Archive for June, 2015

Connecting Art and Science with Hokusai's The Great Wave

Connecting Art and Science with Hokusai’s The Great Wave

It’s amazing how a single piece of art can have a ripple effect, inspiring others all around the world and for many generations. Hokusai’s iconic blockprint The Great Wave is one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world.

The Great Wave by Hokusai, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Here are some of the spin offs from Hokusai’s The Great Wave

Couchabunga by John Cedarquist based on The Great Wave by Hokusai Read more…

#HorizonSnacks Bento for #CuriousKids

Bento Box Snacks for Volleyball Tournaments

Northeast Junior Volleyball Championships

This is the view from my hotel. It was mostly urban blight except for this garden oasis.

We spend a lot of time at kids’ sports games. This past three-day weekend was spent at Grasshopper and Sensei’s first big volleyball tournament, the New England Youth Volleyball Championships in Hartford, Connecticut. She stayed in a rooming group with her teammates and I had a room (for one) to myself. But we needed to bring food for the weekend — breakfast, lunch and snacks — with no refrigeration.

Northeast Junior Volleyball ChampionshipsRead more…

Bluebirds of Happiness KidLit & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Bluebirds of Happiness KidLit GIVEAWAY & Kid Lit Blog Hop

What is it about bluebirds that make us happy? Their association with happiness, prosperity, good health, and renewal of spring dates back thousands of years and across many cultures.

my son found a bluebird egg hatched out

My son found this shell outside his guitar teacher’s house. It looks like a successful hatching!

The Shang Dynasty in China, 1766-1122 BC, associates the bluebird with knowledge and enlightenment. “In Native American mythology, some tribes consider the bluebird a spirit in animal form that symbolizes the dawn of a new day; others associate the friendly bird with the sun. The Iroquois believe that the bluebird is a harbinger of spring that fights off the evil demigod of winter, Tawiscaron.” from LiveHappy

Eastern Bluebird Read more…

16 Great Diversity Graphic Novels for Kids and Teens

16 Great Diversity Graphic Novels for Kids and Teens

Graphic novels are my secret weapon to get any kid reading. My recent discovery is that there are also multicultural, diversity and inclusive graphic novels that bring kids into different perspectives like what it’s like to have hearing loss or go through a civil war. Graphic novels also let us experience new worlds, both present, past and future. And it’s the illustrations that tell part of the story with a low word count. It’s actually this inferencing … getting the story from both the words and the pictures that make graphic novels a valuable reading comprehension tool for learning.

So there you have it. Kids love to read graphic novels. It’s fun for them. They don’t realize how much they are learning by reading the story from both the images and words, especially the reluctant readers. And they can get a wealth of experiences by reading multicultural/diversity/inclusive stories.

I’m not telling kids about the educational benefits. You shouldn’t either. Shh!!! Let’s just keep them in front of our kids! Read more…

signed copy of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

The Family Dinner with Dr. Michele Borba & GIVEAWAY

Parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba is helping to launch Dixie’s upcoming Dark for Dinner movement, which encourages families to be more present during dinner by challenging them to turn off cell phones, televisions, computers and other electronics and “go dark” for meals together. The Dark for Dinner movement will officially begin on Sunday, June 14.

The Family Dinner & Dr. Michele Borba

Studies have shown that engaging in sit-down family meals can  provide children with better nutritional intake and prevents high-risk behavior, such as substance use, antisocial behaviors, violence and school problems. Read more…

Have You Considered Going Solar? NEST Giveaway!

Have You Considered Going Solar? NEST Giveaway!

Thank you Sunrun for sponsoring this post. Visit Sunrun on Facebook to enter to win a Nest Learning Thermostat, or visit Sunrun.com for a free solar quote!

Have you considered going solar? I have. Solar seems like a good way to go … for potential energy savings, for reliable electricity (we frequently lose power), but especially for the environment. But where to start? I think that’s the hard part!

Sunrun Solar, Have You Considered Going Solar?

Commonly Asked Questions About Going Solar

Sunrun solarm Have You Considered Going Solar?Read more…

The Pharoah's Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts

The Pharoah’s Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts

When I read an action adventure fantasy that has time travel, it’s easy to believe that it’s just a made up story. Sure, Hatshepsut is a real person but she’s from so long ago that she seems like a mythical person. Until I ran into her at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts…

The Pharoah's Secret, Queen Hatshepsut

And so I have a lesson plan around The Pharoah’s Secret in three parts:

  • Part I: Learn about Hatshepsut
  • Part II: Read The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss for ages 8 and up
  • Part III: Learn about Senenmut

Read more…

Drawing Hands and Feet

How to Draw Hands and Feet

Grasshopper and Sensei eye drawingsMy daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school after she graduates from high school so I’ve been hard at work trying to figure out how that works.

Grasshoppper and Sensei XTreme Week at Mass College of Art

Step 1: Meet with a college counselor specializing in art colleges. She works with art college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts who attended Rhode Island School of Design. Read more…

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Please welcome author Jim Westcott who is a literacy specialist as well. Today, he shares his favorite young adult books for teen struggling readers. These books are high interest with a lower reader level to draw in reluctant teen readers, both boys and girls.

We’d love your suggestions as well! Please share!

Read more…