Saturday, February 4, 2012

Some more really good resources!

Here are some more excellent resources to use with kids in grades K-12!

Kindergarten:  PBS Kids Super Why! Super Readers Challenge
This is a great game to help little ones become comfortable using a mouse and keyboard while working on their phonics and beginning reader skills.  Once they complete their certificate, you can reward them with playing the other games on the site.

1st-2nd: TVO Kids Spelling Bee.  Want to help prepare those pre-FCAT little ones to hone their spelling skills?  This game makes it exciting to spell correctly.  I did this in a 30 minute library media class.  Once the kids correctly spelled 20/25 words, they were permitted to go on the other games on the site.

3rd-5th: National Geographic Kids.  I cannot rave about this site enough!  We did a Reading Informational Text lesson on countries around the world and the kids were completely engrossed. 

6th-12th: Sliderocket!  Students will need their own email address to sign up for a Sliderocket account.  This is a program designed to make presentations that are worthy of the 21st century! 

Wickedly Wonderful

I recently went to see the Broadway Musical "Wicked" with my daughter. I should have waited to read the book after I saw the musical because the musical took some MAJOR liberties with both the plot and Maguire's message. The book, however, really affected me. 

I am ranking it up there with some of those novels that transformed me like Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.  Once you read Wicked you will look back on Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz and say to yourself- honestly, Dorothy swoops in, drops a house (albeit accidentally) on someone's sister and then thinks she has a right to the woman's shoes just because some uppity foo-foo sparkly lady tells her the woman was bad! (But I will ALWAYS love Baum's Oz books!) 

My point is, the novel makes you think about surfaces and what they can hide or falsely portray.  I adored the book and recommend it highly- to ADULTS!!!!  Parents, do NOT allow anyone under the age of 16 or 17 to get their hands on this one.  There are definitely some scenes that were written for adult eyes only. 

Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1)Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that could change a person's life. Maguire is saying that life doesn't guarantee happy endings, and not everything that happens has some logical reason behind it. Sometimes you are given a crappy deck of cards and it is up to you to make the best of it. 

He's also saying that those who are shunned by society are sometimes the ones who really care about the world. It is those who please the masses that are hiding something dark inside of them. 

He is also saying that if you don't use your intelligence - you lose it. If you don't demand protection of your rights- you lose those too. If you follow the herd and let glamour beguile you- evil people can usurp power in the world.  The surface of things is rarely the truth of things. 

Elphaba was born with a sense of justice. She even had some unexplained power to rectify unjust situations. She had principles.  She was beautiful.  She was green!

This book filled me up with ideas and never disappointed me. I look forward to reading the other 3 in the quartet!