Breaking News!

The MI Institute’s new course for parents, At Home with Multiple Intelligences, launches November 16.

The course has been co-created with founder Jen Lilienstein and will help parents to identify, nurture and advocate for their kids’ unique talents, strengths and learning preferences. The online course costs $99 for a 12-week session. Interested parents can sign up here.

Read the full release here:

September 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

“Uno Más” Game Repurposing Post

Repurposing UNO as a learning gameFor those of you who have enjoyed playing our repurposed Candy Land and Twister games, here’s one for another game you probably have in your home that may or may not be collecting dust.


Take the subjects in which your child is expecting tests this coming week (spelling, vocabulary, math, history, science, to name a few) and make each of them an UNO color.

For instance, red = vocab; blue = math; green = science; yellow = spelling.

The object of the game stays the same – first player to get rid of all his or her cards WINS.

Begin playing UNO in the way you normally would. When a player has to play a RED card, s/he has to answer a RED subject question correctly in order to discard a card.

Did s/he get it right? If YES, discard a RED card.
Did s/he get it wrong? If YES, s/he gets one more chance at a correct answer.

If answered correctly, play rotates to the left—no cards are lost or gained.
If answered incorrectly, the player draws a card from the pile and play rotates to the left.

All other card “rules” are the same—reverse, skip, +2, etc.
Wild cards allow the player to choose the subject to tackle during his/her turn.

We’re betting this is one exercise drill your kids will ask to play “UNO más” time. 🙂

October 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

#occupyedu: challenge schools to change

#occupyedu: challenge schools to change.

One of my fellow bloggers on Cooperative Catalyst, Chad Sansing, has started a group with a mission of giving EACH child a personally meaningful education and a community of learning that includes, involves and inspires her.

Children, parents, educators and community members are all invited as we talk about ways that we can create an education system that recognizes and values a broader definition of learning htan that accounted for by tests.

You can read Chad’s call to action here and share stories of powerful learning in your communities. If the message resonates with you, please also invite the folks in your circles that want to help transform education to join us.

To our kids’ collective success,
Jen Lilienstein

October 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

think different – RIP Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

Cute “Creepy Crafty”

With October starting this weekend, many of the topics of conversation in our house have started to orbit around Halloween. What should we wear? How are we going to decorate? When can we get a pumpkin? Which neighborhoods are we going to visit?

This year, our family’s got some great idea fodder to use as jumping off points–or just to replicate–from some fabulous Pinterest pins and boards that include incredibly creative ideas like these (click each image below to view more). And we plan to re-pin more that focus on crafts that are easy and that “recycle” stuff for crafts before it officially hits the recycling bin.

Our many, many thanks to the incredibly creative folks who pinned (or re-pinned) these crafts for the rest of us to show off to our friends and neighbors!

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

pumpkin cake

September 30, 2011 at 11:59 am Leave a comment

Quick Tips for Error-Proof Writing

A guest post by Brian Patterson of Grammarly

For many people, there is nothing more annoying than a typo. Be it a misspelled word in the newspaper or a punctuation problem on a blog post, readers are almost immediately distracted when they come across a typo. The same distraction holds true for teachers; if a student submits an assignment riddled with typos, they’ve already lost the battle. The paper could have brilliant points and analysis, but those will be quickly overlooked if the teacher is stumbling through the document. Today I want to share a few quick tips to help your child effectively proofread their work.

Read it Aloud
This little tip is extremely effective! Reading your writing aloud helps you catch the mistakes that you don’t otherwise see when just reading in your head. When you read to yourself, it is very easy for your brain to fill in missing words and plow through typos. However, when you read aloud, you pay much more attention to each word you are saying. As such, you can quickly catch most of typos with just this one little method.

Work with a Peer
Having another set of eyes review your work is very effective. After all, news articles and books go through rounds and rounds of revisions before being published. Shouldn’t important schoolwork go through a similar type of scrutiny? If your child’s teacher allows it, he or she should work with another student in this class, an English teacher, or perhaps the school’s writing center to spot-check the work. It can be as simple as only reviewing for typos and errors or as thorough as helping your child further develop their thoughts and ideas. Either way, use the strategy that every major publication employs, and have multiple sets of eyes review the work.

Try an Online Tool
I work with grammar checking tool Grammarly, so I’d be remiss if I left out automated grammar checking tools as a great way to quickly and effectively review a document for grammar and spelling. Gone are the days when the best check you had was a squiggly underline in your word processing software. With all of the advances in technology, the algorithms that these types of software contain are so sophisticated that they can perform very advanced reviews of content for things like faulty parallelism, dangling modifiers, and Subject –Verb agreement. To me, it always makes sense to run an important document through an automated check.

Armed with this small bag of tricks, your student should never be dinged for a typo again. And, the best part is, that the more aware your student becomes of the types of errors they are prone to make, the less likely they will be to make them!

September 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Math Music to Your Ears

More than a quarter of a century after learning the states to the tune of “Do your ears hang low”, I still remember the states alphabetically in this way. And even though I’ve never had ANY use for the greek alphabet post high school, I can still sing the whole thing. But if you ask me concepts that I learned in school that weren’t put to music, they don’t come to mind as quickly.

If you’ve got a musically-minded kid that could use a little motivation on the math front, the lyrical lessons on Flocabulary’s CDs and DVDs could help your kids rhythmically recollect fundamentals for quizzes, homework and tests.

Flocabulary has earned its place as this week’s Kidzmet Educational Product Pick for a fun way to stretch your child’s “music smarts” into all aspects of math…and other subjects like social studies, science, and language arts, to boot!

But don’t just take our word for it…check out some Flocabulary samples here.

September 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14 other followers