Feb 032016
 

Chinese New Year Learning Activities | Alldonemonkey.com

The Year of the Monkey is almost here, and I am excited to tell you about some wonderful Chinese New Year learning activities you can do with your kids to celebrate!  What’s great about this packet is that it can be used any year, not just for the Year of the Monkey.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the Chinese New Year Math and Literacy Unit for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Kid World Citizen is a great resource for multicultural activities for the classroom, and her Math and Literacy Unit for Chinese New Year is no exception.  Great for homeschoolers, too!  It is Common Core aligned, so it is an easy way to tie schoolwork into this incredibly fun holiday!

Chinese New Year Learning Activities | Alldonemonkey.com

I reviewed the packet for pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st grade, and it was just at the right level for my kids.  These are not just cute worksheets (though they are cute!): they are real-deal classroom activities that incorporate concepts like skip counting, upper-case/lower-case letter recognition, fine motor skills, storytelling, and listening comprehension.  Of course, your kids will just think it’s fun!

I love that the packet is comprehensive in two senses: 1) it includes a wide variety of subjects, from math to reading, and 2) it targets different learning styles, with a mix of worksheets, coloring, crafts, and reading.  Even the story can be told with props, to really engage the students.

Of course, throughout it all your students will learn a wealth of information about Chinese New Year, such as important customs and symbols.  And because the information is presented in a variety of formats and contexts, it will really stick with them and have greater meaning.

My son and I loved doing the Chinese New Year Math and Literacy Unit from Kid World Citizen together, and I highly recommend it for any classroom or homeschool setting!

Chinese New Year 2016 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

For more Chinese New Year learning activities and fun, visit the Chinese New Year blog hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs!  And don’t miss my Chinese New Year zodiac game!

Jan 072016
 

Writing prompts for Martin Luther King Day

When I was a child, learning about Martin Luther King was very empowering, because through hearing stories of the past, I was able to imagine myself marching along with him, protesting injustice and setting the world right.  Children should be told these inspirational stories not just as part of a dry history lesson or because “it’s that time of year,” but because it is a powerful way to help them see themselves as world changers.

The following writing prompts are intended to help kids practice creative writing but also to get them to really think about the legacy of Martin Luther King and what it means in their lives today.

Older children may write a page or two, while younger words may write a few sentences or even a list.  Pre-writers can draw pictures, and groups of children can even act out their responses.

How do you inspire the next generation of world leaders?

Martin-Luther-King-1964-leaning-on-a-lectern

Martin Luther King Writing Prompts

Make an acrostic poem for the word “Courage” or “Martin.”

My dream for the world is…

If I could make one change in the world it would be…

Some of the ways Martin Luther King showed courage were…

Some of the ways that I have shown courage are…

Martin Luther King’s dream made a difference in my life because…

If I saw a sign in a shop saying “Whites Only” I would feel…

If I saw a sign in a shop saying “Whites Only” what I would do is…

If someone said something mean to another kid because of how they looked, I would…

I like having friends who look and talk differently from me because…

I’m glad that I’m unique because…

Some of the ways I’m unique are…

Even though people might look or talk differently from me, there are lots of things we might have in common, such as…

One way that kids can make a difference in the world is…

If I had marched with Martin Luther King, I would have felt…

If Martin Luther King traveled in time from the past and visited us today, I would tell him…

Martin Luther King Day for Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of our series Martin Luther King Day for Kids, where we share resources for teaching children about the legacy of Dr. King.

Jan 022016
 

Our top homeschooling posts from 2015

One of the biggest adventures we set out on this year was homeschooling.  In reality, it was a continuation of the enrichment activities we have been doing since my oldest son was small, but at the same time it was a significant shift in our intensity and focus.  In other words, it was time for us to up our game, but looking back it’s easy to see how much fun we had doing it.  I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished this year but look forward to what we’ll do in 2016 now that we’ve got some experience.  Here are highlights from our homeschooling adventure this past year:

Top Homeschooling Posts of 2015

Creating a World Cultures Homeschool Curriculum:
This post for me captures the essence of what we tried to accomplish this year.  A world cultures focus underlay almost all of our activities, whether in science or language arts.

Top Homeschool Resources for Teaching Spanish

3 Easy Ways to Use Music to Teach Preschool Spanish

Learning About Andean Condors

Learning About African Manatees

E Is for Electricity: Saltwater Conductivity Experiment and Electric Eels

India: Endangered Animals Games

Learning About India: The Lotus Temple and Sacred Geometry

Lebanon Unit Study

Zoroastrianism for Kids

The best crafts, education, and parenting blog posts of 2015

 

I’m excited to be taking part in a blog hop that is showcasing the very best craft, education, and parenting posts from 2015.  You can see them all on our group Pinterest board or in the linkys below!

Follow MaryAnne at Mama Smiles ‘s board The Best of 2015 on Pinterest.CRAFT POSTS:

EDUCATION POSTS:

PARENTING POSTS:


Dec 022015
 
 December 2, 2015  Education, education3 5 Responses »

Gross Motor Skills: Crossing the Midline (and Why You Should Care) | Alldonemonkey.com

One of the most important gross motor skills a child needs to develop is crossing the midline.  This is the ability to use both sides of the body together, specifically by crossing a body part from one side of the body into the space of the other side of the body, such as using the right hand to scratch the left elbow.

Crossing the midline is important not just for overall coordination but also because it builds essential pathways in the brain.  So strengthening this skill is not only crucial if you want your child to play sports but also to help him build fine motor skills such as writing.  Indeed, it first came to my attention when my kindergartener’s adviser suggested it as a way to help him with his handwriting.

Below are great resources about crossing the midline (and why you should care).

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Gross Motor Skills: Crossing the Midline

Integrated Learning Strategies: Why Crossing the Midline Activities Helped This Child Listen to His Teacher: Great visuals in this article.  I love that for each activity it includes an explanation of what to watch for to make sure the child is getting the full benefit.

School Sparks: Gross Motor Development: An overview of gross motor development and bilateral integration, including crossing the midline, with tips and why it is important for reading and writing.

The Inspired Treehouse: Developmental Skills – Crossing the Midline: An explanation of what crossing the midline is, why it’s important, and fun ways to encourage it.

OT Mom Learning Activities: Crossing the Midline: Overview from an occupational therapist, including photos and links to activities

Teach Mama: 5 Activities for Crossing the Midline (and Why It’s Important)

Mosswood Connections: Crossing Midline: Activities to help kids cross the midline

From Growing Hands-On Kids:

North Shore Pediatric Therapy: Help Your Child Develop the “Crossing the Midline Skill”: Long list of left brain/right brain “teasers”‘

My Mundane and Miraculous Life has a number of articles on creative activities for sensory therapy which include crossing the midline exercises:

From The Jenny Evolution: Sensory activities that are also great for crossing the midline:

For more gross motor activitites, follow my Gross Motor Pinterest board:

 

Nov 092015
 
 November 9, 2015  bilingualism, Education, education3 Comments Off on Learning All About Ants in Spanish

Learning All About Ants in Spanish | Alldonemonkey.com

Teach kids all about ants in Spanish with these wonderful activities from my blogging buddy and fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs Board member Jennifer of Spanish Playground!

Doing activities related to a theme is fun way for children to learn Spanish. They learn new words and hear them used naturally as they sing, do crafts and listen to stories. Below you’ll find a set of activities for a theme I call All About Ants. Try them with kids, and soon all of you will be talking and singing about hormigas.

Learning All About Ants in Spanish

  • Choose words you want to focus on as you do the activities. For beginners, start with just a few words. You can add more when those are familiar. You can also download a printable All About Ants vocabulary list.
  • Incorporate basic concepts like numbers and colors. It’s fun to count ants in Spanish!
  • Short activities are usually better. Adapt the All About Ants activities to help kids understand and keep their interest.
  • Spread the activities over several days, and come back to All About Ants at a later date. This will help kids remember what they learned.

Photos
Talking about photos helps kids learn new words. Point to these pictures of ants as you describe them. You can find more fabulous photos online because lots of people love ants!

Two ants

ants with flower

ant hills

Song
I tell parents that music is language glue. It sticks language into kids’ heads.

Las Hormigas by Jorge Lan is perfect for this All About Ants theme. You can hear a clip of the song on iTunes. We learn the song and then play follow-the-leader as we march and sing:

Vamos marchando las hormigas.

Vamos marchando sin parar.

Vamos buscando comida y esta al hormiguero nos la vamos a llevar.

Printable Activities
Using pictures cards and playing games helps children learn new words. These printable activities fit the All About Ants theme and are focused enough for beginning Spanish learners. Try the size sort, the pattern activities and roll-an-ant game in this packet: Free Printable Ant Activitites by A Teaching Mommy

Size sort. I add ant hills to this activity. We cut 3 ant hills out of construction paper – small, medium and large. We sort the hormigas pequeñas, medianas y grandes into the different ant hills. This gives kids practice using size words and the word hormiguero.

Pattern activities. Kids practice colors in Spanish as they copy the patterns. We also count the ants.

Roll-an-ant. Kids can learn the parts of the ant with this game. You can also use it with beginners to practice numbers.

Video
This cute animated video has basic ant information and repeats key vocabulary. Beginners can tap the table each time they hear the word hormiga. They will be tapping a lot! Watching this video, kids will learn all about ants and learn Spanish too.

Start at 0:33 to skip the theme song. You may want to watch just part of the video with beginners.

Crafts
Crafts are excellent language activities. Choose one that lets you repeat the words your child is learning.
Doing this simple craft from Muck Monsters you will use the words hormiguero and hormiga. (Of course, you won’t write A is for ant on the picture.)

There are lots of crafts for making ants online. These egg carton ants are Pink Stripey Socks. You can talk about the parts of an ant as you make them.

You can also talk about ants as you color. Coloring.WS from DLTK has ant coloring pages.

Kids can help make an ant snack. You can make traditional ants on a log, or search ant snacks on Pinterest. You will be amazed at the possibilities!

Books
Picture books about ants will have more language than young Spanish learners can understand. With my students, I read the wonderful book Arriba, Abajo instead. The illustrations have plenty of ants. You can find them, count them and talk about them.

You may also want to tell a simple version of the fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper. In Spanish, the story is called La cigarra y la hormiga. You can tell the story in your own words pointing to illustrations to help kids understand.

Try sentences like these for beginners:
Hace sol. Es verano.
La hormiga trabaja mucho. Lleva comida al hormiguero.
La cigarra no trabaja. La cigarra juega. No le gusta jugar. etc.

There are 5 basic drawings for the story in this printable version of La cigarra y la hormiga on Web del Maestro. Click on the link DESCARGA AQUÍ Cuentos infantiles. La cigarra y la hormiga.

You can also act out the story with stick puppets, or with ants you made as a craft.

By the time you have done a few of these activities, there is a good chance you will ready to talk about a new topic! Choose a theme your kids will like and look for songs, activities, and crafts to do in Spanish.

All About Ants Photo credits:
CC Image by Katja Schulz
CC Image by M M
CC Image by Emma Wallace

Jennifer raised her three children speaking English and Spanish, and she has been teaching Spanish to other young world citizens for over twenty years. On her blog Spanish Playground, she shares resources for parents and teachers of Spanish language learners.

Oct 202015
 
 October 20, 2015  activities, Education, education3 Comments Off on Engineering for Kids: Build a Parachute

Here is a great FUN project to teach engineering for kids: build a parachute that really works!  Thanks so much to Becky of Kid World Citizen – my blogging buddy and fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs board member – for sharing this fantastic activity!

Parachutes Kids- Kid World Citizen

We recently made some fantastic parachutes out of coffee filters, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and paper dixie cups. The kids had a blast throwing them off of our playset, and watching them float to the ground, often holding one of their superhero figures in the cups! Here’s how we made parachutes, and what the kids learned.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Continue reading »

Jul 222015
 

Top Homeschool Resources for Teaching Spanish | Alldonemonkey.com

Bilingualism has always been important to us: one or the both of us has been speaking Spanish to the boys since they were born.  But Monkey in particular has been resistant to speaking Spanish himself, often identifying as an English speaker “who speaks a little Spanish.”  Though we have come up with creative ways to make language learning fun for him, this year I decided to take a bit of a different approach.

As I was creating our homeschool curriculum for the fall, I decided to include Spanish as a subject.  Up til now we have done our Spanish learning through conversation, media, and immersion trips, but we’ve been more casual than didactic.  Monkey responds well to classroom instruction – especially when they include games and activities – so I thought this could be fun for him, and so far it has been!  And after all, we teach English as a subject even though we speak it everyday, so why not give the same attention to his second language?

Here are some great resources we have been using.  What are your favorite resources to teach Spanish?

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  I was provided with a complimentary copy of Sofía en una Aventura por la Selva for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Top Homeschool Resources for Teaching Spanish

Circle Time

Something that is working really well for us right now is incorporating Spanish into our circle time.  I had a hard time finding a display I could use, but I am quite happy with the Spanish calendar set that I found, which lets us talk about the days of the week, months of the year, holidays, seasons, and the weather in a very interactive way that both boys enjoy.

Books

Finding quality children’s in Spanish can be a challenge, though thankfully much less so than in the past.  Here are some of our favorites, plus don’t miss my tips for finding books in Spanish for your kids:

Sofia en una Aventura por la Selvaence (Spanish Edition) is a great book to use in homeschooling because – as with all the books from Kids Yoga Stories – it encourages very active learning.  Kids will really engage with the story and the language as they do the yoga poses throughout the book.  What better way to learn the words for snake and jaguar then by acting like snakes and jaguars?  Beginning learners can focus on these basic words, while more advanced students can discuss the story.  Kids, most of whom are natural environmentalists, will also really respond to the book’s theme of conservation.  It also includes a Parent-Teacher guide!

ArteKids: Bilingual Books about Art for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

I love integrating subjects, so I was thrilled to come across ArteKids bilingual art books, which are a wonderful way to introduce basic vocabulary to beginning learners through art!  They are perfect for younger children who are just learning shapes and colors, but they work for older students, since each book contains more detailed information (in English) at the back of the book on the featured works of art, which include ancient and modern art from Latin America.  For more, you can read my full review of ArteKids books.

Multimedia

Music and videos can be a terrific way to encourage language learning, especially for reluctant learners.  I keep several Spanish language music CDs in the car, which we listen to frequently.

One of these is from Whistlefritz.  My kids really love the music, which is fun and upbeat.  Homeschoolers will also love the full Spanish for Kids collection, which is a tremendous resource for parents and teachers.  For more information, you can read my full review of Whistlefritz.

Another CD in constant rotation in our car is Spanish Songs for Kids (Bienvenidos) from Rockalingua.  Little Monkey especially requests this CD almost every time I strap him into his car seat.  The rock’ n ‘roll songs are really fun, and the lyrics are all based around themes, such as the days of the week or travel – yet somehow it manages not to feel educational (though of course you as the parent/teacher know that it is!)

Educational videos are also a great way to reinforce Spanish for kids.  I really recommend Little Pim DVDs for young children.  The segments are fairly short and teach related groups of words (such as food vocabulary in Little Pim: Let’s Eat), with a review at the end of each segment.  Little Pim is one of the most well-known language programs for kids, and with good reason.  For more, you can read my full review, included in this article on bilingual parenting.

Blogs

As a blogger myself, I’m very oriented towards blogs as a resource, plus as a member of Multicultural Kid Blogs, I’m lucky enough to know a number of amazing bloggers who focus on teaching languages to children.  They have such creative ideas!

Spanish PlaygroundOne of my absolute favorites is Spanish Playground.  It is very focused on learning through play and has materials and resources that can be adapted to all different situations and levels of Spanish.  I can also attest personally to how thoughtful she is in everything she presents to her readers.  You can trust that anything on her site is absolute top quality!  You’ll find lots of language activities and printables, as well as product reviews.  For example, I love this post on Spanish at the beach, which shows that you can incorporate language learning in all you do!

Mommy MaestraAnother of my favorite resources is Mommy Maestra.  As a homeschooler herself, she has a real understanding for what materials will be useful to other homeschoolers.  She has a lot of great activities and freebies on her blog, but her TpT store is also amazing. And don’t miss her an amazing list of Spanish curricula!

 

 

Mundo de PepitaAnother great resource with high quality materials is Mundo de Pepita.  The printables are wonderful, plus you can also find fun crafts and activities, in addition to tips for classroom learning.

I also adore For the Love of Spanish, which has a wonderful series focused on Learning Spanish Through Play.  Her activities are all well-suited to active learners and are easy to put together, so you can take learning wherever you go.

Discovering The World Through My Son's Eyes Another personal favorite is Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, by an incredibly creative mom determined to pass on her culture and language to her son.  You can find a range of cultural activities on her site, including ones specifically focused on teaching Spanish.

Learning in Two Languages is a fantastic blog from a teacher in a dual language classroom.  You’ll find all kinds of teaching tips, plus great materials you can use with your kids.

 

For even more resources, be sure to check out these Pinterest boards:

Teaching Spanish on Pinterest



Multilingual and Multicultural Printables on Pinterest



May 262015
 
 May 26, 2015  activities, Education, education3, raising world citizens Comments Off on Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers Subscription Kit

Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers | Alldonemonkey.com

I received a complimentary mission kit from Junior Explorers to facilitate my review; however, all opinions are my own.

Do you have a little nature lover in your house?  Junior Explorers helps teach ecology for kids through a monthly subscription kit with fun, interactive games and cool gear!

Monkey loves learning about animals and the natural world, so he was thrilled to receive an Amazon Mission kit from Junior Explorers!  This mission puts kids in the driver’s seat by telling them that they are needed to complete an important mission to help find missing jaguars!  To get ready, they first go through a checklist to prepare for their mission – including making use of the fun stickers, temporary tattoos, postcards, tiny animal toys, and official Junior Explorers button included in their kit!  There are also animal cards with facts about the animals they will encounter on their mission, as well as an information sheet about the Amazon.

Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers | Alldonemonkey.com

Then it is time to hop on the computer to get started!  After “packing” up your gear at the station, you set off on your journey to find the jaguars! There is a nice tie-in between the website and the package, as you need to refer to the animal cards to complete some of the activities along the way.  I also like that you make use of virtual gear that a real explorer would have with them – like a compass, map, binoculars, camera, and (of course) a tablet.

While the Junior Explorers website is very visual and easy to navigate, it is also very text-based, so really more appropriate for kids that are already reading.  Of course, you could sit with younger children and help them with the reading, but the games are designed for elementary age and above, as they require good hand-eye coordination.  They were just the right level for Monkey, who found them challenging but not frustrating.  Once he had finished the mission, he had fun going back and playing some of the games again.

Teach Ecology for Kids with Junior Explorers | Alldonemonkey.com

I would definitely recommend this for elementary age children who love animals!  It is a great way to help kids imagine themselves as explorers and envision themselves taking a leading role in helping the planet’s creatures.  Be sure to visit the Junior Explorers site for more information about their monthly subscription service!

May 202015
 
 May 20, 2015  Book Reviews, Education, education3, raising world citizens Comments Off on Global STEM Books for Elementary Students

Global STEM Books for Elementary Students | Alldonemonkey.com

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hands-on-Prints books. I received books to facilitate my review.

As part of our world cultures homeschool curriculum, I am always on the lookout for books that integrate STEM subjects like math and science into geography and learning about other cultures.  That is why I was so pleased for the opportunity to review books from Hands-on-Prints, a publisher that seeks to broaden children’s horizons through educational yet entertaining storybooks.

Author Christinia Cheung, who has a Masters in Early Childhood Education, wrote these books based on her experiences starting a Montessori school.  It was important to her that the books broaden children’s consciousness and inspire them to learn and discover.

Global STEM Books for Elementary Students | Alldonemonkey.com

Her books do just that, integrating academic subjects such as geometry and botany into engaging books that children of different ages can enjoy.  I love that many are interactive, with creative “lift-the-flap” or layered elements, adding to the unique experience of engaging with physical books.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Global STEM Books for Elementary Students

Nuts for Coconuts is a charming book that celebrates coconuts and the many ways they are enjoyed around the world!  Young readers will be drawn in by the lively illustrations, which take them on a journey to places as diverse as India, Malaysia, and Hawaii.  The rhyming text describes the many ways the coconut has been used across different cultures – from curries and candies to brooms and insect repellent!  I love that the book also includes additional nutritional information about coconuts at the very end.  Children (and adults!) will never look at the coconut the same way again!

Another book that focuses on the natural world is A Persistent Vine. This award-winning book is set during Japan’s Heian period, as a wealthy couple seek to create an exotic flower garden in their country home.  They are alarmed when the morning glory flower – which neither had planted – is found by their young daughter.  They know that this “persistent” plant will quickly choke the others if not checked, so they exert themselves to eradicate it, with surprising results.  This beautiful tale is a wonderful way to discuss invasive species as well as to get children thinking about our relationship with nature and to what degree we can (or should) control it.

The most academic of the books is Geometry through Architecture: The Chartres Cathedral; yet it is still utterly gorgeous and captivating.  Through stunning illustrations and detailed explanations, the book takes the reader on a tour of the medieval Cathedral of Chartres in France.  Beyond the fascinating story of this particular cathedral and its symbolism, the book introduces children to the concept that there is more to a building than meets the eye.  Builders often try to convey a story or a feeling to the viewer, as “Spirit meets Matter.”  In medieval times in particular, the geometry of architecture held great spiritual significance and was meant to educate and guide visitors, as so beautifully illustrated here.

I highly recommend these and other works from Hands-on-Prints.  The books are all unique, inspiring children to explore and discover the world around them.

Apr 132015
 

Hula Hoop Math Activity {Booking Across the USA} | Alldonemonkey.com

I am so thrilled to be participating in the Booking Across the USA series again this year.  While last year we explored West Virginia, this time I get to honor an author or illustrator from my home state of North Carolina.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Vanessa Brantley-Newton is the illustrator for a number of popular children’s books, including We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay, and Presenting . . . Tallulah(the latter written by none other than Tori Spelling!). She also authored and illustrated Let Freedom Sing and Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that this talented author/illustrator lives not only in my home state of North Carolina but in my hometown of Charlotte!

Ms. Brantley-Newton has a very distinctive style, which she says was inspired by retro art and fashion of the 1950s and 60s.  Her great inspiration growing up? Ezra Jack Keats.  Reading his legendary The Snowy Day as a child marked a turning point for her, as it was the first time she saw a child in a picture book that looked like her.  She hopes to inspire another generation of young readers through her own work.

For this post I chose to focus on the wonderful book The Hula Hoopin’ Queen, written by Thelma Godin.  It is a the story of a young girl in Harlem caught up in the midst of a neighborhood hula hoopin’ rivalry.  When her single-minded pursuit causes her to ruin a neighbor’s birthday cake, everyone is surprised to discover that the older woman is a hula hoopin’ queen herself and understands about “that itch.”  A book about staying young at heart.

To have some fun with this book (and fit in a little “school time”) the Monkeys and I did a hula hoop math activity learning about bar graphs.

Hula Hoop Math Activity {Booking Across the USA} | Alldonemonkey.com

First, I had Monkey try out the hula hoop (called a “hula poop” by his younger brother, who of course was eager to play along) and see how many times he could get it to spin around his hips.  We recorded each attempt, noting the number of spins for each one.  (I had to keep a close watch on this, as Monkey was likely to call out, “One thousand!” or “One billion trillion!”)

After a number of attempts (and a lot of screaming and yelling and the boys’ chasing each other around with the hula hoop), we moved to Phase 2, making our bar graph.

I had showed Monkey some bar graphs earlier, plus he had seen them in the really fun book Math Curse, which describes the bars on the graph as looking like small buildings.  The buildings (or bars) on our graph were the number of times he could each number of spins – how many times he could spin it once, how many times he could spin it twice, etc.

Looking back, for a first-time graph maker it would have been easier if both axes in our graph weren’t numbers.  It was really easy to get mixed up what each side was for (the number of spins or the number of times he did them).  It would have been much clearer if we had done the number of red hula hoops vs the number of blue ones, etc.  I had no plans to actually buy that many hula hoops (!), but instead, we could have counted the hula hoops in the book.

In any case, once the confusion was cleared up, Monkey “got” the bar graph right away – and had fun getting the “hula hoopin’ itch” himself!

Booking Across the USAThis post is part of the Booking Across the USA series organized by Jodie of Growing Book by Book.  This is a follow up to the first Booking Across the USA series from last year, when we learned about West Virginia!  Be sure to check out all the posts in this year’s series, as we share crafts and activities inspired by a beloved children’s author/illustrator from each of the 50 states!

This year’s participants:

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