CLICK HERE FOR FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES, LINK BUTTONS AND MORE! »

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trying A New Math Strategy: Front End Addition

When I was in grade school my teachers taught me how to carry and borrow numbers while adding and  subtracting. I think the technical term is regrouping...but we just called it carry and borrow. Last summer I started teaching this to Alexis because I wanted to challenge her to do problems involving more than single digits. Alexis picked it up quickly but sometimes gets confused on which number to carry.

Last weekend I found a new math strategy called Front End Addition. That is where you do a math problem from left to right just like reading. I showed the strategy to Alexis and no kidding...she picked it up in about 2 minutes. She was able to add hundreds and we are going to try thousands soon.

This strategy is supposed to give kids a better understanding of place value. This strategy is also being used to teach mental math. I've tried it and it is so much easier to do a problem mentally using this technique. There is a really great video of a K/1 high ability class using this method on the Indiana Association of the Gifted facebook page, I highly recommend you check it out. This video also shows how to use this same technique with subtraction.

Alexis's class hasn't done any regrouping, as far as I know, so I'm unsure of what technique they'll use. Are they teaching this technique in your school?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What My Child Is Reading October 22



Cam Jansen The Mystery at the Haunted House - This is the 2nd book read of the mystery genre. The story takes place in an amusement park with Cam, her friend Eric,, Aunt Katie and Uncle George. While taking a snack break Aunt Katie notices her wallet is missing. Did someone steal Aunt Katie's wallet or did aunt Katie misplace it? Cam with her photographic memory begins gathering the clues to solve the mystery.


Young Cam Jansen and the New Girl Mystery Jenny, the new girl in school is hard to miss because she talks incessantly. Eric gently informs her of the no talking rules to no avail. After lunch, the class attends gym, but all is too quiet. Where is Jenny? Did she get lost. Cam and Eric set off to solve the mystery

The Berenstain Bears Go On A Ghost Walk Papa bear gets a little overzealous with his Halloween preparations and learns that one bear's fun is another bears nightmare.

This week I'm linking up to Read Aloud Thursday and What My Child Is Reading.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teaching For Social Justice

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I wanted to do a big project with Alexis involving philanthropy. We will be utilizing the learning through literature approach with this topic and I have gathered a long list of picture books on the subjects of poverty, hunger and homelessness.

If you have been following my blog, you know we have already begun with our learning about the Tippy Tap...that is just a fun phrase to say out loud : )

With this project, I will be posting all of the details at Alexis World Traveler.

Today's post is about a true story, that takes place in Ghana, called One Hen. A very inspirational story of how one small loan to buy one brown hen made a big difference.

Reading Detective: More Cam Jansen


Cam Jansen The Mystery at the Haunted House - This is the 2nd book read of the mystery genre. The story takes place in an amusement park with Cam, her friend Eric,, Aunt Katie and Uncle George. While taking a snack break Aunt Katie notices her wallet is missing. Did someone steal Aunt Katie's wallet or did aunt Katie misplace it? Cam with her photographic memory begins gathering the clues to solve the mystery.


Young Cam Jansen and the New Girl Mystery Jenny, the new girl in school is hard to miss because she talks incessantly. Eric gently informs her of the no talking rules to no avail. After lunch, the class attends gym, but all is too quiet. Where is Jenny? Did she get lost. Cam and Eric set off to solve the mystery

Including the 2 listed above we have read 3 Cam Jansen books. So far I've noticed the Young Cam Jansen mysteries deal more with everyday problems or mysteries where no crime is involved. The higher level Cam Jansen book does have all the elements of a mystery book, the crime, suspects, clues and red herrings.

Alexis likes the older Cam Jansen with the more complex plot but she really likes the memory activity located at the beginning of each Young Cam Jansen book.

As we continue with mysteries, we will move beyond the Cam Jansen series possibly to Encyclopedia Brown as Raising A Happy Child from Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns suggested. I used to love those books when I was a kid.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Learning More About The Tippy Tap

I just posted a really cool piece at Alexis World Traveler about how we built our very own Tippy Tap. I hope you will stop by and read all about it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Celebrating World Food Day

Today is World Food Day, an international day to raise awareness of the year round action to alleviate hunger. Worldwide, 1/3 of food produced for human consumption goes to waste, while 925 million people are going hungry.



Today, as I watch my daughter eating her lunch, I feel thankful that she has never experienced hunger. This has sparked a passionate desire in me to teach Alexis to be mindful of the poor and hungry souls of this big world we live in. We will be doing some projects to help her grow into a compassionate human being, teaching her that we are citizens of the world, not only responsible for ourselves but for others as well.

In conjunction with celebrating World Food Day we are also celebrating  World Egg Day, which was on October 14. This is a day to bring awareness to the many benefits of eggs. This spring we began our own adventure with raising backyard chickens and we have a total of 10 laying hens.

Alexis giving the chickens a treat.
Each day we feed our chickens and give them fresh water. On weekends, Alexis helps out and this gives her some understanding of where our food comes from. Quick Fact: Eggs keep you looking healthy.

Eggs in the nesting box.
Today, Alexis gathered the eggs, there were 7 eggs waiting for us. We check the nesting boxes twice a day, we average 8-10 eggs per day.  Quick Fact: Eggs can help you deliver healthy babies.



In a month's time we gather approximately 12 dozen eggs. With these eggs we feed two households, mine and my Mother's. Quick Fact: Eggs give you energy.

Farm Fresh Eggs
We produce enough eggs to give to the neighbors as well. Today, Alexis washed and delivered 3 dozen eggs to 2 different neighbors. Quick Fact: Eggs help make you brainy.

Washing the eggs.
Clean hands save lives, so here Alexis is thoroughly washing her hand after handling the eggs.


October 15, was Global Handwashing Day. Handwashing is a critical hygiene practice that can make the difference between life and death in some parts of the world. Here is a video of a Tippy Tap in Uganda being used for handwashing. A reminder of how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America, where we have the luxury of clean and safe water and indoor plumbing.






Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reading Detective: Young Cam Jansen and the Library Mystery


Alexis's first mystery was Young Cam Jansen and the Library Mystery. This is the first Young Cam Jansen book we have read. Cam, her father and her friend Eric visit the library to check out books. Afterwards, they stop at the grocery store but Dad's grocery list is missing. Cam now has a new mystery to solve and gathers all the clues to find the missing list.

Alexis was able to solve the mystery right away even before Cam. The interesting thing we learned from this book and after studying the ingredients to a mystery, is that not all mysteries will have suspects or will be based on a crime.

Alexis enjoyed the book and and it was fun to introduce her to a new genre. We are continuing with another Can Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House.


Friday, October 7, 2011

What My Child Is Reading - October 7


The Leaving Morning This picture book was part of Alexis's homework this week. The illustrations and the text give an accurate portrayal of the sadness of moving away from a home and community in which you have deep personal attachments and  the excitement of going someplace new.

A Family In Egypt by Olivia Bennett  This book is our read aloud for the week keeping with our Egypt theme at Alexis World Traveler. This book is about a little Egyptian boy that lives in a village near Cairo and his father is a camel driver. A wonderful illustration of how Egyptians live.

This week I'm linking up to Read Aloud Thursday and What My Child Is Reading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reading Detective Lesson 1

The first Reading Detective Lesson was all about getting familiar with the ingredients of a  mystery. We discussed   characters we will encounter in the mystery genre, paying special attention to the differences between a victim and a suspect. We also explored some common vocabulary terms found in mysteries, such as alibi, red herring, clues, evidence and witness.


After discussing the vocabulary terms, we visited Mystery Net Kids Mysteries. Here you will find many short mysteries under the Solve It category. After reading the mysteries, you can choose who you think committed the crime.

I still have to visit the library for a Cam Jansen book before our next lesson.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Reading Project: Reading Detective

Detective Case File

We are going to do a project for the month of October called Reading Detectives. With this project I will be introducing Alexis to Mystery stories. The goal is to build vocabulary and critical thinking skills. I found a free Unit Lesson Plan  and printables on the Scholastic website and on Mrs. Pearce's Classroom Website.

The printables include a Detective's Dictionary, Detective's Case Report, and Suspect List.

I think we will start out with Young Cam Jansen books. They are level 2 readers so the plot should not be too overwhelming. Also, Cam Jansen is a girl detective and that is cool! I think this will be a fun project for October. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for easy to read mystery books with simple plots? or mystery picture books?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...