Anyone who has organized their child’s team sports (ahem… me once and only once) knows the pain of keeping the team member’s parents informed about an endless list of things from who is bringing a nut-free snack to where is that game anyway?! It’s a lot of stuff to coordinate on top of practices. Last year, my oldest’s soccer team went electronic and our coach put everyone on Team Snap. It seemed to help with the day-to-day communication though it is only as good as the users who participate (i.e. if you are not going to make a game, you now have 3 options to tell people BUT you still have do something!). My husband and I are huge fans of Team Snap and should he decide to coach again, he’d definitely use it. Then I discovered Directra, which is another free electronic organization tool for teams but also large groups (think volunteer groups at the PTO/PTA). To avoid a brain cramp, I asked the nice folks at Directra to give me an unbiased feature by feature comparison. The upshot is this: electronic organization for groups is a godsend to organizers. Both of these platforms are FREE. TeamSnap is specifically for team sports and is great and very helpful for volunteer coaches/parents. Directra is great for team sports and group efforts such as volunteers. Since participants need to be entered into the system which is the most time consuming part, I’d suggest picking the platform that you’ll use the most over the long haul. PTO/PTA management types: use Directra. Coaches that will coach their child from cradle to college: TeamSnap is for you. But don’t take my word on this; read on to decide for yourself!
I’m back from school vacation week and ready to resume my weekly features with a twist. They are now going to be weekly-ish. Yes, like the Ish! book by Peter Reynolds, a facsimile of the real thing because it turns out to be a frantic pace to be posting weekly. I’m assuming overwhelming for you, my readers too! 🙂 In the meantime, I am cooking up another idea for a blog children’s literature so please stay tuned…
Please welcome Danette Haworth, author of Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightening, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets, and soon to be released Me & Jack. I fell in love with Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightening when I read it last year. The book really stuck with me and when I posted a list of Boy Characters You’d Let Your Daughter Date, I frankly could not forget Eddie from Violet Raines. Danette was kind enough to leave a comment and that lead to an email exchange and then this interview. I confess that I was slow to come up with questions because a different author at KidLitCon 2010 had complained about when an interviewer did not do her research and asks questions that were clearly stated at the author’s website! I didn’t want to be one of those people!
We are trying to stay active during the long, snowy winter and this is the list we came up with for our family. Here are some creative ideas we found: rock climbing, snow golf (carve out your own holes), spray bottles with colored water to spray on snow, snow tubing, lemon ice making, dance party, obstacle course building, and indoor fort building. More ideas listed in the post.
A Dad Friend sent me this article from the New York Times on ruthless decluttering, Mom, You’re One Tough Art Critic. The more I thought about posting on this, the more I remembered the piles of messy art that I have squirreled away throughout my house and realized that I was in no position to be giving advice on how to purge or store your child’s artwork.
Here’s how to enter 90 Second Newbery Film Festival (deadline 9/15/11):
1. Your video should be 90 seconds or less. (Okay, okay: if it’s three minutes long but absolute genius, we’ll bend the rules for you. But let’s try to keep them short.)
2. Your video has to be about a Newbery award-winning (or Newbery honor-winning) book.
Are Search and Find books the precursor to video/DSi/Wii/xBox/Nintendo games for little boys? Maybe … but I’ll take that any day over the screens! I have to say that I have never logged in so many hours searching for stuff in books until I had my third child and my only son. Coincidence? I think not. There is a gaming feature that never seems to bore my son from searching and finding stuff in books. This, however, does not seem to translate into searching and finding [lost] stuff in his room or in the house.
Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures! PLEASE keep them coming!!! You can email me at pragmaticmom.com (at) gmail (dot) com. This week I found some of these pictures on literacy sites that I read but my favorite one is from mom Sierra! This is just precious!
My 5th grader is doing a Sharon Creech author study in class and she’s been reading and loving Ruby Holler, Heartbeat, and trying to get the group that gets to read Chasing Redbird. We tend to agree on books that we like but it’s strange that we haven’t when it comes to Sharon Creech. Don’t get me wrong; we both LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sharon Creech, but we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE different books.