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Escape Adventures for classroom, homeschool groups, or organizations

I've been busy! 

I've teamed up with my friend, Darlene Anne, to create a fun line of  high quality, ready-to-use classroom escapes.  Our Escape Challenges embed content knowledge so effortlessly that your kids might not even realize how much they're learning!

Each Escape includes At-a-Glance Instructions for easy set up, answer keys and Escape Day suggestions. Everything you need is included! Be sure to check them out here and here.  

Personal Finances: Project-based Learning Simulation

That's Life: A Personal Finances Unit. This project-based learning simulation is a favorite
with my kids.  Because I use actual government data for the area, it makes it more real for kids. The love the chance to see what it's like to play in the adult world as they try to make their money last the month, while paying all the usual bills, along with a few surprises that sneak up on all of us from time to time. 

This flexible unit runs 2-4 weeks, depending on which of the activities you choose. It includes interactive notebook pages for the kids, daily event cards, banking, assessments, and an independent study opportunity.

Money: 3 Crack the Code puzzles giving students practice with making change, calculating 20% off, and estimating costs.
Money: Crack the Code include 3 puzzles that should prove to be a challenge to your 4-8th graders, as they work with various dollar amounts in different ways. 

Making Change gives them a price, the amount they're given from the customers, and they have to figure out how much change is due. 

20% Off Sale takes them on a shopping spree where they must calculate their final price after 20% off the amount posted.  

Estimating Costs is a great mental math challenge.  Students must estimate the total cost of each "basket" of goods to determine if they have enough to pay for the items in the baskets.  This puzzle includes an INB page with estimating tips, in working with dollars and cents.

This a a great accompaniment to the Personal Finances Unit, above.

Pi Day: Crack the Code. 3 puzzles finding area & perimeter, diameter, radius and circumference of a circle.

Pi Day is one of my favorite math days of the year. And luckily, it always falls at the same time I'm teaching area and circumference of a circle. Pi Day: Area & Perimeter Crack the Code includes two Interactive Notebook pages for finding area and perimeter of a circle, as well as two codes. 

The first quote is from Albert Einstein: "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." 

The second puzzle quote is from Norman Vincent Peale: "It's always to early to quit."

March-themed Math Practice with 3 Crack the Code puzzles. Multiplication & Division; Adding & Ordering Decimals to Thousandths, Multiplying & Rounding Decimals to Hundredths
March Math: Puzzles for Practice- Crack the Code includes 3 fun seasonal puzzles. 

St. Patrick's Day~
The theme of the St. Patrick's Day quotes has students thinking about luck as perseverance and attitude. 

Multiplication/Division Square
"“You’ve got to think lucky. If you fall into a mud hole, you’ve got to check your back pocket - you might have caught a fish.” Darrell Royal

Adding & Ordering Decimals to Thousandths
“It’s a funny thing. The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Arnold Palmer


Multiplying & Rounding Decimals to Hundredths
“Springtime is the land awakening. March is the morning yawn.” Lewis Gizzard

Valentines Day 2-digit Addition and Subtraction Math Practice with 3 Crack the Code puzzles for grades 2-3

Valentines Day 3-digit Addition and Subtraction Math Practice with 3 Crack the Code puzzles for grades 3-4
I've finally had time to add some Valentine fun to my collection of Crack the Code math practice activities.  Each of these two resources includes 3 puzzles: addition, subtraction, and mixed +/–, including regrouping.

AND, in keeping with the holiday spirit, all 6 puzzles include messages about love and friendship. 
2-digit addition
“Once there was a tree and she loved a little boy.” ~Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

2-digit subtraction
"Things are never quite as scary when you have a best friend." ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbs

2-digit addition & subtraction
"Friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have." ~A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

3-digit addition
"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." ~A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

3-digit subtraction
"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget." ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbs

3-digit addition & subtraction
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!” ~C.S. Lewis

Money: Counting Change and Making Dollars with 2 Crack the Code puzzles for grades 2-4

Counting Coins: Crack the Code is a fun way for students (grades 2-4) to practice counting change. 2 Crack the Code puzzles are included, Counting Change and Making Dollars (students are given change to count and then have to figure out how much more it takes to make $1.00).  The resource includes a set of money bookmarks for reference and an Identifying Coins Activity. As always, these Crack the Code puzzles are self-correcting.

Connecting With Quotes is a stand-alone poster set complete with 30 8.5x11 color posters and writing center prompts. It also includes 2 editable prompt pages so teachers can create their own assignments using these posters.

This poster set is included in the Crack the Code Phantom Tollbooth Bundle, as well as the Crack the Codes Math Practice Super Bundle (shown below) and Connecting with Quotes (shown above).  These 8.5 x 11 color posters represent each of the quotes used in the fraction & decimal practice activities. There is also a writing component for the posters, making an excellent bulletin board display!

The Phantom Tollbooth Crack the Codes Bundle now includes 8 puzzles, as well as the poster activity listed above. These self-correcting activities offer excellent practice and can be used in centers, whole-class assignments (especially handy on days you need something quickly), and homework.
Included in this bundle: 
♦ Adding & Subtracting Fractions with like/unlike denominators
♦ Addition & Subtraction of decimals using inverse operation
♦ Adding & Ordering Decimals to thousandths
♦ Multiplying & Rounding Decimals to hundredths
♦ Teaching Notes and Answer Keys
♦ Sample problem to show how to fill in the table

I've been meaning to get this Super Bundle of Crack the Code puzzles for grades 5-7 uploaded, and here it is! With over 24 puzzles, great for math centers, this bundle includes: 
  • computation practice 
  • exponents 
  • naming ordered pairs 
  • decimals (adding, subtracting, multiplying, ordering & rounding)
  •  adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators
  • protractor practice
  • puzzles with holiday and seasonal themes
All the puzzles are self-correcting. This bundle will continue to grow as I add new Crack the Code puzzles. If there's a math skill you'd like to see and I don't have it yet, let me know.  I'm always open to suggestions!

At the beginning of the school year, we collect all kinds of information from our students.  I wanted to add one more piece to that list, while giving your students a fun way to warm up their math brains and have some great personal data to start the year. 

I'm in the middle of creating a fun back-to-school unit using measurement and data, filled with lots of different data activities (scatter plots, stem-leaf plots, histograms, analysis, cm/m/inch/ft conversions), with your classroom measurements.  

To get you started, Measurement & Data, a freebie activity (left) from this fun unit will be available 8/2/15.  Be sure to follow my store for information on release of the complete unit (end of August, first of September), as well as future releases and special offers.

 Crack the Code math practice puzzles are really catching on.  I have fun making them and, from the feedback I'm getting, kids are having fun solving them. Follow the link to check out the latest additions to my Crack the Code collection. My goal is to have a nice assortment for grades 2-7 (not the same puzzles...) giving kids practice with all the different math strands.  

This series of Protractor Practice-Crack the Code puzzles has been recently updated to include 7 puzzles- with one available only in this bundle, at a great savings, over the puzzles sold separately. Each puzzle has a different series of angles to read in order to crack the code at the bottom of the page.  

Here's what teachers are saying about Protractor Practice Crack the Codes:

  • This really made my students work hard.
  • My kids loved this! It was a great way to practice protractors and angles.
  • These activities provide several opportunities to practice measuring accurately on one sheet.
  • My students enjoyed cracking the code while practising their protractor skills. Thanks for sharing!
  • I love all of these riddles. The students have to do a lot of measuring angles in order to find the solutions. I also like where they have to name all the combinations. Higher level.
  • We used for homeschool add on activity. My son loved them!

Today (4/8/15) I want to feature my newest game, Connect 5: Ordered Pairs Game for grades 5-7. This fun game has students working hard as they attempt to place 5 ordered pair in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) before their opponent, each trying to block the other from being first to succeed.  Think of it as Battleship meets Connect 4 all mashed into one fun practice game.  It makes a great center activity.  Be sure to follow the link and check out the preview.  You won't be sorry!

My latest bundle of four Crack the Code math practice puzzles, for grades 5-7, pays homage to one of my favorite children's books, The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster.    

This series of Crack the Code puzzles offers practice with fractions- adding with like & unlike denominators, and 3 different decimal challenges that include multiplying & rounding, adding and ordering, and adding & subtracting.  All puzzles are self-correcting.

And my favorite part, the quotes!
"Results are not guaranteed, but if not perfectly satisfied, your wasted time will be refunded."

"You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry.  Most people do."

"Never feel badly about making mistakes, as long as you take the trouble to learn from them." Princess of Pure Reason

"It shall be unlawful, illegal, and unethical to think, think of thinking, surmise, presume, reason, meditate, or speculate while in the Doldrums." Lethargians

As with all Crack the Codes, quotes are chosen to offer an extended discussion, if time allows.  

Each puzzle is available separately, as well. Follow the link in the caption to preview all the puzzles.  

I've been very busy these past few weeks.  I'd like to introduce a new line of Crack the Code! Puzzles for grades 2-4. 

2-Digit Addition CtC,  2-Digit Subtract CtC,  2-Digit Add/ Subtract CtC2-Digit Add/Subtract CtC Bundled!

3-Digit Addition CtC, 3-Digit Subtraction CtC, 3-Digit Add/Subtract CtC, 3-Digit Add/Subtract CtC Bundled

These puzzles offer addition and subtraction practice with 2-digit and 3-digit numbers, solving for a quote from different children's literature.  

Each puzzle come with 2 versions.  In one version, the title of the book and the author are part of the puzzle.  The other version lists the author and title, so students are solving only for the code.  The problems are also the same, except the letters assigned to the problems are different and the problems are mixed up. This is a great way to differentiate for students needing modified work.

Along with the two different versions of the puzzle is a sample Crack the Code! to teach kids how to solve these types of puzzles.  

Students enjoy these activities because feedback is immediate and they're anxious to discover the quotes.  It encourages them to find their mistakes, motivating them to recheck their work.  

There are 8 different choices with the bundles saving you 25% off resources sold separately. Click HERE for more Primary Math games and activities.  Click HERE for more Crack the Code puzzles, offering math practice for grades 2-7.

Animal RAFT has been around for a bit, but I finally added its sister product, Animals to the Rescue, a Readers' Theatre/ Puppet Play about a group of students who wander away from their leader and end up lost in the woods.  The animals wander through with bits of advice and some reprimands.  I originally wrote it as a puppet play that we did every year at Outdoor Lab.  I've added a Readers' Theatre version with stage directions for another option.  

And because the two go together so well, I've bundled them at a 25% savings!

  Socratic Seminar: Louis Carroll vs Robert Southey, featuring "Father William" and "The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them" offer an excellent opportunity to learn about the Socratic process.  This product takes you step-by-step through a mini-seminar, and offers a couple variations of the two poems.  Student Think Sheets to help organize their ideas, as well as buddy feedback and self-evaluations to help students reflect on the process and their participation.  Suggested for grades 6-8.
I'm doing a Math Fair for an area K-8 school and wanted to add a few more primary activities to go with my current catalog. For a nice discount, I've bundled them together in Favorite Primary Math Center Games, but all are sold separately, as well.   
First off, Sudoku Puzzles - Patterns with Unifix Cubes include 36 different puzzles. It's a great visual-spatial activity, geared for K-3, but has extension ideas for the older kids, in case they'd like to give it a go.  I love all the colors on the boards. 

The other new one is a quick little game called Capture 12.  It's actually 2 games in one- It All Adds Up and More or Less.  As the titles indicate, the first one is about adding, using 2 dice (gotta have that random element) to Capture all 12 numbers.  The second version gives students the option of adding or subtracting to grab all 12 numbers. And due to the fickle nature of dice, it's not as easy as it looks!

100s Chart Puzzler has been around for awhile, and is a favorite of 1st to 3rd graders.  
Students have to figure out what numbers are missing (+/– 1, +/– 10) in order to reassemble the puzzles.  There are 16 different colored-boards, making it easy to keep the puzzle straight.  They're all different, based on the different pentomino configurations you use when cutting them out.  All three games are quick-set-up activities for centers, or, in my case, great for math fairs!

120 Number Chart Puzzler (at right) is a newer version for those that want that extra challenge with numbers to 120.  Many of the missing numbers are not the same as those in the 100s Chart Puzzler.  

Phew!  That should catch me up for a bit.  Hope you enjoy the previews!

Time again to CRACK the CODE!  This time, we're Naming Ordered Pairs to see what secrets the code gives up.  I love the coordinate plane- probably because I'm very visual, or maybe it's because it's so organized.  Every point has its own name.  It's perfect!  Grades 5-8

This popular activity has been updated to include 2 Crack the Code challenges naming ordered pairs!  Check it out!

Just finished a new one- Area & Perimeter Activity Task Cards- Including Flip, Slide, Rotate, Symmetry & More!  This must-have resource is packed full of problem-solving activities and extensions. 

Along with the eight specific task activity cards, it includes a deck of 24 different area/perimeter shapes with 3 different views, a total of 72 cards and an additional deck with the area/perimeter answers.  Each deck also has 3 subsets, 8 cards each, delineated by color for easy grouping.  Follow the link, download the preview and see for yourself. It's a great way for students to practice these skills.  Grades 4-7

Exploring Exponents- Crack the Code is a fun PEMDAS computation practice activity, loaded with mental math.  By the time students crack this code, they should have a good understanding of the power of exponents!   Grades 6-8

I seem to be on a roll.  I so enjoyed creating Snow Globe, I thought I'd make another one for grades 4-6, so that's exactly what I did.  Snowballs & Polar Bears Crack the Code- A Computation Practice Winter Activity has students practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractional parts of a whole number with a twist!  

Follow the link and download the preview. I'm sure your students will enjoy the challenge as they Crack the Code!

Wow, it's been awhile!  I'm happy to announce a new product uploaded just yesterday- Snow Globe Crack the Code- An Order of Operations Winter Activity for grades 6-8.  This fun activity provides computation practice using PEMDAS, percents, variables, mental math, decimals, square roots, exponents, and a factorial problem thrown in for fun.  And here's the best part- it's free!  Follow the link to my store and download a copy today!  And if you've got a minute, I'd appreciate you leaving thoughtful feedback.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

Math Games Galore is my newest addition of some of my old favorites.  I've bundled together PEMDAS Bowling, It's About Time, Let's Roll 'Em, and Hi-Lo Place Value Game-more than 10 different games and activities, for a great addition to your math games arsenal.  Games are geared for 5th-8th grade and are easily adapted for different ability levels.  Other than running off student pages where necessary, the games are ready-to-go.  They're good for centers, go-to activities, and whole-class challenges. Once students learn to play, I've frequently used them when I've had a substitute teacher.  

Using Divisibility Rules & Prime Factors to Find Factor Pairs Activities is a great set of activities giving students practice with divisibility rules, using prime numbers to find factor pairs of larger numbers, as well as some VENN diagram challenges.  These activities present that practice piece that students need, while offering an opportunity to use mental math with small number divisors.  

The set includes teacher notes for the four different activities, as well as all student printables and a reference table for their math notebooks, folders or journals, whichever you use.  Depending on the abilities in your classroom, these activities can be used as whole class lessons or center activities- suitable for grades 4-6.

It's About Time- A PEMDAS Computation Activity just got posted today!  I was beginning to worry that the only things I could write anymore were long units and they take f-o-r-e-v-e-r...  Anyway, I saw a really cool clock that had all the numbers scattered at the bottom with a blank face and the next thing I know, a new math challenge is born! 

The nice thing about this activity is there's really no prep beyond running some copies for the class.  It's differentiated by way of the complexity of the equations kids use, and it comes with some extensions.  You've gotta love a problem that keeps on giving. :)  It's good for 5th-8th grade and takes one math period.  Follow the link in the title and check it out!
© 2013 Pamela Kranz

Animal  RAFT-Research to Presentation Unit happened, as so many of my units do, out of a genuine need to have students show understanding and have fun learning.  In this particular instance, animal studies and their environments were part of our sixth grade Outdoor Lab School curriculum preparation.  

I wanted them to realize research is for a purpose. It's not the end product, rather, a small step in that direction. Using a guided research method, we took the opportunity to work on note taking/ paraphrasing skills. No more regurgitation of meaningless words copied from a book. They were going to own their information. 

After 3 days of research, students know everything they could ever want to know about their animal (or bird or raptor) – they are the experts.  As experts, it's their job to choose one of the roles suggested on the Animal RAFT and present their information in the designated format.   In addition to 5 set roles, there's a choose-your-own-adventure opportunity for those outside-the-box thinkers.

The culminating event is a Museum Walk.  They are their animals on this walk, so they have to be quiet, as most of them are considered prey to the big boys on the food chain.  (Watching 6th graders move around the room quietly for 30 minutes is probably one of my favorite parts!) 

Animal RAFT- Research to Presentation takes about two weeks and is appropriate for 4-8th grade.  It utilizes a number of CCSS Language Arts Standards.

The pictures on the cover and throughout the unit were taken by my husband on our trips to Alaska.  No, the whales weren't chasing the caribou- just entertaining editing on my part. :)
© 2013 Pamela Kranz

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