Saturday, August 22, 2015

Why is place value so important and how can I teach it?

According to this article entitled The Impact of Place Value on Mathematics it states "Place value is perhaps the most fundamental concept imbedded in the elementary and middle school mathematics curriculum."  and why?  Because everything in computation hinges on it!

About two years ago I made a TpT/TN printable 32 page children's book to help teachers with this very subject of place value. (you can subscribe to my YouTube channel too : ))  Here is a reading of it...

If that wasn't enough for that product I also made some associated flash cards that go along with the book...

I gave a shortened freebie version, but I also have the whole pack of 1-100 cards with 4 versions.  You get 48 pages of cards...

  • 1-100 cards in B&W with numbers
  • 1-100 cards in B&W without numbers
  • 1-100 cards in color with numbers
  • 1-100 cards in color without numbers

With these cards you can do numerous games and activities!  It is easy for kids to visualize with oranges instead of the normal manipulative of little blocks and sticks.

I just felt like revisiting these products because with the start of the school year I know a lot of teachers could really use these products!  Take care!

When did/does school start for you?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Book launch and open to your ideas...

I feel like I'm in a bit of a slump... I haven't written a blog post in a few weeks now and I'm still wickedly busy with life.

Here is some of what's been going on...

  • The Pancake Menu is now on Amazon!  Yay!  That took a while to set up and figure out everything
  • Fulfilled mostly all of my Kickstarter rewards that people purchased... still waiting for my loving hubby to finish the ebook versions.
  • I've submitted the book for a newer book award called the Mathical Award by Children's Book Council & MSRI (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute).
  • I submitted my book to Costco corporate to hopefully (really everything crossed--fingers, toes, the whole bit) so they will consider carrying my book in their warehouses.
  • Submitted The Pancake Menu to Barnes and Noble to be carried in their stores.
  • Asked some bloggers for book reviews--let me know if you want to do a book review.
  • Submitted my book to Timberdoodle--a homeschooling supply site.
All this going on while taking care of my kids at home, keeping up with cooking and cleaning, and really pondering how else I can get my book out there.  Here are some of my ideas...
  • Email homeschooling groups--I could share my friend's awesome writeup article she did for my launch
  • Set up school visits with local elementary schools.
  • Call more TV stations to get some media about how fun and educational it is.
I'm so excited to get my book out there, but there is only one little me in this whole big world.  Do you have any ideas for me?  Do you have a homeschooling group that would love the book?  I'm all ears to hear your ideas for spreading the word about The Pancake Menu, a book for 7-10 year olds to have a hands-on math experience!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Books are here and now on Amazon!

Hey everyone--Happy 4th of July!

I have great news!!! The Pancake Menu book shipment is in and now on Amazon!  I'd love for you to share it and consider getting your copy today!
   Although if you want a signed copy you can order directly from me on : )

 Here is firsthand what it is like to get a shipment of 1000 books, and they are beautiful over-sized books like this...
A friend did wrote up a great article on the book HERE on Medium.

Take care!

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!
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