It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersThere are 265 boys at the summer camp and 176 girls.  How children are at the summer camp?  How many more boys than girls are there at the summer camp?

Lily read 75 pages of her book on Tuesday.  She finished her book on Wednesday.  If the book had 144 pages altogether, how many pages did Lily read on Wednesday?

Grandfather gave rare coins to his grandchildren for their birthdays.  He gave them 7 coins.  If grandfather had 5 grand children, how many rare coins did he give in all?

There were 7 boxes of notecards in the cupboard.  Each box has 4 notes left in them.  How many notecards were there altogether in the cupboard?

Please explain how you solved the problem in your comment.  It would add more math fun if you left us a new problem to solve too.

Happy Mathing!

It’s Monday – here are some books you might like to read

18079575I have lots of books to recommend this week – Recipe for Adventure is a series for foodies.  Alfie and his sister, Emilia are whisked away by delicious food and the magic touch of their Zia Donatella.  Their aunt is an amazing cook who has traveled the world collecting favorite recipes.  Sometimes her stories and food bring the children to different countries and celebrations.  They been to cooking school in Paris, to pasta makers in Naples and now they are in Hong Kong.  They arrive for the opening of a new restaurant and the start of the Spring Festival – the Chinese New Year.  Reading these books is a fun way to learn a little about different places in the world and about traditional foods.  What’s an added bonus are the recipe cards at the end of each book: one with the food that transported Alfie and Emilia and another that is both a yummy and simple-to-make taste from the setting of the story.

18051178Another series that takes you places is Greetings from Somewhere.  These are quick reads for 3rd and 4th graders but worth it if you want to learn about the world and solve a mystery while you “travel.”   Sad about leaving their archeologist grandfather behind, twins Ella and Ethan are traveling the world with their parents. Their mom has a new job as a travel writer for their hometown newspaper.  Though their grandfather is not with them, he challenges them to discover different sites in the city they are visiting. Reading the Greetings from Somewhere series will help you discover Venice, Paris, Beijing, Kenya and Mumbai.  (Some of the books will be published later this year.)  And I bet there will be new and different places to explore soon.

18404354Jack and Annie learn the fourth secret of greatness by traveling to the 1970 World Cup game in Mexico City on Soccer on Sunday.  If you had the opportunity to be absolutely great – the best at something for one hour, what would you choose?  How would your choice change if you wanted to help others and also find the solution to a challenge?  Soccer and history lovers will enjoy reading Magic Tree House #52 while discovering how you can become great.  You may be surprised by what this quartet of books shares.

If these books don’t tickle your fancy, how about Something Blue by Courtney Sheinmel, the 6th book in the Stella Batts series or Just Grace Gets Crafty by Charise Mericle Harper, the 12th in that series.  You could read to learn about A Dinosaur Named Sue – the find of the century by Fay Robinson or discover all the jobs that feathers do for birds by reading Feathers- not just for flying by Melissa Stewart.  They are all worth the time!





Let us know what great books or websites you’ve discovered by leaving a comment.  As always, Happy Reading!

It’s Friday – here’s someplace fun to go!

museum adI’m excited.  I saw this ad in the newspaper and now I’m going to see Sue tomorrow.  She is the largest and best preserved T-Rex dinosaur fossil in the world.  She is usually housed in Chicago, but is just over the New Hampshire border in Norwich, VT. for a few weeks.  She made me think of Jake from this year and Trevor from last – two dinosaur lovers that I hope will be able to visit the exhibit too.

I’ll post more about it when I return.  I am hoping for pictures and more information.  I’m thinking I might be able to make a paper bag scrapbook.  We’ll see.

What kinds of things have you seen or done during your vacation?  Leave a comment to let us know where you recommend we visit or things you think we should be on the lookout for.  Have fun this Friday and every day!

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersLiam is putting books in his bookcase.  He has already put 78 books in the bookcase, but he has 225 books.  How many books does he still need to put in his bookcase?

Juliana has 36 Smarties to share among herself and three of her friends.  How many Smarties will each of them get?

You have twelve songs saved in iTunes on your computer.  1/4 of the songs don’t work.  How many songs do you have to buy to replace the ones that don’t work?

Katie had 5 mini pizzas to share with four of her friends.  She is cutting them in half so they can share the toppings.  How much will each person get?  How can Katie make sure she shares the leftovers equally?

It’s Monday – here are some books you might enjoy

9325571You know how much I love the ideas If I Never Forever Endeavor shares with us.  I could read it over and over and over – and still wonder about what you and I might risk trying that would be like the bird leaping from its nest for the first time.  It takes a lot of courage to leave the nest and I have to say that sometimes, maybe even most times, I stay “there” because at least I know I am safe (but maybe a little boring.)

18383325I think these two picture books go along with this one, perfectly.  The first is The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.  The girl likes to make things and unmake things.  She likes to think and plan.  She likes to create and build.  For her it’s “easy-peasy.”  One day she thinks of the most magnificent thing.  She draws out her plan.  She finds an assistant, makes her supply list and gathers her materials.  She begins to create and though she knows exactly how it should be made and exactly how it should work… “They are shocked to discover that the thing isn’t magnificent.  Or good.  It isn’t even kind-of-sort-of okay.  It is all WRONG.  The girl tosses it aside and gives it another go.”

She tries again and again and again… and again.  She gets mad.  She get angry.  Will she ever succeed?  You’ll have to read The Most Magnificent Thing to find out.  As you read:  What’s more important – to stay safe or to endeavor?  If you fail, can you still fly?

18570357The second book is called What Do You Do With an Idea by Kobi Yamada. “One day I had an idea.  ‘Where did it come from?  Why is it here?’ I wondered, ‘What do you do with an idea?’  At first the boy tried to ignore it and walk away, but the idea stuck with him.  Next he tried to hide it away.  He was afraid others might think it strange, but the more the boy thought about the idea, the more he liked it.  And so he payed attention to it, but only when he was by himself.  Attention helped the idea grow and develop.  It got big and harder to hide.  What do you do with an idea that you  like, but that might seem strange to others?

What do you do with an idea?  Do you leave it alone?  Do you think about it and help it grow?  Do you share it?  Do you hide it?  Do you let it go?  After reading What Do You Do With an Idea let me know what your choices will be.  What will you do with your ideas?

Happy Reading!  Happy Dreaming!  Happy Making!  Enjoy!

Friday Fun – a writing idea – Poetry Presents

collection in a boxCollection In A Box  found on


  • paper or card stock
  • small box with a lid
  • scissors
  • glue


  1. measure and mark a long strip of paper or card stock whose short side matches the long side of the box
  2. accordion-fold the strip and glue the first page to the inside boxes lid and the last page to the inside of the boxes bottom
  3. add your tiny treasures to the pages and label to cover with the name of the collection

I liked this idea when I saw it but realized that I didn’t have a collection that would fit inside a box like that.  They were too big or fragile or bulky so I began to think.  Inspired by Lily’s wonderful Christmas gift I decided I would combine these ideas to make Poetry Presents.  Follow the same directions up above, but instead of adding a collection, write a poem.  It could be an original poem or an old favorite that you want to illustrate.  Have fun creating and writing.

bookmarkpoetry presentsHappy Thoughtsummer

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersCameron picked three apples from her tree every day for seven days.  How many apples did Cameron pick in those seven days?  Cameron decided to pick three apples every day for three more days.  What is the total number of apples Cameron picked?

Jordan bought some bottles of juice.  Each bottle costs $2.  How much money will Jordan spend if he buys three bottles?  Jordan paid for the juice with a $20 dollar bill.  How much change will he get in return?

Juliana organized her sticker collection.  She arranged them on each page in 3 rows of 4.  She has 7 pages in her collection.    How many stickers were on each page of her collection?  How many stickers did Juliana have in her collection all together?

It’s Monday – here are some books to read

12958793It all started in Miss Stunkel’s art class.  Penelope drew a portrait of her best friend, Patsy, and Patsy drew one of her.  Penelope studied Patsy closely using all the skill of Leonardo da Vinci to create the perfect image – the Mona Lisa of 4th grade portraits. At last it was time to share and Patsy jumped up first to present her portrait of Penelope.  She proudly shared.  Penelope was stunned.  She knew she had a different nose, but was it seen like “that?”  Her nose wasn’t long and huge and pointy – COLOSSAL.  Large maybe, and yet, distinguished certainly.   The picture stared at her from the bulletin board and Penelope knew she had to do something about it to make it right.

At home that night Penelope asked her mom about her nose, only to discover that her nose was a Crumb family trait.  Evidently she and her grandfather shared the same nose, but Penelope never knew that because she had never met her grandfather.  She thought he was graveyard dead, like her dad, but he’s not.  In fact, he might live nearby. Assigned to “discover what you don’t know about your family” and then make a family “coat-of-arms using pictures and drawings to show your family’s history” Penelope decides to find her unknown grandfather and discover how her nose connects them.

Penelope, with the help of her home schooled, over-protected neighbor Littie Maple does some pretty courageous, dangerous and ingenious sleuthing to fix her nose, discover the unknown, and heal and strengthen her family.  I’m glad Penelope Crumb is the first in a series, because Penelope is fun to be around.  She is determined and has just the right amount of quirkiness to make her a person I’d like to have in my life.  She’d help me notice and appreciate the little things that make each of us uniquely important in the world.


It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersJuliana bought two packages of crayons for $.59 and one package of pencils for $.45.  How much money did Juliana spend?  She handed the cashier $5.00.  How much change did she get back?

Liam has 84 coins in his collection.  There are 14 dimes and 30 quarters.  The rest are pennies.  How many pennies are in Liam coin collection.  What is the value of Liam collection?  Or to put it another way, how much are the coins in Liam collection worth?

Three friends shared a large pizza.  Jake had 3/8.  Kaylee had 2/8.  How much of the pizza is left for Hajna to eat?

It’s Monday – here are some books to enjoy

18267069The Greatest Star on Earth – book 2 of Three-Ring Rascals written by Kate Klise and illustrated by M. Sarah Klise

of interest to 2nd through 5th grade readers

Sir Sidney has the best circus in the world.  It puts everyone in a good mood – no matter how bad your day has begun!  On top of that, Sir Sidney is the nicest man alive.  He greets everyone who comes to his circus personally and children are always allowed in for free.  He also makes time for his performers.  Though he has seen Stan and Dan, the Flying Banana Brothers perform their tricks every day for years, he still stands and cheers when he watches them.  He always applauds Leo the lion’s song and he still gasps with delight when he sees Elsa the elephant dance.  It is true: Sir Sidney’s Circus  Animals, Acrobats, Amazing Feats  Every show is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone and put a smile on your face.  It does.  It always does – well except for that time when Sir Sidney hired Barnabas Brambles to help. According to Bert and Gert, the circus mice, “Let’s just say it was a disaster.”  “It was.  That’s a fact.”  You can read about that here.

Sir Sidney says, “But here’s another fact.  Everyone deserves a second chance.  We can help Mr. Brambles become a better man.  Traveling with a circus is a wonderful way to learn.”  After he post the weekly schedule of performances, Sir Sidney gets a letter from Polly Pumpkinseed  – publisher of The Circus Times.  She is trying to drum up business for her magazine and has decided now that Sir Sidney has the best circus in the world there must be a contest to find out who the best performer is.  He or she will be named Greatest Star on Earth and win a trophy.  Polly Pumpkinseed plans to attend one of the shows in disguise to select the winner.  Sir Sidney is distraught.  All of his performers are excellent – but only one trophy means only one can be selected.  Soon Sir Sidney collapses and Dr. Dora Drap discovers he has a “worry wart” growing on his nose and spreading across his face fast.  He must go the hospital immediately.  So it looks like Barnabas Brambles is going to get that second chance.

You’ll have to read The Greatest Star on Earth to find out what happens when Sir Sidney can’t be cured, Barnabas slips back into his old ways and there is only one trophy for one performer to win.

As always the Klise sisters’ books are full of humor and designed to enjoy.  You can read about them and explore their writing and art here.  Sarah’s Top 7 Drawing and Writing Tips made me think of Lily and Katie’s pieces in our magazine.  Enjoy!  Let us know what you’re reading and what you’d recommend in a comment.