I just saw the Museum of Science of Boston’s presentation on weather for 5th graders today and I remembered how difficult it was for me to help my fifth grader figure out how to study for her weather unit. I spent hours googling weather terminology to help her with flashcards but then, trying to put together all the casual relationships was confusing, even to me.
Rana DiOrio’s book tackles all the safety issues that kids face in suburbia. She does it in a calm and gentle way, raising the right points but without any scariness. I like how she touches on listening to your inner voice and standing up to bullies. This is the kind of book that reinforces the messages that we parents give. It allows for dialogue should an issue come up, but it can also just be an easy reminder of how to stay safe. And that’s exactly the message that I want to impart to my kids.
This list is a homage to the exceptional teachers everywhere who dedicate their lives to making a difference. And they absolutely do! One day, one of their students may even write about their exception teacher as in the case for a few of the books selected below.
I’m starting a new little boy book club for my son and his best friend from when he was 15 months. The issue is that his best friend is a grade older. And his second best friend is two grades older. The moms are game to do a book club but I wanted to make sure the book selections appeal to boys in grades 1 through 3 without going into chapter book territory. I decided to delve into the world of advanced chapter books which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for rich vocabulary and the ability to transport into another culture, time or place.
Suggestions of how to incorporate foreign languages into your child’s daily life, especially if your child is studying Spanish or Mandarin Chinese.
I learned how to type the old fashioned way a million years ago: a manual typewriter with the keys all blacked out, and typing exercises on a projected screen in a blackened room. A Q A Z A Q A Z. Yep, I typed that over and over again. Then on to S W S X S W S X and so forth until it was time to type exercises and take timed tests. Not exactly fun but definitely effective. These days no one is learning to keyboard this way. I have searched out the best computer programs, iPhone /iPad apps, and free web games to learn to keyboard (i.e. touch type).
Use picture books Stellaluna, Owl Babies and Owl Moon to explore the relationship between bats and owls. More science links on ecolocation, virtual owl pellet and more included.
As I researched Chile, I found another Nobel winning poet, Gabriela Mistral. Two Nobel poets from one small country?! The souls of Chileans are truly steeped in poetry, optimism and beauty. At least, that is what I conclude after looking at what they can do with horsehair, graffiti and mere words!
I hosted my middle daughter’s book club this past week. She chose her all-time favorite book by which she judges all other books, Newbury Honor Book, The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden. Activity 1: Create a Cricket Habitat with Actual Crickets to Bring Home.