All posts in Education

How a Math Teacher Changed Peter H Reynolds' Life

How a Math Teacher Changed Peter H Reynolds’ Life

Most of us swoon at the mention of picture books The Dot or Ish, making Peter H. Reynolds a household name among those of us who love children’s books. But did you know his twin brother, Paul Reynolds? Together, they are the co-founders of Fablevision and they also write books together.

For any child who doubts the artist inside, read them The Dot, and its sequel Ish. And if you want to see authors and illustrators create their own dot, check out Celibri-Dots.

 

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Finding the artist within can be as simple as making a dot; even when made in anger! How to turn the agony of a blank sheet of paper into an piece of art! This book is dedicated to Peter H. Reynolds’ math teacher who dared him to make his mark … more on that below. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

This companion book to The Dot takes the idea of a frustrated almost-artist a step farther. Sometimes art is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps hyper-realistic renderings are overrated? Reynolds tries to dissuade the idea that art is not necessarily limited to technical drawing skills. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

RISD Precollege Program Summer 2016

RISD Pre-College Program Summer 2016

Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you probably know all the steps that led up to my daughter’s (Grasshopper and Sensei) RISD Pre-College Program. First, we looked at Art and Design Schools’ summer programs. She got four concussions her sophomore year of high school which lead to anxiety and panic attacks.

Her dorm room was spacious. 4 students shared one bathroom with shower. Each room was set up for two.

She was enrolled in the RISD Pre-College 6 week summer program as a resident student, but after three traumatic days, we switched her to a commuter student … 5 days a week from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island!

It was not the easiest commute — about 1.5 hours each way from door to door, sometimes more — but she made it to every class and, by a miracle of god, was never tardy.

RISD Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College ProgramRead more…

Maker Space STEAM: 3D Printing Camp

Maker Space STEAM: 3D Printing Camp

PickyKidPix joined her brother at computer camp this summer. This was her first introduction to the computer camp that he has been going to for the past three years. They picked 3D Printing this year which struck me as the perfect partnership of ART in STEM or STEAM.

3d Printing Camp is Art in STEM

PickyKidPix, now 14 years old, would be the first to tell you that she doesn’t think of herself as arty (more crafty), nor computer science oriented although she does like math and science. She called this camp nerd camp and we wondered how she would fare since she wasn’t able to get any of her friends to join her.

how to get girls interested in STEM and STEAM

It turns out that she does have an interest in Industrial Design. All her designs were practical applications of 3D printing. She made dog tags for her dog because she has long complained that the current dog tag is inadequate. She attempted to design retainer cases which took the 3D printer 7 hours to print (each), and were all failures.

3D printing camp projects

Read more…

Easy Sun Catcher Craft

Easy Sun Catcher Craft for Kids

This Sun Catcher Craft is easy and fun. I like it because it uses things you find around the house (with the exception of Epson Salt which I had to purchase).

Supplies on Hand:

Suncatcher Craft

  • spoon
  • 1/4 size measuring cup
  • bowl
  • clear, plastic lid; I used the lid from a takeout container
  • string
  • knife or scissors to punch hole in lid

Supplies You Might Have to Buy:

  • Epsom Salt. I bought this Espon Salt, $5.21, at my local drug store. You don’t need much but you can use the leftovers in a relaxing bath. It’s lavender scented too!

Suncatcher CraftRead more…

Big Fat Notebooks Middle School Study Guides

#BigFatNotebooks Giveaway

Big Fat Notebook

Are you starting to think about school yet? Are your kids in school already? Yikes! We have a few more weeks to go before school starts. Our school system has stuck to the “After Labor Day” start day, but then we get out very late, during the third week of June.

Big Fat Notebooks for Those Who Don’t Know Much About History …

Today, I wanted to talk about Big Fat Notebooks, a study guide series for middle school students from the folks behind Brain Quest. There are five books in all that cover comprehensively all the material covered in Middle School: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Whew! That’s a lot of material, right?

Read more…

Poetry for Kids: Haiku using Japanese Art

Poetry for Kids: Haiku using Japanese Art

A traditional Japanese haiku poem is written in three lines:

5 syllables on the first line

7 syllables on the second line

5 syllables on the third line

Haiku is inspired by nature, combining two different images or ideas together.

My son’s 5th grade poetry unit included haiku inspired by Japanese block prints created by Katsushika Hokusai, considered one of Japan’s iconic artists.

I have block prints by Hokusai below that I photographed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Which prints do you like? Do they inspire you or your kids to write a haiku? Please share your poems! Here are my son’s:

Getting Kids to Write Haiku using Japanese Art
Read more…

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids GIVEAWAY

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids GIVEAWAY

Have you met Kim Vij and Amanda Boyarshinov of The Educators’ Spin On It? They are teachers, moms, bloggers (a duo in fact!), and also co-hosts for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

im Vij and Amanda Boyarshinov of The Educators' Spin On It

I’m proud to know them. They are both wonderfully generous with their time and knowledge. I learned how to improve my Pinterest account from Kim when she did a Google+ Hangout for Multicultural Kid Blogs meet up. I still have my notes from her session.

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids GIVEAWAYRead more…

Learn About London for Kids

A Fun Way to Learn About London!

This cut paper animation video of the history of London amazed me … and prompted this list. I’ve been to London for a short trip before I had kids, but it’s on my list to visit again! How about you? Have your kids been to London? If so, would they like these books?

Read more…

Summer Learning Ideas to Halt Summer Slide

Summer Learning Ideas to Halt Summer Slide

Our school year won’t end until June 23rd which makes my kids and I think that we are the last to finish school this year. Hence, my summer learning plans are a little late in the making this year.

My two teen girls are away most of the summer. Grasshopper and Sensei will do a six-week Pre-College summer session at Rhode Island School of Design. She has some assigned books to read for AP English next fall where she will be a Junior in high school, and she will enter some art competitions.

PickyKidPix did not read enough this past school year while in 8th grade. She’s going to try to read five books this summer. Read more…