Archive for September, 2014

4th grade summer reading homework

Rising 4th Grade Summer Reading Book List

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve had three kids do this going-into-fourth-grade summer reading assignment and the book report portion is painful. My kids simply are not in homework mode at the end of the summer, so it takes a ridiculous amount of effort (accompanied by equal amount of whining) to get it done. My son did his book project over a week with three failed attempts before eventual success.

Rising 4th Grade Summer Reading Homework

The reading portion of the homework, however, was a different story. My son and I cranked through three books the first week of summer vacation. The five books need to be different genres and I may have taken some liberties in naming genres … but I tacked on a few more outside-the-box books at the end including poetry and an easy chapter book.

How about you? Did you kids get summer reading assignments? Please share! Read more…

A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature

A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Please welcome teacher and author Garrett Carter who is my guest blogger today. He writes about the need for more diversity in chidren’s books.

A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature

we need diverse books

Planting the Seed Now: A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature from a Teacher and Author

Along with spring and summer flowers, numerous articles concerning the lack of diversity in children’s literature have sprung up as the year has progressed. Not a new phenomenon, there has always been a lack of cultural diversity for children to experience through reading. As the melting pot in America simmers to a boil, so does the demand for an inclusion of diversity in children’s literature. Simply put; stakeholders are asking and demanding change — now! Here, I’ll explain why I feel this is an important message in my eyes as both a teacher and author. Read more…

Online Education for Return to Work Moms

Tips for Return to Work Moms

A couple of my mom friends took a Return to Work Mom class at a nearby university to plot a return to the workforce after 8+ years at home with the kids. A strategy and a support group are key because, as it turns out, it’s not easy to return to work for moms who stayed home even if they are looking to get back into the field that they left.

return to work moms and education opportunities

My mom friend Tracey was a computer software trainer with her own business that she successfully sold before kids. Her return back to work should have been easy … but no. The training landscape had changed immensely with eLearning, distance learning, webinars and the like. It took her a good two years of networking as a full-time job to land her dream job. Her message to moms who want to return to work is not to give up. Perseverance and relentless networking are what make the difference.

 

Online Education for Return to Work MomsRead more…

19 perfect read alouds for first grade, perfect read alouds for 1st grade

19 Perfect Read Alouds for 1st Grade

I polled my three kids to jog their memory of what the read aloud books were in first grade. We had one wonderful first grade teacher twice, and PickyKidPix was even able to loop with her for second grade too!

When I think of first grade, I remember it was a time when all the kids desperately wanted to read “chapter books“, as if picture books didn’t count anymore. But often, picture books have a richer vocabulary and a more interesting story so this list includes books that teach  about compassion, entertain and mesmerize. I hope you enjoy them!

What books do you recommend as a first grade read aloud? Please share! Read more…

Mouth Guard, Head Gear and Sparring for Moms

Mouth Guard, Head Gear and Sparring for Moms

I have a small group of mom friends that I box with. Our trainer never expected us to last this long, but we just passed the 1.5 year mark in June and we are signed up for three times a week starting in September. We all have different motivations for sticking with it — fitness, weight loss, and sparring — but we all agree that it’s the ONLY exercise we’ve stuck with since having kids. It’s different because it’s a skill with endless things to learn so it never gets boring.

moms and boxing, moms and sparringRead more…

Baby Penguins Everywhere!, Picture Book of the Day, Melissa Guion

Picture Book for Parents with Kids Back in School GIVEAWAY

I’m happy that our Picture Book of the Day group is reconvening for the school year. I’m up today with my pick and it’s for all the parents out there celebrating kids going back to school!

How was your summer? Are you sad it’s over but happy that school is back in full swing? Please share!

Penguin Picture Book of the Day

Baby Penguins Everywhere! by Melissa Guion

There are lots of picture books for kids starting preschool or kindergarten, but this one is for parents whose kids are going back to school! Or at least, this is my take! A female penguin was all alone enjoying the sea and ice when a hat appeared and out jumped a LOT of baby penguins. She wasn’t lonely anymore, but every now and then, she just needed a minute to herself. This should be mandatory reading for toddlers and preschoolers! [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Read more…

goodnight ark picture book giveaway

Goodnight Ark GIVEAWAY and Kid Lit Blog Hop

I’m part of the Goodnight, Ark blog tour and I’m giving away a copy of this fun rhyming bedtime picture book. Author Laura Sassi also answers 5 short questions for me.

 

Rhyming Bedtime Picture Book

Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman

In rollicking rhyme, this bedtime story will have kids howling with laughter as the animals on Noah’s ark make their way to his bed due to a scary storm. Thankfully, Noah knows how to get them all back asleep but not without a small mishap involving the skunks! [picture book, ages 1 and up] Read more…

Multicultural Soccer Picture Book GIVEAWAY

Multicultural Soccer Picture Book GIVEAWAY

PickyKidPix went to Italy this summer to play soccer with her indoor team and we were able to watch her play during the last few weeks of the World Cup. What a great time to be in Europe with soccer fans!

Because of our great love for Lionel Messi, we root for Argentina and that was a great pick this World Cup! My family is obsessed with Lionel Messi. We root for FC Barcelona, we visited Barcelona to see Camp Noa, and we went to New Jersey to watch a “friendly” Argentina vs. BrazilRead more…