Thursday, January 19, 2012

Polar Bear Math

I was recently organizing our bookshelves, and remembered I had a box of books for the kids that I had purchased before Christmas still tucked away.

When Elliott found Polar Bear Math: Learning About Fractions from Klondike and Snow by Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel, he asked if he was going to learn about polar bears and sounded so enthusiastic.  I had no intention of doing any activities on polar bears (the fractions are a little much for him, I only bought the book because of the great price) or doing so much "work" over the last few weeks, but it has flowed so well, so I'm just going with it.



This book is interesting for a couple of reasons.  One, it's a story about two polar bear cubs that were born in a zoo, abandoned by their mother, and raised by humans.  Secondly, it's a math reader that teaches about fractions through the life of the bears.  The "teaching" and the story line are completely separate so it doesn't interfere with the flow of the story, which still makes it a fun story for animal lovers.  It's a great living math reader.

We did skip the fraction lessons on each page, but Elliott really enjoyed the photographs and asked a lot of questions about the "life" of the polar bears based on the photographs.

Then we did a quick math activity with our counting bears.

I had him sort them by color first, just to make the math part of it easier...and to practice following instructions!


Then I started calling out addition problems for him to answer.

1+3

3+2 

4+4 

Or I would simply put an "equation" in front of him to solve.
3+3 = 6

I found it interesting that the first time I just asked him to show me how to make a number (5), he pulled out three colors, but it gave the perfect example for adding three numbers together.  We talked about how we could add 2+2 and then 4+1 to equal 5, or we could add 1+2 and then 3+2 and still come out with 5.


He really enjoyed the activity, learned something new, and it was so easy to throw together.  Mom's favorite kind of learning!



We also had a polar bear dessert.  We had some of those individual ice cream cups, and they made a great polar bear face, along with upside down chocolate chips and Hershey's Kiss, and banana slices.  Quick, Easy and according to the kids, yummy!




Shibley Smiles
Also Linked Up:  Thinky Linky Thursday, TGIF, For the Kids Friday, Fun Stuff Fridays, The Play Academy, Sharing Saturday, Show and Share Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Come Together Kids-Winter Fun, Home+School=Afterschool!, Link&Learn

25 comments:

  1. What a lovely book to find on the shelf! It looks like you had a great time.

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog!

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  2. Those counting bears look like so much fun. I had them on his wishlist but he got a lot of other fun things instead. One of these days we'll get some kind of counting animal, though.

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    1. Sierra, they are a lot of fun. Both of my kids enjoyed playing with them and they are 2 and 5. It's hard to find things they can both work with without the 2 year old getting frustrated and the 5 year old getting bored, but any kind of "counter" works like a charm!! I'm thinking about buying a few packs of bugs at the dollar tree to use as counters too! ;)

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  3. Those bears look like a wonderful way to teach addition. I've got to get me some.

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  4. I like your math bear activity. We have those counting bears at school, so we will have to try it! Thanks for linking up on Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

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  5. I love your polar bear ice cream cups. Such a cute and easy dessert.

    Beth @ Hungry Happenings

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  6. I love the polar bear dessert! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. So cute! I love polar bear ideas! Visiting from TGIF linky party!

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  8. Such great polar bear ideas. The little icecream cups are very cute.

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  9. Neat idea! Where did you get the counting bears? Those are adorable! Stopping by from TGIF!

    ~Bekah @SonshineTotSchool.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Bekah, my counting bears were part of a Kindergarten math manipulative kit that I ordered from Rainbow Resource so we could do hands-on math instead of worksheets. They are on many homeschool/educational supplier websites though, and Amazon sells them as well.

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  10. Counting and ice cream looks like a lot of fun!

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I pinned this post!

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  11. Visiting from TGIF. I'd love to invite you to link up with us for Fun Stuff Fridays. http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/01/fun-stuff-fridays-7.html

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  12. the polar bear dessert is pretty great :)

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  13. Love those bears. Your polar bear dessert is adorable! Visiting from I Can Teach My Child.

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  14. So much fun! I love your dessert. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

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  15. Looks like a fun math lesson. Cute ice cream! Thanks for linking up to AfterSchool.
    Little Wonders' Days

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  16. I love how you dressed up an ice cream snack! The book looks intriguing, thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

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  17. Love these ideas! Just did a polar bear day with my girls. I might have to go back and do the ice cream cup and bear counting!

    http://www.radicchis.blogspot.com/2012/01/polar-bear-polar-bear-what-do-you-see.html

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  18. I am definitely going to make the polar bear snack. Too cute!

    Following you over from Show-And-Share Saturday.

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  19. Very cool... especially the treat! ;)

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  20. Love the snack! I think I will make them for my kids this afternoon using greek yogurt instead of icecream =) I need to remember to do fun snacks like this more often!!! Adding it to our pinterest board!

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  21. I LOVED this so much I featured at TGIF this week - http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2012/01/tgif-linky-party-14.html - thanks for linking up!! Come on by, grab an I was featured button, and link up again this week =-)
    Beth

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    1. Thank you Beth, I always love exploring TGIF each week!

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