Wednesday, March 21, 2007

holocaust memorial is almost all tied-up

There's a post at Lois Lowry's blog about a shoelace project: a sixth grade class is trying to collect 6,000,000 centimeters of shoelace to represent the Jews killed during the Holocaust.

I must confess that when I got to this part--

Our plan it to build large shoes that we will wrap the laces around and then have displayed at the Minnesota State Fair in August

--I got a little hysterical. But to each his own artistic vision, and you can find the info at Lowry's blog if you're interested in the project.

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you can only go so far on the Magic Schoolbus...

Hey, check out these suggestion for non-fiction readalouds at BookBookBook; I don't know most of those titles, and I want to. As the homeschooling mom of Captain Nonfiction, finding books I can stand to read to him is a constant struggle. Someone around here recently blogged about loving Sugaring Time and I was so humiliated, because I had ordered that for my son during his tree-phase, took one look at what seemed like acres of text, and gave up instantly. Bad mom--no fiction!

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review: Bean Thirteen

Guest review by Ben: I think this book is good, because I can eat the leftover bean.

Bean Thirteen written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott. Putnam, 2007 (978-0-399-24535-0) $15.99

(reviewed from galleys)

Ralph the bug tries to stop Flora from picking an unlucky thirteenth bean for dinner, but he's too late. Flora insists that Ralph is being silly... but is he? When the two bugs decide to invite friends over to share the beans, so they won't have to worry about bean thirteen, they find that no matter how they divide them, there's always a bean left over! When they divide the beans into five piles, there are three left over: "It's getting worse!" Ralph gasps. Luckily, when their bug friends arrive, each one finds just the right amount of beans to eat. And they'll never know who wound up eating bean thirteen... maybe even Ralph!

This is an enjoyably silly story; kids will appreciate the squabbling siblings and Ralph's increasing desperation, which ends in a six-legs-waving tantrum. Vivid illustrations use strongly contrasting colors and brightly colored and darkly outlined shapes. Mathematical concepts aren't specifically mentioned, aside from a little pun about the odd situation, but the story easily lends itself to discussions about dividing objects into groups, odd numbers, and prime numbers. (4-8)

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through the eyes of a child

I loved this piece from the New Yorker, especially this:

DAD: (laughing) There are actual monsters in the world, but when my kids ask I pretend like there aren’t.

MOM: I’m angry! I’m angry all of a sudden!

DAD: I’m angry, too! We’re angry at each other!

MOM: Now everything is fine.

There's a scene in the first sequel to Anastasia Krupnik in which Anastasia repeats a phrase she's overheard--"the great unwashed"--and her parents get really mad at her, to her utter bafflement. I always promised myself that I wouldn't get mad at my kids for reasons they couldn't understand. Or fight in front of them. Ha.

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