I have been told to lead a nature walk & workshop for a Girl Scout event that has a "magic" theme. This will be in the Pacific Northwest in a coniferous-riparian setting, and these are 7-17 year old girls. Yeah, I know. that's a broad range of ages. That's why I need your help. I'm a botanist. EVERYTHING sciency and outside is magical to me, so I'm hoping to make a list of very quick (<5 minute) demos with things found outside that have a big impact or are somehow surprising to a non-science audience. I'd like to avoid the pointing-and-telling kind of nature activity - I want these concepts to show themselves off somehow. Apparently I'll be doing this multiple times throughout the year so seasonality doesn't matter. [more inside]
I am struggling with explaining the origin of life, evolution and natural selection in a tangible way to my kids 4 & 5. Informing myself better has helped in the explaining, but I hope you can direct me towards videos aimed at young children which do a better job. Those I have found online are great for adults and slightly older kids, but level of detail is off-putting for them e.g. From the big bang to me, great video, but slightly too advanced.
I'm taking a group of first graders to our local retirement home, and I've run out of ideas for activities. Any thoughts? [more inside]
I am looking for specific Japanese language resources that fall into two groups: adult intermediate-to-advanced level, and early childhood education for Japanese kids. Please share your recommendations! [more inside]
We are thinking of enrolling our (half-Japanese) 5yo son in ほしゅうこう, Saturday Japanese school. I understand the pros - he's unlikely to attain any kind of conversational proficiency unless he has a formal impetus. But I'm worried about the cons: stress, anxiety, lots of extra homework, major reduction in family time. I'd love to hear from people who attended weekend language school as a child, or who have enrolled their child in one. Or even religious school, if it had a significant time commitment. Of course every family and every child is different, but I'm interested in hearing a variety of experiences of how it did or didn't work for you. [more inside]
Dear hivemind: I'm going to bring a 300X video microscope to my daughter's preschool. What easily obtainable substances will be super cool to view? Bacteria are too small, red blood cells are a biohazard. Toddlers could care less about onion skins, cork, and plant vasculature in my experience, and I am not doing anything that requires fixing/staining. [more inside]
My daughter is 5 and starting kindergarten and music lessons. I cannot lie: in these and her future...I dunno, endeavors I guess you would call them, I want her to do well. I want her to put effort in and take pleasure in her efforts. But I don't know how to foster this in her and it's time I started figuring it out. [more inside]
My daughter is starting kindergarten at Catholic school. We are atheists (although raised Catholic). She will be learning about god in school, learning prayers, etc. and I basically just realized that I have NO CLUE how to navigate this. Do I let her believe, or do I tell her it's all just pretend? Is there an in between? Please help. [more inside]
My 8-year-old son is obsessed with Minecraft, and has announced that he would like to create video games when he grows up. My own IT skills topped out around 1982 when I learned to write programs in Basic that printed my name in an endless goto loop. What technologies/languages/apps can I introduce him to in order to leverage his enthusiasm and channel it to something that teaches him age-appropriate programming skills? Assume second-grade math and logic skills and no programming background whatsoever.
Our daughter just finished her first year of Spanish in a full-immersion kindergarten. We're looking for good all-Spanish TV shows we can show her (and my wife, who wants to learn) over the summer so she doesn't forget it all. [more inside]
I watched The Aviator last week and like how they portrayed Howard with his deafness; inappropriate answers from guessing wrong, how people stepped in to cover for him, etc. are there other examples I can "super cut" or just string together by searching and presenting instructionally? [more inside]
My first grader is asking about multiplication and division. Where do I start? [more inside]
I'd like to find some games (or other techniques) to play with my 3 year old in order to learn alphabet and numbers. From experience, learning through fun is much better for everyone involved, but may not necessarily be the case here. Please point me in the right direction so I can try some things to see what actually works.
My wonderful partner has a 7-year-old, 2nd-grade son who is having a little trouble keeping up with his peers in the reading department. We're trying to give him some extra attention in that area so that he can catch up, and we'd like to try and foster in him a genuine interest in reading. What books (or comics, or anything) could we give him that he might like, and which would be appropriate for his reading level? [more inside]
Which organisations, companies, community groups, etc support and encourage embracing both arts/humanities AND STEM (especially technology)? [more inside]
What can I show children to inspire and wow them? I teach children aged between 9 and 11. I'm looking for video clips (or other) to show the children that will blow their minds - or at least, prompt discussion, broaden their horizons and take them outside of the confines of the four walls of the classroom. [more inside]
I've got a third grader in public school who's having a rough year with her teacher. The teacher is out half the time, with a rotating cast of substitutes. When she's there she's explosive and calls the kids names and told them that she starved a beloved class pet to death over the holidays. What should I be doing? [more inside]
What do you do to teach your children math (or maths)? [more inside]
Hi all, I am looking for resources for figuring out the best pre-schools and schools on the East Coast (public and private both are fair game). Is there a national database ranking the schools? I am particularly interested in the Boston/Cambridge area, but am curious for my own personal reasons about schools in NYC as well as Chicago, and maybe the East Coast in general. My kid is 7 months old and definitely not ready to go to school just yet. But as I am originally not from this country, I'd like to familiarize myself with the system fully before I have to enroll her in school. In my humble opinion, schooling is very important - if it wasn't for a good school, I won't have the necessary life skills myself (irrespective of the professional and grad training), so I am hoping to be aware of the US school landscape before my little one starts going to preschool. Many thanks for your kind help. Have a nice day!
I occasionally hang out with a smart 11-year-old girl, am a friend of the family. She's ahead of her peers in reading and math, starts 6th grade in the fall, but is not especially challenged by her public school. A few years ago in a different school district, they offered to skip her a grade (this option was not chosen). [more inside]
My (boy / girl) twins will be entering kindergarten this September. We've been asked if we want them placed into separate classes, or left together in the same class. Need to give them our answer by Monday and frankly, I'm at a loss and have no idea what I should do. If you are a parent of school-age or older twins, can you please share what you did and why? If you yourself are a twin, how did your parents handle it? How did it work out? Other knowledgeable anecdotes and advice welcome. Links to any online resources I can read on the topic would also be appreciated.
My kids (currently 6 and 9) have become voracious readers. We have a large and varied collection of excellent fiction for them, but the non-fiction collection is more haphazard. They love learning new facts as they read (the type of thing that makes them look up from the book and say, "Did you know...?"). I want to make sure that the collection of books gives them a good introduction to fields where I myself may not have enough knowledge to judge the quality/accuracy of the book. So what's the kid's book in your field that makes you say, "If only every kid got to read this book, people would understand [topic] better."? [more inside]
How can I (should I?) thank parents for doing a fantastic job? [more inside]
I am a mother of 3 kids, age 2,4,10. I need babysitter to take care of my kids for 1-2 hours during the weekend, so that I can run other errands. But it seems that babysitters typically look for more work (money) than 1-2hrs ($30)/job (with typical rate of $15/hr). I am willing to pay $30 to $60 per hour if the babysitter can teach the kids music, dance, gym, drawing or other arts and can involve all three of my kids. [more inside]
I recently changed jobs from a teen librarian to a children's librarian. I have solid public service skills, but I feel like I'm behind the curve in terms of preparedness. Help me be the best children's librarian ever! [more inside]
Looking for fun day plans for home-schooled kids. [more inside]
What does a 9-year-old need to do now to become President of the United States? [more inside]
Moving to a better school zone. Should I do it? Tough decisions concerning moving, staying put, and financial future. [more inside]
I'm looking for websites that have cool, educational, entertaining and kid-safe stuff I can share with my two 4 year olds, perhaps similar to the kids should see this, and/or sites that suggest neat projects and how-to's my wife and I can work on with them to open their eyes to the wonders of the world around them. All suggestions welcome!
What non-computer based activities can I use to teach video game development to 10-12 year olds? [more inside]
Teacher-Filter: Looping? [more inside]
Looking for computer/internet recommendations for my 10 year old friend. What are the coolest, most interesting, and least consumerist activities, websites, and other digital/virtual things that I can introduce this kid to? What did you like to do with computers / the internet when you were that age? Bonus internet safety questions inside! [more inside]
Favorite spoken words/performed poems for kids? [more inside]
Will not sending my kids to preschool doom them to poverty, prison, drug addictions, despair, etc? [more inside]
Which method of homeschooling is the most successful? [more inside]
Primary school gets out tomorrow. I know it is common for kids to have a "summer slide" where they forget a lot of what they've learned over the year. Recommend some fun math and science sites/projects/activities for elementary school age kids that will keep them refreshed and interested. [more inside]
Apart from tomatoes, strawberries and beans, what can we grow on our sunny central European balcony? [more inside]
Looking for tips on teaching/discussing reproduction to kindergarten age children. [more inside]
What are some good resources for at-home K-4 education exercises? [more inside]
My son is nearing kindergarten age and we're exploring our options for his education. We stumbled across this "Family School" in Albuquerque, NM, and we love the concept of half day public school and half day home school. Does anyone know of public (or private) elementary schools anywhere in the United States with a similar setup to this?
What New York City Preschools teach children reading before they get to kindergarten? I'm looking for names. Thank you!
What's the best way to financially support of evolution education in Kansas? [more inside]
Family astronomy activities? [more inside]
I'd like to learn about jobs that involve working intensively, one-on-one, with preschool or elementary-aged kids, to help them learn or develop. But, I have so many constraints that I'm not sure any role fits. Could you point me to any possibilities? [more inside]
Can you recommend some great educational media for my nearly two year old daughter? I am looking for good DVD's, computer / iPhone software, or websites that I can load up for 30-60 minutes a day. I would like something she can learn from, but if she is having fun, that is cool as well. Right now she is a Dora and Diego addict. I just got her a few LeapFrog preschool DVD's that she loves. She can sing her ABC's and can count to 10 in English and Spanish. She is just starting to be able to answer "How does the letter A, B, C, etc. go?' She knows how to flip pages and push buttons on the iPhone. Are there any computer learning games that a two year old could handle. Flash games? iPhone games? Answers to this question do not involve telling me to take my daughter outside. I am familiar with the debunking of Baby Einstein. I would just like to find some good stuff for her to watch, play or interact with. General toy recommendations are good as well.
Robot toys and fiction on the topic of robots / artificial intelligence and learning? [more inside]
BostonFilter: Where is the coolest place to take a 5-year-old in Boston, Massachusetts? [more inside]
I can work in any US city and am committed to doing so for two years. Where can I teach that will be stimulating and engaging, in a community I will love? [more inside]
Legitimate math websites for k-5 students. [more inside]
Are there any good books out there for your 6-10 yr. old child who shows an interest in engineering? [more inside]
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