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Visiting San Marino: Oldest Sovereign State in the World!

Visiting San Marino: Oldest Sovereign State in the World!

PickyKidPix desperately wanted to join her indoor soccer team on  “trip of a lifetime” playing soccer in Italy with USA Premier Soccer so I used my hoarded stash of money from blogging to take her and Grasshopper and Sensei on a 10 day tour that covered:

  • Como (Lake Como where George Clooney has a house. We didn’t see his house)
  • Milan
  • San Marino (oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world)
  • Rimini (beach town near San Marino)
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Pisa
  • Portovenere (Unesco Site on the Ligurian coast)
  • Montecantini (Tuscany)

Visiting San Marino Near Italy with Kids!

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10 Perfect Read Alouds for 4th Grade

10 Perfect Read Alouds for 4th Grade

Fourth grade at my elementary school marks a really interesting immigration unit that introduced my kids to their first group project experience. They learned, the hard way, about freeloaders but the end result was a “Wax Museum” where each child played a wax statue that, when prompted by dropping in a fake coin in a bucket, recited a speech about life as a new immigrant. Each group chose a different country to emigrate from that included Poland, Ireland, Italy, China, Japan and more.  They also created a Wax Museum display bulletin board that talked about the immigrant experience from their country. What was most noticeable was how every, single group talked about the racism and prejudice they faced upon coming to America.

It seems that in fourth grade, kids are starting to really develop empathy skills so historical fiction about immigration or the mistreatment of dogs moves them deeply. I’ve included the books that my kids remember reading as part of a classroom assignment or as a read aloud in 4th grade and added a few of my favorites. My son just started 4th grade this year, so I will keep track of his classroom read alouds and will add them to this list all year.

Please share your ideas for 4th grade read alouds. Thank you! Read more…

FREE Fun Factoid App: Parent and Child KidQ

FREE Fun Factoid App: Parent and Child KidQ

My 9-year-old son likes factoids and we are often waiting at pick ups for his older sisters or before his soccer game. My son would usually kill the time playing a game on the iPad but I like the FREE Parent&Child KidQ app more. It’s quick. It’s fun. It’s educational!

Scholastic Parent and Child KidQ App

The app is meant as a way to converse with your child by providing questions like:

  • Why do feet smell (my son likes potty humor so this makes him giggle)
  • Why is California named The Golden State (hint: gold rush)
  • Why do you think they freeze hockey pucks before games (hint: friction. fun fact: the first hockey pucks were actually frozen cow poop!)
  • What is the most popular team sport in the United States? (hint: hoop)
  • Why do you think Johnny Appleseed is famous? (hint: apple trees. fun fact: only one tree that he planted remains — it’s more than 180 years old and sits on a farm in Nova, Ohio)

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Hispanic American Books for Kids: Link Round Up

Hispanic American Books for Kids: Link Round Up

I’m part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage celebration where the MKB bloggers are sharing different ideas to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with kids.

There are now 52 million Hispanic families in the U.S. – making Hispanics the nation’s largest ethnic minority at 16.7% of the entire population.

Almost 50% of Hispanic households have children in the home, which is more than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S.

Hispanics also make up 20% of U.S. families with children under the age of 6. from MediaPost

That’s a great reason to celebrate Hispanic Heritage no matter what your ethnicity, don’t you think?! Read more…

kids caught doing summer reading

Caught in the Act … of READING and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Thank you to everyone who has sent in a photo! Kids caught in the acting reading makes me very, very happy! How is summer reading going for you?

If you send me a photo to pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com, I’ll send you a book! (I’m sorry but I can only send books to the United States due to the high cost of shipping.) I hope it keeps your kids happily reading this summer! Read more…

Jessica Darling #2 giveaway

Jessica Darling’s It List #2 GIVEAWAY

PickyKidPix just started 7th grade this year and this book seems right up her alley. Now that she is assigned to read 40 books this school year from her English teacher, we will be seeking out high interest books like this one! Jessica Darling #2 hits shelves TODAY and I have author Megan McCafferty stopping by with advice for middle school kids.

How is your school year going? I hope you are off to a good start!

Jessica Darling, Middle School Advice from author Megan McCafferty

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4th grade summer reading homework

Rising 4th Grade Summer Reading Book List

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve had three kids do this going-into-fourth-grade summer reading assignment and the book report portion is painful. My kids simply are not in homework mode at the end of the summer, so it takes a ridiculous amount of effort (accompanied by equal amount of whining) to get it done. My son did his book project over a week with three failed attempts before eventual success.

Rising 4th Grade Summer Reading Homework

The reading portion of the homework, however, was a different story. My son and I cranked through three books the first week of summer vacation. The five books need to be different genres and I may have taken some liberties in naming genres … but I tacked on a few more outside-the-box books at the end including poetry and an easy chapter book.

How about you? Did you kids get summer reading assignments? Please share! Read more…

A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature

A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Please welcome teacher and author Garrett Carter who is my guest blogger today. He writes about the need for more diversity in chidren’s books.

A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature

we need diverse books

Planting the Seed Now: A Call for Diverse Children’s Literature from a Teacher and Author

Along with spring and summer flowers, numerous articles concerning the lack of diversity in children’s literature have sprung up as the year has progressed. Not a new phenomenon, there has always been a lack of cultural diversity for children to experience through reading. As the melting pot in America simmers to a boil, so does the demand for an inclusion of diversity in children’s literature. Simply put; stakeholders are asking and demanding change — now! Here, I’ll explain why I feel this is an important message in my eyes as both a teacher and author. Read more…

Online Education for Return to Work Moms

Tips for Return to Work Moms

A couple of my mom friends took a Return to Work Mom class at a nearby university to plot a return to the workforce after 8+ years at home with the kids. A strategy and a support group are key because, as it turns out, it’s not easy to return to work for moms who stayed home even if they are looking to get back into the field that they left.

return to work moms and education opportunities

My mom friend Tracey was a computer software trainer with her own business that she successfully sold before kids. Her return back to work should have been easy … but no. The training landscape had changed immensely with eLearning, distance learning, webinars and the like. It took her a good two years of networking as a full-time job to land her dream job. Her message to moms who want to return to work is not to give up. Perseverance and relentless networking are what make the difference.

 

Online Education for Return to Work MomsRead more…