Thank you to everyone who sent in these great photos. This week is a great assortment of kids reading to their pets, walking and reading (all the while in cool sunglasses), and learning math through consumption! THANK YOU! And please be sure to check out their great blogs!
My son’s Kindergarten teacher is really up on the latest ideas on early childhood education. She believes in big words for little people and uses these six new words during daily conversations at school and during activities. We are also encouraged to use them at home and to make a game out using them. So I asked my 6-year-old son what “ordinary” means and he gave me this long winded story about how from one day to the next, the books in the bookshelves of an “ordinary” day would not be disturbed. I think the smile/laugh value of hearing kids relate these words to their every day lives is well worth this exercise. I think the same of my son’s karate class — it’s like an episode of Saturday Night Live, only actually funny.
LitWorld, an international literacy non profit, has teamed up with Be There BedTime Stories for World Read Aloud Day. To participate, you simply just read a book to anyone: a child, an adult, your dog or cat!
But if you want to join in the fun of recording your reading to share with a loved one who is NOT nearby, you can download a free book (today only!) through Be There BedTime Stories.
I’m not the only one who thinks our education strategy is loony. At the International Summit on Teaching, the take away was: “… The United States has been pursuing an approach to teaching almost diametricallyopposed to that pursued by the highest-achieving nations.” The difference? the highest-achieving nations INVEST in teacher education: “Officials from countries like Finland and Singapore described how they have built a high-performing teaching profession by enabling all of their teachers to enter high-quality preparation programs, generally at the masters’ degree level, where they receive a salary while they prepare. There they learn research-based teaching strategies and train with experts in model schools attached to their universities. They enter a well-paid profession – in Singapore earning as much as beginning doctors — where they are supported by mentor teachers and have 15 or more hours a week to work and learn together – engaging in shared planning, action research, lesson study, and observations in each other’s classrooms. And they work in schools that are equitably funded and well-resourced with the latest technology and materials.” The article (in the Washing Post) concludes with: “How poignant for Americans to listen to this account while nearly every successful program developed to support teachers’ learning in the United States is proposed for termination by the Obama administration or the Congress…”
The book and card selection that Leah sent showed me a whole different side of Barefoot Books. What I loved about each item was that it combined an educational aspect with entertainment. The books have nuances that include multi-cultural themes (Little Leap Forward), magical realism (The Boy Who Grew Flowers), and math concepts (The Real Princess) that makes each book special, interesting, and engaging. As for the card decks, these are really well done and I know that we will be using them a lot!
This is my best deal ever! Yes, the bulbs on this post are the ones growing in my front yard (yay! Spring!) that I now buy every August and keep in my garage until November when I do one or two hours of frantic planting in order to get this gorgeousness in the Spring. And, shh! … my secret source for these gorgeous bulbs is The Christmas Tree Store.
In The Blue House Dog by Deborah Blumenthal, Cody, a boy who is probably 8 to 10 years old, notices a stray dog in his neighborhood. As he watches the dog day after day, Cody starts to notice everything: where the dog sleeps and how it might feel, how the dog is scared of dog catchers and the police, how thin he is, his unusual eye coloring, and how no one else thinks this dog is special. Perfect for children who have lost their beloved pet. Advanced picture book, ages 6-10.
I am really enjoying this science (fiction-y at times) blog called io9: We Come From the Future. Given the massive quake in Japan, this might be a great time to talk about geological science including how earthquakes hapen and why we can’t predict them. I’ve excerpted it below but you can see the full post here.
It’s clear that the science of predicting earthquakes has a long way to go. If your child finds earthquakes fascinating, perhaps he or she will be one of the scientists to bring this science further. You never know what will spark a life long interest. How about you? Are your kids interested in learning more about earthquakes after hearing about the big one in Japan? Will an education on earthquakes help to quell fears about earthquakes happening to them? Please chime in!
Yikes! I am almost out of pictures of kids reading! Can you please send me more?! Yes, you! The one reading at work! Yes, yes, yes, I am talking to you. You know, the one in the cute outfit! Thanks so much! Please send to email@example.com.