This week we will be learning first hand just what takes place when a caterpillar makes the transformation into a butterfly. To say my kids are excited is a bit of an understatement! ;) Although I don't usually have a theme for the week, with all the excitement surrounding our new critters, and the excitement to get outside and explore, I decided this whole week would be butterfly themed. First, we have a wonderful stack of books from the library, including: From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman Caterpillar Caterpillar by Vivian French and Caterpillars by Marilyn Keep Reading...

## Fraction Puzzles {FREE Download!}

Using puzzles was such a fun way to help my daughter practice and recognize place value, I decided to create some more fun puzzles! These puzzles are meant to help students understand fractions, as well as practice learning equivalent fractions. Learning how to rewrite the fraction 2/8 as 1/4 is an important skill, and I think it is equally important that students understand early on that they are NOT changing the fraction. These two fractions (2/8 and 1/4) mean exactly the same thing. That is why for the equivalent fraction puzzles, a visual is given to link the two fractions Keep Reading...

## Math Curse Activity Pack! {FREE!}

Math stories are such a fun way to engage kids in math learning, as well as help them see math in the world around them. Stories can make math come alive and get kids excited! One of my favorite (and highly engaging) stories is Math Curse by Jon Sciezka. This hilarious tale can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. To help you incorporate this into your math curriculum, I've created this Math Curse Activity Pack! This is such a fun book, and I love reading it with upper elementary kids all the way through middle school! (And actually, I have used it with 9th graders as well!) To encourage and Keep Reading...

## Understanding Data with Mean, Median and Mode {FREE Lesson!}

Gathering data and then knowing how best to analyze and summarize that data is an important mathematical skill. In this lesson, students use a handful of pennies to explore different measures of center (mean, median and mode) and discuss what might be the best for their data set. All you need for this hands-on math lesson is a large sample of pennies from varying years, or if it's easier for you there are different sets of data included in the lesson that you can use. This is meant to be an introduction to the topic, so no prior knowledge is necessary! This could be used with students in Keep Reading...

## Expanded Numbers Puzzles {FREE!}

It's often difficult for students to make the connection between the numbers 0-9 and place value. At first, children learn to count and everything has a single value, i.e. 6 race cars. But eventually, as they build on that knowledge and begin to consider larger numbers, they must understand place value. Then, suddenly, they can have 6 tens or 6 hundreds and it's not simply the number 6, but a much larger value. One way I have begun to teach my daughter to make sense of numbers this way is by using base 10 blocks to build the number, write the number, and say the number. We have also used Keep Reading...

## Time For Spring! {FREE Telling Time Practice Worksheets!}

Are you ready for spring?? I know we are here at our house! To celebrate the coming warm weather and all the blessings of spring, I've put together some fun, spring themed worksheets to work on telling time! I've been working on telling time with my daughter, so I created these to work on skills with her and thought you might enjoy them too! This set includes a page for telling the correct time to solve a spring-themed riddle, a page to practice correctly drawing the hands on a clock, a matching page as well as a few time story problems (relatively simple). {Click HERE to go to my Keep Reading...

## Happy Pi Day!! 3.14.15

It's here, friends! Pi Day 2015, where we get to celebrate a once in a century event!! Today on March 14, 2015 at 9:26:53 we experience the first 10 digits (3.141592653) of the number pi! Today has become especially meaningful to me, not just because I'm a math geek, or just because I love pi(e), (though both of those things are true!), but because of my little "pi baby." She was born weighing Pi! Ok, so she didn't weigh exactly pi (3.14 pounds would be 3 pounds, 2.24 ounces...) but she did weigh 3 pounds 14 ounces, and that made it special to me! Plus, I wasn't even the one who caught Keep Reading...

## Exploring Volume: FREE Lesson!

To continue with my study of 3-D shapes, I have created a lesson to begin exploring volume. Like surface area, this is something that is often rushed through, and students are told to just "plug it into the formula." But I have seen this lead to many unnecessary mistakes because students never actually understand where the formula comes from, and therefore they end up "plugging in" the wrong things. Understanding WHY the formula for prisms and cylinders is V = B x h (where B stands for "area of the base") makes sense when students can see how the area and volume relate to each other. Keep Reading...

## 3-D Shapes Worksheets! {FREE Printables!}

One Geometry topic that is introduced at a young age and then explored in more complex ways as kids get older is 3D shapes. Obviously, the first thing young mathematicians learn is to simply recognize the shapes, learn their names and discover them in the world around us. As kids get older, it's important to help them learn and understand polyhedron nets. Understanding what these shapes look like "flat" helps with spatial sense and reasoning and will build a solid foundation for later study of surface area. These simple 3D shapes worksheets can help students make connections and understand 3D Keep Reading...

## Quadratic Equations Project (with FREE printables!)

One of the best ways to really learn something so that it sticks with you is to teach it to someone else. Giving students a project that gets them thinking through a mathematical process and allows them to express their creative side is always a win-win! The following example involves solving quadratic equations. A skill in Algebra that, while important, can very easily become boring and meaningless. And while I believe it is always helpful for students to have multiple options and methods to use for solving problems, I have seen that it can become easy for them to confuse and mix together Keep Reading...

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