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Naturally Educational » Archive for June 2011

Moving and Grooving to Music Around the World #SmartSummer

Moving and Grooving to Music Around the World #SmartSummer

Music is a big part of our lives. My grandfather was a professional musician and my daughter loves to play piano. And music is a fun way to gain insight into other societies.  As part of my study of history, I delved into how music reflects culture. So, as part of our Me on the Map week, we enjoyed traditional music from around the globe! Pin It Since this (history and culture through the lens of art) is … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Geography, History and Culture, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater, Smart Summer Challenge, Sound

Are You Ready for Summer Reading Fun?

Are You Ready for Summer Reading Fun?

I am over-the-moon to announce that I have accepted a position as one of the community leaders at the brand new Random House Read & Play Summer Fun Community at BlogFrog. I hope you will join us at the official Launch Party is Thursday, June 30, 9-10 pm EST–just bookmark this thread and the launch party will go live at 9pm! Keep reading because I am going to tell you about some of the exciting PRIZES you … Read entire article »

Filed under: Educational Blogs, Giveaways, Literacy

Mapping Your Neighborhood for #SmartSummer

Mapping Your Neighborhood for #SmartSummer

Now that we’ve learned a little bit about maps, we are using maps to find our favorite places in our neighborhood. In advance, I printed out maps of our immediate area on Google Maps. Today, I asked both of my children what their favorite place in the neighborhood is. My son (who will be three at the end of August) responded with the name of the local homemade ice cream store. Then, he started scribbling … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Geography, Logical-Mathematical, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Picture Books About Maps

Picture Books About Maps

We usually turn to books for research and to reinforce themes. Since the children are already familiar with maps from our travels and nature hikes, we are ready to delve deeper into cartography and study up on maps. Here are a few picture books we’ve found that work well with our study of maps. What are your favorites? Pin It As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps: This is a clever introduction to the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Geography, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Life-Sized Self Portrait

Life-Sized Self Portrait

Pin It As we begin the Smart Summer Challenge, or any learning adventure, it is important to start with your child “where she is at”. Learning sticks better when children are able to relate knowledge to their own experiences.  This is the “Velcro” theory–new information hooks onto a foundation of earlier observations. One area in which we all have expertise is ourselves. So, a self-portrait is great place to begin a summer of learning. We decided to do … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Art, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Me on the Map – Smart Summer Challenge Week 1 #SmartSummer

Me on the Map – Smart Summer Challenge Week 1 #SmartSummer

The first Smart Summer Challenge theme is “Me on the Map”! Pin It What is the Smart Summer Challenge? Amy of teachmama.com, MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama, and I are challenging our community to beat the “summer slide” (the learning loss that can happen over the summer). Starting MONDAY, June 27, we’ll be posting our activities daily, loosely following this calendar of educational summer ideas, and hosting a weekly linky (with PRIZES) for other bloggers to share … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Geography, History and Culture, Smart Summer Challenge

5 Picture Books About Summer

5 Picture Books About Summer

Pin It Summer Beat, by Betsy Franco, explores the rhythms of summer in onomatopoeic verse.  The kids really related to the breezy feeling of summer freedom. The sound words are fun for my beginning reader and my son loves the fireworks display at the end! Pin It Summer Is Summer, by Phillis and David Gershator, follows a group of multicultural friends as they enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations of summer. The simple, spare text … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science, Summer, Weather

Let the Sun Shine In!

Let the Sun Shine In!

The solstice was yesterday but traditionally Midsummer was celebrated on June 24 and we’re spending the whole week welcoming the summer. Pin It We made a hand print sun for our window.  I have this great paper that is thicker than tissue paper but more translucent than construction paper.  We love it because it is thin enough to glow in our windows but sturdy enough to survive toddler and preschooler handling. This is a simple way to welcome … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), Featured, Science, Summer, Weather

Weaving the Sun

Weaving the Sun

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. We have the most hours of sunlight and the fewest of darkness. Today marks the first day of summer for the Western calendar. For ancient people, this was midsummer (as in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and St. John’s Day and was celebrated on June 24th. Summer began on May Day. Today we welcome the sun as our hemisphere tilts … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Science, Summer, Visual-Spacial, Weather

Fight the Summer Slide with the Smart Summer Challenge!

Fight the Summer Slide with the Smart Summer Challenge!

Pin It School’s out for summer! Whether your kids are in public school, private school, or homeschool, chances are they are looking forward to a summer break. And you may be, too: no more racing back and forth between activities, staying up to finish assignments, or studying for exams. But what about the “Summer Slide”? Before you “veg out” for the summer, consider this: the average student may lose up to two months’ worth of learning over … Read entire article »

Filed under: Smart Summer Challenge