Tuesday, May 31, 2011

sneak peek

Here are a few of the illustrations for the book I'm working on.  It's an inspirational tale of a boring, ugly, ordinary fish who finds out he's not so ordinary after all.  Based on a socio-emotional curriculum for early childhood.  Coming soon!

i'm addicted...

...to Motion Math.  If you have an iphone or an ipad you know how addictive mobile games can be.  Angry Birds, anyone?  Why not use the allure of mobile games to help kids with math?  Kids like to play games.  They're going to play games.  Period.  Let's give them games that help them in school and make learning fun.  If your kids/students are struggling with fractions, instead of piling on extra worksheets (read: super boring, lead to burn-out), let them spend some time playing Motion Math.

Here's how it works:  "Motion Math helps learners perceive and estimate many important representations — numerator over denominator (1/2), percents (50%), decimals (.5), and even pie charts! By connecting each type with its distance on the number line, learners can develop a fast, accurate perception of fractions." --quote from the company's website

The game was developed by people with good intentions and is based on solid research.  Check it out.

Friday, May 27, 2011

the future of learning? i hope so.

David Kelly talks about the evolution of education and the potential for more individualized learning with the use of technology.

And here is an EXCELLENT blog on the evolution of education: http://mindshift.kqed.org/

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

let's raise kids to be entrepreneurs

I'm with this guy.  Mostly.  Check out Cameron Herold's lecture on raising entrepreneurs.  He has some good ideas to keep kids creative and give them the tools for success.  Maybe some of the qualities in your children/students that you're trying to squash are actually their greatest assets.  Let's look for the signs of entrepreneurship and nurture the interests and skills of children.  Who knows what they might accomplish with a little support!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

you know how great your kids are. do they?

I have been a busy bee lately, I apologize for the lack of posts!  This one will make up for lost time.  I hope.  I was reminded of something invaluable during the San Francisco International Film Festival, and it was all thanks to one little 5 minute puppet show called Jillian Dillon.  In the charming short film by Yvette Edery,  a hippoplatypus named Jillian Dillon saves the day, "transforming her 'flaws' into the powers that resolve conflict and drama in her town, proving that a Hippoplatypus is indeed, a good thing to be." --IMDB

As parents and educators, there are a zillion things to think about...we want to make sure kids are learning their math skills, their handwriting is legible, their reading comprehension is up to par, they're eating right, taking their multivitamins, getting exercise, having fun, treating others with respect,  and so on and so forth.  But there is one thing that trumps all...we need to make sure kids love themselves.  They need to treat themselves with respect and be confident in who they are.  You can send your kids to the best school in town and sign them up for every extracurricular activity out there, but if they aren't confident in themselves, they will have a hard time translating all of the skills they've learned into success.

We don't want a bunch of arrogant monsters running around, but we do want strong, assertive children with plenty of self-respect.  There are tons of children's books and programs for building self-love in kids.  They can be valuable resources.  You can start with these books, recommended by Geek Dad.   It is also essential to be a model self-confidence for your children.  Show them what it means to love yourself, respect yourself, and be confident in who you are.  They will learn from example.