Sunday, February 24, 2013

Making Kids Memorize Multiplication Tables

Everyone wants to know why my kids know their multiplication tables before entering the second grade. Its not because my children are geniuses... its because their mother is one. HA HA! Not really that either. It's actually quite simple, when we are in the car together we sing multiplication songs, every time. Yes, sometimes they get tired of these songs, but I push on through and make them sing it because, I'm the mom, and that's why. 

Automatic recall of multiplication facts is the key to success in higher mathematics. When you automatically know your facts, it frees up your brain to concentrate on other more complicated things in math. How do I know this? I was a math major in college. Now, don't go and naturally assume that this is genetic and just because I'm good at math means that my kids will be good at math. My own mother didn't even have algebra in high school, but she sure did know her addition and multiplication facts and she made sure I knew them too. When a child has a firm grasp of  basic elementary school mathematics, by having their math facts memorized, they will succeed in math.   

Skip counting is just one step in learning multiplication facts, with enough flash cards, drills and practice work sheets, eventually, they won't need to sing the songs anymore.

Enjoy the video's below with my kids and friends singing and skip counting to familiar songs for 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. I show the finger trick for number 9. I figure, skip counting by 2's and 5's is easy, so I didn't bother to make a video for those. I hope these videos inspire you to sing skip counting songs with your kids in the car!

Count by 3s with  "Three is the Magic Number" (You probably can hear my hoarse voice trying to keep them to a beat. One of those darn kids gave me strep.) I love this Blind Melon song. One of my favorites, probably because I was in the School House Rock generation.

Count by 4s to "Row Row Row your Boat"

Count by 6s to "Brother John"

Count by 7s to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

Count by 8s to "She'll be Coming Around the Mountain"

Count by 9s table finger trick. This is not a song, but it is VERY cool! I just taught her this 5 minutes before she did the video!!

.... and don't forget the lots of practice!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Stash Gifts

So one of my craft friends suggested we do a craft exchange. She is big into mustaches so when I saw this on I KNEW I had to make her one and ship it to Florida. I made a printable with all different mustache shapes and sizes so that you can make one too!!!
The materials for this project are a glass jar and Painters Opaque Bright Medium Markers . I bought a Ball canning jar because my glass recycling just went out yesterday. I could kick myself for tossing all those glass jars into recycling can.When I first used the acrylic "Painters" marker, it scratched right off. I happen to know that sometimes acrylic will bake on glass, but couldn't find any instructions on this particular marker brand on the internet.  I decided to experiment with what I had. Shockingly, I got the bake time correct the first time. Complete instructions are below.

1) Print out the printable sheet at the bottom of the blog

2) Cut out and around the mustache you like

3) Tape the cutout inside your glass jar

4) Trace the image with the acrylic paint pen on top of the glass jar

5) Let it dry for 24 hours

6) Scratch off any mistakes with a toothpick

7) Put the painted jar in a cool oven (DO NOT PRE-HEAT). Turn the oven on at 320 degrees and set the timer for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes turn off the oven and allow the glass jar to cool inside the oven. This is so your glass will not crack (Cracking happens when glass is exposed to extreme changing temperatures)

There is not a person on this planet who's printing is worse than mine, but apparently I can easily trace over something and it will turn out decent. There is no reason why your's won't turn out just as wonderful, so invest the three bucks in the Painters acrylic pen and give these small gifts to your friends, to your kid's teachers, to your mom! I can't wait to ship these to my crafting girlfriend as a thank-you! She is such a great crafter and her blog inspired me to start my own!

Grade: A 

Skill Level: Low

Difficulty Level: Easy

Frustration Level: Low

Price: $

Print out the picture below to get started!!!
Print me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DIY Canvas Art

Did you ever take a picture that you absolutely LOVED and wondered "How in the world did my little dinky 5 mega pixel Cannon with zoom action take such a fantastic picture?"  Then you purchase 4x6 prints from some online photo shop, stick it in a photo album, never to be seen again. 

Well, I've got a better idea. Why not make it into art for your house? This way you can admire your fantastic picture all day long.  

There was a sale at on Canvas Gallery Wraps. I Was able to get the 8x10 wrap with a nice discount. Sale prices always entice me to try a product.  The canvases range from $55 to $170, depending on size. I realize that some may think the cost pricey, until you see what they look like on your wall. It looks like an expensive piece of art. I'll never buy art again, or even an expensive frame. You can spend more than $170 to have a picture framed alone, I think this is a better option.

It would make a fantastic gift for a grandparents, or even just a treat for yourself.  I know as soon as my mom sees this on my wall she's going to want one!!!

Grade: A

Skill Level: Low

Difficulty Level: Easy

Frustration Level: Low

Price: $$ to $$$