Sunday, January 26, 2014

Febuary Author: Bill Martin Jr.

Bill Martin Jr. Picture from Amazon.

 Bill Martin Jr. Books

Our author of the month is Bill Martin Jr.  What is there not to love about a man with a smile that wonderful?  Mr. Martin Jr, an elementary-school principal, teacher, writer, and poet, held a doctoral degree in early childhood education. I found an interview where Mr. Martin shares about Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?  Here is a short biography on Mr. Martin. 

Scholastic has an author study that has wonderful links as well, I set up a Pinterest Board with some great activities too, and
Amazon has a nice book list.    Reading Rockets has an excellent one as well, with some information on each book included. 

I have two favorite Bill Martin Jr. Books.  The First is Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?, and the second is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I love Polar Bear Polar Bear because I collect polar bears.  (Really, I do. I wanted something obscure to collect.)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a classic alphabet book. I have an old one with
magnetic letters we love to use.  There are so many alphabet activities to do with
this book.  Using your own magnetic letters to tell the story, making a tree and writing the letters on the paper, and this fun printable I found from Scholastic books. 

Have fun with Bill Martin Jr. this month.  I am excited to visit some old favorites and find some new friends.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why I love My Crock-Pot Updated Post.

Growing up my mother use to rave about her slow cooker.  I still remember her bright orange one humming along in our very brown wallpapered kitchen.  She tried to convince me of the wonders of the slow-cooker and the thrill of knowing dinner was taken care of early in the morning. I foolishly just smiled at her, but  now I thank her for her wisdom as I plug in one of my 3 slow-cookers.
I want to describe to you my cooking style, or lack of cooking style. I often joke I am a food arranger  and not a much of a cook.  I do things like put yogurt and cottage cheese in bowls, arrange vegetables, put hot dogs in buns. . you get the picture.  My college roommate Sue told me her goal in this life is to never cook a Thanksgiving dinner, and to that I replied Amen!  So when I talk about how I love my slow-cooker, you know this is remedial cooking.

My   favorite cook  books are The Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, and More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow.  Stephanie O'Dea, the author, also has a blog with many slow-cooker recipes.  Her recipes are gluten free, but can easily be switched if you can eat gluten.  I would recommend starting with the book from the  library and moving forward if you like it.  We have many picky eaters in our house  and  like that the recipes do not have many ingredients.  But, that may not be your thing. Currently, we are partial to her Sloppy Joe recipe,since every single person in our house actually eats it.  We also like her Coq Au Vin,  and spinach casserole recipes.  She has a section on slow-cooking to taste like take-out.  You gotta love that!

 The other slow cooker book I am trying out is the Slow Cooker Revolution: by the editors of America's Test Kitchen.   We love the other Test Kitchen books and like this one as well.  Another good library book. 

So to end, I want to share with you why I love my  slow-cooker.  You may hum a happy tune as you read.
1. In the summer it does not heat up my whole house.
2. I dump the ingredients in and they magically come out OK.
3. I smell dinner all day as I homeschool and know that it is taken care of.
4. It makes me feel like a better person in preparing healthy meals for my family.
5. It is not very messy.
6. Lastly, it is as close as a food arranger gets to serious cooking.
Happy Cooking! 

Winners of Free Narrative Give-Away Contest.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Free Narrative Assessment Give-Away Contest!  I was overwhelmed with the responses.  I am thrilled to announce the winners  Julia and Deborah.  They may redeem their prize anytime between March 1, 2014  and August 16, 2014.  I run this contest annually in January.  Please sign up by email to be able to enter next year.  I also run a few other contests throughout the year.  Thanks for supporting Ohio Homeschool Assessments.
All the best,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ohio History :Oliver's Travels: An Ohio Adventure

We found the book Oliver's Travls: An Ohio Adventure at our public library.  My kids enjoyed reading it.  It is a story about a mouse named Oliver who travels around Ohio with a map from his Grandfather.  He visits various historical sites and landmarks.    It was written by Cynthia Furlong who has a blog, and illustrated by Bruce Langton. My kids agreed probably a 3-5 th grade book.

I think it sounds like a great way to get some Ohio history into your curriculum that does not involve a large project.  Your student could read this to fulfill the Ohio history requirement.  An excellent resource.

Some great ideas to expand on the book would be to print off a map of Ohio and fill in where Oliver Travels.  Here is a web page with many Ohio maps for you to choose from.

Happy Ohio History!