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!
Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.
Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!
Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal and More!
On January 26th, the Newbery winner for 2013 will be announced along with a slew of other children’s and Young Adult awards in a star-studded night capped by a speech by the Newbery winner. Think Oscars but for children’s books!
The 2013 winners are all here!
If you’ve wondered what all the awards to be announced are for, here’s the run down:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book.
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.
Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.
Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States.
Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.
YALSA Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. Read more…
Sandy Hook in Newtown and What’s Next
As a parent, I found the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School terrifying. I suppose the natural reaction after processing this is to 1) realize that it could happen anywhere including my school and 2) try to figure out a way to prevent it. And there in lies the rub. Because you can’t prevent this. Sandy Hook Elementary School had locked doors and a metal detector system.
My school district is buzzing around new procedures including locked doors. It’s going to be a huge inconvenience to the school’s front desk administration and parents who need to get their kids for medical appointments. And it’s not going to stop someone with the firepower to blow through the door (which is not bullet proof).
Last week, my kids’ elementary school had a “lock down.” There is a thief that has been robbing houses near our school and he hit a house on the same street. One adult in the neighborhood thought that he was armed. The police came to our school and helped to lock it down in case the suspect fled and tried to hide in the school. All the doors were locked. Kids were locked in their classrooms and the all the school’s entrances were locked.
My son in second grade didn’t seem affected by it but the my daughter’s fifth grade class were terrified. Many of the kids thought they were about to experience the Newtown tragedy. Some fifth graders cried during the lockdown. Others were just scared. We’ve all tried to shield our kids from details of Sandy Hook but it seems that fifth graders are worldly and resourceful. Many have iPhones with internet access.
Even though Sandy Hook was a month ago, the tragedy still resonates. We are all affected. There is now a universal fear that this could happen again. In our town. To our children.
I found some posts on the internet that were comforting and made sense to me. I’m not Buddhist, by the way, but my mother is.
Stepping It Up with Easy Exercise Ideas
I hate to exercise. I don’t join gyms because I will never go. I only exercise because I’ve prepaid, meeting a friend, or my dog is whining. But I do feel better when I exercise. I sleep better too. And while I am exercising a lot these days, I like exercise that is non-exercise. Here’s my first non-exercise exercise tip:
Stair Climbing 2 at a Time
- When you go UP the stairs, take the stairs two at a time.
- Alternate legs as you go up the stairs.
- Go DOWN the stairs one stair at a time. You don’t want to fall!
- Take your time going up the stairs. Speed doesn’t not matter!
I have 2 sets of stairs in my house, not counting the stairs that lead to my front door. I noticed that even though I exercise regularly: Vinyasa yoga, kickboxing/boxing, hiking with dog, and Zumba, my posterior needed more work.
I had taken a step sculpting class. You use plastic steps and small hand weights, and I was so sore for days after it, but only in my butt and thighs. I realized that kickboxing despite the kicking does not work the inner and outer thighs nor the butt enough. And strangely, though we did a lot of bicep and tricep work, my upper body was not sore AT ALL! Read more…
Dragon Picture Book of the Day
I’m going to be posting on Picture Book of the Day every Friday. I’m in a Picture Book of the Day Facebook group along with a small group of children’s book bloggers.
Monday – Jdaniel’s Mom4
Tuesday – What Do We Do All Day
Wednesday – The Pleasantest Thing
Thursday – Reading Confetti
Friday – Pragmatic Mom
Bethany from No Twiddle Twaddle is organizing this and eventually each of us will post twice a month. She is looking for a few more children’s book bloggers if you are interested.
My son and I chose Waking Dragons for our first Picture Book of the Day. It’s the perfect picture book for preschools who love dragons and the scramble of the morning routine getting ready for school! Read more…
Did you know that the Impressionist painters had to make their own paint? Not mix paint. No, they actually had to make their own paint. They couldn’t just buy it in tubes from a store!
How Impressionists Made Paint
See those pots of colors? Inside are ground up pigments made of all different kind of materials found in nature to make paint.
Canvases too had to be made by each artist! They couldn’t buy a canvas from an art store. Instead, they bought fabric, used wood to create a frame, nailed the canvas to a the wooden frame and then prepared the canvas with a substance called gesso. It’s made of gypsum and can be painted onto the canvas to “prime” it. Read more…
Abstract Art by Kids inspired by Arthur Dove
The art of Arthur Dove (August 2, 1880 – November 23, 1946) at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is child-like, is it not? Ok, maybe a really talented child. He is considered the first American abstract painter. The girls and I found him on the third floor of the new American wing’s Modernist collection. We hunt down PickyKidPix‘s favorite artist, Jackson Pollock, whose No. 10, 1949 hangs there too.
Modernist Artist Arthur Dove (a little art history)
This is the painting that caught my eye. With just simple shapes and a few colors, Dove conveys a nature scene. I love the colors and its simplicity.
2nd Grade Math Facts: Addition and Subtraction
I thought my son was pretty good at his addition and subtraction math facts. We had used math fact triangles as part of his math homework, and he plays math apps (when forced between no screen time and math app screen time). We worked on math all summer with Rising 2nd Grade Daily Math Problems assigned by his school.
His teacher was excited to introduce a free program called XtraMath. It tracks what problems your child gets correct and serves up the facts you need to work on. You need to get the facts correct within 3 seconds per problem to pass. It turns out that he had more to learn in order to get his math facts 100% correct within 3 seconds per problem. We never limited the time before and that made a huge difference. Read more…