Home About Big Learning Treasure Troves Newsletter Books Workshops Blog Search Site Map Links



Book Review Index


Big Learning News 12-7-05

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 3:33 December 7, 2005

Visit BigLearning.org for past BLN issues, education headlines, and more!

Subscribe! Send a blank e-mail to join-big-learning-news@zoom.netatlantic.com

Table of Contents

Math Moment: Fahrenheit and Celsius
Activity: Snow Stuff
Book Review: Arts and the Creation of Mind
News to Share: A new mammal
Web Site: Heroes

************* Advertisement***************

The Parent's Guide to Successful Homeschooling
Get the facts you need before you begin.
Includes advice on lesson plans, dealing with
your school district and choosing teaching materials.

Math Moment

Temperature Conversion

More and more, it's useful to be literate (numerate?) in both Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales. What better time to face this issue than winter, when the temperature is on everyone's mind?

For young kids, practice using a dual-scale thermometer to convert and learn some common reference temperatures in each scale, such as water's boiling point, the indoor temperature in your living room, and normal body temperature. For example, water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Celsius.

If you don't have a dual scale thermometer, you can look at mine on BigLearning.org:


Older kids can earn the AMS (add-multiply-subtract) method for mentally converting between Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures. The method is explained fully on this page:


Adults might want to learn it themselves and teach it to their kids - the text is a little dense for a kid but otherwise very clear.



Snow stuff

Speaking of winter, the snow has arrived a little earlier than usual here in Maryland. Here are some snow activity pages for livening up your family's winter play.

Snow Fun with your Grandchildren http://www.retirementwithapurpose.com/afsnowfun.html : Snowball thermometers, snow ice cream, lighted snow angel, and lots more Big-learning type fun.

Snowflakes: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ Everything you ever wanted to know about snowflakes, and some pretty pictures too.


Book Review

The Arts and the Creation of Mind by Elliot Eisner (Yale University Press, 2002).


This is a book for adults who suspect that arts education is really, really important but have trouble articulating why. Eisner is a Stanford University School of Education professor specializing in art education. Rather than taking the stylish and politically-expedient tack of justifying arts in terms of higher test scores, he explains why arts education is vital in its own right.

Art education, he explains, teaches unique communication and thinking skills and, of course, makes life more beautiful. It has much to do with our ability to live and flourish in a complex society. Just as "the ability to swim well requires material we call water," Eisner argues, the ability to perceive fully the bounty of the senses, and to give form to our perceptions and emotions, requires arts education.

Buying Information

More Education Books for Adults


News to Share: New Mammal Discovered


Here's an article about the discovery of a new mammal species in Borneo - the first such discovery on that island in more than a century.

Web Site



Kids who like to write can actually get published here, by contributing a story about a hero. It can be a personal hero or a famous person - even an animal!

This is a great site to browse too, because kids can learn about important historical events and social issues in a context they can relate to - an individual's inspiring story of bravery and commitment.



The Old Schoolhouse Magazine , a full-color quarterly publication, features hundreds of pages of practical and inspirational content. Peruse our "Readers Helping Readers" section, featuring answers from several of our readers to a question posed by one of our readers. Meet several homeschooling families who tell a little about themselves, how they homeschool, and what they've learned. Get to know the people behind educational companies and products. Learn what they have to offer and how you can benefit from products designed especially for homeschoolers-often by homeschoolers. Keep up-to-date on what's happening in homeschooling news, whether it affects all homeschoolers or is especially relevant to particular states or countries. Read testimonies of God's work in other homeschoolers' lives. Gain insights and helpful tips for homeschooling through the high school years. Find help for special needs children, from dealing with learning disabilities to the specific challenges of exceptionally gifted children. Listen in as real homeschooling families test educational products and report the results. And, don't forget to sign up for our fun contests-there are winners every issue!

Through December 25, 2005, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has an incredible Buy One, Get One Free Christmas Gift Offer that you won't want to pass up! New paid two-year subscribers will receive 19 FREE gifts for homeschoolers (almost $300 in value!), plus a FREE one-year subscription for a homeschooling friend and 19 FREE homeschool gifts for your friend, too! Already a subscriber? Renew for two years and receive a surprise gift plus a FREE one-year subscription for a homeschooling friend and 19 FREE homeschool gifts for your friend, too! Visit http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com for all the details.

Changing Your E-mail Address? Don't Lose Your BLN Subscription!

Sadly, each week, BLN subscriptions are cancelled because the e-mail address no longer exists. If you are about to change your e-mail address, don't forget to resubscribe to BLN!

Just send a blank e-mail from your NEW address to join-big-learning-news@zoom.netatlantic.com

or fill out the subscription form at http://www.biglearning.org.


Fight Hunger
You Visit. Corporate Sponsors Pay. The Hungry Eat.
http://www.thehungersite.com .


Shop Big Learning Affiliates (www.biglearning.org/shop-affiliates.htm): You can help keep Big Learning online by entering sites like Target, Gardeners Supply, Hearthsong, and other great merchants through our site. It won't cost you a thing, and some are offering special discounts.

Advertise in Big Learning News or on BigLearning.org. Our rates are reasonable and our subscribers have excellent taste, at least in newsletters. E-mail for rates and other information:  info@biglearning.org .

Big Learning News (c) 2005 Karen Cole
All Rights Reserved.


2003 Karen Cole Privacy Policy HomeAboutTreasure Troves Newsletter WorkshopsBooks Column Site Map Karen ColeLinks