• Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    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

    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 […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    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 […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    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 Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Top 10: Best Dragon Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

    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!

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    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.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    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!).

  • Best Picture Books That Teach Math Concepts

    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!

10 books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

10 Books to Expose Kids to a Foreign Language: HUGE GIVEAWAY

The summer is a great time to expose kids to a foreign language. I received a huge box of books from Tuttle Publishing that are perfect for this and I am giving most of them away. Please see the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

What languages would your kids be interested in? Are you using any great sites, books or videos? Please share! Read more…

Our Father's Day Tradition

Our Father’s Day Tradition: Happy Father’s Day!

This year is first year we are breaking with our tradition of strawberry picking for Father’s Day.

strawberry picking, Father's Day traditions,

My husband came up with this idea years ago and every year we hold our breath that the strawberries will be ready for Father’s Day picking. Read more…

Social Media Sunday

Welcome to the 3rd week of the Social Media Mixer, a brand new social media link-up started when the Weekday Mixer and Social Media Sunday joined forces. Thank you to everyone who joined us for Week 2 – we had 118 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

Social Media Mixer-2Read more…

Starting Kindergarten Picture Book of the Day giveaway and other starting Kindergarten resources

Starting Kindergarten Picture Book of the Day GIVEAWAY

Do you have an incoming Kindergarten? Do you need ideas of getting your child ready for Kindergarten? I have six ideas for you!

What will you do with your son or daughter to get ready for Kindergarten? Please share!

1) Free Kindergarten Readiness Printable Book

I made this book for my son’s preschool both as a Kindergarten readiness book and as a special keepsake. I hope you have fun using it too!

Download my FREE printable book: My Book About Me Read more…

Rick Riordan Mega Awesome author event

Meet Rick Riordan with Me

The main event! Rick Riordan at the Mega Awesome Author Event with Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud and Ridley Pearson. It was an awesome group! Eoin Colfer should be a stand up comedian; that guy really is that funny! Jonathan Stroud has that lovely Brit sense of humor. He’s humble and charming. Ridley Pearson is the kind of author you’d want as a mentor. He’s kind, thoughtful and generous with his time and knowledge.

Rick Riordan and Mega Awesome book event

But were we really here for Rick Riordan? Yes, yes we were. My son has read EVERY SINGLE WORD THAT MAN HAS EVER WRITTEN including the short story in Guys Read: Other Worlds and Son of Sobek in which we had to rent his sister’s Paperwhite at $1 per day!

Rick RiordanRead more…

Georges Seurat Pointillism Art Project for Kids

Seurat Art Project Using Chapter Book Liar and Spy

PickyKidPix and I love Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. She said it was a read aloud this past year for 6th grade English.

Since she was read to at school, I have a treat for you, my dear readers. I have Rebecca Stead reading from Liar and Spy! (If you haven’t read her excellent chapter book, this clip will set up the story). Read more…

Social Media Mixer Sunday #2

Welcome to the 2nd week of the Social Media Mixer, a brand new social media link-up started when the Weekday Mixer and Social Media Sunday joined forces. Thank you to everyone who joined us for our very first week – we had 147 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

Social Media Mixer-2Read more…

summer math for algebra and math facts

Summer Math Ideas for Elementary and Middle School

The summer is nearly here — we have two more weeks of school left! — and I need to get our summer math in order!

summer math

 

Summer Math Word Problems for Elementary School

For my rising 3rd grade son, it’s an easy decision: Daily Word Problems, Grade 4. All three of my kids have been doing these word problem workbooks for summer math as rising first graders. Read more…

sphero

Sphero is Worth Fighting Over

I received an opportunity to try out Sphero and I thought my son might like it since he’s learning how to program in Scratch and Processing (an object-oriented version of Java). What I didn’t realize was that Grasshopper and Sensei, a rising high school freshman, and PickyKidPix, a rising 7th grader, also wanted the Sphero, such that it was a bit of a fight for control! Read more…