Debbie Reese, Pre-Eminent Scholar, Picks Best Native American Picture Books
I am so excited to find these books lists by pre-eminent Native American Children’s Literature scholar, Debbie Reese. This is the first list for picture books and I will add the ones for Middle School and High School soon. She has a wonderful website, American Indians in Children’s Literature. Her bio: Read more…
More Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
What happens when you cross a crazy popular early chapter book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with an Asian kid? You get Alvin Ho, who is hilarious and allergic to just about everything in the world, or so he thinks, including:
- natural disasters
- birthday parties
- science projects
- man-made catastrophes
- other scary things Read more…
Best Math Apps for Kids
I found this list of math apps from TouchReviews.net and I was surprised that I didn’t recognize any of these math apps! You know me, I love math apps and I thought I hunted them all down but them seem to be coming out of the woodwork in great droves. Perhaps this is the tip of the iceberg? No matter! Math apps, if your children will play them, are a match made in heaven by combining “fun” with “math.” How great is that? When I feel like I know enough great math apps, I promise to create a Top 10: Best Math Apps list of my own. For now, I’m still searching. Read more…
Free Math Facts Website for Kids
Someone suggested this site to me, MathABC: Free Online Math Practice for Grades 1-6. Mark Sanders, the founder, says that he is in the process of adding hundreds more exercises but I have to say that what is up now is pretty great! And did I mention that it’s FREE?!! Some of the problems are fill in the blank and some are multiple choice. The layout is very simple and easy to use. It’s great for children! Read more…
What Parents Need to do at Home for their Kids
This is from my Kindergartener’s teacher:
- show interest in school activities
- contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns
- praise your child often
- read to your child everyday
- let your child see you read Read more…
Fun Math Picture Book for Kids
I saw this book during Curriculum Night at my elementary school in my 3rd grader’s classroom. I flipped though it and then bought my own copy because Jon Scieszka of Henry P. Baloney is one of my son’s favorite authors (and mine too!) and Lane Smith is a really talented illustrator. I first noticed Lane’s work on the unfinished script of Dr. Seuss’s last book, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, and he did an amazing job of combining Dr. Seuss’s sketches with his own illustrations. Also, anyone entrusted with Dr. Seuss’s last, unpublished work must have been carefully selected! Read more…
Picture Books that Build Vocabulary for Kindergarten
I know that some moms think that this is a terrible idea, but I am finding that my Kindergartener loves big words and his teacher sends a list of vocabulary words home each week that is created by our school’s literacy specialist. We just read the word and the sentence at the dinner table (for the benefit of the two older kids), and let our youngest tell us what he thinks the word means. It’s actually a cute and fun exercise and he’s surprisingly correct most of the time. Try it. Your older kids will be DYING to give the answer. And that doesn’t suck!
My Kindergarten Teacher sent this home to help us encourage our children to write at home. Learning to write goes lock step with learning to read she says. I’ve added a few more ideas.
Here’s some great ideas from her:
- Keep pen and paper by the phone.
- Ask your younger child to write down the name and phone number of the person who called.
- Ask an older child to take a message
- Have your child create lists or help you create lists for things like: groceries, things to pack for a trip or sleep over, guests for your birthday party, what I need to do each day before going to bed.
- When you child gets home from school, create a To Do list and cross off as each task is completed. Maybe there is a reward system for completed lists even!
Lunch Box Notes
- Include a note in your child’s lunch box. Kids love getting notes from their parents!
- Your lunch box note can include what will happen after school as a reminder.
Postcards and Letters
- Buy postcards either from your town or city or when you travel. Have your child send postcards to his or her friends while on a trip as well as to relatives.
- You can send postcards from home as well!
- Each week, choose someone to write to. This gets more exciting as your child receives letters and postcards back.
- Pen pals are always fun, especially from other countries where you can exchange little gifts.
- Leave messages in a conspicuous place for older kids to read.
- Leave reminders for appointments or for activities.
- Messages can also be routine: Hi from Mom and Dad or Did you remember to practice piano today?
- You can write up the play date schedule. Wednesday, Suzy is coming over for a play date.
Assistance on the Computer
- Ask your child to write down his question to you. i.e. “How do you spell Bakugan/Webkinz/Pokemon/Nick Jr./PBS Kids?”
- Write down the answer and let him or her type it into the computer browser.
- Give your child blank notebooks or journals to fill up with words and pictures.
- Encourage your child to write a story. Then decorate with drawings or stickers. Keep these books with your real books and make a big deal about them when you read them.
White Boards/Windows and other fun surfaces
- Let your child use white boards (portable or otherwise) to write notes and/or draw.
- The windows in your house work as white boards if you use erasable markers. Let them write their schedule, lists or even spelling words for a fun surface.
- If there is a old surface for a kid’s art table, turn it into a white board with special white board paint. Click on the image of the white board paint to check it out at Amazon.
Most Important: BE A ROLE MODEL!
Best Hispanic Books for Kids
Hispanic Heritage Month now during the month of September so I am barely squeaking out this list in time to celebrate Latino/Latina and Hispanic culture with children’s literature. Por favor, disfrutar de. (I think I said please enjoy!).
What are your favorite books to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Please share! Read more…