The K5 Learning Blog urges parents to be pro-active in helping their children reach their full academic potential.

K5 Learning provides an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.

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# K5 Learning Blog

Punctuation is to writing what vocal delivery is to speech. Every full stop, comma, apostrophe, colon, parenthesis, quotation mark and hyphen serves its purpose in guiding the reader through the text. It’s useful to know what each mark can and cannot do, as well as the message it delivers to your reader.

Here are some simple rules and examples.

We have just added some more geometry pages to our grade math 2 section of our free worksheet center.

Let’s take a look at one of the topics we cover in the grade 2 geometry worksheets: faces, edges and vertices of shapes. Exactly what are these and how do you count them for different shapes?

## Vertex

A vertex is a corner. In 2-D shapes, that’s pretty easy to work out – a triangle has 3 vertices, a square 4 vertices and a pentagon 5 vertices.

In 3-D shapes it gets a little more complicated. Let’s look at a cube, for example. A cube looks like this:

Is it important that our kids learn to recognize patterns and sequences in math? The answer is a resounding yes.

Exploring patterns and learning about math sequences help young students build important foundations for later number work. Simply put, with the early work on recognizing patterns, students gain an understanding of mathematical relationships, which is the basis for understanding algebra, analyzing data and solving complex mathematical problems.

Here are the most common patterns:

## Arithmetic sequences

An arithmetic sequence adds or subtracts the same value each time.

For example:

1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21…

As well-meaning parents we buy workbooks for our kids and have our kids sit quietly and trace letters over and over. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this and, in fact, we provide these worksheets for free in our kindergarten section.

Sometimes, though, you’ll want to make this activity more fun. Here are some new ways in which you can help your kids learning to write the letters of the alphabet more fun.

## Shaving foam and finger paints

Spray shaving cream on a tray or table and help your kids write their name or a letter in the foam. Or use finger paints to dip a finger in and learn to write letters on a sheet of paper.

Mathematics isn’t always about things being equal. Sometimes we only know that something is greater than or lesser than something else.

We call these things inequalities.

For example, Sue and Jane ran a race.Sue ran farther than Jane.

We don’t know how far they ran, but we know that Sue ran a longer distance than Jane.

We can express that in math terms as follows:

Where x is how far Sue ran, and y is how far Jane ran, and “>” means greater than:

x > y

Learning to read can be tough. Words that we read naturally may not come to our kids quite so easily.

At school, teachers help kids with decoding strategies to help students learn to read.

We thought we’d share the six syllable types with you, so that when you are reading with your kids at home, you can help them with decoding words as well.

## The six syllable types

There are six hard and fast rules for syllable types – basically how vowel sounds are pronounced. Is there a short a or a long a in ‘water’ – for example.

However, as with any rules in English, there are exceptions to the rules.

Below we’ll go through the six syllable types and highlight the exceptions as part of each category. Let’s dive in.

As a point of reference, V = Vowel and C = Consonant.

We often associate learning to read with fictional stories. However, even for young students, most of what they read in and out of school is not in the form of a story.

It might be directions for completing a science lab, a chapter on the Civil War in a history textbook, or a recipe for making chocolate chip cookies. Many teachers and parents often assume that skills children have for reading fiction also work well with the many kinds of nonfiction.

These two types of reading, however, are quite different, so the ways students read them should be different as well.

**By Sheila Welch**

While raising our seven children, we read many library books, but here are five –some old, some almost new — that I own. Four have won major awards.

## The girl who drank the moon

The winner of this year’s prestigious Newbery Award, THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, is written by Kelly Barnhill. In a fantasy world with paper birds that come alive and a perfectly tiny dragon, each year, the youngest baby must be left in the forest to keep the wicked witch at bay. But wait! How do the people know a witch exists if they never see her? Fourth through eighth graders who’re fans of magic will be attracted by this book’s interesting premise and variety of characters, including Luna -- who was one of those abandoned babies.

## Criss cross

CRISS CROSS, written and illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins, won the Newbery Award in 2006, and it was a controversial choice. Since it’s on my bookshelf, you can guess that I love this book! It concerns a small group of kids around 14 years old and their summer, during which not a whole lot happens. The humor is subtle and the writing is quiet. If you’re searching for a book for an introspective reader between ten and fourteen, this might be just the one to suggest.

A proportion is a name we give to a statement where two ratios are equal.

It can be written in two ways:as two equal fractions,

or,using a colon

In an earlier blog post, we talked about what prime factorization is and how to use a factor tree to factor numbers to their prime factors.

What if the number you are finding the prime factorization of is a larger number? The factor tree can become quite cumbersome.

## Using upside-down division

Another easy way of keeping track of the factorization is to do upside-down division.

Here’s how it works. Let’s start with a smaller number first – say 36.

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