Tip the Scales for Estimation
Category: Math

Okay, checking addition problems can be boring. Solving a math problem twice can be tedious. But finding the total weight of a group of family members can be hilarious, especially if your child is calculating and estimating the weight of diverse group of subjects, like an 8 lb. cat, a 22 lb. toddler, and a 180 lb. grandpa!

This hands-on activity gives your child an opportunity to apply various strategies to solve a problem and to check if his answer “makes sense.” Plus, it’s a great way for family members to help your child solve a “weighty” problem.

What You Need:

  • Bathroom scale
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Family members

What You Do:

  1. Have your child record the weight of several willing family members. Have a scale available, if needed. These family members can include parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt and uncles, cousins and pets.
  2. Ask your child to add up the weights of all the participants to find the total number of pounds the group weighs.
  3. Using estimation, have your child check to see if his calculated results are reasonable. Suggest to your child that he first estimate the weight of each individual to the nearest ten pounds or five pounds. This is especially important if the individual is a pet. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to estimate the weight of adults. If your child’s estimation is not reasonable, suggest a more reasonable number. Then ask him to add all of the estimated numbers together.
  4. Have your child compare his estimation to his calculation. Discuss the use of estimation to verify, or check, calculations. Give examples of how this tool can be helpful in real world situations. If you'd like to extend the activity, start thinking about multiplication and division. How many cats would weigh the same a grandpa? How many baby sisters would weigh the same as Dad? Having fun with the math, and with your family, too!

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1st Grade Math Skills Review Packet with a fun Snowman / Winter Theme!
Category: Math
Tags: Math Skills Review Units Seasonal

Looking for a FUN, WINTER themed unit that your students will enjoy while important Math skills are reviewed? This is it!

Skills covered in this packet:

  • 2 digit and 3 digit addition with sums up to 20, 30
  • Addition of Doubles
  • Addition of 10's
  • Subtraction
  • Even & Odd
  • Number words to 19
  • Comparisons: Greater than / Less than
  • Comparisions: Tallest/Shortest, Smallest/Largest
  • Completion of number sentences
  • Fact Families
  • Number Patterns
  • Skip Counting
  • Before and After
  • Ordinal Numbers
  • Graphing - Reading a Graph / Creating Graphs
  • Telling Time
  • Reading a Thermometer
  • Counting Money: Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters (Less than $1.00)
  • Fractions: Comparing and Recognizing

CHSH Download Subscribers can download @

Not a subscriber and want to learn more about saving $$ while having access to unlimited downloads? Go to:

Want to purchase without becoming a subscriber? You may purchase this unit @

Coffee Filter Symmetry
Category: Math
Tags: symmetry crafts learn at home

I love using craft items from arond the house to teach or enhance a lesson! Today's craft item is coffee filters! Coffee filters are so versatile and cheap to use, so we use them often in our crafting adventures. Today, we also used them for some learning. We had been talking about symmetry and I decided to use coffee filters to demonstrate what I was trying to explain to my kids. Flips, turns, and slides can get SO confusing! Coffee filters make inexpensive tracing paper! So, we grabbed some out of the craft closet and got to work.

Coffee filter art and symmetry by Teaching Momster

First, we divided a filter into fourths (by folding). While it was folded, we drew an arrow on it. The marker bled through all of the layers so the arrow could be seen on each side. When we opened the filter, we saw 4 arrows, each going a different way. We used a marker to highlight the folded lines (aka the lines of symmetry) and had a great discussion!

Use a bit of water on folded coffee filters to make the markers spread by Teaching Momster

Since the filters were out, we had some fun drawing on them as well! We have found that if you fold the filters and spray some water on each side, markers can do some amazing things. My daughter loved trying out different patterns!

Use markers, water, and coffee filters to create symmetrical designs by Teaching Momster

This one was our favorite. We added dots of each color to the folded, wet filter and when we opened it, it was beautiful! In fact, we both thought it looked kind of like an umbrella, so she grabbed a pipe cleaner, bent it, and voila! An umbrella!

Coffee filter symmetrical designs can be turned into other things, like an umbrella by Teaching Momster

Want even more symmetry ideas? Check out my symmetry cards using LEGOS or other building blocks {HERE}.

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Creations by LAckert

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