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.
When PickyKidPix was in 5th grade, she fell in love with the Katie Woo series but it’s not what you think. She and her friend Griffin liked to hang out in the Early Chapter Book corner of the library during library time. I would imagine that they were screwing around, as they tend to do. Their friend Avi found them there, and low and behold, were the Katie Woo books.
At first, instead of looking for a book to check out, they would read the Katie Woo books and act out the parts. You’d think that my daughter, being the only female AND Asian-American would be Katie Woo! No, “that’s racist, Mom,” says my daughter. She was the narrator because that part has the most lines.
My daughter is in the center and Griffin is to the right. Two members of the Katie Woo Club.
Griffin, who is bi-racial (and proud of it) African-American, was Katie Woo. Avi played all other characters. This library time diversion morphed into the Katie Woo Club, an exclusive club that my daughter assures me everyone wanted to join. Membership was exclusive to the three original founding members though, something that reminded me of Katie Woo, except that she would be nicer and would relent to let in new members. Read more…
The 2016 Youth Media Awards will be announced at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, January 11, 2016, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition in Boston. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. local time. The Pura Belpré Award marks its 20th anniversary in 2016.
My predictions for the Caldecott and Newbery this year are here. I totally missed the mark for the Caldecott but the pundits that I follow were right about the Newbery.
Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2016
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
2016 Caldecott Winner
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Our Multicultural Children’s Book Day illustrator is Robert Liu-Trujillo!! Get our FREE downloadable poster: Multicultural Children’s Book Day FREE Downloadable Poster. You can also download via Dropbox here.
International Book Giving Day takes place on 14th February each year. The aim? To get books into the hands of as many children as possible.
14th February is about sharing the love of books! #bookgivingday
International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.
- Most children in developing countries do not own books.
- In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
- In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.
International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. We invite individuals to:
1) gift a book to a friend or family member,
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read
3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally. Read more…
In honor of Martin Luther King, Junior day, I wanted to share my son’s 4th grade Civil Rights Movement project. His teacher created a really great time line that I hope will be helpful as well.
I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
I’m not sure if I would consider Jackie Robinson “ordinary.” He was, after all, the first UCLA student ever to letter in four sports in the same season! His family’s backstory of how they shared extra food with everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of color helps to give insight into how he had the inner strength to withstand the pressure as the first African American major league baseball player. This picture book uses cartoons as well as text to tell his story and skillfully draws the reader into his extraordinary life. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
My friend Lydia convinced me that we both had to sign up for Haymakers for Hope this year.
Sign up now to be a part of Haymakers for Hope’s 6th Annual “Rock N’ Rumble” on May 19 at Boston’s House of Blues!
According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 40% of men and women will battle some form of cancer in their lifetime. Haymakers for Hope needs your help to change this staggering statistic. The time has come to step out of the office and into the ring!
We are looking for men and women to train for four months at one of Boston’s top boxing gyms before stepping into the ring to literally fight cancer. No experience is necessary, and we will match you with someone of similar size, age, and experience level. Throughout your four month training program, you will raise money and awareness for cancer research and survivorship.
Space is limited, so don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to help knockout cancer!
I’m in that perimenopause phase of life that has some unpleasant symptoms:
- Loss of bone. With declining estrogen levels, you start to lose bone more quickly than you replace it, increasing your risk of osteoporosis — a disease that causes fragile bones.
- Changing cholesterol levels. Declining estrogen levels may lead to unfavorable changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol — which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. At the same time, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — decreases in many women as they age, which also increases the risk of heart disease.
These and other effects are from The Mayo Clinic but it didn’t mention the most annoying one:
Apparently, perimenopause also seems to give women a soft middle. Despite exercising at the boxing gym three times a week and practicing Vinyasa yoga once a week, I’m still gaining weight at a slow but steady amount. My mom friend Julie says the only recourse to address this change-of-life is to exercise more and be mindful about eating.
10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade is my top post for 2015! It all happened when I went to Anne Ursu’s The Real Boy dinner hosted by publisher Charlesbridge and met Colby Sharp, a co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club blog. I was already a huge fan of this group blog.
Colby had just switched from teaching 4th grade to 3rd grade and we talked about our favorite read alouds for 3rd grade. It turns out our top three were identical and in the same order. My son was in 3rd grade at the time and his teacher coordinated her read alouds with the other two teachers in that grade. She too, had a made a grade switch that year like Colby, but from 5th to 3rd.
I tracked the read alouds all year and it was year of wonderful books. I then built lists for all elementary school grades, making sure not to repeat books from list to list.
There you have it! My Top 5 Post Countdown for 2015! Happy New Year’s Eve! Thank you all so much for reading my blog. I wish you a joyous New Year and hope to see you in 2016!