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Category Archives: Education

Making a Rainbow: Each Hand Counts


I taught kindergarten for five years before being moved to fourth grade. It was quite a jump for me, requiring me to adapt my classroom management techniques, my lessons, and my library corner to accommodate the “big kids.” But, it was hard to leave all my kindergarten lessons behind, namely, the fun, art projects. It was my experience, that as our children get older their school days involve a lot ... Read More »

7 Reasons to Visit Public Libraries


Our kids are growing up with fewer bookstores. Within five miles of my childhood home, I can remember a B. Dalton at the Original Farmers Market, a Brentano’s in the Beverly Center, a Borders on La Cienega, and a Book Star in the Beverly Connection. Now, there’s only the Barnes and Noble in the Grove. (And those are just the big-name book stores.  Independents are struggling even more). Thankfully, hope ... Read More »

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers


It’s holiday time which leads to two questions:  Do I have to get my child’s teacher(s) a gift?  And, What do I get him/her? Okay, first question. No, you don’t have to purchase a gift for your child’s teacher. After a twelve-year teaching career, I can tell you that never did I receive a gift from every child in my class. And that’s okay. However, a gift does show your ... Read More »

Give The Teacher What She Wants

Photo by jarmoluk

Recently, my son’s elementary school principal shared with the parents in the audience her mantra when she was a parent of a school-age child. “Find out what your child’s teacher wants and give it to her.” Amen! And no, she was not talking about holiday gifts (we’ll be talking about that next week). As a parent, who was also a public school teacher for twelve years, I can undoubtedly say ... Read More »

For a Mixed-Race Family, It Isn’t Easy to Choose One Heritage

heritage quilt (photo by Wendy Kennar)

When my first grade son came home with a heritage project, I knew we were in trouble.  The assignment itself seemed straightforward and completely do-able for a 6 year old:  complete a paper quilt square by showing four different visual representations for your heritage.  Examples included pictures of a country’s flag, traditional dress, food, and games.  For the four pictures my son would need, he could use family photographs, images from ... Read More »

Should School Pictures Be Retouched?

picture perfect book (photo by Wendy Kennar)

You can usually tell when it’s Picture Day at your child’s school.  Young boys come to class dressed in shirts and ties when ordinarily they’re wearing shorts and t-shirts.  Teachers have ditched their jeans and sneakers and put on slacks and dress shoes. Of course not all young boys or teachers regard “Picture Day” as “Dress-Up Day.”   I never did — then, as a teacher or now, as a ... Read More »

With Common Core, is Explaining “Why” Necessary?

math homework (photo by Wendy Kennar)

One of the changes I’m noticing with Common Core State Standards is the requirement for children to explain. Teachers don’t just want students to provide answers; they want to know how their students arrived at those answers. In my opinion, there are positives and negatives involved when we ask “Why” or “How”. On the one hand, I always asked my students to show their work when computing a mathematical question. ... Read More »

Free Common Core Testing at Learning Path

school kids taking test

The Learning Path is offering MomsLA readers a very special offer: One FREE test into the Common Core in Math or English (a $50 value). The test reveals precisely where your child stands in relation to the new Common Core standards using adaptive computer testing. The tests take 1 to 1.5 hours each, depending on the individual pace of the student and their grade level. They are completely objective and ... Read More »

The UNI Project Screening + Grants for Schools

NutriBullet The UNI Project Premiere [4]

Please join us on Monday, October 6 at 5 p.m. for the exclusive premiere of The UNI Project, an impactful documentary that follows student participants at a Los Angeles high school, University High School (UNI), on a three month journey focused on nutrition education and modifying the way teens eat in a movement to improve their eating habits. In collaboration with University High School (UNI) in Los Angeles, The UNI Project aimed to empower teens with a first-hand ... Read More »