Archive for June, 2014

get kids writing with progressive story, teacher gift idea

Get Kids Writing with a Progressive Story

My son’s third grade class came up with the best idea for a teacher gift! A progressive story! Using Google Docs, each child wrote one or two paragraphs of a story about their teacher before passing it on. You needed to read the story before you could add your own, so it was also a nice way to get kids reading their peers’ writing! Genius! Read more…

Happy Tau Day, June 28, Tau Day, 6/28/2014

Happy Tau Day Today: 6.28

Tau is approximately equal to 6.28, so that makes today, 6/28, Tau day! Happy Tau Day.

One easy way to think of Tau Day is just to eat twice as much pie today as you did on Pi Day (March 14).

tau daytau day

But … uhmm, what exactly is Tau?!

Read more…

summer reading ideas, what counts as reading

Summer Reading Ideas: What Counts as “Reading”

Please welcome my guest author today, Donna Lasinski of ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program. 

summer reading, caught in the act of reading

What is Reading?

Summer reading is a time honored tradition for adults and children alike.  But what really counts as summer reading?  With my three boys, we can often haggle over what “counts” for their daily reading time.  So, with the benefit of insights from other parents, teachers and researchers, here is what my family has decided “counts”: Read more…

Mr Avila Miss Nelson is Back video

Mr. Avila’s Kindergarteners Act Out Miss Nelson is Back!

Last year, Mr. Avina’s kindergarte class from Los Angles United School District acted out Miss Nelson is Missing. It was adorable!

Do you know about the Miss Nelson picture book series? I had a copy but didn’t really read it until my babysitter, Kate, said that it was her favorite book of all time as a child. Read more…

Plimoth Plantation Native Americans

Plimoth Plantation: Learning About Native Americans

I went for the first time to Plimoth Plantation as a chaperone for my son’s third grade field trip. I somehow managed to avoid it for my girls. It was really a great trip and the kids were very well prepared. My son said that he preferred learning about the Native American (and Wampanoags specifically) over the Pilgrim story.

Plimoth Plantation Native Americans, three sisters

The Three Sisters: Corn, Squash and Beans. They are planted together and each helps the other to grow. Read more…

healthy essentials from johnson & johnson

Healthy Essentials for Summer Play

My son’s elementary school spent the whole year fundraising in order to build a new playground because the old one was nearing the end of its life.

new peirce elementary school playground in newton ma

The new playground is wonderful and just opened this past week. PickyPidPix, now in middle school, came to the playround opening with her friend right after soccer practice.

Healthy Essentials, new mobius playground structure is tricky Read more…

reading and imagining exercises for kids

Reading and Imagining Writing Exercise For Kids

My guest blogger today is Jeffrey Pfaum, an inner-city schoolteacher, who is sharing his creative ideas for reading, writing, imaginning and drawing exercises.

 

Reading-and-Imagining Writing Exercise

You can develop the imagination with simple exercises, where the mind changes words into pictures. Ask your child to close her eyes and picture—or visualize—words in her mind. For example, have her read the word dog, and say:

  • “Picture the word ‘dog’ in your mind.”
  • “What are you looking at?”
  • What picture(s) do you imagine?”
  • “Describe the mind-picture(s).”
  • Draw or pencil-sketch what you imagine.”
  • “What thoughts, feelings, and experiences are triggered by the mind-picture(s)?”

Read more…

Best graphic novels for kids the Eisner awards

Best Graphic Novels and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

There aren’t many children’s book awards for graphic novels or comic books so I was excited to learn about The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards. It awards prizes for creative achievement in American comic books, sometimes referred to as the Comics Industry’s equivalent of the Oscar Awards.

The Cybils also has a graphic novel award but only in middle grade and young adult categories so it was nice to see graphic novels for young children awarded as well! There is very little overlap between the two awards: The Cybils vs the Eisner. The lone overlapping graphic novel is The Lost Boy.

Read more…

10 books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

10 Books to Expose Kids to a Foreign Language: HUGE GIVEAWAY

The summer is a great time to expose kids to a foreign language. I received a huge box of books from Tuttle Publishing that are perfect for this and I am giving most of them away. Please see the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

What languages would your kids be interested in? Are you using any great sites, books or videos? Please share! Read more…