A dad friend encouraged me to sign my daughter up for an afterschool elementary school class called Wicked Cool Science. He was a high school science teacher and had a son and daughter of his own.
“If you don’t get your daughter’s interested in science before middle school,” he warned, “They will turn their backs on science permanently.”
That’s alarming. So I looked into this connection.
Many young students, particularly girls, see math and science as difficult, and don’t take any more classes than they have to, not realizing they are cutting themselves off from lucrative opportunities in college and careers.
“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”
From Science Daily Read more…
Happy Pi Day! To celebrate, we are going to explore the idea of Pi and story telling. Can the infinite sequence of the number Pi tell a story? Am I nuts to even think this?
noun: the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet ( Π, π ), transliterated as ‘p.’
symbol: the numerical value of pi.
Newbery award winner Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early tells a story with Pi. And Vi Hart has a take on Pi and Shakespeare. So It Can Be Done! Let’s explore the stories that Pi tells.
Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. It’s created by MIT. I had heard of it years ago from the founder of the company who created my first PragmaticMom blog template. His young son was using it to create games. My son was just a toddler then, so I filed it away in the back of my head for later.
Fast forward to now. My 9-year-old son is a serious gamer and in on screens from the minute he wakes up until I yell at him at night to get off screens. It’s very tough to keep him off screens because he floats from the computer to the iPad to his DSi to the TV and back again. Sometimes he even multi-tasks watching TV WHILE eating WHILE playing a game on the computer. Don’t even get me started about the keyboard to that computer. It’s covered in crumbs and barely works; it’s so gunked up.
It’s my turn to choose the Picture Book of the Day and I picked the 2014 Seibert Winner, Parrots Over Puerto Rico. I thought we’d explore parrots today with a non-fiction picture book, a singalong parrot picture book and an easy reader with a naughty parrot.
Next, I clear up confusion that I have about parrots versus Macaws versus Cockatoos. This will help because I want you to meet some parrot friends. Finally, I am giving away all three books! I hope you enjoy this little parrot adventure! Please share your favorite parrot books!
Picture Book of the Day
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Once, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican parrots flew over Puerto Rico where they had lived for millions of years. But by 1937, only about two thousand Puerto Rican parrots, known locally as iguaca, remained in El Yunque, a tropical rainforest in the Luquillo Mountains to the east. By 1975, only thirteen parrots were left. Thanks to efforts by conservationists, a recovery program was set up. But with challenges from mother nature including thunderstorms and hurricanes, will the iguaca survive?
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is the 2014 Seibert Winner!
[picture book, ages 5 and up]
About the Book
Title: Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #3)
Author: Lars Guignard
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Number of Pages: 267
Recommended Age: 8+ Read more…
DIY Cute and Easy Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids
Second grade seems to be the transition from homemade cards required to homemade cards optional for Valentine’s Day. It’s usually quite a task to get my kids to make Valentine’s Day cards. The first five or six go pretty smoothly as they are earmarked for their closest friends, but the last two dozen are difficult to extract. Luckily, we had two days off due to a blizzard named Nemo so we had plenty of time to do this over two days in two steps.
Toilet Paper Roll Heart Valentine’s Day Cards
Despite the option to buy Valentine’s Day cards this year, I found an easy craft using a toilet paper roll to stamp hearts on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to make with my son. I was hoping his 5th grade sister could be persuaded as well. She ended up making her own cards but rejected the toilet paper roll heart idea.
Turning trash into art is my kind of recycling! We saw these pieces of marine animals made out of recycled plastic at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (where we also loved the jellyfish and seahorse exhibits). Sayaka Gantz made these sculptures out of reclaimed materials that might have otherwise been polluting the ocean.
At the end of second grade my son started learning his multiplication facts along with a few division facts. He had been using a free math site his 2nd grade teacher recommended called Xtra Math and after finishing addition and subtraction facts, moved on to multiplication. Though the site was effective in teaching him math facts, it stressed him out to the point of tears.
Xtra Math has this feature that makes you “Race the Teacher.” If you don’t answer the problem correctly in about two seconds, you get dinged. He hated that portion of the questions but you had to complete it before the site said that you were done.
I like using math gaming apps to get my son to practice his math facts. He will only play each game twice so we need a lot of sites to keep him engaged. That really motivates me to find more fun math sites for him.
What is your favorite math site or game to learn multiplication facts?
Fun and FREE Multiplication Games
Here’s a few that he likes:
Grand Prix: Race other kids in a car racing game that is fueled by how quickly and accurately you can solve multiplication math fact problems. You can also race the computer, and adjust the questions to focus on a particular math fact set.
Meteor Multiplication: Shoot down meteors by correctly solving multiplication problems. You shoot from the product, and have to identify the two factors. Read more…