Math Madness Wednesday: Fractions

As you probably already know, my son is autistic.  What you may not know is our family story (I promise, I will keep it short and get to the math!).  Both of my kids are adopted.  They moved in to our house as foster children and we became a Forever Family in November of 2006.  They are natural siblings, under a year apart in age (at this moment, I have two 11 year olds in my house!).  When they moved in with us, my daughter was 2 1/2 and my son was 3 1/2.  I will not go into all of the details about what led them to our home, but I will say that my son, Xander, was very delayed.  He was still wearing a diaper, didn’t know how to use a spoon or fork, and the words he did mumble were not understandable (except to his 2 year old sister, who was the best momma he had ever had!).
This picture was taken the first week that they moved in with us.
The only thing we knew for sure was that boy LOVED cars!  I think he knew the difference between cars before he knew much of anything else!  So, what do you get when you add him to a teaching mom’s home?  Flash cards, hands on learning, and ALL things cars!  They happened to move in with us the week before Cars came out in theaters so it was very easy to find pretty much anything with a cars theme.  He loved that movie!  However, he also loved REAL cars.  In fact, he helped us make flash cards with symbols of cars (Ford, Honda, Toyota, Ferrari, etc.) and took them everywhere he went!  We bought tons of match box cars and Hot Wheels and we used those to practice colors, counting, sequence words, etc.  He was such a fast learner (and still is!).  He just needed some love, understanding, and for us to meet him at his interest level.  But, what child doesn’t need that, right!?
Driving the first of many go karts!
Okay, so on with the math!  The reason I brought up that story is because my son inspired my newest product!  He is still into cars, but now it is the fasted ones around (he can tell you who won the Indianapolis 500 for the last 20 years, plus how fast the winning lap was).  And, we were able to meet Bobby Unser, a racing legend (his whole family is in racing) this past summer.  Xander was more excited to see the car he won a race in than he was Bobby himself.  :)


Xander with racing legend, Bobby Unser


Xander with Bobby Unser’s race car
So, I thought, why not use that to practice the vocabulary words associated with fractions!  Numerator comes before Denominator…..ND….Indy!  That was my thought process!  (In case you aren’t from Indiana or are not familiar with race cars, Indy cars are the long, skinnier cars, not the stock cars like NASCAR).
I made this poster set as a reminder for your kiddos that Numerator comes before Denominator.  You can use them as anchor charts, posters, or inside interactive notebooks (the smaller versions are already included).


Once they have the vocabulary down, now it is time to practice.  These task cards, like all of my others, are differentiated to meet your kids where their needs are.  It starts as easy as showing a picture and kids identifying what fraction is shaded.  The middle level includes two fraction picture and asks the kids to compare the two fractions (same denominators).  The highest level has kids adding fractions (same denominators).  A recording sheet is also included.

Are your kids ready for more of a fraction challenge?  Try one of my fraction card games!  In my fraction WILD card game, students match a fraction, a shaded picture, word form (3 out of 4), and/or a picture with a circled amount.  The game is played similar to UNO and I have many different varieties of my WILD games!

Another way to practice is by playing Fraction WAR!  Students each turn over a card and the student with the largest (or smallest, your choice!) fraction wins both cards.  This is a FREEBIE on Educents right now.


You can grab 3 of the items in this bundle  on Educents this week (the 4th item, the Fraction War Game, is FREE on Educents!).

Make sure to check out all of the other fraction ideas below.
I am so excited to announce that next week, Math Madness Wednesday will be joining with Mentor Monday, hosted by Emily from The Reading Tutor/OG!  Stay tuned for more information soon!



New Human Body Detective Science Book Released

Human Body Detectives book series fifth case,

Brainiacs: An Imaginative Journey through the Nervous System,

is now launched!


A quick synopsis…

Human Body Detectives Merrin and Pearl are at it again.

Their magical ability to jump into people’s bodies and explore their systems (digestive, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, and immune) combines science with their fun adventures to help kids understand their anatomy and how their bodies work.

In Brainiacs, Merrin and Pearl venture in to the nervous system when their favorite teacher, Ms. Anderson, spills hot tea on her leg. On the way to her brain to examine how she’ll react, Merrin and Pearl ride a nerve impulse, bounce among dendrites, explore the brain’s gray matter, and so much more. In the end, they not only learn how messages are communicated between the brain and the body, but they also get a firsthand lesson on the functions of the nervous system.

Curious on how it all began? Hint: it happened in the kitchen!: Click here.

Brainiacs is one of five stories featured in the Human Body Detectives book and curriculum series, along with The Lucky Escape, Battle with the Bugs, A Heart Pumping Adventure, and Osteoblasts to the Rescue.

Check it out on the Human Body Detectives site: click here.

Special to Educents members – contact Heather ([email protected]) when you have purchased and she will email you a PDF coloring ebook!



About the Seller

Human Body Detectives (HBD) was created to inspire children to be proactive and confident in striving for their own optimal health.

Dr. Heather is a parent, a Canadian and a naturopathic doctor whose search for books and resources that provide healthy eating tips for kids and parents left her empty handed. That’s when she discovered that the best way to educate families about healthy eating and body care is through fun, engaging, entertaining, and educational methods.

Dr. Heather’s kids LOVE being a part of Human Body Detectives and are passionate about sharing their love of healthy eating with other families.


Baking Butter Wafers from Free 50 Historical Recipes Cookbook

Educents All-Star Blogger Hilary, and her little helper June, are testing out recipes from the 50 Historical Recipes Cookbook. Let’s see what they cooked up this weekend! Oh, don’t forget to grab the downloadable Cookbook free on Educents for limited time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of baking! My daughter almost always helps (or she simply licks the bowl…) and honestly, it’s fun bonding time and a great learning experience for us both. I practice patience and she learns how to follow directions (sometimes), how to measure correctly (sometimes), and math (always).

Since Educents is offering a FREE cookbook, I figured I’d try out a recipe. Because it’s an historical cookbook, I was a tad intimidated by what the recipes might be. I imagined recipes calling for eel, bizarre cuts of meat that I’ve never seen, or plain ol’ oddness. Turns out, Cooking Up Some American History is filled with recipes that are kid-friendly, budget friendly, and easy! Hooray!

Anyway, considering I love baking, I picked a basic and easy-to-follow baking recipe: Butter Wafers. So, enjoy! Recipe


First, cream butter and shortening. Then, add lemon peel and vanilla extract. See those little green specks? Yep. Lime. I have a lime tree and had no lemons on hand. So, I substituted. Step1


(Step 2) Next, gradually add sugar. Then, add eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until mixed thoroughly. Step2


(Step 3) Then, add flour and salt in thirds. Funny story here: remember how I was out of lemons? Turns out, I was also out of all-purpose flour too. So, as a substitute, I used whole wheat flour. My other choices were gluten-free coconut or bread flour; I went with the whole wheat. Step3


(Step 4) Chill dough until it’s easy to handle. *This dough reminds me of snickerdoodle dough; super soft and sticky but with the right chilling, easy  to handle. Step4


(Step 4 ½) Taste to be sure it’s delicious. *This is not in the original recipe!  Approve


(Step 5) Lastly, PREHEAT your oven to 350º before preparing to bake. Then, place into spoonfuls on baking sheet.


Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes. Cool, and then devour! Butterwafer


Peekapaks – Adventures Delivered in a Shoebox – Inspired by a Chlid’s Short Story

Kids have the BEST ideas. It’s amazing when those ideas become reality. When Angie Chan was 14-years-old, she won a short story contest and was published by her local newspaper. Years later, her continued passion for storytelling resulted in writing a kid’s storybook that inspired her to launch a company.

Angie recently wrote a kids storybook about how two children find a little red box, and when they open it, it takes them on adventures. When sharing her story with her childhood best friend, they wondered – Could we create our own box of adventures, and take kids on an adventure each month?

Just like that, Peekapak was born.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 1.05.38 PM

Peekapak is the monthly delivery of a shoebox-sized package of curated arts and crafts supplies combined with an element of storytelling. Childhood best friends Ami Shah and Angie Chan founded the company, recruited a team of researchers, educators, kids and their parents to help develop the product. The team was also awarded a research grant, working with Dr. Kimberly Bezaire, to research the in-home play value of the product series.

Peekapak is designed to help families transform their child’s play with imaginative stories, hands-on activities & learning – conveniently & cost effectively delivered right to their door.

So what makes this delivery service special? Let the professionals explain. Dr. Bezaire, an early researcher-turned-supporter of Peekapak, says “[Peekapak] builds fundamentally on children’s natural play, children’s emergent literacy. In a lot of wonderful ways it’s a child’s natural toy, but it’s also innovative. The materials they put into the Paks are not standard craft materials, not cookie cutter materials, they give a lot of thought to the creative potential. There’s a really wonderful connection between the material and the storytelling happening in the book.”

Want to check it out? Get your first Peekapak 50% off when you buy it on Educents.


50% off Storytelling & Crafts Box – Designed by Educators


Educents Review: A Homeschooling Mom’s Experience with SchoolhouseTeachers.com

A huge thanks to homeschooling mom Danielle from Freebies for a Cause for using and reviewing SchoolhouseTeachers.com! 

In the middle of August I had begun thinking about current changes that needed to take place in my homeschooling schedule.  Every year I take the time to evaluate the things that are working for me and the kids – areas that have been profitable and areas that need changing.  During the time that I was actively looking for something extra to bring the family together in, I was contacted by the wonderful staff at Educents.  Now in case you are new to my blog and haven’t heard me talk about Educents before, they are my favorite place to go for homeschool material and just plain old fun activities for the kiddos!  The staff approached me with a program called Schoolhouse Teachers and asked if I would be willing to try it out with the kids and write a review for you to read!  I just love when things like that happen, and what I love more is when what I get to try is exactly what I needed all along!




At first I will admit that the website intimidated me.  There was so much material available – something for all the kids to enjoy that I didn’t know where to begin.  They are currently offering over 100 different courses!  For the first few days I honestly went to the site, looked around for a minute and then left!  I tend to shy away from the unknown often and sometimes avoid doing it altogether so it is a good thing that I made a commitment to try this this because I would have been missing out on an amazing program!


One of the first lessons the kids and I tackled was ants!  We have done studies on ants before because scripture talks about them and we have always found their diligence fascinating, but this took it to a whole new level.  For example, did you know ants will not walk over chalk?  We made a maze with chalk and they walked through it to avoid the lines.  Amazing to watch!!!  When given the chance to eat sugar or salt – they go for sugar (me too!!!).

kids ants

The best part of the program is that everything is self paced.  Not only can you go back through the archives and grab older lessons, but you also have no time frame in which to complete your activities.  This is great for us as sometimes we have all day to devote to learning something and other times only a few minutes.

Plus, if the courses aren’t enough – there is also a wealth information in the Resource Center.

resource center

If you have an interest in spending more time with your children engaging in profitable education, I highly encourage you to check out Schoolhouse Teachers!  The best part is that they are currently offering 30 days FREE – so what are you waiting for???

Thanks to Educents and Schoolhouse Teachers for allowing us to try this amazing product!!!


About the Author: 

Danielle Jones is a homeschooling mom of 6 (ages 1-16) who strives to help others save money so that they can use their finances for more important things in life.  She currently runs FreebiesForACause.com to show others how easy it is to save money.  Her family currently spends 11 months of the year working in the major cities of the United States serving the needs of the homeless communities.


Routinely Learn Basic Skills and Build Confidence to Last

Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s the little things that count.” This is especially true in elementary school.

If your kids master the little things as they go along, they will move through elementary school with confidence. When little ones believe that they are good in school, they can be anything when they grow up! This is exactly what we all want, right? Kids that do well in elementary school typically go on to graduate high school and even onto college.

However, if kids don’t learn the little things, elementary school becomes hard; they struggle and fall behind. You know what’s great? We can fix this. Help your kids learn the little things. It’s just that simple.

The little things … what are they? They are the basic skills that are displayed on Roni Bostwick’s Educational Shower Curtains like shapes, colors, color words, letters, numbers, sight words, addition facts, and multiplications facts.

Roni created Educational Shower Curtains because she is passionate about the power and the importance of education in a child’s life, especially birth to 10.

Here’s Roni’s message:

During early childhood, a child either develops a confidence and self-assurance about their ability to learn (usually because they live in a house where learning is important) or they don’t.

In fact, basic skills are the foundational building blocks for all learning. I know this because I’m a teacher. I also know that a home environment that supports learning is more important to student success that income, education level or cultural background.

Parents, you are your child’s first and most important teacher, so make it count.

Ready to make it count? With Educational Shower Curtains and the 100 Days Activity Cards, parents can encourage their child to review basic skills like shapes, colors, letters, numbers, sight words and math facts while potty training, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, drying off from a bath or getting ready for school.  Learning becomes fun, convenient, and a natural part of everyday.

Educational Shower Curtains and 100 Days Activity Cards – 33% OFF

Choose from six themed shower curtains:

  • Shapes / Colors / Color Words  + 100 Days Activity Cards
  • Alphabet / Numbers / Colors  + 100 Days Activity Cards
  • Reading Sight Words Grade 1  + 100 Days Activity Cards
  • Reading Sight Words Grade 2  + 100 Days Activity Cards
  • Addition Facts  + 100 Days Activity Cards
  • Multiplication Facts  + 100 Days Activity Cards

Want Educational Shower Curtains in your home? Check them out HERE!

About the Seller:

Educational Shower Curtains was created by a teacher who is frustrated that so many children are falling “through the cracks” in school simply because they are missing just a few basic skills. Teachers do not have the time to make sure that each child memorizes their basic facts.  All of our shower curtains display grade level appropriate skills that your child should know with ease.

I am Roni Bostwick, the creator of ‘Educational Shower Curtains’. I am a licensed elementary school teacher and spent 12 years teaching as a reading and math specialist. I proudly come from a family of teachers. I have two sisters who are currently teaching and a father who is a retired teacher. Education was so important in my home growing up, this fostered a love for learning and achieving. I believe parents have the ability to instill this in every child, remember … “If parents do a little, their child can do a lot!”

Click HERE to learn more about Roni and her mission.


Fall Art Project: Watercolor Resist Art with Fall Leaves!

Autumn is officially here and we couldn’t be more excited! There are so many fantastic science experiments, recipes, arts & crafts, and sensory play activities for the Fall season. So, with that in mind, we had to share this creative Fall art project from Fun at Home with Kids.

After coming across it, we couldn’t wait to go outside, pick up some leaves, and try out this Watercolor Resist project for ourselves!

It makes for a lovely gift, wall hanging, or fridge decoration!

See how Asia and her daughter, ‘S’, made this beautiful art piece HERE!



DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Bring some Fall flavor to your daily cup (or cups…) of coffee with this DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer!

With the help of The Springmount 6 Pack’s recipe, you can save a chunk of change by kissing those expensive Pumpkin Spice Lattes goodbye and saying “Hello!” to DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer!

Get all of the details on how to make this delicious Pumpkin treat HERE!Homemade-Pumpkin-Spice-Coffee-Creamer-Recipe-1



Math Madness Wednesday: Fall Math and Science Ideas!


I don’t know if you have been able to tell or not, but I LOVE Fall!  I don’t know if it the cooler weather, the crunch of leaves, the yummy foods, or maybe the football coma I often go into, but there is just something absolutely wonderful about fall!
So, here are a few ways I share my love of the season in my class.  

I think candy corn is the unofficial symbol of Fall!  When I say candy corn, I also mean Indian corn and Autumn mixes (I tend to just call of them “candy corn” although I know there are more specific names for some of them).  There are so many lessons that can be taught with these yummy treats.  Students can use them to count, make a pattern, or graph the candies they received. 


I also made these candy corn numbers that can be used as puzzles, number lines, or as a part of an interactive notebook.

I shared some other apple ideas on my blog {HERE}.  We have already made a couple batches of crockpot applesauce and have loved making apple-scented play clay!  Again, there are so many things you can do with apples!  Take a taste test to see what colored apple your class prefers (add blindfolds if you dare!), read about Johnny Appleseed, talk about how apple trees change throughout the season, or even make some apple prints with paint.

I made this Apple True or False activity to help kids practice their math facts as well as determining if an equation is true or false.  Each color of apple works on a different skill (adding 0-10, adding 11-20, and subtracting 0-10) and can be used individually or all together.  I provided a recording sheet that can be used no matter which color you decided to use!



Fall leaves are so beautiful!  When I moved from the Mid-west to California, I was afraid I would miss out on all of the gorgeous, warm colors of Fall.  I was very happy to see that many of the leaves still change colors so I can enjoy the pretty colors!  For leaves, you can take the kids on a leaf hunt where they can collect some they think are interesting (only ones that have actually fallen from the trees, of course!).  Classify the leaves, allowing the kids to determine the categories.  Don’t want a bunch of old leaves in your classroom?  You can still take the kids on a hunt and have them bring their notebook with them.  Students can walk and write, describing the beauty of nature they are seeing.  They could even draw pictures!  When they get back to class, they can write a poem or description of their favorite leaves.  

My new Fall in Line activity allows kids to practice number sequences.  You can use these as task cards or in a math center.  Each card includes 5 leaves, one of which has a number included. 





Are your students not ready for this yet?  Pre-load some of the cards with 2 or 3 more numbers already included!  Do your kids need more of a challenge?  Have them count by 2s or 10s instead of 1s (Note:  card D includes the number 9 on it, so students will not be able to count by 10s on that card).

Oh, how we all love pumpkins!  I have more pumpkins goodies coming soon, but I couldn’t have a Fall post without mentioning them!  I have SOOOO many great ideas from other wonderful people on my Pinterest board {HERE}, including arts/crafts ideas, classroom ideas, and even a few yummy recipes!

Add some science into your classroom by using this foldable organizer to show how a pumpkin grows.  I have included MANY different options, some with the pictures already included, some with cut and paste pictures to add to the foldable, some in order, some in random order so you can EASILY differentiate to meet the needs of your kiddos!  I have also included a list of books that you can use to introduce this topic.  A reflection sheet is included.  The foldable organizer can be glued to the reflection sheet (with room for the students to write about what they learned, describe the cycle themselves, etc.) or it can be added to an interactive notebook.  

You can get all 4 of the Fall items mentioned above in one great bundle from Educents!  Click {HERE} for your very own copy.


And, if you haven’t had a chance to grab my Pirates bundle, it is still available as well.  You can read more about it {HERE}.


A Full Week of Curriculum for $15 or Less!


$15 Frenzy is BACK at Educents!

Grab Amazing Curriculum & Activities for $15 or LESS!

From Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 28, 2014, Educents is bringing back the ever-popular $15 Frenzy! Here’s your chance to get 15 different curriculum bundles for less than $15 each! Some incredibly talented teachers have come together to bring you Science, Reading, Language Arts, Interactive Notebooks, Planners, Math Centers, Social Studies Units, Reading Comprehension Units, Clip-art & more! You’re sure to find something during this amazing sale! Here’s just a sample of the awesome curriculum and activity packs that are on the site!

Science, Weather and Geology Lessons for 2nd/3rd Grade – 40% OFF



So, don’t miss out on this amazing sale. It’s one week only and you can stock up on some amazing items from these teacher-preneurs.