I’m proud to be an ambassador for the National Center for Learning Disabilitites (NCLD) and even though my three children are typicals, I think that all kids benefit from a deeper understanding and empathy for their classmates with special needs. For my kids, diversity no longer means skin color or whether their classmates have two moms. These are non-issues for them (and what wonderful progress in terms of Civil Rights!).
Instead, they will benefit immensely from a deeper understanding their classmates with learning disabilities that may not be obvious to them. This is the new millennium diversity issue and helping everyone succeed will make us a stronger community.
I wanted to share the great resources they have in the hopes that it helps parents. Here are four examples of the information they provide.
National Center for Learning Disabilities Resources
What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?
The biggest difference is that kids with ADHD are hyperactive—they can’t sit still and are so restless that teachers quickly notice their rambunctious behavior and begin to suspect there might be attention issues involved.
Kids with ADD might fly under the radar a bit longer because they aren’t bursting with energy and disrupting the classroom. Instead, they often appear shy, daydreamy, or off in their own world. More here.
If you are like me, you want to expose your kids to foreign languages but you don’t happen to speak any yourself. Classes and tutors are a great way to get started but more exposure would make the foreign languages stick a little more. I’m always on the hunt for games, books, apps, TV shows, DSi games … ANYTHING to get my kids interested in Spanish or Mandarin Chinese
but it’s not easy!!
There’s an issue of age as well. The younger the better? Yes! And for a few reasons:
- Kids’ brains are more receptive to foreign language sounds the younger they are.
- Kids thinking that learning a new language is fun is inversely proportional to their age.
- Many TV shows, games and apps that teach foreign languages are geared for young kids, or adults but it’s much harder to find for tweens! Read more…
Do you think seahorses are magical too? There is something about having a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey, and skin color that can change like a chameleon. It doesn’t surprise me that Poseidon is the father of horses in Greek Mythology!
Did you know that father seahorses hatch the eggs?! Male seahorses have special pouches for the eggs and part of the courtship routine to win a female includes inflating their pouch by pumping water through it to display its emptiness in order to entice the female to deposit her eggs in it.
The eggs develop in the pouch for two to six weeks, depending on species and temperature, until they become fully formed juveniles called fry. When the male seahorse is ready to give birth, he has muscular contractions to expel the young from the pouch. I wonder if the contractions are as painful as human ones? Read more…
Columbus Day is a school holiday but my kids only learned about why they [really] get the day off when they were in preschool. Why don’t they learn more in elementary school? Perhaps it’s because of the controversy over his “feat.”
There are three main sources of controversy involving Columbus’s interactions with the indigenous people he labeled “Indians”: the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity, and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas.
Historians have uncovered extensive evidence of the damage wreaked by Columbus and his teams, leading to an outcry over emphasis placed upon studying and celebrating him in schools and public celebrations.
Still, it’s an official holiday. The landing, which occurred on October 12, 1492, is celebrated as Columbus Day. Do you think Columbus Day should be a national holiday in the United States?
He missed the mark but hit it just the same.
This video from The History Channel explains Christopher Columbus’ accomplishments.
Please welcome my guest blogger today, middle grade author Karen Day. She happens to live in my town and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her at the dog park as well as on the soccer field when Grasshopper and Sensei was in 3rd grade — her youngest daughter was on the same team.
She’s been twice to our book clubs for kids. She taught my daughter, then in sixth grade, to write a Show Don’t Tell.
We also learned about the origins of her second book, No Cream Puffs. Indeed, it WAS Karen who was a star baseball player!
Her first book, Tall Tales, won a Texas BlueBonnet award.
Today, she’ll be covering Writing Revision Tips for Kids. Read more…
Does your child have a class pet at school? Do you ever wonder about sponsoring a class pet for a teacher? I’ve had the most wonderful Kindergarten teacher for all three of my kids. When we visited her classroom earlier in the year, I noticed that one of class pet aquariums was empty so I asked if I could be a sponsor.
What Not to Get for a Class Pet
She said yes to being a class pet sponsor, but asked for a pet without fur (allergies). She already had a baby turtle swimming around so a non-water pet was preferred. Her biggest worry was temperature. During the winter, our school’s thermometer is turned down to the 50′s to save electricity on the weekends. Even with a heating pad and lamp, the aquarium gets very, very cold. Too cold for snakes or lizards. Too cold for hermit crabs too.
My kids have had other class pets and offered up their advice (a.k.a. criticism).
- African Giant Millipedes (too boring)
- Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (too noisy)
- Salamanders (too delicate)
I thought this was great for parents and teachers. Google has teaching videos on how to use Google for search:
Web search can be a remarkable tool for students, and a bit of instruction in how to search for academic sources will help your students become critical thinkers and independent learners.
With the materials on this site, you can help your students become skilled searchers- whether they’re just starting out with search, or ready for more advanced training.
The idea here is that kids need to be visually literate, digital search literate and literate with search in print. It is becoming the new digital divide: those that can search online. It’s not just about screen time, but about critical thinking skills and being an independent learner. Read more…
Are you reading ebooks with your kids this summer? I find that my son likes to read both paper and ebooks. Sometimes when I’m trying to get something done, an eBook that reads to him is a big convenience. But we are picky readers. A free eBook is only good for us if it’s a great book. I’m sure you are the same! It takes time and data storage to download an ebook. These are the best free eBooks for kids that passed our test.
1) Oxford Owl (click to right by age to find free eBooks) has 250 free ebooks. You can sort by age, book type, or series.
These are especially good!