It’s me, Deanna, the teacher with 20+ years experience who, like you, is practicing social distancing at home with my child. I have decided to use my training and experience to develop a daily list of activities for you to do at home with your kids.
I have been doing more to support teachers in my board as they are supporting their own students. This means I have less time to work on these posts, so this one is shorter than most. But feel free to look at previous ones for inspiration.
Reminder: today is encouraging words day for neighbourhood walks. If you are participating, remember to put some encouraging words in your windows. If you want something more permanent, there is also a growing movement to put a teddy bear in the window so people can go on a “bear hunt” when they go for a walk.
Today would have been Leonard Nimoy’s 89th birthday. Nimoy was best known as Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek. In honour of his birthday, today has been designated “Live Long and Prosper” Day. And there are a lot of curriculum connections to be had here.
Math – Logic Puzzles
Mr. Spock was known for being logical and applying logic to every situation. So why not introduce your kids to logic puzzles?
There are plenty of apps and sites that offer logic puzzles for you to do online or print, but the one I want to focus on is the KenKen. The KenKen is a style of logic puzzle that involves arithmetic. It was invented by Tetsuya Miyamoto, a Japanese math teacher, in 2004.
Why I like KenKen’s is that they involve the four basic operations of math, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The puzzle doer has to practice basic arithmetic to solve the puzzle. This can be a fun way to practice basic math skills. You can print off some at their website or play them online. And, like everything else, there’s an app for that.
Mr. Spock was the science officer of the USS Enterprise, and so this can be a nice link to some stem activities for kids.
Penny science – Mr. Spock had green blood, because the metal in his blood was copper, not iron like ours. Copper when it oxidizes turns green. You can explore this using these cool STEM experiments.
Star Trek was ahead of its time when it came to science and has even correctly predicted many of our advances in science. NASA has a great article about that. There is also a documentary if you want to watch that. If I was doing this activity with my kid, I would then have them do a scavenger hunt through the house looking for things that were inspired by Star Trek.
Star Trek is a classic of Science Fiction, with many episodes dealing with issues that still plague us today. There are plenty of lists out there to pick an episode and watch it and discuss with your kids. Just stay away from Spock’s Brain, Sub Rosa, and Threshold. Another option to ask them about what issue they would make a Star Trek episode and which characters would it be about. Let them play act it out or, if they are writers, let them write a script, short story or picture book.
Deanna Toxopeus is a teacher with 20+ years of experience teaching students from Grade 1 to Grade 8. She is currently an Itinerant Teacher of Assistive with the OCDSB. The opinions she expresses in this blog are wholly her own.