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April 30, 2012

Motivating Readers

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Jeffrey Pflaum has written a book entitled, Motivating Teen and Preteen Readers:  How Teachers and Parents Can Lead the Way.

The book contains over 1,000 diverse, original, fun, creative, absurd, and challenging questions on the subject of reading, that are meant to inspire.

Here are some sample–and interesting questions from the book–

  • Read for fun?  Do you?  Explain.
  • What was the first book you remember reading by  yourself?
  • How is a book an “invitation”?
  • Reading every day quietly changes your world.  Explain.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 25, 2012

8 Reasons Students Should Blog

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

I’ve seen the article 8 Reasons Students Should Blog, written by Michael White on a number of websites and I’d like to share it with you.

A ninth reason might be–blogging can be fun.

And as we all know, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 24, 2012

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

WE BOUGHT A ZOO, is available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download.

In the movie, Benjamin Mee (Damon) is a Los Angeles newspaper columnist and adventure writer who, as a single father, faces the challenges of raising his two young children. Hoping that a fresh start and a new life will restore their family spirit, Mee quits his job and buys an old rural house outside the city with a unique bonus feature: a zoo named the Rosemoor Animal Park, where dozens of animals reside under the care of head zookeeper Kelly Foster (Johansson) and her dedicated team. With no experience, limited time and a shoestring budget, Mee sets out with the support of his family and the local community to reopen the zoo. Now, Benjamin is no longer reporting an adventure story; he’s living it in his own backyard.

Movies are fun, and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 23, 2012

Arts & Scraps

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Arts & Scraps is a Detroit non-profit organization that uses 28 tons of recycled industrial materials to help 275,000 people of all ages and abilities each year think, create and learn.  They have workshops, birthday parties, etc., at their location, or they bring the ScrapMobile/classes directly to their clientele.

What a great combination–recycling, education and art!

I’m not familiar with organizations similar to this in other areas of the country.  Are you?  Please write me (Ann@Homeschool.com) if you know of programs like this one.

I think this is so novel.  And fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 20, 2012

Educational Play

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum has some wonderful resources for educational play.  These include books and websites that have “great ideas to get you thinking and playing with your child”.

Check out The Crafty Crow — lots of fun Spring craft ideas.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 18, 2012

Local Businesses Reaching Out to YOU!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

In our Local Homeschooling section, among the Support Group listings, we have added business listings.  These are companies that want to serve the homeschool community.  They may have special homeschool hours, special discounts, lesson plans, etc.

Companies that have been added in the last few months include Allied National High School, eLearningK12 (national), Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country, Nebraska Prairie Museum, Texas Historical Commission, Kart Ranch (LA), Kumon Math & Reading Centers (TX), Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (MN), Market House Museum (KY), Great Wolf Lodge (VA, NC), Go CadizTrigg County Tourism (KY), Newport Landing (CA), Blue Sky Music/Recording Studio (NY), BrainZone Reading & Tutoring Center, Inc. (CA), Edmond Historical Society & Museum (OK), Pigeon Forge (TN), The Evelyn Burrow Museum at Wallace State Community College (AL), Forecast Farms (VA), The German School Association (MO), Reach For The Stars Tutoring (NY), Youniversity of Music and Arts (PA), and Turn The Page Services (FL).

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 17, 2012

Teachable Moments and WE BOUGHT A ZOO

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Teachable moments occur daily.  At the grocery store, at home, with relatives, while reading books…..even while watching movies.

Our Printables section has the study guide that accompanies the movie WE BOUGHT A ZOO.  The guide explores some of the most important themes raised by the movie. It can be used for personal study, post-movie family conversations and for larger group discussions.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 16, 2012

First Graders Learning Chemistry?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

They do with Adventures of the Elements!

Adventures of the Elements uses a multi-sensory, scientific trading card game, an adventure book series, a colorful periodic table poster, and interactive educational resources to provide effective and efficient science instruction while also incorporating other academic subjects such as history, English and the arts.  The book series is part of the Accelerated Reader program.

It looks like lots of fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 13, 2012

Inference Jones

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

The Inference Jones books improve critical reading and higher-order thinking by developing a student’s ability to draw inferences from written text.

Research shows inferencing is a prerequisite component for superior reading comprehension.  In fact, a study by The National Foundation for Educational Research reports, “the ability to draw inferences predetermines reading skills: that is, poor inferencing causes poor comprehension and not vice versa”.  Inference Jones is developed based on this principle.

Specific categories of inference highlighted in the books include–

  • Coherence Inference–connecting text
  • Elaborative Inference–filling textual gaps
  • Global Inference–thematic or moral
  • On-line Inference–drawn during reading
  • Off-line Inference–drawn after reading

In the Inference Jones books, students are given a paragraph or two to read (a short, interesting story), followed by three sets of questions.  The first set of questions requires a student to distinguish between facts and inferences. The second set of questions requires higher-order thinking to develop reading comprehension skills. The third set of questions requires a student to develop a sense of what is probably true or probably false.  After answering, the student then explains how personal knowledge led to the inference.  Different students make different inferences because they bring different past experiences to each story.

Because of the above, it would be interesting, with a number of students, perhaps in a homeschool co-op class, to discuss differing responses.

Talking about how people from different cultures might answer, how their inferences might vary from our own, would also be of interest.

In addition, the provided paragraphs can be used as writing exercises–allowing your student to continue the story, with maybe two or three alternate endings, depending on different assumptions.  Turning it into a creative writing assignment would also be of value.

Inference Jones books are definitely fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

April 11, 2012

TED-Ed

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

TED has their own Youtube channel for education (TED- Ed).

Their video TED-Ed Lessons Worth Sharing is absolutely inspiring!

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

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