March 2014 - momgineer

Week in review: March 29, 2014

This week marked the real transition to spring! The temperatures warmed, we had some rain, the birds were singing, and the smell of spring was definitely in the air. We wrote spring haikus to celebrate:

This is the last week my baby is 5! He will be turning 6 on Monday. I can't believe he's been my sweet boy for 6 years already. It's gone by way too quickly and I so wish I could freeze time and enjoy the ages my boys are at currently. They continue to build elaborate structures and act out stories with their toys, which has definitely improved their storytelling and conflict resolution skills. It's so neat to listen to the situations the toys find themselves in.

We went to homeschooling game day yesterday, which is always fun. I got to catch up with other homeschooling moms and the kids got to play Stratego, Sorry, Set, and Battleship with other homeschooling kids.

Tonight is the end-of-session performance at music school, where both boys participate in a homeschooling music program. It meets for 1.5 hours each week and they absolutely adore it. I am hoping F likes the ukelele we got him for his 6th birthday since they will be starting ukelele lessons next session at music.
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Spring cleaning: Geometry & a FREEBIE!

I have been doing some spring cleaning in my Teachers pay Teachers store and wanted to share a few updates to my Geometry for 1st Grade unit. First, I added a craftivity: SHAPE BUGS!

My kids enjoyed doing this activity and making their bugs! Obviously you don't need my geometry unit to make these - you can either create your own template and copy onto colored paper, or have your students create their own shapes with rulers and tracing circular objects like cups, rolls of masking tape, and lids. I thought bugs were a fun way to tie in spring to this unit. I have a few garden nemeses that I'm sure I'll be seeing before I know it!

I also added two graphing pages, since they always seem to be a big hit. Here is the answer key for one of them. The other graphing page is numbers to 20. I have color-coded the answer key the way I always have my kids do these pages. If you pick a new color for each shape, you can count them as you go, and it's easier to double check your work later. The shapes are in different sizes and orientations, which makes this slightly more challenging than if they were all exactly the same.

I'm pretty excited about the updated posters, as well. I have added a plain version as well the shape friends version (2D & 3D included):

Anyway, I am so excited about this! I thought you might like to try out two of the activity pages. One is a shape search page, and the other is a flip-flap sorting book. I have been loving flip-flap sorting lately! A new template I designed is low mess and one-page self-contained, which makes my life a lot easier! I used the same design in another recent project of mine; here's how it works:

This is what it looks like folded up.
Unfold the top flap and you see the sorting criteria.

Open the sorting flaps for the sorted objects
One of the reasons I really like this layout is that there is extra space to write, and you can either glue it into an interactive journal or you can have a series of mini-books, which display nicely.

Click the image below to download the free pages:

This was a really fun unit for me to put together, and is now on its third major revision. There is also a new two-page assessment, which I may offer separately when I get a chance. What's your favorite spring-cleaning activity? I do admit I love it when I can open the windows and have a nice spring breeze, before the humidity of summer sets in. I hope you enjoy the download!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day!

I hope everyone has a happy Friday today and finds some fun ways to celebrate this math holiday.

We will make pi bracelets later. Right now, this is in my oven:

One of my favorites! Pineapple pie!
How are you celebrating today?

Thanks to Melonheadz Illustrating, Ashley Hughes, Kimberly Geswein Fonts, and Creative Clips for the adorable graphics!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Game review: Zeus on the Loose

Zeus on the Loose is another Gamewright card game that we love! This is a math game where the main goal is summing to multiples of ten (up to 100). The age listed is 8+, however my almost 6yo really loves this game. In my opinion, the most challenging part is keeping track of the running total.

How it works: There are number cards and special cards. Each player places a card on the pile on their turn and adds to the running total. If you sum to a multiple of 10, you get to take possession of Zeus. The special cards have Greek gods and goddesses on them with instructions (some have you round to the nearest 10, others reset the running total to a specific number, and others just let you steal Zeus). The object of the game is to reach the top of Mount Olympus (100 points) with Zeus in your possession. If you do that, you get the letter Z! A new round starts and each player tries to spell out Z-E-U-S by reaching Mount Olympus four times. This game is simple to figure out, fun to play, and fast. One of my favorite things about card games is that they are so handy to throw in my purse if we go anywhere that requires waiting.

Skills practiced: Math, strategy
Mama Rating:4.5/5
Kid Rating:4.5/5

I should probably note somewhere that I didn't receive this or anything from Gamewright. We just have tons of games and I thought it would be helpful to others to review them!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

wordless wednesday: planetary

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Rhyming unit updated with a FREE sample!

If you own this resource I created a few months ago, you are going to want to re-download it for a major update I am really excited about! I redesigned the layout so there is no waste, less mess, and really easy to add to interactive journals. If you have interactive poetry or literacy journals, these will fit right in! This is what they look like when they are completed:

 Want to try it out? Here are two free pages you can print!

Click on the picture below to visit the product page!

Here is a collage of the included pages:

I will updating my Alpha-Flips unit soon as well to follow this template.
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!