When my son was in preschool, I created this free Kindergarten readiness book for him. I printed it out, bound it into a 3 ring paper folder, and made a copy for each child in his class and the teachers had the kids work on it for a few months before preschool ended. It is …
For the last day of April and National Poetry Month, I am so excited to welcome my guest author, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of poetry picture book Forest Has a Song. She has inspired me, a poetry-phobe to explore poetry with her gentle coaxing so I asked her to please write a post on teaching poetry …
I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.
Simple Skip Counting Songs to Learn Multiplication and Division. Fun free multiplication games to play on the computer.
Tips, Tricks, Do’s and Don’ts to Getting an Athletic Scholarship.
Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.
Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!
I find that The Univ. of Chicago’s Everyday Math needs home supplementation, especially in math facts. She recommends Daily Word Problems and Singapore Math.
How to detect and remove lice and nits. Two effective methods for killing lice: Robi Comb (an electronic zapper comb) and the Olive Oil Treatment. Pragmatic Mom does not recommend lice shampoo because it’s not 100% effective due to lice resistence, and has harmful chemicals.
Reading Lists for 2nd -5th graders of books that deserve a Newbery Award plus Newbery Award winners that are appropriate for elementary school children.
All three of my kids, ages 13, 11 and 8, delighted in this clever picture book with a book-within-a-book-within-a-book format. I figured if this picture book could captivate a teenager, it has a lock on all younger kids.
I only wish the pages were a tad more sturdy because this is a book that is going to be used. Little hands will want to open up each page by themselves to discover all the creatures who are enjoying reading a book.
PickyKidPix thinks that this picture book is equal parts wonderful due to both the talented illustrator and author! I tried to argue that it was more the illustrator that makes this book so great but she disagreed. She loves Suzy Lee’s wordless picture book Wave and noted that Suzy could illustrate in so many different styles!
Thank goodness a shipment of K’NEX came this past week. We are trying to cut back on screens for Screen Free Week and my biggest challenge is my 8-year-old son who like to simultaneously play video games on the computer while watching TV and eating a snack. I need more screen free week ideas!
I met Kate from K’NEX at BlogHer12 and am thrilled to be part of their blogger ambassador program. The first box of K’NEX toys arrived and I called my son off the multi-screens. He came reluctantly but then his eyes lit up when he saw the goodies.
The first thing he went for were the little packages of Mario Brothers figures. He didn’t touch the Star Wars packages so I am giving those away. He’s not a Star Wars fan (yet…)!
It could just be me but I find that there is something poetic and Old Hollywood-y about Florida’s past. Perhaps it is just the way old Florida is portrayed in children’s books. The setting also seems like a backdoor shortcut to a Newbery award.
From our last trip to Florida in North Captiva Island, we noticed wildlife with big personalities. Perhaps this is the magic that Florida has. If the wild creatures have charisma, imagine the people and the stories they have to tell! Or just read them! These are our picks for best chapter books set in Florida. You don’t have to live in Florida or visit in Florida to read them, but they might inspire a visit!
What are your favorite children’s books set in Florida, either in the past or in the present day. Please help me build this list!
3rd Grade Book Club for Boys
We used Percy Jackson’s The Lightening Thief graphic novel for a book club for boys. I had big plans initially. Blue food. Lots of indoor games. Duct tape fun.
When the book club rolled around though, I was tired with low energy so I ended up doing a very low key book club. No blue food. Spaghetti and meatballs delivered instead.
The first thing we did was break out the duct tape which I had purchased at Staples a few weeks ago and squirreled away. I had a new roll of heavy duty aluminum foil, tape, copy paper, and scissors. Read more…
With 11.7 million YouTube views, you must see this performance by Jake Shimabukuro, a ukulele virtuoso known for his complex finger work. Be sure to watch the last minute where Jake plays a pretty incredible sequence.
My husband gave found Jake on YouTube and my kids loved watching him play, especially my son who plays the guitar. My son then had his guitar teacher, a graduate student from the New England Conservatory, watch the video. His teacher had not heard of Jake but he was also impressed. He told us that Jake used Flamenco guitar techniques on the ukelele so, of course, my son wanted to try it himself.
The second video is instructional. Jake breaks down his fingering techniques. Though he’s very clear on how to do it and makes it look easy, it looks pretty difficult to emulate. Still, my son was inspired by Jake’s accessibility as a performer and watching him play makes my son play his guitar more. If Jake ever comes to Boston — he’s on tour now — we’d make a great effort to catch him.
What do you think of Jake? Did you ever imagine the ukelele could sound like that?
When my son was in preschool, I created this free Kindergarten readiness book for him. I printed it out, bound it into a 3 ring paper folder, and made a copy for each child in his class and the teachers had the kids work on it for a few months before preschool ended.
It is both a keepsake book plus, having gone through the ropes with his two older sisters, a Kindergarten readiness book to capture all the academic concepts I thought he needed for Kindergarten:
- Counting to 10
- Bonus: counting to 10 in Spanish
- Letters of the alphabet
- Bonus: lower case alphabet
- Days of the Week
- Bonus: Counting to 100 (and even by 10′s!)
I included some drawing prompts too:
- Self portrait
- Favorite animal
- What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
- Favorite Thing to Do At Preschool
For the last day of April and National Poetry Month, I am so excited to welcome my guest author, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of poetry picture book Forest Has a Song. She has inspired me, a poetry-phobe to explore poetry with her gentle coaxing so I asked her to please write a post on teaching poetry at home with kids.
In concluding my month celebrating National Poetry Month, I hope that all of us feel more comfortable with poetry and will enjoy it the rest of the year with our kids. What poetry books are your favorites? Please share!
Teaching Poetry at Home to Your Children
Laughing and pointing, all five of us sat and watched as Cali and Sage, our two Border Collie mixes, wrestled on the rug. Charmed again by the antics of animals, nine-year-old Henry commented, “You know…if we didn’t have pets, we would be different people.” Henry was right. And his exact words have stayed in my mind for the past two years; they were a spoken poem. Read more…
I’m not sure why, but our school had a screen free day last month. These screen free challenges are particularly difficult for my kids, hooked as they are to their iPhones, iPod Touch, computer, TV and Wii. Did I miss any? Does the Color Nook and Kindle count too?
Successful Screen Free Day Last Month
I was shocked when my little boy, 2nd grade, burst out of school with a plan to stay screen free. He cooked it up with his 3rd grade best friend Sam. They were going to:
- Jump on Sam’s trampoline
- Go inside and eat a snack
- Play Clue and other board games
- Go back outside and jump on the trampoline some more
- Read books (our March Madness school reading competition was still going on)
It was imperative that he go to his friend’s house so his request was happily granted. Three hours later, he came home and announced that 1) We need to buy Clue (I had thrown our board game away ages ago), and 2) Going screen free for the day was not as hard as he had thought. Read more…
This month the Poppins Book Nook is about Wizards. I looked up the definition to make sure that my book choice was appropriate.
Wizards, Sorcerers and Magicians, Oh My!