Archive for September, 2011

best picture books to build vocabulary

Best Picture Books to Build Vocabulary (ages 2-8)

These picture books are a fun way to build vocabulary effortlessly. I also have a series of posts on picture books with SAT vocabulary from the literacy specialist at our elementary school. She selects a series of picture books and pulls out big words along with a sentence with the word. Little kids like big words!

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best way to lose weight, weightnot, giveaway, pragmatic mom pragmaticmom

WeightNot Diet System has 90% Success Rate

Weight Loss Program That Works

Normally diet programs don’t make it on my radar system. They all seem to be over hyped and the results don’t seem to be sustainable. I’m not one for fad diets either. Again, it’s the question of sustainability. There are two things that I believe in for diets. 1) You have to TOTALLY change your habits in a way that you can do it forever and 2) Everyone around you needs to do the same. Read more…

good study habits for kids

Good Study Habits Are Not What You Think!

Studying in Same Place is Not Effective!

Wow!  Everything I thought about good study habits is wrong!

Here are the bullet points to the New York Times article:

  • For instance, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention.
  • So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing.
  • Zero proof that children have specific learning styles, that some are “visual learners”and others are auditory; some are “left-brain” students, others “right-brain.”
  • Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time.
  • The finding undermines the common assumption that intensive immersion is the best way to really master a particular genre, or type of creative work, said Nate Kornell, a psychologist at Williams College and the lead author of the study.
  • Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase.
  • “The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.”
  • “Testing has such bad connotation; people think of standardized testing or teaching to the test,” Dr. Roediger said. “Maybe we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.” Read more…