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OPS At Home Learning: GATE & Advanded Placement

Grade level resources

Elementary Math

Math Activity – Grades 3-6

Did you know the Rubik’s cube was invented in 1974 by a man named Erno Rubik? It actually took Erno several months to solve the Rubik’s cube the first time. The current world record for solving the Rubik’s cube is under 5 seconds! The cube was and still is a very popular puzzle that is challenging to solve.  It has been proven that the Rubik’s cube can be solved within 20 face turns. 

Go to  Rubik's Cube Explorer and watch an interactive presentation that will help you understand the basics of aRubik's cube. Click on the buttons at the bottom of the screen after the demo to learn more about styles, cubelets, labels and actions!

After completing the demo can you answer these questions? 

  • How many faces does the cube have? 
  • How many edges does a Rubik’s cube have (pieces with two colors)?
  • How many corners does a Rubik’s cube have (pieces with three colors)? 
  • How many cubelets are in a Rubik’s cube?
  • How many center pieces does the Rubik’s cube have? 
  • What makes the center pieces of a Rubik’s cube unique? 


Visit the sites below and improve your problem solving, spatial reasoning and logical thinking while trying to solve the Rubik’s cube


Questions to ask while solving the Rubik’s cube 

  • What fraction does each face have for each color?

  • Can the fractions you created be reduced?  For example, 3/9 can be reduced to 1/3

  • What patterns can you find?

  • Is the Rubik’s cube 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional?  Explain your answer

  • Do you think a series of sequences would be needed when solving a Rubik’s cube? Why or why not?  

  • Can you define the terms faces, vertices and edges in your own words?

  • A geometric solid is a 3-dimensional object with faces, vertices and edges. Would a Rubik’s cube be considered a geometric solid?

  • Can you describe a cube in your own words?

  • What is the area of one face on each cube?

  • What is the volume of a 3x3x3 cube?

Elementary Reading/Language Arts

Literacy- Grades 3-6   

A Haiku is Japanese poetry and consists of three lines.  The first line has 5 syllables.  The second line has 7 syllables and the last line has 5 syllables.  They are very short poems and often describe one thing. Haiku is a very short poem, so it’s important to carefully select the words and/or phrases that you will use.  Haiku poems are often written about one thing.  The poem could be about weather, a season, an animal, or even snow or rain! 


What am I? Haikus 
These riddles are fun to solve!  Write a Haiku that describes something and read your poem to someone and see if they can figure it out. Look at the sample below and give it a try! 

You can also follow the steps in this online tutorial: Riddles 


Read, Learn, and be Happy: Haiku: Nature is Our PlaygroundGlossy pea colored  
Resting on green lily pads 
Little green hopper 


Nature and Feelings 

  • Grab a notebook and a pencil and take a walk in your yard to record what you see, feel and hear!
  • Brainstorm words and phrases and record them in your notebook during your walk. 
  • Pay close attention to how many syllables your words have.  
  • These poems have 3 lines and the 1st and 3rd lines have 5 syllables, and the second line has 7 syllables.  Remember the pattern, 5-7-5!
  • Click on Discovering Haiku and write your original haiku.
  • Design your Haiku (select font, background, and image) using the interactive module, Discovering Haiku
  • Print your Haiku and share with others! 


Remember, a haiku is a poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, and 5 syllables in the last line. In this game, you're provided with a selection of words. How quickly can you write a haiku with the given terms? 

Word Central  Use the thesaurus section of this online dictionary to find descriptive words for your haiku poems. 

Syllable Saucer Game Practice your syllable skills if you need extra practice, or just for fun! 

More Reading and Writing Challenges

  • Write your future self a letter. What passions are you going to pursue and how will you achieve your goals? Have your parents seal it in an envelope and keep it for you in a safe place!
  • Ask three people to write on a post it note a quality they admire about you. Hang those notes somewhere you go every day.

Use one of the sites below to find a topic that interests you.  Do some research and then use the printing press interactive below to create a newspaper, flyer or brochure to share what you learned. 

Elementary STEM

STEM Challenge

Science Activity- Grades 3-6 

Click on the links below to try experiments that you can do at home.  

Oil and water just don't get along, or do they? Experiment with oil and water and find out what can be added to help them mix. 

What moves in mysterious ways? Learn about a science process called capillary action as part of this interesting experiment. 

Use pressure to cut ice cubes in half and learn how the experiment relates to the science of ice skating. 

Can you help water overcome the force of gravity? Learn about air pressure with this cool water experiment for kids. 

Check out our full list of water-based science fair project ideas. Find ideas related to swimming pools, the impacts of moisture, drainage systems, the efficiency of filters, the amount of water used in showers, water absorption, drought conditions and more. 

You've no doubt experienced some heavy rain showers in your time, but how much rain is really falling from the sky? Is it enough to fill a cup over one day? Find out by making your own rain gauge to help you measure and record the amount of water. 


A Penny for your thoughts Activity 


  • Adhesion is the attraction of water molecules to objects. Have you ever noticed how water seems to stick on things like grass, pop cans, the bathroom mirror, or even on a glass of water? That’s called Adhesion! 

  • Cohesion is the attraction of water molecules to each other as a result of hydrogen bonding. 

  • Surface tension is the attraction among water molecules at the surface of a liquid. It creates a “skin-like” barrier between air and water molecules. 


Investigation: How many pennies do you think you can put into a full cup of water before it spills over? 


Step 1: To Begin, fill a small plastic cup with water till it reaches the very top of the cup. 

Step 2: Estimate: Write down the number of pennies you think can be put into the cup of water before it spills overs.  

Your Guess________ 

Step3:  Add one penny at a time and record the number carefully! Stop adding pennies as soon as the cup spills over.  

Step 4: How many pennies did you add to the cup of water before the it spilled over? 

Number of Pennies______ 

Step 5: In your own words, which of water properties did you observe during your experiment (surface tension, adhesion, cohesion). 

Advanced Placement Study Sessions

Middle School Math

Math Challenges - Middle School

Look at the directions for the 4-6 grade Math Challenge. Try to answer the questions below.

1. How many dump trucks would it take to cart away Mount Everest? 

2. How large a landfill would our county need to store 100 years of garbage? 

3. How many square miles of paved surfaces are there in our city?

Middle School Language Arts

Short Story Writing Prompts  

DirectionsSometimes it is fun to do some creative writing. Pick a writing prompt from the list below and write a paragraph which finishes the story. Share your ideas with me if you would like to or even turn it into a short story. 

-Doug stuck his hand in the box and immediately pulled it out. "Ow," he said. He licked the side of his index finger. 

-Many things get the hair on the back of my neck up, but nothing more so than... 

-45 minutes ago my cover was blown. I'd been undercover... 

-He was lying face down on the raft. At first we thought he was sleeping, using the inflated side of the raft as a pillow and one hand hanging over, grazing the water's edge. But then.. 

-When you are as rich as I am, it is easy to live an adventurous life. Just yesterday I took off in the company jet and... 

"Stop yanking on my arm!" screeched Alice. She pulled her tender arm across her chest and... 

"Dusk was long gone and the café was quiet except for a middle-aged man sitting near the door who..." 

Maxie's fingers pulled at the wire sewn into the jacket. Now that she had the information it had to be removed before... 

Middle School STEM


This is a creative challenge for future engineers: design an egg contraption that would prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from the the highest point you are able to reach safely in your home.

Constraints: You may only use the materials that you can find easily around your home. Examples: paper, popsicle sticks,  bubble wrap, tissue paper, etc. NO BATTERY POWERED ITEMS AND NO BOXES. Your contraption should fit inside of a shoe box, so it should not be overly large.

Student Outcomes:

1. Students will be able to design and build a protective device to keep their egg intact when dropped from a height.

2. Students will be able to explain design considerations based on material characteristics, and concepts of energy, velocity, and the physics of colliding objects.

3. Students will be able to utilize the design process to meet an engineering challenge and build upon their past challenge experiences.

Summary: Failure is just as important as the successes. It allows us to reevaluate, assess what works and doesn’t and teaches us to be resilient. 

Middle School GATE - National Gallery of Arts 



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Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).