Friday, August 31, 2012

Start the School Year with Back-to-School Jokes

Some of you are happy that school is starting. Some of you…maybe not. Either way, here are some Back-to-School jokes to get you smiling.

Why did the music teacher need a ladder?
To reach the high notes. 

What kind of plates do they use on Venus?
Flying saucers! 

How do you get straight A's?
By using a ruler! 

How did the music teacher get locked in the classroom?
His keys were inside the piano! 

What do elves learn in school?
The elf-abet! 

Father: What did you learn in school today?
Kid: Evidently, not enough. I have to go back tomorrow! 

What object is king of the classroom?
The ruler!

What did the pencil sharpener say to the pencil?
Stop going in circles and get to the point! 

What happened when the wheel was invented?
It caused a revolution! 

What do librarians take with them when they go fishing?

What is the world's tallest building?
The library because it has the most stories. 

Why did the clock in the cafeteria run slow?
It always went back four seconds. 

Why didn't the sun go to college?
Because it already had a million degrees!

A little girl came home from school and said to her mother, "Mommy, today in school I was punished for something that I didn't do."
Her mother exclaimed, "But that's terrible! I'm going to have a talk with your teacher about this. By the way, what was it that you didn't do?"
The little girl replied, "My homework."

Teacher: Why are you late, Joseph?
Joseph: Because of a sign down the road.

Teacher: A sign made you late?
Joseph: Yeah, the sign said, "School Ahead, Go Slow!"

Teacher: Can you tell me something important that didn't exist 100 years ago?
Student: Me!

How do bees get to school?
By school buzz! 

How do the fish get to school?
By octobus! 

What does a gorilla learn in school?
His Ape B C's. 

What does a snake learn in school?
Hiss tory.

Teacher: Why do you have so much trouble answering my questions?
Student: If it was easy for me, I wouldn't be in school!

Teacher: Can anyone tell me how many seconds there are in a year?
Student: 12! January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd ...

Teacher: Johnny, which month has 28 days?
Student: Every month!

What did the pen say to the pencil?
So, what's your point?

Sites used:

I didn’t use the jokes at this site, but I like the idea. Check it out:

Did these make you smile? If they did, why not bring them to school and make your friends and teachers smile!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Looking at Attention Issues: Resources

Today’s post is the last post of the Looking at Attention Issues series:

There are many good resources available for children and parents of children with attention issues. Books mentioned in a post from last year (click here) and the resources listed below are a good place to start.

CHADD (Children and Adults With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
CHADD is a national non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD.

This organization focuses on the needs of adults and young adults with ADD/ADHD, and their children and families.

This site provides broad-based information about health topics, including ADHD

This site is a comprehensive resource for parents, teachers and professionals. The complete site is huge and it’s well worth exploring. This link connects you to the page of attention information.

These books are recommended and described by other sources.
 Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell & John Ratey
Provides accessible, engaging discussion of every aspect of Attention Deficit Disorder.

 Delivered from Distraction by Edward Hallowell & John Ratey
Through the stories of the experiences of their patients, the authors show the varied form ADD takes and the transforming impact of precise diagnosis and treatment.

 Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults by Thomas Brown
This book addresses common myths that surround ADHD, and explains how the disorder affects both children and adults. The author disputes the explanation of a lack of willpower as the reason for low achievement, and describes how malfunctions in the brain of those with ADHD can affect performance throughout the lifespan.

As a parent of a son with ADHD, I know many of the challenges it presents. I hope this series has provided some support.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ten Terrific Books by Barbara Bottner

One of the best things about writing this blog is I get to read lots of books and discover new (to me) authors. Barbara Bottner is new to me but she’s hardly a new author. She’s written over 30 books! Here are just 10 of her books. The books are illustrated by different illustrators and every one is absolutely perfect for the book. Two of the books (Wallace’s Lists and Pish and Posh) are co-written by Gerald Kruglik, Barbara’s husband.

 An Annoying ABC illustrated by Michael Emberly
Anyone who regularly reads my book posts knows I love ABC books, especially funny or clever or quirky ones. Well, this book is definitely funny, clever and quirky! It starts with a quiet morning until Adelaide annoyed Bailey. Bailey blamed Clyde… This is a terrific book!

 Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t) illustrated by Michael Emberly
Miss Brooks loves books a lot. In fact, she’s a bit obsessed. The narrator is not so in love with books. In fact, there’s not a one that pleases her. But that doesn’t stop Miss Brooks and her sometimes outlandish (outlandish is good!) attempts to find the perfect book for her.

 Wallace’s List illustrated by Olof Landström
Are you a list maker? You’ll love Wallace. Do you just go with the flow? You’ll love his new neighbor Albert. Together, they have perfect adventures. I loved how Albert opens new worlds for Wallace and then Wallace steps in to save the day for his new friend.

 Raymond and Nelda illustrated by Nancy Hayashi
Raymond and Nelda are best friends. They laugh together, make up songs and completely understand each other. But then they have a fight. They try to find new friends but no one quite measures up. Their attempts to write each other fall terribly short. If you’ve ever fought with a friend, you’ll understand.

 You Have to be Nice to Someone on Their Birthday illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
The title states a good rule, don’t you think? Rosemary certainly thinks it’s a good rule. But no one seems to be following it. Her parents don’t wish her “Happy Birthday.” Her teacher sends her to the principal’s office and some awful out-of-town cousins take over the house. What’s going on?

 Pish and Posh illustrated by Barbara Bottner
Pish likes to do things in an organized way. Posh is always curious and seldom has time for order and following directions. When a copy of The Fairy Handbook lands at their door, Posh is delighted. Pish is not. Posh dives right in and uses the book with wild results, including conjuring up a troll, a mermaid and a giant. This I Can Read book is quite fun.

 Rosa’s Room illustrated by Beth Spiegel
Rosa’s family moves to a new house. Rosa has a nice big room…but maybe a bit too big? She works to fix it up but something always seems missing. Maybe a friend?

 Bootsie Barker Bites illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
The girl who narrates this book would like to be a good hostess. But while her mother chats with Bootsie’s mother, Bootsie is tormenting the shy girl. This goes on during every visit until an overnight is planned. If you’ve ever been bullied, you’ll understand this little girl’s problem. But don’t worry, the shy girl solves her problem in a very clever and satisfactory way! 

 Nana Hannah’s Piano illustrated by Diana Cain Blumenthal
Baseball is his passion. Taking piano lessons is not. When his grandmother, Nana, twists her ankle, he stays with her for a week. He teaches Nana to catch a fly ball. She inspires him to learn a song to play for her. (Take Me Out to the Ballgame, what else?) A lovely story.

Charlene Loves to Make Noise illustrated by Alexander Stadler
Charlene is shy. Not sad…just shy. She likes to daydream, go to parties, notice everything and do frog invitations. And when she goes home, she likes to play her drum set. This book is quiet, like Charlene, but it says a lot.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Barbara Bottner’s books. I certainly did!

Friday, August 24, 2012

5 More Cool Sites: The Human Body

As promised, here are 5 more websites with games, quizzes and activities all about the human body.

This site has games, quizzes, recipes and more stuff.

Some pretty cool stuff here.

This site has a human body riddle book, a parts of the body word search and a human body memory match.

Play and learn about all the body systems. This is a really nice site.

Put together a skeleton.

Have great fun with these!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Looking at Attention Issues: Finding Treatment for ADD/ADHD

Today’s post is part 4 of the Looking at Attention Issues series.

This week I'm using information from again. I continue to find this site to be a helpful source of information.

If your child is struggling with ADD/ADHD, take hope. There are many safe and effective treatments that can drastically improve its symptoms. ADD/ADHD treatment can boost school performance, improve organizational skills, and foster better relationships.
Treatment doesn’t necessarily mean pills or doctors’ offices. Treatment for ADD/ADHD is any action you take to manage the symptoms. And while you may want to seek professional help along the way, ultimately, you are the one in charge of treating ADD/ADHD. You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis or rely on professionals.

Treatment for attention deficit disorder isn’t just about seeing doctors or taking medication. The term treatment actually refers to behavior, management, or action—not just to medical approaches. ADD/ADHD treatment can mean changing your habits, altering your frame of mind, talking to others, and learning strategies to help yourself or your child.
You don’t have to pick just one treatment. In fact, the best way to treat ADD/ADHD is to combine several different methods to get the best possible result. You have the power to figure out what works for your child and implement the appropriate treatments. Finding relief for the symptoms of ADD/ADHD is in your hands.

A positive attitude and common sense are your best assets for treating ADD/ADHD. When you are in a good frame of mind, you are more likely to be able to connect with child's needs.
Keep things in perspective. Remember that your child’s behavior is related to a disorder. Most of the time it is not intentional.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. One chore left undone isn’t a big deal when your child has completed two others. If he didn’t finish the project tonight, maybe he can do it in the morning.
Believe in your child. Think about or make a written list of everything that is positive, valuable, and unique her. Trust that she can learn, change, and succeed.

You can begin your treatment for ADD/ADHD today—at home. Evidence shows that eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and making other smart daily choices can help you and your child manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
Exercise Exercising is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise and medications for ADD/ADHD such as Ritalin and Adderall work similarly. But unlike ADD/ADHD medication, exercise doesn’t require a prescription and its side effect free.
Sleep Regular quality sleep can lead to vast improvement in the symptoms of ADHD. Simple changes to changes to daytime habits go a long way toward resting well at night.
  • Have a set bedtime and stick to it.
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day.
  • Implement a quiet hour or two before bed.
  • Limit daytime napping.
  • Use the bed only for sleep.
Eating While diet doesn’t cause ADD/ADHD, what and how your child eats does have an effect on her mood, energy levels, and symptoms. Eating regularly is particularly important.
Schedule regular meals or snacks no more than three hours apart. Many people with ADD/ADHD eat erratically. This isn’t good for symptoms of ADD/ADHD or one’s emotional and physical health.
Make sure she’s getting enough zinc, iron, and magnesium in your diet. Consider a daily multi-vitamin if you’re unsure.
Try to include a little protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal or snack. These foods will help her feel more alert while decreasing hyperactivity. They will also give her steady, lasting energy.
Add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. A growing number of studies show that omega-3s improve mental focus in people with ADD/ADHD. Omega-3s are found in salmon, tuna, sardines, and some fortified eggs and milk products. Fish oil supplements are an easy way to boost intake.

Treatment for ADD/ADHD can also mean seeking outside help. Professionals trained in ADD/ADHD can help your child learn new skills to cope with symptoms and change habits that are causing problems.
Some therapies focus on managing stress and anger or controlling impulsive behaviors, while others teach you how to handle time and money better and improve your organizational skills.
To learn more about the types of therapies that might benefit your child, see ADD/ADHD Therapy for Children and Adults .

Prescription drugs for ADD/ADHD can be helpful in treatment, but it’s important to understand that medication is a tool, not a cure. Medication for ADD/ADHD doesn’t work for everyone, and even when it does work, it won’t solve all problems or completely eliminate symptoms. In fact, while medication for ADD/ADHD often improves attention and concentration, it typically does very little to help symptoms of disorganization, poor time management, forgetfulness, and procrastination.
What you need to know about medication
Everyone responds differently to ADD/ADHD medication. Some people experience dramatic improvement while others experience little to no relief. The side effects also differ from person to person and, for some, they far outweigh the benefits. Because everyone responds differently, finding the right medication and dose takes time.
Medication for ADD/ADHD is more effective when combined with other treatments.
ADD/ADHD medication should always be closely monitored.
If you choose to use medication for ADD/ADHD, that doesn’t mean your child has to stay on it forever. Although it isn’t safe to bounce off and on any drug repeatedly, you can safely decide to stop treating your ADD/ADHD with medication if things aren’t going well. If you want to stop taking medication, be sure to let your doctor know your plans and work with him or her to taper off your medication slowly.
Is medication right for my child?
If you’re considering medication for ADD/ADHD, it’s important to know all the facts, including what medication can and can’t do, what side effects may occur, the safety concerns surrounding stimulants, and what questions to ask your doctor.

Next week, I'll offer some resources for attention issues and ADHD. Please add any of your questions, comments and experiences to the Comments box.

Monday, August 20, 2012

More Books about Our Bodies

Last week I promised more books about your body and here they are. This week's list includes quite a few books about germs and infections. Gross, maybe, but kind of fun, too.

 Open Me Up: Everything You Need to Know about the Human Body by Laura Buller and others
This is a big book (256 pages) and has a whole lot of information that is well presented. It’s broken up into small segments, with lots of pictures. It seems to cover just about everything you’d ever need to know about the human body. It also has a cool cover.

 I Wonder Why I Blink and Other Questions about My Body by Brigid Avison
Ever wondered why you blink? How about some of these questions: What is my skin for? Why do I hiccup? Where does my food go? What is my belly button? This book answers these questions and a bunch more.

 You are Weird: Your Body’s Peculiar Parts and Funny Functions by Diane Swanson, illustrated by Kathy Boake
The title summarizes this book pretty well. Our human bodies have some rather odd features. To give you an idea, here are a few of the chapter titles: Flaky Birthday Suit, Vampire Fangs, Eccentric Eyeballs, Recyclable Muscles and Extra Toes.

 Movers & Shapers: Bones, Muscles, and Joints by Dr. Patricia McNair
This is a well designed book. Every page gives lots of information that is broken into small chunks and supported by illustrations. At the end, there are a glossary, an index, websites and a pull-out poster with some of the book's best illustrations. Also part of this Bodyscope series:
Life Cycle: Birth, Growth, and Development

 Sneeze! by Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel
It’s hard to imagine a book about sneezing could be so beautiful. The magnified pictures (called electron micrographs) are gorgeous. Also a little disturbing – I’m not sure I really want to see a dust mite that big! The authors give the 9 reasons for sneezing and their causes.

Achoo! The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Germs by Trudee Romanek, illustrated by Rose Cowles  (sorry, no link)
The title is true – this really is an interesting book. It includes lots of information, funny illustrations and experiments to try. I started to just flip through it but stopped at each page to learn more stuff about germs. This is part of the Mysterious You series. Other titles include:
Aha! The most interesting book you'll ever read about intelligence
Aha! The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Intelligence
Squirt! The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Blood
Wow! The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About The Five Senses
Zzz..! The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Sleep

 Clot & Scab: Gross Stuff about Your Scrapes, Bumps and Bruises by Kristi Lew, illustrates by Michael Slack
Interested in learning more about your blood? This is definitely the book for you! It has lots of information and it’s all told in an entertaining way. Not for the squeamish, though. Other books in this Gross Body Science series:
Crust & Spray: Gross Stuff in Your Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat
Hawk & Drool: Gross Stuff in Your Mouth
Itch & Ooze: Gross Stuff on Your Skin
Rumble & Spew: Gross Stuff in Your Stomach and Intestines

 Your Body Battles a Skinned Knee by Vikki Cobb, photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, illustrations by Andrew N. Harris
This book is similar to Clot & Scab but the text is a bit simpler. It also has some pretty cool photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope) of blood cells and other tiny stuff. Other books in this Body Battle series:
Your Body Battles a Broken Bone
Your Body Battles a Cavity
Your Body Battles a Cold
Your Body Battles a Stomachache
Your Body Battles an Earache

 Infections, Infestations, and Diseases by Shirley Duke
Although the text in this book is upper elementary, it is so clearly written with no fancy layout and fonts, it offers a great way to learn about germs and disease. The illustrations are also very clear. Another body book in this Let’s Explore Science series:
You Can’t Wear These Genes

 Grossology and You by Sylvia Branzei, illustrated by Jack Keeley
If you are easily grossed out by body stuff, this book is not for you. But if all things body (blood, athelete's foot, eyeballs, tongues...) get you interested, this book is definitely for you! You will learn new things, I promise.

Ready for some graphic novels? They are coming up next week!

Friday, August 17, 2012

5 Cool Sites: The Human Body

I had no idea there were so many great sites for the Human Body! There are games, quizzes, activites and more fun things. Check these out and next week I'll have 5 more.

Games include Match 3 Body Parts, Body Parts Jigsaw Puzzle and Body Parts Word-O-Rama.

There are games, quizzes, facts and lessons.

There are games, movies, experiments, activities and more.

There are an amazing number of games and quizzes in this site.

This link has lots of information and some games.

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Looking at Attention Issues: Making the ADD/ADHD Diagnosis

Today’s post is part 3 of the Looking at Attention Issues series. I'm using information from I wish I'd found this information when I was guiding parents through the attention issue process. I think it would have helped a lot.

Making the ADD/ADHD Diagnosis
ADD/ADHD looks different in every person, so there is a wide array of criteria—or measures for testing—to help health professionals reach a diagnosis. It is important to be open and honest with the specialist conducting your evaluation so that he or she can come to the most accurate conclusion.

Important factors in the diagnosis
To be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, your child must display a combination of strong ADD/ADHD symptoms (hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention). The professional assessing the problem will also look at the following factors:
How severe are the symptoms? To be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, the symptoms must have a negative impact on your child’s life.
When did the symptoms start? Since ADD/ADHD starts in childhood, the doctor or therapist will look at how early the symptoms appeared.
How long have the symptoms been bothering you or your child? Symptoms must have been going on for at least 6 months before ADD/ADHD can be diagnosed.
When and where do the symptoms appear? The symptoms must be present in multiple settings, such as at home and school. If the symptoms only appear in one environment, it is unlikely that ADD/ADHD is to blame.

Finding a specialist who can diagnose ADD/ADHD
Qualified professionals trained in diagnosing ADD/ADHD can include clinical psychologists, physicians, or clinical social workers. Choosing a specialist can seem confusing at first. The following are steps you can take toward finding the right person to evaluate you or your child.
Get recommendations. Doctors, therapists, and friends you trust may like a particular specialist. Ask them questions about their choice and try out their recommendation.
Do your homework. Find out the professional certification and academic degrees of the specialists you are looking into. If possible, talk to former patients and clients, and find out what their experience was.
Feel at ease. Feeling comfortable with the specialist is an important part of picking someone right to evaluate you. Try to be yourself, ask questions, and be honest with the professional. You may need to speak with a few specialists before choosing the person that is best for you.
Check price and insurance. Find out how much the specialist will charge and if your health insurance will cover part or all of the evaluation. Some insurance policies cover evaluation from one kind of specialist, but not from another.
Search the CHADD Professional Directory for treatment professionals and organizations offering help for children and adults with ADD/ADHD.

Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in children
Your role as a parent
When seeking a diagnosis for your child, you are your child’s best advocate and most important source of support. As a parent in this process, your roles are both emotional and practical. You can provide or ensure:
  • Emotional support for your child during the diagnostic process.
  • The right choice of specialist for your child.
  • Unique and helpful information for doctors/specialists.
  • Open and honest answers to questions about your child’s history and current adjustment.
  • Speed and accuracy of evaluation, and a second opinion if necessary.
The doctor’s or specialist’s role
Usually, more than one professional is typically involved in the assessment process for ADD/ADHD in children. Physicians, clinical psychologists, school psychologists, clinical social workers, speech-language pathologists, learning specialists, and educators may each play an important role in the ADD/ADHD evaluation.
There are no laboratory tests available to determine a diagnosis; instead, clinicians base their conclusions on the observable symptoms and by ruling out other disorders.The specialist who conducts your child’s evaluation will ask you a range of questions that you should open honestly and openly. He or she may also:
  • Obtain a thorough medical and family history.
  • Order or conduct a general physical and/or neurological exam.
  • Lead a comprehensive interview with you, your child, and the child’s teacher(s).
  • Use standardized screening tools for ADD/ADHD.
  • Observe your child at play or school.
  • Use psychological tests in order to measure IQ and social and emotional adjustment.

Simple steps, big difference: getting your child evaluated for ADD/ADHD
Doctors, specialists, testing—it may all feel a little overwhelming to figure out a diagnosis for your child. You can take a lot of the chaos out of the process with the following practical steps.
Make an appointment with a specialist. As the parent, you can initiate testing for ADD/ADHD on behalf of your child. The earlier you schedule this appointment, the more quickly you can get help.
Speak to your child’s school. Call your child’s principal and speak directly and openly about your pursuit for a diagnosis. Public schools are required by law to assist you, and in most cases want to do what they can to make school life better for your child.
Give professionals the full picture. When you are asked the tough questions about your child’s behavior, be sure to answer honestly. Your perspective is very important to the evaluation process.
Keep things moving. You are your child’s advocate, and have the power to prevent delays in getting a diagnosis. Trying not to be pushy, check in with doctors or specialists often to see where you are in the process.
If necessary, get a second opinion. If there is any doubt that your child has received a thorough or appropriate evaluation, you can seek another specialist’s help.

Next week I'll cover finding treatment for ADD/ADHD. Please add any of your questions, comments and experiences to the Comments box.