All posts in Education

ice makes cool sounds

Ice Makes Cool Sounds: Science of Ice and Sound

Ice makes some pretty cool sounds! Check this video out from PBS Kids.

We noticed it ourselves when we found the ice at our dog park sounds and looks like broken glass!

ice makes cool sounds

We’ve also heard that reverberation of ice when we throw rocks at the frozen water in the reservoir. This time, though, we couldn’t find any big rocks to throw.

Coolest concert in the world: instruments made out of ice. And their concert in an igloo! A band in Sweden called Ice Music plays concerts inside an igloo on musical instruments made entirely out of ice.

Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report

Kids & Family Reading Report from Scholastic

Scholastic released its latest research from Kids & Family Reading Report, 6th edition. Read to learn what kids – and parents – want in books. One key finding: kids need for more guidance on books to read for fun.

For 10 years, this nationally representative research from Scholastic has surveyed kids ages 6-17 and their parents (with an additional sample of parents with children ages 0–5) around attitudes and behaviors about reading books for fun.

This year, key findings include the growth of reading aloud to young children, inequities around access to books, a look at diversity in children’s books, and a focus on reading attitudes and behaviors of African-American and Hispanic families as well as parents’ list of books/series every child should read, kids’ favorite books, and summer reading.

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When Republicans control government

Republicans Cause Recessions?

My fourteen year old was concerned about the Republican controlled government so she looked it up and found this: Republicans last controlled the White House and Congress in 1928, causing the Great Depression. (1928-1939).

Republicans Cause Recessions?

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Civil Rights Movement through Art and Books for Kids

Civil Rights Movement through Art and Books for Kids

Today, I wanted to look at the Civil Rights Movement told through art and children’s books. Both are powerful communication tools both to educate and as a means to connect with emotionally with what happened.

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans

How many bubbles are in a bar of soap? Name all sixty-six judges in the state of Alabama.

These “tests” were forced on African Americans to prevent them from voting prior to the Voting Rights Act.

Lillian Allen inspired this picture book. In 2008, at age one hundred, she campaigned for Barack Obama and cast her vote for him as well. Her efforts to bring in voters for him on a hilly neighborhood is also serves to portray the symbolic struggle for voting rights that African American had to overcome: slavery, poll tax, ridiculous and impossible trivia tests, angry mobs, KKK threats, and police violence. [advanced picture book, ages 5 and up]

This book is in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. In 2014, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1065, allowing states to create “voter ID laws” which require all citizens to present a state-issued ID when voting, even though this is a financial obstacle for the poor and elderly to obtain.

The right to vote still needs protection today!

For example, this powerful painting depicts the murders committed by KKK, still not labeled as a terrorist organization today!

National Gallery of Canada

Civil Rights Movement Art
IMG_7920

Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

Augusta Scattergood tackles a little known subject: that Asian Americans were also subject to Jim Crow laws in the South. In this chapter book, she gently weaves together a story of Azalea, a rising fifth grader sent to live her grandmother in Arkansas that she’s never met before. Grandma Clark is a woman with a towering presence; she encourages Azalea to make friends with Billy Wong who is also new to their small town. He’s living with his Great Uncle and Aunt so that he can attend a previously all white school and works in their small grocery store. There’s also the bully, Willis, and Scattergood shows us that things are not black and white; behind his prejudice are family responsibilities heavy for a young boy to bear. Grandma Clark’s plan for a more tolerant community is simple; she utilizes Garden Helpers to help out while she’s recuperating, thus forcing everyone to work together. Azalea discovers that she’s more similar to her grandmother than she realized, and their relationship, like hers with Billy Wong, strengthens from the adversity of facing racism around them. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

 

Gordon Parks: An African American Photographer Who Used His Lens to Expose Racism

My favorite children’s book on a photographer who used his lens to capture the separation of races which makes a powerful statement is the little known Gordon Parks.

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Weatherford is an outstanding voice in children’s literature and here she tells the story of Gordon Parks who overcame racism himself, and used his self-taught photography skills to capture a segregated America. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

I have a post about Gordon Parks and here are some of his photographs that he took for a Life Magazine article that never ran.

Gordon Parks: Black History Month Read more…

Diverse Minds HS Writing Challenge: $5000 Prizes

Diverse Minds HS Writing Challenge: $5000 Prizes

For High School Students in the following areas:Washington, D.C. Metro Area, Southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and New York

Diverse Minds Writing Challenge

Now celebrating its 11th Anniversary!

This innovative competition asks high school students, in each region, to write and illustrate a children’s book that tells a story of tolerance, diversity or inclusion.

Students currently enrolled in the 9th – 12th grades are eligible to participate. The first place-winning individual or team will receive a college scholarship of $5,000, and B’nai B’rith will professionally publish the winning submission – making the student a published author! Submissions placing second and third will also receive scholarships.

In addition, the teacher of the student(s) who place first will receive a $1,000 stipend and the school will receive a $500 grant. The submission deadline for DC/Delmarva and New Jersey will be March 18, 2017.

Diverse Minds HS Writing Challenge: $5000 Prizes

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Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas

Having enjoyed over sixty exhibitions to date, Victor Hugo Zayas is best known for his paintings, vigorous depictions of landscapes and cityscapes, as well as still life and figural subjects that mediate between realism and expressionism…

Their subdued palette evokes the tonalism of Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Manet, but their expansive, forceful brushstrokes hark back to Titian and even van Gogh. by Peter Frank of Visions Magazine

Thanks to Photos by KAG, we were able to visit the artist Victor Hugo Zayas at his home and studio in Los Angeles after spending the morning Stand Up Paddleboarding during our trip to Southern California.
stand up paddleboard in Redondo Beach

My kids were able to hang out with their cousins and were on their best behavior at Victor’s art studio.

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas

My brother-in-law met Victor Hugo Zayas years ago in South Central Los Angeles, and photographs him at work in his studio. It’s always a treat to see how an artist works. Victor’s studio is 6000 square feet of creativity.

Visiting Artist Victor Hugo Zayas Read more…

Bee Barf is Honey? Bee Books & Videos for Kids

Bee Barf is Honey? Books & Videos for Kids

Does it stress you out that bees are in trouble? The state of the Amazon rainforest, frogs and toads, and bees are probably the three things about the environment that I worry about. Not that I know exactly what to do. I guess the first step is educating. And then action. So here’s my self-education journey about the plight of the bees.

If your kids like Bee Movie, they’ll like this PBS video on how honey is made.

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Hands On Geography Fun for Kids

Hands On Geography Fun for Kids

There is absolutely nothing that I hate more than to help my kids memorize factoids for a test. I figured out from my two older kids that their 4th grade social studies curriculum includes learning to spell and locate the 50 States, with state capitals as extra credit.

Trying to learn one section of the country every few weeks can be stressful, so I got the jump on it long before my son reached fourth grade. We played the Scrambled States Game, a board game, and did many, many rounds of geography trivial pursuit at dinner using map placemats. Beautifully illustrated atlas map books also make learning a pleasure. My kids would also credit this song about the capitals in South America and online learning games.

From my webpage: 70+ Free Education Games. This is the Geography section:

How about you? What are fun ways you and your kids are learning geography? Thanks for sharing!

Hands On Geography Fun for Kids

Barefoot Books World Atlas by Nick Crane, illustrated by David Dean

This is my go to atlas book. With large beautiful illustrations of maps and interesting details on the sidebars, some of which fold out, this is a book to savor and enjoy. There’s also a fold out atlas in the back perfect for mounting on a wall. You can use the wall atlas to point to a location and then look it up in the book, or just browse through the book continent by continent. There is also an accompanying app! [nonfiction atlas book, ages 4 and up]

Atlas of Animals Adventures: A collection of nature’s most unmissable events, epic migrations, and extraordinary behavior by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland

For animal lovers, here’s another way to look at an atlas. This book celebrates how animals survive in the wild through both migration but also through animal behavior. Animals are grouped by continent and country. This oversized book is also gorgeously illustrated and begs to be browsed. You can also make this book into a game with the Can You Find? “Where’s Waldo” section in the back. [nonfiction animal atlas book, ages 4 and up]

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Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Grasshopper and Sensei and I are huge fans of watercolor painting. We are especially fond of travel size watercolor kits, even though we rarely paint en plein air. We have fantasies of painting outside while on vacation or at an art museum; fantasies that never come to pass. It’s probably because we don’t have the right art supplies. That’s right! That’s our reason and we are sticking to it.

If only … if only we had these kits. We’d be painting up a storm! Here’s a sampling of some of the art we’ve produced over the years, sadly indoors, and not with these irresistible travel watercolor kits. But if you want to know what to get us for our birthdays or Christmas — hint, hint to relatives reading — now you know!

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics, $15

This is really good paint because it’s very pigmented. It comes in a metal container which folds out so there’s more mixing room.

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sketchers Pocket Box, $12

This pocket-sized watercolor travel set has 12 half pans of colors in a plastic box with a mixing palette in the lid.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Brush Pen Set, $22

This is a watercolor paint set with 12 half pans PLUS Windor & Newton water brush pen.

Watercolor Kit Gift Guide

Jerry Q Art Water Colors Travel Pocket Set, $18

This kit has 18 water colors pans, with a refillable water brush and sponge.

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