## Leaping Into Leap Day

1-2-3 Come Do Some Leap Day Activities With Me

2016 is a leap year, and it falls on a Monday.  With that in mind, I designed some quick, easy & fun activities that your kiddos can do on leap day and still practice standards.

First up is a set of 60, Leap Day Number Puzzles, which sequence numbers from 1-10, count backwards from 10 to 1, as well as skip count by 2s, 3s, 5s & 10s.

There are over 60 in all. Some are vertical, while others are horizontal

Print, laminate & trim the full color options and use as an independent math center.  Use the black & white ones, so that students can color & cut up their own puzzle.

For an interesting “craftivity” have students glue their puzzle to a sheet of construction paper.

Remind them to leave a little bit of a gap between each numbered strip, to create an especially cool mosaic effect. Completed projects make a cute bulletin board.

To mix math with literacy, have students choose either the horizontal or vertical writing prompt puzzle.

Children complete the “If I could do anything on leap day I would...” writing prompt, then cut and glue their “poster prompt” to a sheet of construction paper, creating the mosaic picture mentioned above.

Besides the full-size puzzles, I’ve also designed a set of “Happy Leap Day!” 4-on-a-page mini puzzles, as an inexpensive little surprise that you can give your students.

There are two picture options, plus one is horizontal, the other vertical.

Choose the number 1-10 puzzle for PK kiddos and use the skip counting by 10s to 100 for K-1st.

Print, trim, and put in a Snack Baggie, then attach one of 3 “Happy Leap Day” header options.

The “headers” can also double as a bookmark.

Speaking of bookmarks, I've also designed some that are a super-fun math “craftivity”.

The Leap Year Bookmark Mathtivity, a “growing” packet. So that you can continue to use it each leap year, I’ve included center bookmarks through the year 2028, and will continue to up-date.

Run off the middle bookmark section on a variety of colors of construction paper.  There are full-color as well as black and white "color me" picture options for the top and/or bottom of the bookmarks as well.

Have students analyze the list of leap year dates that are listed in that middle section. Do they see a mathematical pattern?

Using that data, ask them to venture a guess as to when they think the next leap year will be.

I’ve included necessary background information for you to use, as well as an answer key through the year 2400, should you want to do more math extensions and data analysis.

I designed The "Leapin' To 29" money-math game specifically for leap day, but you can really use it any other time as well.

The object of the game is to be the first one to spin all of the coins needed in your column, that will add up to 29.  The strategy comes in with the column children choose.

Students can play with a partner or in small groups of 3-5.  For more math practice, and a fun data analysis activity, I've included 2 graphing options

Another game that you can play on leap day is "Leapin' Lizards!", which reinforces telling time to the hour & half hour with Lizzy Lizard.  As with the game above, this is also suitable anytime, but especially cute for leap day.

The packet includes a large and small set of 48-traceable time cards + a blank set to make additional times, or program with whatever.

I’ve also included covers and blank clocks if you’d like to make an Itty Bitty Time-Telling booklet.

Children can play as a math center activity with a partner, or you can use this as a whole-group game in small groups of 3-5.
The cards are also suitable for Memory Match and “I Have; Who Has?” Games.

There’s a blank-clock worksheet that you can use for an individual or whole-group assessment. Simply fill in the template with whatever times you want to practice/evaluate.

You can also use the lizard clock like a flashcard. As a whole group game, show a time and have children raise their hand to tell you what time you’ve displayed.  The clock also words as a one-on-one, manipulative assessment tool

Today's featured FREEBIE also has a leap year theme.  It's a set of 5 Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Posters that have to do with leaping and jumping.

As a quick, easy & fun way to get the "wiggles" out, read them to your kiddos and have them leap and jump when that happens in the rhyme.

Well that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. We are having a flurry of winter weather right now, and it's snowing to beat the band outside my window.

So much for spring coming early! You just can't depend on those groundhog prognosticators!

"The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it." ~Patrick Young

## Leap Year Lessons: Activities For Leap Day Part 7

Looking for one more thing to plug in for Leap Day, how ‘bout an easy reader booklet that reviews the 6-basic shapes?

Your students will enjoy Who Leaped Away With The Shapes Today?

They read the repetitive sentence, trace and then write the shape word, as well as trace the shape around the critter that absconded with that shape.

Children who finish early can go back and color the characters.

When everyone has completed their booklet, read it as a whole-group activity to review concepts of print.

Print off your school photo, cut it in an oval and glue it to the last page. Run off copies for your students.

Before you give them the solution to the “mystery page”, graph their guesses as to what animal they think stole all of the shapes on Leap Day.

I’ve also included another graphing extension to see which Leapin’ animal is their favorite.

For more shape as well as color identification, run off my large animal shapes on a variety of colored construction paper.

To practice letter sounds, I’ve written an alliterative sentence on each shape.

Leave the character’s name as well as the shape out and have the students fill it in as you hold up the card and read the sentence.

Whenever I’m dealing with colors I have my students tell me the names in English as well as Spanish.

You can make an extra set and glue them to  8x10 pieces of tag board of a file folder.

Sprinkle the shapes on the floor and call on students to leap and hop to a specific one.

Choose the 4 most difficult ones for your students and hang one in each corner of the classroom.  Play 4-Corners.

Choose an “It”.  Cover its eyes and count backwards from 10-0.  Everyone else has to leap and hop to a corner before you get to 0.

Anyone not in a corner and standing frozen is out and joins you and “It” in the middle of the carpet.“It” (eyes still covered) calls out a shape.  Everyone in the corner with that shape is out.

Play continues ‘til only one child is left.  My Y5’s absolutely LOVE this game and the constant repetition of the shapes, helps them with identification.

Play “Mystery Shape”. Glue the shapes to old file folders and trim so they are that shape.

Toss them in a large paper grocery bag.  Students sit in a circle.

Pass the bag to the first child; without peeking they pick up a shape and keeping it in the bag they feel around it with one hand and try and guess which shape it is.

After 30 seconds they pull it out to see if they are correct and identify the shape that they are holding.

Add some music and movement to your Leap Day by gathering your little ones in a circle.

Pass out the shapes to 6 children and choose a 7th to play the teacher.

Sing The Kids And Their Shapes to the tune of Farmer In The Dell.

When their part in the song is sung, the child with that animal shape goes into the middle of the circle and jumps and leaps around.

The song ends with the child-teacher standing alone, because she took all the shapes, finally everyone falls down!

You might know from past articles that I’m crazy over recycling and plan at least one project a month involving recycled items.

I also love melting broken crayons in muffin tins or using candy molds.  Leap Day was the perfect day to make a variety of colored frogs so that my students could make a cool Leap Day Shape Collage to go with the above booklet.

Make just enough for a center, or one for each child.

I also recycled old file folders to cut into the shape templates.  Students arranged them on the “Who Leaped Away With The Shapes Today” paper  (included with booklet) and then colored around the edges.

This ending is similar to my booklet There Was An Old Lady that reviews the months and would be a nice “go along” to read with this booklet.  Children enjoy “feeding” her the monthly-words and their matching pictures.

Another companion booklet that my Y5’s really enjoy is Who Took The Cookies From The Classroom Cookie Jar? The cookie manipulatives have letters, numbers as well as shapes on them.

As with the above story, I’ve designed manipulatives to pass out to your students who fill the classroom cookie jar with them, when that part of the story is read.

Want more animal shapes?

Since Teaching With Angry Birds was such a huge hit, I just finished Angry Bird Shapes.

Save them for another day, or toss them into the Leap Day craziness.

Whatever you and yours are leaping into on Leap Day I hope it’s simply grand!

## Leap Year Lessons: Activities For Leap Day Part 5

Leap Day Table Top Activities To Help You Have A "Hoppy" Leap Day!

As I stated in the first article, I thought it would be fun for your students if you got together with your fellow teachers and each offered a different activity on Leap Day.

Students would then Leap on over to another classroom for whatever time you deemed appropriate, to do that activity and continue leaping until they had visited each teacher and done however many activities your grade level had planned.

I made an entire packet of table top lessons to choose from, for some quickie morning activities that include a maze, pinch & poke, bingo dot, word find, what letter or number comes next, pattern pages, similarities and differences etc.

You can make these into “Ready-Set-Leap into action!” timed activities, or give them a specific amount of time to complete whatever packet you decide to make for them.

You can start off the day by leaving students a Leap Day note and pencil on their desk.

Students can keep all of their papers organized by tucking them into the Mama Kangaroo pouch that they made out of a paper plate.

Help eliminate the wiggles by acting out a few nursery rhymes that have leaping and jumping in them like Jack Be Nimble.

Sing the Leap Day Song, to the tune of Bingo, to help review the concept of subtraction, and reinforce a clapping pattern.

Since Leap Day was added on, to keep the seasons on course, you might also want to do a writing extension and make the class book Our Favorite Seasons, which also includes a graphing extension.

Another season-related activity is the easy reader: Seasons Outside My Window, which includes an art activity + several skill sheets. Click on the link to view/download this Leap Day activity.

Read my version of There Was An Old Lady. It's a cute mystery with a fun ending that reviews the months, and includes the 30 Days Hath September Poem.

Students will enjoy “feeding” her the various months and pictures that match them.

Movin' Through The Months is also a wonderful whole-group activity that culminates with a great class book that reinforces the months and also includes the 30 Days Hath September Poem.

This is a photograph of the bulletin board I made when we completed our book. As you can see we did lots of math extensions too.

Click on the link to view/download this story that makes a nice review of the months for Leap Day.

End your Leap Day lessons by giving everyone a certificate of praise, which is also included in the Leap Day packet.

Whatever you decide to do to celebrate Leap Day, I hope you have a hoppin’ good time!

Scroll down for more articles on Leap Day and be sure and pop back tomorrow for my 6th and last Leap Day one.

## Leap Year Lessons: Activities For Leap Day Part 2

Leap Day Coin Game: Let's Leap To 29

To coincide with their studies of Lincoln and Washington, many teachers start their intense study of coins in February,  so I thought it would be fun to make up a game for Leap Day, using pennies, nickels, dimes and a quarter, to help review those coins.

I find that the more times you can immerse children in hands-on activities, that involve the concepts you’re trying to teach them, the better chance you have of having the perverbial lightbulb go on, as they latch on to something that will help them differenciate the coins.

What better way to do that than by playing a game!

Since Leap Day falls on the 29th and I’m trying to get that fact stuck into my students’ heads, as well as the fact that this is an extra day, since February usually has only 28 days, I made the game Leap To .29 Cents.

I also want students to try and figure out what their best chances are of reaching 29 the quickest will be, depending on the column of coins they choose.

A discussion about strategy can follow of whether column choice matters and why.

I’ve also provided a graph to see which column won the game the most to see if it really did make a difference.

Students choose a partner and take turns spinning the coin spinner.

Whatever coin their paperclip lands on they color in that coin.

If they have already colored in those coins it becomes their partner’s turn.

Play continues ‘til the timer rings.

If someone has not reached 29, the student who is closest to 29 is the winner.

I hope this gives you another idea for your bag of tricks for Leap Day.

Scroll down for my post from yesterday and the Leap Day Leapin’ Animals booklet and be sure and pop back tomorrow for more Leap Day activities.

## Leap Year Lessons: Activities For Leap Day

My Leapin' Animal Book

I was surfing the net for Lessons on Leap Day and they were really hard to find if not pretty non-existent!

So I felt it was really worth my time to make a unit for this day.  I’ll be finishing it up this weekend and posting it.

What I thought would be fun would be for teachers to talk within their grade level, each choose a different activity to last a certain amount of time, and have students LEAP to a different class to do that activity.

To help get the wiggles out, they hop silently like bunnies, frogs, kangaroos etc. down the hall into the next kindergarten/first grade etc. classroom, to do another Leap Day activity.

I started doing research on animals that leaped, as I thought this would be really interesting for kids.

Wow! Did I learn a lot!

Most sources agreed that the highest leaper is the puma or mountain lion that can leap 5-6 times their height in a single bound, but when you compare the “contestants” in terms of their actual height that they can jump, relative to their body size, the tiny flea wins the gold medal!

For example, kangaroos are about 6 feet tall; they can jump 2 times their height, but fleas, can leap more than 130 times theirs!

This means if we would scale up a flea to our size, that would be like us jumping  halfway up the Empire State Building in New York!

How’s that for a Leap Day leap?

I tried to use words from the Dolch word list.

Students cut and glue the matching numbered pictures to the pages.

I also included a math extension where students tell which leaping animal was their favorite.  Teachers can graph the results.

The Leaping Animal Booklet and graph are fun activities to plug into your Leap Day.

I also wanted to find some YouTube videos for your little ones to watch to see all this leaping going on! Know that for everyone I find that's "Way Cool!" I view about 10 not so hot...

Here's the best of the best!

A University of Berkely study shot some high-speed video footage of leaping lizards, which supports a 40-year-old hypothesis about how theropod dinosaurs, like the velociraptors of Jurassic Park fame, adjusted the angle of their tails to stay stable when jumping.  Click on the link to view this awesome clip. Leaping Lizards clip for Leap Day Activity.

I'd never seen real kangaroo's jumping with their babies in their pouch.  Nice nature clip.  Click on the link to view Leaping Roo's   for Leap Day Activity.

No Leap Day would be complete without allowing students to play a little Leap Frog.  Why not let them get the wiggles out jumping over each other and then catch this cute clip of real frogs competing in the very serious frog jumping contest in Calaveras County. Too funny, and boy are those frogs huge!

Click on the link to view Leaping Frogs in the Frog Jumping Contest of Calaveras County.  Perfect for your Leap Day activities.

Finally, see a snake leap! I never heard of a leaping snake, but a video of a huge green one literally flying through the air as it leaps from one tree to the next in the jungle made a believer out of me.  Also shows a winged lizard leaping! Click on the link to view a leaping snake and lizard for your Leap Day lessons!

I hope you enjoy these Leap Day suggestions.  I know I found it interesting leaping around the internet discovering new "stuff" about critters that hop, jump and leap through out their day!

Be sure and pop in tomorrow for a Leap To .29 Cents Coin Game.