Tag Archives: Math

Five Week Math Summer Syllabus for 7th Graders with Video Recommendations

Happy Thankful Thursday Everyone,

I am in the process of creating a summer syllabus for each discipline for the average 7th grader to use for review. All assignments are correlated to the Common Core State Standards or the State of Michigan GCLE’s.

Upon looking at the math curriculum expectations, below is a basic review of some of the essential concepts.

Week of July 15


Visit the following site and watch the video on how to convert between fractions and decimals:


  • Rounding Worksheet
  • Fractions and Decimals Worksheet
  • Provide a paragraph summary of the video, please provide a title for summary

Week of July 22

Visit the following site and watch the video on how to multiply decimals:


  • Adding/Subtracting Integers Worksheet
  • Multiplying Decimals Worksheet
  • Provide a paragraph summary of the video, please provide a title for summary

Week of July 29

Visit the following site and watch the videos on how to graph inequalities and order of operations:



  • Inequalities and their Graphs Worksheet
  • Order of Operations Worksheet
  • Provide a paragraph summary of the videos, what did you learn? Please provide a title for summary

Week of August 5

Visit the following site and watch the videos on divisibility of factors and factorization:



  • Divisibility and Factors Worksheet
  • Factors and Factorization  Worksheet
  • Provide a paragraph summary of the videos, what did you learn? Please provide a title for summary

Week of August 12

Visit the following site and watch the videos on Greatest Common Factor and Least Common Multiple:



  • Greatest Common Factor Worksheet
  • Least Common Multiple Worksheet

Happy learning!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~



Filed under Summer Syllabus for Math

Summer is a Time for Play…Learning can be FUN too!

During the school year, we reflect on summers past and the next one to come and we remember treasured times of relaxation.  However, sometimes we get so caught up in our scheduling and planning of events, that we forget to just pause, relax and allow our children…and ourselves to play.

If you find upon reflection that you and your family fit into the latter category this summer, I want to encourage you to pause, choose two good books to read and “schedule” some time into you weeks ahead to just “be”…to allow your children to play with some containers and a water hose in the yard, to research finger foods online and allow your children to make dinner for the adults in the house one night…they will have so much fun and you will be amazed at how much they have grown. 🙂

Our team has collected some helpful tips to ensure that summer is indeed a time of relaxing and learning, for you and the child(ren) in your life.

Moms who Think

Moms who Think, is a great site for recipes, diet and nutrition, holiday and celebration ideas and so much more.

Kid Recipes

Easy and Kid-Friendly Recipes from Kraft Foods

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Rachel Ray Everyday …a great family website!

Rachel Ray’s Kid-Friendly Recipes

Martha Stewart and Summer Activities for Kids~We like the summer housekeeping and garden in a jar 🙂

60 Activities for Kids this Summer

Great Schools, Involved Parents, Successful Kids is an amazing website!

Ten Ways to Keep your Child Learning this Summer

Given that we like to promote the good in education, we would like to share the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement‘s recommendation for parent/child involvement this summer:

Every Day…

  • Give your child a hug and say “I love you.” Do not forget to look them in the eye, to ensure that you make that special connection with them.
  • Praise your child. We all like to hear that we are doing a good job…it is o.k. and encouraged to tell your child(ren) often.
  • Talk with your child. Our Unlock the Teacher LLC team encourages you to not only talk with your child, but read the same book they are reading independently, specifically if your child is 7-18.  This will always give you something to talk about with them…a common ground.
  • Read and write with your child for at least 30 minutes every day. Our Unlock the Teacher children keep journals and we write and share about what we are passionate about. (When children are little, pictures in journals versus words are just as good…let your child explain their pictures to you.)
  • With your child, make a dictionary of new words and add to it every day. Studies have shown that the more words we learn, the higher our IQ…make it a family activity to choose a word or few words a week and have some fun at the dinner table uses them 🙂
  • Count with your child. Math is everywhere, in the grocery store on labels, on the road as we drive…make it a fun exercise to play Eye Spy math or numbers with your child.  The more that children can be exposed to numbers in their world and what they are utilized for, the more understanding they will have for math.
  • Share news with your child. Our Unlock the Teacher team believes that if you talk to your children as if they are intelligent, they rise to the occasion; it allows them to broaden their scope…sans any handicap or disability that prevents this from occurring.
  • Listen to music with your child. There are many positive studies on why this is important. Studies have shown, that memory retention and learning is enhanced while studying and listening to classical music.

May your summer, or what is left of it, be a time of renewal and rejuvenation for both you and the child in your life. Learning can indeed be fun and relaxing, it just might take a bit of planning.  We encourage everyone to live in the moment and choose to be the difference in the life of your child.

Please share your tips and favorite websites with us and we will post it here for all of our readers.  Together we can make a difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

Comments and Ideas Posted by our Readers:

Thank you for the great tips and links, but if I might add another great recipe site it would be; http://www.allrecipes.com on this site you can also share your own wonderful recipe ideas and rate others as well. Kid friendly, vegetarian  and even tips and advice I just love to see the creativity on this site! ~Melanie Osborn

1 Comment

Filed under Summer Learning Tips

Educational Online Resources Recommended byTeachers

Summer Resource Guide

Provided by the St. Regis School and Academy Faculty

 Critical Thinking and all Core Subjects

www.iknowthat.com  Critical thinking and activities in all core subjects

funbrain.com   all sorts of educational fun

www.nick.com/  Nickelodeon/kid games


http://students.discoveryeducation.com/ Digital media content aligned to state standards and common

Brain Builder Links

Grade 3 http://www.puzzles.com/projects/LogicProblemsArchive.html Logic Puzzles to Play Online or Print Out! http://www.neok12.com/ Educational Videos, Lessons, and Games: Covering all Subject Areas: Grades K-12 http://www.kidskonnect.com/ Kids Konnect: A Safe Internet Gateway for Kids http://www.sikids.com/ Sports Illustrated for Kids http://www.funbrain.com/kidscenter.html Cool Games for Kids: Searchable by Grade K-8 http://www.playkidsgames.com/ Games covering a Wide Variety of Subject Areas

Improve Study Skills

http://www.how-to-study.com/study-skills/en/index.asp  Includes links to numerous articles about study skills


Includes helpful tips for effective note taking, test prep, writing essays, reading comprehension, and more

http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html  Provides self-help information for improving one’s study skills


Grades 6-8

www.eduplace.com/kids/hme/6_8/grammar/ www.sheppardsoftware.com/web_games_vocab.htm www.ask.com/English+Grammar+Games www.funenglishgames.com/grammargames.html www.english-online.org.uk/games/gamezone2.htm – 21k www.harcourtschool.com/menus/preview/harcourt_language/grammar_park.ht

Language Arts

Grade 1 http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities.html

Grade 3 www.abcya.com  Grade level lessons in math and language arts. starfall.com   a phonics practice website http://www.k12reader.com/why-read-20-minutes-a-day/  Read 20 minutes a day (at least)

Grades 6-8

www.sadlier-oxford.com For previews of the vocabulary units we use “Vocabulary Workshop – Level C” www.literacyworks.org/learningresources For activities in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sequencing using real news stories, www.learn4good.com/kids/index.htmlanguage arts skill practice, be sure to click on the first tab –“Languages” http://languagearts.ppst.com power point presentations and practice games on grammar and literary terms.


Grade 1


Grade 3

www.fun4thebrain.com  Math practice for grades k – 8.

www.gamequarium.com  Practice more than 1,000 different math topics in grades

www.abcya.com  Grade level lessons in math and language arts.

Grade 4

www.mathcafe.com  Basic math practice and worksheets www.softschools.com  Worksheets and practice of basic math facts www.math.umass.edu/diehl/mysteries.html  Math mysteries www.brainquest.com  Brain teasers www.onlinemathlearning.com  Math learning http://edheads.org/  Logic puzzles www.aplusmath.com/games/index.html  Math games K – 9

Grade 5

https://www.xtramath.org/  assess and track student’s basic math skills by grade level

www.ixl.com  assess and track student’s basic math skills by grade level

http://www.mathplayground.com/  fun math games, puzzles, and videos

http://www.helpingwithmath.com  math skills and worksheets based on Common Core Standards for Mathematics

http://www.mathsisfun.com  math skill explanations, dictionary, worksheets, and puzzles

Grade 1-8








Grade 7

http://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer.htm   For a daily 3 minute retreat http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/   3433 Catholic Prayers for all needs http://www.usccb.org/   daily mass readings and many other resources from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops


Grade 1 http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities.html

Grade 3


http://www.scholastic.com/kids/weather/  Interactive Weather Maker

http://www.quia.com/custom/29main.html  Earth’s Physical Features Games

http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/diagrams/watercycle/  Water Cycle Animation

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/kids/flash/flash_watercycle.html  EPA: Water Cycle Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/watertreatmentplant/flash/index.html  EPA: Tour a Drinking Water Treatment Plant


http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/htbw_main_page.html  Kid’s Health: How the Body Works Videos and More!


http://www.edheads.org/activities/simple-machines/   Ed Heads: Simple Machine Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/states_of_matter/ States of Matter Activity



As the Earth Turns: Causes of Day and Night: Interactive Learning Experience


Earth in Motion: Causes of Seasons: Interactive Learning Experience


Earth’s Revolution Around the Sun and Seasons Interactive Animation

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/index.html NASA Kids’ Club

http://moon.nightskyobserver.com/  Night Sky Observer: Moon Page

http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/moon_phases/  Moon Phases Interactive Learning Experience

http://www.astrocentral.co.uk/starting.html  Star Hopping Guide with Animations: Finding Constellations

http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm  Kid Astronomy: Facts about Planets, Moons, and other Objects in Space

http://stardate.org/  Current News and Information on Viewing the Night Sky

Grade 4

www.sciencekids.com/gamesactivities.html  Science activities for Elementary levels

Grade 5

http://www.education.com/activity/fifth-grade/science/   hands-on activities that explore 5th grade science topics – plus other subjects as well http://www.chem4kids.com/   basic chemistry information and activities http://www.kidsgeo.com/   geology topics and games and other science topics Star Walk app for iPad – awesome interactive, astronomy guide

http://www.brainpop.com  animated educational site – all subjects also – subscription required

http://science.discovery.com/interactives/literacy/newton/media/newtonfinal415.swf  fun presentation on Newton’s laws of motion

Grade 7

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/ http://scienceclub.org/scifair.html http://www.sciencebob.com/sciencefair/ideas.php http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities.html

Grade 8

http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/carousel.html Amusement Park Physics

http://zonalandeducation.com/contents/contents.html Zona Land Education

http://www.neok12.com/ Educational Videos, lessons, and games

http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?id=L639 Make your own cool Tetrahedral Kite

http://www.khanacademy.org/ Khan Academy is your friend!

Social Studies

Grade 1 www.Kids.nationalgeographic.com/ Kid’s games, animals, pictures, stories

www.bensguide.gpo.gov/ U. S.  Government web sites for kids

http://bensguide.gpo.gov/  US government websites for kids

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/  Kids games, animals, pictures, and stories

Grade 3

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/michigan/  Information on Michigan’s Native American Tribes

http://www.historyglobe.com/jamestown/  Jamestown Interactive Online Adventure


National Geographic for Kids: On the Trail of Captain John Smith Online Adventure

http://www.americancivilwar.com/civil.html  Information on the Civil War

http://www.civilwar.com/component/option,com_battlemap/  Interactive Civil War Battle Map

http://www.coolmath-games.com/lemonade/  Economics: Lemonade Stand Game

http://www.coolmath-games.com/0-coffee-shop/index.html  Economics: Coffee Shop Game

Grade 5

http://www.educationalrap.com  core subject area topics presented in rap songs – Redcoats vs. Rebels is great!


view the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights; excellent resource for 5th grade S.S. topics

Grade 6



Grade 8

Colonial Williamsburg

http://www.history.org/almanack/tourTheTown/index.cfm http://www.history.org/history/fife&drum/about.cfm http://www.history.org/history/fife&drum/redregimentals.cfm http://www.history.org/Almanack/life/index.cfm http://www.history.org/Almanack/places/index.cfm

Revolutionary War





War of 1812







Civil War






Grades JK-5


This website has many basic topic worksheets.  Great for all students.  Parents can help younger students with worksheets.


This website is a search engine for games made by teachers around the country. One can search for any topics covered in Spanish. Great for all students. Parents would need to help their younger children navigate the site.

http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/spanish_for_children  Games on many topics http://sracaldwell.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/file/view/The-10-Best-Spanish-Websites-for-Kids-12.pdf

This is a pdf file that has active links to many other sites broken down by level.

http://www.kidsspeakspanish.org/esp_Songs.shtml  This website has fun songs that students can sing along with.  Great for JK – 3rd grade.

http://www.spanishtown.ca/spanishforkids/spanishforkids.htm  Great for 1st – 4th grade students.  Covers basic concepts. http://www.abcteach.com/directory/languages/spanish/  Great for 1st – 5th grade students. Parents may need to help younger students navigate site. Many different topics covered by worksheets


This website has a plethora of topics. One can choose Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Verb drills. Pronunciation would be great for middle school students.  Grammar would be great for 4th – 8th grade students.  Vocabulary would be great for 4th -8th grade students to review and expand their word knowledge. Verb drills would be great for 4th -8th grade students to review and expand their verb knowledge. http://www.spanish.bz/learn-spanish.htm

The topics are found at the bottom of the page. There are many topics. Great for middle school students and grades 4 and 5. They are presented in a lesson format: instruction – worksheet – quiz.

Grades 6-8

www.classzone.com (click on our Avancemos book) www.spanishspanish.com

http://www.uni.edu/becker/Spanish3.html http://www.digitaldialects.com/Spanish.htm http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_es.php# http://www.quia.com/shared/spanish/

From the Media Center

Local Libraries Bloomfield Township Public Library hosts summer reading programs for all age levels. Print titles are available through the children and youth departments and eBooks are available through their web portal.

Bloomfield Township Public Library: http://www.btpl.org/

Getting Started with eBooks: http://www.btpl.org/node/5312

Baldwin Public Library hosts summer reading programs for all age levels. Print titles are available through their children and youth departments and eBooks and eAudio books can be accessed online.

Baldwin Public Library: http://www.baldwinlib.org/

Baldwin Virtual Services:  http://www.baldwinlib.org/eBooks/

Religious Books and Media Christian books are available through this site and are grouped according to age.

For kids: http://www.christianbook.com/kids

For tweens: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_sp?sp=102367

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books Awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecotthonors/caldecottmedal

Newberry Medal and Honor Books Awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal

Reading/Writing Websites for Kids Great Websites for Kids is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children and provides engaging links to a variety of subjects for all grade levels: http://gws.ala.org/

Book Adventure from Sylvan Learning: http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx

Interactive Writing Games: http://www.funenglishgames.com/writinggames.html

Educational Apps

Reading and literacy come in a variety of platforms, and educational apps are on the rise. Parental discretion is advised when choosing an appropriate educational app for your child. Here are a few links to get you started.

Best Kids Apps (select age):http://www.bestkidsapps.com/category/ages-5-8/

Scholastic Apps: http://www.scholastic.com/apps/

Apple in Education: http://www.apple.com/education/apps/

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~


Please note, we would love to share your favorite educational app or website. Just send us an email or leave on our “comments” here and we will be happy to share it with our readers.  When we all share the good in education, we all win!


Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Websites and Resources

Math Games to Utilize at Home or in the Classroom…and Math Chimp~a Great Math Resource Aligned to the Common Core

Math Chimp

A wonderful resource for parents and teachers…and fun for children of all ages. This interactive site engages the brain through math games aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.


Sheppards Software

This is a great site for ages 5-16. It offers everything from basic addition to algebraic problems to solve.


The Math Games

This is a great fraction enhancing website. It offers simple games like matching to help young minds grasp fraction strategies.


Math Playground

This is a F-U-N site! It offers games like “Escape from Fraction Manor” and “Project T.R.I.G” A great mental workout for even my old mind 😉



This site offers games for elementary and middle school students.


Play Kids Games

This is a great classroom resource too! This site offers classroom to create and upload math games. Sounds like a Best Practice to me…math and fun!


As always, if you find these websites helpful, then we are thrilled. However, if these websites end up being less than expected, please let us know so we can remove them from our recommended lists.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,



Filed under Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Math

From Basic Facts to Fractions…Great Online Learning Math Games for All Learning Styles


Online flashcards and games for math practice.

Cool Math Games
Fun math games.

Funbrain.com-Math Baseball

Fun game teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and elementary algebra.

Math Fact Cafe-Flashcards

Online flashcards for the elementary grades.  *** I really like this one!

Math Magician Games

More online flashcards, but in a timed setting and a progress report can be printed when finished.

Factor Game

Play this online version of the “Factor Captor” game in 5th Grade Everyday Mathematics.


AAA Math 

Covers all fraction topics.  NOTE:  I think this is a fabulous site for scaffolding the learning process for all things fractions!

FUNBRAIN-Fresh Baked Fractions

A game for simplifying fractions.

Learning Planet.com-Fraction Frenzy

Use a game to practice matching equivalent fractions.

Visual Fractions

Practice identifying fractions and operating with fractions.  **This is my learning style 🙂

These are some great math sites I found while conducting research this morning.  The fractions sites are SO good, that I had to share.  I hope these sight help make the learning process fun for your math learner!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 🙂


Filed under Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities, Student or Industry

As a Curriculum Developer, This is my Impression of the Common Core State Standards Initiative by Denise Ball

Together we can make a difference!

As one who gets extremely excited about curriculum, I thought I would share some words of wisdom on education that I found from the Common Core State Standards Website. I understand after many years in the education system, how easy it can be for educators to get discouraged when a “new” trend or a “new” must follow philosophy comes along…that all must follow under the auspices of what is best for our children. However, after working with a few educational staffs this past school year on curriculum
alignment and aligning curriculum to the new CCSS ELA and Math model, I am even more impressed with the initiative and the direction it is pushing towards on behalf of our children.

A funny thing is, I believe the CCSS model is even more complimentary and gracious to us educators than many state standards. As an ELA
teacher, I find the comprehensive breakdown of grammar per grade refreshing…not to mention the recommendations of literary works to enhance lessons. However, the icing on the cake for me was the recommendation of utilizing Shakespeare in the classroom…I used Shakespeare’s plays for years in the classrooms I taught and the students just enjoyed it! In fact, one year
I had a group of seventh grade girls who found joy in practicing writing and speaking in Old English 🙂

With this said, I hope you take a look at the Common Core Standards with an open mind and look at them as a guide…as all curriculum is.
The true mastery is in the teacher and the reflective practices he/she uses to capture the unending teachable moments throughout the school year.

Great quotes taken from the Common Core State Standards Initiative
Benchmarking for Success documents:

“We are living in a world without borders. To meet the realities of the 21st century global economy and maintain America’s competitive edge into the future, we need students who are prepared to compete not only with their American peers, but with students from all across the globe for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Nations around the world are facing a new education imperative, and many are seizing the historical moment to provide their citizens with better opportunities and stronger economies.”

“Governors recognize that new economic realities mean it no longer matters how one U.S. state compares to another on a national test; what matters is how a state’s students compare to those in countries around the globe. America must seize this moment to ensure that we have workers whose knowledge, skills, and talents are competitive with the best in the world.”

For additional information on Common Core State Standards that all but a few states have adopted visit http://www.corestandards.org/

For information on Unlock the Teacher LLC Common Core State Standards Workshops and/or recommendations from teacher, principles and superintendents, please feel free to visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com or email teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 😉

Join us on Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook~ Unlock the Teacher

Twitter~ unlockteacher

Leave a comment

Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Curriculum Resources, Professional Development Workshops for Educators, Sharing the Good, Teacher and Administrator Workshops

A Reader Shares Their Favorite Educational Website…Check it Out and Let us Know!

One of our readers would like to share their website.  We love to collaborate and share, so check out this webiste and let us know if it was a good recommendation or not…

Dear Unlock the Teacher Team,

I’d like to share our website brightstorm(www.brightstorm.com). We cover most math, science subjects of junior/senior high students, and are going to expand it to other subjects. We have thousands of free high quality videos for every possible textbook topic and practice problems for every topic will be added this summer, too. Also, we’re now developing a convenient tool for teachers to create supplemental materials using our content. All this is and will be free as far as I know(I’m the CEO….). Seeing my daughter’s math teacher recommended our site during her back to school night presentation, I guess it will be helpful for other teachers and students, too.


Good luck Bumsoo and  Unlock the Teacher LLC team wishes you much success!  We hope many students prosper because of your efforts.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher LLC Team

Leave a comment

Filed under Educational Websites and Resources