Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scouting Sunday:Statue of Liberty Try-It

This is a council's own Brownie Try-It from the Suffolk County Girl Scout Council in Long Island, NY. The Try-It can be ordered through the council: Suffolk County GS Council, 442 Moreland Road, Commack, NY 11725 (516)543-6622

You can find all the Try-It requirements here. I will show how we are planning to earn this badge.

1-We will review a map of New York State and a smaller one of the New York City/Long Island area. We will locate The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I will also turn this into a lesson about Ellis Island and we will probably read a book similar to If Your Name Was Changed At Ellis Island, by Ellen Levine and Wayne Parmenter.

2-We will write a story about how the phrase, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", makes us feel. We will read the entire poem, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which can be found here. the link also has more information about the author and the Statue of Liberty.

5-This is a great lesson about oxidation of copper. We will place a penny in salt water and leave it for a week. At the end of the week, we will note the changes and discuss that this is also why the Statue of Liberty is green in color.

6-We will make collages to show what "Freedom" means to us.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Science Saturday: New York State

I had a little trouble coming up with good science activities that centered on New York and were age-appropriate. One area that I did come up with is hydroelectricity, such as that created by Niagara Falls. A great subject to research, especially since it was one of the first forms of power widely used, as in saw mills, in the US. The concepts though are a bit advanced for most elementary-aged children. Here is what I have discovered about hydroelectricity that is basic enough for their level:

-In an age where we are desperately seeking renewable energy sources, hydroelectricity is the conversion of the energy in water to usable energy for consumption. Currently, hydroelectricity provides 19% of the world's electricity and is the most used of the renewable resources (wind, solar, etc) for providing electricity.

-Hydroelectricity produces no waste (pollution) and no carbon dioxide, a dangerous greenhouse gas.

-Provides a steady flow of electricity. Where wind power relies on the ever changing wind speed and solar power relies on the amount of sunlight, hydroelectric power does not change.

-Niagara Falls is one of the greatest producers of hydroelectric power in the world. There are numerous plants on both sides (US and Canadian) of the Falls that convert the hydropower into electricity. On the American side, just two of the plants, the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant, produce 2.4 million kilowatts of electricity, enough to light 24 million, hundred watt light bulbs. Below is a photo of the Niagara Power Project which includes both the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant.


-For an activity, you could get a waterwheel, like the one here (shown with sand in it):

Pouring water into the top of the wheel causes the wheel to turn. This illustrates how running water can create power.

As I said earlier, this is a tough topic for the younger kids, but is still something they can learn from. Older kids may enjoy further research on hydroelctric power and/or other forms of power using renewable resources, like solar power or wind farms.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Field Trip Friday: New York

I am not able to think of any field trips that do not involve travel to New York so instead I am going to list several places in New York that would make for great field trips AND teach about New York state or people from NY.

New York City
New York Historical Society (view their collection here)

Yonkers
Hudson River Museum

Syracuse
Erie Canal Museum

Niagara Falls
Power Project Visitor's Center (teaches about hydropower)

Rochester
Susan B Anthony House
George Eastman House (the founder of Kodak)

Palmyra
Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center (run by the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints)

I am sure there are plenty of other places as well. Please share if you have any that you found to be educational.

Bonus Post: Free Musuem Day

Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring Museum Day on Saturday, September 27, 2008. You can find a Musuem Day admission card in the September 2008 issue of Smithsonian Magazine or you can download one here. The admission card is good for up to 2 general admissions. There are many museums participating across the US. Click here to check for participating musuems in your area.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Think About It Thursday: New York state

Learn about what life was like when the Erie Canal was first opened and write a story about a child who lived at that time, in a town along the Erie Canal. here are some web sites to help you out:

http://www.eriecanal.org/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal
http://www.nyscanals.gov/cculture/history/
http://www.history.rochester.edu/canal
http://www.epodunk.com/routes/erie-canal/index.html

Here a great book as well:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Worldly Wednesday: NY state facts




Word search with places in NY

NY state facts crossword

NY state facts (coloring book that includes pictures of the state symbols )-
Largest City: New York City
Capital: Albany
Current Governor: David Paterson
Nickname: The Empire State
State motto: “Excelsior”, means ever upward
State Fruit: apple
State Tree: maple tree
State Flower: rose
State Bird: Bluebird

US Presidents born in NY- Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, August 25, 2008

Time Travel Tuesday: History of New York state

Prior to European settlement, western New York was home to the six nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Tuscarora) of the Iroquois Confederacy. The area now known as New York City was home to the Lenape, or Delaware Indians. The “state” was later settled by the Dutch in 1624 and called New Netherland. The English conquered the Dutch in 1664 and renamed it New York in honor of the Duke of York. For the next 110 years, New York remained a colony of England, until it declared its independence on July 9, 1776, becoming one of the original 13 states.

After the Revolutionary War, the first capital of the new nation was New York City and that is where George Washington was inaugurated in 1789.

The opening of the Erie Canal resulted in towns and cities springing up along its route.


In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (the Mormons), was organized in Fayette, NY under the leadership of Joseph Smith (pictured below).


In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention held in the US, was held in Seneca Falls, NY. Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (pictured below with Anthony standing and Stanton seated) were very involved in advancing women's rights and were at the convention.


Prior to and during the Civil War, the Underground Railroad had several stops and “ports” throughout New York.

In 1968, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held in Bethel, NY. It is considered one of the greatest moments in popular music history.

Math Monday: New York State


The New York State Fair opened this past Thursday and will run through September 2nd. In honor of the state fair, I have chosen to study New York state this week.

The Erie Canal is a manmade waterway that connects the Hudson River (which connects to the Atlantic Ocean) to Lake Erie. Governor Dewitt Clinton broke ground for the canal in 1817 and it was completed in 1825. How many years did it take for the canal to be completed? How old is the Erie Canal today?

This October, the Colonial Belle, will be offering Fall Foliage boat cruises down the Erie Canal. The cruise will leave Pittsford, NY at 12:30PM and returning at 4:30PM. How much time will the tour take? (You can also use this to have the child show time on a clock)

The Maid of the Mist is a boat that takes visitors up to the base of Niagara Falls for an up close look at the roaring waterfalls. An adult ticket costs $12.50 each, children's tickets for ages 6-12 years of age cost $7.50 each, and children 5 years old and younger are free. How much money would you need to take your family on the Maid of the Mist?

New York is known for its tasty apples. Ask several people their favorite way to eat apples (fresh, applesauce, apple juice, baked, pie, etc) and make a bar graph (or pictograph) showing the results.

Use measuring skills to make an apple recipe. Here is one for Taffy Apple Salad

There are 2000 miles of hiking trails in the Adirondack Mountains. If you hike 10 miles a day, how many days would you need to hike to hike all of the trails?

Scouting Sunday:Webelos Sportsmans Activity Badge



Ok, I do not have any children who are in Boy Scouts yet, but I want to include a variety of scoutung badges in my posts so I chose the Webelos Sportsman Activty Badge since it went along with last week's unit.

Here are the activities we will do when the time comes(assuming they have not changed):

We are soccer fans in our house so we would likely learn the signals used by officials in that sport, but I will list resources for each of the ones listed for the badge. I was able to find websites regarding signals used by sports officials in Soccer, Football, Basketball, and Hockey, but had some trouble with Baseball. If my son chooses to learn the signs used by the umpire in baseball, I will contact the town Little League and/or the high school and see if someone could teach us the signs used.

In order to explain good sportsmanship we will first discuss what it means to my son and then he would design a poster or game to show others.

In order to earn both the individual sport and team sport belt loops, my son will learn the rules for two individual and 2 team sports, demonstrate how to use the proper equipment for each of these sports and participate in playing in of the same sports. I am providing links for the rules of many of the sports listed for the badge requirement.

Individual Sports:
Badminton, Bicycling, Bowling, Fishing (guidelines will depend on your state), Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Skating, Marbles, Physical Fitness (this has different requirements to earning the belt loop than the other sports do), Roller Skating, Snow Ski and Board Sports, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis

Team Sports
Baseball, Basketball, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Ultimate, Volleyball

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Science Saturday: A Healthy Body

This unit is loaded with possibilities for science activities. Here are a few:

Nutrition
Teach the basic food groups and the recommended servings. Also include serving sizes, which can be found here
-Food group: bread, cereal, rice and pasta ; vegetables; fruits; dairy; meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts; fats, sugars, and oils
-Recommended servings (you can find the numbers broken down by gender and age here)
Bread, cereal, rice and pasta: 6-11 servings a day
Vegetables: 3-5 servings a day
Fruits: 2-4 servings a day
Dairy: 2-3 servings a day
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts: 2-3 (5-7oz total) servings a day
Fats, sugars and oils: use sparingly

Some activities to enforce this concept are menu planning; using shopping ads to make collages of the various food groups; or make people out of food (you are what you eat) using cut up magazines.


Anatomy
Learn the names of basic muscles: biceps (outer, upper arm); triceps (inner, upper arm); Gluteus Maximus (backside)

Learn that the heart does not actually look like the heart-shape we are familiar with and that its main function is to pump blood through the body; it needs to work for us to live; proper diet and exercise help to keep it functioning properly




Learn that our lungs help us breathe; our bodies need oxygen (a gas found in air) to work, so we need our lungs to work; discuss dangers of smoking, importance of exercise to keep lungs healthy


Friday, August 22, 2008

Field Trip Friday: A Healthy Body

If you did not use the mini-Olympic idea last week, this is another time it would work well. A few other ideas would be to contact an area doctor, dentist, or nutritionist and see if they would do a presentation or field trip (probably best with other homeschoolers). Your local YMCA is another great place to set up a tour. Visiting a farm market or even the produce department of a grocery store is a great place for a nutrition lesson.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Think About It Thursdays: A Healthy Body

Vocabulary
Cardiovascular: related to the heart and blood vessels

Artery: a blood vessel that carries blood AWAY from the heart

Aorta: the main artery from the heart

Vein: a blood vessel that brings blood TO the heart

Cholesterol: occurs naturally in the body in one of two forms, HDL and LDL; higher than normal levels can cause health problems

Vitamin: plant based compounds; most cannot be made by the body, but are needed for proper functioning and growth of the body

Mineral: non-organic (not from living things) compounds needed by the body for proper functioning and growth

Aerobic exercise: exercise that makes us breathe harder


Writing
Write out the rules to one sport that you enjoy.

Write a story about a boy or girl who grows up to participate in the Olympics. How did they take care of their body? How did they train for their sport?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wordly Wednesday: US athletes

Since this is not a unit that focuses on a particular group of people, I chose to teach a little bit about some of the athletes that my kids enjoyed watching this last week, or that they heard about (Mark Spitz) while watching the Olympics.


Michael Phelps
-when he first started swimming, at age 7, he wouldn’t put his face in the water
-First Olympics was in 2004 in Athens, won 6 gold and 2 bronze medals
-won 8 golds in 2008 and broke 7 world records
-has won more Olympic medals than anyone else in history

Mark Spitz
-started swimming at 2 years old, competitively at age 6
-First Olympics was 1968, won 2 gold medals for team events
-won 7 gold medals in 1972, a record for the most medals won by 1 person in a single Olympics until 2008 when Michael Phelps took over the record with 8 medals in a single Olympics

Nastia Liukin
-Father was an Olympic gold medalist (1988) in gymnastics and mother was a World Champion (1987)rhythmic gymnast
-born in Moscow, moved to Texas when she was 2 ½ years old
-her parents did not want her to be a gymnast at first, but when they realized how good she was and saw her desire, they encouraged it
-would have been on the US Olympic team in 2004 (Athens), but she was too young (by 1 year)
-won 5 medals in 2008 Olympics: 1 gold (all-around), 3 silver (team, balance beam, uneven bars), and 1 bronze (floor exercises)

Shawn Johnson
-began gymnastics at age 3
-won 4 medals at 2008 Olympics: 1 gold (balance beam), 3 silver (team, all-around, floor exercises)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Time Travel Tuesday: Ancient Greece Olympics

There are several myths regarding the beginning of the ancient Olympic games. THe games were originally held in Ancient Greece. After the Romans began to gain power in Greece, the Olympics were eventually banned as a pagan ritual.

The Olympics as we know them began their revival in 1894 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was established and the first modern Olympic games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Less than 250 athletes competed in Athens in the following sports: athletics (track and field events), cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

The Olympic rings were introduced in 1913. Each ring represents a different area of the world (Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Oceania).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Math Monday: A Healthy Body

To keep with the Olympic theme, this week we will focus on keeping our badies healthy and in good working order.

To start our math this week, I will be working on taking one's pulse. Have the child find their pulse using their pointer and middle finger (the thumb has it's own pulse and can cause confusion) on either the inside of their wrist or along the side of their neck. This is good counting practice, but you can easily add in mulitplication, addition and subtraction, along with using a clock to time themselves. They can count for either a full minute or you can have them time for 15 seconds and then multiply by four to get their resting heartrate.

I will then have them exercise and we will take our pulse again and subtract our resting heart rate from that number to see how much our pulse increased after exercise.

This is also a good unit to introduce scales and weighing. Have your child step on a scale and read their weight. You can also convert their weight in pounds to kilograms (multiply by 2.2) or vice versa (divide by 2.2). You can also have them subtract their birth weight ( or last year's weight) from their current weight to see how much weight they have gained. You can also find objects that weigh close to what they weigh now or to what their birth weight was so they can actually visualize what that weight is.

You can also discuss calories and how they affect weight. Read some food labels (also a good way to divide and/or multiply to find # of calories per serving) and discuss how many calories they would need to burn in order to counter the caloric effect of the food.

We will also be making a healthy recipe of low-fat cheesecake this week:
This is adapted from a Pampered Chef recipe and is absolutely delicious. You
can use fat-free, low-fat, or regular ingredients, depending on your wants and
needs. I have made it with all fat-free products and it tastes just as good as
the full-fat version.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs (if using homemade, this is about 9 full
crackers)
1/4 c butter or margarine, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
3-8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Fresh fruit for topping (can substitute pie filling, or hot fudge, or caramel,
etc)

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and
1 Tbsp sugar until well blended. Press mixture into bottom of a springform pan
and bake for 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.

2) Beat cream cheese, 1 c sugar, and flour at medium speed until smooth. Add
eggs, one at a time; mix at low speed just until blended. Stir in sour cream,
lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour filling into crust.

3) Bake 55-60 minutes or until center is nearly set when gently shaken (will
firm up as it cools). Remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Cover and
refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Release collar from pan. Top with
fruit and cut into wedges.

4) Enjoy!!!


This will give the kids practice measuring and the opportunity to discuss fractions when we serve it. For older kids, you could discuss geometry of a circle as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Scouting Sunday: Playing Around the World


This is a Brownie Girl Scout Try-It that ties in nicely with the Olympic theme, called Playing Around the World. In order to earn a Brownie Try-It, 4 activities need to be completed. Here is what we are doing to earn this badge.

First, we are inviting a bunch of friends and cousins to a nearby park for a "fun day" before the other children return to school in a few weeks. This will give us the numbers we need to play most ofthe games listed in the Brownine Try-It book.

As a group, we will play the classic American game of Red Light, Green Light (requirement #2). Here is one of many ways to play this game.
1. Choose a child to be the "stoplight". The "stoplight" stands at one end of the playing field, opposite the other players.
2. The "stoplight" turns their back to the group and yells "green light". The players should run toward the "stoplight".
3. When the "stoplight" yells "red light", everyone must freeze. As the "stoplight" yells "red light", they should turn around. If they catch anyone moving, they return to the starting point
4. Play continues until someone touches the "stoplight". They then become the new "stoplight" and the remaining players return to the starting line to play again.


We will also be playing Sheep and Hyena from Sudan (requirement #3). This game works best with at least 10 people playing.
1. All but 2 people join hands and form a tight circle.
2. One player, the hyena, stands outside the circle. Another player, the sheep, stands inside the circle.
3. The hyena will then try to get to the sheep inside the circle. The other players need to do their best to keep the hyena out of the circle, protecting the sheep. If the hyena catches the sheep, the game is over or you can end the game when the hyena gets too tired.
4. Two new people become the sheep and hyena.

For requirement #4, we will play Hawks and Hens from Zimbabwe. This game needs at least 4 players.
1. Choose 1 player to be the hawk, everyone else are hens.
2. The hawk stands between two safety zones. The hens will run back and forth between the two safety zones and the hawk will try to catch them.
3. When a hen is caught, they sit on the side and watch the game.
4. The last hen to be caught becomes the next hawk.

Finally, the last game we will be playing is The Ocean is Stormy from Denmark.
1. Mark circles on the floor or ground. We will play this on a concrete slab at our area park and use chalk, otherwise we will use yarn to make the circles on the grass.
2. Group the kids into pairs. All but one group, should stand inside a circle and choose the name of a fish. It might be helpful to discuss some common fish names such as trout, salmon, perch, etc.
3. The pair who are not in a circle are the whales. They walk around and call out names of fish.
4. When a pair's fish name is called, they leave the circle and walk behind the whales.
5. After all fish names are called, or after the whales call all the names they can think of, the whales shout, "The oceans stormy!"
6. Then everybody rushes to find a circle. Any two people can get into one circle.

The two people left without a circle become the whales for the next game.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Science Saturday

There are several ways to include science this week. First, would be to talk about the giant panda. Unlike American bears, panda bears do not hibernate and are unable to walk on their hind legs. One reason they do not hibernate is that the food they eat does allow them to build up enough fat storage to make it through the winter. Their diet consists mostly of bamboo shoots and roots. Although they can be found in zoos all around the world, the giant pandas natural habitat is the mountains of central China.



Pandas tend to start reproducing around age 4-6 years. Mother pandas carry the baby for 3-5 months, a much shorter time than humans. The baby pandas are born weighing approximately 3.5-4 ounces and with all white fur. They will begin to show black and white coloring at around 1 month of age.


Currently, giant pandas are an endangered species, with only about 1500 remaining in the world. Endangered means at risk of becoming extinct and extinct means no longer existing. There would be no more giant pandas anywhere in the world.

Another option for science this week is to learn the symbols for gold (Au) and silver (Ag) from the periodic table. One way I was taught to remember the symbols for gold and silver was Aggg, silver. Auuuuu, (pronounced Awwww) gold. Older kids could also learn iron (Fe) and copper’s (Cu) symbols, which are combined to make bronze. Bronze is an alloy combining both iron and copper.

Other topics that could be taught this week include nutrition, exercise, heart health, lung health, muscles, etc, pretty much anything that goes along with athleticism.

Vocabulary:
Endangered: at risk of becoming extinct
Extinct: no longer in existence
Alloy: a combination of two or more metals

Friday, August 15, 2008

Field Trip Friday: China

Obviously, the best field trip for this unit would have been to attend the Olympics in Beijing, or even just an ordinary trip to China. However, since most of us are not afforded the luxury of taking field trips across the globe whenever we like, I have put together a few ideas.


Check your local art museum and see if they have a collection of Chinese art and/or artifacts. When I checked our local art museum (in Rochester, NY), I did not find any Chinese art, but did learn of several upcoming programs including a performance by the National Acrobats of China and Asian Pacific American Heritage Family Day. I did find 2 US museums that do have exhibits of Chinese art, but I am sure there are more.

Seattle Art Museum-Chinese Art: A Seattle Perspective
US Chinese Art Museum- Oakland, CA

Another option is to visit any of the Olympic venues that are open to the public.

If none of these options are possible, and I admit most of them are not doable for the majority of us, invite friends over and hold your own Olympics. You can have Olympic-style events like swim races, foot races, long jump, etc or you can hold your own contests such as sack races, three-legged race, etc. Be sure to start with an opening ceremony and don’t forget medal ceremonies. Another option is to hold a Chinese dinner night. You could order out, but it would be more realistic to make it yourselves and dine in. Don’t forget the chopsticks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Think About It Thursdays: China

English words borrowed from the Chinese language
Chi: life force, spirit
Chop chop: (slang) fast
Chow: (slang) food
Typhoon: great wind storm
Wok: a pan with a rounded bottom used in Chinese cooking
-If you have a wok or access to one, you can make a stir-fry in it combining social studies, math (measuring ingredients), and learning what a wok is



Letter writing
-
Imagine you have just come back from watching your favorite event at the Summer Olympics. In a letter to a friend, tell them about how you felt and what you saw, both at the Olympics and in China. (This assignment will be much easier, if the child actually does watch at least one event on tv or online)

Books to read


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordly Wednesday: The People of China

I apologize for getting this posted so late tonight.

China is the most populous country in the world with over 1 billion people.

More food is grown in China than anywhere else in the world. Common crops include rice, soybeans, and tea. Here is a picture of a rice farmer from National Geographic:


Chinese language
Hello- Ni hao (pronounced like "knee how")
Luck- Fu (foo)

Project- create a Chinese luck sign. Instructions are here.

Chinese New Year
Celebrated for 15 days
Also known as the Spring Festival
2008 is the year of the rat
Chinese New Year 2009 will be the year of the ox and will begin on January 26. We will be having our own little Chinese New Year Festival then.



Chinese Inventions
Abacus- see activities listed under Monday's Math section
kite- Make a kite from a paper bag. Instructions can be found here.
gun powder
compass- practice orienteering skills (lesson plan available here, click on education and then lesson plan) and/or just teaching general directions on the compass
umbrella- some craft stores sell "plain" umbrellas that can be decorated with fabric paints, but I am sure any plain umbrella can be decorated the same way.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Time Travel Tuesday: China



My children are a bit young to really delve deep into the history of foreign countries so instead I will try to teach some of the basics of Chinese history in order to give them something to build on when they do study Chinese history in the future. This is really a hodgepodge of thoughts, but we will focus on just a small amount each day.

Vocabulary
Emperor: supreme leader of an empire
Empire: large area, usually larger than a kingdom, ruled by one person
Dynasty: a succession (line) of rulers from the same descent (family)

People
Emperor Qin (pronounced Chin) was the first leader of China and is who the country is named for; he united the various kingdoms into one country-China; a drawing of Emperor Qin can be found here.

Places
Great Wall of China: over several hundreds of years was built, repaired, and upgraded (from being made of earth to being made of brick); originally started by Emperor Qin to keep the Huns (China’s enemies) out of China







All Images Copyrighted by Historylink101.com & found at China Picture Gallery.

That is all I am planning for history this time around. As my kids get older I will expand this part of the China unit. Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have regarding China and it’s history, especially as it relates to teaching elementary aged children.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Math Monday: China and the 2008 Olympics

So this week's unit is in honor of the Olympics and will be focused on China, specifically Beijing and the 2008 Olympic games. For math this week, we will be doing the following:

Basic arithmetic, Counting, and Graphing
Olympic medal tracking: Click here for events and results
Choose an event and then click on the results
-how many medals did each country earn? (the younger ones can practice counting and those who are adding can add up the total number of gold, silver, and bronze medals a certain country has won)
-Make a bar graph of medals won

Distance Measuring, Timing, Number Places, Ordinal Numbers
Hold your own Olympics
Long jump = measuring
100 yard dash = timing and measuring
Use a stopwatch for the race and/or measure the distance jumped and then take their time/distance and use it to show number places.
Can also teach younger ones about ordinal numbers

Measuring, Fractions
Cook a traditional Chinese dish (this also ties in with social studies). Here are some recipes I have found:
Chinese Sponge Cake
Won Ton Soup
Fried Rice

Math tools
Abacuses are still used today for arithmetic in China. Practice using an abacus for adding and subtracting, but also for teaching number places.

Money
Chinese currency is called Renminbi and is made up of dollars called yuan or kuai. Pronunciations can be heard and pictures of the currency can be seen here

Time
-Print out clock template here
Attach hands with a paper fastener
-Have the children move the hands to set the time of various Olympic events. You can search the Olympic schedule here
Click the event(s) of your choice and then you will see the times of the matches.

Word problems
(with the exception of the first word problem, the others contain actual trivia/facts about China and Chinese culture):

Sun Li loves egg rolls. Her grandmother made one dozen egg rolls for lunch. Sun Li ate 3 by herself. How many egg rolls are left?

Chinese New Year is celebrated for 2 weeks plus 1 day. How many days are spent celebrating Chinese New Year, each year?

The Beijing Subway has 4 lines above ground and 5 lines underground. How many lines are there in all?

It costs 1000 yuan for the best tickets to the final Men’s basketball game and medal ceremony. The best tickets to the final Men’s volleyball game and medal ceremony cost 600 yuan. How many more yuan does it cost to see the basketball game?

One American dollar is equal to about 7 yuan. If I have 10 American dollars, about how many yuan would that be?

Can you think of any other ways to incorporate China and/or the Olympics into elementary math?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ta da!

Well, I am finally ready and able to sit down and begin putting together my unit studies. I am going to try to post daily, but may not always be able to do so. I will follow a pattern though for my unit studies: Math Mondays, Time Travel Tuesdays (history), Worldly Wednesday (social studies), Think About It Thurdsdays (writing, language), Field Trip Fridays, Science Saturdays, and Sum It Up Sundays (review of week). I will post units that I am using or going to use with my children. The units will be a base for their learning and often will not be all encompassing. I encourage you to supplement the units with your own ideas and/or curriculum. Also, feel free to "request" units and I will do my best to put something together as soon as it will fit into the schedule. Also, please feel free to add your own ideas to any post so that together we can create wonderful unit studies for all children to enjoy.