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Big Learning News 7-23-07

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 5:16 July 23, 2007

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Table of Contents

Editor's Notes
Math Moment: Bicentennial and other Anniversary Words
Activity: Fun with Reptiles
Activity: Frozen Desserts
Product Recommendation: Kids Choice Glue
Education News: Here's to Excellent Summer Schools
Web Site: Snakes

Editor's Notes

Hundreds of people attended Big Learning's Reptile Extravaganza in Bethesda, an event funded by the Verizon Foundation in celebration of National Summer Learning Day, July 12. If you couldn't be there, don't worry! We've posted our free-take home activities on our web site. See the activity, "Fun with Reptiles" below.

Fill up those summer hours! Buy our Toymaker's Toolkit - everything your child needs to start making real wood toys with moving parts. With summer coming, you'll want to your kids to have this source of endless fun. Order online today!


-Karen Cole

Math Moment

Anniversary Words



According to the Philly.com article, this year is the bicentennial anniversary of soda pop. Ask your kids to figure out what year soda pop was invented.

If they would like to amaze their friends with more anniversary words, this link has words for 300th, 400th, and lots more.

More Fun Math for Kids



Fun with Reptiles


We've got a new page on our web site devoted to reptiles! The page has two printable activities:

Make a Reptile-Inspired Wrist Band (PDF) Make a reptile-inspired "Live-strong" type wristband and other cool art projects.

Play Build a Turtle (PDF): This fun game teaches kids some cool turtle anatomy.


Activity: Make Frozen Desserts

It's the season for making frozen desserts, whether or not you have an ice cream maker. Two strategies:

Strategy One: Improvise an ice cream maker: http://www.biglearning.org/article-ice-cream-science.htm

Strategy Two: Include ingredients that already have air whipped in, like whipped cream. Here's an example: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1713,149189-225197,00.html

More Cooking for Kids

Product Recommendation

Beacon Kids Choice Glue

Ages 6 and up


This is great glue! Ever since the first time I burned myself on a hot glue gun, I've been looking for a quick-set glue that was safer. This isn't quite as fast as hot glue, but a thin coat of glue holds after less than a minute (even though it takes the usual amount of time to dry completely).

And putting kids' glue in a tube is such a great idea! No more clogged bottles. The glue comes out easily every time.

Kids' Choice glue is washable and non-toxic. I bought it at our local A.C. Moore, and found it online at the above link.

More Craft Ideas

Big Learning Craft Stick Idea Palace

Make Pinwheels


Education News for Adults

Here's to Great Summer Schools


I've been thinking about summer learning lately, and I'm not the only one. It's been in the news lately thanks to the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins.

For many reasons, a lot of people are questioning the wisdom of the long summer break. Too many kids at loose ends. Too many parents scrambling to cobble together a summer.

The public school system does need to offer a more reliable summer program. But heaven help us if it's just more of the same thing that happens during the school year. If we're going to extend the public school domain into the summer season, we need to do it for the right reasons and in the right way.

(Read the rest of the article and comment at: http://www.biglearning.org/biggerlearning )


Web Site

Snake Gallery

This series of fantastic snake photos has extended captions that explain the behavior shown. There's a snake poking its head out of its egg, a snake spraying venom, a snake eating a much larger bird, and other cool stuff.

More Animal Fun

Backyard Birding Resources

Beyond the Bug Jar




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Comments? Send an e-mail to editor@biglearning.org

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Big Learning News (c) 2007 Karen Cole

All Rights Reserved.

Content meant for adults and provided for informational purposes only - readers are responsible for previewing all materials and activities for suitability and safety before sharing them with children.



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