Resources for Teachers and Students

For Grades K-4 , week of Feb. 17, 2020

1. Fun with Math

It’s often said that math skills can help you all through life. In New York City, they can help you win free food right now at a convenience store in the Bronx neighborhood. The Lucky Candy store has come up with a math challenge that lets neighborhood residents choose food and other items for free if they can answer simple math problems. If they get the correct answer, they get five seconds to choose any things they want from store shelves for free. The questions use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and often feature more than one step to solve. “What is 10 times 10 minus 50?” might be one. Or “what is 9 times 9, plus 5?” The goal is to have fun with math and help residents in the neighborhood save some money, says clerk Ahmed Alwan, who came up with the idea. “All I wanted to do was to help people,” Alwan told CNN News. “But I wanted to make it fun.” Alwan pays for the items customers choose out of his own pocket, but he’s starting an online fundraising campaign to support the challenge program. Numbers are often in the news, and they are a good way to build math skills. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read two stories involving numbers. For each, create a math word problem from the numbers involved. Solve your problems so you know the right answers. Then exchange with classmates.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

2. A Sales Milestone

It’s Girl Scout cookie season, and scouts in every state are pushing to make sales. A scout in the state of West Virginia decided to take a different approach. With the help of the Internet and her mom, she decided to MAKE A SALE in every state. Rory Clark, 7, who is a Daisy Girl Scout, used a website and social media to sell cookies in all 50 states in the last few weeks. Rory used a map to keep track of her sales and colored in each state when she made a sale there. “You should always set a goal to see if you can actually do it,” Rory told UPI News. “To hit that goal … was really cool. I was so excited to get the whole map. It really made my day.” Rory’s mom, who helped with the website, said when they started “we weren't sure if it could be accomplished but thought it would be a fun way for her to learn more about U.S. geography.” From scouting to sports to business, people often set goals for themselves. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone setting a goal for himself/herself. Use what you read to write a paragraph telling what skills and approach the person will need to achieve the goal.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

3. Super Pet Plan

When teams win the Super Bowl in the NFL, their communities benefit in many ways. There’s a boost in community pride, of course, and a boost for local businesses. But did you know a Super Bowl win can boost pet ownership, too? It did in Kansas City, Missouri, after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers for the NFL championship. Because the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, every single dog from a Kansas City shelter found a home thanks to a pledge by defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. Before the game, Nnadi had said he would pay the adoption fees for all dogs at the Petco Adoption Center if the Chiefs won. When the team did, he made good on his promise, paying the fees for 109 dogs at \$150 per dog. His \$16,000 donation left the shelter with no dogs left to adopt — all had been placed in permanent homes. “Yay for so many lives saved!” the center wrote on its Facebook page. People do things to help wild and tame animals in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about people working to help or protect animals. Use what you read to write a short editorial explaining why such efforts are important, and the biggest obstacles they face.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

4. Self-Driving Deliveries

Self-driving cars are getting more and more attention around the nation. They may not yet have final approval for carrying people, but they could soon be delivering groceries and other products to your door. A self-driving vehicle designed to make deliveries has won federal safety approval for the first time. The vehicle designed by the delivery robot company Nuro will begin testing shortly on the streets of Houston, Texas, company officials said. Nuro’s car is much smaller than a regular car, won’t carry passengers and won’t travel faster than 25 miles per hour, the Washington Post newspaper reports. It will have large doors that open upward to give access to the cargo compartment. In the Houston test program, customers will be able to place orders for delivery from Domino’s Pizza, Kroger supermarkets or Walmart. Self-driving cars are an example of science and technology being used in new ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another example of science and technology being used in a new way. Write a letter to a friend or family member, explaining this new use of technology and how it helps people.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

5. Bumblebees Need Help

Bumblebees play an important role in nature. The fat, fuzzy, black-and-yellow insects fly from flower to flower spreading and shaking loose pollen as they go. This spreading of pollen is important to plants because it helps them produce fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Bumblebees are especially good at pollenizing flowers that hide their pollen in places that are hard to get at, making them extra valuable in natural environments. Bumblebees are native to North America and have been around for millions of years. But rising temperatures due to global warming are now threatening bumblebees across the continent. Extreme heat in the summer months is causing stress to both the bees and the flowers they depend on. As a result bumblebee populations are dropping, especially in Mexico, where the bees were once common. Scientists say people can help bumblebees by planting native flowers and plants that bees like in gardens, yards or window boxes. Global warming and climate change are affecting wildlife all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one species that is being affected. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, telling how the species is being affected and what can be done by people or governments to help the species survive.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.