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ballet four picture book giveaway

Ballerina Picture Book of the Day: 4 Book GIVEAWAY

Marilyn Singer’s charming Tallulah series reminds me of Fancy Nancy but with a ballet twist. My daughters never took to dance though I had enrolled Grasshopper and Sensei in Boston Ballet’s Preschool Ballet program when she turned four.

first ballet class at Boston Ballet

Grasshopper and Sensei’s first ballet class at the Boston Ballet. They got tutus for the photo! She is 2nd from left.

It was probably my fault. She only  had a few weeks to go before her class ended  for the summer and she said that her ballet shoes were too tight. Instead of buying a new pair, I just let her use the old pair which made her feet hurt by the end of class. Feet hurting = no dance. That was it. No more ballet for her.

PickyKidPix in tutu

I think this is the first time PickyKidPix has donned a tutu.

I tried with PickyKidPix when she was in preschool too. Being separated from me for her class was a deal breaker. I got a full refund from The Boston Ballet School after she cried the entire first class.

If you have a young ballerina — either girl or boy — this lovely picture book series might be hit at your house! It won’t be at mine so I am giving away all four books AND a pink tutu!

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Hi Lo books for boys

Writing Hi Lo Fiction and Books for Boys

Please welcome my guest blogger, Jim Westcott, an author who writes Hi Lo fiction books for boys.

 

My fifteen years as a Special Education Teacher influenced what I write and for what audience. I write these kinds of books for these two audiences:

  • Hi Interest-Low Vocabulary Books for struggling readers, especially books for boys between 8 and 12
  • High Interest Books for Boys that don’t struggle, but fall into what is known as the Reluctant category

I try my best to have a style that is fast and funny and contains some male-introspection. I should probably mention that my writing doesn’t contain much farting and burping. Read more…

get kids writing with progressive story, teacher gift idea

Get Kids Writing with a Progressive Story

My son’s third grade class came up with the best idea for a teacher gift! A progressive story! Using Google Docs, each child wrote one or two paragraphs of a story about their teacher before passing it on. You needed to read the story before you could add your own, so it was also a nice way to get kids reading their peers’ writing! Genius! Read more…

Happy Tau Day, June 28, Tau Day, 6/28/2014

Happy Tau Day Today: 6.28

Tau is approximately equal to 6.28, so that makes today, 6/28, Tau day! Happy Tau Day.

One easy way to think of Tau Day is just to eat twice as much pie today as you did on Pi Day (March 14).

tau daytau day

But … uhmm, what exactly is Tau?!

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summer reading ideas, what counts as reading

Summer Reading Ideas: What Counts as “Reading”

Please welcome my guest author today, Donna Lasinski of ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program. 

summer reading, caught in the act of reading

What is Reading?

Summer reading is a time honored tradition for adults and children alike.  But what really counts as summer reading?  With my three boys, we can often haggle over what “counts” for their daily reading time.  So, with the benefit of insights from other parents, teachers and researchers, here is what my family has decided “counts”: Read more…

Mr Avila Miss Nelson is Back video

Mr. Avila’s Kindergarteners Act Out Miss Nelson is Back!

Last year, Mr. Avina’s kindergarte class from Los Angles United School District acted out Miss Nelson is Missing. It was adorable!

Do you know about the Miss Nelson picture book series? I had a copy but didn’t really read it until my babysitter, Kate, said that it was her favorite book of all time as a child. Read more…

Plimoth Plantation Native Americans

Plimoth Plantation: Learning About Native Americans

I went for the first time to Plimoth Plantation as a chaperone for my son’s third grade field trip. I somehow managed to avoid it for my girls. It was really a great trip and the kids were very well prepared. My son said that he preferred learning about the Native American (and Wampanoags specifically) over the Pilgrim story.

Plimoth Plantation Native Americans, three sisters

The Three Sisters: Corn, Squash and Beans. They are planted together and each helps the other to grow. Read more…

healthy essentials from johnson & johnson

Healthy Essentials for Summer Play

My son’s elementary school spent the whole year fundraising in order to build a new playground because the old one was nearing the end of its life.

new peirce elementary school playground in newton ma

The new playground is wonderful and just opened this past week. PickyPidPix, now in middle school, came to the playround opening with her friend right after soccer practice.

Healthy Essentials, new mobius playground structure is tricky Read more…

reading and imagining exercises for kids

Reading and Imagining Writing Exercise For Kids

My guest blogger today is Jeffrey Pfaum, an inner-city schoolteacher, who is sharing his creative ideas for reading, writing, imaginning and drawing exercises.

 

Reading-and-Imagining Writing Exercise

You can develop the imagination with simple exercises, where the mind changes words into pictures. Ask your child to close her eyes and picture—or visualize—words in her mind. For example, have her read the word dog, and say:

  • “Picture the word ‘dog’ in your mind.”
  • “What are you looking at?”
  • What picture(s) do you imagine?”
  • “Describe the mind-picture(s).”
  • Draw or pencil-sketch what you imagine.”
  • “What thoughts, feelings, and experiences are triggered by the mind-picture(s)?”

Read more…