Hey kids! It's Chet Bear...and I'm just cuddled up by the fire like good old Franklin Roosevelt. He used to give speeches over the radio; the speeches were called

Fireside Chats. I'm not sending my message out over the radio waves...I'm blogging on my computer. Well, actually this is Miss Hoffmann and Miss P's computer, but they went home and left me with all these things to trace for the upcoming holiday party, so I thought I'd take a break to surf the web a little and do some blogging.

I heard that this week's newsletter included a section about Calendar Math, with some questions that your parents were supposed to discuss with you to see how everything's coming along. Maybe you could answer them all, but maybe some of them were tricky for you. I pay very close attention during that time, so I'm going to type up the answers so you can check to see if you were right...

1. What is the pattern?

The pattern is different each month. This month it goes like this: blue rectangle, yellow rhombus, orange/red square, yellow rhombus. This is often referred to as an "abcb" pattern.

2. Can a square be a rectangle?

Yes! A square is a rectangle. A rectangle is any four-sided shape with four square corners, and squares meet those requirements. But remember, a square is a special rectangle because all four of its sides are the same length. So, a rectangle is not a square. Confusing, I know! It helps me to draw the shapes.

3. What are different coin combinations to make 75 cents?

Note: I'm a busy bear and I don't have all night, so I'm not listing all the possible combinations. However, I will give you a few to get you started.

75 pennies

7 dimes, 5 pennies

7 dimes, 1 nickel

14 nickels, 5 pennies

15 nickels

2 quarters, 2 dimes, 5 pennies

Can you come up with more? Can you think of a way that uses quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies?

4. How do you know if a number is a multiple of 5?

I know a number is a multiple of 5 if I say it when I'm counting by 5's, starting at the number 5. I also know a number is a multiple of five if it ends in a five or a zero (i.e. a 5 or 0 is in the ones place).

5. How can you use "doubles plus one" or "doubles minus one" to solve a near doubles problem?

First of all, a near doubles problem is any equation that has consecutive numbers in it. Some examples are 7+6 or 4+5. Let's take the first one, 7+6, and use it to talk about the strategies. Here's "doubles plus one." I might not have a clue what 7+6 is, but I know my doubles facts very well, so I can use them to help me. Since I know 6+6 is 12, I can just add one to that sum to solve 7+6 (because 7 is one more than 6).

Here's "doubles minus one." Let's use 7+6 again. I know 7+7 is 14, so I can just subtract one to find the sum for 7+6 (because 6 is one less than 7).

This one takes some practice, but when we start adding and subtracting larger numbers, it's really going to come in handy.

Well, that's all for now everyone. I'm going to head down to the cafeteria and see if they left any corndogs sitting out. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I ate a few dozen or so, and then I'd better get back to work.

Love ya,

Chet Bear