Show Me the Money!

Someday we may not have coins in the US monetary system, but for now there are the four basic coins plus a few more. Did you know the US Mint still makes a 50-cent coin? Our 11-year-old son asked for one at the bank, and the teller found him one and saved it. Apparently, while they are in circulation, they aren’t easy to find.


We used this Dollar*Tree tray to play a simple game I called “Make a Dollar.” Li’l Miss and I played first. We just took turns giving the other person a coin value in 5-cent increments. Once the middle of the tray was $1.00 or more, the person who had just added to it got to keep those coins. Continue reading

Using iPads for Education

I do love my iPad.
I love the Prez. For many reasons, one of which includes him surprising me with the iPad for Christmas


In all seriousness, it has added to our educational toolbox. Not only do we use it at home, but it has become a viable addition to our on-the-go learning too. Continue reading

Elementary Math: 2-Digit Subtraction Lesson and Math Facts Within 20 Mastery

I like math now. I used to think I didn’t like it very much.

Since I’ve been teaching little (and big) people about math, I have come to love it like it.

2-Digit Subtraction with Regrouping

Last week, the 2nd graders and I explored 2-digit subtraction with regrouping. I had held off on this with my 2nd graders, because they haven’t achieved mastery of their addition or subtraction math facts within 20. They do know how to find the answer if they don’t know it right away, but I wanted them to be able to say the answer within seconds on every fact. It just wasn’t happening, though with time and tools (fingers, thinking, abacus, number line, etc.) they could find the correct answer.

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Magnetic Numbers: Oh the Possibilities!

In my last post, I mentioned that up next would be my ideas for using magnetic numbers. So without further ado, here are some ways we have used magnetic numbers this school year.


Just like with our letters, I use our huge magnetic board for magnetic numbers too. Other than math lessons, I’m not sure what else we could use the numbers for, but I’m open to new ideas! So please comment away!

On this day, I was showing them 2-digit number addition without regrouping. Continue reading

Let It Snow!

It has been cold outside, but no snow here … yet!

Weather predictions are ZERO degrees this weekend. Our pond is frozen already and I told the kids I’d be buying everyone a pair of ice skates if it got cold enough to skate on it. The Prez says I might have opportunity to make good on the promise.

We are enjoying some snowy-themed learning here.

We’re reading these books, which we found at our local library or we own in our library …

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Making Meaning from Math

I like math because it is useful. I don’t enjoy math though.

But, our little ones love to learn and exercise their math skills with hands-on activities. I have to admit this keeps it interesting, usually results in greater meaning for them, and it allows me to see exactly what they know regarding math fundamentals.

Here are some recent math lessons with a hands-on approach:

Skip counting with ice cream cones


You can grab this great freebie at Krista Wallden’s TpT store!

Numbers 11–20 Review in 10 Different Ways


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SHAPES Freebie!


This FREEBIE has been in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a long time, but I recently updated it due to some customer requests. After an appearance in the TpT Sunday FREEBIES Newsletter, it has been downloaded a LOT and the feedback has been positive. I wanted to be sure all of my blog readers knew about it and also that anyone who has it might want to download the updated version, which includes 3 new shapes: cone, hexagon and octagon!


We use this a LOT in our homeschool, particularly my three-year-old, but it is so versatile you can use it with many ages and abilities. It has a self-correcting version of shapes names as well as two more versions that require your students to read and decipher which name matches which shape.


As for that TpT Sunday FREEBIE newsletter, you might want to sign up for that if you are not already on the e-blast distribution for it (scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email in the box at bottom left). It comes out almost every Sunday of the year, and always includes 10 FREE downloads available at Teachers Pay Teachers. If you haven’t stopped by my store lately, why not come by and check out my FREEBIES or my recently uploaded products? I’d love to have you visit!

Throughout 2013, I am giving 10% of all net sales from my TpT store to the Love Without Boundaries Unity Fund.

Please know that for every purchase through my TpT store, you will be directly helping children in China to NOT become orphaned and to have the blessing of staying with their birth families, and you will be helping those families who find themselves in a desperate and seemingly hopeless situation with an ill child for whom they have no means to provide medical care. You can help make a difference!