math facts

Doggone Feet! A Toe-tappin' Guide Full of Fun

You know what a sucker I am for dogs, especially my dog, Tripod. So when my good buddy Leslie Helakoski started telling me about her latest picture book about a lonely pup who finds a home, I couldn't wait to get a look at it. And then, when she asked me to make a guide for it - well, I was tail-wagging happy! This book couldn't be cuter, and to think that she both wrote this and illustrated!

Doggone Feet is a story told from the point of view of a stray who finds a home with a long-legged, tambourine-totting musician. Because this "tail" is told from the dog's perspective, our vision is limited to that of the dog's - FEET! As time goes on, the dog's beloved master finds a wife and kid upon kid upon kid. As the family grows, the activity level in the home becomes very hectic. All the while, the dog is working hard to keep a sense of order in his world under the kitchen table. In the end, he surrenders to fact that, at the foundation of the chaotic craziness of family life lies joy, acceptance, a great love.

Because the story line offers so many charming angles to explore, I found creating the CCSS Annotated Discussion and Activity Guide a blast to do. Along with an extensive discussion question component, poetry writing, and story sequencing cards, the lesson that makes this guide extra special is a skip-counting activity. As a sparking plus, I was able to use Leslie's charming illustrations to add a little bit of pizzazz the the piece.

It's a fun guide for a delightful book. Pick it up. Pet it and give that pup a scratch behind the ears, while you're at it.

Simple Saturday: Math Wheels

Parents, this little Math Wheel download just might be the summer time lifesaver of the century! (Well, maybe not the lifesaver of the whole century, but it will make math fact practice a bit more palatable around su casa.)

Stop the tooth-and-nail-squabbling and download a Simple Saturday Math Wheel worksheet HERE. Cut out the two wheels, grab a pencil and we're ready to roll!

You'll notice that one wheel has an addition sign printed in the center circle and the other has a multiplication sign. As you can see in the picture on the left, I practiced my 5's - both my addition facts and my multiplication facts. Aren't you proud of me?

 All you have to do is write a number in the center of the wheel and then compute working to the outside of the wheel. To practice another set of facts simply print off another sheet, choose a number - say 3, this time - and compute to your little heart's content.

Have your kiddos work a few of these every day and you've got that fact practice taken care of leaving plenty of time for summer time splish-splashing!


Simple Saturday Prep: Math Wheels

I know. I know. Your kiddos don't want to spend time practicing those math facts they struggled with during the school year. It's summer, for Pete's sake. Can you blame them?

But you vowed to the teacher that they would review those dreaded memorization tables, right? And, we are certain that the little bit of practice you do during the summer will make all the difference in next year's math class. The question is how can you make practice sessions short, sweet, and a wee bit fun to do? Is there some quick and easy way to run through addition or multiplication tables before bounding off to the pool?

 The Simple Saturday answer to that question is YES! Join me tomorrow as I show you an super simple, painless way to practice those facts. I'll have a download ready for you and your little summertime podnah to enjoy.

For now, jump back in the pool and don't forget the sunscreen!

Simple Saturday: Math fact memorization game

Got the goods? A few index cards, scissors, a pencil, and your brilliant brain? That's all we need to get going.

What math facts are you studying at school? Is your teacher constantly 'suggesting' that you practice with flash cards at home? How about we make a math a portable game that we can use just about anywhere? How does that sound?

All you do is draw a curve on the index card. (I used the edge of a cd for a guide.) 




Cut 9 notches on the edge of the curve. Write a numeral and a function in the center of the notched card. (I wrote X 6. I'll be multiplying the other numbers by 6.) Label each notch with a random, non-sequential number.  


 Flip the card over. (There will be much flipping over when making these, hence the reinforcement of math facts.) On the back side of a notch write the correct answer to the corresponding math fact. For instance, on the back of the card near the notch labeled as '4' I wrote the number '24' because 6 X 4 = 24.


Now let's play. Have someone hold up the card with the front of it facing you. Place a pencil in the notch. On our card, the pencil is placed on the '8'. So... 6 X 8 equals what? 48! Are you sure? Turn the card over to see if you got the answer correct. Yay, you!


Remember I told you that this math fact game was so easy a three-legged dog could do it? Let's quiz Tripod to see if my statement is true.

Tripod, what is the answer to the equation 5 - 2?           "3!"

Good, Tripod! How about 2 + 1?          "3!"

Great! Try this... 3 X 1?          "3!"

Oh yes, you're doing so well. Here comes a toughie. Can you reduce 18/6?          "3!"

Good dog, Tripod. Good dog.


Parents, it has been my experience that in the simple act of making these game cards the child experiences a great deal of math fact review. They must check and re-check the correctness of the equations in order to make this work. Once the cards are correct, you might like to allow them to decorate their fine work with small stickers or cool gel markers. Correct math facts first. Cool stuff after. (I'm so mean, aren't I?)


Simple Saturday Prep: A math memorization game so simple a three-legged dog can do it!

Tomorrow's plan is to take the pain out of memorizing those dad-burned math facts. It doesn't matter what you are studying at the moment...subtraction, multiplication, decimal name it. We can handle it. Tripod, my devoted canine companion, has volunteered to be tomorrow's lab rat. (I told him that there would be treats involved.)

All you need is a few index cards, scissors, pencil, and your brilliant brain. Get ready to hammer those blasted math facts in a really fun way.

Tripod's ready. Are you?