Sunday, November 10, 2013

Equal or Not? Thanksgiving FREEBIE!

I don't know about you, but I find that the math series that my district uses as our main resource does not do the best job of meeting the standards.  They are aware of this, and have always encouraged us to move away from the series if/when it's not meeting our needs.  Our Math Supervisor (amazing published author Bob Krech, lucky us!!!) has always made sure that we teach the curriculum, not the series.  He often reminds us that the series is one resource to help us get there.
One standard that our series doesn't even touch is 1.OA.7:
Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false.
So here is a Thanksgiving Equal or Not? freebie I created to practice that skill.  Click on the link or any of the pictures to grab it.  Enjoy!
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall Fun and Looking Toward Winter!

Brr!  Fall is coming and going quickly this year!  I'm not really complaining because I love that it stayed warm for so long.  Trick or treating with temperatures in the mid-60's was like heaven!  You could actually see all the kids' costumes without giant coats bundled over them.  Last Halloween, New Jersey was a mess from Hurricane Sandy and the year before that we had a crazy freak snowstorm that left many of us without power for a long time since the leaves hadn't fallen yet and the heavy snows on the leaves weighed down the trees and record numbers of trees fell.  So this year we were more than grateful for mild weather!!!
My kiddos on Halloween:
Spider Girl and "dark" Red Riding Hood
We enjoyed the lovely weather apple picking and at the PA Renaissance Faire too!  Love those family fall traditions. :)

Lots of fun fall traditions in school, too.  The lovely weather made for a fabulous crop of pumpkins this year for my kiddos.  Hooray!  We had some pumpkin fun, like these glyphs:

And we did lots of ELA, math, and science activities from my Pumpkins to the (Common) Core pack, including this experiment on comparing a carved and whole pumpkin over time:
Here's what they looked like after a while:
Then Pumpkin 2 got all moldy and gross... ewwwww!  But here's the GREAT part... my kiddos had learned so much from our previous apple and pumpkin experiments that they had this AMAZING conversation (and all I asked was, "What did you notice?" as they were finishing their write-ups):
"Why did Pumpkin 2 rot and Pumpkin 1 didn't?"
"I think because Pumpkin 1's shell protected it and Pumpkin 2 was open so the air got in."
"But we know that both pumpkins have air inside, that was why pumpkins floated." (from another experiment in the same pack)
"True... but that was the air that grew in there.  Maybe when the outside air got in it had water in it.  Or germs.  And those things made Pumpkin 2 rot."
"Well, then what happens when we open OUR mouths and outside air comes in?  We don't rot."
After that, we had a discussion about white blood cells that fight germs and what a fever means.  I was so proud of my kiddos asking the hard questions and answering each other with pretty smart ideas!  Now I need to come up with a really good winter science unit! ;)
Speaking of winter... it's right around the corner!  It's getting cold out (though I do appreciate that daylight savings has us leaving for my middle school daughter's bus stop at sunrise now instead of pitch black!).  Stores are playing Christmas music (I know some people hate that, but I love it!) and since NJ schools are closed today, we went and got our family Christmas portraits done this morning.  Yay!  Check... and.... done!  Cards and all!  I am always so happy when I check that chore off the list, although I remember being even happier when the girls were little and pictures were much more difficult!
We'll have our tree up soon, since we host Thanksgiving and not Christmas, and I like having the house decorated when everyone comes over. But until then, I amused myself by creating my new Winter Writing Paper set:
Stationery themes in this pack include:
* months (December, January, February)
* Christmas (lights, reindeer, Santa, elves)
* Winter stories (Gingerbread Man, Polar Express)
* Hanukkah
* Kwanzaa
* Diwali
* Chinese New Year
* Snowman
* Playing in the snow
* Arctic animals
* Valentine's Day
* Presidents' Day
* Groundhog Day

Happy Winter! Stay warm! :)
Click here for Autumn/Fall Writing Paper (recently revamped with 5 new papers!)
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