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Asian American books for kids, kite flying books, kite fighting books for kids, 3rd grade books, 4th grade books, 5th grade books

Let’s Go Fly a Kite! Books and Activities for Kids

Kite Flying in Kids’ Books

The Blossom Kite Festival is an annual event that is traditionally a part of the festivities at the National Cherry Blossom Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The Cherry Blossom Kite Festival in Washington, DC, includes the rokkaku kite battle mentioned in Flying the Dragon, modern kite-making, and the children’s best handmade kite contest.

For anyone lucky to be in Washington D.C. at the end of March, here are the details:

Date and Time
March 30, 2013
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Location
On the grounds of the Washington Monument, Constitution Avenue & 17th Streets, NW Washington, DC.

For those of us who can’t be there, we can recreate this experience!

Kite flying dates back to Ancient China, but in Japan, there is a special day called Children’s Day (a.k.a. Boy’s Day) dedicated to flying kites including these Koi windsacks.

Japanese Koi Kites

Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi) is celebrated on 5th May in Japan. It is a national holiday honoring moms and kids, historically boys. Until recently, 5th May used to be known as Boy’s Day (Tango no Sekku, or the Feast of Banners). In Japanese culture, the carp (or koi) represents courage and perseverance, as the fish is known for its strength and determination as it swims against the current upstream. Read more…

educents, discount educational products for kids,

Educents: Discount Educational Products!

Discount Educational Toys and Games

Educents is a daily deals website featuring educational products at 30-90% off!

They are about to launch their site and to get the word out, they are offering a free $15 gift card to my readers if you sign up before launch! Click here to sign up.

educents, discount educational products for kids,

They will have programs such as foreign language, reading, math, science, art, and more including educational toys and games, as well as books and other items. Basically everything you can think of in terms of educational materials to help kids learn. I asked about exact brands and items but the paperwork is not quite done yet so they can’t disclose it.

I received a small stipend to help get the word out. I am personally excited to buy educational products at a discount!  I just signed up myself.



 

pi day, what is pi?, what is the number pi?, books on pi for kids, the golden rule and pi

Pi Day!

What is Pi?

Today is Pi day!

Get it?

3.14. March 14th. 3/14.

Yes, a math joke!

I wanted to celebrate Pi day by showing the relationship of math to the world around us including circles, pyramids and great works of art!

pi, pi day, pi phi and fibonacci numbers

p.s. I have a post on the math of spirals if you want more math in nature.

Pi is a name given to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter. That means, for any circle, you can divide the circumference (the distance around the circle) by the diameter and always get exactly the same number. It doesn’t matter how big or small the circle is, Pi remains the same. Pi is often written using the symbol  and is pronounced “pie”, just like the dessert. from Math.com

 

Another way to think of Pi. You can measure Pi by constructing a physical wheel and rolling it out. Read more…

best books for kids, best children's book authors, best new books for kids, best chapter books for kids, Waterstones prize,

Best New Children’s Authors: Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

Discover Hidden Talent in Children’s Authors

The shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize have been announced for 2012 and it’s a great place to discover new and wonderful children’s books! The Prize is only open to authors who have published three books or less, with the aim of uncovering hidden talent in children’s writing. The Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize was first awarded in 2005 by the bookchain that shares its name.

Six books are shortlisted in each of three categories – picture books, fiction for 5 to 12 year olds, and books for teens. What do you think of this children’s book award? Does it make you want to try out new children’s book authors?

I am personally glad to see Wonder by R. J. Palacio on the short list! I was shocked that it didn’t win a Schneider Award or a Newbery Honor! Are there any books that tempt you for your kids?

Best Picture Books

Lunchtime by Rebecca Cobb

Rebecca Cobb is an illustrator turned picture book author. This is her third picture book that she’s both written and illustrated.

 

Rabbityness by Jo Empson

Rabbityness was up  for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2013, the UKLA Book Awards 2013. It was a Finalist of the Peoples Book Prize 2012/2013 and was included in ‘The Independent’ Books of the Year 2012: Children’s books aged under 9. 

  Read more…

Renn, 5-year-old, epilepsy

Our Best Wishes to Renn, A Jedi Master

May The Force Be With You Renn!

This Kid Reviews Books alerted to me to the blogging tour to cheer up 5-year-old Renn who is undergoing extensive testing for epilepsy this week. Bloggers are joining forces, under the leadership of author Susanna Leonard Hill, to send our best well wishes and posts to entertain and cheer him up.

I offer Renn this clip from the Star Wars section of the new YouTube Lego Channel.

Can we send Renn a lego kit to share with his siblings too?  Star Wars, of course! Read more…

books for kids about appropriate touch, books for kids about safety, books for kids about sexual abuse

Keeping Kids Safe from Inappropriate Touch

Top 10 Books to Empower Kids About Their Bodies

The stats on child sexual abuse are alarming.  I met author and mom, Jay Dale, on Twitter and she asked me if I was going to cover this issue. I usually post lists of books but wasn’t familiar with books on this topic, and honestly, I struggle with the Birds and the Bees Talk. Still, this is a really important topic and I am delighted that Jay agreed to guest post for me.

Here’s a few more books:

Do You Have a Secret? (Let’s Talk About It!) by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, illustrated by Marta Fàbrega

A very gentle book describing the difference between good secrets and bad secrets and what to do if you have a bad secret. [picture book, ages 4 to 7]

No More Secrets for Me by Oralee Wachter, illustrated by Jane Aaron

In four separate stories on the theme of sexual abuse of children, young victims are able to articulate their feelings and defend themselves, often with the help of another person whom they trust.

Laurie Tells by Linda Lowrery, illustrated by John Eric Karpinski

It’s been two years since it first happened when Laurie was nine-years-old and she still can’t understand why her dad is hurting her.

But now it’s not monsters and spooks

that scare me.

Now it’s my dad.

The first time it happened,

I was nine.

He was saying good-night,

scratching my back.

And then he reached

under my nightgown

and touched my body all over.

I hated what he was doing to me.

I began to cry.

[advanced picture book, ages 9 and up]

 

————————

We teach our children water safety and road safety — it is equally important to teach our children ‘body safety’ from a very young age. As both a teacher and a mother, I strongly recommend to all parents that ‘body safety’ become a normal part of your parenting conversation. The sexual abuse of children has no social boundaries, and providing children with body safety skills empowers them with knowledge of what is good and bad touch. Read more…

March Madness reading competition, school wide reading competition, school reading competition,

Our School’s March Madness Reading Competition

School Wide Reading Competition: March Madness

I blogged a lot about our elementary school’s March Madness reading competition and have tried to answer emails about the rules of engagement. The rules have changed over the last 8 years since we’ve first started. Also, my recollection is hazy at best.  All I know is that my kids read like crazy to win that extra P.E. session and we all win in the end, no matter what place their class ends up in.

getting kids reading, kids and reading, reading strategies, reading competitions, school reading competition

This year, the competition has started again and I am posting the rules in hopes that it inspires your school to pick up the torch and try this reading competition next year. It’s a lot of fun and I do really notice a marked improvement in my kids’ reading abilities after just one month of reading madness!

march madness reading competition scoreboard

MARCH MADNESS  READING CELEBRATION

  • The Peirce School March Madness Reading Celebration will begin on Friday, March 1 and run through Thursday, April 4.
  • The kickoff will take place at our town meeting on March 1 and each classroom will be randomly assigned the name of an actual NCAA basketball team.
  • Students will earn points for their team based on the number of minutes read daily at home during March Madness.
  • Each student will log their daily reading onto the paper reading log and enter their WEEKLY MINUTES read into an online database AT HOME every Thursday evening. 
  • Students will hand in the paper copy of their reading log to their classroom teacher every Friday morning and should begin to log their weekly minutes read into the online database on Thursday, March 7.  Students should continue to log their weekly minutes read every Thursday evening up until Thursday, April 4.
  • Team points earned will be tallied and recorded every week onto a large graph in the main hallway.
  • Books read in school are not eligible for points.
  • Books read as part of nightly reading can be counted.  (March Madness reading does not have to be in addition to regular home reading, although we hope students will be more inclined to read).
  • There will be a separate point system for grades K-1 and for grades 2-5. 
March Madness reading competition

My mom friend Melissa says, “Quietest play date ever! Everyone is reading for the March Madness reading competition.”

Read more…

Noodle.org, education search engine, educational search engine, college search engine

Education Search Engine: Noodle.org

Getting into College Search Engine

From the creators of the Princeton Review, meet Noodle.org. It’s a personalized recommendation engine in Beta geared towards education. It’s focus is on the best way to help users — from parents and adults to high schoolers — to find the best schools and programs to fit their needs. Think of it as an interactive Princeton Review library of all their published works plus everything collectively in their brains.

Noodle.org, education search engine, educational search engine, college search engine

Stressed about getting your high school student into college? This is a good place to start your journey. Noodle.org is FREE and allows users to search colleges, graduate programs and K-12 schools, find study abroad programs, identify the best local tutors and test prep programs, search for a guidance counselor or education consultant, and access hundreds of thousands of free learning materials.

  • Noodle.org features data on over 130,000 schools and hundreds of thousands of education providers
  • Noodle.org offers content from the most credible sources, including federal and state education departments and agencies, LinkedIn, Forbes, Newsweek, YouTube Education, and US News & World Report
  • Users can select from over 350,000 interactive learning materials covering an expansive range of subjects, compiled from noteworthy sources such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, Khan Academy and BigThink
  • With over 120,000 K-12 schools, 2,900 4-year colleges, 5,000 graduate programs,135 study abroad programs and 80,000 tutoring listings, Noodle.org has the largest compilation of education resources found anywhere on the web
  • Once users narrow their search selection and want to engage with friends, family and others who have shared experiences, Noodle.org enables them to share their findings from the site via Facebook and Twitter, and save their results for easy access Read more…
reading and writing, Kindergarten, invented spelling, making book crafts for kids

Connecting Reading with Writing in Kindergarten

Reading and Writing in Kindergarten

I am thrilled to be joining Share a Story, Shape a Future 2013 blog tour with other great literacy, children’s book and education bloggers!

  • Monday (Infants): Maria Burel at Once Upon A Story.
  • Tuesday (Toddlers): Carol Rasco at Quietly
  • Wednesday (pre-Preschool): Debbie Alvarez at The Styling Librarian
  • Thursday (Preschool): Tif at Tif Talks Books
  • Friday (Kindergarten): Terry at Family Bookshelf

My contribution is the connection between reading independently and writing for Kindergarteners … more specifically the idea of invented spelling as a necessary step that marries writing with reading.

Share a Story, Shape a Future, literacy, Kindergarten reading and writing

The Importance of Invented Spelling: The Writing Connection to Reading!

We had the most amazing Kindergarten teacher — Ms. C —  for all three of my kids. As rookie parents, she held our hand and guided us gently through the academic rigors of Kindergarten. Seriously, Kindergarten is the new First Grade. Ms. C’s goal was and is to get the kids reading by the end of Kindergarten.

She stressed the importance of writing as an important literacy step towards reading independently. In fact, invented spelling — you know that fabulous and funny spelling kids use when they first start sounding out words — is CRITICAL to teaching kids how to read independently.

“Froshus dobrmn pensr” is an example of invented spelling. What do you think the child is trying to communicate? Yes, ferocious Doberman Pinscher!

Read more…