My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]
Today I am on the front page of The Boston Globe for the past week of posts that I wrote on my microblog, I Love Newton, about the anti-Asian racism in the local high school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. School play’s stereotypes bring outcry and apology. “Millie” touches nerve in Newton by Ellen Ishkanian, Globe […]
I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]
I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]
Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.
Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.
The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books to young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!
I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.
Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).
Picture books can be a visual and fun way to introduce math concepts. I think it makes math less intimidating when it’s part of a story. For those kids who love math, it’s another way to eat it up!
My first semester of college was as struggle. I was an unhappy pre-med taking “dumb” chemistry and it was kicking my butt. My chemistry professor‘s lectures made no sense to me. He didn’t follow the chemistry textbook but talked on and on in an arbitrary way, working his way through the periodic table.
The assigned problems, however, didn’t reflect his lecture or the textbook. It turns out that his graduate students made them up. And, not surprisingly, the exams were a total mystery to me. It tested the concepts he taught but were never a regurgitation of what was presented in either the textbook, the lecture or the homework problems.
I was in deep trouble. I was used to being spoon fed: the lecture = the homework = the quiz = the final. There were no surprises in my not-so-great high school chemistry class. All necessary information was always provided to me including formulas. Read more…
I’ve been jumping rope for the past year as part of my boxing training with my mom group of friends and we’ve all complained about it for various reasons.
- We suck at it.
- It’s ridiculously difficult to jump rope for a short duration as, say, a mere two minutes.
- We know we could do it in elementary school!
- It makes us pee in our pants. Which is very embarrassing.
I noticed how parents will often hire a tutor for math for their kids, but less so for reading. Today, my guest author Dusty Fox writes about what to expect from a reading tutor.
How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading (and Education!)
If you are a parent who loves to read, it can certainly be saddening and even frustrating if your child doesn’t share that same passion. Not only does reading have the ability to bring joy to an individual’s life–regardless of age–but it is often closely related to our ability to do well in formal learning and work environments. If your child doesn’t enjoy reading, this may lead to difficulties in the classroom and could even be directly linked to future issues in high school, college, and work. Read more…
My friend Isra who blogs at The Frugalette told me a few years ago how few Diwali books there are, so when The Diwali Gift floated across my email, I thought it would be nice to learn more about this Hindu holiday. My only impression of Diwali was that it was a festival of lights and that it involved feasting. There is much more to it I learned! Read more…
The fifth graders at our elementary school are challenged every year to read all the books listed on the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. I really love this book list because it has a variety of newly published and slightly older books such that you can actually find the books on the library bookshelves. Our school librarian also makes a point of making a special display and buying multiple copies of these books.
I’ve also discovered gems on the list from years past. The list doesn’t necessarily feature Massachusetts’ children’s authors but it was how I found Mitali Perkins’ Rickshaw Girl eight years ago!
Does your state have a book award too? How does it work?
Third Grade and Low Fourth Grade Books
This is the first part of the Massachusetts Book Awards which I’ve divided by suggested grade level. Part I covers Third Grade, Low Fourth Grade and Fourth Grade Books. At the next Kid Lit Blog Hop in two weeks, I’ll cover Part II which covers Fifth and Sixth Grade.
We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School) by Andrew Clements
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery by Doreen Cronin
Mary Poppins may have preferred Rum Punch as preventative medicine but some of us prefer the flavor of chocolate!
When PickyKidPix got sick last week, she tried powering through the school week, going to class and her activities including three soccer practices as usual. But by Friday, she was coughing up a storm and generally miserable so she finally took a sick day and slept in. Read more…
I knew a few things when I met my honey:
- That within a week of meeting him I knew that I met my future husband. (It took him a few years to figure that out though!)
- I would become a golf widow (though I took up golf to avoid that).
- It would be hard to ever stay mad at him because he makes me laugh.
- That I would marry him all over again!
When I met my husband 21 years ago, he looked like this.
At a photoshoot at the golf clothing apparel company that I started after business school (now defunct).
We recently moved to a new house and PickyKidPix and Grasshopper and Sensei – our two girls ages 12 and 14 — share the attic. At our old house, I was careful to buy fire escape ladders with hooks at the top that hang over the window sill. They were very sturdy but they took up a lot of room and it was only a two-story ladder. Since the girls are on the third floor, their old fire escape ladders are now too short and I hadn’t gotten around to buying them new ones.
Fire Safety Ladder Conundrum
In my mind, I hadn’t figured out all the logistics:
- If two-story ladders take up 1 foot of space, won’t three-story ladders be too huge to store?
- Do we really need three-story ladders or will two-story ladders land them on some sort of outcropping on roof a floor below?
- I wonder if PickyKidPix would use the ladder to sneak out at night when she’s a tad older?
- Where do these ladders go?
- Do I need one or two?
My kids are one-quarter Japanese and they wish that their Japanese ancestry is steeped in the way of the ninja. It’s not. Their heritage is actually that of Daimyo, a feudal landowner/warlord, and our ancestors are located about one hour outside of the city of Hiroshima.
I can see the appeal of the ninja over that of warlord, though. It’s that martial arts thing mixed with mystery and powers that border on mystical. Very appealing!
For today, October 10th or 10/10, I have 10 ninja books ranging from picture books, early chapter book, chapter books, and young adult. So it’s 10 on 10/10!
What is your favorite ninja book for kids? Please share! Read more…