where to go for free homework help: Homework Help Desk

homework help | homework help desk | teachmama.com

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homework help | homework help desk | teachmama.com

Now more than ever, I feel like I need a lifeline when it comes to helping my kids with their homework.

Honestly, the concepts are getting difficult.  Things have changed.

Strategies are new, and problems seem crazy to me.

I need help.

I need to phone a friend.

I need answers, and often, I need them quickly.

That’s where Homework Help Desk comes in.

Or at least it came in handy this week, when we were working on Maddy’s summer math packet.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Where to Go For Free Homework Help–Homework Help Desk: 

Granted, we’ve used this free platform only a handful of times, but both times, it proved to be exactly what we needed.

homework help | homework help desk | teachmama.com

homework help | homework help desk | teachmama.com

Maddy used it to finish up some of her Summer Math packet for middle school–one problem in particular was giving her a hard time.

So instead of me racking my brain to figure out square centimeters, I had Maddy type her question into Homework Help Desk.

What happened next was pretty awesome. 

I’ll give you a hint: Maddy found her answer and then some.

Take a look at her transcript:

homework help | homework help desk | teachmama.com

 

homework help | homework help desk | teachmama.com

I love how Maddy received her answer with a question, prompting Maddy to share how much she knew about the topic along with her grade level.

That way, the Homework Help Desk could more accurately determine what kind of answer to provide.

homework help desk | teachmama.com

I love that the Homework Help Desk even handled Maddy’s question about what to wear on the first day of middle school seriously, too.

Though it may not seem like a huge deal, the first day outfit is a big deal for many.

homework help desk | teachmama.com

Even the pinterest board that the Homework Help Desk shared with Maddy was great for her–she spent a few extra minutes looking at it after her problem was completed.

I love, too, that the Homework Help Desk provided a link for extra help on the same type of problem that Maddy was working on.

Definitely worth checking out, especially as children’s workload increases and the difficulty of work increases.

When we can no longer support our kids the way we once did, it’s great to have a place to go so that we can continue to help our kids.

Check out the Homework Help Desk: #BackToSchool #HomeworkHelp #ParentingTips #SchoolTools

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Get Schooled. The opinions and text are all mine.

school supply shopping: our NEW way to teach kids to be smart consumers

school supply shopping teachmama.com

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

 

Every year, we try to somehow involve our kids in back-to-school shopping.

When Maddy, Owen, and Cora were emerging readers, I created easy-to-read lists that we’d take on our shopping trips.

The lists combined words and pictures so that they could more easily find what they needed.

As the kids got older, we worked together to find the best places to shop, using the coupons and sales circulars to figure out the best deals.

This year, we tried something new.

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

I knew that the kids needed more of a reason to plan and shop, and I knew that money is always a push for them.

And, admittedly, we’ve slacked on our Gem Jars this summer.

So what we did forced our kids into becoming smart and savvy shoppers, and it also encouraged more ‘shopping at home’.

All kids agreed that they want to do our school supply shopping this way every year. So I’ll count that as a win in my book.

Here’s the skinny. . .

School Supply Shopping: Our NEW Way to Teach Kids to be Smart Consumers:

This year, I gave Maddy, Owen, and Cora a $40 budget.

And I said,

Okay, here’s the thing: I know we’ve been lax with Gem Jars this year, and I know we haven’t done anything with allowance.

Each of you has done a pretty decent job with chores, and we appreciate it.

So for school supply shopping this year, each of you has $40. And you have access to everything in our school supply drawer and everything in our house. And you have a ton of coupons and sales circulars to pick from.

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

Use whatever you want—and use the lists I’ve printed out from the school that tell you what you need.

And figure out the best way to use your money.

Remember that cheap is not always the best and that sometimes you pay a little more for quality.

And whatever money you have left after your shopping trip, you can keep.

Owen went nuts crazy. This is his thing—playing with numbers, looking at sales, and finding the best possible price.

He needs money for the snack bar at the pool, you know, and he knows that Mom and Dad don’t provide it.

So the kids used the planning sheet I created last year, and they got to work.

It was difficult for Cora—that I must say—and she gave up quickly.

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

I sat with her a bit and worked through some of the glitches, but she decided she was finished almost before she started.

Maddy and Owen worked pretty hard on theirs, Maddy roughly and Owen to the penny.

What was most awesome was that the kids shopped carefully in our house.

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

All these supplies? Yep. Found ’em in our house.

school supply shopping  teachmama.com

We had a few extra 3-ring binders from previous years along with a random mix of other supplies.  They pieced them together where they could, and then they were ready to  hit the stores.

We decided our first stop would be Target, so we took off late morning, each kid with his or her own shopping bag, list, and coupons.

school supply shopping  teachmama.com 2

school supply shopping teachmama.com 2

I was surprised that when we got to the store, the kids went straight for the supplies and knew exactly what they were looking for.

For the most part, they stuck to their lists, though they did make some changes.

And even though Owen wanted to go to Office Depot for ten cent folders, I explained that his decision to buy plastic ones for $.47 was a wise one because they’d last much longer.

So they gathered.

And shopped.

And checked things off of their lists.

 

And they used coupons.school supply shopping  teachmama.com 2

school supply shopping  teachmama.com 2

And they spent money.

And they saved money.

Only Cora had to break her second $20 bill, and they each pocketed quite a bit of money.

Then we headed to the Target Café for some lunch. And they each wanted a slushee, so they each bought one with their extra dinero. Yay!

Maddy and Cora were really into it in the end, too; in fact, they came home and had a design contest –who could arrange their school supplies in the most beautiful way.  Not sure who won, though, because I think I was pretty much beat from all of our shopping. . .

It was a great little real-life lesson and a great day!

Want to grab the printable we used and try this yourself?

Click on the image below:

back-to-school-shopping-get-kids-involved-teachmama.com_-671x1024

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summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

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Follow us on Instagram: @teachmama1  / #tabletopsurprises

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Want a little more math fun?

Check out:

Or follow our rockin math pinterest board:

Follow amy mascott @teachmama’s board math on Pinterest.

 

fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.

budget challenge for students: real-life money management and big $ for classrooms and students

teach kids real life money management win grants and scholarships teachmama.com

 

teach kids real life money management win grants and scholarships  teachmama.com

 

Confession: for years and years I was the worst at balancing my checkbook.

I thought something might have been wrong with me that inevitably, month after month, I’d find myself in error.

Checks would bounce and payments would be late; it was often a mess.

A hot mess.

It was partly because I’d be lazy, or I’d forget, or I’d lose receipts.

Maybe it was because I started managing money too late–as a college freshman!–or maybe it was because math isn’t my thing. Either way, things are fine now but truly due in part to the fact that I married a man who moves much more slowly when it comes to money.

Thank goodness.

I made a promise to myself, though, that my kids would be better with money management than I. So we will start earlier. We will work together. And hopefully, they will move into their adult years as more financially savvy, more money-confident.

budget challenge for students: real-life money management and big $ for classrooms and students

(Yes–this is my for real check book from when I first graduated from college. It isn’t pretty.)

When I was contacted by my friends from We Are Teachers to work with the great people of H&R Block to share word of the H & R Block Budget Challenge, I was more than game.

The more families who support the H&R Block Budget Challenge and the more teachers who use the resources in their classrooms, the better. Truly.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Budget Challenge for Students: Real-Life Money Management and Big $ for Classrooms and Students:

It may sound a little complicated or (for some of you) scary. But hang in there. Keep on reading, my friend.

The H&R Block Budget Challenge is new to me, I’ll admit it. But it seems awesome. Awesome.

The challenge encourages kids to learn about personal finance in fun, authentic, and real ways.

And along the way there are prizes, scholarship money, and big-time classroom grants to be won.

budget challenge for students: real-life money management and big $ for classrooms and students

The H&R Block Budged Challenge has three components you need to know about:

They’ve got tons of parent resources. They’ve got tons of classroom resources. And they’ve got lots and lots of money to give to students and teachers.

 

Make your way to the site and then click on the tab that you need: 

budget challenge for students: real-life money management and big $ for classrooms and students

 

1. tons of awesome parent resources: any parent can use them for their own kids–check them out!

  • videos, facts and statistics
  • parent education resources
  • personal consumer resources for parents
  • career and college resources for parents
  • parents cannot do the challenge for

2. super-cool teacher and classroom resources: lesson plans and ideas that teachers will love, love, love.

Check it out:

3. scholarship and grant money: tons of it

Look at the info below!

budget challenge for students: real-life money management and big $ for classrooms and students

 

It’s awesome.

And as a gal who pored through college scholarship books (no joke–anyone who did the same thing knows how HUGE those books were and how laborious that process was!), this challenge–and the prizes it offers–are really remarkable.

The coolest thing? Even though it sounds corny, everyone who enters is a winner. The skills that students will walk away with after this challenge are invaluable.

For real.

HRB-Concept1-Twitter

Now what? 

HRB-Concept5-Twitter

 

Follow the WeAreTeachers / H&R Block Teaching About Money pinterest board:

Follow WeAreTeachers’s board Teaching About Money: H&R Block Dollars & Sense on Pinterest.

 

fyi: This post was written as part of a collaboration with WeAreTeachers.com and H&R Block. As always, all opinions are my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator. 

easy, engaging fun for kids: tabletop surprises

tabletop surprises teachmama.com 5

tabletop surprises  teachmama.com 5

This summer is literally moving at the speed of light.

I can’t even believe we’re nine weeks in. It’s insane.

And it has been so much fun–I really just don’t want it to end.

This past week was particularly fun because we were able to check off some serious back-to-school shopping, and the kids crafted and created their little hearts out.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Easy, Engaging Fun for Kids–Tabletop Surprises:

 

Monday:

Taking a new approach to the ole school supply shopping trip. Let’s see how it goes. #tabletopsurprises

A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

  Tuesday:

read, read, read today for #tabletopsurprises A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

 

Wednesday:

 

one of my favorite days for #tabletopsurprises !

A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

Thursday:  

I’m excited about this one! #tabletopsurprises #digitalkids A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

Friday:

 

STICKERS!!!! today’s #tabletopsurprises

A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

 

 

What did you do that really rocked this week? We’d love to hear it!

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Join us!

summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

Check out our summertime fun posts: 

Find something fun to do this summer by following our summertime fun board: 

Follow amy mascott @teachmama’s board summer fun & cool for kids on Pinterest.

 

Share it!

fun summertime learning for kids: tabletop surprises

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

This summer as we usually do, I’m trying each week to include some new and exciting math fun.

In the form of puzzles or chocolate challenges or number games or just a new spin on old school problem-solving, any way we can pull in

Especially this year we’ve loved the challenging puzzles created by Erich Friedman.

These puzzles, you guys, are tough.

This week we tried the Birdwatching Puzzles.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Birdwatching Math Puzzles–Super Challenging and Tricky: 

The goal with these mazey puzzles is to move from the left side of the puzzle to the right, ‘visiting’ each color bird the same amount of times.

The ‘birds’ are actually colored dots, though, and it’s not as easy as it sounds.

 

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

 

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

 

Though Maddy and Cora didn’t even give these puzzles a go, Owen did.

He sat down at some point in the day–I never actually saw him do it–but the evidence was there.

 

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

He tried.

He stopped.

He doodled.

He tried again.

He did it.

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

He graded himself.

He moved on.

That’s summer, y’all.

birdwatching math puzzles: super challenging and tricky

birdwatching puzzles teachmama.com

 

Do you want to download the Birdwatching Puzzle sheet? birdwatching puzzles teachmama.com

Remember, I did not make these up or design them; I am the furthest thing from a tricky puzzle creator.  These are from Erich Friedman’s site, which you can visit here: Erich’s Puzzle Palace.

All I did was find the site, love it, and create easy-to-print puzzle pages for our tabletop surprises.

Thank you, Erich, for sharing your puzzle awesome with us!

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summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

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Follow us on Instagram: @teachmama1  / #tabletopsurprises

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Want a little more math fun?

Check out:

Or follow our rockin math pinterest board:

Follow amy mascott @teachmama’s board math on Pinterest.

 

fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.

chocolate math: age by chocolate

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

 

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

Our tabletop surprises are rocking and rolling this summer, but one thing that really, truly got the kids’ attention was our first (we have another planned!) chocolate day.

The whole focus was chocolate, and friends, it was pretty sweet if I do say so myself.

Who wouldn’t like to talk math and chocolate?

Here’s the skinny. . .

Chocolate Math–Age by Chocolate:

The premise of this day’s activity was twofold–1. figure out their age by chocolate; and 2. watch the multiplying chocolate video and try to figure it out themselves.

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

Figuring out Age by Chocolate is tricky but fun.

Some of the math was a bit difficult for Cora, but we walked her through it, and I’m pretty sure it helped. She hasn’t done big multiplication yet, but she will this year in grade three.

Age by math was simply completing this little printable where no matter what number you choose first, as the number of times that you each chocolate each week, your age should come out in the end.

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

age by chocolate _ teachmama.com

Age by chocolate printable: age by chocolate _ teachmama.com

Please, if you choose to share this printable–and we hope you do!–please link to this post instead of the attachment page. Thank you!

 

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

Pretty cool, right?

I think so, too! And Maddy, Owen, and Cora were also impressed.

But they were really, really impressed with the multiplying chocolate videos. Don’t we all wish that this could be true? That we could make chocolate appear simply by cutting and moving candy pieces a certain way?

I sure do!

Multiplying Chocolate is super cool to watch.

Here it is as a .gif: 

DR57onF

And here’s the video: 

 

Both are really interesting–and relaxing–to watch.

Leave some chocolate bars on the table, and see what your kids can do. (Of course, be careful with knives, friends. . . ).

We tried it but couldn’t get the chocolate to cut straight enough–so we broke the chocolate and ate it.

I mean. Come on. It’s summer.

 

I simply placed the following on the table and let the kids go–

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

 

chocolate math: age by chocolate | teachmama.com

It was a hit as far as tabletop surprises go, and I’m thrilled that we have another chocolate day coming up soon. 

It’ll be all about fractions using chocolate bars, and though I can’t wait for the kids to try it, I am already sad just thinking that summer will be ending soon (sob!).  How can we really be on week six of ten of our 2015 tabletop surprises?

Unbelievable.

So there you have it–just a fun and sneaky way to get the kids doing a little bit of mathy math in the middle of summer and thinking about things in a little different kind of way.

Pretty neat, right?

Have you tried this before? Has it worked? Do share!

 

 

fyi: Huge and happy thanks to Murderous Maths for sharing the Age by Chocolate formula. I am not even going to pretend to be a math whiz, friends, and many of  you know it. I am doing the best I can with what I have. Also thanks to this site for the chocolate bar illustration

camp google: ocean, space, music and nature weeks

camp google

camp google | teachmama.com

Friends.

I have been working with National Geographic Kids for some time now, as one of their ‘Insiders’ and honestly the coolest thing about it is that I get kind of ‘behind-the-scenes’ information that I can share with you.

Honestly.

Fab books, cool programs, you name it.

And this summer, National Geographic has partnered with Khan Academy, National Parks, and NASA to create some really rockstar at-home ‘camps’ for kids.

Really. It’s called ‘Camp Google’, and of course, along with our tabletop surprises, it’s going to make our summer one that my kids will never forget.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Camp Google–Ocean, Space, Music, and Nature Weeks:

Everything you need is right here–

Check out the video that tells you everything you need to know about Camp Google:

Each week will feature resources and activities led by experts.  You can do them any time you want.

When kids finish an activity, they earn a badge.

You know how kids love badges.

camp google badges | teachmama.com

 

Week One, Ocean Week:

Camp Google- teachmama.com

 

Week Two, Space Week:

camp google | teachmama.com

 

Week Three, Nature Week:

camp google

 

Week Four, Music Week:

 

 

camp google

 

 

I’m thrilled to be able to share this information with you as a fun summer resource for you and your kids.  Check back every week. Let me know what you think!

 

What did you do that really rocked this week? We’d love to hear it!

 

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Join us!

 

summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

 

Find something fun to do this summer by following our summertime fun board: 

Follow amy mascott @teachmama’s board summer fun & cool for kids on Pinterest.
 

Share it!

camp google  teachmama.com cover 2

 

 

FINAL INSIDER LOGO Hi-Res

So happy to be a National Geographic Kids Insider!

 

need something fun and unplugged for kids?

tabletop surprises week 4 teachmama.com

tabletop surprises week 4  teachmama.com

Friends.

We’re rocking and rolling this summer.

We’re doing just about everything we can to keep ourselves smiling and sane in between 50 thousand swim and dive meets. And though it’s so fun, just about every year we hit a wall come mid July.

Before we know it, though, summer swim and dive will be over, and we’ll (sob!) be getting ready for a new school year.

So like we do every summer, we’re playing with some tabletop surprises so that Maddy, Owen, and Cora can find their own time through the day to explore the fun I’ve got planned.

Tabletop surprises keep the kids active and engaged. And most days, it gives them something unplugged to do in their down time.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Need Something Fun and Unplugged for Kids?

This week we

 

Monday:

watercolor day! #tabletopsurprises #summerfun #artsycraftsy #paint #painting #watercolors

A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

  Tuesday:

watercolor day! #tabletopsurprises #summerfun #artsycraftsy #paint #painting #watercolors

A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on


Wednesday:

  Thursday:


Friday:

     

What did you do that really rocked this week? We’d love to hear it!

 

______________________

 

Join us!

 

summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

Check out our summertime fun posts: 

 

Find something fun to do this summer by following our summertime fun board: 

Follow amy mascott @teachmama’s board summer fun & cool for kids on Pinterest.
 

Share it!

fun summertime learning for kids: tabletop surprises

color puzzles: fun math and logic for kids

color puzzles teachmama.com

color puzzles  teachmama.com

 

Sometimes it’s hard for me to find cool ways of sneaking some math into our day, but recently we’ve been on a puzzle kick.

Puzzles are a super way of getting your brain moving in clever and creative ways, allowing you to stretch those critical thinking skills.

Math is so much more than just number recognition and basic facts. Math is actually the study of numbers, equations, functions, and geometric shapes and their relationships. And there’s a whole lot when it comes to their relationships.

Puzzles help us bring to life those those relationships.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Color Puzzles–Fun Math and Logic for Kids: 

Actually, these color puzzles are fun for kids of all ages. In fact, I’ve done so many of the puzzles I’ve found on this site, that some days an hour will pass and it feels like a heartbeat to me.

color puzzles  teachmama.com

And I’m not really a puzzle person.

It’s just that I find these addicting.

color puzzles  teachmama.com

These are the four color puzzles from Erich Friedman, the puzzle king. 

Erich created every single one of these puzzles, friends; it’s amazing. It’s incredible. Honestly, he must be brilliant.

All I did was make these puzzles accessible to my kids for their summertime tabletop surprises. I wanted to be able to print them out, have the kids work on them whenever they could and not have to be plugged into a device.

So it has worked out well.

color puzzles  teachmama.com`

And if you want to try these awesome four-color puzzles, check out Erich’s site:

Or if you want to download the printable, you may do so here: color puzzles teachmama.com

color puzzles: fun math and logic for kids

color puzzles teachmama.com

If you choose to share this printable, which we hope you do, please first link to Erich’s site, and then share this post. Thank you!

 

Do you know that when Maddy was young, I totally forgot about puzzles?

It’s true.

When she was two, I had a girlfriend and her two children over for a playdate. My pal was explaining how her son, who was also two at the time, couldn’t sit still for television programs but could always sit still to work on a puzzle.

I felt like the earth stopped moving. I was holding Owen at the time, and I remember nearly dropping him. He was about six months old, and he was wiggling out of my arms, and at the same time, I felt dizzy and nauseous.

Puzzles?

OH MY GOSH! HOW I FORGOT ABOUT PUZZLES?!

How will Maddy ever succeed in life, having never even seen a puzzle until she was 26 months old?!

Right.

So as soon as I could politely usher my friend out of the house and get my kids strapped into the car, you better believe I beelined for the toy store.

I grabbed an alphabet puzzle and a number puzzle–two chunky Melissa & Doug classics–and we used them for years and years since.

I’m sure I overreacted. Maddy did not need a puzzle right there and then, but my point is that puzzles are important, friends.

Our little ones–and we as adults–need puzzles for many reasons.

In fact, a University of Chicago study found that

Children who play with puzzles between ages 2 and 4 later develop better spatial skills . . . Puzzle play was found to be a significant predictor of spatial skill after controlling for differences in parents’ income, education and the overall amount of parent language input.

In examining video recordings of parents interacting with children during everyday activities at home, researchers found children who play with puzzles between 26 and 46 months of age have better spatial skills when assessed at 54 months of age.        

“The children who played with puzzles performed better than those who did not, on tasks that assessed their ability to rotate and translate shapes,” said psychologist Susan Levine, a leading expert on mathematics development in young children.

Read more here: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2012/02/15/puzzle-play-helps-boost-learning-important-math-related-skills#sthash.4iDTDIbD.dpuf

Cool, right?

And it’s no secret that puzzles are said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.  The Fischer Center for Alzheimers recently wrote about a study from the University of California, Berkeley with these findings:

Reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and solving challenging puzzles may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Now a new study shows how mental stimulation may protect the brain. . . . 

“We report a direct association between cognitive activity and Pittsburgh compound B uptake, suggesting that lifestyle factors found in individuals with high cognitive engagement may prevent or slow deposition of beta-amyloid, perhaps influencing the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” the researchers write.

Read more here: https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/crossword-puzzles-alzheimers/

So? Get those puzzles out, friends. No matter how old your little ones are, puzzles are for everyone.

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Join us!

summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

______________________

______________________

Follow us on Instagram: @teachmama1  / #tabletopsurprises

teachmama on instagram

 

Want a little more math fun?

Check out:

Or follow our rockin math pinterest board:

Follow amy mascott @teachmama’s board math on Pinterest.

 

fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.

fun summertime learning for kids: tabletop surprises

fun summertime learning for kids: tabletop surprises

summer fun learning for kids  teachmama.com Week two of tabletop surprises is in the books, and it was a blast!

Because my crew was busy fighting off some pretty awful summertime colds, we did a bit of re-arranging with our tabletop surprises calendar this week.

But you know what? That’s the awesome thing about it: you can do what you want. When you want.

And the freebie 10 week resource guide includes a whole bunch of awesome extra ideas to use if one day doesn’t work for you. 

This week, we drew, built, wrote, and more.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Fun Summertime Learning for Kids–Tabletop Surprises:

Monday:

Tuesday:  

Wednesday:

Thursday:  


Friday:

 

What did you do that really rocked this week? We’d love to hear it!

______________________

Join us!

summer fun for kids | teachmama.com

Check out our summertime fun posts: 

 

Share it!

fun summertime learning for kids: tabletop surprises

matchstick math: patterns, puzzles and critical thinking

matchstick math teachmama.com

post contains affiliate links

 

 

matchstick math  teachmama.com

The matchstick math activity we did last week for tabletop surprises was a real hit.

I had an inkling that the activity would be a favorite of Owen’s but really all of the kids were into it.

And when we didn’t bump the table, making the matchsticks fall all out of place and go everywhere, it was all good.

It was super-simple, and I thank the good folks who write Matchstick Puzzles blog for their ideas.

Here’s the skinny. . .

Matchstick Math: 

Really, I had heard about matchstick math years and years ago but never really tried it with my kids.

And the idea is simple: you have a simple challenge to complete with matchsticks. Move two to create a totally different object. Add three to completely remake a design.

matchstick math: patterns, puzzles and critical thinking

matchstick math: patterns, puzzles and critical thinking

 

Fun. And easy. But it’s not really that easy at all.

And when I stumbled upon this awesome matchstick math blog while planning our tabletop surprises calendar this summer, I like totally hit the jackpot.

All I did was make an easy printable for me which included three things:

  1. the before design
  2. the challenge
  3. the answer to the puzzle

 

Then, like all of the tabletop surprises every day, I set the matchstick patterns out on the table and let. It. Go.

So yes, you need matchsticks to do this.

matchstick math: patterns, puzzles and critical thinking

matchstick math: patterns, puzzles and critical thinking

And then throughout the day, the kids hit the table when they felt inclined.  When they were interested. It was great.

The printable includes six of the millions and millions of matchstick puzzles I found on the site, so if you really love them and want more, head on over. Really, what I have here is a fraction–and I mean fraction–of what they have going on over there.

They’re matchstick cray-cray.

But here’s the thing: if matchsticks make you nervous, DON’T. USE. MATCHSTICKS.

For real. You can totally get the same thing going on with these matchstick puzzles if you use something other than matchsticks.

Consider using:

The possibilities are endless.

Please don’t allow your fear–or aversion–to matches turn you away from this activity.

It really is cool, and it really does get your kids’ brains and bodies moving.

It’s quiet. It’s critical thinking. It can be a group or partner activity, and it’s a great way to pass time in restaurants if you need a little something unplugged to do.

 

matchstick math: patterns, puzzles and critical thinking

matchstick math teachmama.com

 

If you’d like to download the document: matchstick math teachmama.com

Please, if you choose to share–which we hope you do!–please share this post instead of the printable. Thank you!

What do you think? Cool?

I’d love to hear what you think!

 

And definitely do check out the awesome matchstick bloggy blog where all the puzzles can be found. Without that site, there’d be no matchstick math for us!

And so was I.

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