Card Countdown Math Game

In my ever continuing mission to make math practice enjoyable for my kids (or at least not torturous), I put together this little game based off one I saw in a Scholastic card game math book. You’ll need a deck of cards (jokers and faces removed) and printed copy of the game board for each person playing.

This Card Countdown Game provides practice subtracting in a fun and (if you want) competitive/speedy manner. The goal is to subtract down from 100 using a deck of cards to determine the next number you’ll be taking away from your previous total. Printable game boards and instructions at the bottom of this post, the image below is just so you can see what I’m talking about.

Card Countdown Game Board
My daughter and I played a few rounds today as some additional math practice, and had a grand old time. Way more fun than flashcards and still provided the opportunity for speedy mental math. Also, when everyone gets to zero, you swap boards and “correct” the work by adding up from the bottom. I don’t know about you, but I love anything that shows my kids the correlation between addition/subtraction and checking your work by doing the opposite function.

I slipped the game boards into a sheet protector, and used dry erase markers to keep track, but you can just print and pencil if that floats your boat. Enjoy! Happy Math-ing!

Print Card Countdown Game Board and Instructions

 

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Copywork

Hello to everyone visiting in search of Classical Conversations copywork for Cycle 1. All of my copywork pages will be posted to CC Connected (C3) under the username “Wenderbell”.

Currently I’ve received requests for:
*Full page History copywork with blank top half for coloring
*Full page Geography copywork with map
*Two page weekly review copywork with all subjects but Timeline, including a map

Weeks 1-12 History and Geography copywork have been posted to C3 already and by the end of the day I’ll have up the weekly review sheets for weeks 1-12. The second semester will be posted by the end of August.

As we get closer to the end of the CC year, I’ll have my listening maps and orchestra pages done for this cycle as well.

If you have any questions, or specific requests, feel free to shoot me a message through the blog! I’m so happy to hear that these review/copywork pages were helpful to you all last year!

Pit Stop Popsicle Shop

One of my greatest struggles is giving my kids the latitude to explore their own ideas…but I know it’s really beneficial for them to go from concept to reality. The process of questioning them, prodding them, and convincing them to think deeper about their ideas is exhausting. It’s so much easier to just tell them what to do, but I know helping them process their thoughts in a logical manner will translate into learning anything well. Last summer, they had a “brilliant idea” to earn money. They would collect sticks from around the neighborhood and then sell bundles of them for $20 each. Genius right? They were highly disappointed when folks weren’t eagerly flocking to the stick stand. I took this opportunity to teach them the beautiful concept of supply and demand as well as some basic capitalistic principles.

Pit Stop Popsicle Shop

First, I questioned them about what they get excited to buy when it’s hot out (as it was that week). I asked if sticks were helpful or useful, if $20 was a fair price that others would pay. I suggested selling something they personally would love, and for a price they’d be willing to pay. My munchkins put their heads together, and thus the Pit Stop Popsicle Shop adventure was born. Continue reading

Causing a Riot With Rhythm

Every single occasion I listen to this piece, I feel myself steadily descending into madness. One errant note at a time, I’m swirling into a crazed world of instruments playing out of range, rhythms that don’t make any logical sense, and seemingly no control whatsoever. Stravinsky has been called a genius. He is the father of modern music, and this piece is hugely important in breaking long-held “rules” of rhythm and instrumentality, but it also is a little nuts. So crazy in fact, it caused an actual riot when it was first performed in Paris on May 29, 1913. Gird your loins people. This piece is a wild ride.

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Why Should You Read Aloud to Your Children?

I’m a huge proponent of reading aloud. I read an article recently that expertly explained the benefits of reading to your children, far beyond the point they can read to themselves. Indeed, even through high school.

“In conversation, we tend to use verbal shorthand, not full sentences. But the language in books is very rich, and in books there are complete sentences. In books, newspapers, and magazines, the language is more complicated, more sophisticated. A child who hears more sophisticated words has a giant advantage over a child who hasn’t heard those words.”

When children are young, they are exposed to language exceeding their own reading level by being read to. This introduction to complex expression of thought equips them in a way reading to themselves cannot. Continue reading

Science Observation: Owl Pellets

If you are easily grossed out, I’d recommend finding some other reading material for today. You can come back next post. I won’t judge. My daughter’s math book recently had a reference to owl pellets, which, she’d never heard of (I know…I’ve completely failed as a parent educator). So of course, relieve my guilt, and satisfy her curiosity, I put together a little pellet party. What can I say? I’m a nerd to the core. Continue reading

Finding North Carolina

The hilarity of homeschooling never ceases to tickle my funny bone and drive me to a deeper walk with the Lord. When we memorized our states and capitals earlier this year, I made some copywork and maps for the kids to practice on. My son’s assignment this particular morning was to color in the 5 states we were working on, and trace/write each state and capital on the lines below his unlabeled map.

He was doing fine until he arrived at North Carolina. He simply could not remember where it was. So, I told him to look for the state on our large (labeled) wall map and showed him the general area to focus his search.

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Five Looks On A Book

Because of our constant and unquenchable thirst for the written word, I’m generally on the lookout for new and exciting ways to structure “book reports”. I want my children to be comfortable retelling a story in their own words in many different formats. A delightful recent find is called “Five Looks On A Book” from Teaching Resources. The idea was first thought up by a third grader from California, and then made into a printable by Laura. The worksheet requires students to come up with adjectives about their book and details to support those describing words – I think it’s quite genius. Continue reading

How to Change Blue to White and White to Blue

Otherwise known as sunprints! My kids and I enjoyed this fun science project last year. The beautiful weather this weekend reminded me of it, and thus you are the beneficiary of a great outdoor learning activity for you and your munchkins.

You’ll need sunprint paper, acrylic sheet, cardboard, a tub full of water, fun and interesting objects to print. You can purchase sunprint paper from Amazon (who now has free same day shipping to 14 metro areas with Prime Memberships!), they also sell sunprint kits which include an acrylic sheet, you’ll see from the pictures that I used a Pyrex casserole dish thinking it would be just as good…I was so wrong. I ended up with blurred fuzzy edges. Just say no to fuzzy edges!

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Rockets Review Game

My son played this review game with his tutor during our CC community day last year and loved it. It seems to have disappeared from CC Connected, so I attempted to recreate one for our own use. You can utilize it too…if you promise not to laugh at the slightly fuzzy around the edges version I created. My son thinks it’s great – that’s good enough for me. Continue reading