Saturday, June 13, 2015

How long do posts and computer things take you?

Sometimes I am so surprised how long a simple news update or blog takes to type, format, and send out!

This morning I set out with a simple task--send out my MailChimp newsletter.  That baby took over an hour to get right.  I think I have gotten a bit faster at making a post, but wow... making things takes so much time.

The other day I went to a Social Media seminar that helps you streamline social media.  You know, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram... there's a huge list now.  I have some of mine linked, but who can't improve, right?

Anyway, if you'd like to see my monthly update that went out this is the link, and you can sign up to get it in your very own email box by signing up at the right : )

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Making math fun with 3 simple tactics!

Today I have Ivana Craft doing a guest post.  Thanks for your three easy tactics to make math fun for kids!
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Let's be honest here - many kids hate math. They find it tedious, boring, tiresome... you name it. The biggest problem they have with math is that they don't understand it and lose interest quickly. Once they lose interest, it's all downhill from there. Now, the key to fixing this is keeping them entertained. As a young woman working with kids, I can tell you that this is not always easy. Things are definitely harder in public schools, where there's only one of you and a classroom full of students. Since I mainly work as a private tutor, things have been relatively easy for me, but even I had to come up with creative ideas to keep kids interested and entertained.

Here are a few tried and tested ways to make learning math fun and some advantages of homeschooling over the traditional public school system.

Try fun activities

First thing to keep in mind here is that you're going to know the kid you're tutoring much better than a teacher would know their students in a public school classroom. This, of course, comes with a set of advantages. As you get to know your kid better, you start understanding what they like. If they like cooking, for example, you can come up with a math activity where you simply have the kid measure ingredients, add and subtract the amounts of flour, water, sugar, etc. Also, turn a boring math question into something more interesting by adding characters in the mix, preferably ones from cartoons or video games they like.

Math games

Sometimes the best way to teach a kid math is to trick them into not knowing they're actually learning. There are a lot of online math games, card games, board games or even puzzles you can keep nearby and, if the child is not feeling like learning math, play those instead. Origami, for instance, can help them get better at geometry, UNO cards at counting, and so on... They'll think they're just having fun, but they'll be learning without even knowing so. The tutoring style of teaching is at an advantage here because you can just play with kids, without a rigorous program hanging over your head.

Be their friend

The problem with public schools is that there is a whole bunch of kids crammed into a tiny classroom. Sometimes, that environment is stressful not only for the teacher, but for the children as well. In a crowd, shy kids tend to be afraid to ask for help when they don't understand something. Tutoring home-schooled kids means having usually one to two kids to work with, so there's less pressure. Be their friend, make them feel unafraid to ask questions and speak their mind. If they think of you as a friend, they won't be shy to ask questions they would otherwise feel are unimportant or silly.

In the end, it's your undivided attention and creativity that will save the day. Use these newly found skills and show kids that math is not something to be feared, but quite the opposite - an interesting and fun activity through which they learn new things about the world around them.
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Great!  These are pretty straight forward, but good reminders for parents and teachers.  My kids love Origami! Thanks for your insights Ivana!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

$25,000 for a cool hands-on math activity!!! Hurry, applications due May 26th.

Hey teachers!

Doing research for my book and potential places for it to be sold I came across MoMath (The Museum of Mathematics) in New York and they have an awesome contest for teachers!

You can win $25,000 for your submission of a fun, hands-on math activity.  I have one I want to submit, but since I am not teaching at a school at a moment I can't enter.  If anyone wants to go in on an application with me I'd love it!

If you have a great hands-on math activity for 4th through 8th graders I think everyone should enter! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 Fun Ways To Teach Your Child About Patterns

​By: Aradhana Pandey

The minds of little kids are always on a quest to learn new things. The teachings and values that you impart to your child during his formative years are bound to stay with him for a lifetime. The stronger the foundation that you set for your child today, the more enriched his future will be.

This also holds true as far as academics are concerned. The more streamlined your approach towards introducing your child to the alphabet, the better his understanding of languages will be!

Similarly, when it comes to mathematics, one of the best tools to enhance his understanding of many concepts like algebra and odd and even numbers is through patterns. Here are five fun ways you can teach your child about patterns:

1. Creating Patterned Jewelry – If you have a little girl, she is surely going to love this activity! It offers an excellent fusion of the elements of learning and fun together! Not only does this activity give your child an understanding of patterns but also colors. It even aids in the development of their fine motor skills.

Supplies Required:
  • Beads/Fruit Loops in 2-3 colors
  • Thread
  • Let your child observe you put the first two-three beads/Fruit Loops in a thread in the pattern AB, AB or ABC, ABC
  • Let him complete making the rest of the necklace or bracelet by following the same pattern throughout
2. Coloring And Creating Patterns – Does your child seem to be sitting bored on a sunny afternoon? Let him instead, indulge in a mentally stimulating activity that’s also extremely enjoyable! While he enjoys doing what he loves best (coloring), he will also improve his concentration levels and understanding about patterns.

Supplies Required:
  • Three sets of cutouts of different shaped coloring pages
  • Crayons
  • Let your child color each of the three sets of the shape coloring page cutouts using different colors
  • Place one set of the shape cutouts in the order ABC, ABC and ask your child to place the remaining two sets in the same order while identifying each cutout’s shape and color 

3. Making A Patterned Banner – Party in the house? It’s the perfect time for you to try this patterned banner making activity with your child! There’s nothing better than enjoying the festive spirit with a little bit of learning, is there?

Supplies Required: Decorative papers – 3 different sets
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Cut the decorative papers into small triangles
  • Start gluing the triangles of different colors in the pattern AABBCC, AABBCC one by one, on the thread
  • Ask your child to continue to glue the remaining triangles, following the same pattern you made
4. Stamping – Stamping is one of the most exciting ways to teach your child about patterns. You can use everything from fruits, veggies, flowers to tiny buttons to create patterns. What’s better is that stamping also helps hone your child’s artistic flair!

Supplies Required:
  • Non-toxic paints
  • A potato and an apple
  • White sheet of paper
  • Cut a small potato and an apple
  • Ask your child to dip the cut potato and apple into two different colored paints
  • Now let him stamp the potato and apple in a sequence, making the AB, AB pattern
5. Creating Lego Patterns – Is your little one a Lego architect? Well then, this activity is sure to be a definite hit with him! Use tiny Lego blocks to give your child an elementary understanding of patterns.

Supplies Required:
  • Lego blocks and characters
  • Arrange a few Lego blocks in the ABCD, ABCD pattern
  • Ask your child to place the remaining blocks in the same order
We’re sure that your child will have fun with these activities as much as he’ll learn about patterns! Do let us know which of these activities he liked best in the comments section!
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Author Bio
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and  Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

Thanks for your insights Aradhana!  I know my daughter enjoyed playing patterns with Kid K'Nex
Thank you for visiting Kids Math Teacher today!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Meeting and thanking Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton!

A week before going on Good Morning America I was at the LA Times Festival of Books at USC and I got to have a lot of fun, see some great books, and meet LeVar Burton (from Reading Rainbow, Star Trek, and more!).

It was a great day...
 It was at the University of Southern California campus, which I'm very familiar with... Like I mentioned, I got to meet some amazing authors/illustrators and other great people.  Here is Travis Hanson, author & illustrator, who runs Bean Leaf Press

I walked around much of the day checking out the booths and telling some of the friends of mine I saw that day about the exciting news about going on GMA in about a week.

LeVar Burton had a lecture hall full of people to see him speak and I was very impressed with his book.  He has a great attitude and his kindness and genuineness was nice to see.  I met a fun and every-so-kind friend that day.  We happened to sit next to each other in the lecture hall and she liked my book cover.  I told her about my book and we were soon great buddies : )  Funny how that happens sometimes, but Karla was so awesome!  She's been a big fan of Reading Rainbow since she was little; much like most of the crowd.

She even took this little video of me when I went up to tell LeVar "Thank you for running his Kickstarter because..." (I didn't know she was going to film it, but kind of cool that she was so sweet to do that.)

Then outside, Karla and I tag-teamed the lines--I bought two books at the bookstore booth, one for each of us, while she waiting in the signing line.  It was fun and when it became my time to briefly get my book signed LeVar congratulated me again about the GMA segment.  He said, "Getting on national television is HUGE!"  I agree!  I'm so happy I could thank him and show him my book!
Fun to get these pictures too : ) Our books... come to life with great Kickstarter backers : )

Right after that I went to try and ship my book off to NY since they wanted the book ASAP, but it didn't work out exactly since they needed the book by Tuesday morning and last pickup was a couple hours previous to my attempted drop off that Saturday.

Thanks for reading!
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