Saturday, March 30, 2013

KOOL-AID Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

KOOL-AID Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

 This is a great alternative for dying Easter eggs.  Simple and fun!!
Where are you going for an Easter egg hunt in Longmont, Firestone, Frederick, Erie, Niwot, Lyons or Mead?


What You Need

2env.  (0.13 to 0.16 oz. each) KOOL-AID Unsweetened Drink Mix, any red color (try Cherry, Black Cherry, Strawberry or Tropical Punch flavor)
2env.  (0.14 oz. to 0.15 oz. each) KOOL-AID Unsweetened Drink Mix, any orange color (try Orange, Mango or Peach Mango flavor)
2env.  (0.13 oz. to 0.23 oz. each) KOOL-AID Unsweetened Drink Mix, any yellow or green color (try Lemonade, Piña or Lemon-Lime flavor)
2env.  (0.22 oz. each) KOOL-AID Unsweetened Drink Mix, any blue color (try Mixed Berry or Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade flavor)
½ cup  water, divided
1-1/2 doz.  hard-cooked eggs, cooled

Make It

MIX contents of 2 (same-flavored) KOOL-AID envelopes with 2 Tbsp. water in 6- to 8-oz. container; stir to dissolve drink mixes. Repeat in 3 separate containers with remaining KOOL-AID envelopes.

PLACE eggs on cooling rack in sink; rinse eggs with tap water.

SPOON KOOL-AID mixtures, 1 at a time, over wet eggs to create tie-dye patterns. Repeat with remaining eggs.

POUR a little tap water over each egg to set colors. Use tongs to transfer eggs to paper towel-covered baking sheet to dry. Rinse sink immediately as needed.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

How to Make Solid-Colored Easter Eggs
Pour contents of 1 envelope of each KOOL-AID color into separate 10- to-12 oz. container. Add 2/3 cup water to each; stir to dissolve drink mix. Use spoon to place 1 hard-cooked egg in each cup, keeping egg submerged until desired color is reached. Continue with remaining eggs. Let dry as directed above.
Special Extra
Place assorted rubber bands around hard-cooked eggs before dipping in cups of KOOL-AID mixtures; let dry completely before removing rubber bands. For a two-tone effect, dip the dry colored eggs again in a lighter-colored prepared KOOL-AID.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Choosing the Best Time to Do Homework What Works For Each Level


Choosing the Best Time to Do Homework

What Works For Each Level

Scheduling a homework time is tricky in this day and age with so much happening and long commutes.  Here are some quick tips to help you choose the best time to do homework.


Elementary School

  • Choose a time when a responsible adult is available to help if needed.  This can be a nanny, grandparent, older sibling (note the responsible part!) or an after care teacher.

  • Write down the homework time – even if your schedule changes during the week, decide on the homework time in advance

  • Schedule test dates then move backwards from the test dates to schedule study sessions.  This is incredibly important for those children who are new to taking tests and studying.  They need the structure of regular studying with an adult to learn the skill.

  • Choose the best time of day for your child.  Many children younger than third grade (and even all elementary grades) do not know what is best for them in terms of time of day to do homework.  Maybe your child needs some playtime and after dinner is the best time.  Maybe getting the homework done right after coming home works best for your child and even your entire family.  Usually, though, the closer you are to bedtime, the more of a struggle homework is.  Everyone is tired, grumpy and just wants to relax.  So try and schedule it earlier.


Middle School

  • Allow child to choose his homework hours – then reassess one week in to see how things are going – or reassess when activities change.  Remember, you are trying to help achieve more independent skills at this age.  You can start doing this with third grade and up if you think your student is able to do so. 

For example, when I taught third grade, I had one particular boy who never seemed to get his homework done.  It turns out he had long hockey practices every night.  We had a class discussion about homework and what might work for you.  He said he thought getting up at 5:30 am would be a good way for him to get his work done.  I definitely had my doubts about that plan, but wouldn’t you know…it worked for him!  His mother reported him faithfully getting up each morning (without prompting) to do his homework.  It was a terrific lesson for both the student and myself that younger children can set goals and achieve them in terms of homework.


High School

  • This is where homework should be a child’s full responsibility.  Obviously, there are times when this does not happen as nicely as it should.  If you have a student who is struggling, talk it through and decide what options are the best.

  • Check in with them.  This is critical.  Don’t check behind their back (unless you have a reason to) but be sure to check in and see how homework is going.  Keep the lines of communication open.

  • Use grade reports and test/quiz grades to check time spent on homework/studying.  If you are seeing grades that are falling or lacking, maybe a sport needs to be dropped or an activity needs to be suspended for a time.  Make sure your student is not too overloaded to get his work done.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Generation tech: More kids can play computer games than ride a bike

Generation tech: More kids can play computer games than ride a bike
If you were in any doubt that technology is now a fundamental part of kids’ lives, these statistics prove it: 69 percent of children aged 2-5 can use a computer mouse, but only 11 percent can tie their own shoelaces. More young children know how to play a computer game (58 percent) than swim (20 percent) or ride a bike (52 percent). There is no gender divide. Boys and girls under the age of 5 were equally adept at using technology.
These are the results of a study commissioned by Internet security company AVG on how children aged 2-5 interact with technology. 2,200 mothers with Internet access in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were polled.
Children 2-5 and technology
Italian children are particularly handy with a mobile phone. 44 percent of Italian tots can make a phone call, as opposed to 25 percent in the US. American children are, however, at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to using smartphone and tablet apps, with 30 percent able to operate such an app.
An earlier study looked at the increasing tendency of parents to upload pictures of their newborns with the result that 92 percent of children now have an online footprint before they are 2 years old. The average “digital birth” happens at around six months old.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14th-- Albert Einstein's Birthday

Birth name Albert Einstein
Born March 14, 1879
Ulm, Württemberg, Germany
Died April 18, 1955 (aged 76)
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Spouses Mileva Marić (1903–1919)
Elsa Einstein (1919 - 1936)
Children Hans Albert Einstein (1904 - 1973)
Eduard Einstein (1910 - 1965)


Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1879. As a child, Einstein revealed an extraordinary curiosity for understanding the mysteries of science (started only at age 10/11). A typical child (only to his socio-economic class — educated middle class), Einstein took music lessons, playing both the violin and piano — a passion that followed him into adulthood. Moving first to Italy and then to Switzerland, the young prodigy graduated from high-school in 1896.
In 1905, while working as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, Einstein had what came to be known as his “Annus Mirabilis” — or “miracle year”. It was during this time that the young physicist obtained his Doctorate degree and published four of his most influential research papers, including the Special Theory of Relativity. In that, the now world famous equation "e = mc2" unlocked mysteries of the Universe theretofore unknown.
Albert Einstein Ten years later, in 1915, Einstein completed his General Theory of Relativity and in 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (iconic status cemented in 1919 when Arthur Eddington’s expedition confirmed Albert Einstein’s prediction). It also launched him to international superstardom and his name became a household word synonymous with genius all over the world.
Einstein emigrated to the United States in the autumn of 1933 and took up residence in Princeton, New Jersey and a professorship at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study.
Today, the practical applications of Einstein’s theories include the development of the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, lasers, and DVD-players. Recognized as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Century” in 1999, Einstein’s intellect, coupled his strong passion for social justice and dedication to pacifism, left the world with infinite knowledge and pioneering moral leadership.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Study Groups

Image Source:

Study groups are like garage bands; they should be fantastically helpful and enable their members achieve success beyond their wildest dreams, but most just end up arguing, chatting or playing Xbox and eating pizza.
For a study group to be successful there must be a consensus to be disciplined and to include members who are committed to pulling their weight. Study groups can help you to cover large volumes of material, explain concepts you don’t understand or introduce you to new perspectives. Study groups also hone your presentation skills. When it does work, a study group can be proof that several heads are better than one.
Being Picky
Don’t choose study group members because they are your friends, choose people you know are reliable and hardworking; people you think you can learn something from. The most successful study groups are homogenous and contain people who are all roughly on the same academic level.
Follow the Leader
You must choose a group leader. This person is responsible for dividing up the work and informing group members of the dates, times and venues of the study group and which chapters each person must prepare. Rotate leadership if there is not one clear leader; taking turns also helps you improve your organizational skills.
Set Goals
Setting goals for your study group will help you to get through all the work before the exams. It will also help you to plan your study schedule. Include all the assignments and exams so that no one forgets to submit work. You should also set aside time to discuss assignments and exams so that you can identify your mistakes and avoid them in the future.
Group Love
Get together with other study groups before a big assignment or exam to share knowledge and get different perspectives. A great exercise during these sessions is to go over past exam papers and discuss answers. Leave more time for this session than you would normally leave for your own group.
Progress Check
Study groups can really be beneficial when they are conducted correctly. Instead of covering reams of reading by yourself, sharing the reading with others can save you tons of time. You can also benefit from alternate explanations of difficult concepts or ideas. Not only do you benefit from the efforts of your classmates, but having to explain work to others helps you to formulate your own ideas and become more articulate in presenting complex concepts or opinions. Keep track of your test scores to ensure that your study group is beneficial. If you are wasting your time and not gaining something in return, discuss this with the group members and try to come up with a new game plan. If there is no change to your group, consider joining a different group or studying on your own. You might also find help through the guidance office in high school or there might be tutoring services offered at your college campus.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What Is Your Child’s Learning Style?

What Is Your Child’s Learning Style?

Understanding how your child learns can reduce frustration and improve achievement.
If your child constantly squirms and fidgets when he’s doing math homework or insists on listening to music while studying vocabulary words, take heart. Although it may seem like he’s trying to drive you crazy, he’s probably just using the strategies that help him learn.
“I like to study at a desk in silence, and my daughter can’t think that way. She likes to bounce around on a ball with music in the background,” says author Maureen McKay, whose website, Optimistic Outcomes, provides tips for parents based on a child’s learning style. “Sometimes kids are just doing what works for them.”
Educators have long been aware that learning is not one-size-fits-all. In a typical classroom, some kids process information best by hearing the teacher explain it, some learn by seeing what’s on the chalkboard, and others learn through hands-on exercises. Colleges have increasingly begun teaching new students about learning styles so they can develop effective study habits. And many primary and secondary schools conduct surveys to give teachers insight into the learning styles of their students. Three basic learning styles are auditory, kinesthetic, and visual.
Auditory learners prefer listening to explanations over reading them and may like to study by reciting information aloud. This type of learner may want to have background music while studying, or they may be distracted by noises and need a quiet space to study.
Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and touching. They may have trouble sitting still while studying, and they are better able to understand information by writing it down or doing hands-on activities.
Visual learners process new information by reading, looking at graphics, or watching a demonstration. Children with this learning style can grasp information presented in a chart or graph, but they may grow impatient listening to an explanation.
Most people use a combination of styles but have a clear preference for one. Understanding your child’s learning style can reduce homework frustrations and make it easier for families to communicate, says McKay. She observed different learning styles while working as a teacher’s aide, and she started researching strategies for working with different learning styles when her daughter began having trouble in elementary school.
Because her daughter had difficulty listening in class, McKay looked for exercises to strengthen listening skills. Her daughter especially enjoyed one approach, listening to an audio book and reading the book at the same time. She’s now doing well in middle school, and McKay attributes her success in part to the fact that her teachers and parents came to understand her unique style of learning.
Once you know your child’s primary learning style, it’s a good idea to let his teacher know what kind of approaches help him learn best. “I find that educators are much more willing to work with you if you’re giving them ideas that work for your child,” McKay says. “The great thing is that the things that benefit your child are really going to benefit all the kids, so you’re not asking for the moon.”
Although it may be tempting to stick with what works, keep in mind that a child’s preferred learning style may change as she grows and that people who can learn in a variety of ways can more readily absorb information. McKay advises parents to help their children practice using different kinds of skills.
“Really well-balanced students will be able to be comfortable learning in all ways. Knowing that and working on that when they’re young gives them a competitive edge,” she says.
Parents can use a variety of approaches to help kids learn math facts, for example. When a kid gets bored with flash cards, a visual and auditory strategy, McKay suggests letting him play a family board game that uses two dice and asking him to count how many spaces each player should advance. This is a more kinesthetic approach but may also appeal to visual and auditory learners.
“Being able to tap in to different styles allows you a lot of novelty and adds a lot of fun to homework and chores and interactions at home,” McKay explains. For example, if a child resists studying her spelling words, you can ask her to spell the words on a table using Scrabble tiles.
Being aware of your child’s learning style can reduce homework battles and strengthen parent-child relationships. “It’s very empowering for families to really understand each other and how they learn and how they think to work out problems,” McKay says. “This kind of involvement is a great way to bond with your kids and to impart knowledge, and it’s really fun.”

Homework Tips for Each Learning Style

Auditory learners are typically good at absorbing information from spoken words. Strategies that work well for auditory learners include:
  • Talking to themselves or with others about what they’re learning
  • Reciting important information aloud, perhaps recording it and playing it back
  • Reading a book and listening to the audio book at the same time
  • Using word associations
  • Setting information to a tune and singing it to help remember it
  • Limiting distracting noises
Kinesthetic learners prefer to be active while studying and may not be able to focus while sitting still. Strategies for kinesthetic learners include:
  • Reading aloud and tracking words on a page with a finger
  • Writing things down multiple times to commit them to memory
  • Highlighting and underlining
  • Playing with a stress ball or toy while studying
  • Moving around or taking frequent breaks
  • Doing hands-on activities, such as building models or playing games
Visual learners benefit from seeing information on a chalkboard or in an illustration and may grow impatient listening for long periods of time. Strategies for visual learners include:
  • Using flash cards
  • Studying charts, tables, and maps
  • Drawing illustrations
  • Writing things down and reviewing notes
  • Highlighting and underlining
  • Color-coding information

Fun Facts about Dentistry--

Fun Facts about Dentistry

By Susan Stype, Education Consultant Tutor Doctor Longmont


March 6th is Dentist’s Day. Dentist's Day is a day to display a big, toothy smile. After all, your Dentist plays a role in that big, bright smile. He's an important person in keeping your smile bright, and your teeth and mouth healthy.  



1. Toothbrushes were invented in China approximately 500 years ago. Before toothpaste was invented about 100 years ago, people used other substances to clean their teeth, including ashes, lemon juice, chalk and charcoal. The first tubes of toothpaste were made of metal.

2. Dentists have created various inventions related to tooth and mouth care over the years, including the toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, but a dentist is also responsible for the invention of the electric chair. Alfred P. Southwick, a dentist and dental educator, witnessed an accident in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1881 wherein a drunk man died almost instantly after touching an electrical generator. He joined with Buffalo doctor George Fell to experiment on electricity as a more humane means of putting humans to death; their experiments and political interests caused the electric chair to become a legal form of the death penalty by 1889.

3. Evidence of stone tools and fossilized human remains provides evidence of dental work that dates as far back as 3000 B.C. Remains from the Aztec culture show that cavities were filled with a mixture of iron filings, water and lint. Dentists in ancient Rome were installing gold crowns and bridgework into their patients' mouths. In early America, blacksmiths often performed many of the duties of dentists. The first female dentist licensed in America was Lucy Hobbs in 1866.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

12 Insider Secrets of Getting Good Grades in College

Grades are the measure of college success.  Like the salary at a job, a batting average in baseball, or the price of a stock, your GPA is an objective indication of how you’re doing—plain for all to see (including you).  And yet, there’s surprisingly little good information – least of all from professors—about just what you need to do to get good grades.   We go where others fear to tread.  And so, here are the 12 secrets of getting really good grades in college (A’s, we mean):
1.  Take control of your destiny.  Your grade destiny, that is.  There’s no teacher or parent to remind you every day of what you need to do, or to make sure you’ve studied for exams.  It’s all in your hands.  So step up to bat and take responsibility.  What grades you get will depend on what you yourself do.
2.  Don’t overload.  Some students think it’s a mark of pride to take as many hours as the college allows.  It isn’t.  Take four or at the most five courses each semester.  That way, you’ll be able to devote all your energies to a manageable number of subjects and you won’t have to sacrifice quality for quantity.
3.  Get your a** to class.  Most students have a cutting budget:  the number of lectures they think they can miss in each course and still do well.  But if there are 35 class meetings, each class contains 3 percent of the content:  miss seven, and that’s 20 percent.  How can you get good grades then?
  • Best Kept Secret .  Some not-so-nice professors want to penalize students who blow off the class right before Easter or Spring Break.  So they pick an essay question for the midterm or final from that very lecture.  Next result?  You wind up doing major damage to your GPA for the price of just one class.
4.  Take really good notes.  In many intro courses, the professor’s lectures form the major part of the material tested on the midterm and final.  So, as you’re taking notes you’re really writing the textbook for the course – which in many cases is more important than the official textbook.  Be sure to get down everything the professor says, and to maintain your notes in an organized and readable form.  After all, these are the notes you’ll have to study a number of times later in the course.
5.  Study like you mean it.  There’s a difference between studying and “studying” – and you know what it is.  When you’re studying, you’re 100 percent focused on, and engaged with, the material:  a total immersion in what you’re doing and a strong desire to get it right.  When you’re only “studying” – that is, pretending to study – you’re 35 percent involved, with the other 65 percent of your attention divided among tweeting your friend about how much you’re studying, scoping out the surrounding tables to see who else might be around (and how attractive they are), and daydreaming about all the fun things you’ll do when you finish this God-awful studying.  Look, we know studying can be painful, but all students who get A’s do it (no matter what they tell you).
6.  Do all the homework.  You might have thought that the homework and problem sets – each of which is worth maybe one-tenth of one percent of the grade – are just busy work – something the professor assigns just to make sure you’re doing something in the course each week. But, really, the homework provides applications of the concepts, principles, and methods of the field to actual examples.  The same sort of examples that will come up on the bigger tests.  If you do well on the homework – that is, get 10 out of 10 on the problem sets, or a check-plus on the little writing exercises—you’re putting yourself in a good position to get a 100 when it really counts – on the midterm or final.
7.  Take each test three times.  When done right, taking a test is really three activities:  preparing for the test, taking the actual exam, then going over the comments to see what mistakes you made.  Each activity furnishes important – and grade-improving – information:  The studying  gives you practice in questions very similar to the those that will be on the test;  the actual test is where the A is earned (at least in the best case);  and the review of the comments is an investment in an A on the next test.
8.  Always answer the question asked.  More points are lost on tests – and, even more so, on papers – by not answering the question asked than by giving the wrong answer.  That’s because students often have strong – and wrong – preconceptions about what the professor should be asking.  “How can the question be so specific,” they wonder.  “How can the professor not be asking a question about last week’s classes, especially since he or she seemed so interested in that topic?”  “Can the professor really be asking about that journal article we were supposed to read, or about the discussion in section?”  Don’t try to psych out the professor or distrust what you see before your very eyes.
9.  Play all four quarters.  Many college courses are “back-loaded.”   More than half the grade is left to assignments due the last month of the semester:  a third test, 15 percent;  the term- or research paper, 25 percent;  the cumulative final, 30 percent.  You get the idea.  Pace yourself and don’t run out of gas just as you’re coming into the home stretch.
10.  Do all the “extras.”  In some courses, there are special, end-of-the-semester activities that can improve your grade.  Review sessions, extra office hours, rewrites of papers, extra credit work – all of these can be grade-boosters.   Especially in schools where there are no pluses and minuses, even a few extra points can push your border-line grade over the hump (say, from a B + to an A-minus – that is, an A).
11.  Join a community.   Many students improve their grades with “study buddies” or study groups.  Try to meet at least once a week – especially in courses in which there are weekly problem sets or quizzes.  Students can improve their grades one level (or more) when they commit to working in an organized way with other students.
12.  Resolve to get at least one “A” each semester.  Getting even a single “A” will change the way you think about yourself.  You’ll be more confident about your abilities and more hopeful for future semesters.  If you’re at all close, in even one course, work really hard to do it.  It will change things forever.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Goal Setting with Your Child

Goal Setting with Your ChildGoal Setting with Your Child

Making the Most Out of the Year to Come!

 Posted by Jennifer Benoit

The new year is in full swing and it is a great time to talk with your child about goal setting.  But how?  Here are some simple steps to help your child of any age set goals and work towards them.  It might be a great idea for you as a parent to share your goals and work towards goals together or even set family goals.


Why is goal setting important?

Honestly, we are raising the next generation of law makers, teachers, soldiers, business people, mechanics, and a whole host of other types of people.  Helping them look at their lives critically and make goals helps make them better citizens, workers, and even family members.  We want them to strive for goals in order to make a difference in their lives and other’s lives. 

Helping your child see that he or she can make a goal is critical to success as an employee, business owner, and future parent.  Raising the next generation to think ahead is a valuable goal for us as parents.


By the same token, we want our children to see that goal setting can work and it is helpful in many areas of their lives.  Successfully meeting goals is a step on the path to maturity and personal growth.  Our children can succeed when given the opportunity and expectation.  They can also fail.  Learning to start again or rethink a goal is just as important.


What kinds of goals should/could we set?

  • Short term goals - (depending on the age of the child, setting them for a week, month, or quarter; in general, the younger the child, the shorter the time span, but if your child needs more support in breaking a habit or getting into a good habit, you may want some short term goals for even older children)

  • Long term goals - (these are goals for the year or for the school semester or year)  Long term goals are good to set as a family (one or two at most if you have never done so before) and are better for older children middle school and up.  If a younger child wants to make a goal for a year or half a year, break it into smaller goal sets to move towards the larger goal.

  • Physical goals – your child may want to change some physical habits such as exercising more, doing a handstand, etc.  They could also be physical in terms of physical space goals such as keeping room clean or effective organization so desk or room space is utilized.

  • Mental goals – these are goals to better themselves mentally suchGoal Setting Raleigh Apex Cary durhamas reading more interesting books, succeeding at Sudoku, learning the fifty states, learning all the presidents, learning the pledge or a specific song on an instrument. 

  • Emotional goals – these are goals that reflect emotional behavior and growth such as being able to successfully handle sibling squabbles, being able to calmly put toys away, learning more about how you learn to be able to effectively handle schoolwork in a different way, or talking with someone about a specific problem (getting a mentor).

  • Spiritual goals – this is specific to growth in the area of spirituality.  Whatever your faith, growing towards understanding it and how you relate to it as a person may be helpful.  Learning information related to your faith, memorizing, or taking classes may be goals.

  • Classroom goals – Many parents focus on these rather than on other pieces of their child’s life, however, remember that the other pieces factor into this area.  Classroom goals can revolve around grades or getting homework in on time, but they can also be focused on remembering to bring home all homework or working on telling the teacher if there is a problem with other children or if there are questions on schoolwork.

  • School goals – Maybe looking ahead for what clubs or sports a student may want to join is important.  This is especially true for students that are entering a new school next year (i.e. going to middle or high school or college).  These students are excited about the next chapter and are looking forward to it.  Many have ideas about what they would like to take part in at the new school.

  • Community goals – these are goals that relate to the community or world.  Maybe your child wants to become an Eagle Scout and needs a community project.  Maybe a family goal is to go on a missions trip or help in a local soup kitchen.  Perhaps your child is old enough to volunteer at a local organization each week.  Many of these goals fit in with what high schools often expect in order to graduate, so getting the hours in is important.

  Note:  All goals should be SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented.

So, now that you know all the types of goals you can set, go through them with your student and see which ones are helpful. 

Maybe a good rule of thumb is to set the goal for the number of grade that child is in. So a Kindergartener or First Grader may have one goal and a Second Grader will have 2 goals and so on.  By the same token, maybe some of the older students can handle just three short term and three long term goals.  Whatever works for your student, but be realistic.

One more note, be sure that the goal is your child's not yours.  Being a parent means making realistic goals with our children, not asking them to take on ours for them.  Be sure it is a goal that is shared by your child.