All posts in 5) Middle School

Your Life in Comics: 100 Things for Guys to Write and Draw, reluctant readers, make your own comic book, $10, http://PragmaticMom.com, PragmaticMom.com, PragmaticMom, Pragmatic Mom

Make Your Own Comic Book, $10

Create Your Own Comic Book

I thought this would make a great holiday or birthday gift for boys who show an interest in graphic novels and/or comic books.  It’s an especially good and sneaky way to draw in reluctant readers and get them reading, writing, and drawing. Read more…

bullying, bully, cyber bully, high school bullying, cnn article, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Study: Half of high school students admit to bullying.

Bullying Prevalent in All Schools

Social media has its evil dark side:  cyber bullying.  It’s caught the attention of the White House and now studies indicate the prevalence of cyber bullying among high school students, but probably middle school age kids as well … it’s just not tracked is this particular set of studies.  There is no distinction between inner city and suburban schools so I also wonder if that skews the results.  An interesting point:  cyber bullying is much less prevalent in private schools.  Why do you suppose that is?  Is it greater involvement of administrators and teachers in students’ social issues?  Is it because they can expel and reject problematic students and therefore the bad eggs all end up in public school? (Where apparently they lead a rampage of bullying both on and off the computer).  What do you think?  Has anyone experienced cyber bullying in their households?  Advice for us?  Thanks! Read more…

the red pyramid, rick riordan, https://pragmaticmom.com, Pragmatic Mom, percy jackson, The pharaoh's secret, Marissa Moss

The Pharaoh’s Secret: Like The Red Pyramid But Better!

More Books Like Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Marissa Moss‘s The Pharaoh’s Secret is a departure from her popular Amelia’s Notebook series but what a great departure it is … along the likes of Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles:  The Red Pyramid, but I actually think this book is better than Riordan’s which surprises even me because I love his work deeply! Read more…

Young Adult Native American books, YA Native American Books, Native American Books YA, Native American Books for teens

Top 10: Best Native American Young Adult Books

 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic MomNative American Books for Teens

This is part 3 of a 3 part series by Debbie Reese, renowned scholar of Native American Children’s Literature.  Part 1 is Top 10:  Best Native American Picture Books.  Part 2 is Top 10:  Native American Middle School Books.

p.s. I updated this list: Top 10 Best First Nations Books for Kids because I had a lot to learn about which books best depict the people of First Nations. Read more…

Top 10: Best Native American Picture Books

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…

Outstanding Children’s Literature like the Newbery!

Best Books for Kids: Carnegie Medal Winners

I had to look up the Carnegie Medal in Literature Award in Wikipedia.  It’s another version of the Newbery with an accompanying award, the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration, aping the Caldecott.  It’s all good to me but surprisingly, there is not a ton of overlap between the Newbery /Carnegie or the Caldecott/Kate Greenaway.  There are plenty of great books out there that deserve awards so please check out this list if you are searching for more great books! Read more…

2011 Newbery Potential Winners from Ex-Newbery Judge, Amanda Stuckmeyer

Predicting Newbery Winners 2011

I am excited about the upcoming Newbery Awards!  Amanda Struckmeyer served on the Newbery Committee that selected Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and her list, I believe, is dead on.  Here’s a link to the post that has her Mock Newbery event.  But more importantly, here’s her list!  Maybe your children will have fun reading these books trying to predict the outcome of this year’s Newbery Award?  If that is not a reasonable option, then just enjoy some newly published quality books.  Check with your library also to see if they are available yet.  If you only want one book suggestion, pundits from KidLitCon 2010 have whispered in my ear about how excellent The Keeper by Kathi Appelt is.  I wonder if Vegas lets you bet on this? Read more…

Favorite Books for Reluctant Readers Grades 3-8

Best Books for Kids Who Don’t Like to Read

At our school’s curriculum night, I always tell parents that my number one goal is to help their child love to read so that he or she will become a life-long reader.  For some students, this goal has already been met — the children come to me with a love of literature.  For others, it is more difficult.  This can be for a multitude of reasons.  Maybe the child is still learning to read and has not built up the reading skill or endurance needed to focus on the content of the book versus the process of reading.  Maybe the child has not found the right kind of books for him or her – maybe they are trying to read books that are too long or that they don’t have the necessary background knowledge for.  Whatever the reason, it is my job to push, challenge and empower those children to become book lovers. Read more…

MathABC, free online math practice, grades 1-6, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmaticmom, Pragmatic Mom, best math blog for elementary school students, best education blog

Free Website for Math Facts Grades 1-6

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…