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!
Thank you to everyone who has sent in a photo! Kids caught in the acting reading makes me very, very happy! How is summer reading going for you?
If you send me a photo to pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com, I’ll send you a book! (I’m sorry but I can only send books to the United States due to the high cost of shipping.) I hope it keeps your kids happily reading this summer! Read more…
PickyKidPix just started 7th grade this year and this book seems right up her alley. Now that she is assigned to read 40 books this school year from her English teacher, we will be seeking out high interest books like this one! Jessica Darling #2 hits shelves TODAY and I have author Megan McCafferty stopping by with advice for middle school kids.
How is your school year going? I hope you are off to a good start!
I’m not gonna lie. I’ve had three kids do this going-into-fourth-grade summer reading assignment and the book report portion is painful. My kids simply are not in homework mode at the end of the summer, so it takes a ridiculous amount of effort (accompanied by equal amount of whining) to get it done. My son did his book project over a week with three failed attempts before eventual success.
The reading portion of the homework, however, was a different story. My son and I cranked through three books the first week of summer vacation. The five books need to be different genres and I may have taken some liberties in naming genres … but I tacked on a few more outside-the-box books at the end including poetry and an easy chapter book.
How about you? Did you kids get summer reading assignments? Please share! Read more…
Please welcome teacher and author Garrett Carter who is my guest blogger today. He writes about the need for more diversity in chidren’s books.
Planting the Seed Now: A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature from a Teacher and Author
Along with spring and summer flowers, numerous articles concerning the lack of diversity in children’s literature have sprung up as the year has progressed. Not a new phenomenon, there has always been a lack of cultural diversity for children to experience through reading. As the melting pot in America simmers to a boil, so does the demand for an inclusion of diversity in children’s literature. Simply put; stakeholders are asking and demanding change — now! Here, I’ll explain why I feel this is an important message in my eyes as both a teacher and author. Read more…
A couple of my mom friends took a Return to Work Mom class at a nearby university to plot a return to the workforce after 8+ years at home with the kids. A strategy and a support group are key because, as it turns out, it’s not easy to return to work for moms who stayed home even if they are looking to get back into the field that they left.
My mom friend Tracey was a computer software trainer with her own business that she successfully sold before kids. Her return back to work should have been easy … but no. The training landscape had changed immensely with eLearning, distance learning, webinars and the like. It took her a good two years of networking as a full-time job to land her dream job. Her message to moms who want to return to work is not to give up. Perseverance and relentless networking are what make the difference.
I polled my three kids to jog their memory of what the read aloud books were in first grade. We had one wonderful first grade teacher twice, and PickyKidPix was even able to loop with her for second grade too!
When I think of first grade, I remember it was a time when all the kids desperately wanted to read “chapter books“, as if picture books didn’t count anymore. But often, picture books have a richer vocabulary and a more interesting story so this list includes books that teach about compassion, entertain and mesmerize. I hope you enjoy them!
What books do you recommend as a first grade read aloud? Please share! Read more…
I have a small group of mom friends that I box with. Our trainer never expected us to last this long, but we just passed the 1.5 year mark in June and we are signed up for three times a week starting in September. We all have different motivations for sticking with it — fitness, weight loss, and sparring — but we all agree that it’s the ONLY exercise we’ve stuck with since having kids. It’s different because it’s a skill with endless things to learn so it never gets boring.
I’m happy that our Picture Book of the Day group is reconvening for the school year. I’m up today with my pick and it’s for all the parents out there celebrating kids going back to school!
How was your summer? Are you sad it’s over but happy that school is back in full swing? Please share!
Penguin Picture Book of the Day
Baby Penguins Everywhere! by Melissa Guion
There are lots of picture books for kids starting preschool or kindergarten, but this one is for parents whose kids are going back to school! Or at least, this is my take! A female penguin was all alone enjoying the sea and ice when a hat appeared and out jumped a LOT of baby penguins. She wasn’t lonely anymore, but every now and then, she just needed a minute to herself. This should be mandatory reading for toddlers and preschoolers! [picture book, ages 2 and up]