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Literacy and Technology with LeVar Burton and @NGKids #NGKInsider

Literacy and Technology with LeVar Burton and @NGKids #NGKInsider

National Geographic Kids got me and some of my fellow “National Geographic Kids Insiders” on the phone with LeVar Burton (of Reading Rainbow, Star Trek, and many other initiatives and projects) to talk about literacy and technology. Before heading over to our chat, LeVar Burton was taking pictures of the National Geographic Beehive for the Great Nature Project–can’t wait to see his photos! When he arrived, he was charmingly enthusiastic to have bumped into Oceanographer and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Literacy, Technology

Cloudy Days

Cloudy Days

Today was a great mix of weather. Some rain, thunder and lightening, as well as periods of sunshine.  We used the wonderful array of clouds in the sky to do a fun lesson on the types of clouds. (excuse the power lines in the pic)   Materials: blue construction paper cotton glue Procedure: 1. First I sat down at the computer with the kids to show my kids a very short video on how clouds are formed. We liked this one as … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Art, Featured, Literacy, Science, Subject Matter

8 Tips for Improving Reading Fluency for Emergent Readers

8 Tips for Improving Reading Fluency for Emergent Readers

My daughter loves reading but was bored by the early readers at school. She wanted to move up to higher levels with more interesting text. Her teacher sent home a note that she needs to improve her reading fluency in order to go to the next level. By working with my daughter at home to improve her reading fluency, I found a few tips that help emergent readers read more fluently: (This is my son, not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Literacy

Random House Read & Play Community Launch Party!

Random House Read & Play Community Launch Party!

Random House wants to build a community of readers and you are invited! The Launch Party Live Chat is April 11 at 9:00 PM EST and I hope you will join me and the other community leaders, moms, educators, and Random House representatives, to discuss year long and life long learning! If you have questions, tips, or concerns, about literacy, summer reading lists, book recommendations, special events and holidays, or more, here’s your opportunity to connect with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Literacy

A Hat for the Cat

A Hat for the Cat

We made a Cat in the Hat craft last year and wanted to try a new approach this year. With Dr. Seuss’s birthday approaching, it seemed like a great time to try! Materials: white poster board (oak tag) painter’s tape red paint paper plate scissors tape stapler Directions: 1. Measure your poster board and create stripes 1.5-2 inches wide. 2. Use painter’s tape to mark off the stripes and paint the exposed poster board red. My son also made one but he was feeling sick that day … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Literacy

Bee My Valentine Pencil Topper and Magnet

Bee My Valentine Pencil Topper and Magnet

I love Valentine’s Day for little kids–everyone gets a little token of affection and extra hugs! In a few years when the holiday is fraught with emotional angst, I’m sure I will change my tune. Until then, we really enjoy this day when my daughter gets to indulge her love of all things glittery and pink and my little boy has an excuse to kiss everyone he loves–not that he needs one! “Bee My Valentine” was … 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), Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Interpersonal, Literacy

How to Make a Flower Fairy

How to Make a Flower Fairy

We made these Flower Fairies in early summer but I am just getting around to posting them.  In the fall, we will make them with leaves. We had been wanting to make Flower Fairies for some time and I was inspired to finally give it a go when I saw these forest fairies at A New Bohemia during the Smart Summer Challenge. Materials: 1 wooden bead artificial flowers 2 chenille stems 1 metallic chenille stem embroidery floss or yarn glue dots or hot … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), Featured, Home Arts, Literacy, Spring, Summer

How Can Fiction Inspire Middle Grade Readers? Join Author John Bemis for a Live Chat

How Can Fiction Inspire Middle Grade Readers? Join Author John Bemis for a Live Chat

When I taught history in the classroom, I found that a handful of students came with a deep background level of knowledge of certain eras. Usually, they gained this information from reading historical fiction. The fiction narrative captivated them while the history lent meaning and realism to the text. I was very excited recently when I heard from Random House about the books by John Bemis. Bemis blends historical fiction with the stuff of legend to … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), History and Culture, Literacy

How Are You Making the Most of Your Summer? #readandplay

How Are You Making the Most of Your Summer? #readandplay

I cannot believe that July is almost over!I love the slower pace of summer and the opportunity to find lots of fun learning opportunities for my family. With the heat wave, we’ve gotten creative trying to beat the heat.  We have to watch our budget, though, so frugal entertainment is always a big plus! How are you enjoying your summer so far? Have you been checking items off your bucket list or wondering where all the time … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Literacy

Apple Blossom to Zinnia: 3 Flower Alphabet Picture Books

Apple Blossom to Zinnia: 3 Flower Alphabet Picture Books

Flowers are such a lovely part of spring and summer. We’ve planted, pressed, dissected, drawn, and studied these beautiful blossoms and are ready, soon, to move onto pollinators. To enrich our knowledge base of flower types, we borrowed some alphabet books featuring flowers. Flower Alphabet Picture Books The Flower Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books): We own a number of Pallotta’s alphabet books and this one does not disappoint. The marginalia illustrate interesting facts about each … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), Ecology, Featured, Literacy, Smart Summer Challenge, Spring, Summer