Are Kindergarten Kids Smarter These Days?
I knew kids in my kids’ Kindergarten class who could read The Magic Tree House series before they entered elementary school. For others, carry addition was not a problem. I thought my kids were way behind because they would enter Kindergarten barely reading and unsure of what number came after 99. The pressure for Kindergarten academics, I always thought, came from the standardized testing starting in 3rd grade and so Kindergarten, for many classrooms, started to look a lot like 1st grade. I am actually o.k. with that because it worked for my kids. Our elementary school is very strict about the cut off date of “you-must-be-five-years-old-by-August 31-no-exceptions.” I actually thought this is just the new world we live in, but maybe the old ways are best. Read more…
What Do People Think About Special Needs: A Poll
I think that we, as adults, learn based on what life throws our way. All the parents I know who have kids with food allergies, for example, are experts on the topic. The same holds true for medical conditions including learning disabilities. But I think that if your children attend public schools, learning about special needs becomes part of the curriculum, particularly for schools such as my elementary school with a large and varied special needs sub-population.
It’s really the relevant topic, at least to our children, on diversity as it’s so wonderful, at least at my school, that the children are so accepting of ethnic diversity and same-sex marriage. But my kids sometimes struggle to understand special needs kids at school particularly for those with special needs that affect socialization. As parents, we can help our children by learning more ourselves on this important topic.
The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark Delights
It is a rare occasion when my husband raves about a picture book. He’s read his fair share of picture books to our three children but bedtime stories is my favorite time of the day, not his. And while he will read a book over and over again, there aren’t too many picture books in our house that he is excited to re-read.
So when he told ME to blog about this book because it’s GREAT, I have to say that I stood up at attention (figuratively as I was reclined in bed), and took note. This is why I think he liked it so much:
- It rhymes. And it rhymes beautifully without losing its cadence somewhere in the story which is my pet peeve in life.
- It has a particular part that repeats several times — when the Pout-Pout fish admits he is scared of the dark. My husband and youngest LOVED to say the first three lines loud and strong, and the scared-y cat part high and squeaky. They are just like that! But it cracked them up to no end! And this book helped my son because he, too, is afraid of the dark.
- There are several great messages woven into the book: being a good friend, overcoming your fears, and being helpful.
- There is also an oceanography lesson built in. (My husband grew up in Monterey, California and though I actually took Ichthyology (the study of fish!) in college, he knows way more about marine biology than I do just from osmosis). He noticed that the sea creatures changed appropriately as the fish swam deeper into the ocean. I actually learned about the different levels of the sea from Dr. Seuss’ Wish on a Fish: All About Sea Creatures myself and also appreciated the weird and crazy looking fish at the bottom of the ocean in the trench.
- His only criticism was that he didn’t love the illustrations by Dan Hanna. They are ok; not terrible but just not Caldecott worthy. That’s a shame because this a New York Times best selling author!
This is the first book that I’ve read by Deborah Diesen but I am so impressed that I’m going to find her other books.
To examine any book at Amazon, please just click on the image of the book.
Reading Disability Risk High in Girls With ADHD
The study, which looked at more than 5,000 Minnesota youth, found that children with ADHD have dramatically higher rates of reading disabilities than youth without the disorder. The incidence of reading disabilities among boys with ADHD was 51 percent, and among girls it was 46.7 percent. For boys without ADHD, the reading disability rate among the study participants was 14.5 percent; among girls it was 7.7 percent.
This is from Christina Samuels of EducationWeek: Reading Disability Risk In Girls With ADHD
Debbie Reese, Pre-Eminent Scholar, Picks Best Native American Picture Books
I am so excited to find these books lists by pre-eminent Native American Children’s Literature scholar, Debbie Reese. This is the first list for picture books and I will add the ones for Middle School and High School soon. She has a wonderful website, American Indians in Children’s Literature. Her bio: Read more…
Best Books for Kids: Carnegie Medal Winners
I had to look up the Carnegie Medal in Literature Award in Wikipedia. It’s another version of the Newbery with an accompanying award, the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration, aping the Caldecott. It’s all good to me but surprisingly, there is not a ton of overlap between the Newbery /Carnegie or the Caldecott/Kate Greenaway. There are plenty of great books out there that deserve awards so please check out this list if you are searching for more great books! Read more…