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    blog tours, children's books, giveaways, STEM

    One Step Further Blog Tour by Katherine Johnson with Her Daughters

    Welcome to the One Step Further Blog Tour!

    To celebrate the release of One Step Further by Katherine Johnson and her daughters Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore, and illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow on January 5th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive photos and stories from the life of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, plus 5 chances to win a hardcover copy!

    Music and Math
    A never-before-seen interview with Katherine and her daughters that didn’t end up in the final book
     
    Joylette and Kathy in 1954
     
    Joylette: Our whole family was also very musical. We played instruments: piano, organ, violin, cello. Music is a lot like math. One beat, two beats, three beats, four.
    Kathy: Our home was full of music. Music and math.
    Joylette’s violin

    Katherine: We found joy with each other and in music.

    Joylette: Mom directed the church choir and each of us sang in one choir or another. I also joined and played piano for the glee club at school. In 8th grade, I learned the violin. Our school orchestra conductor warned the other kids not to laugh when—
    Kathy: At first, their orchestra sounded like cats!
    Joylette: Did you snicker?
    Kathy: I smiled.
     
    Katherine: In the meantime, Jimmie started getting hammering headaches. The doctors said he needed surgery.
    Joylette: Daddy kept getting weaker and weaker while I was in high school.
    Kathy: His sickness was scary. “Lower your voices. Try to help.”
    Joylette: Playing music comforted me. Four beats to a measure. Half notes. Quarter notes. I understood music’s symphonies and rhythms, unlike life’s. I conducted the student choir, performed Handel’s “Messiah” and learned the organ.  
    Kathy: Taking care of Daddy made me dream of being a physical therapist.
    Joylette: That summer we spent our days with him at the hospital.
     
    Katherine: Every generation pushes the next one forward, just as each note propels the next.

    Some of the family’s sheet music
    Joylette: My parents’ passion for music had helped me find mine.
    Kathy: Their love of education made our brilliant minds shine.
    Joylette: In 1958, Hampton University offered me a partial music scholarship. I majored in math, but played piano and organ, sang, and helped conduct the choir.
    Kathy: In high school, I sang and played piano. Since Joylette and Connie had played violin, I moved to my own rhythm. I found the cello mellow and soothing. 
    Joylette: Eventually, I played the 9-foot grand piano and the big organ in Hampton’s Ogden Hall.

    *****

    Blog Tour Schedule:

    February 22nd – Multicultural Children’s Book Day Blog

    February 23rd – Here Wee Read

    February 24th – Make a Way Blog

    February 25th – BookHounds

    February 26th – Frantic Mommy

     

    Buy: Amazon | Indiebound | Bookshop

     
     
    Follow National Geographic Kids: Website | Twitter | Books Twitter | Facebook | Youtube
     
    This inspirational picture book reveals what is was like for a young black mother of three to navigate the difficult world of the 1950s and 60s and to succeed in an unwelcoming industry to become one of the now legendary “hidden figures” of NASA computing and space research.
     
    Johnson’s own empowering narrative is complemented by the recollections of her two daughters about their mother’s work and insights about how she illuminated their paths, including one daughter’s fight for civil rights and another’s journey to become a NASA mathematician herself. The narrative gracefully weaves together Johnson’s personal story, her influence on her daughters’ formative years, her and her daughters’ fight for civil rights, and her lasting impact on NASA and space exploration. Filled with personal reflections, exclusive family archival photos, and striking illustrations, readers will be immersed in this deeply personal portrayal of female empowerment, women in STEM, and the breaking down of race barriers across generations. Historical notes, photo/illustration notes, and a time line put the story into historical and modern-day context.
     
    The inspirational tale of Johnson’s perseverance is both intimate and global, showcasing the drive of each generation to push one step further than the last. With its evocative family album-style format and novel approach to storytelling, One Step Further is sure to inspire the next generation of rising stars.
     
    “Engaging, collage-style art augments the text, with speech bubbles, archival family photographs, and Barlow’s child-friendly illustrations. Concurrently accessible and intimate, this book will both inform readers and inspire them to reach for the stars.” 
    Publishers Weekly
     
    “A concise, engaging story of a Black family in the South during the Civil Rights era.” 
    Booklist
     
    “The blend of Johnson’s and her daughters’ voices is intimate and inspiring.” 
    Horn Book 
     
     
    Joylette (L), Kathy (R), Katherine (F) 
     

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. She calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program, and her work helped send astronauts to the moon. She died on February 24, 2020. 

     
    ABOUT THE CO-AUTHORS: Joylette Goble Hylick and Katherine “Kathy” Goble Moore grew up during the space race of the 1960s but never fully grasped their mother’s role in it until years later. Hylick graduated from Hampton University and received a Master’s at Drexel University. She followed in her mother’s footsteps, working at NASA as a mathematician before taking a job with Lockheed Martin as a Senior Requirements Engineer. She lives today in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. After attending Bennett College and Hampton University, and receiving a Masters of Science in Information Systems from Montclair State University (formerly Montclair State College), Moore spent 33 years working in public education as an educator and guidance counselor in New Jersey. She currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATORCharnelle Pinkney Barlow, granddaughter of Caldecott-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney, was surrounded by art as a child. Her passion for illustration grew after being introduced to the world of watercolors. She received her BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
     
    Follow Charnelle: Facebook | Instagram
     
     
     
    GIVEAWAY
     
    • One (1) winner will receive a SIGNED hardcover copy of One Step Further.  The book will be signed by Katherine Johnson’s daughters and co-authors Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore.
    • Check out the other four stops for more chances to win
    • US/Canada only
    • Ends 3/7/2021 at 11:59pm ET

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    STEM

    Seasons Change: Backyard Science Fun with Hero Elementary on PBS Kids

    Tracking Pixel

    Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Hero Elementary on PBS KIDS.

    When you think of a hero, who do you think of? A doctor? A teacher? A firefighter? A character with superhuman powers, a mask, and a cape? Well, the truth is that heroes come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. They can be any gender, young, or more seasoned. In fact, some of the most heroic acts in the world have been performed by kids.

    Children are born with innate “superpowers” and a natural curiosity about the world around them. That is why the Hero Elementary series on PBS KIDS is so great for STEM loving children ages 4 – 7. It challenges them to investigate, observe, make predictions, and figure out solutions to problems.

    Hero Elementary stars a diverse team of Super Students called Sparks’ Crew: Lucita Sky, AJ Gadgets, Sara Snap, and Benny Bubbles, led by their quirky and enthusiastic teacher, Mr. Sparks. Together they help people, problem solve, and try to make the world a better place for everyone.

    My kids love the show because it is filled with lots of age-appropriate superhero action! I appreciate the fact that it showcases valuable social-emotional concepts such as kindness and empathy that kids can apply to their everyday lives.

    After watching an episode of Hero Elementary, we went to the PBS KIDS website to download their Make Your Own Bubble Mix printable. We experimented with making our own bubble mix and then went outside to have some backyard science fun since it was not too cold.

    Then we had a brief discussion about why the seasons change and how families adapt to seasonal changes by wearing specific clothing during different seasons. For example: boots, hats, gloves, sandals, and bathing suits.  We also talked about why we adjust the temperature in our home and various outdoor seasonal recreational activities like swimming, hiking, and skiing.

    In the weeks ahead, we will be getting ready to transition from winter to spring. Therefore, we also got a head start on planting a few seeds to grow indoors during the remaining weeks of the winter season. Hopefully, by spring our seeds will have sprouted into flowers and we can transfer them from our egg carton to a bigger pot. It will be interesting to watch as our seeds begin to change over time and talk about the stages of a plant life cycle.

    Watching Hero Elementary can help children embrace their “Superpowers of Science” by combining science and literacy to build powerful learning. We enjoyed applying the lessons learned on screen in our backyard science adventure.

    If you are homeschooling or if your kids are participating in distance or hybrid learning, Hero Elementary can be used to supplement core curriculum and extend science lessons into real life.  Give it a try!

    You can watch Hero Elementary on PBS KIDS.  Check your local listings for showtimes or watch anytime on PBSKIDS.org or on the PBS KIDS video app.

    This post is sponsored by Hero Elementary on PBS KIDS.

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    STEM

    Learning at Home: Caterpillars to Butterflies

    Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore

    Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, our family had the opportunity to watch caterpillars turn into butterflies at home. The pandemic caused me to get creative and look for easy and educational activities we could tackle at home. This was such a fun and exciting STEM-based activity for our whole family to participate in and experience. We’ll definitely be doing this again as an annual springtime tradition.

    We ordered the Butterfly Garden kit from Insect Lore which includes a Live Cup of Caterpillars. The caterpillars start off as baby caterpillars that will grow into beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies over the course of 7-10 days. It’s was a fascinating family-friendly experience that sparked an even greater interest in nature right before my kid’s very eyes. Not only did my kids learn about the life cycles of a butterfly, but this activity also allowed them to learn more about life lessons like patience and empathy.

    Once the butterflies emerged from their chrysalides, we fed them nectar and citrus fruits. After observing them in their butterfly habitat for three days, we set them free on a bright and sunny day in our backyard.

    If you ever need proof that there is a higher power, try watching caterpillars turn into butterflies over the course of a few days right before your eyes. It’s truly an amazing sight to witness the whole process take place over the course of about two to three weeks total. We look forward to meeting new butterfly friends next spring!

    Your turn: Have you ever tried this activity at home with your family? Feel free to share in the comments.

    About Insect Lore
    Insect Lore has been providing Hands-On STEM and Real-World understanding of the life-cycle of insects for over 50 years. With their immersive kits, learners get to witness the life cycles of some of nature’s most interesting insects up close and personal. With these intriguing kits, learners of all ages will get a glimpse into the fascinating world of insect metamorphosis. Insect Lore offers school kits, insect habitats and more.

    Learn more about these amazing STEM-based interactive educational activities at: insectlore.com. On the website, you can also view instructional videos and more!

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    children's books, coloring books, STEM

    Mom-Approved Activity Books: Check Out these Activity Books to Keep Kids Occupied at Restaurants, Airports or During Long Car Rides

    Many kids love to color, draw and scribble.  I know mine do!  That’s why I decided to put together this list of some of the most creative and entertaining activity books that will get children’s creative juices flowing.  These activity books are full of fun activities and stimulating exercises to encourage learning and development.

    From playing with colors to learning science, some of these activity books have extra components that build brain-based executive functioning skills and require a little bit of extra mental energy too.  Other books are filled with facts, coloring areas, and fill-in-the-blank slots that keep children learning about how the world works.

    Let’s face it, if you’re a parent or caregiver you’ve been there at some point — at the airport, on the road, or at a restaurant with a bored or restless child. (There’s nothing wrong with being bored by the way – it’s actually a good thing!  But that’s a whole different topic.)  Sure, you can turn on an electronic device like an iPad, tablet, phone or video game to keep the kids entertained, but they don’t do much for their brain. If you’re looking for something a little more engaging, pull out an activity book, where the kids can dive into word searches, coloring, or other crafts.

    Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns and Magic (Ages 5 – 12)

    These Paint by Sticker Kids books are amazing!  Each book contains 10 different pictures to create with one sticker at a time. All pictures are numbered and have corresponding stickers to match. All pages are perforated, making it easy to tear out and work.  Stickers have so many wonderful benefits that help kids develop fine motor skills like: writing (neater pincer grasp), picking up small beads or string. Stickers can also be used to improve bilateral hand coordination, focus, and concentration.  If your kids like puzzles and stickers like mine do, check out these books. I’m definitely going to keep a stash of these on hand to use at home, out in public and during long car rides.  They have additional themes too and even holiday themed sticker books!

    Sew With Me: 60 Fun & Easy Projects to Make Your Own Fabulous Décor and Accessories by Brandy Nelson (Ages 7 – 12)

    Easy-to-follow instructions make this book a great place to start for beginners. With the projects divided into three skill levels, it’s a cinch to find one that’s just right for you. Beginner projects use only hand stitching, intermediate ones combine hand stitching with easy machine sewing and advanced ones use only a machine. Filled with pictures, friendly advice and cutout templates, this will become your favorite activity book for playtime.

    The Dinosaur Craft Book by Laura Minter and Tia Williams (Ages 8 – 12)

    Got a dinosaur enthusiast or future paleontologist on your hands?  (This one is recommended for use at home.)  Containing fantastic dinosaur-themed projects to make, The Dinosaur Craft Book will get children crafting and creating in no time.

    Secret Hidden Pictures Puzzles by Highlights (Ages 6 – 9)

    This book is seriously so fun!  It comes with a magic wand to reveal over 1,000 hidden objects throughout the book.  Can you say hours of fun for kids (and adults!)?

    This Hidden Pictures® puzzle-novelty book features an easy-to-store magic lens made of sturdy paper and plastic to locate over 500 hidden objects and discover amazing scenes. Every red-on-blue puzzle is a mystery until the lens reveals the curiosities underneath, such as jet-skiing starfish, a robot workshop, and astronauts in a faraway galaxy. Children ages 6-9 can become Hidden Pictures® detectives by using the clues to help locate the hidden objects and uncovering new surprises every time.

    Awesome Edible Kids Crafts by Arena Blake (Ages 6 – 11)

    Bring out your inner sculptor with Marshmallow Playdough, and engage your artistic side with Coloring Book Cookies or Painted Rainbow Toast. Are you planning a party? Why not make Edible Taffy Balloons to decorate with, or party hats that are fun to wear and tasty to snack on? You can even transform your favorite snacks and treats into zebras, lions, giraffes and more.

    Each project has a difficulty rating and lets you know if you will need a grownup to help you, making it easy for you to find the perfect project to spark your creativity using safe, nontoxic (and delicious) ingredients.

    101 Kids Activities That are the Ooey, Gooey-est Ever! by Jamie Harrington, Brittanie Pyper and Holly Homer (Ages 6 – 12)

    Create amazing concoctions like Fake Snow, Color-Changing Slime and Glow-in-the-Dark Dough. Dig your fngers into Glowing Magic Mud, Shaving Cream Dough and Kool-Aid Foam. Or, if you’re brave enough, squeeze the Spider Egg Sack Slime or the Frog’s Vomit Slime―eek! There are even some special slime that you can eat like Gummy Worm Slime, Pudding Slime and Cookie Dough Dough. With 101 super cool activities (that are also super easy to clean up), you can try them all!

    101 Kids Activities That are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! by Rachel Miller and Holly Homer (Ages 6 – 12)

    Never again will you hear the all-too-common call of, “I’m bored!” with this kid-pleaser for many ages.

    Whether your kid is 3, 5 or 12 years old, there are hundreds of fun, educational and engaging things to do in this book. When they ask to watch television, you’ll have the perfect solution. 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! has time-tested, exciting activities to keep your children laughing and learning for the whole day, every day.

    Low-Mess Crafts for Kids: 72 Projects to Create Your Own Magical Worlds by Debbie Chapman (Ages 8 – 12)

    With tricks like twisting pipe cleaners into fun shapes to avoid glue and using brightly colored cups and patterned paper to avoid paint, Debbie shows that keeping it simple doesn’t mean play time has to be less fun.

    Low-Mess Crafts for Kids brings parents and caretakers solutions to the craft time conundrum. As well as being low-mess, all 72 of these awesome projects feature everyday items like pipe cleaners, pom poms and clothespins, which make playtime a cinch. And with step-by-step pictures, kids of any age can create something they can be proud of.

    Awesome Science Experiments for Kids by Crystal Chatterton (Ages 5 – 10)

    Getting kids excited about science can be difficult. Science Experiments for Kids provides young scientists ages 5-10 with hands-on experiments that teach them how to apply the scientific method.

    Animal Activity Book by Alain Gree (Ages 4 – 8)

    This delightful animal-themed activity book will entertain children who are crazy about all things to do with animals. The pages are crammed with over 100 great activities, including dot to dot, spot the difference, coloring in, simple makes and other engaging puzzles, as well as 4 pages of stickers to be used in the book. Fun and educational, the Animal Activity Book features beautiful, bright illustrations that will draw children in and keep them busy. All of the pages are incredibly absorbing with Alain’s unmistakably rich and appealing style of illustration. And while they are enjoying the mazes, matching and counting, the games are helping them to develop a wide range of skills, including observational, conversational and motor.

    Transportation Activity Book by Alain Greer (Ages 4 – 8)

    This gorgeous transport-themed activity book will be very popular with any child who loves all things that go! With over 100 different activities, including dot to dot, spot the difference, coloring in, simple makes and other engaging puzzles. The Transport Activity Book is educational as well as fun and features beautiful, bright illustrations that will draw children in and keep them busy. All of the pages are incredibly absorbing with Alain’s unmistakably rich and appealing style of illustration. And while they are enjoying the mazes, matching and counting, the games are helping them to develop a wide range of skills, including observational, conversational and motor.

    Photo PuzzleMania! by Highlights (Ages

    The puzzling experts at Highlights(TM) have created a brand-new puzzle direction with this exciting and innovative book–every puzzle is created from intricate, full-color photographs. Kids will love searching photos to find the hidden objects in our unique photo Hidden Pictures puzzles.

    Dinosaur Puzzles by Highlights (Ages 6 – 9)

    This irresistible book is packed with more than 100 favorite dinosaur puzzles straight from our beloved magazine. Drawn in the classic Highlights™ black-and-white style, each puzzle is carefully designed to engage and entertain children while honing their concentration skills and attention to detail. With more than 1,200 objects to find, this book provides kids of all ages with hours of puzzling fun.

    Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to keep kids entertained on the go or at home?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's books, diverse books, STEM

    Celebrate National STEM/STEAM Day: Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons (A Book Review)

    Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons by Dr. Arlyne Simon illustrated by Diana Necsulescu

    Publisher: Bella Agnes Books
    Format: Hardcover/Paperback
    Pages: 40
    Age Range: 5 – 8
    Grade Level: Kindergarten- 3

    In honor of National STEM/STEAM Day, I’m sharing an awesome children’s book with you entitled Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons.  Have you read it yet?

    Synopsis
    Tired of coloring with broken crayons, Abby invents the world’s first UNBREAKABLE CRAYONS. She even gets a patent to prove it! Through Abby’s failures and eventual success, she playfully introduces young readers to the scientific method. This book also contains a fun activity page, encouraging young readers to create their own unbreakable crayons.

    Reflection

    Little Abby is tired of coloring with broken crayons and I don’t blame her.  It’s no fun to be in the middle of coloring only to have your crayon break and interrupt your creative flow.  She has an idea to invent the first unbreakable crayons after seeing a local inventor who looked just like her visit her classroom.

    Abby gets to work and starts her research by heading to the library after school.  She learns what crayons are made of, the process used to make them and why they break.

    Crayons break because they are not strong enough.  They are thin and long so if pressed too hard, they will break.

    After having many failed attempts to test her unbreakable crayons, Abby starts to get discouraged and feels like quitting.   With help and encouragement from her teacher, Abby keeps going and eventually finds a solution to truly make her crayons unbreakable.

    There are several things kids can learn from reading this book:

    • The importance of representation/windows and mirrors – Abby became inspired to be an inventor when an inventor who looked like her came to speak at her school.
    • STEM – This is a great book to introduce children to STEM (Science, Math, Technology and Engineering)
    • Diversity – There are several diverse characters featured throughout the book
    • The invention process – Children will learn the basics of the invention process: what it means to invent, asking questions, testing and receiving a an official patent from the government

    I loved how determined Abby was to see her idea come to fruition and how she pushed through despite having failed attempts in the beginning.  She used affirming phrases to help keep her motivated, energized and focused on her goal:

    I am a problem solver.  I am an inventor.  I solve problems, big and small because I have great ideas.

    We should all be like Abby and give ourselves mini pep talks like this whenever we’re facing challenges.  Am I right?

    This book is also a great way to help spark curiosity, wonder and imagination for little readers while introducing science and engineering.  The back matter features an author’s note, a small glossary of terms and a couple of questions for kids to ponder and express their own ideas.

    Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons checks all the boxes of a great STEM/STEAM book.

    It empowers children to:

    • Ask questions
    • Be curious
    • Problem solve
    • Think outside the box
    • Be innovative

    About the Author

    Honored as a trailblazing female innovator by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Dr. Arlyne Simon is a biochemical engineer, inventor, author and entrepreneur. She is originally from the Commonwealth of Dominica. Like Abby, many of her early experiments failed but she didn’t give up and neither should you! Visit her online at arlynesimon.com.

    Your turn: How are you celebrating National STEM/STEAM day?  What STEM/STEAM related books will you be reading?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    parenting, product reviews, revolution math, STEM, technology

    Help Your Kids Fall In Love with Math (And Reading Too!) With Revolution Math

    Disclaimer: This post is brought to you in partnership with Revolution Math, an interactive online math and story-based program for kids in grades 2-5. Get your first month of Revolution Math plus a math learning kit for $1 with the code WEEREAD1!

    Education has always been extremely important to me.  When I was a child I used to always say I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.  Well, when I finally “grew up” I changed my mind and decided on the computer field instead.  Perhaps some day I’ll be a college professor and finally have the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of teaching.  For now, I’ll settle as being my children’s first teacher.

    I knew even before I had children that I didn’t want their learning to be left entirely up to the school system.  I make it a point to supplement whatever they are learning in school at home with my own teachings by making it fun.  One way I supplement education at home is by using an awesome interactive online math and story-based curriculum called Revolution Math.  Have you heard of it before?  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have heard me talk about it in my stories.  Try It Out for 30 Days for JUST $1 (No strings attached – I promise!)

    Math was always my favorite subject in school.  I want my kids to like math or at least do well in it even if they don’t love it as much as I do.  Did you know research suggests that early math skills are a better predictor of academic success than early reading skills?

    What Is Revolution Math?
    Revolution Math is an innovative program designed to help 2nd-5th graders develop their math skills and an overall love of learning. The live, online interface integrates an interactive learning experience with a story-based curriculum and Common Core aligned math games. Students enjoy a small class size of only 4 students, allowing them to build confidence under the instruction of a dedicated teacher.  Check out their brief introductory online videos for more information.

    Our Experience
    My daughter has been using Revolution Math (we pay for this program with our own money) for the past two months.  I can honestly say she is truly enjoying it and most importantly she’s learning advanced math skills for her grade.  While the program is recommended for kids in grades 2-5, they also accept first grade students like my daughter.

    Initially, some of the concepts were a bit difficult for her to grasp (as with learning anything new), but I’ve seen lots of improvement over the past two months.  She is now able to do one, two, three and four digit addition and subtraction problems a lot easier using the concepts learned through the program without any worry or anxiety like she initially had.

    Here are a few of the things my daughter has learned so far:

    • Place value charting to decompose addends for 2-digit + 2-digit addition and 3-digit + 2-digit addition
    • Different ways to represent three-digit numbers
    • Finding patterns
    • “Bundling”, “exchanging” or “carrying” from a lower place value to a higher one

    I’ve loved witnessing the progress and confidence I’ve seen in my daughter over the past two months.  It’s also been great to see her build a relationship with her online teacher (the teacher remains the same each week) and on occasion participate in class with other students.

    Other added benefits are parents receive a weekly update on the math tutoring session which includes cool apps and strategies you can use at home to reinforce learning.  Also, registered subscribers can access additional drills for practice playing the Revolution math game.  Finally, kids earn gems each lesson that can be traded in for kid-friendly prizes from the Revolution Math Rewards store.  Who doesn’t love an incentive?  I know I sure do!  My daughter is currently saving up her gems for a fidget spinner.

    Are you excited yet?  Do you want to help your children fall in LOVE with math (and reading too!)?

    Try It Out for 30 Days for JUST $1 (No strings attached – I promise!)
    You seriously can’t go wrong with this deal – it’s like getting 4 high-quality math classes for just $0.25 cents each if you break it down.  To me, this is a no-brainer to sign up for a 30-day trial especially if you have kids in grades 1-5.  Plus, you get a math learning kit which is yours to keep and doesn’t have to be returned.  Win-win!  I only share brands and products that my family truly uses, values and trusts and Revolution Math has gained our trust over the past two months.

    The learning kit includes several math manipulatives: graph paper, dice, place value number tiles, a protractor and masks to use for the story time portion of the course.  Be sure to use my code ‘WEEREAD1’ to take advantage of this fantastic deal for just $1 and tell them I sent you!

    Your turn: Are you ready to raise a math whiz?  Have you heard of Revolution Math before?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    adult books, book reviews, STEM, technology

    Coding for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Confidently Help With Coding Homework

    Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

    Coding for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Confidently Help With Homework by Frazer Wilson

    Publisher: Sterling Publishing
    Pages: 208
    Format: Paperback

    Synopsis
    Facing the daunting prospect of helping your children with their coding homework?  Coding for Parents teaches you what you need to know . . . so you can teach your kids!

    Unlock the mysteries of coding with this easy-to-follow and well-illustrated guide—and help your kids ace their coding homework! Organized by age and grade, It takes you by the hand and leads you through the basics, building your knowledge of key concepts, terminology, and techniques, and giving you the language you’ll need to explain it all to your child. Instructional diagrams and compelling illustrations appear throughout to enhance your understanding, and the book covers the most popular software, including Scratch, Python, and Java.

    Reflection
    The introduction of the computer has changed the world forever, for better or for worse.  The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science.  President Barack Obama said it best when he said, “In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill – it’s a basic skill.”

    In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill – it’s a basic skill.” – Barack Obama

    And yet, computer science is not part of the required curriculum in many US public schools.  That means it’s up to adults to help their children get more familiar with computers, technology and coding when it’s not offered to them in their school.  With the help of great books like Coding for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Confidently Help With Homework adults can cultivate a child’s interest in computing, even if they’ve never written a line of code on their own a day in their life.

    I like that this book is organized by age and grade level for different software like: Java, Scratch and Python.  It’s a compact and comprehensive introduction to all things coding broken down into digestible bites that are easy to comprehend.  There are also helpful diagrams with some added humor to help take a bit of the edge off if you’re new to the world of coding.  The book also contains a helpful glossary and index making it easy to find and reference information throughout.

    Coding is all about learning by doing.  And the more kids feel like they can “do” computers, the more likely they are to pursue technical careers.  An added bonus is having a parent or adult who understands coding and can help a child easily understand it too.  That’s where  Coding for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Confidently Help With Homework comes into play.  Check it out if you want to be able to confidently help the special kiddo in your life with their coding homework.  Makes a great back to school gift idea for parents!

    Your turn: Is Computer Science a part of the curriculum at your child’s school?  What other books would you recommend for adults to help children with coding homework?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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