All posts in Education

Special Needs Books for Kids ages 4-16

Special Needs Books for Kids ages 4-16

Please welcome my guest author today, Sandra Woffington, with a special needs book list. Her book, Evil Speaks: Warriors and Watchers Saga #1,  is a middle grade novel that follows teens with disabilities on an epic, mythological adventure. Sandra is a middle school teacher who is passionate about teaching her students not to just tolerate those with differences – but include them.

Evil Speaks not only takes young readers on an epic mythological journey, it helps to break down stereotypes and encourage inclusion of people from all walks of life.

Evil Speaks follows the journey of this unique crew, along with Benny, a lonely fifteen-year-old whose paranoid mother has moved him from town to town after the disappearance of his father at age three. Benny has had enough. After a particularly bad argument, he decides to run away. Just as he packs his bags—boom!—the house explodes, catapulting Benny into a world he never imagined existed. The trail leads him to a gated neoclassic building in the woods where he meets this unlikely band of heroes, all who seem vaguely familiar to Benny. As unique and different as they all are, they share one common thread: each of them lost a parent on the exact same day. As they set out to uncover the mystery, the only clue they have to follow is the whereabouts of Benny’s grandfather, a strange—and dangerous—man. They must quickly learn to become warriors before the seven gates of evil are opened forever. [chapter book with special need blind, deaf, and paraplegic, for ages 8 and up]

p.s. See a longer Special Needs Reading List here. Read more…

Kid Vid Fest

Summer Stop Motion Contest for Kids!

Kid Vid Fest

Do your kids like to make stop motion movies? My son uses Flipagram as an easy way to do Lego stop motion animation.

Stop Motion movie Contest for Kids Read more…

Homemade bath bombs and the science behind the fizz

DIY Lush Bath Bombs and the Science Behind the Fizz

My 12-year-old son has had a headache for the past two months. Fast forward five doctor appointments later, and we now think he has a concussion. He found baths soothing and he likes the Lush bath bombs that his sisters gave him for Christmas. They’re pretty expensive at $7 each, so we decided to make them ourselves.
DIY Lush Bath Bombs and the Science Behind the Fizz

An interesting Teachable Moment is the science of bath bombs. My son noticed that when he’s in the bath as the bath bomb gets crazy fizzy, that he feels a cold sensation coming off from the bomb. What is that? I think it’s the carbon dioxide gas that is generated from the chemical reaction. Read more…

I Appreciate You Gift to Students

I Appreciate You Gift to Students

I finally found the last I Appreciate You graduating gift certificate for PickyKidPix. Their 5th grade teacher had each student in the class writes one sentence about every other student, and these comments are typed up on a certificate and presented to teach student. It’s a snapshot of how they were perceived during their year in 5th grade.

I Appreciate You Gift to Students

Here’s my oldest I Appreciate You certificate for Grasshopper and Sensei and my son’s 5th grade I Appreciate You class certificates . PickyKidPix’s soccer team did one too for team building.

I Appreciate You: Sports Team Bonding Idea

I Appreciate You Because…

Read more…

The Importance of Early Childhood Education

The first years of a child greatly affect their future. This stage is where the brain needs to develop more in their cognitive, social, language, physical, and emotional aspects. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that this stage will be meaningful and productive.

Otherwise, it may result in a long-term social, mental, or emotional problems. And this is where the dilemma comes in. How can the parents make sure that their child develops at this early stage and not lose their way? Is it through formal education which is provided by organizations and government or is it through homeschooling? Read more…

Visiting Pratt Institute

Visiting Pratt Institute

Visiting Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute is just outside New York City in Brooklyn. From lower Manhattan, it took us about ten minutes to get their by cab. What’s nice about Pratt is that it’s a campus with a defined boundary, and plenty of public spaces both inside and out for community building. In fact, the spaces for learning are enticing, full of natural light with high ceilings and an easy going creative energy.

Visiting Pratt Institute

The Pratt Institute Tour was run by students and they were impressive in their knowledge of Pratt as well as for their enthusiasm for their school. Not everyone lived on campus as off campus housing is nearby and much less expensive.

Visiting Pratt Institute

The overall vibe that we got from the campus is that it is brimming with creative talent and nice, happy people. (One negative we’ve heard about RISD from my daughter’s friends who visited there is that the people can be off putting). It’s a beautiful campus with buildings specific to majors. The student work that we saw on exhibit was impressive.

Visiting Pratt Institute

Overall, we all liked Pratt and it’s on my daughter’s college list to apply to. I think she would be very happy here!

Visiting Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute Tour

Pratt Foundation Year: Freshman Year

What Foundation Year is like at Pratt.

Pratt Library

Really cool things about Pratt Library.

Visiting Pratt Institute


comfort cube fidget toy

This New Fidget Toy, Comfort Cube, Could Help With Anxiety

Anxiety and stress are real problems in the real world. There have been several technological advancements made to decrease anxiety, but some people just can’t manage to escape it. Even minor issues such as a low smartphone charge stresses some people out. So what’s the solution?How can we alleviate anxiety and stress?  A new device called Comfort Cube, could come in handy.

What is the Comfort Cube?

Comfort Cube is both a desk gadget and fidget toy. The primary function of the device is to decrease stress, promote relaxation, and increase focus. The cube’s lightweight design and small size means it does not use up much room. And this means you can store it inside a kitchen cabinet or desk drawer, and also in your pocket, purse, or your vehicle’s center console.

fidget toy helps with anxiety Read more…

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

This DIY robot was fun to make and surprisingly easy to make. It went off without a hitch, except for cutting the toothbrush end off.

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

 

My husband came up with an ingenious way to use friction and heat  while bending it back and forth with pliers to cut it. My son trimmed the rough edge with scissors (not really necessary) and then we started the project.

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

Brush Bots: Turn a Toothbrush into a Robot!

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush RobotsRead more…

The Mystery of Pi for Pi Day!

The Mystery of Pi for Pi Day!

What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π. Joke from comedian John Evans from 50 Interesting Facts About Pi

PickyKidPix came home from school after Pi Day last year determined to memorize 100 digits of Pi. Her math teacher offered 1 point of extra credit for learning Pi. He rarely offers extra credit so she decided that she was going to learn 100 digits of Pi.

Learn Pi Free Read more…