Archive for December, 2015

Kimberly Clark products at Walmart

Stock up and Save on Kimberly Clark at Walmart

Thank you to Cottonelle, Kleenex, Scott and Viva for sponsoring this post. You can find great deals on all these products for the holidays at your local Walmart via the Ibotta app.

I’m way over due hosting my neighborhood moms’ book club. I had it all scheduled a year ago, only to find myself at Boston Children’s Hospital when my son needed surgery to remove a cyst the size of an egg in his neck. My book club is finally back on!

Kimberly Clark products at Walmart

I made a quick stop to Walmart to stock up for this party last week and was glad to save money on Cottonelle, Scott and Viva products that I will need using the Ibotta app. With the Ibotta app, I saved (and you can too): Read more…

Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade

I spent more time in my kids’ 5th grade classroom because I was the parent coordinator for our PTO Creative Arts and Sciences. I know that there are always shifts in curriculum due to Common Core but leeway, as well, for teachers to cover what they typically have done in the past. My kids studied these topics in 5th grade:

  • Native American (we brought in Native American Art program that compared the turtle creation myth using artwork from Native American tribes across the U.S.A.)
  • Colonial America (we brought in a program where a husband and wife role played colonists in the 1800s with a table of antiques from that period)
  • American Revolution (we took a field trip to The Freedom Trail that included a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party; we live near Boston)
  • Pre-Civil War/Slavery (I noticed the slavery unit included a book display of picture books on slavery and my kids talked about Henry’s Freedom Box at home)
  • World War II/Holocaust (Our 5th grade teachers touched on the Holocaust without getting two graphic. My daughter read Number the Stars and the classroom read aloud was The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark and The Cats in Krasinski Square)

I’d love to get your suggestions for books that support 5th Grade Common Core. Thanks for sharing!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

 

Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade

Native American Picture Books for 5th Grade

Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London, illustrated by Thomas Locker

In many Native American cultures, there a legend of how the world was created on the back of a giant sea turtle. Joseph Bruchac’s picture book goes further and describes how each of the thirteen moons of the year hold a story, reflected in the scales of the shell of a turtle. He tells these stories, reflecting different Native American tribes and the rhythms of nature, in lyrical free verse poetry. [poetry picture book, ages 6 and up]

Encounter by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Shannon

This is the perspective from a young Taino boy on San Salvador when Christopher Columbus comes to the New World. Columbus carried away ten young Taino men and women back to Spain as slaves and their island was later colonized by the Spanish, changing their culture forever. [picture book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has a new Classroom Reading Challenge in which we gift a FREE diversity hardcover book to teachers who commit to reading four diversity books to their students during the month of January. This program is generously underwritten by the Junior Library Guild. A sample of the books that we will be donating are here.

I totally get that teachers are busy and stressed trying to cover their curriculum and that time is precious. To complete the Classroom Reading Challenge, we encourage all teachers to use picture books for the four books. I am creating lists for grades 4th through 8th of advanced picture books that tie to the Common Core Curriculum. Valarie is creating advanced picture book lists for grades 9th through 12th.

During the fourth grade, my kids have always studied the Civil Rights Movement, turn of the century immigration, and geography of the 50 U.S. States. I also found Native American, and specifically Trail of Tears, on the Core Curriculum, but I believe that my kids studied colonial history of the United States in 5th grade but I will include Native American picture books for both grades.

What books am I missing? Please share! Thank you!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

4th Grade Multicultural Picture Books

Native American Picture Books for Fourth Grade

Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Karen Clarkson

Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) blog has stressed the importance of showing contemporary Native Americans because kids seem to think that Native Americans do not exist now. I can see that misconception — it’s the similar to our 2nd grade unit on Ghana where kids think everyone lives in a rural village and that cities don’t exist in Africa.

Tim Tingle is an excellent children’s book author that I encourage everyone to check out. His picture book covers a multitude of Common Core and elementary school topics including bullying, immigration, Civil Rights and contemporary Indian Americans.

Tim’s grandmother, a member of the  Choctaw Nation, moves from Oklahoma to Texas as a young mother where she is greeted while standing on her front porch with a rock thrown to her head. It cuts her eye which leads eventually to losing her vision. Tim’s father is two years old at the time.

While there is certainly anger and a desire for revenge, his grandmother redirects this energy with “Saltypie”, a term that means “bad things happen; let it go.” Many years later, his grandmother undergoes successful eye transplant surgery but the blessing she taught those around her is to see without eyes. [advanced picture book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

Left Brain STEM Toys for Kids

Left Brain STEM Toys for Kids

Jeanette and I love doing the Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids list. She is taking the Right Brain art toys today and I’m tackling Left Brain STEM toys with a math or science bent. Is that even right? I looked it up from About Education:

The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity

The Left Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking. The left-brain is described as being better at:

  • Language
  • Logic
  • Critical thinking
  • Numbers
  • Reasoning

Recent research has shown that abilities in subjects such as math are strongest when both halves of the brain work together. The upshot? Get both sides of your kids’ brains working! This is the last day of our gift giving series. Thanks for reading them!

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

STEM Toys for Kids

Anatomically Correct Dolls with STEM Careers!

Are you seeking an anti-Barbie doll that is anatomically correct thus subliminally sending a message of body acceptance to your kids? You might like the Lottie dolls!

Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll, $25

Fossil Hunter Lottie Read more…