The Children’s Choice Book Awards is the only national children’s book awards program where winning titles are selected by young readers of all ages. The good news here is that there is a very high probability that your child will like these books too! The children (and teens) have spoken! These are their favorite books for 2011!
An article in Education Week cites new research on study skills from Williams College. The bottom line is, when students have to work harder to remember material, they are able to retrieve it more effectively. In fact, people remember better and longer when there are “desirable difficulties” in the study process – when they self-test themselves on big chunks of material and space out study sessions over days and weeks before an exam.
Thank you to everyone who sent in photos of their darlings reading! I really appreciate it and always need more photos (please email PragmaticMom.firstname.lastname@example.org)! This week’s photos struck me how much these parents use great strategies to get their children to read (and to really love reading). Notice reader Jessyca who uses the thrill of a new magazine to get her kids excited to read. Reader Kimberly has a “high interest” series book for her son. If you go through all the posts of Caught in the Act … of READING!, you’ll notice that The Magic Tree house comes up again and again. The beauty of a series is that there are lots of them and the familiarly of characters and a plot format make for a pleasant read for kids. Finally, reader Elizabeth sneaks in book time during an otherwise “just killing time” part of the day: waiting at the school pick up. These are all great ideas to try to get your kids reading but there are tons more (should you be interested) in this category of posts called Reluctant Readers.
Exposing your children to science at home turns out to be good education with its own term: “informal science education.” You parents probably do more of this than you realize from after-school programs to computer simulations to visiting a zoo. To excite your child’s imagination in science, try running these two ideas by your kids: humans could breathe underwater with algae implants AND how to create a scientifically plausible alien life form.
These books are from a Mom Blogger friend at CoffeeShopBloggers whose daughter is a sports fanatic and these were her favorite baseball books. These books are all appropriate for grades 3-5th. The “…and Me” novels, also known as, the Baseball Card Adventures are fun because the child in the story travels back in time to meet a baseball legend. I suspect that any little leaguer who might not love to read otherwise will enjoy these books!
I grew up in a Southern California beach town, so you’d think that I’d have known about Sanuk for a while. Well … actually no. There are nary a surf shop near where I live but luckily my sister and her family came to visit last summer and she lives near the beach and a myriad of surf shops. She had a pair on and she made me try it. It was sooo much more cushiony than Reef flip flops which I normally wear plus these were cuter. Sanuk is also ecologically friendly and are made of recycled yoga mats.
I appreciate that the author/illustrator realizes that the adult might be reading their book 2650 times so they’ve added a little twist to keep us going. And these twists are not advertised anywhere in the book; they are just there for those who need a little something because repetition is numbing their mind. I love their creativity and the fact that the hidden things are under the radar. It feels like a secret club. Here’s the secret handshake to join … tell me your favorite book like this. I am still struggling to find one more! Thanks!
It might have been a sheer coincidence (cue Twilight Zone music with video below!), but I was reading the newest Penderwicks (The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall) with my middle child and the newest book from Karen Day (A Million Miles from Boston) with my oldest simultaneously and I was struck by the myriad of similarities between both books AND YET the books are so different AND written at the same time. Coincidence? Maybe, or maybe there is a more cosmic messages afoot?!
A transition to a new grade or school, not matter how small, is difficult for children. It’s helpful to visit the new school as often as possible. Play with kids that will be at the same school if you can. And read, read, read to your child books about starting school. The familiarity of routines and activities of the new school will take a lot of the anxiety away. So, while my youngest has been visiting his elementary school for 5 years so far, we’ll take it one step at a time and read these books over and over to ensure a smooth landing in September. And a few playdates with new friends is also on the books!