Posts tagged ‘science experiments’

NUISANCE NERD

Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest: The Quest for Screen Time

Written by Marti Dumas

Illustrated by Marie Muravski

JadenToussaint,pic

This is an early chapter book consisting of seven short chapters, plus black and white illustrations, perfect for early readers in elementary grades. The Prologue introduces each character with an illustration and a brief character profile.

Protagonist Jaden Toussaint is a kindergarten student who is different from the rest of his family. Mom, dad, and older sister love to read, but precocious Jaden thinks that the trouble with books is that they make you feel lonely and left out. Jaden loves interacting with people and animals; he enjoys conducting scientific experiments. One day Jaden is being persistently annoying so his father reluctantly gives him his cell phone. Jaden immediately decides using a screen is the way to his destiny.

Jaden is only in kindergarten, but he thinks Mrs. Bates, his teacher is wonderful. When the class gets homework, Jaden tries to convince his parents that computer time is mandatory, but they disagree. Jaden finds an innovative way to convince them to change their minds.

Young readers will enjoy Jaden’s clever way of manipulating adults. This book with black and white illustration and appealing characters with short chapters provides a good choice for reluctant readers and children like Jaden who normally don’t want to pick up a book. Teachers could use the short chapter format spread over a week to do classroom read aloud and discussion. Has the mark of a promising series.

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KEEPING KIDS ENGAGED

The Children’s Busy Book:365 Creative Learning Games and Activities to Keep Your 6-10 Year Old Busy

Written by Trish Kuffner

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The author is not trying to reinvent the wheel; she does want to help you make the most of your child’s free time. Contents of this book are designed to stimulate creativity, social skills, imagination and thinking skills. They can be used after school, during the summer, or on a weekend. The ages six to ten are recommended but not arbitrary as younger children as well as adults might also enjoy them. They are not gender specific; the categories are generalized with much overlapping.

Let’s look at some of the chapter headings: rainy days, indoor Olympics, fun outdoors, my family and me, arts and crafts, and holiday fun. Under these headings the reader will find some traditional games like jump rope and hopscotch, marbles and card games. There are some great recipes in the kids in the kitchen section like oatmeal pancakes and Teriyaki chicken. In the math area there are activities like naming that coin and calendar games. Budding scientists learn how to make rock candy crystals fossils, and invisible ink. For a family project children might want to research a family tree, create a scrapbook or set up a “praise box.”

In the Appendix, Kuffner lists more suggestions for reading, resources for parents, and an index of supplies needed to complete or create the projects. This book leaves nothing to be desired. Everything needed is clearly delineated and indexed. The guide is a valuable resource to be placed on the shelves of parents, camp counselors, librarians and teachers. Just the thing to reach for as soon as an adult hears a child say, “I’m bored.”

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