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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Brain Power

  Time to Explore

As you travel through different states, it would be fun to jot down 'trivial' facts that are unique and fun.  For example, when in Arizona, we learned that when the Saguaro cactus plant is sick, an arm may hang down rather than upright.  
When in Nevada, we toured the 'old' Hoover dam now that a new one has been completed.  We also learned that the 'hard hat' was invented for workers on the first Hoover Dam in 1933.
Grafton, West Virginia, claims the honor of the first national Mother's Day in 1914.  The New River Gorge bridge near Fayetteville, WV is the longest steel arch bridge in the USA - 1700 feet long.

Odyssey Learning Games Connection

Developing Brain Power

     We have a Reticular Activating System in our brain stem that alerts us about what is vital to our mind and what is trivial that we should ignore.  It is goal seeking, needs mental alertness, and we can program it with positive thoughts that match our goals.  In the next few blogs, I will explore the 'Reticular Activating System' (RAS) in more detail with suggestions on how we can improve our 'brain power.'
     We want to build attention awareness (concentrating and focusing on what we are learning or the task at hand; avoiding distractions - trivia).  I have selected two games and a puzzle that are examples of how we can reinforce positive attention (focus) while having fun.

Set    2 players or more          Age: 5 and up
     All players look for sets of 3 cards at the same time.  Each card is unique in four attributes: number, symbol, shading, and color.  A set consists of 3 cards on which each feature is either the same or different.  The player with the most sets wins.

Gobblet Gobblers   2 players           Age: 4 and up
    This easy-to-learn, quick game of strategy also encourages memory as well as attention.  Line up 3 gobblers in a row, but remember if a 'gobbler' has hidden one of the pieces. 

Fold -  Mind-bending, Folding Puzzles 
 1 player  Ages: 8 & up
Ten origami brain teasers designed to bulk up your mental muscle while having fun twisting, bending, and flexing looking for beautiful solutions.

Book Reviews for Kids

And Then it's Spring                            by Julie Fogiliano      
Ages 4 - 8
      A boy, his rabbit, his dog, and his turtle, plant seeds in his dry brown garden.  He waits - and worries - through the seasons, sunshine, and rain. One day he walks out of his house and discovers the brown has turned to green - and spring has arrived!  Simple, but lovely illustrations.

Creepy Carrots     by Aaron Reynolds           2012 Caldecott Honor winner   Ages: 4 - 8
     Jasper Rabbit LOVES carrots - until he believes they are stalking him.  
It is not too scary, but a little on the creepy side - with a happy ending.

 Brothers at Bat:  A True Story of an Amazing all Brother Baseball Team  by Audrey Vernick   Ages: 4 - 8
    Yes, a team made up of 12 brothers - the 1930s' was a time of large families, but this family is unique with brothers caring, supporting each other, and playing hard at the sport they loved the most.

In My Backyard

      Not a lot is happening that is new, although I did plant some seeds so I am waiting 'patiently' for spring! We have had a Homeschool Convention in Greenville, and one soon in Cincinnati.  On the right, see Chocoly that we had fun playing at a restaurant. (see Disney blog for a review)  It was fun!!

     I want to close with an excerpt from a poem by 'Missy', Toledo, OH 

Still America

     Big cities, small towns; City streets, hiking trails.
     Penthouse, farmhouse; Ghetto, Park Avenue.
     Public, private; 
     It matters not.   
     It's still America.
     Southern nights, Northern Lights.
     Campsites, hotels; countryside, metropolis.
     Warm weather, cold climates.
     East, west; Pacific, Atlantic.
     It matters not.
     It's still America - and always will be.

Be Creative
Inspire Others
Enjoy Life

                                                                                                                          by Joan Bock

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