April 10, 2013
This is a GUEST POST by Leslie Crane, aka Classical Mom, our resident representative of linear minded, non-Sizzling moms who share a life with those of us who are Sizzlers.
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Silly Putty. Just what is so silly about it?
Silly Putty is a big deal in our house. It is a Very Important Thing. Like many of your children, my oldest son has a serious case of “fiddle fingers” and he loves – no, needs – to have something in his hands much of the time. For him, a wad of Silly Putty does the job pretty well.
Allow me to pause for a moment and tell you…
Five Random Facts About Silly Putty:
1) It takes exactly 3 hours and one bamboo skewer to remove Silly Putty from the keys of a TV remote control.
2) No amount of bamboo skewers will remove it from a fuzzy white bathrobe.
3) Silly Putty also sticks to hair. Shampoo and a fine-toothed comb will remove Silly Putty from hair.
4) Silly Putty can be removed easily from shiny sweat pants.
5) It is the most addictive thing in the world.
So what have I learned about Silly Putty? Read the rest of this entry »
March 4, 2013
I have long admired those wrist-watch looking devices that are actually reminder alarms. They buzz at any preset time, and even tell you what it is you’re supposed to remember.
Bzzzzz! — Start dinner
Bzzzzz! — Pick children up from soccer (on time for a change.)
Bzzzzz! — Do physical therapy exercises (It might be a good idea for these reminders to include a tazer if response is delayed.)
While I love the concept of these wrist-wonders, the price (often around $70) holds me back. Read the rest of this entry »
February 11, 2013
“Here’s your breakfast!” said Mom, as she cheerfully placed in front of her awakening children a plate covered with smooth refried beans and a little dollop of molasses.
The children went suddenly silent. This was new. However, they had been taught not to complain, so they dutifully ate what was put before them. Yet, each secretly looked forward to lunch.
At noon the children eagerly waited to see what tasty treat Mom would produce. Once again there appeared another plate of refried beans and molasses. Lunch was a rather quiet affair, except for Mom, who burbled quite happily about giving only the best to her family.
Dinner … same story.
Three days and nine meals later, Dad finally spoke up. Read the rest of this entry »
January 2, 2013
So often I post semi-snarky comments about life with Sizzlers. It’s always tongue-in-cheek. And it’s a good let-off-valve for all the stress that these intense kids can bring into our lives.
But this evening, I’m struck by how much I adore this child. How her unique and quirky ways add so many layers of wonderful to my life. Life would be so much LESS. . .less of everything, if she’d never been in this family. And what’s more, I wouldn’t even have known what I was missing.
I love that when she has those million-and-one thoughts in her head, I’m the one she wants to share them with.
I love that when she opens her mouth, it will seem Read the rest of this entry »
December 3, 2012
We’ve covered ways to put major motion and minor motion into math, keeping things ordered, watching for details, staying on task, making math into a game, even doing math in the bathtub. But there was one bit of motion that was conspicuously absent because I was saving it for today. That of course would be. . .ditties!!!
The Power of the Ditty
If you’ve known me for a while, you know I truly believe in the power of the ditty. But if you’re newer to Sizzle Bop, let me explain.
The ditty is an amazing tool. Information can be learned and cemented almost effortlessly. And yet, for years, I had missed the value of this incredible learning tool.
The main reason? My son is not musical. He has no natural rhythm. He cannot even clap on the beat. So it never occurred to me to use rhymes or rhythm in teaching him. I assumed it would be a pointless and frustrating exercise to even try.
But then one day . . . Read the rest of this entry »
November 26, 2012
Sometimes it’s not about the math. Often, our kids are perfectly capable of handling the math concepts in front of them. They’ve done it before. It’s very familiar. In fact, that can almost be part of the problem.
How’s that–you ask?
Well, if they are learning a new concept, they have to focus really hard to learn it. The newness of it may be enough to keep them paying attention. But when the math skill being reviewed is one they fully understand and have seen many times before. . . they may be more likely to lose their focus.
That’s when you need some ideas in your arsenal that add an element, making the old new again.
That usually involves motion, or fun, or both!
Here are some ways to take a traditional math lesson and change it up a bit. Read the rest of this entry »
November 19, 2012
Some kids have lovely handwriting. (Actually, I’ve never really witnessed it myself in our house, but the rumors have circulated for so many years that I’m inclined to believe such children do indeed exist.) For these children, writing is a process they enjoy– the grace of the loops, the cleanness of the letters, the straightness of the lines. Writing seems to be almost calming to them. These same kids tend to take their writing skills directly into their math lessons, dutifully copying down their math problems in a neat and orderly fashion. (Feel the straight columns)
Then…there are the others – the ones I’m far more familiar with. These are the scribblers, the hurriers, the I-can’t-wait-to-go-out-and-play-ers. These kids write out math problems on a page that winds up looking as if some great tragedy hovered over the surface and rained down havoc on the computations below. The erasure marks are huge, sometimes leaving gaping wounds in the pitiable paper. The pencil didn’t just write on the page, it engraved into it, so heavy are the marks. And if there are any columns at all on those addition problems, you’d have a hard time finding them. The contentious digits in the ones place suddenly thinks they’re a member of the tens family, another number has leaned so heavily as to jump two place values and several of the hundreds places have gone missing completely.
For the last two days, we talked about what to do with a child who takes forever doing their math. But today we’re facing a problem is almost completely the opposite. Today’s child may rush through the process so quickly that little is legible, even less is correct and nothing is learned.
What’s to be done? Read the rest of this entry »
November 12, 2012
Welcome to MATH in MOTION MONDAY! This is our second installment of exploring the many ways you can put motion into learning math.
Last week we looked at some minor motions to add to your lesson plans. But on some days, “minor” just isn’t enough. If you’re having one of those days where trying to sit still and learn is going to be useless, then MAJOR motion may be called for. There is a downward spiral that frustrated kids sometimes step on. And no amount of explanation or forging forward will get them to step off. It’s better, at such points, to close the books and do something that involves serious movement (and the burning off of excess energy),
However, that doesn’t mean that learning has to stop. We’ll just find a way to take our lesson into the activity. And since this is MATH MONDAY here in Sizzleland, let’s go find some ways to put. . .
Major Motion into Math. Read the rest of this entry »