Chemistry Coloring Book

November 26th, 2014

chemistry-coloring-book

I received copies of this book for free and was compensated for an honest review. This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve noticed all the cool chemistry experiments we’ve been doing. I have been teaching my younger two kids elementary-level chemistry and my older two kids high school chemistry. I had all four of my kids color one element per day in The Periodic Table of Elements Coloring Book, and we learned a lot about each element!

This chemistry coloring book has one element per page: one side lists bullet points to help us find out about that element, and the other side is a coloring page about that element. By coloring the pictures, you cement in your mind visually what each element is all about. Even though I aced my high school chemistry class years ago, I never learned all the elements so up-close like this!

Here is a video where I explain how I used the book:

I read the bulleted list for one element each day, and it took less than five minutes. While I read the page, the kids colored the coloring page. We located each element on the Periodic Table at the front of the book, and we became familiar with each element as the days went by.

The day we studied Neon, we were driving around in the car, and my 9-year-old daughter pointed to a Neon sign and shouted, “Neon! Atomic number 10! Let’s find more Neon signs, Mom!” She would never have known that Neon was atomic number 10 if we hadn’t studied it that day. The coloring book caused my elementary-aged daughter to become familiar with elements, and she wanted to play games trying to find those elements. She screamed with joy when she recognized the first Neon sign after having colored it in her book earlier that day.

neon-sign

For my high school-level students, you never really get the chance to become familiar with elements like this during a chemistry course. Because my high school students had done one simple coloring page a day, they internalized the lighter and heavier elements in their minds. For example, Hydrogen is atomic #1, and it is the lightest element. When  we were halfway through the coloring book, we knew that the elements that we were familiar with were the lighter elements. The unfamiliar elements were on the bottom half of the chart.  Each number goes up in atomic mass (or weight), so when my high school-level students were trying to find an element on the Periodic Table, they located the elements a lot more quickly because of their familiarity with each element. Like I said, we located one element on the chart per day as we colored the elements.

helium-balloons

There is plenty of time during a school year to take it one element per day rather than just rushing through them. We also tried to locate those elements in real life each day when we could. For example, Sodium is present in table salt, so you can have a salt shaker in front of you as you read the Sodium page. We found some more elements in our rocks and minerals collection.  When you study Helium, why not go to a party store and buy a Helium balloon to celebrate that element, which is obviously lighter than air!

elements-minerals

There are no drawbacks from this chemistry coloring book aside from a few typos which are common in all books and don’t detract from the great content. Also, the book only covers the first 56 elements, and elements 72-86, which are the most common elements. I’m fine with that. We LOVED the book, and I highly recommend it for all the reasons I’ve mentioned.

After going through The Periodic Table of Elements Coloring Book, whenever we watch a show that mentions any element on the Periodic Table, we know what the show is talking about. Because we are more knowledgeable about the elements, my kids are confident in their study of chemistry.

Elementary Chemistry Series

November 24th, 2014

elementary-chemistry

This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Can you teach elementary-level kids something as difficult as chemistry? Yes, you can! This year we studied elementary chemistry, and the curriculum we used was Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press. We had a wonderful time doing all the experiments, which helped us to understand basic chemistry concepts.

The book presented these chemistry concepts in a way that even a child could understand. The science experiments used inexpensive household items, and the experiments were not difficult to perform. My high school kids were present when I went through this elementary-level chemistry book with my two younger kids, and my older kids did better in their high school chemistry because the basic concepts had already been mastered, so the more difficult high school-level concepts were easier to understand.

The multiple choice tests for each chapter were hilarious. One of the answers always made my kids laugh hysterically. You still needed to pay attention and learn all the lessons because it was not possible to pick between the other two possibilities unless you knew the material. In this way, my kids began to look forward to the chemistry tests! Can you believe it? That’s definitely a positive aspect of using this curriculum!

In case you missed any of the experiments that we performed, here is an index of the fun chemistry experiments:

1. Chemistry Tools
2. Filtration Experiment
3. Make Your Own Element Cards
4. Mixtures and Compounds
5. How to Build Atomic Models
6. Atomic Cookies
7. Building Molecular Models
8. Breaking Covalent Bonds
9. Acids and Bases
10. Dissolving Calcium with Acid
11. Measuring the Volume of a Solid
12. Testing Charles’s Gas Law
13. Saltwater Experiment
14. Saturated Solutions
15. Freezing Alcohol
16. Hydrocarbons

I hope you enjoyed all these experiments as much as we did!

Financial Literacy for Kids: Pirates!

November 20th, 2014

financial-literacy-for-kids

I received a copy of this book for free and was compensated for an honest review.

If you have been looking for a creative way to teach financial literacy for kids, Pirates of Financial Freedom is a fun book that will do just that! Who knew that a fiction novel about pirates could teach so much that a regular math program leaves out?

This book is probably best for teens, since my three sons understood all the concepts, but my daughter who is 9 had trouble with a couple of the more complicated concepts like compound interest. She still learned quite a lot, though, and we were all on the edge of our seats when the pirate ship encountered a dangerous sea serpent. The financial concepts are woven into the main plot line quite well, as you will see when you watch my kids goofily trying to re-enact a couple of scenes merged together from the book.

pirates-of-financial-freedom-2

Lessons on Financial Literacy

For the fun and goofy video my children performed about this book, I chose two scenes that took place in stores. One was a hat shop where a pirate was buying a lot with a credit card without having the money in the bank to pay for it. The pirate assumed that he would be getting more treasure in pirate raids in the near future, but choosing to spend money before you have it is the way poor people act. Rich people spend below their means, and they have the money in the bank to pay for their purchases when the credit card bills come.

The other scene was a 70-year-old pirate talking about saving for retirement. His brother began saving for retirement when he was 25, and at 40 he stopped saving. The old pirate himself did not start saving until he was 40, and he’s been saving for 30 years. So his brother only saved for 15 years, and he himself saved for 30 years–double the amount of time. They both saved 300 doubloons a month. At the end of that time, who do you think had the most money? Watch the goofy pirate video to find out the unexpected answer.

Goofy Pirate Video about Financial Literacy

And there you have it! The Pirates of Financial Freedom will teach financial literacy for kids, showing them how to have better financial skills while listening to a fun story about pirates!

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Cool Treasure Hunt to Find Financial Literacy:

You can download a sample of the book here:

Go on a treasure hunt to find more chapters of this fun book!

If you would like to use this book as part of a pirate unit study, take a look at my free awesome pirate unit study:

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Buy the book, available in hardback and e-book: Pirates of Financial Freedom

personal-finance-book

Book Giveaway & Free Financial Consultation :

Enter to win one of three autographed hardcover copies of the book, plus 2 hours of financial consulting time with the author (for kids or parents!) Giveaway ends November 27, 10pm Central Time.

 

#16 Hydrocarbons

November 17th, 2014

hydrocarbonsThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Today we will be making models of hydrocarbons and then performing an experiment with floating hydrocarbons. We are using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press, and the last five chapters in the book have to do with hydrocarbons.

What are hydrocarbons?

Hydrocarbons are a family of compounds that are composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms that are connected with covalent bonds that share electrons. We studied three different types of hydrocarbons:

  • Alkanes (single bonds between the carbon and hydrogen atoms)
  • Alkenes (at least one double bond between carbon and hydrogen atoms)
  • Alkines (at least one triple bond between carbon and hydrogen atoms)

We will be making some models of hydrocarbons with styrofoam balls, paint, and toothpicks. You will see my kids assemble these hydrocarbon models in fast motion in the video.

Take a look at an Alkane model:

alkane-model-propaneTake a look at an Alkene model:

alkene-model-etheneTake a look at an Alkine model:

alkyne-model-propyneNow we will perform an experiment with floating hydrocarbons. You will need a mason jar, water, petroleum jelly, and motor oil. Look at what happens when we perform this experiment:

This is our final post for this exciting series of Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press. We hope you have enjoyed our experiments in this series!

Pentecost Activities for Kids

November 14th, 2014

pentecost-activities-for-kidsWhen I taught my kids about Pentecost, here are some of the activities that we did:

  • We read the story from Acts 2.
  • We drew pictures of Pentecost.
  • We talked about being filled with the Spirit.
  • We compared the Spirit to the wind.
  • We made a fire headband to represent the tongues of fire.
  • We watched a video about Pentecost.

First of all, we read the story of Pentecost from Acts, chapter 2. Pentecost was 50 days after Passover, which was when Jesus was crucified. Jesus appeared to the disciples for 40 days; then He went up into heaven. He told them to wait in Jerusalem for Holy Spirit to come.

pentecost-drawing

When the day of Pentecost came, a noise like a violent wind came rushing into the house where the believers were congregated. Over each person’s head appeared something that looked like a tongue of fire. The believers felt a rushing of the Holy Spirit as He descended upon them. And they began speaking in other languages that were understood by the people outside.

As a result, Peter stood up and gave a sermon that caused 3,000 people to be saved!

Pentecost Drawings

pentecost

My children drew a wind, and tongues of fire landing on each believer.

pentecost-wind

The people experienced joy as they were filled with the Spirit.

pentecost-fire

How are the Holy Spirit and a wind similar?

Jesus compares the Spirit of God to a wind:

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 (ESV)

How are the Holy Spirit and a wind similar?

  • It’s invisible.
  • You see what it does (its effects).
  • It goes where it wants to go.
  • It has power that is somewhat uncontrollable.
  • You hear the sound of it.
  • It moves.
  • It causes a reaction.
  • Sometimes it’s gentle, sometimes it’s strong.
  • Refreshing; you can enjoy it.
  • You don’t walk against it but with it.

We talked about how to be controlled by the Spirit of God, and how to pursue holiness.

pentecost-activities-for-childrenPentecost Headband

We made a headband with a strip of orange card stock paper stapled together. For the flame, we cut out flame shapes out of red, yellow, and orange card stock paper, We attached it together with staples.

Video about Pentecost

Here is a video clip about Pentecost, so you can picture it better.

If you enjoyed these Pentecost activities for kids, you will love the huge Bible section of the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

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