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…
Please welcome my guest blogger, Anna Olswanger. I “met” her when I read a review of Greenhorn and her picture book stopped me in my tracks. It’s powerful story about the Holocaust that really reverberated. I literally could not stop thinking about that little boy and his tin box for days. I added it immediately to my 34 Haunting Holocaust Books for Kids list.
It doesn’t surprise me that Anna notices the little details in life around her. Her story today is about the little House Finch birds that come to her bird feeder that she notices from her window during writing breaks from her computer. She notes with concern that they are sick.
I looked it up:
House Finch Eye Disease
What does conjunctivitis look like?
Infected birds have red, swollen, watery, or crusty eyes; in extreme cases the eyes become swollen shut or crusted over, and the birds become essentially blind. If the infected birds die, it is usually not directly from the conjunctivitis, but rather from starvation, exposure, or predation as a result of not being able to see. Some infected birds do recover.
It’s strange that conjuctivitis which kids commonly get is a very infection disease but really a nuisance more than anything, but for a House Finch, it can be lethal.
Here’s her story and my prayers that her House Finch friend is ok!
The house finch sat on the feeder outside my window and coughed. She was brown, a female. I read about her red, swollen eyes on the Web and discovered she had a respiratory disease that had infected her eyes. In extreme cases, the eyes of these birds would become swollen shut and the birds would become blind. They would die from starvation or predation because they couldn’t see. Read more…
Thank you to everyone who took time to give me feedback on my last sponsored post on Special Needs Resources for Parents from The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Many of you left kind comments that this was useful stuff so I will continue to highlight resources from the NCLD.
As this is the holiday season, I thought I would start with some timely topics to help reduce the stress during this busy time of year.
How to Deal With Relatives Who Don’t “Believe” in Learning and Attention Issues
“She has such a hard time controlling that child.”
“Oh, it’s only a stage. He’ll grow out of it.”
If you hear frustrating comments like this, here’s some great advice from NCLD on how to respond:
When you get these kinds of comments, take a deep a breath and try not to be defensive. Instead, try to talk with your mother or whoever is doubting you. Keep in mind this person may be coming from a well-intentioned place and may not want to see flaws in your child. Sometimes generational differences can be a factor. Issues like ADHD may not have been as well known or as widely discussed when you were a kid. There may also be an element of denial. More here.
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.