Monday, May 11, 2015

Books in the Classroom with Yvonne


About the book:
A book to help parents to make their children's digital playtime educational

Digital play, when used appropriately, can be a powerful tool for learning skills such as planning, time management, cooperation, creativity, and digital literacy. The book’s clearly articulated strategies help parents use digital media in a more effective manner and, at the same time, set effective limits and implement a healthy “play diet” for their children. A section devoted to exploring specific strategies for using digital media with children in specific populations—such as children affected by ADHD, autism spectrum and learning disorders, and other mental health and educational issues—is also featured, as is a list of specific games, apps, and tools to make game-based learning most effective.

YVONNE'S REVIEW: This is a reference book for both parents and educators.  It explains how digital apps and games can be beneficial to improving various skills (planning, working memory, focus, self-control, flexibility, self-awareness, and organization) in children and teens. As a parent, I was particularly impressed with the sections about a Healthy Play Diet. I appreciated that Kulman has written about Healthy Play Diets varying from birth to teenagers. Children need different guidelines based on age. As a teacher, I found the description of many apps and video games helpful. I loved how he started each section with questions to reflect on about your child/student. Finally the book ends with sections regarding how digital play can benefit children with ADHD or autism. This book is packed with ways the digital world can benefit children. I appreciate how Randy Kulman, Ph.D. weaves in the importance of moderation and parent involvement into using the digital world to help children and teens improve their executive functions. 5 stars


About the book: Amelia is excited to graduate from middle school, but she's nervous about starting high school, especially when she finds out she won't have her best friend, Carly, with her. In her graduation yearbook, drawings and "photos" nostalgically recap her earlier years and notebooks as Amelia figures out how to face the changes ahead.

YVONNE'S REVIEW: I love this book!! Amelia is such a true to life character. This book will not disappoint.  My freshman daughter picked up the book and chuckled right away. She said, “That is totally how going to high school feels…being at the bottom again.” Although this book is Amelia’s notebook about leaving middle school, I think girls in upper elementary (ages 10+)  would enjoy it. The book is centered around Amelia and her friend Carly. Amelia was able to survive middle-school because she had a best friend but heading off to high school without Carly seems impossible. Something many girls face when going from elementary to middle school. The best thing about this Amelia book and all the ones before; is the idea that writing your thoughts and feelings in a notebook is a positive way to work through all the childhood issues. This book is a springboard for starting a notebook with your daughter through the high school years…a mom and me notebook! 5 stars


About the book:  This book is deisgned to help regular parents get through times where their children are just not motivated - maybe struggling with schoolwork, or even not willing to go to school. Packed with 101 down to earth, practical ideas on how to motivate them - whatever their age, whatever they need that extra boost to achieve. Short, easy to use ideas that can be put to work within minutes.

YVONNE'S REVIEW: Practical is the key word! This book is packed with ideas to motivate children. The diversity of ideas and reasons to motivate are why this book is so useful. The strategies are simple but the results can be benefit children at home and at school.

Each technique is easily explained and can quickly be implemented. As a teacher I appreciate the strategies for the various types of learners. Many of the ideas in this book will be added to my “bag of tricks” for dealing with behaviors in the classroom. Additionally I plan to have the book out for parents to browse through during parent-teacher conferences. 4 stars


About the book: In this story of an extended family, three grandmas accidentally buy the same book for their granddaughter, and they then launch into a gift-purchasing battle for supremacy. The well-intentioned grannies race all over the Internet and town to buy the best present, the one that will win the affections of the child. The poor postman is the one left with delivering gifts of clothes, toys, DVDs, and trinkets until the little girl’s home is packed to the rafters with stuff. Finally the little girl emerges as the voice of reason and points out she cannot wear or play with all of the stuff being bought, but instead wants to spend time making memories with each grandma. In this day and age of families with multitudes of relatives, the message that time is more important than stuff comes through loud and clear.

YVONNE'S REVIEW: A fun rhyming book with an important message for children and adults. This picture book is perfect for helping build fluency in young readers. The rhyming words guide readers. Readers can easily retell the story based on events or character’s feelings. Finally the story has an easy to infer message. This story is perfect for early elementary students. 4 stars


About the book: Mom's Choice Gold Award Winner! A beautiful blend of real life and make-believe, The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant series recounts the everyday life of a stuffed animal. The debut book,Ellie Makes a New Friend, follows the plush elephant as she moves to a new neighborhood and has to find a new playmate.
Written and photographed by mother Marci Fair and her ten-year-old daughter Elle Fair, the story is uniquely illustrated with delightful photos of the little elephant’s journeys through the neighborhood as she tries to settle into her new home. Children will love seeing a toy living in a real-world setting, and parents and teachers will appreciate Ellie’s positive and creative approach to finding answers to her problems.
Fun, playful, and packed with imagination, you won’t want to miss the upcoming adventures of Ellie—and her new friend!

YVONNE'S REVIEW: I love books written by young authors. They authenticate to my students that everyone and anyone can be a published author. Ellie Makes a New Friend is a perfect book about making a new friend. The storyline is one that many young students can relate to. How having a friend with you is so much more fun. Each page looks like a scrapbook page complete with a photo of Ellie and Pudgy, Ellie’s new friend. This book is filled with many small moments that can be used to generate writing ideas for young authors. I am excited to read the many other amazing adventures of Ellie the Elephant to my students. 5 stars


About the book: Always on the lookout for a new adventure, Ellie the Elephant can hardly believe her good fortune when she gets to go on her first plane ride and visit her faraway relatives. The only thing that could make this trip better is sharing it with a friend, so Ellie invites Pudgy the Penguin to join her.
The newest book in The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant series, Ellie’s First Plane Ridefollows the two plush toys as they navigate the airport, experience flight for the first time, revel in hotel luxury, and face the daunting task of finding their way through a massive zoo in search of Ellie’s real-life elephant relatives.
Illustrated by delightful photographs of the plush pair, the story introduces children to an exotic array of animals and teaches them how to creatively solve problems. This ingenious blend of reality and imagination inspires kids to look at their everyday lives with fresh eyes while helping parents and teachers discover new ways to approach education.
Don’t miss the latest day-in-the-life of Ellie the Elephant!

YVONNE'S REVIEW: Another incredible book written about Ellie the Elephant. It is written step-by-step about taking a plane ride and going to the zoo. The young authors use photographs instead of illustrations to tell the story. This is a mentor text for young authors. Students can use this idea to photograph and write about trips they take; a great way to incorporate technology into students’ writing. Additional ways to use this book in the classroom:
  • Time order words
  • Different types of punctuation
  • Animal research ideas
I am excited to share this book with my second grade students and incorporate photos into the stories my students are authoring. 5 stars


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