Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 Ways your Child Can Become a Better Reader

10 ways

It is simple: to do something well, practice is necessary. The more your child reads, the better reader he becomes. Thanks to Melissa Taylor at the Imagination Soup blog for this graphic.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Jennifer Berne uses Albert Einstein’s curiosity to take the reader on a journey through his life. Even as a young boy, he was curious about the world around him. A gift of a compass helped him to see that there were hidden mysteries in the world and he wanted to understand them. One day while riding his bike, he looked at the beams of light coming from the sun to the earth. He imagined himself racing through space on a beam of light. Albert began reading about magnetism, gravity, light, sound and numbers. But he still had questions. He keep on reading and wondering and learning.

The illustrator, Vladimir Radunsky, helps to visually illustrate the scientific concepts that Albert was thinking and wondering about: motion, the universe and his famous equation, E=mc2 . Right to the end of his life, Einstein was thinking about and working on questions.  But still there are many questions to be answered; maybe you or your child might become one of the scientists who will answer one of them.

on a beam of light

At the end of the book is more information about Einstein’s life and his thought experiments, as well as a list of more books about Albert Einstein.

Several copies of   On A Beam of Light can be found at the Sonoma County Library. The AR level is 4.5.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thought For Today

The American Library Association is offering a poster by Jarrett Krosoczka featuring The Lunch Lady, superhero in disguise; wise advise.Lunch Lady Poster

Hat Tip: Read Across America

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What is S.T.E.M.?

With the full implementation of the Common Core Curriculum in the 2014-2015 school year, you will be hearing lots more about S.T.E.M. or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as drivers for the economy of the future. Two-thirds of my Schools of Hope students this year want to be scientists. Their interests range from space to oceanography to curing diseases. Most kids are natural scientists; they want to know how things work.  In the coming months, we’ll be looking at a wide range of books, websites and apps that inform kids about S.T.E.M. subjects. Two we have already featured are Why With Nye on the Juno mission to Jupiter and Bedtime Math’s daily math problems for kids of all ages.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thought For Today

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift. – Kate DiCamillo

Hat tip: Imagination Soup

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Juno Mission to Jupiter

It it has been my experience working with elementary grade students that many of them are fascinated by space. Bill Nye (The Science Guy) has a new web series in conjunction with NASA to explain the Juno mission to Jupiter. In an interview on NPR this morning, Bill Nye said that his show was aimed at an audience of ten year olds, as that seemed to work for a wide range of ages. As of today, there are five episodes of Why With Nye with a new one set to air tomorrow. The topics include: the Juno Earth flyby, the super storm on Jupiter and is Jupiter like a piece of the Sun? In two to four minute episodes, Bill Nye uses props and geeky humor to give you the answers. Check it out!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat

Farmer Brown and the cows, chickens  and Duck from Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type are back in a new adventure from Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin: Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat.

Farmer Brown does not like  Halloween. As the night approaches,  he puts a bowl of candy on the porch, closes up the  house and goes to bed. In the barn, a party is just getting started. As the party goers approach the barn, Farmer Brown hears sounds he does not like: crunching, creaking, tapping. Then he hears quack, quack, quackle Quackle? Farmer Brown goes to his door, the candy is gone and there is a note on the door: Halloween Party at the Barn. Angry, he runs to the barn, where he is invited in and awarded “Best Costume”. A book for Halloween that is spooky but not scary.

Click, Clack, Boo


The Sonoma County Library has several copies of Click, Clack, Boo!. The AR level is 2.5. This book has been kid-tested and approved.

Learning to Read

You are reading with your child or one of your students. When he comes to a word he doesn’t know, is sounding it out the best strategy? Not always. Melissa Taylor  offers some Word Attack Strategies on her blog, Imagination Soup. Several of them I have used successfully with my Schools of Hope students. She also has free printable bookmarks listing the strategies. My favorite advise is about giving specific praise rather than a general “good job”. Check it out!