Friday, September 22, 2017
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If you were a creative artist and decided to paint dozens of old bicycles white and make a fence around your yard with them, at what point would you realize this is a great theme for a children’s book? Bicycle fence. (Photo credit: bestbib&tucker) Sculptor and landscape designer, Tom Noll, in Washington, DC, just wrote his first children’s book around the theme of recycling, called The Bicycle Fence. Based on his decade-long white bicycle fence project in Manassas, Virginia, which he famously decorated for holidays and various occasions, Noll’s book introduces children to... (Read More ...)

Probability: Independent vs. Dependent Probability mass function of sum of two regular dice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Materials: Paper bag that you cannot see through 10 things of three colors, such as M&Ms, jelly beans, suckers, buttons, tiles Paper Pen or pencil Optional: change the number of colors or items Instructions: Draw a line across the paper. Above the line, write the name of each color Count the number of items of each color Just below the line, write down the number of items of that color Draw 10 lines below the color names and number them 1 through 10 Put all the items in... (Read More ...)

I recently watched the movie, “No One’s Perfect” and decided I had to get the book it was based on, the autobiography of a man born with no arms or legs. Calhan, Colorado high school physical education equipment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The movie showed the author during one year of teaching, how he related to his students, how he managed his considerable challenges, which were less about his physical needs than the reaction of students and teachers alike to him. As movies often do, it turned out the movie had little to do with the book. Instead of focusing on a single year of teaching,... (Read More ...)

I asked my mother what was in her mother’s cedar chest when she gave it to me. Doroteo Arango Arámbula (June 5, 1878 – July 23, 1923), better known as Francisco or “Pancho” Villa, a Mexican Revolutionary general. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” “I’ve never opened it.” This is as close as my mother ever came to admitting she had emotions. Over the years, I’ve taken a few things out. My grandmother’s wedding dress was packed away carefully. I took it out to wear to my mother’s 80th birthday and it now hangs in a closet. A poster... (Read More ...)

I got most of my medical information from television shows when I was growing up. Cream – Seizure Alert Dog (Photo credit: certified su) One of the most dramatic scenes was if someone had a seizure. A quick-thinking bystander would force a strong stick in their mouth, sideways, so they couldn’t swallow their tongue. Let’s give tv writers the benefit of the doubt and assume that that was the prevailing medical advice at the time. But, it isn’t the advice now. Now, the advice is “never, ever do that,” according to pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman, authors of... (Read More ...)

When my son was seven or eight, he came home from a friend’s house, disappeared and was very, very quiet. Karen and Richard Carpenter, 08/01/1972 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Anyone who has a young child knows that prolonged periods of quiet, if they’re not sleeping, is a danger sign. I went to find him to see what was going on. As soon as he opened his mouth, I smelled something awful. It turned out that a friend had dared him to take a bite of a deodorizer disk that his Mom used in the toilet. Why he did it, I’ll never know. But, the next thing we did was call the poison control center. They... (Read More ...)

If a piece of cake is to be added to another piece of cake, the pieces need to be converted into comparable quantities, such as cake-eighths or cake-quarters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Unit fractions Materials 5 donuts Optional: loaf of bread, small pizzas, bagels, cups of milk Instructions Divide the five donuts evenly among 8 people Optional: divide 5 pizzas, bagels, bread loaves or cups of milk among 8 people What Should Happen? If you divide each donut in half and give each of the 8 people one half of a donut, then divide the remaining donut evenly into 8 pieces and give each one a piece,... (Read More ...)

Written and illustrated by Ian Falconer, Olivia is the first in a series of children’s books, published in 2000. The Class of Dance by Edgar Degas (1874) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Falconer, who lives in New York City, also designs costumes for the New York City Ballet and the Royal Opera House and covers for The New Yorker magazine, and this background comes through in the fanciful costumes Olivia wears. Olivia is a story about a sweet little, active and creative pig. She has a little brother and a cat. She takes naps and negotiates the number of bedtime stories she will get. She goes to the... (Read More ...)

Some people think that there is more mucus in your mouth when you drink milk and it is likely to make you congested when you’re sick. A glass of milk (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Pediatricians Dr. Aaron Carroll and Dr. Rachel Vreeman, in trying to bust this health myth, said they even had trouble convincing their pharmacist it wasn’t true. “But, I can feel it,” he told them. But, that’s not what you feel. This myth not only goes back to Moses Maimonides in the 12th century, but was being repeated as recently as Dr. Spock, that 1950s pediatrician we raised our children by. The myth says that... (Read More ...)

My roommate and I found the old-fashioned wooden rocking chair at a flea market. Typical Finnish wooden rocking chair. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was about six months pregnant and my soft-focus mental image of rocking my new infant in that traditional, comfortable rocking chair was too much to resist. I was, after all, away from home, in Lawton, Oklahoma, with no family, except my husband, who lived in the barracks at nearby Fort Sill, or friends, except my new roommate. Strangely, I felt perfectly confident that I could get everything necessary ready for this new baby. I’d been baby-sitting... (Read More ...)