Monday, May 4, 2015

After School Linky (5-4)

Welcome to the party!


May the 4th be with you, all you Star Wars fans (or moms of Star Wars fans, in my case).

Here are just a few of the phenomenal activities and ideas shared at last week's linky.









Make Your Own Wind Anemometer at There's Just One Mommy       

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks! 



Friday, May 1, 2015

Self-Checking Addition Hunt


Just this week our 5-year-old told me that he liked numbers better than letters. With so much energy spent on phonics, identifying and blending sounds, I thought it best to switch gears and practice early math skills.


To practice some basic addition (or any kind of math facts), I grabbed two post-it note pads in different colors and a black marker.

On one color, I wrote simple addition problems. On another color post-it, I wrote the answers. On the back of each set of cards, I drew simple shapes like a heart, sun, triangle, etc.


I tacked up both colors of post-its around our living room, kitchen, and entryway areas and when my son got home from school, he grabbed one of the orange cards (addition problems), solved it, and searched for the answer. 

When he thought he'd found it, he turned both post-its over and if the shape on the back of both cards matched, he knew he'd answered correctly!


This was SUCH a simple game that took less than 10 minutes of prep. Because kids are up and moving, it makes practicing math skills WAY more fun than solving problems on a worksheet. Want to make it even more challenging? Time kids! See if they can beat their best time next time!

Give it a try!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

3-Way Memory (Decimals Practice)


We played a fun decimals game this week with our 9-year-old. He's a whiz with numbers and this decimals challenge proved it.


I made 10 sets of cards, each with three cards in the set: a numerical decimal, the words for how you'd say the decimal, and a grid depiction of the decimal. There are also two other cards: YOUR TURN IS OVER. 

To make all of these cards, print the free 2-page PDF, print on heavyweight cardstock and if you're concerned the cards are see-through, glue a sheet of colored paper to the back before cutting out. Discard the two blank cards. Download the cards from Google Drive here.


How to Play
Shuffle the cards and put them all face down on the table in a grid. It won't be even, but don't sweat it. 

Player one turns over three cards. They're trying to match a set of three. If any of the two cards are part of the same set (e.g. the two-tenths grid and .2), they can remain flipped over. Other cards should be turned back face-down.

Player two now takes a turn, flipping over three other cards. If any one of the cards turned finishes a set already face up, they remove those three cards in the set from the playing area.

If a player turns over the YOUR TURN IS OVER card, play moves to the next player immediately. This card is turned back over and remains.


Play alternates between players, with more and more matched sets being completed. 

When the only two cards remaining are the YOUR TURN IS OVER cards, players can count their matched sets. The player with the most sets of three wins. 

This game isn't for kids who are new to decimals, but for those who are familiar with decimals, it's a great way to review. Not only do kids practice identifying decimals from a representative grid, but they also must understand place value, and know how to verbalize the decimal in word form.

Monday, April 27, 2015

After School Linky (4-27)

Welcome to the party!


Can you believe that school will be out in just a month?! Eee gads! 

If you're frantically putting together a program of at-home summer fun, look no further than the activities and ideas shared here.

Some of my favorites from last week's party follow.

Magnet Powered Car at The Science Kiddo

A Treasury of Virtual Field Trips at Clark and Luci Learn





The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Find the Missing End Letter (with Alphabet Magnets)


This week I dug out some of the pre-reader phonics books we used with our oldest son. Our five-year-old was ready. Once I realized that he could fairly easily listen for the ending sound of a word and then recall the letter that makes that sound, I wanted to further test his skills.


I pulled out the trusty slide cards that I used with our now 9-year-old when he was learning to blend sounds. I picked through the deck and found CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. Then I used some post-it note page markers to cover the ending sound of each word on the cards. To ensure he couldn't see through the note, I used two or three.


The page markers worked beautifully. He could see the beginning two letters of each word and the graphic representation of that object (e.g. a rat picture).

With our alphabet magnets attached to the refrigerator, I was ready for him to practice.

He tacked up the cards with magnets, identified the object in the picture, and then said (or listened) for the ending sound. Lastly, he looked for the letter that makes that sound and added it to the card to finish the word.


He didn't always get it right. So we sounded out the word he made (e.g. pik instead of pig). After listening carefully to the difference, he usually knew which letter to replace the incorrect one with.

This was a simple exercise that took just 10 minutes. It was great phonics practice and fun too!

Want the books that inspired this activity? Check out the Wheel Finders set of five books from DK Publishing. These fun interactive books are wonderful for enhancing pre-reading skills and confidence!

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