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Buried Treasure in Oobleck

September 15, 2014 8:00 am

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Ahoy, Buccaneers! Are ye ready for the big day? Talk Like a Pirate Day is just around the corner, September 19. Our Pirate Printable is full o’ fun fer yer crew. Avast me hearties, I uncovered a bit more o’ the good stuff fer ye. By that I mean ye lads and lasses are going to uncover treasure buried in oobleck, which is muckier than the quicksand I got me leg stuck in on that last treasure hunt.

Cool Summer Fun with Sponge Balls

July 14, 2014 8:00 am

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Water balloon battles are great fun, but I like to “green” our family whenever I can. That’s where sponge balls come in. They provide cool splashtastic fun, just like water balloons, but can be re-used and won’t leave bits of latex all over the grass. And they’re easy to make!

Crazy Dogs for Mealtime Math Fun

June 30, 2014 8:00 am

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You know we’re always looking for good reasons to play with our food, so here’s an easy way to add zing, and math, to a simple summer meal. All you need to get going is a pot of hot water, 20 or so strands of spaghetti, and a package of hot dogs or brats!

Count on a Great New Year’s Eve

December 27, 2013 8:00 am

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When my boys were young, I started a tradition of doing a family art activity* on New Year’s Eve. Our inaugural project was making a kind of winter count. A winter count isn’t a math competition, rather it’s an activity borrowed from the Lakota tribe in which they record tribal records and significant events from the year. Some winter counts have a single image depicting the most memorable event of that year, though others have more. These images were combined with oral histories to provide a record of the past.

Track Santa’s Journey Through the Night Sky

December 23, 2013 8:00 am

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As a child I scoured the night sky on December 24 looking for Santa and his reindeer. My dedication paid off. When I was seven, I saw their dark shadows crossing a moonlit sky. Really! Nearly forty years later I remember the thrill of spotting the sleigh and calling members of my family to the large picture window in our living room so they could see, too.

Fun Fibonacci Holiday Cookies

December 9, 2013 8:00 am

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Baking is a great way to get kids measuring and understanding fractions, but these cookies pack an extra math punch. I like to say that these fun cookies put the “fib” in Fibonacci based on their cool spiral pattern, that is close to, but not quite a famous spiral. They’ll also impress your guests, and they’re easy to make with young bakers.

Go Nuts for This Easy Thanksgiving Treat

November 25, 2013 8:00 am

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As I was pondering Thanksgiving desserts beyond pie and beyond pi (because we should have more than 3 options for such a bountiful meal), I realized that with a few tweaks, I could turn a favorite Chanukah treat into a new Thanksgiving tradition. This is fitting given the unusual overlap between the two holidays. Thus, my edible marshmallow dreidels are now edible acorns. The faux acorns resemble spinning tops, so I suppose they can double for dreidels on this double holiday.

When Pies Fly

November 21, 2013 8:00 am

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The countdown to the big Thanksgiving meal (or maybe the crazy day of shopping that follows) has begun! There’s actually a lot of math that takes place around this meal-driven holiday- how many guests are coming? How many chairs do we need to borrow in order for everyone to have a seat at the table and can you comfortably squeeze a dozen people around a table designed for eight? And of course that persistent question from the kids, when do we eat?

Rulers, Yardsticks, and Measuring Tape, Oh My!

November 12, 2013 8:00 am

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Years ago people used their bodies, rather than rulers and yardsticks, to measure length and distance. And while using the body does sound practical (You don’t have to hunt for your head or your foot like you do a misplaced ruler.), it can get pretty difficult. Add this to the fact that your foot is unlikely to be the same length as your neighbor’s, and you’ll see why the body isn’t so great for accurate measurements and comparisons. Here are some interesting facts about the history of measurement and a few fun activities to try:

Baked Apple Chips with a Side of Math

November 8, 2013 8:00 am

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It’s that time of year. Just hours after my family returned home from apple picking a friend dropped off a five-gallon bucket of freshly picked apples. I was knee deep in apples! Wanting to make the most of nature’s bounty, I scoured the internet in search of new apple recipes. Ultimately, I found baked apple chips. Baked apple chips are easy to make, satisfying to crunch and offer a couple of cool math insights, as well as a secret surprise.