All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

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Science of Weather: 5th Grade Study Guide

Science of Weather Study Guide for 5th Grade

I just saw the Museum of Science of Boston’s presentation on weather for 5th graders today and I remembered how difficult it was for me to help my fifth grader figure out how to study for her weather unit. I spent hours googling weather terminology to help her with flashcards but then, trying to put together all the causal relationships was confusing, even to me. Read more…

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Top 10: Best Children’s Books Featuring Life-Changing Teachers (ages 4-12)

Books for Kids About Teachers Who Change Lives

As we ease into the summer and reflect on the our children’s past school year, it is the teacher who makes the difference between a great year and a mediocre or worse year.  I am sure that I am not alone in sending up prayers to get particular teachers for my kids next year.  This list is an homage to the exceptional teachers everywhere who dedicate their lives to making a difference.  And they absolutely do!  One day, one of their students may even write about their exception teacher as in the case of  a few of the books selected below. Read more…

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Top 10: Picture Books for 5th Grade

Advanced Picture Books That Teach Compassion

I’m starting a new little boy book club for my son and his best friend from when he was 15 months. The issue is that his best friend is a grade older. And his second best friend is two grades older. The moms are game to do a book club but I wanted to make sure the book  selections appeal to boys in grades 1 through 3 without going into chapter book territory. I decided to delve into the world of advanced picture books which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for rich vocabulary and the ability to transport into another culture, time or place. Read more…

Introducing Foreign Languages to Your Kids (Spanish and Chinese)

Easy and Fun Ways to Teach Kids Spanish and Chinese

I  find that learning a foreign language is very similar to dieting.  Changing my family’s lifestyle was key to successfully incorporating foreign language into my children’s hearts and minds.  Like dieting, crash diets (a.k.a. immersion) is wonderful in jump-starting foreign language acquisition however, without proper maintenance, it’s back to square one.  Again like dieting, there are times when I notice that great strides are being made, but there are also discouraging plateaus in which it seems like my children seem to be forgetting large chucks of what they used to know.  Fear not, just like the tortoise and the hare, perseverance will eventually win the race.
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Best Apps to Teach Kids to Keyboard

Best Apps to Teach Kids to Touch Type

My brother-in-law is trying to get his kids to learn keyboarding skills. After surveying what is out there on the market, he picked Typing Instructor Platinum and had this to say after purchasing it and having his two kids try it out: Read more…

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Science of Owls and Bats Through Picture Books

Fun and Easy Science of Owls and Bats for Kids

I just posted on the SAT vocabulary words in the wonderful, classic picture book Stellaluna. My first grader and I read this book the other night, and at the beginning of the book, Stellaluna’s mother is trying to escape from an owl. My son quickly ran to his room to get Owl Babies, another favorite picture book of ours. We talked about the connections: perhaps it was the owl babies’ mother that was trying to catch Stellaluna’s mom as food for them?!! The owl babies also fear that a fox might get their mom. Read more…

Chile: Children’s Books, Nobel Laureate Poets, Art and More

Chile: Culture, Children’s Books and Crafts for Kids

It all started with a post from PaperTigers about Mia’s Story. Having the same name, I had happened upon this book a while ago and was blown away by this picture book story of resilience and hope of a family living in a dump in Chile. While searching for more books, I thought that Pablo Neruda was from Chile and remembered a really great book sent to me by Scholastic a while ago. I though this would win a Newbery Honor that year, but alas, it did not. Still, it introduced me to his poetry meant for common people. Read more…

Cricket In Times Square: Book Club for Kids

Cricket in Times Square Book Club for Kids

I hosted my middle daughter’s book club this past week.  She chose her all-time favorite book by which she judges all other books, Newbery Honor Book, The Cricket in Times Squareby George Selden.  As a second grader, this book was a little hard for her although she won’t admit it, so I gave extra time to her book club friends to read the book.  Most of the kids finished the book and loved it.  Her book club is an active group of little girls, so I had planned two activities, but the winter has been so dreary and long, and the book club day was the nicest day we had in a long time, so the kids ate a snack and did the first activity (both of which took all of 30 minutes) and spent the rest of the time racing around outside. Read more…

Best Non-Fiction Animal Picture Books That Teach Math

Non-Fiction Picture Books with Math Concepts

My 2nd grader bought these books home from her school library yesterday and I pounced on them. Apparently, there were three available, but she was only able to check out two. These books combine a really interesting, behind-the-scenes-at-the-zoo, rescue story about a zoo animal baby and marries it with a mathematical concept. These books are perfect for grades 2-5. Read more…