All posts in Education

Homopolar Motor: Clean Energy Science Project for 5th Grade

Homopolar Motor: Clean Energy Science Project for 5th Grade

This video that we saw on The Kid Should See This prompted me to buy the supplies to try this at home with my son:

Supply List for Homopolar Motor

I bought the wrong magnets so I would suggest you buy this smaller one instead. It’s less expensive too! Read more…

Feb 8th, Year of the Monkey! Chinese New Year Crafts, Books and More!

Feb 8th, Year of the Monkey! Chinese New Year Crafts, Books and More!

Janet Wong has a great post at Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog on Lunar Year Traditions that span many Asian countries, not just Chinese New Year! But if you are thinking of doing it up for Chinese New Year but need some ideas, I’ve rounded up my posts.

If you need a picture book or two specifically on Chinese New Year …

Top 10: Best Chinese New Year Books for Kids (created during Year of the Dragon, my year)

Top 10: Best Chinese New Year Books for Kids

If you want to hand out Red Chinese Envelopes (craft included to make your own) and wondered what the meaning is …

Read more…

Civil Rights Movement Art #BlackLivesMatter

Civil Rights Movement Art #BlackLivesMatter

“One of the most extraordinary and least understood aspects of Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership was his incisive understanding of the power of visual images to alter public opinion,” says Maurice Berger, standing in front of an oversize silk-screen portrait of the slain civil rights leader. from Smithsonian Magazine

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Junior Day, I’ve collected images from museum that I’ve been to of Civil Rights Movement art. What and how can art shape the Civil Rights Movement? I think you will agree that the powerful images convey a truth that resonates with viewers and packs an emotional punch that might bring a bystander into a fight for justice. Imagery can be powerful stuff.

Questions to ask kids:

  • What is your first reaction to image you see?
  • What is happening?
  • What elements seem real?
  • What do you think the artist is trying to convey?
  • What emotions are you feeling when you view the art work?
  • Do you emotions change the longer you look at it?
  • Why do you think the artist created this piece?

More questions to ask kids from Art Curator for Kids. Art Curator for Kids also has more Civil Rights Art here and here.

What do you think? What images do you like best from this collection? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

p.s. I have some posts on books for Civil Rights Movement for kids here:

Civil Rights Movement  and MLK Books for 4th Grade

Top 10: Best Children’s Books on Civil Rights

(Meeting Ruby Bridges) Civil Rights Picture Book of the Day

The Problem We All Live With, Ruby Bridges in Norman Rockwell painting

The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell, image from Norman Rockwell Museum

From Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Civil Rights photography by Danny Lyon Read more…

Teach Kids Spanish with Lil Libros board books

Teach Toddlers Spanish with Lil Libros

No one in my family can speak Spanish but we’ve been trying for more than ten years to learn to converse. Our efforts have gone in waves of high effort and burn out but we are now at a good place where my kids actually want to go on immersion trips to learn to speak Spanish.

They weren’t always so enthusiastic about learning, however. And their lack of effort resulted in very little retention. Still, I don’t consider the lessons they took to be a total loss; the two youngest kids can roll their “r’s.”

It’s been my experience that learning a language when you don’t speak it yourself requires stealthiness. You need to keep the kids exposed more than just weekly tutoring sessions and it has to be fun or they will resist.

Read more…

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

Countdown: My #3 Most Popular Post of 2015

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21) is my #3 most popular post of 2015. I remember that this post didn’t get much traffic when I first posted it. I continued to add to the post as readers gave me suggestions and one day, much later, it took off after I made this image and posted in Pinterest. Back then, Pinterest favored square images. Now Pinterest likes portrait rectangular sized images.





Really Cool Science Videos for Your Kids Curated by My Son

Really Cool Science Videos for Your Kids Curated by My Son

My son and I watched dozens of videos from The Kid Should See This to find our four favorites:

  • Watch how plants explode their seeds.
  • If you play soccer or basketball, you’ll love this video on backspin called the Magnus Effect.
  • I want a tree liks this: a tree with forty kinds of fruit! It’s an edible artwork!
  • Can you make a cloud in your MOUTH? You can! Just watch!

Read more…

DIY Electro Dough Kit: A Great Science Kit

DIY Electro Dough Kit: A Great Science Kit

My son has been trying out new STEM toys recently. This is the second kit Technology Will Save Us sent us: DIY Electro Dough Kit. He also tried out the DIY Gamer Kit , ARCKit, Snap Circuits, and Sphero.

DIY Electro Dough Kit: A Great Science Kit

Out of all these kits, I think my son liked the DIY Electro Dough Kit the most. It’s also the least expensive out of the different things he tried, at $30 for the kit.

DIY Electro Dough Kit Read more…

Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

I consulted my 8th grader, PickyKidPix, about middle school curriculum. She pays attention to everything going on so she remembers what she studied and notices what other grades are doing. She said that her teachers have generally covered the same curriculum they have always done which seemed to naturally follow Common Core but that different teachers put different emphasis on units based on their preferences.

For example, Grasshopper and Sensei, in 6th grade was delighted to find that 6th Grade English included an extensive Mythology unit with she aced without studying because she loves mythology. She took the National Mythology Examination in 5th grade for fun, for example. For PickyKidPix however, her teacher wasn’t as into mythology so this was a single week unit (which suited her just fine because she never got into the Percy Jackson series).

6th grade curriculum for my kids included Greek and Roman Mythology, World Geography, culture and modern life of different countries around the world, and World Religions (Buddhism, Muslim, Catholic, Judaism, Hinduism). 6th Grade STEM included chemistry, physics and bridges and 6th Grade English included Tuck Everlasting, Beowolf, The Giver, The Odyssey.

What diversity picture books would you add? Thanks for your suggestions!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

Read more…

STEM Engineering Toy Car to Build

STEM Engineering Toy Car to Build

Meccano Mountain Rally 25 ModelMy son tried out the Meccano Mountain Rally 25 Model Set. He likes to assemble things but hasn’t really had a lot of opportunity to use tools so I thought that would be fun for him.

mecanno toy

It’s a kit with a lot mechanical pieces and a detailed instruction manual on how to assemble it. My son likes to follow the directions to the letter the first time around, and then he will disassemble the toy and rebuild it free-form.
mecanno toy Read more…