Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tweet For Literacy = Reading families

(Part of this article was taken from Katie & Kimble Blog by Linda Thieman. To see her original article click Katie & Kimble)

In November I was asked to participate in The First Annual Tweet For Literacy campaign with four authors and three mom/book bloggers using the Social Media platform of Twitter.  

On Twitter as @LindaThieman, author of Katie and Kimble, and I (@susieqtpies) co-chaired the  giveaway events, and ended up with 19 winners who divided up almost $2000 worth of prizes amongst them. The donated prizes consisted of literacy-related items: large numbers of children’s books contributed by authors, publishers and sponsors; books on parenting, reading skills, and building vocabulary; and other items like flash cards, puzzles and more.

We gave away a prize set every other day.  These items were all to encourage literacy and reading amongst families. 

In the end, we had over 4,400 entries and created a lot of excitement about getting books into the home and making reading together a frequent fun family activity. In January, 2010, Tweet for Literacy will announce the winner of the second half of the grand prize package—one elementary school has been chosen to receive a classroom set of the first two books in the Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story series for third grade. Free classroom materials can be downloaded from the Katie & Kimble blog by teachers and home schoolers to accompany these books. 

In this world full of electronics, we need to make sure that we are continuing to encourage our youth to use their words to describe what their eyes are seeing.  You can do that by discussing with your child what they are seeing on the computer.  When they play video games take time to ask them to describe what they are playing.  Encourage them to write a story about the characters in the game.   No matter what they are involved in encourage them to not just sit and watch but teach them to interact and think beyond just seeing.  

This post is part of the MAT@USC: Masters in Teaching Hope for the holidays event. Did you have an experience or witness something in 2009 which gave you hope for the future of American education? If so, please see this post for more information on how to share it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Days 1-6: 12 Days and 12 Facts for This Holiday Season GIVEAWAY

For the next 12 days I will be listing Fact that you use to know!  After you read it you will probably catch yourself saying "I Use to Know That"  Thanks to the Author, Caroline Taggart for supplying the article through FSB Associates! Thanks to Caitlin at FSB Assoicates I will have one of these books to offer to a reader as a Giveaway!
To enter: Come read each day for an entry!  So you can earn up to 12 entries! Leave a comment each day you stopped in to read! Did you miss a day? Make sure you read the day you missed and leave a comment!! It's that easy!

By Caroline Taggart,
Author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School
Click to read a review on the book

Ever catch yourself saying I Used to Know That?

Each holiday season brings another round of cocktail parties, family get-togethers, and corporate gatherings -- and invariably, lots of small talk. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when discussing politics, literature, and other intellectual "stuff," especially when what is thought to be general knowledge is often long-forgotten. Enter I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School. From English and Literature to Math and Science, from History and Geography to Religion and Other-Worldly Topics, this book leaves you equipped to handle any topic of conversation.

Here we've cherry-picked twelve fun facts for the holiday season -- one for every day of Christmas (or whatever holiday you prefer!) Quiz yourself to see how much "stuff" you need to brush up on before hobnobbing with the boss or office crush. Check back daily for the next one!!!


1) On building sentences: Just what is a "clause"? (Not to be confused with Santa Claus.)

Answer: A clause contains a subject and a verb and may stand alone as a sentence or as part of a sentence (when it is often called a subordinate clause): Santa Claus loves cookies but can't eat them without milk.

2)  How many bones is the spine made up of?

Answer: 26 small bones called vertebrae (Be careful lifting all those heavy holiday boxes.)

3. Acclaimed author Charles Dickens (1812-70) wrote which Christmas classic?

Answer: A Christmas Carol. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge tries to ignore Christmas and is haunted by the ghost of his former partner, Marley, and by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, who show him the error of his ways.


4. The fist chapter of this famous book opens with "Call me Ishmael." Name the book and author. (Hint: it makes a whale of a gift!)

Answer: Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Melville is also the author of Pierre and the unfinished Billy Budd.


5. There's a name for the process of watering your Christmas tree? Who knew?

Answer: Grab the kids and give them this science factoid as they nurture the family tree: Osmosis is a form of diffusion that is specific to the movement of water. Water moves through a selectively permeable membrane (that is, one that lets some types of molecules through but not others) from a place where there is a higher concentration of water to one where it is lower.

Day Six

6. Can you name all 6 wives of Henry VIII, father of the Church of England?

Answer: (Listed in order) Catherine, Anne, Jane, Anne, Catherine, Catherine. They are often remembered as divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Sure makes you think twice when complaining about bad relatives.

Happy Holidays to all!

©2009 Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School

Author Bio
Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School, has been an editor of non-fiction books for nearly 30 years and has covered nearly every subject from natural history and business to gardening and astronomy. She has written several books and was the editor of Writer's Market UK 2009.
For more information please visit www.amazon.com.

To enter: Come read each day and leave a comment for an entry!  So you can earn up to 12 entries! If you missed a day go to the one you missed and read and leave comment! It's that easy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fun with the Ultra FLIP Video Camera

We are flipping out over our new Ultra Flip Video Camera! (Click camera to check it out on Amazon) This will be great for our homeschool!

This little video camera is so easy to use! Take the video, plug into computer and upload to You Tube! It is preloaded with its own software. It was just that easy! It also holds 2 hours of video! It worked on both Windows and Linux. Enjoy the short video! Can't wait to do more with this!

Blog Archive


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