Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vocabulary Spelling Game

This is a fun way to practice spelling and vocabulary.

What you need for two players:
A set of small double-sided letter cards for each player
(See how to make them below),
10 vocabulary word definition cards
10 skittles or other candies for each player

How to Play
Divide the definition cards face down in two piles of 5 cards each and place them in front of each player. Each player should also have one set of letter cards in a pile or on a plate next to the definition cards. At the word "Go" the players turn over the top card, silently read the definition, and determine which word it is. Then, they find the letters that will spell that word and put them next to the definition card. When they finish spelling that word they turn over the next card. When they have spelled all the words, they should double check their spelling. Then they get a skittle candy for each one they spelled correctly. If they misspell a word, you can give them a second chance to spell it correctly to get the skittle. Players switch cards and do it again.

To make the letter cards, write each vocabulary word on one side of a strip of cardstock with a space between each letter so you can cut the letters apart. Write the same letters on the other side of the strip so when you cut them apart, the same letter is on the front and back. Then put all the letter cards on a paper plate or in a pile. You can also print them on the computer in this way: Make columns (I used 8 columns). Type each word vertically, one letter per line, with a space between. Add extra letters if you have room. To print the same letters on the other side, you will need to copy and paste each column in the opposite order on the second page. Then cut the letters apart.

This is the vocabulary book we have used.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kickball Review

Playing kickball is a fun way to review any subject. You can play it indoors with a foam ball or outdoors with a regular kickball. On the day we took these pictures we were reviewing math. For two children, we set it up so there were review questions at home base and second base. The person kicking picks a card, tells the answer, then the pitcher (mom) rolls the ball. They kick and run to first base. Then the next kicker does the same thing. Then the first player picks a card at 2nd base, answers it, and kicks the ball again. Having review questions at two bases makes it so that there is always someone who gets to kick. For more children, you could probably have the review questions only at home base. We had individual ziplock sandwich bags for each child (with an identifying sticker) with their specific review questions, at home base and 2nd base.
Jessica reads her review question at second base.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zapping Fractions -- Division Math

Dividing Fractions can be fun when you bring in a magician. Although this can be done with a paper and pencil, we found it helpful to use manipulatives and spread it out on the floor. Start with a deck of number cards. Our favorites are the "Number Jugglers" cards, but Uno cards work well too. Create the fraction you want to divide. We were dividing mixed numbers, but simple fractions will work well too. We used math rods to create the line between the numerator and the denominator. Create an operation dice or block with a division sign on one side and a multiplication sign on the other. Find an object that can be the magic wand (We used a canning lid magnet). 
Here's how it works.  
If you are dividing mixed numbers you first need to change them into improper fractions, as my daughter did in the first picture. Then imagine that the first fraction is a magician and is going to zap the other fraction. Then get the magic wand and say the magic word: "Reciprocal!" And point the wand at the 2nd fraction and flip it around so the numerator is on the bottom and the denominator is now on the top. Then zap the operation dice so the multiplication symbol now shows as in this picture.
 Then zap the numbers as you do cross cancelling before you multiply the fractions. Use math rods to "cross out" the numbers and number cards to show the new number. If your product is an improper fraction, then change the answer back into a mixed number.
 Edible Variation:Put a piece of candy over the first fraction to represent the magician's hat. Then after the problem is done correctly then the student can eat the treat. If doing this on paper, a chocolate chip "magician hat" could be put over the first fraction.