All posts in Education

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!

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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.

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Great Backyard Bird Count 4 Book GIVEAWAY

Great Backyard Bird Count 4 Book GIVEAWAY

The 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count just finished up and the next one is Feb 16 to Feb 19, 2018. Birding is a fantastic reason for families to get outdoors and observe nature—and to read nature books together!

I’m teaming up with Downtown Bookworks for a birding for kids book giveaway that can help prepare any child for the Great Backyard Bird Count—or any day of birding! Awaken the budding naturalists and ornithologists in your child, or just use these books as an excuse to get outside!

p.s. Doodles and Jots has a free printable Bird Journal for kids to track the birds they find!

doodles and jots bird journal

Great Backyard Bird Count 4 Book GIVEAWAY

PBS KIDS Look and Learn Birds by Sarah Parvis
Young birders  will get everything they need to get started with this kit that comes with a book, binoculars, and more.

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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

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.

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