All posts in 3) Grade K-2

summer math curriculum, summer math workbooks for kids, math summer supplementation, math summer slide

Best Math Workbooks for Home or Summer Supplementation

I find that no matter how good your elementary school is, there is always a need to supplement your child’s math curriculum at home.  For some of my kids, they needed additional challenge that their school was not providing.  For another child, I found that she needed more individualized attention to really “get it.”  All of my kids benefited from additional math fact drills, and home supplementation helped me to understand how my child learns and exactly what each child needed additional practice on. Read more…

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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Preparing for Kindergarten: Activities to Do with Your Child

Getting Kids Ready for Kindergarten

I am getting my 5-year-old ready for kindergarten and I thought this is a great list of fun activities to work into the summer plans.  The activities cover:  fine motor, scissors, sensory, mid-line crossing, developing handwriting skills, ocular motor control, and  eye-hand coordination.  This article is by Loubina Buxamusa, an Occupational Therapist and Ann Mahoney, an Early Childhood Specialist. Read more…

earth day arthur turns green marc brown pragmaticmom pragmatic mom

Celebrating Earth Day with Picture Books

New Picture Books to Celebrate Earth Day

I have a pretty extensive Arthur (the Aardvark, who knew, right?!) collection that my first two kids read obsessively but for some unknown reason, I haven’t read this series with my youngest. I guess it’s because I have them (finally!) all nicely organized on a bookshelf downstairs and there are so many books that once they migrate upstairs they will overtake his room. Read more…

SAT vocabulary words in picture books, picture books to build vocabulary

SAT Vocabulary Words from Picture Book The Scarecrow’s Hat

SAT Vocabulary for Kindergarten

The words for Week 8 are from the picture book, The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown. Lest you be alarmed that it’s freaky to be teaching SAT vocabulary words to Kindergarteners, I wanted to REITERATE that all the words in this series are from a picture book; however, I failed to notice which picture book on earlier posts. This brings me to another point: picture books often have richer language than easy chapter books, not to mention gorgeous art work. I am a HUGE fan of picture books for all ages. How else can one be transported to a different time and place and/or walk in the shoes of another in the short space of 24ish pages? I digress, onward for the words. 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…

Korean-American Picture Book Teaches Multicultural Lesson

Picture Books That Communicate Across Language Barriers

I am just discovering picture book author Soyung Pak. I wanted to interview her so I tried my usual Google sleuthing but she seems to keep a pretty low social media profile. I’ll let you know if I am able to track her down but so far, no such luck.

I love, love, love her book Sumi’s First Day of School Ever which is a lovely and realistic story of the first day at school for a child who doesn’t speak English. And it had a happy ending which is probably not always the case in real life. 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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