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Fun Way to Practice Multiplication Facts from 1-9

By on Jan 5, 2016 in Math | 0 comments

A few months ago I stumbled across this small, wooden multiplication table on Amazon. My kiddo on the autism spectrum really despises doing math worksheets. Despite his love and obsession with routine, he also despises doing the same math facts over and over again. I saw this and immediately heard Gru in my head.

Given to us as a gift by a family member; purchased at Amazon.

Given to us as a gift by a family member; purchased at Amazon.

We were lucky enough to end up getting this as a present from one of our family members (who saw it on my homeschooling wish list). Originally, the kids weren’t too interested. But then, I turned it into a game.

Small Multiplication Table

When you do this, try to actually get the blocks IN the bowl.

 

Every morning, I dump the small wooden blocks into a bowl. Or a cup. Or whatever surface is handy. Then I jumble them all up. Or the kids jumble them all up. Or my one year old jumbles it all up and then pops one into my hand and one into his mouth. Whoops.

However it happens, what matters is that after the facts get jumbled up, they get unjumbled one by one. Read out loud the fact. Have the kids shout out the answer. Toss the block to the one who got it right. They put it back in the times table where it belongs. When they’re all back nestled into their homes, the game is over.

At least until tomorrow.

What would you do with a times table like this?

Reality Check: Time Passes

By on Nov 16, 2015 in Herd Around The Home | 0 comments

Hermione_Granger_posterharry-oscarsnubs-3“Hey, hon, what’s your favorite Harry Potter character?” I asked innocently as we wandered around the house during our early morning drinking-coffee-and-chatting-over-breakfast routine.

“Hmm. Harry Potter,” Samantha responded thoughtfully.

I hesitated, “Huh. I thought it would have been Hermione. She’s my favorite.”

Sammi’s eyes got wide. “Really? I thought it would be McGonagall. She’s strict but nice.”

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I was speechless. “Uuuuhhh,” I drew out, “When I started reading this book series I was about your age. McGonagall definitely wasn’t my favorite. …But now that I think about it, … I’ll accept that.”

 

 

 

Sum Rummy

By on Oct 3, 2015 in Math | 0 comments

I’m so thrilled with our purchase of the RightStart Mathematics curriculum. It has drill sheets, sure, but it also encourages a deeper understanding of math through more longer thought-provoking problems as well as fun activities and math games. Yes. Games.

I love it.

  
Right now, though, he isn’t loving it. Of course, I am winning. That may be why.

MEEP MEEP! An unfortunate misunderstanding.

By on Sep 30, 2015 in Herd Around The Home | 0 comments

Wile E Coyote from Looney Tunes“Sammi! LOOK! Mom and Dad bought us Carcassonne Big Box 5!” Nate exclaimed with abandonment.

Sammi replied, “Yeees! Mimi Meeple!”*

“Ooh! It’s like when the coyote runs around saying MEEP MEEP with that one bird thing!”

…This is the point in which I was laughing so hard I couldn’t quite catch my breath.

Roadrunner from Looney Tunes

*While playing the iPad version of Carcassonne, the kids learned about Meeples. Around that same time, Gabriel couldn’t say “Sammi,” but instead could only say “Mimi.” Thus, Mimi Meeple, Sammi’s Carcassonne-playing alter ego was born.

Free Current Events Worksheet for Star Tribune on September 20, 2015

By on Sep 21, 2015 in Current Events | 0 comments

Do you teach children and do you get the Star Tribune‘s Sunday paper? Here’s a free current events worksheet with simple questions about content found in the September 20, 2015 paper. Educators might enjoy printing off these five pages (one for each day). Three of the five pages discuss a single article found in separate sections of the paper, one page has questions over multiple articles in one section of the paper, and the fifth page allows the student to find any article they are interested in and write on it. This was made for my fourth and fifth grader.

Let me know if you have any questions or corrections. :)

Reason #542,789 for Why I Love Classes at the Arts Guild

By on Sep 16, 2015 in Random Bits | 0 comments


The reason is that I get to see super cool things other people are doing – and show them to our kids. We were just upstairs in the clay studio at the Northfield Arts Guild looking at the neat pieces (in-progress and glazed and fired awaiting pickup) and then came down to the family lounge and found these!

I love this place!

When was that Eiffel Tower built again?

By on Sep 8, 2015 in Herd Around The Home, Medieval World | 0 comments

We were doing homeschool lite during the summer (heretofore dubbed “Science Summer”), so I decided to do a quick review of what we’d learned so far about the medieval time period in history.

I ask, “Why did Clovis select Paris for his capital?”

Sammi, thoughtfully, “Uuuuummmmmmm…. Because of the Eiffel Tower?”

Cue hilarity.

The Mine

By on May 26, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

I had to crack up when I read my son’s homework assignment. He is obsessed with turning over all our belongings to find the “Made in” stamp. He spends a lot of time groaning, “Not China again!”

The assignment: Write a five (or more) sentence story or poem using at least six stem words from Michael Clay Thompson’s Building Language p. 84-85. The following is a first draft written by an (almost) eleven year old.

From August 21, 2013: our trip to the Soudan State Park Underground Mine in Soudan, Minnesota.

From August 21, 2013: our trip to the Soudan State Park Underground Mine in Soudan, Minnesota.

 

The Mine

by Nate R.

Descend into the mine where you will mine in subterranean tunnels. Then you export it to other countries for buildings and toys. Respect the Chinese, they make most of it. Inspect the iron, make sure it is pure. Then the turquoise with its aquamarine blue: make sure it is right and true!