All posts in 5) Middle School

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ABCs of Graphic Novels, A through E

Why Graphic Novels are Great for Reading!

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Graphic novels give the brain more of a workout per sentence than any other type of media, including conventional books. 

School Library Journal

I recently discovered graphic novels from my 8-year-old son who loves them. Together, we’ve been haunting the graphic novel section of the library. I had no idea there were so many great graphic novels for young readers, including books for girls! I’m excited to be joining a group of great educational bloggers on an ABC series of posts. Mine will be on graphic novels but everyone has a different topic. Please check out the great posts. I have the list below. Read more…

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Open Ended Christmas Ornament Crafts for Kids

Homemade One-of-A-Kind Christmas Ornaments

When it comes to crafts, my kids and I are bad at cranking out duplicates of anything. We are easily bored and not good an creating a manufacturing process to maximize uniformity or quantity.

I think that is ok. Our first homemade Christmas ornament came out of serendipity. Someone (his sister?) tried to play my eight-year-old son’s guitar using a pencil as a bow. As a result, the strings were damaged and his guitar teacher has to replace them.

Guitar String Wreath Ornament. The old strings with their slightly springy action seemed to beg to become a wreath.  My son added a tag and voila! Our first homemade DIY Christmas tree ornament. Wire would work as well.

Read more…

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25 CHRISTmaths True/False Questions for Kids

A Christmas Math-y Advent Calendar for Kids

My Pinterest friend MathPlus from Singapore came up with this fun true/false question count down to Christmas. Think of this as a math-y Advent calendar. The answers are below.  Read more…

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Physics of Roller Coasters for Kids

Roller Coaster Physics for Kids is Fun!

I wish I had been introduced to physics at a young age in a way that made it fun. I learned physics, painfully, in high school and struggled through pre-med physics in college. I never got an intuitive sense of physics and my impression was that it was a formula to be memorized and calculated. Read more…

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Gift Guide: Stuffing Stockings for Dad, Mom and Kids

Stocking Stuffers for Kids, Dads and Moms

Is the stocking the first thing your kids tear into? It is for us! We have a rule that everyone gets to open one present the night before Christmas. Then, on Christmas day, we open presents together which means waiting for the last person to wake up, usually me because I am not a morning person.  Read more…

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Autumn Leaf Art Project for Kids: STEAM Project!

Autumn Leaves Art Project for Kids

The gorgeous New England leaves inspired this easy and colorful art project for kids.

Because the actual leaves I found don’t have the same range of colors on the trees, I thought it would be fun to just outline a leaf.  I provide several shapes as suggestions but the actual leaf can be a simple oval.   Read more…

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Gift Guide: Best Blocks for Creative Play

Best Blocks for Kids

I am partial to these plain heavy-duty wooden blocks from Community Playthings that look like the Amish made them. Our Coop preschool had many, many sets of them in each classroom and the kids had endless fun with them. Come to think of it, I think every preschool we attended had some version of these blocks; they seem like they’d last forever. Read more…

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Gift Guide: Best Toys for Arty Kids

Best Toys for Artistic Kids (and Adults)

My oldest, nearly 13-years-old, is a creative, arty kid who wants to go to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). She decided this when she turned ten after visiting the RISD museum. I think it was the gift store that did it for her; all the items are created by students, alumni or professors. It really blew her away and we ended up buying a small pile of gifts. Read more…

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Gift Guide: Best Math and Science Toys (New Additions!)

Best Science and Math (STEM) Toys

Science oriented kids need two things: to ask questions and to find answers. These toys let kids do both in the guise of games or experiments. Science in school is often too memorization-oriented and I think letting kids get their hands dirty is crucial to making science interesting, particularly for girls. Read more…