Thursday, January 23, 2014

Perplexing Puzzles 1/23/14

Today's puzzle freebie is from one of my science puzzle packs, Label It! Parts of Things. In this puzzle, you must decode the parts of a ladybug using the code chart at the top of the page.

Ladybug Label It!
You can read more about these puzzles here. Hope your students like this puzzle!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Label It! Puzzles for Science

Label It! puzzles come in two forms (so far!) for Science.  There are Life Cycle puzzles and Parts of Things (morphology) puzzles.  Together, these two sets of puzzles will add some pizzazz to your biology units! 

These puzzles are intended for students in the first through third grades.  The labels for each puzzle have been encoded using a simple substitution.  A decoding chart is provided at the top of each page, each puzzle using a unique cipher.  They should not present too much challenge for students to solve, and will be a non-stressful, relaxing way for them to practice science terms for life cycles and body parts.  After everything has been labeled on the page, students can color in the animals and plants!

Label It! Life Cycles Puzzles for Early Elementary

Life Cycle Puzzles include these critters and plants with the following labels:
  • ANT - eggs, small larva, growing larva, pupa, adult
  • APPLE - seeds, tree, buds, flower, apple
  • BUTTERFLY (version 1) - eggs, larva, pupa, breakout, imago
  • BUTTERFLY (version 2) - eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, breakout, adult
  • CHICKEN - egg, hen roosting, egg hatching, baby chick, adult
  • EARTHWORM - cocoon, hatchling, adult earthworm
  • FROG - eggs, young tadpole, mature tadpole, froglet, adult frog
  • HONEY BEE - egg, larva, pupa, adult bee
  • LADYBUG - eggs, larva, pupa, adult ladybug
  • MEALWORM - egg, larva mealworm, pupa, adult darkling beetle
  • PLANT - seeds, seed with roots, sprout, seedling, medium plant, adult
  • PUMPKIN - seeds, sprout, vines, flower, baby, adult
  • SALMON - eggs, avelin, fry, parr, smolt, adult
  • SEA TURTLE - eggs, breakout, baby, juvenile, adult
  • SUNFLOWER - seeds, roots, sprout, baby, adolescent, adult
  • WATERMELON - seeds, sprout, vines, flower, baby, adult
  • * coming soon * life cycle of a silkworm!
Label It! Parts of Things - Puzzles for Early Elementary

Parts Of Things Puzzles includes the following:
  • ANT - eyes, head, legs, abdomen, thorax, antenna
  • APPLE TREE & APPLE - fruit, trunk, foliage, leaf, stem, skin
  • BUTTERFLY - antenna, eyes, body, hind wing, fore wing
  • CHICKEN - comb, eye, tail, beak, wing, toes
  • DARKLING BEETLE - legs, thorax, head, eye, antenna, abdomen
  • EARTHWORM - clitellum, mouth, segments, anus (only use this puzzle if you want to hear giggles!)
  • FROG - hind leg, front leg, eye, trunk, webbed feet
  • HONEY BEE - thorax, head, eye, wings, legs, antenna, abdomen
  • LADYBUG - spots, head, eye, wings, legs, antenna
  • MEALWORM - segment, legs, head, eye, mouth
  • PLANT SPROUT - cotyledon, leaves, stem, roots
  • PUMPKIN - tendril, vine, leaf, skin, ribs
  • SALMON - eye, scales, lateral line, gills, mouth, fins
  • SEA TURTLE - head, eye, shell, scutes, tail, flipper
  • SUNFLOWER - petals, seeds, flower, leaves, stem
  • WATERMELON - tendril, rind, vine, leaves
  • CATERPILLAR - mouth, abdomen, thorax, true legs, prolegs
  • MOTH - head, feathered antenna, legs, wings, abdomen
The graphics for most of these puzzles are a bit fanciful.  The ant has a human-like eye, so you may want to mention to your kids that these are just drawings and not realistic!  But for younger kids, I didn't think it had to be too technically accurate.  If you're interested in the clip art graphics, they come from MelonHeadz, Glitter Meets Glue Designs, and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs over at Teachers Pay Teachers.

These puzzles can be easily incorporated into science notebooks.  Or shrink them down half size (still easy to read) and you can fit them into a lapbook!  You could also print these off for early finishers to work on. 

I'm sure you won't be covering all of the above plants and animals in your science curriculum, but I wanted to provide lots of options.  I plan to add new puzzles to the packs whenever the clip art becomes available.  I've got some silkworms to add to the Life Cycle pack very soon!  (I already added the moth and caterpillar to the Parts set.)  The nice thing about shopping at TpT is that, once you've bought an item, you have access to download it forever...including any new updates that the teacher-authors make! 

These two sets are $3.00 each.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Perplexing Puzzles 1/16/14

Today's puzzle is Movie Signs! This is the second Movie Signs puzzle that I've posted. There are six new movie quotes for you to decode from the ASL alphabet. Once decoded, you have the further challenge of figuring out which movie each quote is from.  All the quotes are from movies that kids like to watch, so that they have a fair chance of figuring them out!

Movie Signs 2

 And in case you missed Movie Signs #1, you can find it below.  Just click on the pictures and you can download the puzzles from Google Drive.

Movie Signs #1

 Have fun!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gluey and Gluey 2 - online puzzle games

There are a ton of terrific hands-on puzzle games out there, but let's not forget the online puzzle gaming world!

Back in the day, I maintained a page of online game links that my kids were allowed to play.  They weren't very internet savvy back then, and were happy to click on the links I provided and play to their hearts content.  I filled this page with tons of little logic puzzle style games with a few other classics, like Bloons Tower Defense.  They branched out on their own as they got older, but I still try to keep a close eye on them!

But it got me thinking today, why not showcase some of these gems here, to share with other parents and teachers who might be looking for something new for their kids?  It's amazing how much learning these young minds can do while playing a silly little game!

So this morning I'd like to share a game that doesn't involve too much logic, but is a whole lot of fun...Gluey!

My go-to game link headquarters was always  This website is awesome and you could feel pretty easy letting your kids play any of these games.  (Mind you, I haven't checked all of them, but I've never had any problems with inappropriate games there.)  Unfortunately, their Gluey is not working at the moment.  But their Gluey 2 is!

So here's a screen shot of Gluey.  You can play it at for now.  Try it out and see how far you get.  You have to admit, there is something addictive about these little blobs!

The Puzzle Den: Gluey Review

And if you can't get enough Gluey, try Gluey 2! 

One thing to watch out for, if you let your kids play on some of these gaming!  Some of these ads are just not appropriate for kids (or even adults!).  I have installed AdBlock on both of my kids' browsers.  I know there is some controversy about blocking ads, as it's how websites make their money, but I don't think there should be any issue with parents trying to keep their kids safe.  So I say, do what needs to be done.  And I believe that is ad-free.  I've been running AdBlocker for so long, I don't really know for sure, but I believe it is.  So keeping to games from that website would be another way to play online safely.

And check back next Monday!  My goal has always been to showcase a puzzle each Monday, but I've fallen quite short of that.  Maybe with a mix of online and offline puzzles, I'll find it easier to keep up?  Here's to 2014 and a new year of puzzles!

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Perplexing Puzzles - 1/8/14

Here's a word search for kids who love mythology!  Find all the flying critters in the grid and when you're done you'll find a bonus creature!  Sure to be fun for boys and girls from grades 3 to 6.

Mythical Flying Creatures Word Search

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Five On Friday

1.  We visited my parents for Christmas this year and it was awesome!  This is my mom's new Xmas lovely!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and/or holiday season! 

 2.  My mom bought me the new Lego Architecture Studio!  Holy cow, it's awesome!  I also got a new bed.  My back is so looking forward to tomorrow when the bed is delivered.

3.  This is our new Walk By Scrabble game in action!  It's fun to walk by and play a word whenever you feel like it.  Ginny isn't sure she likes it, but she actually kicks butt at word games.  Jack thinks it's awesome!  JP doesn't play word games at all.  I think he doesn't find them challenging enough, since he always wins!

4.  Here's a nice review of the game Timeline from The Game Aisle.  This looks like it would be a great game for homeschoolers.  Really sink your teeth into some dates!  I'm gonna have to pick up a copy or two of this sometime.

Valentine's Day Puzzles for Lower Elementary

5.  Valentine's Day is least the retailers seem to think it's really close.  But seeing all the candy and hearts at the stores already, got me thinking it was time to update my Valentine puzzle pack.  This set contains 15 puzzles (4 brand new ones) for students in the lower elementary grades.

And just for fun...a picture of our cats and Xmas tree.  They don't usually like to be quite that close to each other!  The Christmas spirit, I guess.

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