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.

Article Source:

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.

Article Source:

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.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

8 Sure-Fire Tips for Smoother School Days

Reduce stress with these simple, time-saving, mood-lifting strategies.

1. Start your day the night before. Prepare snacks and clothes and solidify the next day's plan at night. Fill your child's backpack with the things that he may need for school or for an after-school play date.

2. Wake up earlier. Give yourself and your child extra time in the morning — even 15 minutes will help. Try using an alarm clock that plays soothing nature sounds or happy music to make wake-up time more fun.

3. Send only teacher-approved items to school. Talk to your child's teacher about classroom rules before sending in anything. Most teachers do not want children bringing in valuable items or toys that encourage aggressive play, but will likely encourage a favorite book or photograph.

4. Create a special drop-off ritual. Come up with a memorable, loving way to say goodbye — a lipstick kiss on the hand, a secret handshake, or a special phrase that you create with your child.

5. Set aside after-school downtime. Some children experience a meltdown at the end of the day. To avoid this, try to build in some time to unwind after school. Allow your child to visit the playground, spend time alone curled up with a book, or engage in quiet activities such as painting, building with blocks, or solitary imaginative play.

6. Make dinnertime family time. Whenever possible, eat together as a family. Kids benefit from spontaneous dinner-table conversations. Ask your child to tell you about his day and share interesting things that happened to you. He will feel more "grown up" when he is included in this sort of conversation.

7. Follow the school's rules. Teachers count on families to support the classroom rules and routines — such as sick-child policies, authorized escorts, and arriving on time.

8. Give your child undivided attention.
Set aside time each day just to be with your child — even if it's just 20 minutes — and allow no interruptions. Follow his lead and take time to observe his interests and enter his world. You will learn a lot about your child, and he will be thrilled to have this time with you.

Article Source:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mercury 101 | National Geographic

The planet Mercury is named after the messenger of the Roman gods because of its fleeting nature across the sky. Find out the reason behind its incredible speed, if it is indeed the hottest planet in the Solar System, and why the smallest planet in the solar system is slowly shrinking.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Best-Kept Secret About School Success

Make learning fun for your child, it’s the quickest path to academic success.

Put simply, kids will work tirelessly if the work is gratifying — that is, if it's fun! That doesn't mean all play and little work leads to academic success; far from it. What it does mean is that each child's own perspective about what is fun or interesting (and not fraught with stress) has a direct effect on how hard she is likely to work at assigned tasks.

There is little challenge to teachers, parents, and education policymakers from children who just plain love it all, love to read, love to write, love math, love to please. But for those children who are not meeting expectations in the core subjects, the current prescription — to narrow the curriculum and focus exclusively on reading and math — may be the turnoff of all turnoffs. Doing more and more drills, spending all day every day doing stuff that is dull at best, is not the way to improve achievement.

Finding the Hook
It follows, then, that our challenge with kids who are not achieving is to find the hook — the point of passionate interest that will draw them in. This means that we should not be narrowing school subject matter for poor achievers. In fact, we probably should be doing the opposite. Our most talented teachers have long known this. They wait and watch for the hook to bring an unsuccessful student into the fold. Maybe a child's favorite activity is fishing with Grandpa, something his teacher discovers in time spent listening to and getting to know him. Then why not find books at his reading level about fishing? Why not translate math problems into challenges about whether a fish meets the legal size requirement? Teachers' best clues to the hook for each child are likely to emerge during "specials" or social studies, maybe even in a shop class or during an assembly of guest musicians or jugglers. Field trips of all sorts are rich with opportunities to find those hooks.

Tailor-Made Learning
Above all, adults need to find something that each child can feel successful at, sometimes a classroom job that may involve some easily accomplished reading or math. But don't cut out history for the 3rd grader who is fascinated by the Second World War. Don't rob the artistically inclined child of a lesson in mural-making or a trip to a children's art museum. Bring hands-on gardening into a science unit that might incidentally also involve both math and reading. Whether or not the basic subjects are involved, being able to pursue genuine interests can rejuvenate kids to do the less exciting work that they still must master.

As a parent, you can be an enormous help by encouraging your child's interests and talents. Acknowledge them, admire them, and discuss them with teachers. Who knows your child's particular passions better than you? So don't hold back, thinking that a fascination with horses or submarines is not a worthy subject for school. It is the "flow" experienced in pursuing those interests that hooks kids on learning for life.

Article Source:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Can You Solve the Rebel Supplies Riddle? - Alex Gendler

You’re overseeing the delivery of supplies to a rebel base in the heart of enemy territory. To get past customs, all packages must follow this rule: if a box is marked with an even number on the bottom, it must be sealed with a red top. One of the four boxes was sealed incorrectly, but they lost track of which one. Can you figure out which box it is and save the day? Alex Gendler shows how.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, directed by Artrake Studio.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Black Holes 101 | National Geographic

At the center of our galaxy, a supermassive black hole churns. Learn about the types of black holes, how they form, and how scientists discovered these invisible, yet extraordinary objects in our universe.

Friday, September 21, 2018

How a Gratitude Journal Can Help Make Your Child Happier

It's a healthy habit — and also encourages writing skills.

What if there was a daily practice that could help your kids be happier throughout their lives? In fact, there is! It's called gratitude journaling, and it's a simple practice that leads to increased happiness.

Why Kids Should Start Gratitude Journaling

Studies show that practicing gratitude makes you happier. People who intentionally focus on recognizing people and things that they are thankful for—on a daily or weekly basis—report feeling happy for up to a month after the positive affirmations.

Expressing gratitude is also good for relationships. If we focus on the positive things about a person and acknowledge his or her kindness, it can improve our relationship with that person.

Plus, journaling is an authentic writing opportunity that also helps children academically with handwriting, spelling, and sentence structure.

As parents, we can help kids notice and seek out the positive things happening around them. This practice can become a habit that will hopefully follow them throughout their lives.

Tips for Starting a Gratitude Journal With Kids

1. Share Inspiring Read-Alouds

I find discussing a topic with my children is always easier with a good book—and that goes for gratitude, too. Here are two picks to read together with your kids.

Thank You, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony works particularly well for younger children. Mr. Panda is on a gift-giving mission for all of his animal friends. But his friends don't seem very grateful for the presents they receive. Little Lemur helps them to understand that it's really the thought that counts.

The award-winning The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena is a beautiful choice for children of all ages. A young child travels with his grandmother on a bus, across the city of San Francisco, contemplating why he doesn't have things that others have. His wise grandmother points out the beauty of what they do have. Once they reach their destination, being thankful for what you do have sinks in deep.

2. Help Them Select a Journal

A gratitude journal can be very basic—just a sheaf of paper stacked together and stapled—or something more formal, like a spiral notebook or a more elaborate bound journal. The only other supply that's needed is a writing utensil.

3. Suggest Writing Prompts

Once you've read a few books about gratitude and have discussed what it means to be thankful, you're ready to introduce the journals.

I like to date each journal entry. Down the road, it's fun to look back and see what we were grateful for at different ages.

Then, the kids are ready to reflect and write down three things they are grateful for that day. This is best done at the end of each day. I like to use gratitude journals right before bed. It's the perfect ending to a day.

Here are a few prompts to help kids phrase their grateful thoughts.

  • I'm thankful for...
  • I appreciate...
  • I'm grateful for...
  • Thank you for...

It can take some time for gratitude journaling to become a habit for your child. So, have a set time and place for them to journal each day. Also, you as a parent can model this positive pasttime by keeping your own gratitude journal. The routine will help a journaling habit begin to form—and can help lead to a lifelong practice of thankfulness.

Connect with Jodie at Growing Book by Book.

Article Source:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Is There Any Truth to the King Arthur Legends? - Alan Lupack

King Arthur has risen again and again in our collective imagination, along with his retinue of knights, Guinevere, the Round Table, Camelot, and of course Excalibur. But where do these stories come from, and is there any truth to them? Alan Lupack traces the evolution of King Arthur.

Lesson by Alan Lupack, directed by Patrick Smith.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

How Trees Secretly Talk to Each Other in the Forest | National Geographic

What do trees talk about? In the Douglas fir forests of Canada, see how trees “talk” to each other by forming underground symbiotic relationships—called mycorrhizae—with fungi to relay stress signals and share resources with one another.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How to Stop Homework Struggles

Find out how to diagnose and defuse homework tug-of-wars with your child.

The exasperated sighs of parents everywhere signal the seemingly inevitable homework tug-of-wars. Who hasn't wondered, "Why can't he just sit down and finish his work?" or "Should I remind him again about the science test?" Leapfrogging over homework hurdles can be especially tricky if you live with one of the kids described below.

Remember that homework hassles are often discipline problems in disguise. Defuse the power struggles by following the cardinal rules of discipline in general: set limits that are reasonable — and stick to them when it's realistic.

The Perfectionist 
To a certain extent, perfectionists just can't help it: "We all have our temperamental predispositions — ways of relating to the world that are biologically linked — and this is one of them," says Melanie J. Katzman, Ph.D., associate clinical professor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical School in New York City. "Perfectionism can be a wonderful thing to pass on to your child, so parents shouldn't feel badly about it. But carried to an extreme, it can become debilitating. Perfectionist kids may anticipate that they will never be able to meet their own high standards, so why bother?" To keep your child from getting gridlocked while doing homework, set a realistic example (by handling your own mistakes with composure) and praise effort, not grades.

The Procrastinator
The Procrastinator finds 201 things to do before she actually sits down and starts her homework. Often, she waits until the last minute, then rushes through it. Sometimes the procrastinator will throw you a bone: she'll gladly do her homework, as long as you're right there beside her. That's okay if you're willing, and if your child is young — but eventually, she will need to be more independent.
A child who procrastinates may do so for myriad reasons: she may be disorganized or have poor study or planning skills, or she may be anxious or angry about something at home or at school, in which case you need to play detective and talk to her, her teacher, or a school psychologist to determine why. To help, work with your child to set goals she can meet and to come up with a mutually agreeable homework schedule.

The Disorganized Child
The disorganized child is always "just about" to sit down and start his homework, but then . . . well, something comes up. Since his reasons for his inability to complete his homework often seem so logical, you're thrown off guard. Should you give him the benefit of the doubt? Or is he just taking you down the same old road?

You could tear all your hair out over the antics of a child who's disorganized — and he still won't be able to do what he needs to do. Sometimes, the problem may be a learning challenge. Sometimes, it's as simple as providing a reasonably quiet, efficient workspace, or teaching him to organize homework materials, allocate time, and gather information. The trouble is, if you're always supplying the information, reminding them to study, or rushing that forgotten paper to school, you undermine the whole purpose of homework. And the disorganized child will never gain the confidence he needs to do things for himself.

The Underachiever
Parents of underachievers often hear the lament "I'm dumb" or "It's just too hard" from their perfectly capable kids. And they often hear it around 4th or 5th grade, when the amount of homework intensifies. Students must get used to stashing their gear in a locker, as well as the different styles of different teachers for each subject. To get your child who's underachieving in motion, you need to be a cheerleader.

Needless to say, if your child is genuinely unable to do the homework, you, in tandem with his teacher or school psychologist, must figure out why and enlist the help he needs. A learning difficulty or anxiety over problems at home may be affecting schoolwork. Or perhaps the work is below his level and he needs more challenging assignments. By addressing homework problems early, you prevent them from mushrooming.

Article Source:

Sunday, September 9, 2018

What is Imposter Syndrome and How Can You Combat It? - Elizabeth Cox

Even after writing eleven books and winning several awards, Maya Angelou couldn’t escape the doubt that she hadn’t earned her accomplishments. This feeling of fraudulence is extremely common. Why can’t so many of us shake feelings that our ideas and skills aren’t worthy of others’ attention? Elizabeth Cox describes the psychology behind the imposter syndrome, and what you can do to combat it. 

Lesson by Elizabeth Cox, directed by Sharon Colman.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

See the 1,000-Year-Old Windmills Still in Use Today | National Geographic

These amazing windmills are among the oldest in the world. Located in the Iranian town of Nashtifan, initially named Nish Toofan, or "storm's sting," the windmills have withstood winds of up to 74 miles an hour. With the design thought to have been created in eastern Persia between 500-900 A.D., they have been in use for several centuries.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Homework Help for Kids: Supporting Your Learner

Help your child finish homework with confidence using these simple guidelines.

Homework help should, of course, be age-dependent, decreasing in intensity as your children get older. Your 1st grader may need you to sit down with her each day in order to make sure she understands her assignment and has the materials necessary to complete it, while your 5th grader should be able to work independently. But children of any age can feel overwhelmed or confused by homework from time to time. Assist by reviewing directions and helping to set priorities.

The 10-Minute Rule
Part of the issue, say many teachers and education experts, is that children are often being given too much homework too soon. The National Education Association (among other organizations) recommends no more than 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night. In other words, a 2nd grader should be spending about 20 minutes a day on homework, and a 5th grader no more than an hour. If you find that this 10-minute rule is greatly being exceeded, that assignments are going unfinished, or that exhaustion and frustration levels running high — it's time to talk to the teacher. She may need to modify the type or amount of work, or your child may need some extra help in certain areas.

Every Child Is Different
Another landmine in the field of homework involves parental expectations. Dealing with siblings with such vastly divergent styles can be challenging. "Know thy child" is the most important commandment for parents, according to clinical psychologist Ruth Peters, Ph.D. Pay attention to each child's personal study habits. For example, don't hover over a self-starter, but do let a wildly energetic kid ride her bike for 15 minutes after school before settling down to do homework.

Tips for Easing Angst
Whether the kitchen table is Homework Central or your child works better in the quiet of his own room, there are several things you can do to ensure that assignments are completed with maximum efficiency and minimum angst:

  • Understand your child's physical needs, and make sure they are met before homework starts. Most kids will need a healthy snack, and many will need to blow off some steam with physical exercise. Let them run — but set a time limit.
  • Set a regular homework schedule. With myriad extracurricular activities and sports schedules, it may not always be possible for your child to do homework at the same time every day. Still, a regular routine works best, whether it's right after school or immediately after dinner.
  • Have your child track daily assignments in a notebook or planner. Stay organized! Many schools provide a homework "agenda book" or something similar. If not, buy your own.
  • Designate a homework area, and make sure your child has all the supplies she needs. Small, clear, plastic stacking boxes are perfect for holding — and keeping visible — sharpened pencils, markers, staplers, paper clips, rulers, calculators, etc.
  • Come up with a system to ensure that homework is not only completed, but turned in. Peters recommends using two clear pocket folders, one marked "homework to be done" and the other "completed homework." If the completed homework is visible in the same place every day, it's more likely to end up in the backpack the next morning.
Article Source:

Friday, August 31, 2018

Can You Solve the Leonardo da Vinci Riddle? - Tanya Khovanova

You’ve found Leonardo da Vinci’s secret vault, secured by a series of combination locks. Fortunately, your treasure map has three codes: 1210, 3211000, and… hmm. The last one appears to be missing. Can you figure out the last number and open the vault? Tanya Khovanova shows how.

Lesson by Tanya Khovanova, directed by Artrake Studio.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Saturn 101 | National Geographic

How did the rings around Saturn form? How many moons does the planet have? See stunning NASA images of the gas giant studied by Christian Huygens and Giovanni Cassini.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Smooth Shift to Middle School for a Child With Learning Challenges

If your soon-to-be middle school student has learning challenges, use these guidelines to help ease the way into a successful school year.

The transition to middle school can be overwhelming for any student, but for a child who has been diagnosed with learning disabilities, the move is often especially traumatic. Here's how to help your child adapt, while readying yourself and the school staff too:

Prepare Yourself: 

  • Understand how middle school is different. Instead of one teacher, your child will have several, each with different styles and expectations. There will be more varied assignments, increased homework, and less individual attention.
  • Know what services are available. Meet with the district's committee on special education to firm up accommodations. (Ideally, this meeting would take place in the spring before school begins, but if you miss that timeframe, schedule a meeting later; you and your child will still benefit.)
  • Establish a support system. Find a liaison at the school — like a resource room teacher or counselor — who can communicate with the teachers and make sure appropriate services are being provided. Other parents can be your allies too.

Prepare Your Child:

  • Talk about the transition. Explain what to expect, and ask your child what she's excited and scared about. Reflect on the academic strategies that worked in elementary school, and reassure your child that there will still be support in place to help her achieve.
  • Foster self-advocacy. Go over the IEP (individualized education plan) with your child, so he understands what he is entitled to, and teach him how to advocate for himself. If the teacher forgets to seat him in the front, your child must remind her. If he needs more time to write down the homework assignment before the teacher erases it from the board, he must let her know. Support your child, without doing too much for him.
  • Visit the school. Even if your child already toured the middle school, visit again right before the new school year begins. This gives her a chance to try out her locker, walk the halls with schedule in hand, and check out classrooms. Sometimes teachers will be there setting up, so your child can say hello.
  • Organize your child for success. Typically, kids with learning disabilities have trouble organizing schoolwork and belongings, and struggle with multiple sets of instructions. Set up systems to help manage the vast amount of learning materials. Start with the locker. A hanging shelf keeps things tidy. Color-coded notebooks and matching folders (for example, blue for science, yellow for social studies) can also prevent papers from going astray.
  • Set up a homework routine. If the school doesn't provide your child with a planner or agenda, get one and review it together every night. (If handwriting is an issue, make sure there's ample space for writing everything in.) Supervise homework time, but don't do your child's work. If you find yourself providing a significant amount of help with homework, let the teacher know.

Prepare the School:

  • Call a meeting at the beginning of the year. Around the second week, ask the school counselor to arrange a meeting with you and the teachers in one room. Introduce yourself to everyone, and share your child's strengths and weaknesses in a friendly, collaborative way. Bring along a summary of the IEP, highlighting the most important accommodations and strategies, as well as samples of work that reveal his challenges.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Continue corresponding with teachers throughout the year by e-mail or phone. Also schedule periodic follow-ups with your special-ed liaison to stay updated on progress. And keep talking with your child about her accomplishments and remaining struggles. With teamwork, and plenty of encouragement, you'll smooth the middle school transition, and empower your child to achieve all she's capable of.
Article Source: Scholastic

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Did Ancient Troy Really Exist? - Einav Zamir Dembin

When Homer’s Iliad was first written down in the eighth century BCE, the story of the Trojan war was already an old one. From existing oral tradition, audiences knew the tales of the long siege, the duels outside the city walls, and the trick that finally won the war. In the end, the city was burned to the ground, never to rise again. But had it ever existed? Einav Zamir Dembin investigates.

Lesson by Einav Zamir Dembin, directed by Cabong Studios.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Dinosaurs 101 | National Geographic

Over a thousand dinosaur species once roamed the Earth. Learn which ones were the largest and the smallest, what dinosaurs ate and how they behaved, as well as surprising facts about their extinction.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

4 Helpful Habits for Back-to-School Season

The new school year is a great time to implement daily practices to further your child's literacy skills.

Very soon we'll be trading in the sound of the ice cream truck bell for the sound of the school bell. The start of a new school year is right around the corner. With the season comes the opportunity to put in place some back-to-school habits that can help your children build their literacy skills.

Here are four practical ideas to help your family kick-off the school year.

1. Keep Up With a Reading Log

Many schools request children to read at home several times a week. Even if the school does not require daily reading, it's still one of the best habits to put in place at home.

Keeping a reading log will help your kids track the books they read. When your kids can look back and see how many books they read each month, it provides a sense of accomplishment.

Writing down the titles or minutes read each day will also give your child a little extra handwriting practice. They might even give each book a star rating system and critique each book that is read.

A weekly or bi-weekly trip to the public library will ensure that you have plenty of reading material on hand. The 6th Edition Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report shows a majority of kids agree “it is very important for their future to be a good reader,” but only one in three is a frequent reader. So, don't forget to let your kids choose their own books for reading at home.

2. Create a Nightly Reading Routine

In our house, we follow a "triple B" nighttime routine: bath, books, and bed.

Right before their bath time, my kids pick out two or three books that they want to have read aloud that night. They lay their chosen books on the bed where they'll be ready to read right after they take their baths and put on pajamas. Each night, my husband and I alternate reading to the kids. Then, once the books are done, it's time for bed. (You can also choose books before dinner, if your kids don't bathe before bed.)

Need some read-aloud ideas? Check out these books parents love to read to their kids.

3. Have Dinnertime Discussions

Take advantage of your captive audience at the dinner table each night. Implement a 'no screens policy' so that distractions will be limited, which in turn will encourage conversation. Here are a couple of prompts to connect as a family:

  • Tell us something you learned today.
  • Share something that you were proud of today.
  • What is something that you wished didn't happen today?
  • What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?

Using the prompts above will help you learn about what successes and struggles your kids experienced during the day. The last prompt will help your child think ahead to a new day.

For more activities to help build literacy skills at the table, see how to practice storytelling with kids at dinnertime and three ways to build vocabulary at dinner.

4. Plan Ahead

If you know that Wednesday nights are soccer practice and Thursday nights are piano lessons, plan ahead to squeeze in literacy learning. Your kids can listen to audiobooks in the car on the way to practice. Or, you can quiz them on their spelling words while you drive. If you still have a few minutes, ask your kids to tell you about the last book they read.

Putting a few habits in place now will have you feeling prepared and confident when the school bell rings.

To learn more helpful tips for success, get great book recommendations, and find out what to expect for each grade, check out the Start Smart: Back-to-School Guide.

Connect with Jodie Rodriguez at her site, Growing Book by Book.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Can You Solve the Rogue AI Riddle? - Dan Finkel

A hostile artificial intelligence called NIM has taken over the world’s computers. You’re the only person skilled enough to shut it down, and you’ll only have one chance. Can you survive and shut off the artificial intelligence? Dan Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Dan Finkel, directed by Artrake Studio.

Friday, August 10, 2018

First Day Of School Tips For Parents

Educators say the first day of school is the most important day of the school year. Psychologist Alexandra Stratyner shared some tips with CBS2's Erin Logan to help parents ensure that excitement level doesn’t change.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

4 Steps to an Organized Backpack

Using the simple PACK acronym, your child can learn to keep her backpack neat and tidy, and her school life more in order.

After the end of a long school week, is your child spending far too long fishing for items out of a messy backpack? With the help of the PACK system, turn that unorganized pack into a thing of the past.

PURGE: At the end of each week, re-evaluate the homework papers, books, projects, and other loose ends your child has accumulated. Toss, recycle, or store whatever’s no longer needed in the bag.

ACCESSORIZE: Keep necessities from floating about by attaching them to the backpack. Try a snap-on hand sanitizer, for instance, or a lip balm that comes with a keychain-style container.

CATEGORIZE: Designate certain pockets for particular items: larger pockets for books, a smaller one for homework folders, a small side pocket for pens and pencils. You can even label them if you need to help your kids keep track of what goes where.

KEEP IT UP: Motivate your child to stick to those good habits by making the weekly purge a family ritual. While he’s sorting his backpack, clean out your own workbag or purse.

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

How to Prepare for Back to School

Ease your children back into their school schedule with these parent-tested tips.

Step 1: Reset their body clock
If your children have been staying up late and sleeping in all summer, reset their body clocks: Starting two weeks before school, send them to bed a little bit earlier every night -- and get them up a little earlier every morning -- until they're back on a school-day schedule.

Get them used to the impending morning rush by planning early-morning activities they'll want to jump out of bed for.

Step 2: Take them shopping
Take them shopping for school supplies and, if your budget permits, a few new back-to-school clothes. Let them have a say in the selection process to get them excited about the return to the classroom.

Step 3: Prepare their work area
Help them prepare the area where they'll be doing their homework, especially if they seem anxious about the upcoming year. Having a clean, organized space with some new supplies may help ease their nerves -- and might even get them excited about a fresh start.

Surprise them with a new electronic gadget that can be used to do homework. Check out websites like eBay and Craigslist for bargains.

Step 4: Set up playdates
Set up playdates with school friends they haven't seen all summer to remind them that the school year has its fun side.

If you're child is starting at a new school, see if it's possible to have them meet their new teacher before the school year starts.

Step 5: Cook ahead
Make double batches of meals now so you can quickly defrost dinner during those first hectic days.

Step 6: Tamp down your own fears
Keep any of your own anxieties about the upcoming school year to yourself. Children take their lead from you; if you seem composed, it may alleviate their own fears.

Did You Know?
Up to 18 percent of children display anxiety over returning to school in the fall that can lead them to be disruptive in class, according to one study.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

How Can You Change Someone's Mind? (hint: facts aren't always enough) - Hugo Mercier

Why do arguments change people’s minds in some cases and backfire in others? Hugo Mercier explains how arguments are more convincing when they rest on a good knowledge of the audience, taking into account what the audience believes, who they trust, and what they value.

Lesson by Hugo Mercier, animation by TED-Ed.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

When to Hire a Tutor For Your Child

More parents today see tutoring as a natural add-on to their child's classroom learning. They realize even top schools can't focus individually on their child. And with private lessons in athletics and music so common, a private tutor for math, science or other subjects often makes good sense. Here are common times when hiring a tutor for your child is smart.

Your child is struggling in a subject or two.

If algebra class is 50 minutes but your son needs 60 minutes to learn the concept, he's going to fall behind in algebra and get discouraged. A math tutor will help the child who needs a little extra time. Tutors also re-teach past concepts and answer questions that kids are reluctant to ask in class. Tutors are expert in helping kids regain the motivation and confidence to succeed in math, science, writing, Spanish, or other classes.

Your child would benefit from homework and organization help.

Parents often seek a tutor for their child who isn't naturally organized. Some kids just need more supervision to get all their homework done to a high level. A 60-minute nightly tutoring session will nudge apathetic or scattered kids to work to their potential. Tutors will help kids manage due dates, get kids un-stuck by clarifying ideas or answering questions, and quality-check homework assignments.

Your child wants to achieve a goal or fulfill a hope.

Some families have a specific goal in mind when they start with a tutor. They want to raise a C to an A in calculus, or boost an SAT score 150 points. Other families have more abstract goals. They wish their child liked school more, or sympathize with a child who is trying hard but seeing only mediocre results. A tutor will listen to your hopes, and create a plan to help your child succeed.

You feel your child can improve study skills and test taking.

Many kids study the same way each year. But what works in 5th grade isn't enough in 7th grade. And the big leap from junior high to high school demands an upgrade in study skills. Kids with lagging study skills benefit immediately from a tutor who helps them increase homework time, pay attention to details, prepare for tests, and read more thoughtfully. A tutor can also ease test anxiety by teaching test-taking skills.

You hope to side-step a bad family dynamic, or provide stability.

By the teenage years, kids often will listen to any adult other than their parents. If that's the case, it's better for the child's grades (and family happiness) to bring in a tutor and remove the parent-child dynamic from the picture. Tutors understand teens and how to motivate them. And with younger children, parents can be too involved - doing all the homework themselves. A tutor gently returns responsibility to the child, while still providing consistency and support.

You have discovered your child likes to be tutored.

Parents often hire a tutor for a quick fix - usually to help their child bring up a grade in a tough class. But they'll continue with tutoring for years because their child really likes it. The one-on-one sessions help kids master even the hardest material, and signal that the family prioritizes their school success. Kids look forward to bringing home great test results, and to having undivided attention as they work on school assignments.

With today's school cutbacks, it's likely that more parents will try a private tutor and discover the benefits. Tutors are a smart way to ensure your children get the top education they need and deserve for later success in college and life.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Moon 101 | National Geographic

What is the moon made of, and how did it form? Learn about the moon's violent origins, how its phases shaped the earliest calendars, and how humans first explored Earth's only natural satellite half a century ago.

Monday, July 23, 2018

How Exactly Does Binary Code Work? - José Américo N L F de Freitas

Imagine trying to use words to describe every scene in a film, every note in a song, or every street in your town. Now imagine trying to do it using only the numbers 1 and 0. Every time you use the Internet to watch a movie, listen to music, or check directions, that’s exactly what your device is doing, using the language of binary code. José Américo N L F de Freitas explains how binary works.

Lesson by José Américo N L F de Freitas, animation by Qa'ed Mai.

Friday, July 20, 2018

10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn

Inspire her thirst for knowledge inside and outside of school.

If you want your child to be a stellar student, don't limit learning to the walls of his classroom. Although the skills he's learning there are crucial to his intellectual and social growth, your child needs your help to open up the world of ideas. His renewed joy in discovery will transfer to his schoolwork, so you'll boost his academic achievement too!

  1. Fill your child's world with reading. Take turns reading with your older child, or establish a family reading time when everyone reads her own book. Demonstrate how important reading is to you by filling your home with printed materials: novels, newspapers, even posters and placemats with words on them.
  2. Encourage him to express his opinion, talk about his feelings, and make choices. He can pick out a side dish to go with dinner and select his own extracurricular activities. Ask for his input on family decisions, and show that you value it.
  3. Show enthusiasm for your child's interests and encourage her to explore subjects that fascinate her. If she's a horse nut, offer her stories about riding or challenge her to find five facts about horses in the encyclopedia.
  4. Provide him with play opportunities that support different kinds of learning styles — from listening and visual learning to sorting and sequencing. Supplies that encourage open-ended play, such as blocks, will develop your child’s creative expression and problem-solving skills as he builds. He'll need lots of unstructured play time to explore them.
  5. Point out the new things you learn with enthusiasm. Discuss the different ways you find new information, whether you're looking for gardening tips on the Internet or taking a night class in American literature.
  6. Ask about what he's learning in school, not about his grades or test scores. Have him teach you what he learned in school today — putting the lesson into his own words will help him retain what he learned.
  7. Help your child organize her school papers and assignments so she feels in control of her work. If her task seems too daunting, she'll spend more time worrying than learning. Check in with her regularly to make sure she's not feeling overloaded.
  8. Celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Completing a book report calls for a special treat; finishing a book allows your child an hour of video games. You'll offer positive reinforcement that will inspire him to keep learning and challenging himself.
  9. Focus on strengths, encouraging developing talents. Even if she didn't ace her math test, she may have written a good poem in English class. In addition to a workbook for math practice, give her a writing journal.
  10. Turn everyday events into learning opportunities. Encourage him to explore the world around him, asking questions and making connections.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Second Session of Our Popular "Checkmate - Chess for Kids" Camp Begins July 30 - Register Today!!

Checkmate - Chess for Kids
(Ages 8 - 18)
July 30 - August 3, 2018 
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Girls and Boys!

Discover a new world on 64 squares! Chess is a game that emphasizes many developmental, social and problem-solving skills. Research studies have shown that chess can improve memory and imagination, and lead to higher verbal, reading and math scores.

If your child has never played before or has played a lot, this class is designed to accommodate participants of beginning and intermediate skill levels.

Beginners will be able to play a full game of chess by the end of the week, and students with basic knowledge will receive tailored instruction.

For students who appreciate the challenge and competition, the game provides, more intense instruction is available. Instruction is provided by Robert Dwyer.

A pretty-darn-good player in his own right, Mr. Rob possesses the unique ability to make students feel capable and proud of what they have accomplished on the board. Checkmate!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What is the Coldest Thing in the World? - Lina Marieth Hoyos

The coldest materials in the world aren’t in Antarctica or at the top of Mount Everest. They’re in physics labs: clouds of gases held just fractions of a degree above absolute zero. Lina Marieth Hoyos explains how temperatures this low give scientists a window into the inner workings of matter, and allow engineers to build incredibly sensitive instruments that tell us more about the universe.

Lesson by Lina Marieth Hoyos, animation by Adriatic Animation.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Capture Your Child's Super Strengths

Turn a talented reader into a math-lover (or vice versa) with these kid-friendly reframing strategies.

Very few people — no matter their age — are good at everything. Some have a knack for numbers, while others struggle with the simplest calculations. Some have a way with words (writers), understand people (psychologists, social workers, teachers), or see the world as a series of lines, colors, and spaces (artists, architects). As adults, we have the option to ignore our weaknesses (or circumvent them, by, say, hiring an accountant).

In school, however, kids don't get to pick and choose their subjects. There's no option to take two art classes and no math (or, for that matter, recess all day). But what they can do is make the most of their strengths, to use their strong skills to improve upon their weak areas. Here's how to help your child be the best student he can be:

If this sounds familiar . . .
My daughter loves to sing. She knows the lyrics to dozens of songs by heart, but when it comes to learning the times tables, she's a mess!
Try this strategy: Auditory learners — children who love to talk and sing, and can't wait for story time — will probably feel overwhelmed by visual cues, such as multiplication charts and tables. Don't despair: using music to teach multiplication is a fairly common and successful technique. There are a slew of multiplication songs available, from simple ditties to rap tracks. Find a CD your child likes, and play the songs often. Reinforce the music by quizzing your child verbally.

If this sounds familiar . . .
My son has always been a strong reader, but he struggles with math.
Try this strategy: The best way to get a good reader more interested in math is to make math seem more like reading. The solution? Word problems. You can find them in your child's textbook, but they're also incredibly easy to make up on your own. Look to whatever book your child is reading for inspiration — Harry Potter, for example: if each goal in Quidditch is worth 10 points, but catching the snitch is worth 150, how many goals is the equivalent of catching the snitch?

If this sounds familiar . . .
My daughter is a whiz at jigsaw puzzles, but she just doesn't get fractions.
Try this strategy: Kids who have strong visual and spatial skills respond well to colors, images, and other visual cues. Try using M&Ms (or dried kidney beans, if you find the chocolates disappear too quickly), pizza pies, or other such props to teach mathematical principles such as addition and subtraction, the times tables, and fractions.

If this sounds familiar . . .
My son is great at math, but his vocabulary needs serious help!
Try this strategy: Get your mathematically inclined child interested in reading with word problems, word search puzzles, and other word games. For example, give your son a list of words (ideally culled from vocabulary lists he gets at school) and ask him to classify them into various categories. The logical part of your son's brain will love the very scientific act of classification, but he'll be expanding his vocabulary at the same time.

If this sounds familiar . . .
My son loves to make up stories, but he's just not interested in science class.
Try this strategy: Creative thinkers do well with "what if . . . " or "imagine that . . . " assignments. Thankfully, this strategy can be applied to almost all subjects. For a science project on recycling, you might suggest to your son, "Imagine that you are an aluminum can. What is your journey like from the time I throw you in the bin until you are something new?" Or, if your son is studying solids, liquids, and gases, ask, "What would you feel like if you were a gas? A liquid? A solid? How would you feel different from one phase to the next?" These questions will get his brain thinking about science topics, but in a manner that he's comfortable with.

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

RoboGeeks Summer Camp is July 16 - 20 - Registration Closes in 4 Days!

(1st - 3rd grade) 
Jul 16 - 20, 2018 
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Want to build a robot that will obey your every command? It's time to start programming for our Robo-geeks!

The Academy of 21st Century Learning is ready to teach your child all about building and coding!

In this course, we will explore real-world applications of mathematics, engineering, physics, and coding. Your child will experience every stage of developing a product from preliminary design to beta testing. Using Lego Boost, our future engineers will use critical thinking and strategic problem-solving skills to conquer various robotic challenges.

Come to experience Robotics … Academy-Style! This course will be unlike any you have ever encountered before!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Coral Reefs 101 | National Geographic

What are coral reefs? Coral can be found in tropical ocean waters around the world. But how much do you know about reefs and the tiny animals—polyps—that build them? Learn all about coral and why warming waters threaten the future of the reef ecosystem.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Considering Summer Tutoring?

Are you considering summer tutoring for your child? The end of the school year is approaching and many parents are thinking about preparing for a child's summer plans. If tutoring has crossed your mind here are a few things to consider about whether or not it's a good idea.

Summer tutoring can help a child with advancement or enrichment of subjects, preparation for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT, review of foundations or concepts, and development of good study skills and habits. On the flip side, a child can view lessons as an unwanted activity that interferes with a carefree and fun summer.

If you decide that tutoring is necessary or preferred for your child there are ways to arrange lessons so that they don't prevent your child from having a great summer. It's important to incorporate fun and cool activities such as going to the pool, playing sports, creating art, and taking trips so that your child will have things to look forward to. Additionally, carefully select your tutor. Look for someone who has a good background and great personality. The chemistry and rapport between a tutor and your child will influence how your child will feel about lessons. In my own teaching experience, I try to make my lessons as fun and interesting as possible and a parent has told me that his daughter never complains about coming to our lessons together (he let me know that she complains about having to attend other activities).

Set aside a stable structure for lessons. Families often take a vacation or time off and this is fine but continuity of lessons is critical for progress. Don't cancel on lessons often or take them less seriously because it is summer. However, don't take them too seriously. If you take time off and reschedule a lesson don't apply extra pressure for the makeup. Slow and steady growth is ideal.

If you can't find the right tutor or your child revolts at the idea think about letting lessons slide. In my opinion, it is usually unproductive to force a child to do something when he or she is rebelling against it. This could also cause a negative feeling overall towards academics.

Summer lessons don't have to be viewed by your child as a nuisance. Learning should be seen as a positive experience.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Can You Solve the Mondrian Squares Riddle? - Gordon Hamilton

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s abstract, rectangular paintings inspired mathematicians to create a two-fold challenge. Can you solve the puzzle and get to the lowest score possible? Gordon Hamilton shows how.

Lesson by Gordon Hamilton, directed by Anton Trofimov.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

RoboGeeks Summer Camp - Only a Few Spots Left - Register Today!!

(1st - 3rd grade) 
Jul 16 - 20, 2018 
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Want to build a robot that will obey your every command? It's time to start programming for our Robo-geeks!

The Academy of 21st Century Learning is ready to teach your child all about building and coding!

In this course, we will explore real-world applications of mathematics, engineering, physics, and coding. Your child will experience every stage of developing a product from preliminary design to beta testing. Using Lego Boost, our future engineers will use critical thinking and strategic problem-solving skills to conquer various robotic challenges.

Come to experience Robotics … Academy-Style! This course will be unlike any you have ever encountered before!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

6 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Did you know that many kids experience a phenomena called Summer Learning Loss every year? Essentially, they forget the information they learned in the previous school year over the summer months. In fact, studies have shown that kids lose an average of over 2.6 months worth of math skills in the summertime. For kids that were already struggling in a subject like math, this means that they will start off the next school year even further behind.

During the summer months, kids are less likely to practice any time of mathematical computations. Most will not practice math skills outside any formal classroom setting. Other subjects such as reading, also show a learning loss as well. In reading, students will lose an average of 1 month of learning.

Think of your favorite sport. Pick your favorite basketball, football, or soccer player. What would happen if they did not continue to train and exercise during off-season? They would then return to their sport and experience a lag in their performance. The brain is no different. It too, needs to be exercised.

So how can you keep your kids learning over the summer? Here are a few simple ideas:

1. Purchase educational workbooks. These are available at most bookstores and many cities also have special teacher supply stores that carry great learning material. These products are geared towards different grades so you can customize to your children's level. It is recommended that your children do at least an hour a day.

2. Visit your local library. Find some books with topics that interest your child so that they are really engaged in reading. The library is a great place to promote the love of reading! Reading comprehension is highly important and most states have standardized testing based off of reading scores. Your librarian can suggest grade-level appropriate books that will keep your child's attention with the text.

3. Visit museums, zoos and other historical sites. Help your child learn about history by living it as a hand-on experience. Don't forget summer learning opportunities locally, in addition to your library. Check out museums, the zoo, aquariums, concerts and parks that you don't usually get to attend during the school year. Have them keep a journal (writing skills!) of their activities, and perhaps e-mail friends and relatives about what they are doing (again, stealth writing practice!)

4. The Internet can be your friend! Check out safe, parent-approved Internet sites. Many will offer crafts, worksheets, and even power-busters to keep the brain moving! Many lessons are broken down by grade level making it simple to cater to your child's needs. There are also websites that allow the child to 'play' when in reality, they are learning! This is also a great opportunity to bring in new material that will prepare them for the next grade level!

5. Check out your local newspaper and community! Most communities will hold writing camps, editor-in-training seminars, art and dancing classes and more. Log on to your city website and see what is being offered within your community.

6. Enroll into a summer tutoring or teaching program. For children that are struggling academically, summer can be the perfect time to address it with a customized tutoring program. The summer months are an excellent time for your child to fill in learning gaps or zoom ahead with enrichment activities at supplemental learning centers, or via tutors or last year's teacher. Your child's teacher is an excellent resource to give you ideas for summer books to read and math workbooks to complete in between play and television watching.

These ideas will help your child build up more confidence, and prepare them to start the new school with a bang! This is the opportunity to both stabilize and advance your child, what are you waiting for?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Can You Solve the Giant Cat Army Riddle? - Dan Finkel

The villainous Dr. Schrödinger has developed a growth ray and intends to create an army of giant cats to terrorize the city. Your team of secret agents has tracked him to his underground lab. You burst in to find… that it’s a trap! Can you escape from Dr. Schrödinger’s lair and save the day? Dan Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Dan Finkel, animation by Artrake Studio.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Checkmate - Chess for Kids Summer Camp - Only a Few Days Left to Register!

Checkmate - Chess for Kids
(Ages 7 - 16)
Jun 25 - 29, 2018 
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Girls and Boys!

Discover a new world on 64 squares! Chess is a game that emphasizes many developmental, social and problem-solving skills. Research studies have shown that chess can improve memory and imagination, and lead to higher verbal, reading and math scores.

If your child has never played before or has played a lot, this class is designed to accommodate participants of beginning and intermediate skill levels.

Beginners will be able to play a full game of chess by the end of the week, and students with basic knowledge will receive tailored instruction.

For students who appreciate the challenge and competition, the game provides, more intense instruction is available. Instruction is provided by Robert Dwyer.

A pretty-darn-good player in his own right, Mr. Rob possesses the unique ability to make students feel capable and proud of what they have accomplished on the board. Checkmate!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The First Session of Summer STEAM Mornings Begins on Monday - Registration Closes Tomorrow!!

Academy Summer STEAM Mornings 
(4th - 8th grade)
Jun 18 - Jul 13, 2018
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
M Tu W Th F

Register HERE

Calling All Parents! Believe it or not, it is time to register your fourth grader and above - for Summer STEAM Mornings … again! This year will be even more exciting as we take on the world of engineering and robotics!

Additionally, we will bring in a Space System Engineer who will talk about tracking and building satellites and careers in space. Local engineers will also be joining us to talk about careers in engineering and the future of engineering in medicine, flight, and architecture.

As we did last year, students will also spend an hour in both reading and math. It is going to be another epic summer at The Academy!!

Remember to Bring
* Closed-toed shoes
* Snack
* Water Bottle

Monday, June 11, 2018

Can You Solve the Penniless Pilgrim Riddle? - Daniel Finkel

After months of travel, you’ve arrived at Duonia, home to the famous temple that’s the destination of your pilgrimage. The walk from the welcome center to the temple isn't a long one ... but there’s a problem. Can you outsmart the city's imposed tax and make it to the temple without paying a fee? Daniel Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Daniel Finkel, animation by Artrake Studio.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What Would It Be Like to Live on the Moon? - Alex Gendler

The European Space Agency is hoping to establish an inhabited research base on the moon by the 2020s. But living in this "moon camp" won’t be easy. How will humans deal with the cosmic radiation? What will the inhabitants eat? And what's the point, anyway? Alex Gendler details the challenges and benefits of building a lunar colony.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Allen Laseter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

2018 Summer Camps: RoboGeeks

(1st - 2nd grade) 
Jul 16 - 20, 2018 
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Want to build a robot that will obey your every command? It's time to start programming for our Robo-geeks!

The Academy of 21st Century Learning is ready to teach your child all about building and coding!

In this course, we will explore real-world applications of mathematics, engineering, physics, and coding. Your child will experience every stage of developing a product from preliminary design to beta testing. Using Lego Boost, our future engineers will use critical thinking and strategic problem-solving skills to conquer various robotic challenges.

Come to experience Robotics … Academy-Style! This course will be unlike any you have ever encountered before!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Can You Solve the Wizard Standoff Riddle? - Dan Finkel

You’ve been chosen as a champion to represent your wizarding house in a deadly duel against two rival magic schools. Your opponents are a powerful sorcerer who wields a wand that can turn people into fish, and a powerful enchantress who wields a wand that turns people into statues. Can you choose a wand and devise a strategy that ensures you will win the duel? Dan Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Dan Finkel, animation by Artrake Studio.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

2018 Summer Camps: Math Mysteries

Math Mysteries 
Ages 7 - 9

Jul 9 - 13, 2018
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
M Tu W Th F

Bring your cape and we’ll help you learn to defeat the evil thoughts and ideas you have about math not being fun!

This camp is perfect for you if you are a third or fourth grader who is dedicated to fighting crime, protecting the public, and battling super villains who do not like math.

You WILL become a REAL Problem Solver!

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Journey to Pluto, the Farthest World Ever Explored - Alan Stern

As of 1989, mankind had successfully sent craft to every known planet in the solar system except one: Pluto. Located in an mysterious region called the Kuiper Belt, Pluto is a scientific goldmine, and could hold clues to the formation of our solar system. Alan Stern explains how NASA's New Horizons mission is going to allow us to see Pluto for the first time.

Lesson by Alan Stern, animation by Eoin Duffy.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sun 101 | National Geographic

The sun keeps the planets in its orbit with a tremendous magnetic force. What would happen if it disappeared entirely? Learn about the star at the center of our solar system, and how it is critical to all life as we know it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How to Help Prevent Summer Learning Loss

According to the National Summer Learning Association, all students are at risk for summer learning loss. Learn three simple ways that you can help prevent your child’s summer learning loss.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Can You Solve the False Positive Riddle? - Alex Gendler

Mining unobtainium is hard work – the rare mineral appears in only 1% of rocks in the mine. But your friend Tricky Joe has something up his sleeve. The unobtainium detector he’s been perfecting for months is finally ready, and it returns accurate readings 90% of the time. But can it really be trusted? Alex Gendler explains the false positive paradox.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Summer 2018 STEAM Camp Registration is Open - Only a Few Spots Left!

Our Summer 2018 Schedule for our month-long STEAM camp is open for registeration.

Session I: June 18 - July 13
Session II: July 16 - August 10

9 AM - 12 PM
Monday - Friday

We have a camp to fit all of our geeks from 4 years through 8th grade.

At midnight tonight, you can pick your camp ... plus we will release the dates on our week-long camps shortly.

Don't forget there is limited space in our camps ... sign up now!

Our week-long camps include, but are not limited to:
Math Mysteries
Checkmate - Chess for Smarties!
Robotics ... and more!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

5 Reasons to Choose a Tutoring Company Over an Independent Tutor

When trying to find a tutor for your student, you are bombarded by an astonishing number of choices. Evaluating some of the value a tutoring company provides over an individual.will illustrate that a tutoring company offers many advantages.

1.) Fit with the Student: A tutoring company has a variety of tutors. This allows them to match your student to a tutor who has the necessary subject knowledge, tutoring experience, and a complementary personality to the student. A personal connection is a very important, often overlooked key to a successful tutor/student relationship. Having many different tutors allows a company to provide your student with tutors in different subjects and to be flexible with your scheduled sessions.

2.) Quality: A tutor has to go through a number of steps to gain employment with a good tutoring company. At The Way to A, tutors submit resumes. We interview the most promising of these candidates; then we call personal and professional references of the best tutors we interviewed. If they are highly recommended, we perform criminal background checks on each prospective tutor. If the background check is clear, we bring in the tutor for an orientation and example tutoring session. Each tutor must demonstrate the ability to tutor effectively at the interview level and the orientation level before they will actually be placed with a student. When you hire an individual tutor, you have 2 options: you can do all of that yourself, or you can risk it.

3.) Professionalism: A tutoring company has established methods of doing business. Companies have systems of invoicing their customers and paying their tutors. This allows the tutor to focus on what they do best: teaching. Additionally, tutoring companies have a code of conduct and a level of professional behavior they expect from their tutors.

4.) Reliability: Unexpected things happen to people. People move, retire, get sick, etc. If you are working with a tutoring company, they have another tutor that they can pair with your student to make sure that the test is still studied for, even though the regular tutor is sick. If a tutor moves away, the company can provide a new tutor and already be familiar with the situation, as opposed to you trying to find a new individual on your own.

5.) Accountability: Tutoring companies have invested in their reputation. Their tutors work with multiple students, not just yours. They are known entities in the community. A tutoring company has more to lose and consequently more motivation to make you happy by going above and beyond to give you and your student a great experience.

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