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Why is the US Behind in Math and Science? Join the STEM Challenge #PBSKidsSC

Why is the US Behind in Math and Science? Join the STEM Challenge #PBSKidsSC

Remember when every kid wanted to go to space camp and become an astronaut? The frontier is now digital but sciences and mathematics are just as important as they ever were. Curiosity about the world and a creative approach to problem solving are at the core of what I want to impart to my children. And the sciences are building blocks of those sorts of critical thinking skills. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are increasingly the access … Read entire article »

Filed under: Academic Achievement, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Technology

Mathematics Beach Party!

Mathematics Beach Party!

Beaches, water tables, sprinklers, the sink, the bath–if it involves water and getting soaking wet, it is sure to be a hit with young children…especially during the hottest days of summer! We were off to the beach yesterday and while the kids built sandcastles, waded in the water, and floated in an inflatable raft our friends brought along, I threw in a little math and science. Which molds better? Wet sand or dry sand? Interesting! The water helps … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Summer, Touch

Skip Counting with Coins

Skip Counting with Coins

I have to make a conscious effort to ensure mathematics gets equal time in our house.  And, really, there are so many mathematics learning possibilities in play! Just spending ten minutes with dice or coins opens up a world of possibilities. We grabbed our jar of change and sorted our coins. Even toddlers (at least the ones past the mouthing stage) can participate in this step. Then, I printed out a sheet with 10 columns and labeled the top … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Smart Summer Challenge

Mapping a Nature Hike #SmartSummer

Mapping a Nature Hike #SmartSummer

Knowledge is supposed to enrich our lives, not just reside in dusty books (or hypnotic bits and bytes). So, we took our map skills on the road and used them to explore a “new to us” nature trail. Check out this map! Ain’t she a beaut? Most of the trail maps we encounter are faded, sad affairs. Not this one. This one has a lovely compass rose for finding directions, words for … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, Geography, Interpersonal, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Mapping Your Neighborhood for #SmartSummer

Mapping Your Neighborhood for #SmartSummer

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about maps, we are using maps to find our favorite places in our neighborhood. In advance, I printed out maps of our immediate area on Google Maps. Today, I asked both of my children what their favorite place in the neighborhood is. My son (who will be three at the end of August) responded with the name of the local homemade ice cream store. Then, he started scribbling … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Geography, Logical-Mathematical, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

April Showers (Water Cycle Experiments)

April Showers (Water Cycle Experiments)

Mommy, why does it rain? Or, lately, the question is: Why does it drizzle, rain, and pour so much around here? April is the month of showers and we are eagerly awaiting the May flowers those storms will bring. We did two experiments to learn more about why it rains. Experiment #1: Cotton Ball Clouds Question: What happens when a cloud becomes full of moisture? Hypothesis: It will rain. Materials: cotton ball small tray or bowl filled with water Procedure: 1. Ask your child to describe … Read entire article »

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

March Weather Bar Graph

March Weather Bar Graph

Just like we gradually introduce our children to the signs and sounds of language, mathematics pre-literacy is an important first step towards understanding operations and equations. A fun way to familiarize children with the vocabulary and tools of mathematics is to make a bar graph. We’ve done this before with Valentine’s Candy Hearts and for this activity we used our March Lion and Lamb calendar cut-outs. 1. Each day in March, determine whether it is a “lamb” … Read entire article »

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

Presidents’ Day Science: Coin Cleaning Experiment

Presidents’ Day Science: Coin Cleaning Experiment

We played with coins today for Presidents’ Day, using what we had on hand to determine what would clean coins the best. Initially, we set up our experiment with vinegar, baking soda, and a control (just water). My daughter hypothesized that the baking soda would clean the best, followed by water, then vinegar. We poured water into each container and then added vinegar to one, and baking soda to another, leaving the third as just water: At this … Read entire article »

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