#### August 2010

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Inside this edition

# Travel time math

Do you ever feel like you spend too much time in the car traveling from here to there? Or do you have a long car ride coming up for a family vacation? Travel time doesn’t have to be down time for thinking and learning. Here are a few ideas to keep your kids having fun with math whether you are in a car, RV, train, or bus! These suggestions may even delay the inevitable question, “Are we almost there yet?”
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Before you head out on the road, grab a notebook and pencil so your child can begin any one of these engaging math learning activities!

### Traveling scavenger hunts

Before you start the trip, decide on a theme everyone is going to hunt for like blue and red cars, semi trucks, red stop lights, or taxi cabs. Have your child make a chart in their notebook titled “Red Cars/Blue Cars.” Before you start, ask your children to predict which color they think they’ll see most often. Then as you travel, your children record tally marks when they see what they’re searching for.

If you have a longer road trip, plan ahead and make a scavenger list together of what you’d like to find as you drive: signs with the word ‘red’ in them, trees with no leaves, garbage cans, deer, or construction cones — use your imaginations and have fun with your lists.

### Drive-thru math

Waiting in the drive-thru? Have your child look at the menu and estimate what the total bill will be. For younger children, try rounding the prices to the nearest dollar and chose only two things for them to add together. Explain that that is something you do when you are shopping to make sure you have enough money with you.

Waiting to pay? Tell your child the total and that you are paying with a ten dollar bill. Ask them how much change you’ll get back. For younger children, try rounding the total to the nearest dime, quarter or dollar.

Ask the clerk for a take-home menu to keep in the car. Before you go again, have your child use the take-home menu to plan the visit; estimate the total bill and how much money you should take with you.

### Map it out

Make a map of your neighborhood. This idea requires some at-home work ahead of time, but it’s excellent for a summer or weekend project. Help your child print out maps from the internet of your neighborhood or city. Use a site like http://www.randmcnally.com. This site allows you to type in your address and print a map with street names. The maps can be zoomed in or out for more detail. Or, cut out maps from old roadmaps that you may have around the house.

• Help your child glue maps to pages of a notebook, and highlight your house. Find and label the school, grocery store, library, and friends’ houses. Point out the map key, compass rose, and scale as you study the map together.
• Keep the notebook in the car. As you are driving let your child know what street you are on so they can follow along on their map.
• Before you go on a road trip, add maps of where you are going to the notebook. Your child can calculate miles traveled and fuel costs as you drive.

Showing your kids how you use math every day teaches them skills they can use for a lifetime!

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## Did you know?

### Refrigerator art can make math fun to learn!

Each month DreamBox creates a calendar to help parents incorporate math into everyday fun activities. August is Kindergarten Readiness Month, and our August Math Activity Calendar helps parents prepare their soon-to-be kindergartners for the start of school. Some of the activities include practicing counting toes and fingers on Wiggle Your Toes Day, and celebrating Philippe van Lansberge’s birthday with a slice of π!

Download the calendar free each month and print out to hang on your fridge! Need a reminder when the next calendar is available? Follow us with our blog’s RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook page!

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## Math learning tips for busy parents

Each month in our newsletter we offer simple games and activities parents can do with their children to integrate math into everyday family life. Put a fun spin on chores like cleaning up their bedroom or play area. Have your children guess how many toys need to be put away. Once they’re done, compare the final outcome to the estimate. This can be done as a time-based activity as well — in one minute, how many toys do your children think they can put away? After the minute, figure out how close their estimate was.

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## For your information

We wanted to let you know that we recently made changes to our Privacy Policy. The principal change was to add language that clarifies our policy regarding the disclosure of information to third parties. From time-to-time, DreamBox enters into contracts with third parties who are involved in the sale, distribution, operation, maintenance, and/or support of the DreamBox service. In order to provide the DreamBox service to you and make improvements to it, we may share certain registration information with these third parties about the parents, legal guardians, and school officials who register for the DreamBox service and their participation history. This notification will serve as our official notification to you of these changes, which are effective immediately. For further details, please take a moment to review the latest version of our Privacy Policy, which you can find here. Note that we will not share credit card information (which DreamBox does not store on our servers) with third party partners.

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