All posts in Education

Razia's Ray of Hope in Afghanistan

What if You Could Never, Ever Go to School? Book GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Elizabeth Suneby. I met her at Paul Reynolds’ presentation at Charlesbridge Publishing. I had seen her book, Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education, during our Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration so it was nice to match the book with a face!

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby

Razia Jan is an Afghan native who Global Citizen describes as “the woman who started a school in one of the worst places to be a girl.” She won a CNN Hero Award, given to ordinary people who do extraordinary things. This is her story about building a school for girls in Afghanistan in a poor, highly illiterate, conservative area where girls had never been allowed to go to school. Razia convinced the village elders to let her build a free, private K – 12 girls school and now more than 600 girls are studying Dari, English, math, science, history, computers and the Koran. [picture book, ages 8 and up]

Today, Elizabeth Suneby talks about what it was like to research and write Razia’s Ray of Hope. I’m also giving away a copy of her book below. Read more…

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

This is my third bilingual Spanish book list. Author Derek Taylor Kent wrote the first one. The second bilingual Spanish picture book list is from illustrator Wendy Martin. Today’s list is my own, the result of a pile of bilingual books that I’ve been saving for six months, and the books I read to create a Mexico picture book list.

What bilingual Spanish books do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Bilingual Spanish Picture Books Hot of the Press!

Marisol McDonald and the Monster by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Marisol McDonald likes being mismatched but she doesn’t like monsters. After hearing a noise under her bed, she’s certain there’s a monster there. She figures out her own solution to her phobia, but it turns out that the noise has a more prosaic explanation. And now, she has two companions under her bed at night. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Mama the Alien by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Laura Lacámara

It’s a case of mistaken identity. Sofia finds Mamá’s identification card in her purse and discovers that she’s an alien. Sofia now believes that she’s half alien and gets to work to figure out what this might mean. What language does an alien speak? Will space ships land in her yard? Does she have hidden alien body parts? Finally, her parents realize what Sofia thinks and explain their reason for celebration. Mamá is becoming a citizen! Her old card was a Resident Alien card, which has been renamed Permanent Resident. This a humorous picture book to discuss the process of Naturalization with kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

10. Olinguito, from A to Z! by Lulu Delacre

Join a zoologist in the cloud forest as he searches for the elusive olinguito. The Spanish version showcases alliteration, while the English version tells an alphabet story of the animals in the enchanted forest of Ecuador. Together, both reader and scientist discover a new species of raccoon-like carnivores … the olinguito! [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Read more…

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…

Top Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Well at School

Top Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Well at School

The back-to-school period at the beginning of a new term or a new school year can be stressful for both parents and children. For parents, there is always a long list of items on the checklist to tick off before day one, while for kids there is a potential flurry of nerves to deal with due to starting at a new school, making new friends, or trying to keep up with an influx of homework or a busy extracurricular schedule.

If you’re trying to be as organized and proactive as possible when it comes to sending your child off to school, it’s best to plan ahead and be prepared. Read on for some important things to keep top of mind today.

Top Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Well at School

Choose the Right School for Your Family’s Needs

One of the best things you can do to help your child when it comes to schooling is to actually ensure they are attending the right venue for their needs. With children all being so different, and requiring different facilities, support and teaching styles as a result, there shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach. When comparing schools, you should keep in mind things like your child’s interests (like music, art, drama, or sports), as well as their particular mental, emotional, and physical needs.

It is also important to consider familial beliefs when it comes to choosing a school. If faith is a priority in your household, you may wish to find a top Jewish boarding school or a local Catholic or other religious private school, as an example, so that the appropriate family values and customs are upheld. This will also make it easier for your child to settle straight in at school. Read 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…