in those pre-tablet days of the 1980s but I can still remembering programming a toy robot to follow commands. Robot: walk, forward, 10 steps. My dad, who holds a degree in engineering and has made a career out of computer systems, would patiently guide my efforts. I learned to be precise with the directions because the robot would either spin out of control or, more frustratingly, refuse to budge. Sphero 2.0 is … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Toys

Sugar Cube Pyramids

Sugar Cube Pyramids

My children and I tried two methods to build pyramids as part of our study of Ancient Egypt. The first is the sugar cube pyramid. We’ve been continuing with our World History lessons but I have not had much time to post. We moved on from prehistory to the dawn of civilization: Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia. For those who are also using The Story of the World, I find the strict chronological approach involves a … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial

Pi Day Printable Magic Hat

Pi Day Printable Magic Hat

Pi is such a magic number and March 14 (3/14) is Pi Day! Coincidentally, it is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Although it is usually represented as 3.14 for basic geometry calculations, Pi has an infinite string of numbers, with no repeating pattern, after the decimal point. Have children color in the symbol for pi on this Pi Day printable magic hat(click for .pdf), cut out the hat, and glue onto a construction paper headband. Measure the circumference … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics

German Straw Star Ornaments

German Straw Star Ornaments

Every year, we make ornaments for teachers, friends, and family. Last year, my children made traditional German Star Ornaments, called Strohsterne. I first spotted these stars at a neighbor’s during trick or treating and I found out that you can order a straw star kit with straw, a 6-strand straw splitter, a placement ring, and instructions.   We bought Kit 1 (I have received no product or other compensation for this post) and made some beautiful stars. However, … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial

Teaching Two-Digit Addition with Regrouping

Teaching Two-Digit Addition with Regrouping

My daughter just moved on to two digit addition with regrouping (that’s “carrying” for us old folks). Since a dime conveniently equals 10 pennies, I thought we could use coins to make the concept more concrete. We start with the basic concept that each penny is one cent and that each dime is ten cents so one dime is equivalent to ten pennies. Next, I write out a two-digit addition problem that will require regrouping (the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial

5 Picture Books About Rainbows

5 Picture Books About Rainbows

Who doesn’t love a rainbow? They are colorful, magical, and full of hope! Rainbows are a bridge into other times and cultures, science, color theory, and so much more! Here are a few children’s picture books about rainbows to get you started on your journey! What Makes A Rainbow?, by Betty Ann Schwartz; illustrated by Dona Turner (ages 0-3): In this cute tale, a young bunny asks his colorful friends what makes a rainbow. With each turn … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Sight, Spring, Visual-Spacial, Weather

March: Yup, In Like a Lion!

March: Yup, In Like a Lion!

While we still haven’t seen the kids’ much-wished-for snow, March entered like a lion with a wet, cloudy, chilly day. As in past years, we will be reading In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb, by Marion Dane Bauer, and making some sort of craft, like our lion and lamb masks from last year. Last year we created a March weather bar graph of lions and lambs. This year, my daughter will also create a chart … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Sight, Spring, Weather, Winter

How Sweet it Is: Maple Sugaring

How Sweet it Is: Maple Sugaring

Each year we visit a local family farm for their Maple Sugaring demonstration. What a hands-on (and tasty) way to learn about Native American and Colonial culture and history, chemistry, the weather, and ecology! We followed the maple sugaring process from start to finish. First, we learned a bit about the sugar maple (which is so important that New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia share it as their state tree). Farmer Bob gave a talk on how … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Spring, Taste, Weather, Winter

Candy Heart Bar Graph

Candy Heart Bar Graph

Still have candy left over after dissolving it in hot or cold water? If you have M&Ms, Skittles, or Conversation Hearts, here is another way to use them up and learn. Directions: 1. Create a grid with columns for the numbers and each color of the candy and 11 rows. Write the numbers 1-10 in the first column (skipping the first row) and then write the colors in the bottom row for each column. My daughter was … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial

Candy Hearts Experiment

Candy Hearts Experiment

Have lots of leftover Valentine’s Day candy? Expand your mind instead of your teeth (or mom and dad’s waistlines). We actually did this one last year and ran out of time to post it! Experiment – Do Candy Hearts Dissolve More Quickly In Hot or Cold Water? Materials two bowls of water, one hot, one ice-cold two candy hearts pencils and pads Directions: 1. Form a hypothesis. My children predicted that both hearts would dissolve but the one with the hot water would … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science