All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

DIY Math Games Invented by Kids (2nd-5th grade)

Math Fact Games for Kids Invented by Kids

I was talking to the Solostream founder; they are the makers of my blog template (I use WP-Sublime) and he was telling me about this game his 8-year-old son made up that is simple to assemble and great for stretching the mind.  It’s actually a number theory game and gets the kids rolling numbers around in their brains by using dice to create little math puzzles.  They give this game to their teachers as an end-of-the-year gift.  It’s wonderful in that it combines adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and exponents into a fun and easily portable game.  It would be perfect to carry around and break out while you wait for your meal to arrive at a restaurant!  His son carries the 5 dice in his pocket at all times!
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Because of Winn Dixie, book club for kids, 4th grade book club, 3rd grade book club

3rd Grade Book Club with Science Activity

Book Club for Kids: Because of Winn Dixie

Did I ever mention that if I were to choose one book as my favorite children’s book, this would be it? Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo was also a major driver in starting my blog. (Read this to my oldest when she was in 2nd grade, then handed her The Tiger Rising by same author when she was in 3rd grade. Oops. That one was too depressing!) Read more…

Percy Jackson and The Olympians, http://PragmaticMom.com, Rick Riordan

Best Boy Characters in Books (You’d Let Your Child Date)

Best Boys in Books to Fall in Love With

I need your help here.  Please suggest any boy characters in children’s literature or young adult books that you’d like your daughter to date. Heck, you might want to date them yourself, either as your younger self or even now.  That’s the nice thing about these boys — they are frozen in time but we can age them up as we please.  Please comment with your suggestions and let’s grow this list! This list can also be seen as a testament to authors who create characters so real, deep, and nuanced that we fall in love with them, if not for ourselves, then for our children.  And I can safely say that no one else is consumed with creating this kind of list! Read more…

3rd grade chapter books

Top 5: Using Electronic Devices to Get Kids Reading

Getting Kids to Read by Using Screens

There are extensive and excellent posts on how to get reluctant readers to read with scores of great ideas including graphic novels, books on tape, shared reading, and the like. When The Reading Corner, a blog for Reading Horizons’ “At Home” division, as me to guest post for them, I had to rack my brain to come up with ideas to get reluctant readers excited without duplicating the excellent posts already on their blog. Read more…

Appealing Non Fiction Book: 100 Most Disgusting Things on Planet (ages 4-12)

Non-Fiction for Reluctant Boy Readers

100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet: Prepare for the Worst by Anna Claybourne is a book that delights those with a fascination for grossness that occurs in nature. But this book is also a clever guise to get reluctant readers reading and readers of all ages engaged in life science non-fiction.  This book gives equal weight to Disgusting Nature as to Disgusting Humans delving into  interesting creatures as  poo-covered beetles, Surinan toads that hatch their young below a layers of their mother’s skin on their backs to maggot cheese and snot.  Yes, this book is hard to resist! Read more…

African American picture books, Black History Month, picture books Black History Month,

Top 10: Best African-American Picture Books (ages 4-12)

African-American History Through Picture Books

This Top 10 list of African-American Picture Books is different for me, because rather than list the books from favorite to most favorite as I usually do, I chose instead to list the books in historical chronology such that each book touches on a significant period or event of African-American history in the United States.  If you read all 10 (and please use your library for this!), you and your child will get a sense of history through picture books.  Because each picture books tells its own powerful story, I am hoping you and your child will get images and vignettes that will linger in your mind. Read more…

mythology, national mythology exam, national mythology examination, D'Aulaires

The National Mythology Exam: Take the Exam or Just Learn Yourself

Mythology for Kids: The National Mythology Exam

I sent in the exam yesterday. My daughter had 40 minutes to complete the first section which consisted of 40 multiple choice questions. It didn’t take that long. What will be interesting is to see how she does because she loves, loves, loves mythology but she did not have the right books to prepare for this examination nor the desire to study. And why should she? This was just for fun. If she gets a certificate or not, either way, it’s no big deal. Truly, the certificate would have eventually ended up in the trash anyway. I did buy TODAY (so too late for the party!) all the books on the list except for D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. Read more…

SAT Vocabulary Words for Kindergarteners from Caps for Sale

SAT Vocabulary Words in Picture Books for Kindergarten

My son’s Kindergarten teacher is really up on the latest ideas on early childhood education. She believes in big words for little people and uses these six new words during daily conversations at school and during activities. We are also encouraged to use them at home and to make a game out using them. So I asked my 6-year-old son what “ordinary” means and he gave me this long-winded story about how from one day to the next, the books in the bookshelves of an “ordinary” day would not be disturbed. I think the smile/laugh value of hearing kids relate these words to their every day lives is well worth this exercise. I think the same of my son’s karate class — it’s like an episode of Saturday Night Live, only actually funny.

These words came from Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, one of my favorite old-fashioned picture books!! Read more…

Our favorite Pokemon Books for playing Pokemon Go

Top 10: Pokémon Books for Kids

Best Pokémon Books for Kids

My five-year-old son has been obsessed with Pokémon for over a year now.  He wanted to be a Pokémon master when he was four but now he realizes that there are no wild Pokémon to catch where we live and we won’t allow him to wander the earth unsupervised.  That was a sad day for everyone!  Still, he continues to love Pokémon and memorizes a large database of factoids on Pokémon.  

I suppose while there will never be a need to recall this information on a standardized test, it’s not so different from learning a database of factoids of information on something more educational like dinosaurs.  So until he learns to read his Pokémon books on his own, I am getting my master’s degree in Pokémon.  But since I seem to lose every Pokémon battle, I don’t expect to graduate.

For those seeking a book form of the Pokédex, try Pokémon:  The Complete Pokemon Pocket Guide, Boxed Set, $16.99.

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