Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Geography Post Cards

I was talking to my son about going to visit his sister in Iowa. When I asked him where Iowa was, he said it was somewhere in the middle. I decided maybe we needed to work a bit on geography. I found some fun geography games online. But I thought we needed something more than that. One of the online groups that I am on had a discussion about postcard kids. I decided to check them out so I went to yahoo groups and did a search for them. Soon I found the post card kids group and signed up. I put my son on the list of people looking for post cards. We went out the next day looking for post cards from our state to send back out to the families who sent cards to us. The post card kids group suggested that we look at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or a local bookstore. Well, we went to Walgreens. We went to three local bookstore. I sent a friend to Wal-Mart. No postcards for our state could be found anywhere. I finally thought about a truck stop out on the highway. I remembered seeing lots of post cards there in the past so off we went. That’s where we finally found our post cards. We looked up interesting facts about our state and typed them up. We pasted the fun facts to the back of the post cards and waited.
We didn’t have to wait long. In a few days our mailbox began to fill up with post cards. As each post card arrived we looked at a big map to find out where the state was located. We read the interesting fun facts about each state on the post cards. Then we tucked the card into a notebook. We now have a notebook full of postcards from every state in the country. We also have some from China, Canada, Mexico, France, and Australia. I haven’t found a better way yet to learn about geography. You should try it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fourth Grade Fractions

Fractions can be really hard for some kids. My son likes math but he doesn’t like to work. If he has to think about something he really is not interested. This goes for fractions as well as anything else. My son also loves to eat. So I thought why not combine fractions with food. So that is just what we did. I decided we were having pizza for lunch. First we made the crust. I spread it out in that pan. Then my son poured sauce all over it. I don’t like mushrooms but my son loves them. So I asked him how much of the pizza he was going to eat. He decided he would eat half. So we put mushrooms on his half of the pizza. I decided that I wanted pepperoni on my part of the pizza. But I knew I wouldn’t eat half of a pizza. So we divided my half in half again. We now had four quarters of pizza. Two for my son, or half for him, one for me and one left over. Then my son sprinkled cheese all over the pizza. We popped it in the oven and in a few minutes we were taking our piping hot lunch out of the oven.. We cut each quarter of the pizza in half again. Now we had eight pieces of pizza. My son took his half of the pizza. He had four pieces or four eights. One half is the same as four eighths. I had two pieces of pizza. So we could see that two eights is the same as one quarter. And we had two pieces left for a snack later. It didn’t take long until we had no pizza left. Zero eighths is the same as nothing. Dakota loves his fraction lessons. Learning with food is fun.