Monday, June 24, 2013

SMMART Math: Computer Help

My daughter was given a worksheet with several websites to look at over the summer for educational learning fun.  I am very impressed with!  You can choose your child's grade and then each math skill is categorized.  Click on a math skill and interactive math questions appear.  You need to check out this site!  Below is an example of the categorized math skills for 3rd grade:

Here is a list of all of the skills students learn in third grade! These skills are organized into categories, and you can move your mouse over any skill name to view a sample question. To start practicing, just click on any link. IXL will track your score, and the questions will automatically increase in difficulty as you improve!

This site gives you a few questions free, but does require a monthly fee, (which I don't particularly like), but it's a good site to see which math skills you can review in the summer.        

Monday, June 17, 2013

SMMART SCIENCE: World Science Festival

WHAT?!?!?!?  There is a World Science Festival in NewYork each year in June.  What a cool trip that would be...visit New York sights and attend the World Science Festival.  Definitely on the list now!

Spotlight on Science

At the World Science Festival, kids learn what it’s like to be a professional scientist
June 07, 2013 By TFK Kid Contributor Paloma Kluger
World Science Festival participants star-gaze in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in New York City.
The World Science Festival gives kids a chance to get hands-on experience with science. The annual festival, which was held in New York City during the first week of June, began in 2008. This year’s event featured nine workshops that allowed kids to interact with scientists and learn more about what they do. TFK Kid Contributor Paloma Kluger attended three workshops: Oceanographer’s Apprentice, Roboticist’s Apprentice, and Food Scientist’s Apprentice.
Under the Sea
Before the Oceanographer’s Apprentice workshop, TFK talked to Dr. Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the University of Washington. She explained her job: “Oceanographers study many different things about the ocean, including the physical currents, the chemistry, and the geology of the ground beneath the ocean,” Dr. Stafford told TFK.
It’s pitch black deep down in ocean waters. A technique called echolocation helps the animals use sound to "see" in the dark. The Oceanography workshop included an echolocation game. We also listened to recordings of different creatures in the Arctic Ocean. Finally, we made sea-creature sounds by blowing up balloons and letting the air out while squeezing or stretching the opening.
Paloma Kluger helps her team advance their robot along the path marked by a black line during a workshop at the World Science Festival.
Paloma Kluger helps her team advance their robot along the path marked by a black line during a workshop at the World Science Festival.
Meet the Robots
The Roboticist’s Apprentice Workshop featured Dr. Edward Olsen, a professor of robotics at the University of Michigan. He programs robots and gives them sensors so they can perform their jobs and missions, like search and rescue operations. Some can walk and some can move on wheels. It can take a long time to get the programming right. “If a robot runs into something, you know you’ve got more work to do,” Dr. Olsen said.
Teams of two got a small, toy-sized robot with wheels. Our job was to program it, first by waving it over a black line on a poster board, so its sensor would learn to recognize black and white. Next, we raced their robots along the black line, adjusting its switches to control its speed and sharpness on turns. The winning team’s time was 19 seconds.
Finally…All About Food
The last workshop was the Food Scientist’s apprentice workshop, led by Dr. Amanda Kinchla, a food scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Kinchla is currently studying new and safer ways to wash vegetables, especially leafy greens like spinach. Different farmers use different methods to clean their vegetables. Some use something like a bathtub of water, others use big washing contraptions. “I am currently studying different farms in Massachusetts,” Dr. Kinchla said. “We want to make vegetables safer for consumers.”
Dr. Kinchla’s workshop included two educational food experiments and a taste-test of two drink samples, one red and the other blue. We rated the drinks on a scale of 1 to 9 for sweetness, fruitiness, and sourness. Most ranked the two drinks differently. In fact, their only difference was color. Would you have guessed that the appearance of a drink influences how you taste it? For scientists, such insights are all in a day’s work.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Such a cute idea from my daughter's preschool.  Math Worms! 
Easy enough to create a worksheet...
Just draw a curvy line and a circle at the end.  Help your Little by tracing the line with glue.  Then she can line up her cheerios along the line and count how many treats can sit on a line.  Then she can practice writing her numbers in the circle beside the line.  Or write a math problem underneath and she can place the correct number of cheerios on the line and write the answer.

Monday, June 3, 2013


[ póllə nàyt ]
  1. transfer pollen and fertilize plant: to transfer pollen grains from the male structure of a plant anther to the female structure of a plant stigma and fertilize it

Draw a bee on cardstock or find one to print from online and be sure to draw two bumps below the bee where you can cut out finger holes.  Draw and cut out two or more flowers (one per kid).

Place a cheesy cheeto in the center of a flower that you've drawn and cut out.  Let your little be fingers land on a cheeto flower center and then land on other flowers. You'll see how the "pollen" gets transfered from flower to flower.
 I found a few pollination videos on you tube:
Silence of the Bees Documentary:
Pollen Stop Motion Movie:
Pollination song:
Sesame Street:
(Cute little activity I've seen in a few places on the internet.)


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