Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #39: March 19, 2015

Welcome back to… 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn’t something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.
I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I’ve posted around March 19th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don’t already have one, and share it on Facebook. 
Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don’t need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn’t hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.


Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. 


I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 
Here is my Throwback Thursday post:
Here is this week’s randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:
Erika from Raising Leafs shared:
To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wordless Wednesday: March 18th, 2015 (w/linky)- First Walk of the Year

Yay for warmer weather (not that it lasted)!

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

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Workbox Wednesday- March 18, 2015

Welcome to Workbox Wednesday! 

Though we haven’t had anything different in the Workboxes again this week, we are going to be adding in some enrichment exercises from a new review item, LaLaLogic. Though this is meant for children 3-6, I am going to be having the older children do some of the activities. I will also be sharing some of the extra sheets the younger two will be working on in the coming weeks. So, stay tuned.

If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like photobucket.com to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

Please don’t forget to visit my co-hosts at Chestnut Grove Academy and Line Upon Line Learning.

Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc. The favors will be returned! Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!

What is in your workboxes?
Chestnut Grove Academy
 

Improving Critical Thinking with Math Analogies from The Critical Thinking Company {A TOS Review}


Critical Thinking Company Review


It is very important to me that the children have a chance to improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills, because those skills are so important in life. I have been receiving catalogs from The Critical Thinking Co. for several years now and I love perusing their selections. They have so many resources and I was thrilled when we were chosen to review Math Analogies Beginning with the Schoolhouse Review Crew. 










The Math Analogies Beginning we received is a Windows based program, that the children have been able to use on our main computer.  If we had another computer, the license does allow use on 2 computers. This program is compatible with Windows 8/7/and Vista. Our computer tends to run slowly, however, Math Analogies downloaded quite easily and loads from a shortcut on our desktop. 




The Beginning level is appropriate for children in Kindergarten through 1st grade. I planned on Amelia being the primary child using this program, though Tabitha has tried her hand in it as well. One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to try out the Math Analogies, is because we are required to administer standardized tests in grades 3, 5, and 8 in Pennsylvania. From my days in public school, I remember analogies being a part of the testing, though I don’t really remember “math” analogies. 




Just in case you have forgotten (or never knew), here is a little refresher.







According to Dictionary.com, an analogy is “a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.” 







Further, in logic, an analogy is “a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects.” 







I remember learning to read analogies, “______ is to _______ as _______ is to _______.” For example, “Ear is to head as toe is to foot.” 







We are looking at how the objects relate to each other. I was intrigued with how this would work with Math Analogies. 







Here are some examples from the program:





The child is presented items they need to examine. The first step is figuring out how the first two images relate to each other. In the second half of the problem the child is presented with one picture and a question mark. Below the line, there are 4 options to choose from. The child needs to figure out which one makes the most sense in relation to the first two pictures. The image is then clicked on and dragged to the question mark. Exact placement is not required, making it simple to use for children who aren’t quite accurate with the mouse yet. 


They start out real simple in an attempt to get your child to understand the concept of analogies.  As the child moves through the 152 problems they alternate between difficult and simple.  In the example above, the first object (the door)  is closed.  in the second picture, it’s opened.  The first umbrella is also closed.  In order to complete the analogy, you need to pick the opened umbrella.

The child receives immediate feedback as to whether their answer was “correct” or “incorrect.” As you can see, the remaining answers are removed so the child can not try to figure out the correct answer at this point. Don’t worry, there is a reason for this. 

I had mentioned that some problems are more difficult than others. While the majority of the analogies are based around images, there are several problems where they will have to be able to read. As you can see in the above example, the child either needs to know how to read these words (and the remainder of the choices), or a parent will have to help read the words. They also need to have knowledge of what the words mean in order to make sense of the analogies.
The child will focus on such concepts of color, size, placement, direction, time, counting, money,  measurement and fractions in Math Analogies Beginning.
Here are a few of the problems we found the most challenging in this level. Would your child be able to figure out these analogies?

I mentioned that a child does not have the chance to figure out the correct answer when getting the answer wrong. This is because, after all 152 analogies are completed, the child is given 3 more attempts at answering the questions. 
The remaining times through, the child does not have to repeat all the analogies; they only have to attempt the ones they got wrong. If a child would like to go through the entire program again, all you need to do is click “Restart.” However, be aware that this will erase all existing data, so you may want to write down which problems were incorrect and what the child’s score was. 




 Math Analogies Beginnings is a wonderful tool that makes learning analogies very easy.  Amelia  was able to breeze through these much faster than I had anticipated.  In fact, she was able to grasp the concept so quickly that I actually had to limit the number of analogies she answered each day. I started out by timing her for 15 minutes. However, she finished almost half of the problems the first day. So, I decided to spread them out a bit. It still only took her about 4 sessions to complete all the analogies. She probably could have finished all 152 problems in a single day if I’d let her.







The wonderful thing about using this program as opposed to a workbook is that they child can restart and redo the the analogies over and over again. Additionally, other children are able to use the same program, just not simultaneously. If you prefer workbooks, they do have Math Analogies Workbooks available. Additionally, there are Apps available for both iPad and Android Tablets. 







You can find the Critical Thinking Co. on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.







My fellow Crew mates have been reviewing several different products from the Critical Thinking Co. Some have also reviewed computer programs, others have received physical books. Follow the link below to see the reviews for the following products:





Alphabet Song Game


Math Analogies Level 1


Math Analogies Level 2


Editor in Chief Level 1


Editor in Chief Level 2


Pattern Explorer


World History Detective Book 1




Critical Thinking Company Review




Crew Disclaimer

Toddler Ideas Tuesday: March 17, 2015

Welcome back to Toddler Idea Tuesdays! I hope you will join with me again in sharing the fun activities, crafts, and lessons that you are doing with your young children. 

We have been going through the alphabet with Harold and Hannah during our preschool time. Each week we have been focusing on 2 letters. Today I wanted to share our H project and some other H crafts/meals from the past.

After doing the worksheets I printed out from ABC Twiggles, the children made Hand Print H’s

Several years ago, when I was doing letter of the week with the older girls, we made a craft for each letter in the shape of that letter. Here is what we did for the letter h. 

Through the years we have also had the following H muffin tins:

Now onto:



Toddler Idea Tuesday Features



On my last Toddler Idea Tuesday post, there were 2 wonderful posts linked up. I will be featuring both of them today.
Featured Post #1

Shecki from Greatly Blessed shared Pre K with Katie. Check out her post for some fun learning tray activities.

Featured Post #2:
 Jen from Chestnut Grove Academy shared Easter Themed Workboxes for Tots-Preschool. Don’t forget to stop by for some fun Easter ideas.
I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your toddlers and preschoolers? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on my Toddler Ideas board and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up. Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our toddler time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your toddler, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Sunday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.
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Tuesdays Giveaway Link Up- March 17, 2015

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday’s Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, and Shelly @ The Attic Girl.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday’s Giveaway Link Ups. 

Our co-host this week is Danelle @ Our Wolves Den

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews and Shelly @ The Attic Girl along with Danelle @ Our Wolves Den.

Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #111: Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Time for Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen
(A weekly linky to share what you and your children have created in the kitchen.)

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The linky is at the bottom.

I saw this yummy recipe on Facebook earlier this week and hubby insisted we make them for this week’s Breakfast for Dinner Thursday. Of course, with it being a new recipe, that was perfect for Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen time. However, because Tabitha wanted some alone time with mommy, it became

Tabitha and a Mom in the Kitchen
Here are all the ingredients you are going to need for these pancakes. The amounts seen here are for a triple batch, though I am going to share the amounts for a single batch.

Now, let’s break it up.
(I have altered the recipe slightly from the original. We use skim milk, so I use less milk and I add vanilla to my regular pancakes, so I thought it would make these yummy too.)
Pancake Ingredients:
(For a single batch)
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (If you use whole milk, you may want to increase this to the 1 cup called for in the original recipe)
1 Tbs oil 
1 large egg, beaten 
1 tsp vanilla
Filling:
(For a single batch. Actually, I wouldn’t recommend tripling the filling, it makes way too much.)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon

Glaze:
(For a single batch. Again, I would also recommend not tripling the glaze.)

4 Tbs butter
2 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

We started out by making the pancake batter. I forgot that the recipe said to make the filling first and let it sit. I can understand those instructions now, because it is very runny at first and allowing it to sit lets the butter combine better with the sugar.
As with our regular pancakes, we mixed the dry ingredients first. Then we set it aside, combined the wet ingredients and poured them into the dry ingredients.

She loves being able to level the flour.

For the filling, we melted the butter in the microwave, then we mixed in the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Next, we microwaved the cream cheese and butter until they melted. I whisked it until smooth and slowly added the powdered sugar and vanilla. 

All ready to go.

We poured the batter onto our griddle using our 1/4 cup measuring cup (our normal size for pancakes).

Then I used my cake decorator to swirl on the cinnamon filling. As you can see, it didn’t “swirl” very well. The filling kept getting jammed in the decorator. It was recommended to use a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner, but we thought this would work better. Oops, guess we know better for next time.

We flipped them after they started to bubble, then cooked them for another couple of minutes. 
Yummy served with the glaze spooned over the top, and served with some sausage links.

Directions:
1- Make the filling first and set it aside. Just stir the brown sugar into the melted butter and add cinnamon.
2- Make the pancake batter next.
3- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
4- In a separate bowl, beat egg, add milk and oil. Pour into dry mixture and whisk well. Set aside.
5- Finally, make the glaze.
6- Place cream cheese and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power until melted. The cream cheese wasn’t quite as melted, but whisk it and it will melt well.
7- Add vanilla and 1/3 of the powdered sugar, which until combined, add 1/3 more powdered sugar, combine, then add remaining sugar and combine.
8- Place filling in plastic baggy. Cut hole in corner.
9- Pour pancake batter on griddle by 1/4 cup measures. Squeeze filling on in a spiral. Let it cook until it bubbles and is golden brown on bottom of pancake. Flip and let cook 1-2 more minutes, til golden brown.
10- Serve with cream cheese glaze.

Do you have your children help you in the kitchen?  What lessons do they learn? Do you have any kid friendly recipes to share?
I’d love to see your posts, whether you have done something this week or some time in the past. Just link up below. This is a weekly linky.

I am linking up to:


PhotobucketMore the Merrier MondayFull Time Mama

Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Try a New Recipe Tuesday at Home to Four Kiddos
The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane
Friday Food Frenzy at Close to Home
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Foodie Friends Friday at Robyn’sView
Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home
Find a New Recipe Friday at Almost Supermom

And here is my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen linky

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #38: March 12, 2015

Welcome back to… 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn’t something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.
I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I’ve posted around March 12th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don’t already have one, and share it on Facebook. 
Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don’t need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn’t hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.


Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. 


I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 
Here is my Throwback Thursday post:
Originally posted March 11th, 2014
Toddler Idea Tuesday: March 11, 2014

Here is this week’s randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:
Kym from Homeschool Coffee Break shared:
Think Back Thursday: C & O Canal History Lesson
To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wordless Wednesday: March 11th, 2015 (w/linky)- Retirement Celebration at the Library

One of our favorite librarians, who we met when I first took the older girls to story hour when they were 2 and 3 years old, just retired. I found out they were having an Open House for her last Saturday and we had to go to say good-bye. She sure will be missed.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

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Workbox Wednesday- March 11, 2015

Welcome to Workbox Wednesday! 

We haven’t had anything new and spectacular in our workboxes this week. The girls have continued alternating between the Learning Wrap-Ups and the Learning Palette in their #3 workbox.

If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like photobucket.com to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

Please don’t forget to visit my co-hosts at Chestnut Grove Academy and Line Upon Line Learning.

Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc. The favors will be returned! Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!

What is in your workboxes?
Chestnut Grove Academy