Saturday, October 27, 2018

Venus 101 | National Geographic

Named after the ancient Roman goddess of beauty, Venus is known for its exceptional brightness. Find out about the volcanoes that dot Venus's surface, the storms that rage in its atmosphere, and the surprising feature that makes Venus outshine every planet or star in the night sky.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

6 Benefits of Rereading Books (Over...and Over) for Kids

Repeat reads of books — whether as read-alouds to little ones or through independent reading — generate big rewards for your child.

Can you recite Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown by heart? Are the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. falling apart from the hundreds of times you have read it?

Though sometimes we feel like covering our ears when we have to read that one book one more time, rereading books is actually a very good thing.

Whether we reread a book to a child or an independent reader wants to reread a previously enjoyed story, there are many benefits that can come from the act of rereading.

3 Benefits of Adults Rereading Books to Kids

Repeating, Reviewing, and Remembering

The more we engage with a story, the more we take away from it. That is often why, as adults, we choose to reread those classics we were assigned to read as students in school. We're sure to get more out of the book that second or third time we read it.

Similarly, when kids listen to the same story multiple times, they pick up new information, dive deeper into the meaning of the book, and make connections between themselves and the book — as well as between the book and other books they've heard.

Developing a Thirst for Books

Letting kids pick books they want to be read aloud is important for helping to develop a thirst for books. Book choice is powerful. In fact, according to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, many of us are letting our kids do just that. The report found that 81 percent of kids ages 3-5 pick their own books for read-aloud time.

Bonding as a Family

Reading any book together can help your family bond. In fact, many of us look forward to those bedtime reading rituals. Chances are you remember a book that your family read aloud numerous times growing up. For me, it was The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry each holiday season. Build traditions by sharing your favorite books over and over. (Check out these ideas for great family read-alouds.)

3 Benefits of Kids Rereading Books They Enjoy

Getting to Know a Friend

The more time we spend with someone, the better we get to know that person. Books are the same way. The more time a child spends rereading a section, a favorite quote, or the entire book, the more connected the child feels to the story. The key here is that your child chooses to reread the words because she wants to engage with the book a second, third, or even tenth time.

One of the reasons that kids (even adults) love to read book series is because they bond with the characters. They want to know what is going to happen next for their book friends. We want to keep reading. How many of The Baby-Sitter's Club books by Ann M. Martin did you read growing up?

Rereading Fills the Gap

Sometimes it can be tough for kids to find books they enjoy. The Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report found that 41 percent of kids struggle with finding books they like as they get older. So, rereading past favorites keeps kids reading while they find their next book match.

You can help kids find their next book match with a multitude of book list recommendations on Scholastic Parents.

Building Fluency

Newly independent readers need lots of practice to get past the word by word choppy reading into fluent reading. When a child chooses to read a favorite book over and over again, he is getting lots of practice to build fluency.

So the next time your little one asks to read Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin three times in a row or your independent reader wants to read Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey for the sixth time this month, embrace it and enjoy the reading ride.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Why Can't Some Birds Fly? - Gillian Gibb

Though the common ancestor of all modern birds could fly, many different bird species have independently lost their flight. Flight can have incredible benefits, especially for escaping predators, hunting and traveling long distances. But it also has high costs: consuming huge amounts of energy and limiting body size and weight. Gillian Gibb explores what makes birds give up the power of flight.

Lesson by Gillian Gibb, directed by Anton Bogaty.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How Your Eyes Make Sense of the World | National Geographic

How does the eye work exactly? In the latest video from Decoder, learn some of the extraordinary science behind how your eyes and brain work together to perceive the world around you.

Monday, October 15, 2018

5 Tips to Help Kids Look Forward to Math

Give these strategies a try to make math — even math homework — enjoyable for your child.

Is math homework the least favorite part of your child’s afternoon? Do you both avoid sitting down to complete assigned math problems? Many children say they “hate” math and try to dodge or rush through it. Some kids who speed through their work actually have strong math skills, but they end up making silly mistakes.

Though you might also prefer sitting down to read a book with your child over tackling math homework, it's helpful to create a good attitude about math — so that any negative feelings about the subject don't linger over time.

Here are some tips to help make math more enjoyable for your child — and have him actually look forward to it!

1. Stay Positive: Get excited about math homework and keep a positive mindset (even if you have to pretend). Try to avoid making comments like “I’m not good at math” or “This is so easy." Little ears hear everything! Hearing a negative sentiment may influence your child’s own thinking, or make him feel inadequate or nervous about doing math.

2. Celebrate Mistakes: Mistakes are good. We simply can’t learn without them, especially in math. The more your child can learn to embrace her mistakes, the less scary math problems become. Encourage her to take risks in math and not be afraid to make mistakes. If she has an incorrect answer on her homework, don't tell her which problem is wrong — instead, encourage her to find the incorrect problem and fix it.

3. Play Math Games: Find math games that are fun and exciting for your child. Set a goal to play four or five math games a week. Your child can even make up or change the rules however he wants. Teach him that math isn’t rigid. Cards and dice are terrific flexible tools for playing math games. Carry them in your purse or in the car so you can play at any time. Here are math dice games for kids aged 3-7 and for kids aged 8-13.

4. Build Mental Math Skills: Many children are afraid of numbers and don’t want to play with them. The bigger the numbers, the more terrifying the problem. Build your child’s number sense by finding numbers in her everyday world. Help her to see how math is always going to be in her life. Encourage your child to solve problems in her head (mental math). Start easy by adding or subtracting 10 from a number. For example: 52+10 or 84-10. Build up to larger numbers: 462+100 or 923-100. The more your child sees numbers, the less frightening numbers will feel to her.

5. Create a Math Toolkit: Math can be very abstract, which is overwhelming for a young child. Creating a math toolkit at home can help relieve some of the pressure of not knowing where to begin or how to solve a problem. Giving your child tools will help him see math more concretely and therefore feel better about his learning. Encourage him to use his “tools” before asking for your help. Some great tools are a ruler, 100 hundred charts, number lines, graph paper, cards, and counters.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Jason Silva on Misconceptions | Brain Games

Jason Silva takes us through some of the most common misconceptions about the human brain.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Can You Solve the Alien Probe Riddle? - Dan Finkel

Your team has developed a probe to study an alien monolith. It needs protective coatings — in red, purple or green — to cope with the environments it passes through. Can you figure out how to apply the colors so the probe survives the trip? Dan Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Dan Finkel, directed by Anton Trofimov.