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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…

International Book Giving Day, Valentine's Day and Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day Coming Up!

International Book Giving Day is also Valentine’s Day

I joined some great children’s book Google Plus Communities recently and I got the heads up about International Book Giving Day which, incidentally, falls on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to get the word out since I know I will need a few weeks to organize my children’s books to find a pile to donate.

Delightful Children’s Books was the first blogger to alert me. She has a wonderful children’s book blog that I read religiously. She says:

International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books. We are inviting individuals to 1) give a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or 3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need. You are also welcome to organize a book drive, fundraiser, volunteer event, book swap, story time session, etc. See bookgivingday.com! Read more…

Newbery Medal Winners Announced Soon!

Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal and More!

On January 26th, the Newbery winner for 2013 will be announced along with a slew of other children’s and Young Adult awards in a star-studded night capped by a speech by the Newbery winner. Think Oscars but for children’s books!

caldecott medal, newbery medal, caldecott award, coretta scott king award newbery award winners, caldecott winners

 

The 2013 winners are all here!

If you’ve wondered what all the awards to be announced are for, here’s the run down:

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

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.

YALSA Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. Read more…