Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sign Language Sight Word Decoding (free printables)


I'm not sure how it happened but the other night I explained to my boys about Koko and how they'd taught the gorilla to communicate with sign language. We watched a YouTube video which captured all of our attention.

To expose my sons a little more to American Sign Language, I made some fun printables (the boys were my hand models). Click on the links in the list below to download the free PDFs from Google Drive.
  1. A-Z alphabet cards
  2. 1-page American Sign Language Alphabet cheat sheet (on the same PDF as the cards)
  3. Sight word cards spelled with sign language for decoding

I gave my six year old son the last two of these three printables (with the cards cut apart) and explained to him that he needed to decode the sign language letters to figure out what the sight word was and read it to me. 


He enjoyed the challenge, especially because many letters resemble a fast, just with different finger formations.


To go with the activity, we read two great fiction books that provided some context for our activity. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

After School Linky Party (1-25)

Welcome to the party!


Wow. Last week's party was AH-MAZE-ING. Did you check out all the creative ideas, printables, and experiments that were shared? If not, you MUST!

Here is just a snapshot of some of the brilliance shared at last week's party.


 Area and Perimeter with LEGO Duplos from School Time Snippets

 Blends Card Game (cr, cl, fr, gl, gr) at Boy Mama Teacher Mama
 Teaching Coin Recognition and Coin Value at Mosswood Connections

Nerf Gun Math from There's Just One Mommy

 Ancient Greek Vases Art Study from Royal Little Lambs

Wiggle to 100 from You've Got This



The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fraction, Decimal, and Percent Puzzles (free printable)


Good golly, converting fractions to decimals and percents can be a challenge. To help our 10-year-old memorize some of the most common ones, I created a series of 3-piece puzzles that are self checking.


Download the 4-page PDF of the puzzles for free from Google Drive here.


Construction
I wanted my pieces to be thick so they'd stay together. In order to do this, I glued the printed puzzles onto thin sheets of craft foam (I recommend FOAMIES glue). I then glued various scrapbooking papers (a different design for each puzzle) on the back. Lastly, I used a exacto craft knife to cut the pieces out once the pieces were totally dried.

Truthfully, it was a pain. While I achieved my objective, if I had it to do all over again, I'd skip the craft foam and just glue the scrapbooking papers to the backs of the puzzles and maybe laminate (for durability). Cutting them out would be MUCH easier.


Play = Practice
I dumped them all number side up in front of my son and let him work through finding each 3-piece puzzle, matching 0.5, 1/2, and 50%, for example. When he thought he had all three pieces of a puzzle found, he turned them over to check that they all had the same paper on the back. Voila! That's the self-checking part.

The papers are necessary because not all the puzzles have different shaped pieces.


My son really loved this challenge!

Monday, January 18, 2016

After School Linky Party (1-18)

Welcome to the party!


Thanks for stopping by.
Here are some of last week's amazing ideas in case you missed the party!


 FREE Snowflake Number Cards (1-10) at Boy Mama Teacher Mama

 Fire House Place Value Chart at JDaniel4's Mom




The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to Make Paper Flowers Bloom (Art + Science)


There are no flowers blooming here in the Midwest in January, unless you're at the florist. A thick blanket of crusty snow covers everything and temperatures are so frigid, only the very brave can be outside for more than 10 minutes.

To bring a little spring into our winter, I thought we'd try this fun experiment. It combines art and science in a truly awe-inspiring experiment.



Prep
I created a template of paper flowers for us to use. (Download it free from Google Drive here.)



Create
Once printed on heavyweight card stock and cut out, we used permanent markers to decorate our flowers.



When our buds were beautiful and bright, we put down the markers and folded each of the petals in to the center of the flower, making a nice neat little square.



Experiment
With a shallow bowl of water nearby, we carefully dropped our squares into the water (folded petals face up). Now, behold!



Within about 30 seconds, each of the paper flowers will open to display the beautiful colors added inside!

video

How Does It Work
As the paper begins to absorb the water, its fibers expand, forcing the paper petals to unfold.


This great activity came from 175 Science Experiments to Amuse and Amaze Your Friends by Brenda Walpole. It's loaded with fun and fascinating hands-on learning ideas! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

After School Linky Party 1-11

Welcome to the party!


What a great new year it's already been. I hope you're enjoying 2016!

Here are just a few of the great ideas shared at last week's link-up.




 Hockey Science at Creative Family Fun

 Paper Football Sight Words at Sugar Aunts


Snowflake lacing cards printable at One Mama's Daily Drama

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Alphabet Trace Race (free printable handwriting game)


Our six-year-old son is doing a great job learning to read. His writing, though, well ... that's another story. He frequently writes letters backwards, which his teacher assures me is pretty common at his age. To give him lots of practice writing letters the RIGHT way, I wanted a game that was vastly more fun than handwriting worksheets.

Alphabet Trace Race was born.



The game is simple. To make it, simply download my free PDF from Google Drive here



Print all the pages on heavyweight cardstock. You'll need to print multiple copies of the Alphabet Trace Race game card, one for each player. We printed two sets of the letter cards as well.

To reuse the game again and again, either laminate the game cards or slip them into a plastic sheet protector. Dry-erase markers work wonderfully with either of these options.

Once the cards are cut and shuffled well, place them face down between players. Each player takes turns drawing a card. 



They then say the letter on the card and trace it on their game card. The opponent(s) does the same. Because some letters have more cards, it's a race to see which player will complete the race by tracing EVERY letter on their card first. 



If a player draws a card with a letter already traced, their turn is over.

You may need to reshuffle the game cards throughout play. Print more than one set to reduce the number of times you will shuffle.