All posts in 5) Middle School

best science apps for kids, best science apps, best apps for kids, best kid science apps

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

Best Apps with Science Concepts for Kids

I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart. Since my recollection of Organic Chemistry is quite scant, I really appreciate how I don’t actually have to do much except show my kids where the content is located to get them to read up on the elements. Read more…

Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins, book 2 of the hunger games, http://PragmaticMom.com, PragmaticMom

Top 10: Best Young Adult Books

Best Books for Teens: YA Books

When I was at KidLitCon 2010 (a blogging conference for those who are passionate about children’s literature thus including children’s librarians, teachers, moms –ok, I was the sole mom blogger, authors and publishing houses) a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that most of  the authors there were either MG (Middle Grade) or YA (Young Adult).  After hearing so much news on  the death of picture books, I thought to myself, ” Isn’t this strange how picture books sales are plummeting but Young Adult books are on the rise?”  So when waiting in the long lunch line, I asked those around me who turned out to all be Young Adult authors why this was the case.  The answer:  adults.  Adults are reading YA books on droves.  Think Twilight series. Read more…

middle school, reading, boys and reading, the middle school reader, reading strategies

The Middle School Reluctant Reader

Middle School Kids Who Hate to Read and What to Do

This is from a really great group blog of middle grade authors called From the Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors:

“In her article “Choosing Not To Read” Kylene Beers, Professor of Reading at the University of Houston breaks reluctant readers into four distinct groups: Dormant Readers, Uncommitted Readers, Unmotivated Readers and Unskilled Readers and contrasts them with the Avid Reader.  Let’s take a look at these five groups of readers. Read more…

Chinese, Chinese Words, writing Chinese words, learning Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Chinese culture and language for kids

Learn Chinese Words and Culture Through Books for Kids

Learn Chinese Words Through Books for Kids

I was really blown away by this advanced picture book by Caldecott winning illustrator and author Ed Young. I had no idea he was Chinese but even more than that, I didn’t expect a picture book to cover a vast story about his own life surviving the Chinese war with Japan. Read more…

reading, reading strategies, getting kids to read, boys and reading, reluctant readers, You Read to Me and I'll Read to You, shared reading

From Reluctant Reader to Voracious Reader: What Worked for Me

Turning a Reluctant Readers into a Voracious Reader

(Article first published as From Reluctant Reader to Voracious Reader on Technorati and Imagination Soup.)

Can the elimination of book store chain affect middle school literacy? Sadly, yes. The closing of Borders, according to a recent report by media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information will stunt the children’s and young adult publishing market in the U.S.as the industry adjusts to a smaller book retailing footprint. This is because, “On a whole, the children’s/YA market still depends on print books — and a complicated connection between the publisher and the increasingly hard-to-reach reader. Read more…

best books for 6th grade, favorite six grade books,

Favorite Books for 6th Grade from 6th Graders

Best Books for 6th Grade by Ninety 6th Grade Students

I was my daughter’s middle school visiting day when I chanced upon a wall of “first day get to know you” papers. There were the usual questions like “favorite color” and “what elementary school did you attend?” but I honed in on “favorite book.” Most of these sixth graders had a favorite chapter book but a few did not which made me sad. Read more…

YA, young adult, best books for teens, best books for tweens, inside out and back again

Best Young Adult Books for Teens

Best YA Books for Teens

What are the National Book Awards?

On March 16, 1950, publishers, editors, writers, and critics gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City to celebrate the first annual National Book Awards, an award given to writers by writers. The American Book Publisher’s Council, The Book Manufacturers’ Institute, and The American Booksellers’ Association jointly sponsored the Awards, bringing together the American literary community for the first time to honor the year’s best work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. As the Boston Herald reported the following day, “literary history was indeed in the making.” Read more…

James Patterson Middle School Worst Years of My Life reluctant boy readers getting boys to read PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom

How to Get Your Kid to be a Fanatic Reader

Nurturing a Love of Reading in Your Child

Author James Patterson is revered as a god of fantasy adventure at my house. My oldest is a devoted fan and I am now resigned to pre-ordering his books for her. That he writes about reaching the middle school reluctant reader AND provides an amazing list of tempting books is music to my ears.

Authors who reach out to reluctant readers through their work deserve a special place in heaven! Thank you James Patterson! Read more…

40 Most Common Chinese Characters Evolution of Chinese Mandarin Characters PragmaticMom

Learning Mandarin Chinese Words, 40 Most Common Characters

Learn Chinese Words: 40 Easy Characters

This is from my oldest child’s Chinese teacher at school. These are the 40 most common Chinese characters. The chart shows the pronunciation, stroke order, and how the character is used in other, more complicated characters. Try drawing these with a calligraphy brush and a Chinese ink stone. Read more…