Archive for March, 2011

Korean-American Picture Book Teaches Multicultural Lesson

Picture Books That Communicate Across Language Barriers

I am just discovering picture book author Soyung Pak. I wanted to interview her so I tried my usual Google sleuthing but she seems to keep a pretty low social media profile. I’ll let you know if I am able to track her down but so far, no such luck.

I love, love, love her book Sumi’s First Day of School Ever which is a lovely and realistic story of the first day at school for a child who doesn’t speak English. And it had a happy ending which is probably not always the case in real life. Read more…

5th Grade Book Club: The Uglies

What is Beauty and What’s Up with Heidi Montag

The book club that my 5th grade daughter attended was so dead on. 5th grade these days at my elementary school seems to be buzzing with who likes whom gossip and “dates” which seem to be innocent enough. There is, of course, lots of change going on, both in noticing the opposite sex (or not!) and in bodies that seem to spout both up and, well, out. Not all the kids are on the same page; it’s that awkward coming of age time when everyone is developing at their own rate as set by their biological clock whether they like it or not. Read more…

Caught in the Act of Reading literacy Pragmatic Mom education reading to do PragmaticMom http://PragmaticMom.com

Caught in the Act … of READING!

Kids Caught Reading!

Thank you to everyone who sent in these great photos. This week is a great assortment of kids reading to their pets, walking and reading (all the while in cool sunglasses), and learning math through consumption! THANK YOU! And please be sure to check out their great blogs! Please, please, please keep the photos coming. You can email them to me at pragmaticmom.com(at)gmail(dot)com. Read more…

SAT Vocabulary Words for Kindergarteners from Caps for Sale

SAT Vocabulary Words in Picture Books for Kindergarten

My son’s Kindergarten teacher is really up on the latest ideas on early childhood education. She believes in big words for little people and uses these six new words during daily conversations at school and during activities. We are also encouraged to use them at home and to make a game out using them. So I asked my 6-year-old son what “ordinary” means and he gave me this long-winded story about how from one day to the next, the books in the bookshelves of an “ordinary” day would not be disturbed. I think the smile/laugh value of hearing kids relate these words to their every day lives is well worth this exercise. I think the same of my son’s karate class — it’s like an episode of Saturday Night Live, only actually funny.

These words came from Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, one of my favorite old-fashioned picture books!! Read more…

Free eStory for World Read Aloud Day

Free eBook for Kids

Be There BedTime Stories has generously offered another FREE estory, a $10 value,  to one of my readers. First one to leave a comment will win. Thank you Be There BedTime Stories! Read more…

Our favorite Pokemon Books for playing Pokemon Go

Top 10: Pokémon Books for Kids

Best Pokémon Books for Kids

My five-year-old son has been obsessed with Pokémon for over a year now.  He wanted to be a Pokémon master when he was four but now he realizes that there are no wild Pokémon to catch where we live and we won’t allow him to wander the earth unsupervised.  That was a sad day for everyone!  Still, he continues to love Pokémon and memorizes a large database of factoids on Pokémon.  

I suppose while there will never be a need to recall this information on a standardized test, it’s not so different from learning a database of factoids of information on something more educational like dinosaurs.  So until he learns to read his Pokémon books on his own, I am getting my master’s degree in Pokémon.  But since I seem to lose every Pokémon battle, I don’t expect to graduate.

For those seeking a book form of the Pokédex, try Pokémon:  The Complete Pokemon Pocket Guide, Boxed Set, $16.99.

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How much do you make?, teacher video

Argument for Higher Pay for Teachers

Why Teachers are Severely Underpaid

I spent the last week in three parent-teacher conferences and my takeaway is that all my kids’ teachers are amazing. We are so lucky to have great teachers at our school. It probably isn’t a coincidence that elementary school has great teachers: average teacher salaries are $76k, our teachers get 1/2 days on Tuesday for development and training  plus various 1/2 days on Thursdays, and the parents at my school shoulder their fair share of the burden — we attend curriculum night, show up for our parent-teacher conferences, hire tutors if our kids are behind (or ahead), and make sure the homework gets done day after day. Read more…

Barefoot Books, multicultural books for kids, The Boy Who Grew Flowers

Barefoot Book Fairy

Multicultural Books for Kids from Barefoot Books

I recently reconnected with the folks at Barefoot Books and I was so impressed by how they handled my feedback that I am now a very satisfied customer ready, willing and able to sing their praises far and wide. To me, it’s a superb example of extremely great customer service. Read more…

how to pick a music teacher, best music teachers,

How To: Select a Music Teacher

How to Hire a Music Teacher for Your Kids

My sister is a piano teacher in California. She has a three-year wait list and her students have rich and rigorous experience that includes not just the requisite recital, but monthly performance workshops, classical musical competitions, and juried piano recitals to earn certifications of merit. Her students are serious about piano and practice everyday and the time commitment is a significant one.

noreen_piano_crop.17274921_std

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