Tuesday, September 16, 2014

National Play-Doh Day-- Happy Squishy Learning Fun #learning #play #homeschooling

Yes, that's right Play-Doh has it's own National Day of the year, I have to admit that I never knew this and had to do some research for myself first.
Play Doh has been one of our favorite play and educational tools for years, from early in our children's lives they have been exposed to the squishy, moldable fun stuff.  I myself will confess joy and laughter to the delightful smell when you open that little yellow container ...lol, there is just something magical about the stuff.

Here are some historical points to share with your homeschoolers: 

National Play Doh Day is observed on September 16, 2014. Play-Doh is a modeling compound used by young children for art and craft projects at home and in school. Composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil, the product was first manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s.

When a classroom of children began using the wallpaper cleaner as a modeling compound, the product was reworked and marketed to Cincinnati schools in the mid-1950s. Play-Doh was demonstrated at an educational convention in 1956 and prominent department stores opened retail accounts.

Advertisements promoting Play-Doh on influential children's television shows in 1957 furthered the product's sales. Since its launch on the toy market in the mid-1950s, Play-Doh has generated a considerable amount of ancillary merchandise such as The Fun Factory. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Play-Doh in its "Century of Toys List". (With material from: Wikipedia)

You can make your own Play Dough , many recipes are online in all types of scents and colors. 

The basic recipe I like uses baby oil to make the dough super soft and pliable, here is that recipe I found on another blog - www.notjustcute.com who posted this awesome card on Pinterest. 

If you are looking for flavors, scents and added colors-- Koolaid and Jello powders make great additives that are washable. Pumpkin spice is awesome! 

Here is another site with some fantastic links to tons of Play Doh recipes http://nurturestore.co.uk/play-dough-recipe-flavours 

What can you do with Play-Doh ? Just put your kids at the table and let them play....well yes, but there are so many more educational options for the moldable creations. Challenge your kids to do these fun ideas.....

Homeschooling Ideas to Challenge Kids with Play-Doh 
  • Mold ABC's out of dough
  • Mold their name, their sibling's names, pets names etc.
  • Make funny faces with hair
  • Make a clock with the hands set the the correct time (use a paper plate)
  • Using printable Play- Doh mats, create fun ( many printable mats free online- just search)
  • Make their favorite animal
  • Mold and count out balls in 5's and 10's ,25's 50's 100's 
  • Make pattern kabobs with different colors 
  • Molding and making basic shapes out of dough
  • Shape first letter of the color of the dough used
  • Create farm animals , jungle animals etc and talk about habitats
  • Create emotions on white paper plates and talk about feelings
  • Mold models of Earth and other planets
  • Mold phases of the moon
  • Create a healthy meal example (on a paper plate)
  • Make a volcano 
  • Make an addition equation with dough molded out (then check with subtraction)
  • Use playdoh to make a Plant and Flower, label the parts of both
  • Make a skeletal form and label the bones
  • Roll out dough and imprint with objects found around the house, see if sibling can guess the object.
  • Make a brain out of Play doh
  • Make other body parts or organs out of dough (be creative)
  • Make gourmet foods, sushi etc 
There is so much more you can come up with to spark your homeschoolers minds, using Play doh with Lego's is another way to teach subjects. Adding some extra zing to your lessons helps to bring the love of learning and fire for more into your child's heart. Praying for you today! 

Find some great Play doh deals on Amazon via widget above (clicking helps to support our blog and family-thank you in advance)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Building a Better Student with Dom Testa-- Spell Check #education #learningtools

One of my co-workers at the radio station said something interesting to me this week. He said, “Spell check made me into a good speller.”
At first I thought he was kidding, but no. He told me that he was horrible at spelling when he was younger, but through the years spell check taught him. And it stuck. Today his computer and phone rarely need to correct him.
I walked away and thought about the significance of this observation. At their core people seem to scowl at technology in terms of education and all-around learning. 
In fact, almost daily we hear someone lament that “kids ain’t learnin’ nothin’ with them darned screens in their face all day.”

But is that true?

Try doing an online search using these five words: How technology helps students learn.
You’ll discover a vast archive of stories, studies, and stats that show how devices - even the frightening phone or the terrifying tablet - can open up a world of information to students who perhaps never found education . . . well, interesting.

Our non-profit foundation, The Big Brain Club, provides all sorts of services and resources to schools, but we always try to make technological donations an important part of the equation. Why? Because teachers tell us that gadgets often help them to connect with students who otherwise would sit in the back of the room with their arms crossed.
It will be argued, of course, that some kids will try to sneak over to the games instead of the lesson, but that’s not a generational thing; it’s human nature. And it shouldn't detract from the positive effects that lurk at our fingertips. 
What, we throw out the entire system because a few people corrupt it?

Voltaire taught us that perfect is the enemy of good. Well, electronic tools can be harnessed for good. Lots of good.

Instead of crusading to get phones and tablets out of the hands of students, let’s search for more ways to make each gadget an accessory to education. If, over time, spell check can help a grown man - who we normally view as stuck in his old habits - to become more proficient with language skills, then imagine what other devices can do if unleashed upon minds that are more naturally open to learning.

I spell that S-u-c-c-e-s-s.

Dom Testa is an author, speaker, morning radio show host, and has kept a ficus tree alive for twenty-four years. He’s also the founder and president of The Big Brain Club, a non-profit student-development foundation. His new book, Smart Is Cool, is now available. More info at www.DomTesta.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Forever In Our Hearts, We Are Forever Changed #Sept11 #America

Today is an important day to teach your children about America and what happened on September 11, 2001. This day in history has changed many things in our era. How do you teach what you heard, what you felt and how America stood still and just watched in horror as the twin towers just fell like dust. I remember I was at home watching TV, my son was at school, my middle daughter was just a year old. My husband had been gravely ill and in and out of the hospital and we were more focused on that at the time. Life has changed for us since then so much, it is hard to imagine.
Today we will study America on 9-11-01 since my 2 girls are old enough now to understand the complexity of terrorism and evil now.

Some links to use are

United We Stand ~ You Are Forever In Our Hearts 
Dedicated to those lost in the September 11,2001 terrorist attacks 



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What is Garcinia Cambogia and Does It Work? #wtloss #garginiacambogia #ad

I heard about this weight loss product and thought I would try it out when asked to review it. My bottle comes from Sonora Nutrition via Amazon . Yes, I was an actual guinea pig...oink oink.

Garcinia cambogia is a plant, also known as Garcinia gummi-gutta.
The fruit of the plant looks like a small, green pumpkin and is used in many traditional Asian dishes for its sour flavor.
In the skin of the fruit, there is a large amount of a natural substance called Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA).
This is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia extract… that is, the substance that produces the weight loss effects.

I will have to report that I was pleasantly surprised with the results, I did loose approx 10 pound in the last month while taking 2 capsules before I ate my meals the last month. I have been also eating healthy and walking at least 3 times a week. I really did not notice any side effects, no jitteriness or inability to sleep, no nausea , no stomach upsets etc. , the capsules don't taste bad. 
I did have some new found energy, most likely from the exercise, but who knows....lol. 
So all in all I would recommend them to my readers if you are looking for a supplement and your doctor says this is an option for you. 

I do have to say that this supplement has not had any long term studies done on it yet. It has not been approved by the FDA of course, if you have any kind of medical conditions you must ask your doctor first before just taking any kind of herbal supplements. 
This supplement does have it's pros and cons, so make your own educated decisions. Get yours here on Amazon.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Building A Better Student: Circles From The Air #series

Circles From The Air

By Dom Testa

The flight from Austin to Denver was routine. We pulled away from the gate right on time, the guy next to me had already drifted off to sleep with his ear buds snugly tucked, and I settled in with a million-page Michener novel. (Is that redundant?)

After so many years of choosing window seats, the view from 37,000 feet was familiar and strangely comforting. The lakes, the highways, the shadows caused by stray clouds, 
the thousands of circles . . .

Those circles. Have you noticed them? The endless patchwork, dotting the landscape? Have you ever turned to the person next to you and said, “What’s up with the circles?” (Note: If the person is asleep with ear buds jammed into his head, don’t do this.)

Funny, but I've never remembered to investigate this question after touching down and retrieving my carry-on bag from the overhead compartment - whose contents may have shifted during the flight. And then on the next flight I’ll find myself peering through the acrylic pane again and wondering.

This time, however, I made a note on my phone: Circles from the air.

Turns out that it’s not the most exciting answer - sorry, no aliens - but at least I’ll know it for the rest of my life, which will be helpful in case I’m ever the guy in the middle seat. It also made me realize something else.

(First, the simple answer. The plethora of circles are the result of something known as center-pivot irrigation, or sometimes simply called circle irrigation. It’s a form of crop watering that allegedly works better and conserves natural resources. Long tubes roll on wheels around a center pump, creating round crops and . . . well, that’s enough about that.)

Here’s what popped into my head after reading up on this farming technique: If I was a four-year-old, I’d pester the hell out of my parents until they explained what those circles were. Four-year-olds ask WHY - along with other questions - something like 250 times a day.

A day!

In fact, we’re at our most curious at age four. After that, apparently, we pick up on the fact that mom and dad are mentally exhausted and we clam up.

But curiosity is vitally important. It’s true that we live in an age where information is so readily available (not all of it accurate, of course) that we’re almost numb to it.

We swim in a sea of minutiae, and I wonder if that diminishes our natural interest in learning. Sadly, I know how many yards rushing my favorite team had in a silly pre-season game, but I’d never bothered to find out about something that actually feeds me on a daily basis. I’d stopped asking WHY?

Perhaps you can extend the lifespan of your child’s curiosity. I know we get cranky after Question #214 - that’s usually around 5:45PM - but we should suck it up and remember what a great gift it is. We WANT curious children; shutting them down means a population of mental zombies who aren’t engaged beyond 140 characters or mindless YouTube stunts.

My pursuit of circle knowledge took two minutes. The greater awareness, though, will help me for years. Are you on board?

Dom Testa is an author, speaker, morning radio show host, and has kept a ficus tree alive for twenty-four years. He’s also the founder and president of The Big Brain Club, a non-profit student-development foundation. His new book, Smart Is Cool, is now available. More info at www.DomTesta.com.

Join my friend Dom here weekly for his series Building a Better Student, I am excited to start sharing his fabulous writing here on my blog. Leslie ~~

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