Inspiring Children to be the Best That They Can Be

For: Primary Educators, Parents, and Kids Inspiring Children To Love Learning And Be The Best They Can Be

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Time to Explore

                            Clever Sayings. . .

     What are your favorites?

                It's a piece of cake.

                He hightailed it out of there.

                You can catch more flies with
                         honey than vinegar.

                 Soups on.

Bird Riddles

         Since I am featuring bird feeders - and chickadees 'In My Backyard,' I thought it would be fun to include some riddles with bird names as answers.  The answers are at the end of the blog.
                 1. A bird named one letter.
             2.  It means 'easily fooled.'
             3.  Construction equipment with a projected arm.
             4.  There is a color in its name.
             5.  Its bill would be useful for eating soup.
             6.  The name of a small island.

The Odyssey Learning Game Connection

      Odyssey Learning Games was featured in three events this past week in Cincinnati.  It was great fun to watch parents and kids playing games and solving puzzles.
     Rive up your creative juices for the December contest - 'creating your 'best looking' gingerbread man in any media.
Two favorite strategy games:
              Cubulus for ages 8 and up (2 - 3 players)                               
Players take turns placing their colored balls in a
'flexible' cube.  The balls shift locations with each 
move.  The challenge is to make a square or a diamond 
of 4 to win  - continuous 3-dimensional tic tac toe.   ($24.95)

              Four in a Square is a 2 player game for
ages 7 and up. As the name suggests, you want to be 
the first player to form a square with four balls of your 
color. On your turn, place a ball of your color in an 
empty spot; then slide a tile (except the last one 
played) to try to get four of your color in a square.  
Play continues until there is a winner.   ($19.95)

Book Reviews for Kid's Books

             I'm on a mission to find great reads for 2nd - 4th grade readers - girls and boys!  I am pleased to find two to report on this month.  If you have a favorite - or want to write a review,  please help out!

       The Secret Agent Jack Stalwart series by Elizabeth Singer Hunt is a real find for boys - and girls, so if you aren't familiar with it, please seek it out.  There are 14 in the series with each featuring a different foreign country.  Jack is nine years old and works for the (GPF) Global Protection Force.  The mission is to battle evil villains and protect world treasures.  His brother, Max, is missing so he tries to collect clues in each country to find him.  I would recommend reading book one first, and then the others in no particular order. 
       In 2013, you will be able to download the 'Jack Stalwart App' and solve mysteries around the world using an Apple product.  

Secret Agent Jack Stalwart Book 1: The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur
                                 by Elizabeth Singer Hunt

         Jack is led to New York City to solve the mystery of the
 missing Allosaurus toe in the Natural History Museum.  He 
discovers a science fair project in which a student crosses his 
own dog with DNA from the bone of a dangerous carnivorous
dinosaur.  The animals in Central Park zoo are in danger! 


     The Just Grace Series by Charise Mericle Harper features a 
curious, quirky 3rd grade girl responding to familiar school and 
family settings.  She is stuck with the name 'Just Grace' since 
there are three other Graces in her class.  Her amusing lists and
'teeny, tiny superpowers' will have you smiling.  There are nine
books in the series with a new one scheduled for 2013.

Just Grace, Star on Stage by Charise Mericle Harper  (2012)

Grace is determined to be a star in the school play.  Things don't 
work outas planned, and Marta gets the role.  She is jealous at first,
but eventuallydiscovers there is more than one way to shine on stage. 
It is a 'fun' readwith realistic, vibrant characters. 

In My Backyard

I'm going to try a new kind of bird feeder this winter.  I have been reading about how birds need more protein in the winter months.  You can find suet in blocks in stores that have bird food. This is one recipe I plan to try:

Snip holy berries and place in freezer bag; freeze, thaw, and refreeze, thaw; 
Break suet block into chunks – zap until most is melted; 
Pour holly berries in bowl, with suet – thicken in refrigerator. 
Stir; place on cookie sheet;  remove with spatula, 
Break into pieces;  place in freezer bag one layer thick. 
Store until you are ready to serve. 
A tray feeder will work best - away from squirrels.

I love watching the chickadees.  Did you know there are black capped chickadees in the northern part of USA and Carolina chickadees in the southern states? The bottom one is the black capped chickadee.

Ode to the Chickadee

A cute little bird with a perfect black 
Sports a white bib and a gray body 
Its inquisitive nature compels it to lead,
Its reward is discovering sunflower seed.

It's singing, oh, so cheerily,
Chickadee-dee!  Chickadee-dee!

When the skies are cold and gray,
His musical trills make a happier day.
As he flies through clouds, he seems 
          to see, 
Secret things hidden from you and me.

It's singing, oh, so cheerily,

Chickadee-dee!  Chickadee-dee!
                                              By Joan Bock, November, 2012

Answers to bird riddles:  1. Jay  2.  gull   3.  crane    4.  bluebird   5.  spoonbill   6.  Canary

Signing off until next time.
Be creative,
Inspire others,
Enjoy Life

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