PBS Kids and DK Publishing Focus on School Readiness

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  While the school year may be coming to an end, parents know that learning needs to continue through the summer months to make the transition back to school all the smoother come fall. I know that the summer slide is something that many parents are concerned with!  Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. (Source: Scholastic.com).   PBS KIDS and DK Publishing have joined forces to release three new games and books focused on school readiness. Together, PBS KIDS and DK Publishing incorporate everyday items into these educational products to make the learning experience more realistic and relatable for kids. New products include:   “Get Ready For School Games: Color Match” is designed for kids to practice key skills of recognizing colors, matching colors, and more. “Get Ready For School … [Read more...]

Get Your School Involved During National Young Readers Week November 11-15th

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  Next week is National Young Readers Week from November 11-15th.  Anything that supports a love of reading is always a good thing in my book. What I found intriguing about this week was that it was started by the President of Pizza Hut with the help of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress back in 1989.  The Book It website  states that the reason the President created National Young Readers Week was because his young son was having reading difficulties and was finding it difficult to get through his reading homework.  Boy can I relate to that!  We are experiencing this with our first grader and she is having some problems with phonics.  My husband and I both had some issues when we were in first and second grade as well so I guess it can run in families!  We are in the process of helping her get to where she needs to be so she doesn't get too frustrated. If you … [Read more...]

Nature Craft Ideas for Kids

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One of our family's favorite activity to do on the weekends is to go on nature walks.  We are lucky that we live so close to several parks and a bird sanctuary so we don't need to get in the car but just put on our walking shoes and head out the door.  And our new puppy is very happy to participate in these walks as well!  We usually bring back some bits of nature from our walks (one time my daughter and I brought back some poison ivy on our legs and hands - yikes!) and we love to display them on our tabletop or mantle for the week.  Below are some really fun ideas to do with the kids.  Some of the nature crafts include lesson plans on finding symmetry in nature and one even teaches kids about investigating autumn leaf chromatography!  I love all of these ideas and plan to try out a couple this Sunday afternoon!  Enjoy!           Wooden … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Cyndie Sebourn Talks About the September Silence

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    Back to School!  I keep hearing jokes about the sounds of September – for moms that is.  Those sounds will include laying out the clothes your children want to wear the next day, packing lunch boxes or giving lunch money, waiting for the bus or car pool pickups, and then…silence.  HEAVENLY, PEACEFUL SILENCE!  Don’t moms just love this?   I never had that silence.  As an educator for twenty-five years, my Septembers consisted of laying out my sons’ clothes and mine, packing their lunches and mine, and driving us all to school.  No HEAVENLY, PEACEFUL SILENCE.  In fact, I can add in the ringing of bells, the learning of new students’ names, assigning seats, and most of all always being aware that I must first have their respect and then show them my love: the keys to a successful teacher.   For the mothers who have the September Silence, I have some … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Developer Mindshapes

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Mindshapes One of my favorite things about being in this industry is seeing innovative companies and individuals use technology to make learning fun.  Mindshapes is one of these companies who is on the forefront of creating educational apps and pioneering the development of multi-platform, interactive educational games for children and adults.   Mindshapes launched in 2010 and they have 9 educational apps for kids. These include Meteor Math, The Opposites, Jellytoons and Tap a Tune.  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/meteor-math/id458612541?mt=8  In May, Mindshapes launched Magic Town, which is  home to over 70 popular picture book stories including Winnie the Witch, Little Princess, Aliens Love Underpants and a personal favorite: Elmer.  By the years end they plan to have a total of 200 stories which would make them the leading publisher of popular interactive picture books.   Magic … [Read more...]