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Susan Sowers, invented spelling, beginning spellers, learning to read and write, literacy, Kindergarten, Pragmatic Mom, http://PragmaticMom.com

Invented Spelling Necessary for Learning to Read: Froshus Dobrmn Pensr

What is Invented Spelling and Why is it Important?

My son’s Kindergarten teacher distributes this ground breaking article by Susan Sowers, Harvard Graduate School of Education every year to the parents in her class.  I remember as a new parent of a Kindergartener that I thought invented spelling was both cute, funny, and strange.  I clearly did not ever remember learning to write using invented spelling myself and apparently my mom didn’t save those papers (and yet, everything else).  I also remember wondering if my child would ever learn to spell correctly and when that kicks in. Read more…

long division app for iPhone, pragmatic mom, http://Pragmaticmom.com, education, math apps,

Long Division App

Long Division App Great for Visual Learners

Be still my beating heart!  My 5th Grader is learning long division and sometimes working through the problem step by step is confusing to her.  So you can imagine how excited I AM with this app, named Long Division, that translates long division into a color coordinated step by step process and has a number key pad so that the student can input their results every step of the way.  Then, the numbers slide into their proper place in the problem.  Very visual and memorable!  And also kinda fun!  At least I think so.  I get back to you on what my daughter thinks! Read more…

Top 6 Apps For Mobile Education

Apps for Mobile Education eLearning

Tyler Stubenhofer’s assignment for a Master’s Seminar was this very assignment:  come up with apps for distance learning.  Here is the excellent list he put together.  And click here to see his blog called Tyler Stubenhofer’s Blog:  education, technology and other stuff. Read more…

FREE eBooks: Classic Children’s Literature

Free eBooks for Kids

There are not a ton of free children’s classics for Kindle, but there are some good ones.  I suppose the common theme here is expired copyright protection.  If you have a Kindle, you might want to consider sharing it with your kids.  If you don’t, it’s almost a reason to buy one!  Here’s a sampling and here’s the link. Read more…

http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, best mom blog, merit pay for teachers based on student performance doesn't work, Vanderbilt University Study,

Pay for Performance Doesn’t Raise Test Scores

Education Policy Pay for Performance Doesn’t Work

I think that anyone who has known or has had a superlative teacher realizes that teachers do not enter their profession for the financial rewards it offers.  They do it from their heart.  So, I guess it shouldn’t be a revelation that merit pay does not impact a teacher’s performance.  I would guess that professional development, coaching, and team teaching would be bigger drivers.  But this is the first official and scientific study on merit pay for student performance so it helps to shed light on what works (and doesn’t) to impact student test scores. Read more…

Just Playing by Anita Wadley (poem for parents of small children)

Just Playing Poem by Anita Wadley

I am so lucky!  My youngest has  the most amazing Kindergarten teacher.  But, sadly, as this is my last child, this is also the last time I will get her (though you can be sure that we will visit her forever!).  Last night was Curriculum Night at school, and she passed out a packet of information as she usually does including this poem on Playing as a Child’s Work. Read more…

Top 10: Books that SHOULD be Made Into Movie

Books For Kids That Should be Movies

ModCloth has a great list of books, from a quality picture book to a Pulitzer Prize winner, that are not movies but should be.  I am also amazed that The Catcher in the Rye isn’t a movie starring some young, hunky-but-sensitive, guy.  But please don’t make it into a musical!  For the full post, please click here to go to ModCloth’s blog.  It’s a fun post! Read more…

RippleReader: eBooks You Can Personalize

Narrate Your Own eBooks for Your Kids

I know that I post a lot on literacy and how to get reluctant readers reading. I believe that we (all of us) need to unlock a love of reading in every child!   One idea that comes up again and again from literacy experts is to use Books on Tape.  RippleReader read one of my posts on literacy and sent me information plus a free RippleReader microphone so that I could test out their site. Read more…

Clementine, Sara Pennypacker, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, best easy chapter book for kids ages 7-10, award winning best beginning chapter book

Clementine is the new Ramona

Move Over Ramona: Clementine is Here!

One of our favorite literary characters that my 8-year-old daughter and I agree upon is Clementine.  She’s a cross between Ramona (of Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary) and Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.  What is magical about this excellent series is that it has all the charm of a Ramona book but with the level of difficulty of a Junie B. Jones book. And while  Clementine has some personality traits that are similar to Junie B. Jones, she  is more mature while  also possessing the vulnerability and spunkiness of Ramona.  In short, Clementine is THE PERFECT BEGINNING CHAPTER BOOK SERIES FOR KIDS, and by chapter book, I mean real chapters, not the Henry and Mudge kind. Read more…