6 Things a Day – 04/01/20

Welcome to my April 1st post for “6 Things a Day” – ideas to support learning at home. April Fool’s day is nothing compared to our “wish we were joking” every day!

But the silver lining in all of our reality is that I see so much generosity over and over again in our community. I continue to be inspired by my neighbours, friends and teacher colleagues.

Daily Lineup – April 1, 2020

I am also sharing a site with great general math ideas for instruction and practice.

Easter Salt Dough

Salt dough is easy to make and versatile! You can either bake it at low temperatures or dry it out in the sun before you decorate. Easter is coming up, so this is a perfect opportunity to use salt dough to make some Easter decorations.

You can find the Salt Dough Recipe, and keep in mind that you don’t want to use too much water! When you are kneading the dough, if you feel like it is too dry, just wet your hands and continue kneading. If you would like ideas for Easter crafts with salt dough, check out the Laughing Kids Learn Blog post.

Juniper Green for Math Practice

There are a number of games that can help keep math skills sharp. One of them is Juniper Green, which was invented by a teacher in the UK. This is an excellent game to practice multiplication and division facts. Students will need to be introduced to the language of multiple and factor, or the language of the game can change. The game board can be made to only go to 25 if only multiplication facts to 5 x 5 are being studied (grade 3). You can either play with counters/playing pieces to cover numbers on the board or put the printed game sheet into a plastic sleeve and use white board markers.

Play in Pairs

  • Player 1 selects a number that is even. This is marked off and cannot be selected again.
  • Player 2 selects a number that is either a factor or multiple of the first number. This second number is marked off and cannot be selected again.
  • Player 1 selects the next number that is a factor or multiple of the last number played.
  • The game is over when a player cannot select either a factor or multiple of the last number played.

You can see more practice ideas on my Johanson Consulting Workshop Blog post: Routines, Puzzles and Games for Math Fluency. If you scroll past the information on routines you will see a number of puzzles and games for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Freezing Salt Water

The great thing about our colder temperatures in Saskatchewan recently is that we can do experiments outside! Have you ever wondered why we put salt on the roads, and how much salt we need to make a difference? Here are two ideas for investigating salt.

  1. How much salt do we need?
    • Take four jars that are the same size and fill them equally with water.
    • Keep one jar without salt. Put different amounts of salt in each of the other three jars – the amount depends on the size of your jars, this might be 1 tsp, 2 tsp, 3 tsp… or it could be tablespoons.
    • Put the jars of water into the freezer, leaving space between each one. What do you think the salt will do to the time it takes to freeze the jar of water? Check back through the day.
  2. What does salt do the temperature of snow/ice?
    • A thermometer is a great tool for this experiment, but you can also test the temperature with your hand.
    • Fill a large cup with snow. Check the temperature of the snow with a thermometer or your hand. Pour salt (a few tablespoons at least) over the snow. What happens? Check the temperature over time.

After investigating salt, why do you think we use salt on our roads and sidewalks? You can read more on the site Mental Floss.

Harry Potter World

In another act of generosity, J. K. Rowling has created an FREE (I think until the end of April) site for kids to explore activities related to her Harry Potter series of books, called Harry Potter at Home.

You can download and listen to the series for free from Audible, or read them using your public library to access ebooks for free.

Home Restaurant

This idea is inspired by my friend, Ryan LeBlanc’s Facebook Post where he highlighted “Siena’s Master Chef Restaurant”, a creation of his daughter for their family. Ryan and his family dressed in formal clothes and had a lovely evening in! How fun! My teacher brain thought about what a great learning at home experience that must have been.

Some ideas for your family’s restaurant at home might include:

  • Menus and prices in English, Cree, French, Dene… whatever language works for your family.
  • Create a grocery list and estimate how much it would cost to serve a meal at your restaurant.
  • Cooking together is great fun and learning.
  • If you want to extend into mathematics, creating orders and table checks are great math. Don’t forget the PST and GST!
  • Practice table setting etiquette.

Ojibwe Language and Colouring

There are literally thousands of colouring pages available online, but these ones are absolutely stunning. I am an adult colourer (is that a word?) and I can’t wait to print these off for myself. Generously shared by the artist, Patrick Hunter on Facebook, these two books: Beautiful Words from Turtle Island and Things to Colour from Mother Earth include both Ojibwe phrases and beautiful artwork.

A Great General Site

Well, today’s general site is actually not completely general. I wanted to share Origo’s new Math at Home site. As a former math teacher and consultant, I am pretty picky when it comes to math sites, and Origo is a company whose math I respect. They are offering free access to families and teachers. Note that they have aligned their work with Australia (where they are from) or USA. If you go into the site, note that Canada would generally be closer to the Australian curriculum than the American curriculum.

Published by iwonderstand

I am an experienced educational consultant who collaborates with teacher and leadership groups to support teaching and learning.

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