Friday, May 27, 2016

Flashcard Alternative: Flip-Top Math Facts

I love self-checking math activities. This one is perfect. All you need to do is place some calls to all your friends and family and ask them to hold on to some ketchup, toothpaste tube, and parmesan cheese lids.

What You Need
Lots of plastic flip-top caps 
Permanent Marker

On the lid of each cap, write a math problem; I stuck with addition problems since my youngest is in kindergarten.

Pop the top and write the answers on the bottom part of the cap. 

Give your kiddo the caps. They'll answer the problems, open the caps and check their math. 

This great idea came from Flap Jack Educational Resources.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How to Crush a Bottle With Air Pressure

When I asked our six year old why this experiment worked, without hesitation, he said, "Magic!" Science is magical, isn't it? This fun activity will really wow your kids.

What You Need
An empty plastic 2-liter soda bottle with cap
Lots of Ice
Pitcher of ice water
1/2 c. boiling water
Funnel (optional)
9x13 casserole dish

Fill the 9x13 dish with ice.

Pour the boiling water into the empty bottle; we used a funnel. Let sit for 2 minutes.

Seal the bottle by putting the cap on tightly.

Now lay the bottle on its side in the pan of ice.

Pour the pitcher of ice water over the bottle.

Pick up the bottle by the cap to examine it. It's been crushed without you even touching it!

Why it Works
The boiling water heated up the air inside the bottle and once capped, the hot air was trapped in there. When the bottle was placed in the ice and cold water poured over it, the air in the bottle began to cool down, thus decreasing the air pressure inside the bottle (cooler air expels less pressure than hot air). When the air pressure in the bottle decreased more than the air pressure outside the bottle, there was more force pushing in on the bottle than pushing out, thus collapsing the plastic. 

This great experiment came from the amazing site Cool Science Experiments Headquarters. Stop by and check out all the phenomenal activities and inspiration there! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

After School Linky (5-23)

Let's party!

This little party always has loads of great ideas. Check the following out from the party two weeks ago.

Book Based Summer Activity Calendars at Growing Book by Book

Free Cooperation Songs and Rhymes from Bits of Positivity

 Number Line Secret Codes at Creative Family Fun

 'BUMP' Multiplication Review Game from Teacher Mom Plus 3

Rainbow Number Bonds at Rainy Day Mum

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 20, 2016

Center of Gravity Balancing Experiment

Center of gravity is a difficult concept for kids to grasp. This experiment can help, though.

It's scientastic! Okay, that's not a real word, but it should be.

What You Need
An unsharpened pencil
1 piece of wire (ours was 16 gauge) about 12-14 inches long
2 wooden clothespins

Take a straight length of wire and put the pencil on top of it in the center, about an inch away from the end of the eraser. Holding the pencil and wire in place, bend the left "arm" of the wire over top the pencil. Do the same with the right "arm" of wire.

Now arc the two ends of wire downward slightly and clip the clothespins on each end.

Take the pencil and try to balance the eraser on your nose. Adjust the wire (closer to the eraser), its curve, or the position of the clothespins in necessary. Once you get the position right, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to balance ... for 10 seconds or even longer!

Why it Works
It's easier to balance something when you lower its center of gravity, which is precisely what the weights (i.e. wire and clothespins) accomplish. Another example of this is when high-wire walkers carry a long pole to help them balance better.

This great idea came from Jordan D. Brown's awesome book. Check it out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Silent E Apple Tree FREE Printable Game

Let's face it, the silent e is tricky. It doesn't make a sound, but changes the way earlier vowels in the word are pronounced. Ugh. What a pain for beginning readers!

To give my son some practice pronouncing words that are transformed with a silent e, I designed a fun game to play together: Climb With Me Up the Silent E Apple Tree.

What You Need to Play
FREE 5-page PDF (available on Google Drive here)
Heavyweight card stock
Paper cutter or scissors
Different game pieces for each player (we used buttons)

Print the PDF on the card stock. Since your home printer won't print full bleed (i.e. all the way to the edge of the paper), trim off the white strip on the bottom of page 1 and top of page 2. Tape these pages together to form your apple tree game board.

Cut out all of the word cards and place face down in a pile under the tree.

How to Play
Place both game pieces on the word START at the base of the tree. The youngest player rolls the die first and moves their game piece the number of spaces rolled.

If the player lands on an apple, they draw a card. They must pronounce the word with AND without the silent e. If they do this correctly, they can advance two more spaces.

HINT: I like to remind my son that while the ending e is silent, it makes the <a,e,i,o,u> say it's name. In other words instead of the i in pine making the ih sound, it literally makes the eye sound. 

If they land on an empty circle, they stay put.

If they land on an apple core, they must move back the number of spaces indicated.

Play alternates between players. If a player lands on a space where a branch points them up or down the board to another space, they must move their game piece to wherever the end of the arrowed branch points.

The first player to make it to the FINISH (i.e. the bird) wins the game. This was challenging for our 6-year-old but great practice and great fun at the same time!

Want a great book to read along with this? We recommend the following.