All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

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…

Percy Jackson + Chinese Mythology = The Monkey King’s Daughter

Chinese Mythology Action Adventure Book for Kids

I do really like Asian American children’s literature.  It is to be a new but growing genre.  So when I was offered The Monkey King’s Daughter by T. A. DeBonis to review, of course I said yes.  It came in the mail and sat on the kitchen counter for just a couple of hours when my oldest came home from school, saw it, and took it up to her room, intrigued.  The next day, after reading late into the night judging by the difficulty we had in waking her up for school, she said that she loved the book and to please get her the rest of the series. Read more…

How to Train Your Dragon ebook for reluctant readers

How to Train Your Dragon eBook App Woos Readers

Usually I am one to tout the book over the movie, but in the case of How to Train Your Dragon, it is a toss up.  I loved both.  It’s hard to choose because them because they are so different and yet each so well done. Read more…

How To: Support Your Child Academically

A Good Start to the School Year

Whew! The kids are back in school! The first month of school is typically a time to assess and review from last year. What does this mean for math? Assess and review is great except for those kids who: Read more…

getting kids reading

Setting Up Routines at Home

Routines for Reading at Home

School is starting and usually there is a month of adjustment for both teacher and children doing things like assessing each child in a variety of subjects, getting into the rhythm of classroom routines and behavior norms, finding out how each child learns best, making new friends, and reviewing academic material from last year. It’s not a time where new learning is emphasized (except if your child is lucky enough to “loop” with his or her same class from last year in which case it’s business as usual). Read more…

7 Ideas for Social/Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning at School

We start school in two days and my kids are getting a little anxious about it despite being very familiar with their elementary school.  I know it’s normal to be anxious even if the transition seems small.  I came across this great list about Social and Emotional learning and the Start of School and there is great advice for both parents and teachers.  Hey, we are all in this together!  Here’s to a smooth transition to your child’s school year!  Let me know how yours went and if you have any advice on what worked for you. Read more…

Math Ninja iPhone iPad math game, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, best math app

Fun Math App for Kids: Math Ninja

Best Math App for Boys

My five-year-old son has been hogging my iPhone and the family iPad all last week while we were on vacation.  He loaded tons of “free” games which ended up costing us $10 — (my husband: “Does he know how to read ‘free’?”  Me:  “Yes, he reads it as ‘fee.'” Hence the charges!) — and we had to yell at him to turn off the screens.  Except when we noticed he was playing Math Ninja.  True, he’d try to cheat and slyly ask us what 9 + 6 is but we were on to him.  It turns out to be a fun game for all my kids including my 10-year-old and 8-year-0ld, both girls.  And I turned out to be bad at it. Read more…

Ugly Colors board book — edgy but cute!

Ugly Doll Books for Kids

My oldest who is ten-years-old has begged me to review this book which I thought was interesting because she is long past board books. “It’s so cute!” she says. “And funny!” And it is. While it IS a board book for toddlers on colors, it has a sly wit that will appeal to adults who, no doubt, will be reading this book over and over again. Read more…

Best Books for Kids from Australia

2010 Winners:  Australian Children’s Book Council

These are the winners to the Australian Children’s Book Council for 2010 in the categories of Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Book of the Year, and Eve Pownall Award for Information Book of the Year. For a complete list of winners including the books that won an Honorable Mention, please see TrevorCairney’s blog. Read more…