Posts from the ‘Librarians’ Category

A HANDBOOK FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS

Roadmap to Navigating Your Child’s Disability
Written by Chrissie Kahan
Illustrated by Blueberry Illustrations

I would heartily recommend this book for parents and educators who are interested in navigating the tricky world of special education. For parents who suspect that something is just not right, this book provides an introduction to the types of disabilities and treatments available. Teachers who have not been trained in the field of special education need a basic understanding of the problems and resources available to treat them.

This book is divided into three sections. The first part explores the endless jargon employed in the educational testing, developing the plan, and implementing the Individual Educational Plan that each diagnosed child is entitled to have. This is a very scary and confusing process for parents. In the second section, the author explains who are the members of the team, how long the process takes, and how a parent can successfully advocate for their child. The third section is an alphabetical listing of the most common disabilities found in children, accommodations available within the school, reference links to resources, and how to reinforce what is taught in the school setting right in the home.

The world of special education is often written in legal language fraught with difficulty to understand. The way an IEP is developed and implemented varies greatly from state to state and school district. This book gives parents and teachers a good introduction and provides a readable reference source. As an educator with forty years of experience in general and special education, I would highly recommend this handbook to those about to become familiar with the special education world.

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#LittleMissHISTORY #virtualreality #SANSAR #INTERVIEW with Bernhard Drax

I recently had the opportunity to present Little Miss HISTORY  in animation. Thanks to Silas Merlin, who created the avatar, the character has come to life.

  • Little Miss HISTORY insists, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” On the day of our birth, we become a character in history because each of us has an opportunity to create our story and place our mark on history.

 

  • As we stand here in the twenty-first century, technology allows us to immerse ourselves in history. In 2003, Linden Lab launched a program called Second Life. Its users, who are called residents, use this technology to create virtual representations of themselves. These avatars can explore the virtual world, socialize and participate with other residents in a group or individual activities. Second Life has its own virtual currency that allows residents to create, shop, and trade virtual property with one another.

 

  • In 2014, Linden Lab announced a plan to develop a new virtual world. Content creators began working on the program named Project Sansar. The platform was released in “creator beta” to the public in July 2017. Users create 3D spaces where people can create and share social experiences such as watching videos, playing games, and having conversations. Participants are represented by avatars they create. These avatars contain speech-driven facial animations and motion driven body animations.

 

  • Sansar supports virtual reality headsets but can also be accessed with Windows computers. The program is free to use, but like Second Life Sansar has its own economy. Users can buy and sell their virtual creations with the Sansar dollar.

 

  • HOW DID LITTLE MISS HISTORY GET INVOLVED IN VIRTUAL REALITY? A few months ago, I was approached by Bernhard Drax to appear on his Book Club Radio podcast. When I heard that Little Miss HISTORY would have an opportunity to appear in virtual reality, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

  • Via “draxtor”..and media for all! Drax and his team now offer audio-visual storytelling for many media platforms. Bernhard Drax studied audio engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles and music at the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater Munchen. He is an expert in user-created content in Virtual Reality. His award-winning mixed reality documentary series “The Drax Files: World Makers” is just one of his many video series featured on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/draxtordespres

 

I invite you to join us in a discussion about books, education, and history, past, present, and future!

 

Check out Little Miss HISTORY’s journey into virtual reality!

 

If you would like to read the entire interview on the podcast, please go here:

https://wp.me/p485L9-1N9

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO DOESN’T NEED A HUG

Who Needs a Hug?: Everybody Needs a Hug

Written and Illustrated by Sally Huss

 

One morning a koala bear wakes up in an exceptionally good mood. He shouts out, “Who needs a hug?” A hippo passing by thinks a catch might be attached so he asks if it is free. The koala scampers down from his eucalyptus tree and hugs the hippo with all his might. Feeling satisfied, the hippo wanders off. The koala renews his offer, hugging any animal that responds to his request. Before long, he has added a giraffe, a porcupine, a brown bear, a snake, a badger, and a tiger to his hugging list. Eventually, the koala comes to a pond for a drink and repeats his question, “Who needs a hug?” This time the answer surprises him.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but children and adults can use a hug any time of the year. The illustrations in this book are whimsical and charming. They need not all be realistic, I enjoyed seeing a blue koala and a purple hippo. This book reminds preschoolers and primary grade children that expressing affection and kindness without expecting anything in return is a valuable reward in itself. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud discussion book.

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ONLINE SAFETY

How to Protect Children from Online Predators and Cyberbullies: Survival Guide for Non-Techie Parents

Written by Ram Muthiah

I found this guide informative and essential for parents with children growing up in a world dominated by digital technology. The author wrote this book for two reasons: as a supplement to a novel based on true experience and as a practical guide to help parents navigate the rapidly changing world of the internet in which their children engage daily. Muthiah wants to protect children from those who use the internet to engage in crimes that prey on children. The author’s opinion is that the most important thing parents can do is to gain the trust of their children so that they can engage in honest conversations about internet abuses.

Pedophiles use the internet to lure children into meeting them or to collect pornographic pictures of them. Cyberbullies are cowards to hide behind the anonymity of the internet to attack and scar children mentally. The Internet is a tool to set up human trafficking networks. This author covers all the social media networks like Facebook, Skype, Instagram et al and breaks down different social networks and how they can be used as traps to engage children. He provides links to effective tools for screening out the threats and includes an appendix of secret internet language used by children and teens with which parents may not be familiar,

I would urge parents, teachers, and all those who work with children to keep this book on their shelf as valuable reference material.

TACKLING OUR FEARSI

I DON’T WANT TO GO TO KINDERGARTEN: I’LL MISS YOU TOO MUCH!

Written by Maureen White

Illustrated by Tracy Taylor Arvidson

The author is a school counselor. She uses her expertise to develop a “Powering Up” stress management technique to help us deal with challenging situations. The activity used in this book proves that the body can instantly respond to a change in our thoughts. This book is made interactive by tapping on the pages. White includes instructions on how to reinforce the superpower method and links to videos and workshops that can be used to practice the technique.

White presents a story that features Tina, a young girl who is fearful about beginning kindergarten. While shopping for a backpack, Tina and her mom meet Bobby and his mom. Bobby shares with Tina that he has developed a superpower in preschool that he will teach her. The next day Bobby introduces Tina to Paddy Penguin, a puppet that can help make our muscles strong. He shows Tina that happy thoughts can make one strong.

These techniques can be practiced by children or adults of any age to manage any challenging situation. Recommended for parents and teachers.

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OCEAN PLAYMATES

DOLPHINS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

I have read several of the amazing animals books written by this author. Who can resist looking at the face of a dolphin? Child begins by describing the general features of dolphins like smooth skin and bottlenoses and then goes on to explain there are many variations. I had never heard of the dalmatian dolphin and was surprised to learn that dolphins migrate each year.

Child’s discussion of the way dolphins communicate by echolocation and a whistle sound that is unique to each dolphin is fascinating. I learned that dolphins use sea sponges to protect their mouths from spiny fish and that some dolphins have more than one hundred teeth. Children will be surprised to learn that dolphins live in families like theirs and that they delight in playing with each other. The dolphins’ intelligence level is second only to that of a human and they are good problem solvers.

This book is informative and a great research tool for children in the elementary or middle grades. Only one thing disappointed me. The photos on the Kindle can be enlarged by double-clicking, but this was not simple to do and once enlarged some of the photos looked blurry.

Recommended for dolphin lovers everywhere regardless of age.

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FOLDING FUN

Origami For Kids: Easy Japanese Origami Instruction For Kids

Written by Ben Mikaelson

This book is a practical guide for learning the ancient art of origami, Japanese art of paper folding. I like the fact that the author takes the time to go into the history of paper and the art of paper folding. Mikaelson proceeds to give instructions on how to make fourteen separate origami projects. He begins with simple symbols and shapes like the heart, a cup, and a letter. Then he progresses to a cicada, bird, and a little boat. As one becomes more accomplished, the finished projects evidence a growing sophistication with the art form. If the budding artist keeps practicing, he will be fashioning a peacock, a whale, and a dinosaur before finishing the book.

Readers will learn how to create Japanese letters and how Akira Yoshizawa popularized origami in Japan and throughout the world. He created more than 50,000 unique origami designs. Today the principles of origami are used in building cars, microscopes, robots, and even heart surgery.

I would recommend this book for children and adults of any age. Perfect activity for families and siblings to share or art teachers to introduce to their students.

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