Friday, June 29, 2012

Online Spanish Curriculum: Educazion {Curriculum Review}

The following is a curriculum review by MommyMaestra reader and homeschooling mom, Heather Magnuson. is an online, Christian homeschool based out of Mexico created by Hilda Magaña. The website and courses are in Spanish, based on Mexican education standards. The school offers classes at the preschool (preescolar) through junior high (secundaría) level and is in the process of adding high school (preparatoría). My experience with the school has been the preschool level, and that's what I'll be writing about.

Educazion offers Preschool 1 thru 3, with 3 being the closest equivalent to U.S. Kindergarten. First grade is the next progression beyond Preschool 3. I enrolled my 5 year-old son in Preschool 1 last winter. I decided to start with preschool 1 because my son had very limited exposure to Spanish at that point. I figured we could start at the beginning, work on building vocabulary and basics, and still catch up to First Grade in time. We were able to complete Preschool 1 in 5 months with minimal effort.

Preschool 1 covers shapes, colors, and lenth/weight/size comparisons. Preschool 2 begins introducing letter and number concepts, and Preschool 3 introduces beginning Reading and Math. I decided to skip ahead to Preschool 3 because my son already had a grasp of those concepts and I had been working with him on Spanish vocabulary. We just began Preschool 3, and so far I'm very pleased with the Reading exercises from the workbook. The Math appears to be right in line with American Kindergarten starndards.

How the Program is Set Up

Enrolling your child at is extremely easy. Simply send an email to to let them know you are interested in enrollment, the name of your child to be enrolled, and the class in which you would like to enroll your child. They will provide you with payment instructions, and I was able to pay with Paypal. The cost per class is 500 Pesos, which at the time I enrolled ended up being just over $37. Once you make the payment, you will receive an email with enrollement instructions, and you can begin classes immediately.

**If you are planning on enrolling more than 1 child, you will have to use a separate email address for each child. This seems like a bit of a pain if you are enrolling younger children, but helps the school to keep each child's account and records separate.

The Preschool is divided into three parts, a printable workbook, multimedia games and activities, and weekly lessons with a culminating, 13-activity online quiz. The monthly quiz is graded to allow you to easily track a student's progress. For Preschool 1 the quiz usually consisted of sorting, ordering, and a puzzle. Even though the lessons are organized weekly, you can go at your own pace. When you're ready to move on to the next grade level, just pay the 500 Peso tuition and email to let them know the class in which you'd like to enroll.

My Overall Impression

Overall I'm very pleased with I feel that the instruction is worth the 500 Peso tuition, and the customer service is excellent. Everytime I've contacted them, I've received extremely prompt responses. The site also provides a means to network with other homeschoolers in Mexico, and around the world. The cake-topper for me though, is the native instruction that my son receives. The instructions for the monthly activity quizzes are, of course, in Spanish. As a non-native Spanish speaker, that is something I am unable to provide my son.

My one, small complaint with the site is that there are only general course overviews listed. The only way to see the specific course standards are to enroll in the class. However, if you email the school to ask about course specifics, they will proved you with a more detailed description.

If you would like more information about my experiences with or if you have questions, feel free to
contact me.

Heather Magnuson is a non-native Spanish-speaker, attempting to provide her two sons (ages 5 and 3) with a classical, Spanish-immersion homeschool education.  She is documenting their journey on her blog, Aventuras in Homeschooling.  They are a military family, currently stationed in Las Vegas, NV.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Free, Bilingual Webinar for College-Bound Latino Students

Just a reminder that tomorrow, Friday, June 29th, beginning at 10:30 am ET/7:30 am PT, is the Latinos Rumbo al College webinar. I will be there to cover the event live and will be tweeting, in case you'd like to follow along on Twitter. But it would be even better if you registered (remember - it's FREE!) and watched it live on your computer so that you don't miss any of the information that Mariela Dabbah will provide to help you or your child get on track to college!

Be sure to share this information with any families you know who have a college-bound student in their lives.

Un abrazo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012 National Spanish Spelling Bee

I am super E-M-O-C-I-O-N-A-D-A to say that MommyMaestra is a sponsor of the 2nd Annual Santillana National Spanish Spelling Bee!

Hosted by the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, this year's spelling bee will take place on July 21st.

Twenty students from across the country are participating in this year's event. The participants range from 4th through 8th grade. They will be representing their home states of California (1), Colorado (3), New Mexico (6), New York (2), Oregon (3), Texas (3), and Wisconsin (2). Students whose mother tongue is Spanish or who are learning the language are eligible to enter in the spelling bee.

(One of the participants is from my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas! WOOOT!!!)

I am SO excited for these kids! What a wonderful opportunity to show off their bilingualism, and gain confidence in their own self-worth. Bravo to the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (NMABE) and the Alliance for Multilingual Multicultural Education (AMME) for organizing this event and supporting bilingual education.

I watched the video below and was hooked. And you will, too. Madre mia! La señora who says, "Incorrecto!" had me biting my nails.

Perhaps I should have said that I am muy N-E-R-V-I-O-S-A for this year's participants!

Buena suerte to all of this year's participants!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marble Measurements {Math Monday Marathon}

This week we had fun practicing our measuring skills. No books required. Just a few supplies that we happened to have on hand in the house.

- marbles (preferably one small and one large),
- extra large mailing tube,
- measuring tape (or ruler),
- blocks/books/VHS cassettes for propping up one end of the tube,
- a pencil and paper for recording your results.

To learn a little bit about math and physics, our goal was to record how far each marble traveled each time we raised one end of the tube. We started out by laying the tube flat on the ground and placing a marble in one end. This was our control. Then we raised it one inch at a time, and again placed the marble in the opening of the raised end. Each time the marble rolled out the other side, we measured how far from the tube it rolled before coming to a stop.

After we had performed our "experiment" 8 times, we changed out our small marble for a larger one and did the same thing, recording the results.

Afterward, I showed my kids how to make a line graph using the data we had collected.
Here's what our results looked like:

Ways to extend the learning:

- Before you begin the experiment, ask your kids what they think the marble will do if you raise one end of the tube.

- Before using the second marble (bigger or smaller, it doesn't matter), ask your kids if they think it will roll farther or not as far as the first marble.

- Afterward, ask your child too look at the results and tell you which one rolled the furthest. Then ask them why that happened.

- You can continue this experiment until the mailing tube is perfectly vertical and see how this affects how far the marbles will roll.

Happy learning!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mother of Exiles

The President's move last week to stop deporting DREAMers and give them work permits is a step in the right direction, but his executive order could change as soon as January under a new administration. We need a law offering these DREAMers a way to citizenship.

We must recognize these DREAMers for their loyalty, hard work, and the positive contributions they have given to America. We need to make sure that they get the opportunity to follow their dreams of a good education, and reward their devotion and love for our country. They are Americans in every way except birth.

Let us not forget the welcoming words of the poet, Emma Lazarus, whose poem, The New Colossus, is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal...

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

But our DREAMers are not necessarily poor or tired. They are young and vibrant and enthusiastic.

When did our attitude toward immigrants change?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Free Bilingual Webinar for College-Bound Latinos

I'm so happy to announce that on Friday, June 29th, the first in a series of free bilingual webinars - titled "Latinos Rumbo al College" - for Latino families with college-bound students will take place.

MacDonald's®, Latinos in College, and LULAC National Educational Service Centers have banded together to bring this valuable series to Latino families across the nation. Education expert, Mariela Dabbah, will be presenting information on how students can prepare themselves for college and what resources are available.

Of course, the best part is that this series is free - all you have to do is register once, and you'll be able to login to all of the webinars in the series.

Friday, June 29th is the first webinar. But the Latinos Rumbo al College series will continue in the fall with the following bilingual webinars:

-   "Acing Scholarship Applications" - Wednesday, September 5th
-   "Finding Mentors and Building a Support System" - Wednesday, October 3rd
-   "Mastering the College Application Process" - Wednesday, November 7th

I will be attending the webinar (in person) and sharing some of the information Ms. Dabbah shares, but I would encourage you to watch the webinar on your home computer so that you don't miss anything.

Hope to see you there!

Un abrazo...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kandoobi Animales: Spanish App for Preschoolers

We're getting to that time of year when I start getting a lot of emails asking about bilingual or Spanish-language resources for preschoolers.

I'll be talking more about this topic this week, but I want to start off by sharing with you Kandoobi Animales, a Spanish app for preschoolers & kindergartners.

The program centers around an impressive collection of over 100 domestic and wild animals. From avestruzes to calamares, perros to morsas, your child will learn the names of each animal in Spanish. Many of the animals that they include are ones that are not frequently seen in most Spanish-language children's materials available on the market today. As a former zookeeper, I can tell you this was a big hit as far as I am concerned!

This app is full-immersion Spanish - no English - and therefore, best suited for Spanish-speaking children, though Spanish-learners (like mine) will certainly enjoy and learn from it, as well.

There are four components to this app: Letras, A colorear, Raya y rellena, and Igual a la silueta.

I think perhaps my favorite is Letras, which teaches not only the name of the animal, but supports spelling skills. My daughter learns best with hands-on activities and letter tiles are one of the manipulatives we use in our language arts lessons. As you can see from the picture above, Letras uses moveable letter squares to help the child "build" animal names. The tiles are randomly arranged along the side of the page and the student has to drag them into position to correctly spell the name of the animal. Parents with beginning readers can also turn off the sound and have their children read the words out loud.

A colorear allows the child to either draw their own animal (freestyle), or choose an animal and color it in. Kids can then add details such as the background.

Raya y rellena is a simple game best suited for little fingers. Children just add color to their animal by rubbing their hand over the image. Upon completion, the name is pronounced.

And in Igual a la silueta, the kids simply have to match the animal with its shadow, or silhouette.

I especially loved the Spanish pronunciation (obviously by a native speaker!) and the words they chose for each animal were the same as the ones I use. (You know how it is in Spanish - different countries frequently use different words for the same subject!)

Overall, we loved this app. Though there was one tiny mistake we discovered: In the Letras game, the spelling letters for the crane were in English. (The voiceover was correctly done in Spanish.) 

Kandoobi Animales is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It is the Spanish edition of their popular Kandoobi Animals app in English. So if you'd like to download the English version, that's certainly available, too!

Visit the bilingual Kandoobi website for more information. And tell them you read about them on MommyMaestra!

Con mucho cariño...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Animal Hide Tallies {Math Mondays Marathon}

Welcome to Week 3 of MommyMaestra's Math Mondays Marathon!

This week's math activity was a lot of fun. We were still studying tally marks. And this time, The Secret Life of Math focused on American Indians and how they kept track of things like time and events.

A little trip to JoAnn's fabric store yielded some suede-like material from their clearance section. Perfect for our little project! *Happy dance*

We played around a little bit with our design until we ended up with the right size and shape for my two little Dakota Indians. I sketched out a shape, folded the fabric in half, then started cutting...

My daughter decided to try the "ink" (black paint) method on her hide, and calculated the animals she wanted vs. the ones she had...

But my son went with his trusty marker set to begin drawing animals we might see around our place.

When he finished, we wandered outside to find some animals to count! (We found some turkeys way off in the distance, but fortunately for this little Dakota Sioux, he had a pair of binoculars in his backpack.)

Then he carefully recorded his numbers on his hide and tucked it back into his belt for safe keeping.

My kids really loved this activity. Role playing is already one of their favorite ways to play, and making "animal hides" just made it that much more fun.

Stay tuned for next week: A book on Roman numerals!

Un abrazo...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Join Our Reading Party! {GIVEAWAY}

I love summer. My kids do, too. And what better way to kick it off than by throwing a party? Not just any party, mis amigos, pero a READING PARTY. (Ummm...does it get any better than that? ¡Creo que no!)

You probably know by now that for me, any excuse will do to promote reading and literacy in our kids. So I was thrilled when I got the chance to host a reading party for our 4-H group (which just so happens to be made up of our fellow homeschoolers).For the third year in a row, the iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge is back. And thanks to them, I was able to share all the fabulousness you see filling the tables above. Our little jackpot reading party kit consisted of lots of coloring sheets, activities, bookmarks, book plates, stickers, tatoos, notepads, reading charts, pencils, and of course, BOOKS! Want a better look? Okay...

The challenge runs from June 18 to July 27 and features free literacy-building resources, for parents and children, designed by the experts at PBS Parents and PBS KIDS. You can sign up for daily activity assignments, delivered by email. The activities will be provided by Challenge Coaches Angela Santomero, creator, executive producer and head writer of SUPER WHY!, and Jessica Wollman, vice president, Editorial Products & Digital Programming at Scholastic. And if you have any questions, you can ask Angela or Jessica. They're happy to answer parent questions and offer advice throughout the online event.

During the summer, I'm a lot more relaxed about what my kids read. During the school year, I'm careful to provide them with biographies, classics, and a lot of non-fiction. But in the summer, I let the kids pick out more of the type of books they like (ummm...yes, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the Hardy Boys are at the top of the list). The only thing I don't ease up on is that I expect them to read at least once a day for a minimum of 20 minutes. But when armed with books they've chosen, that 20 minutes easily slips into 30 or more.

To help you all out, the nice people over at Scholastic have kindly offered all MommyMaestra readers an extra 10% off any of the Summer Challenge titles sold at Just use the coupon code: READ10. The offer ends August 31st, 2012.


Now, since I was not able to invite all of you dear readers to our party, I saved one of the goody sets (shown above), and I asked PBS if I could give it away. "Of course!" they said.

So one lucky reader will receive all the items shown above (EXCEPT for the green logo button. They only sent one and my daughter has already claimed it.)

To enter, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Sunday, June 17th (Happy Father's Day!). The winners will be chosen using and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! (If I have no way to contact you, I'll have to choose someone else!)
And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1) Like PBS KIDS on FB.

2) Follow the MommyMaestra FB page.

3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a @PBSKIDS & @iVillage reading kit for your child from @LatinMami #giveaway

Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: I was asked to host a reading party by PBSKIDS and iVillage. They sent me the reading party kit. I saved one set of materials and asked permission to give it away on MommyMaestra. All reading love (opinions) written above is strictly my own obsessive ramblings.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


 ©2012 Disney/Pixar

Last week, I received an email about promoting the upcoming Disney movie, BRAVE. I've been trying to be more selective about the movies I support or recommend, and don't share with you half (maybe even 3/4ths!) of the movie promos I get emails about. I was on the fence about BRAVE because although I am dying to see it myself, I don't know if my son is old enough to see might be a little too scary for him. I think my eight year old will love it, though! 

And I always love movies that are based on other cultures. BRAVE is set in the beautiful highlands of Scotland. I like the fact that I can use this movie to teach my children about another culture and can cover subjects like geography, language, clothing, culture, food, customs, and more.

But this whole movie has got me to thinking about bravery; What it means to be brave, and whether or not I or my children have ever shown real bravery. I have long thought of bravery as being able to act despite one's fear. For my children, going to the doctor is one of the first things that comes to mind because they are terrified of some of the procedures they have to go through at the doctor's office, like getting their finger pricked for lab work, the occasional vaccine, and even the painful ear flushes my daughter has to endure every few years because of the excessive wax build up in her ears (yes, we do the drops, but they only work so much). I'm glad that these are the worst things my children have to endure or be afraid of. I know not everyone is so lucky, and I know that their fears are likely to grow and change as they get older.


Back to the email. What caught my eye about this particular promotion is the opportunity for my readers.

First of all, I have been given this huge activity pack for BRAVE to share with all of you. Lots of fun activity sheets inside, including recipes, dance steps, cut-outs, mazes, and much more! (Click on the link above to download.) 


Now for the giveaway...Pixar/Disney is offering 18 (EIGHTEEN!!) MommyMaestra readers a family four-pack of tickets to an advance screening of the movie BRAVE!

The screenings are scheduled for Wednesday, June 20th, at 7:30 pm. Two (2) winners will be chosen from each market. Disney will will guarantee the winners' seats until 7:15PM, that is, they will keep a list of your names and hold seats to guarantee entrance until 7:15PM, which is 15 minutes prior to start time.

Here is a list of the theaters/markets where the screenings will be held across the nation:

IF you live in one of these areas and would like to enter this giveaway for a chance to win tickets to see the new movie, please leave a comment below telling me which market you are in. Two winners from each market will be chosen using

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Sunday, June 17th (Happy Father's Day!). The winners will be chosen using and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! (If I have no way to contact you, I'll have to choose someone else!)
And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1) Tell me about your (or your child's) bravest moment.

2) Follow the MommyMaestra FB page.

3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a family 4-pack of tix to see Disney/Pixar's BRAVE from @LatinMami #giveaway

Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: This giveaway and the printables were offered to me through a Disney/Pixar PR firm. I have not seen this movie, but am happy to offer MommyMaestra readers the opportunity to do so.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

MommyMaestra's 2nd Anniversary!! {GIVEAWAY}

With our end-of-year testing finally out of the way, we were all ready for a little celebration last week. SO since my husband was working late, I decided to take the kids to our local children's museum which was kicking off summer by showing Puss in Boots - for FREE - under the stars on their back lawn. We got there early to find a good spot, only to discover the children's museum was open late because of the event...and it was FREE, too!! Whoop! Does it get any better than that? Oh, yes it does! Because they had just gotten a new exhibit: BRAIN - The World Inside Your Head. My kids loved it. Super cool interactives that challenge you and trick your body!

Anyway, we had a total blast watching the movie and I was reminded of just how much I loved it when it first came out. The music is excellent (MUST buy soundtrack!), the jokes show an intimate knowledge of our culture, and both Salma and Antonio are superb voice actors.

Then it suddenly occurred to me in the last few days that in the busy-ness that is now my life, I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT MOMMYMAESTRA'S BIRTHDAY!!

On June 1st, this little blog celebrated its 2nd anniversary. Two years!! Already? It seems like just a few days ago I was fretting over whether or not I should start this blog. Now I don't know why I didn't start it sooner because the response has been incredible. Almost every week now I receive messages from readers thinking of homeschooling, or looking for curricula and other resources. But the best ones are the messages that say how much they appreciate the information on this site.


I have been staying away from giveaways lately. But I have to celebrate, so I have a few scheduled for this week. And I'm starting off with a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy of Puss in Boots. Just because I love it. And so did my kids. Once I pick a winner (at random), I'll buy the movie and have a new one shipped to you from Amazon. This giveaway is open to everyone.

To enter to win, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, June 17th (Happy Father's Day!). The winners will be chosen using and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment!
And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1) Follow the MommyMaestra FB page.

2) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a copy of Puss in Boots from @LatinMami in honor of MommyMaestra's 2nd anniversary #giveaway

Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: This giveaway is offered by me out of my own pocket. Because I love the movie and my readers. ~XO

Tally Sticks...Err, Bones?

Welcome to Week 2 of MommyMaestra's Math Mondays Marathon!

Last week we learned by reading The Secret Life of Math that some of the earliest peoples used tally sticks to keep records. Both sticks and bones were used as tools for counting and keeping track.

I started off our math learning by giving my kids a sheet of paper and some marbles/canicas and stones/piedras. I showed my kindergartner 1st grader how to make tally marks as he counted his stones, and had my 2nd 3rd grader tally the marbles. Making tally marks is a really great way to introduce counting by 5's, which will make multiplying and telling time easier.

To reinforce the concept of tallying, the book offers a craft where kids can create their own tally sticks using real chicken bones that have been cleaned and saved.

Since I didn't really have any real bones for them to use (I kept throwing out the chicken (drumstick) bones by mistake- Oops!), I decided to let my kids make their own using some air-dry clay I picked up at Target. I showed them the picture in the book, then let them have at it! (PS - remember to put down an old tablecloth or the clay may get stuck in places on your table top.)

This is what we ended up with...

Finally, after the bones had dried overnight, I had my kids notch their bones with a plastic knife. They put notches for each group of five stones, another bone with notches for each month so far this year, and another with the number of days we've completed this week.

Have a little fun this week making your own tally sticks bones!

Con mucho cariño...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Master List of Spanish Curricula for Bilingual Homeschoolers

Spanish Curricula
A Master List of Spanish Curricula for Bilingual Homeschoolers

Below is a comprehensive list of Spanish curricula for homeschoolers. It is a list of materials and resources for families who are homeschooling their children bilingually or in Spanish.

IF you are looking for programs and resources for teaching your children to speak Spanish, visit my Master List of Spanish Learning Resources.

This list will be continually updated and made available for you to reference with ease via a button in my sidebar.

This post contains affiliate links.

Spanish Curricula for Bilingual Homeschoolers

For a while now I've been thinking about all the requests I get on a constant basis for Spanish curricula. And even though I have shared many of them here on MommyMaestra, there really needs to be one single place that parents can go to and find what is available. Since I do not use a Spanish curriculum with my kids, I really hope that those of you who are homeschooling in Spanish, or are bilingual ed teachers, will share your knowledge and resources with the other families visiting this site.

By clicking on the title of the product, you will be taken to the publisher's/company's website where you can purchase it or read more about it.

Because some of the materials have already been reviewed on MommyMaestra, if you click on the word "REVIEW" next to the title, you will be taken to review article so you can read our thoughts about the product.

Items with the word "RECOMMENDED" next to them were submitted/presented at the suggestion of someone else. Some link to reviews.

IF you would like to review a product on MommyMaestra, please contact me to submit your review. 






(Please remember that many of the books listed may be found at a reduced price on Also, be sure to look at MommyMaestra's series of articles related to teaching your child to read in Spanish.)


  • National Education Association Interactive website with free printables (REVIEW)

  • Math Mammoth in Spanish





(I will continue to update this list. I have a long list of resources, but I prefer to check each one out before I add it here. So check back!)

Last updated: August 3rd, 2022

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

10-Year-Old Mariachi Wows America's Got Talent

I. Love. This. Kid. (You knew I was going to share this on here, didn't you?)

Read more about Sebastian on NBC Latino.


Don't miss today's Transit of Venus! This celestial event is when the planet Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun. It only happens twice each century. The last time it happened was in 2004. Because of the distance, Venus doesn't actually block the Sun as in a lunar eclipse, but instead appears as a small black dot moving across the Sun.

Please remember: Do not to let your children look directly at the Sun. Doing so can cause permanent eye damage. Instead, you can watch it safely via the NASA site which will be streaming live coverage of the event. You can also visit the site to learn how you can safely view it from home.

If you miss it today, the next time this will happen is in 2117!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday's Math Marathon Begins with a Monster Book of Dimensions

Welcome to the first day of MommyMaestra's Math Monday Marathon! This summer I'm sharing fun books, activities, and other resources to keep your kids happily learning math during the summer vacation. Help your children avoid Summer Brain Drain by letting them practice some of the skills they've learned in school, so they don't have to re-learn them again in the fall.

We are going to be relying heavily on The Secret Life of Math book, but today I'm starting off with the frighteningly fun book, Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions.

In this hilarious book, monsters of all shapes and sizes are starring in - and going to see - a monster movie. Along the way, they're helping your child learn about the three dimensions (sometimes called height, width, and depth), as well as perimeter, circumference, area, and volume.

My children thoroughly enjoyed this informative picture book. David A. Adler may just be my favorite math book author. The learning is story-based (Learn about area: How big is the movie screen?  Volume: How much popcorn does a jumbo bag hold?  Perimeter: How much fencing do the monsters need to buy to go around their yard?), and teaches the concepts simply and in such a way that my kids can easily understand.

Take a peek at these examples:


After reading the book, we were inspired to create our own Monster Theater. Out came the shoeboxes, construction paper, glue, tape, scissors, and other craft supplies. Within an hour or more, my kids had created their own movie theater diorama.

During the process we talked about what 3D means, and what measurements make up the three dimensions. Then we explored the other concepts mentioned in the book:

• To practice finding the area of an object we measured our movie screens.

• We measured around the opening of the theater to find the perimeter.

• We wanted to know how many monsters would fit inside the theater, so we measured the volume of the shoebox.

• We also practiced measuring the various dimensions by creating our own monsters and measuring their height, width, and depth.

My kids absolutely loved this activity. It kept them busy and entertained for an hour or two in the afternoon.

The book is in English, however, the activity could stand alone for Spanish- (or English-)speaking families, as long as mami or papi are around to explain how to measure and calculate.

And if you'd like to see this book translated into Spanish, leave a comment below and if we have enough, I'll forward them to the publisher.

(For other monster math books in Spanish, take a look at Monstruos Matematicos in my online shop.)

To calculate PERIMETER: Just add up the lengths of all the sides.

To calculate AREA of a RECTANGLE: Multiply the length by the width.

To calculate VOLUME: Multiply the height by the width by the depth.

This activity is best suited for children in 2nd grade and up, but it was a great way to introduce the concepts and terminology to my kindergartner who helped measure and enjoyed creating the theater.

Here's how it turned out:

My daughter is just now learning multiplication, so we used lima beans to figure out the volume.

Con mucho cariño...

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Perimeter, Area, and Volume by the publisher for review. The opinions and activity above are my own. All book links lead to my own online bookshop.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...