Archive for January, 2013

Lego YouTube channel

Ninjago on YouTube Lego Channel!

Lego YouTube Channel

I just found out that Lego has a new YouTube channel and the first thing I saw was NINJAGO! My son had a Lego Ninjago obsession last year. My husband I welcomed it though it took me a while to figure out what exactly Ninjago was. Ninjago, as it turns out, is many things:

  • Ninjago animated TV show series
  • Ninjago chapter book series
  • Ninjago graphic novel series
  • Ninjago lego games
  • Ninjago lego kits
  • Ninjago branded items. We own the lunch box!

I quickly became an expert in all things Ninjago. We bought the lego kits after he received the first lego Ninjago game for his birthday. I was thrilled that he would play with  legos instead of screens. Pretty soon, I was finding and saving little tiny plastic swords that popped up in various odd places. The floor of my car. The kitchen table. In my bed. Read more…

7th grade books, 7th grade reading list, best books for 7th grade, best books for 6th grade, 6th grade reading list, 6th grade books, 8th grade books, 8th grade reading list

7th Grade Reading List

Best Books for Middle School

Seven words fill me with dread, “Mom, I have nothing good to read.” Ironic that our house bulges with books for kids. Everyone room has a bookcase or a pile of books but like the Cobbler’s kids, mine have nothing good to read.

I can usually always find something for my younger two, but my oldest has a good point. We have much less inventory for her. Young Adult is new to me and our shelves lack pre-screened YA books for her.

It’s a new year and that will change. But first, to find good YA books for her. I turned to her amazing English teacher (post parent/teacher conference) and am now consulting StorySnoops, a blog she recommends. I’m collecting book lists from the middle school librarian like this one below. I found Your Next Read on Pinterest. It makes book recommendations similar to the one you type in. I’ve also asked my daughter for book recommendations from her friends.

What do you do to find good books for your middle school kid? Please share!!! Mine likes realistic fiction, and action adventure fantasy. Paranormal is great but it has to be set in modern times. The books I am selecting for her to check out are starred. Read more…

creativity

Is there a Creativity Crisis for Our Kids?

How to Nurture a Child’s Creativity

“Every child is born an artist. The problems begin once we start to grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

What requires creativity? Art? Music? How about science and math? Does career satisfaction and success require creativity? The research indicates all the above.

But I argue that we should be nurturing our child’s creativity at home because it’s not being taught in school. No, it’s not the budget cut backs in the arts either. That hurts, to be sure, but the issue is that we simply don’t teach “the opportunity to find and bring to life that which motivates [kids] intrinsically.”

Creativity Threatened Specifically in 3rd through 5th Grade

from Mind/Shift: How We Will Learn 

Actually, Lehrer noted, the problems begin in a very specific time frame: the years covering third, fourth, and fifth grade. It’s during this period, he says, that many kids “conclude that they are not creative, and this is in large part because they start to realize that that their drawing is not quite as pretty as they would like, that they can put the brush in the wrong place, that their short stories don’t live up to their expectations—so they become self-conscious and self-aware, and then they shut themselves down.”

Parents’ and teachers’ task, he said, is to help kids learn how to “productively daydream.” Read more…

Newbery Medal 2013, Caldecott Medal 2013, Newbery winner, Caldecott Winner, Coretta Scott King

2013 Newbery Medal, Caldecott Winners and More!

Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Winners of 2013

Congrats to all the authors, illustrators, publishers, friends and family who helped in the creation of all these wonderful books! Which books have you and your kids read and which ones do you recommend? Please share!

p.s. Compare predictions here.

p.p.s. If you are upset — What? Wonder didn’t win anything?!! — that a book you love didn’t win, Nerdy Book Club has a great post on Top 10 Things You May Not Know about the Newbery Award by Monica Edinger. Read it if you are upset. It is guaranteed to make you feel better!

 

2013 Newbery Medal Winner

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Read more…

best college majors, worst college majors, how to get a job out of college

Worst and Best College Majors

College Majors that Lead to High Paying Jobs

My brother-in-law sent me this link of the Worst and Best College Majors according to Kiplingers. It’s based on data from Payscale.com and Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Kiplingers looked for majors whose graduates—both recent grads (within the past five years) and those well into their careers—face a brutal combination of low compensation and high unemployment.

I’ve been in the staffing industry for years and have hired lots of college graduates in a variety of entry level positions. So here’s my take on this survey:

  • A College Degree is the new High School Diploma. And it’s caveat …
  • A Master’s Degree is the new College Degree.
  • A degree in one these Top 10 Worst Degrees from a Top 10 Best College will mean a job for most graduates.
  • How well you do in college counts.
  • An Internship experience will pave the way for a real job. It’s worth it to work for free.
  • You are your own product. How you market yourself counts for a lot.
  • A poor Social Media footprint can cost you a job offer as can bad credit. Read more…
Zorpia, Zorpia is a scam, pfishing scam Zorpia

Zorpia is a Pfishing Scam: BEWARE!!

Pfishing Scam: Zorpia

I apologize if you are getting emails from me asking you to join Zorpia or worse, see a message from me. I am convinced, after my bad experience with Zorpia, that this is a pfishing scam.

Zorpia, Zorpia is a scam, pfishing scam Zorpia

It all started with PickyKidPix who opened the first Zorpia email from her friend Devin. Devin had no idea that such an email was sent out. No one does. I then got an email from my daughter that I had a message from her. Given that it was 11:00 pm and she was asleep, I opened the email. The only way to see the message was to allow it access to my Facebook.

Big mistake. I realized pretty quickly that there was something weird about this site because it immediately started emailing my contacts. I shut down my account. Or tried to. Normally, when you delete your account on any social media, you get the message that it’s deleted and you can’t find your account anymore. This site had my account up for at least two days after I “deleted” it. I sent several messages via their contact email to no avail.

Read more…

ideas to get kids reading

7 Fun, Easy and FREE Ideas to Get Kids Reading

Get Kids Reading with 7 Easy and Fun Ideas

If your New Year’s resolution is to get your kids reading more (mine is for myself too!), then I’ve assembled some free, easy and fun out-of-the-box ideas to get kids reading whether they are new to independent reading or reluctant readers.

I also like that these ideas are hands on and unexpected. A full body experience. It’s meant to make kids sit up and take notice. And then hopefully, this giddy feeling will become associated with reading and reading will be associated with a pleasant experience. How about you? Please share your ideas of how you get your kids reading! Thank you!

 

1) Hold a BOOK TASTING in the library! Book speed dating for the younger set.

I found this idea on Pinterest from the Barrow Media Center. Get a group of kids together and hold a “book tasting.” Select a books to be sampled and provide a menu sheet and pens or pencils. Each kid reads each book for 2-3 minutes and marks the menu sheet of each book with happy face, prozac face, or frowny face. It’s a fun way to have kids try out new genres of books.

Another idea to figure out what books to supply is to ask each child for 2 or 3 of their favorite books and draw from those. Then, at the end of the book tasting, kids who chose a book that was recommended by a friend can get encouragement to read their book choice. I always find that peer-to-peer recommendations are the most persuasive! Read more…

spiritual picture books, Conference of the Birds, Demi, Koran picture book, Quran picture book, Muslim parable picture book

Picture Book of the Day: The Conference of the Birds

Spiritual Picture Books for Kids

We don’t go to church so we are studying world religions using picture books.  Demi has several wonderful picture books on this topic so when I was offered a book that she illustrated, I jumped at the chance. And then, by coincidence, Alexis York Lumbard’s husband emailed me. It’s such a small world but we live in the same town! Kismet? Karma? Fate? Who knows!

How do you expose your children to world religions? Please share!

Read more…

duct tape swords, Percy Jackson book club for boys

Book Club for Boys: Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief

Percy Jackson Book Club for Boys

Percy Jackson is an either/or kind of book series … you either LOVE it or hate it. My 2nd grade son loves it so he proposed it for his book club and I found the graphic novel version to give his friends something new to read. For his book club, we will: make duct tape swords, eat blue food, play Medusa Freeze Tag, and wind down with a trivia game. Read more…