Font.My for Android Users

Monday, February 18, 2013
I don't know about you, but after seeing so many iPad users/bloggers create their own fonts, I've been green with envy.  I wanted so badly to make my own fonts but I don't have an iPad.  However, I DO have an android tablet and this past weekend I discovered an amazing new app in the Play store. Drum roll, please...

The trial version is free and you can make and download 1 font (lower case letters only).  It didn't take me long to decide I needed, okay, wanted the full version. I was able to get the full version for $2.99 which I thought was a good deal.  

This is an example of the first font that I created.  It's pretty basic but I still love it.  I'm sure I'll be creating plenty more.  This app is so simple to use that my children were zipping right through it creating their own fonts too.

Even though this isn't the typical Monday Made It post, I thought I would link up any way cuz I'm just so dang happy about my new find!!  I want to make sure all the Android users out there find out about this one!!

Have a great week!

Foldable Fun + Freebie

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I love foldables!  I love math journals!  AND, I love seeing how much foldable goodness we can add to our journals.  I even enjoy seeing just how poofy our journals get.  I have a tip for you at the bottom of this post if poofy journals bother you.

My favorite type of foldable is one that requires very little prep time.  It’s even better if it’s FREE!  I found this neat freebie on Mrs. Lyon’s blog and it happened to coincide with what we’re studying right now.  Without hesitating, I snagged it right up. 

To add a little pizzazz to our journals we trimmed off the margins.  Then cut out the title and cut off the note at the bottom. 

We folded over the name section and cut it into strips to create flaps.

We then glued all our pieces into our journals.

Viola – a fast, quick and FREE resource for our math journals. If you want your own copy of this freebie, drop by Mrs. Lyon’s TPT store.

Poofy Journal Tip
Buy a package of 7 inch rubber bands.  I got mine at Staples.  Punch a hole at the top of the back cover and thread the rubber band through it.  Then the rubber band can be as a strap to keep the journals closed.  I’ve noticed that using the rubber band has made my journals less poofy (and easier to manage).  You can see an example (although not a very good one) at the top of the picture above.

CSI: Inferences cont.

Monday, February 11, 2013
I recently posted about some of the activities I used to teach my class about inferences.  I’m continuing the post today with one more activity from my inferencing bag of tricks.

Evidence Bags Our final “fun” activity was to look at some evidence bags I had collected. Once again this was some trash I found around my house but I didn’t tell them that. The trash was stored in resealable bags so that it looked like real evidence.

In this case, we didn’t have much evidence to look at but we ended up spending a lot of time analyzing it! I wanted the kids to tell me whose trash this was and what was wrong with them. There isn’t enough evidence here for them to figure out an exact person but I wanted them to be able to tell me whether it was a child or an adult. It’s obvious that this person was sick but I wanted a more specific description. What kind of illness did this person have? I started with the cough drops and then moved on to the cough syrup.  At this point they had a good idea about the illness but were stumped on whether it was a child or an adult.  They really got stumped with the Sudafed but one of my bright kids suggested we look at the dosing instructions to find out what age this medicine is intended for.  Each kid had their own chart to fill in as we went.

This is my second evidence bag.  I told the class that I found this trash at the ball park in town.  Once again, I wanted them to figure out who (child or adult; male or female) and what might have happened. 

My class was uber involved in these inference activities.  They even wanted to help make more evidence bags so that we could do the activity again.  I’m hoping that next year I’ll have some more bags put together so that the kids can work on them in small groups.  I’m going to be on the look-out for some interesting trash and may even go dumpster diving to get it!  It’s for a good cause, right?

Before I go, I want to share this picture I found on Pinterest.  We recently studied our solar system and this is the reaction some of our lovelies had.  I love the look on that cat’s face!!

CSI: Inferences

Friday, February 8, 2013
I had a lot of fun in reading this week (and so did my kiddos!).  Making inferences is one of our weaknesses so I’ve been thinking about what I can do to help my kids.

To help set the stage for my lessons, I dug out some hats and magnifying glasses I had left over from the year I had a detective class theme.  The kids really got into character and were excited to participate in the lessons.

After I reviewed how we use evidence + what we know to make inferences and draw conclusions, I jumped right into my 1st activity.

Mystery Bag 
I brought in a tote bag with “evidence” (a.k.a junk from my house).  I told my class that I had found this bag while I was running errands and I wanted them to figure out where I had found it.

I pulled out the evidence one at a time starting with a bag of quarters.  We discussed each item and wrote about the purpose of the item and where you would use it on chart paper.  I then moved on to the towel, chamois, wrapper, and finished with the Turtle Wax.  I found out that my class didn’t have the proper schema for this particular bag of evidence but we ended up having a really good discussion about making inferences anyway.

Guess What I Did Last Weekend 
Another activity I did was bring in a bag of evidence from my weekend adventure.  My oldest daughter participated in an out-of-town 4H Food Show so I gathered up receipts, maps, her study notes, and her place setting items.  Once again, I pulled items out of the bag one at a time and we discussed the significance of each one.  We listed each of our inferences on the board and discussed how all the clues fit together.  This activity was so much fun that forgot to take pictures!  I could kick myself!  I plan to repeat this one as often as I can.  The kids had a blast trying to figure out what I had been up to. 

I have more making inferences activities to share but I’m going to save them for another post.  I would love to hear about what you do to help your kids master this difficult skill.

Enjoy your weekend!

Making Measurement Fun

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
My kids recently had the opportunity to practice area & perimeter in a fun way.  My friend Liz had the wonderful idea of creating Area and Perimeter Zoos.  After her class created this adorable zoo, I decided my class just HAD to make one too.

I really like how Liz arranged her animal habitats and added details to her zoo.

For this project, we cut up chart paper with 1 inch grid lines into random sizes. The kids had to find both the area and the perimeter of their piece of chart paper.  After that they were allowed to decorate their habitats and then add animal clip art.

Some of the kids put a great deal of effort into their pictures and many of them wanted to make extras.  Liz’s kids added a gift shop and restrooms.  You gotta love it!

My kids did an awesome job with their zoo.  For mine, I crumpled my butcher paper to give it a grassy texture and added crumpled brown paper for the fence.  I really think I need to add more detail to my zoo but this is what I have so far.

I had kids who loved this project so much they begged to work on an extra habitat during recess.  I was shocked!

Because of my kids’ enthusiasm, I’ll have to do this one again next year.

I am bothered by the fact that the measurements are not labeled. So, next year I think I’ll add a little more complexity to this activity by having my kids use scale.  I could have one square inch of paper equal 1 square foot or 2 square feet depending on the ability of my class.

I’d love to hear about the ways you make measurement fun in your class. 


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