Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

World Book Day is March 5th

World Book Day!
Did you know that March 5th is World Book Day?  The day was established 17 years ago and was designated by UNESCO, as a worldwide celebration of reading books.  Over 100 countries participate World Book Day as a way to share the joy of reading books.

Personally, I love to read. Books are a way to visit the Taj Mahal, the pyramids, climb Mt. Everest, travel back through history or rocket into the future, all without living home.  

To, me, the public library was an awesome idea. Just think, before a library, you had to purchase anything you wanted to read,limiting assess to those that couldn’t afford to make such a purchase.

I was saddened to read that according to a  2014 study, posted at, one out of five kids asked said that if a friend found them reading a book, they’d be embarrassed! The study also found that of those kids responding, 54% said they prefer to watch television than read a book. How can we turn such poll numbers around?

I grew up on Nancy Drew books, I eagerly awaited the next published adventure of Nancy and her friends. I read biographies on women including Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and more.  Kids need to see the wonderful world of books.  Perhaps, the next time you need to get gifts for your child, niece or nephew, include a book as one of you gifts. 

Whether you read traditional books that you can hold in your hand or ebooks, it doesn’t matter, just grab a book and read!

Book Facts:

1. Did you know that the Chinese invented paper around 105 AD?

2. Each second, 57 books are sold. Someone figured that in one day, you’d need 78 miles of book shelving to store that amount of books. 

3. Each year, the main library at Indiana University sinks about one inch from the weight of all the books!

4. Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,worked as a boy, at Cadbury, as a chocolate taste tested! Shows you never know how your childhood may shape what you do as an adult!

5. A new book by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr.  Seuss, was recently found. Called “What Pet Should I Get?”, the book will be published some time in 2015.

6. Another fun fact about Dr. Seuss, he was challenged to write a book using only 50 words. The result, “Green Eggs and Ham”. Here are the 50 words he used: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

7. Ever read, Where the Wild Things Are, written by Maurice Sendak? He originally wanted the book to be called Where the Wild Horses Are, but couldn’t draw horses and told his editor, he could draw…things.

8. The author of Frankenstein was Mary Shelley. The monster was NOT Frankenstein, he had no name. Frankenstein was the scientist who created the monster.

9.  The author of  Alice in Wonderland ,Lewis Carroll, is credited with introducing 21 made-up words to the Oxford English Dictionary.

10. Someone calculated that Charles Dickens used 4.6 million different words in his writings. Also, a new treat, the lollypop was featured in a couple of Dicken’s books.

11. Books helped to build a road! 2.5 million books were shredded and added to the road asphalt for part of the M6 road in England.

12. The world’s first library was built by Ashurbanipal(668-627BC) in Assyria

13. In 2012,  998 people, in Sydney, Australia, set a record for the most people balancing books on their head!

14. Sadly, worldwide, 1 in 5 adults can not read or write.(as of 2014)

15.Did you know that people in the country of India  take the title for the most reading done each week? On average 10.7 hours a week is spent reading.

16. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the oldest written story. It comes from the people of Mesopotamia , telling the adventures of the King of Uruk( @2750-2500 BC).

17 The first book printed on the printing press was the Bible, in 1450.It was done on Johann Gutenberg’s press. The Bible is also  the largest-selling non-fiction book in the world!

18. A library in Charleston,m South Caroline, opened its doors in 1698, making it the first public  library in the America.
19. As of  2014, the handwritten,The Codex Leicester, by Leonardo da Vinci, which sold for a whopping $49.4 million dollars,in 1994, is still the most expensive book ever sold. The buyer…Bill Gates.
20. According to the Pew Research Center, 1 out of 4 Americans said they didn’t read even ONE book in the past year!

Quotes about Reading and Books:

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.  Richard Steele

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."  Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."  Walt Disney  

“ A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb

"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." Abraham Lincoln

 “A house without books is like a room without windows.” Heinrich Mann

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." Harry S Truman 

Each child should have a library card. As educators, ask your students if they own a library card and if,not, try and encourage them to get one.

Illustrate one of the quotes.

Which quote do you like the best and why? Write a paragraph explaining what you think your favorite quote means.

Clipart from:

Check out my web quest on the Library of Congress, our Nation's Library! The Library of Congress, our Nation's Library has over 33 million books. There are also over 12.5 million photographs and 6 million pieces of sheet music! Learn more about the Nation's Library with informative webquest.(Grades 4/ up) Great informational text/research skill activity!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Black History Month: Fun Facts

Black History Month:

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, organized a two week period in February,in 1926, to highlight contributions of African Americans. In 1976, the month of February was established as Black History Month.
The month of February was selected as it was the month in which both Frederick Douglass(abolitionist) and Abraham Lincoln (Emancipation Proclamation)were born.  Black History Month is also celebrated in Canada in February and in October in Great Britain.

Did You Know?
Dr. Carter G. Woodson once said,” It is never too late to learn.”  Personally, I love this quote!

The first African American invited to the White House(by President Theodore Roosevelt) was Booker T. Washington. The educator was also the first African American to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp.

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, was the first African American female astronaut. She went into space in 1992.

Guion Bluford, was the first American American to travel into space.

In 1821,Thomas L. Jennings, was the first African American to receive a patent for an invention.(dry cleaning process)

George Washington Carver found developed 300 products from the peanut, 118 from the sweet potato and 75 for the pecan! 

The first American American to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court was Thurgood Marshall in 1967.

The first African American elected to the U.S. Senate was Hiram Rhodes Revels.( 1870-1871)

Bessie Coleman was the first American American woman to get a pilot’s license and the first American to hold an international pilot’s license.

Olympian Jesse Owns broke 4 world records for track and field, at the 1936 Berlin. 

In 1909, Mathew A. Henson and Robert E. Peary made the first successful expedition to the North Pole.(for the USA).

In 1940,Dr. Charles Drew found a way to preserve blood and started the first blood bank.

Garrett Morgan invented a traffic light and a gas mask.

Ralph J. Bunche, in 1950, was the first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for his efforts to mediate an  Arab-Israeli truce.

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play for a Major League Baseball team.

In the 18th century, astronomer and inventor, Benjamin Banneker, helped design Washington, DC.

During WW 2, the first African American pilot group were the Tuskegee Airmen.

Basketball great, Bill Russell, was the first black coach for a NBA team.

Play the Find the Face game:
Learn about the Tuskegee Airman:

Check out my twelve fact-packed Black History Month Webquest/Extension Activities:

Check out my fact-packed Webquest on Martin Luther King/Extension Activities:

From Appleseed Magazine.

Illustration from:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Did You Know? Fun Presidential Trivia to Share for Presidents' Day!

Presidents’ Day is coming:
Share some fun facts about our Presidents:

Did You know that President John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator?

President Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs. 

President George W Bush(first term) and Benjamin Harrison were two presidents elected without the majority of the people( they had the most electoral votes but not the most popular votes).

President McKinley's pet parrot could whistle, "Yankee Doodle”. 

Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt served HOT DOGS to the King of England? 

Did you know that President Garfield could write with both his right and left hand at the SAME time?

The teddy bear is named for President Theodore Roosevelt.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president elected to FOUR terms in office.

President George Washington was a spelunker(someone that likes to search inside caves).

President Ronald Reagan had jelly beans on his desk in the oval office.

President William Henry Harrison was only president for 31 DAYS!

President John Quincy Adams was known to swim naked in the Potomac River.

President Grover Cleveland was elected President twice but not consecutively. He first served in 1885-1889 and then again, 1893-1897.

President Bill Clinton likes to play the Saxophone. President Ronald Reagan played the harmonica.

Before President Thomas Jefferson started shaking hands with visitors, visitors used to “bow” to the president of the United States!

President George Washington is the only president who did not live in the White House.(It wasn’t built yet)

President Gerald Ford is the only president who was not “elected” by the people of the United States.When President Richard Nixon resigned, as Vice President, he became president.

President Barack Obama likes to eat chili.

President Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket for driving his horse drawn buggy too fast down a street in Washington, D.C. He was charged $20.

President Martin Van Buren is crediting with first using the word, “OK”.

Check out my webquest on Presidential trivia

Want another webquest on Presidential Trivia, click here:


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bill for NOT Attending a Birthday Party! What do you think?

You're invited to a birthday party and accept the invitation to attend. Sounds like a fun day of going to a ski area and doing lots and lots of tubing and having something to eat. When the day of the party arrives, your parents decided you won't be attending as they have other plans for the day. A few days later, you have a note to bring home from school from the host of the party. Inside, is a bill for about $25, the cost of the ski party. The parents of the birthday child say that all guests were told if they accepted and didn't show up, the fee would still need to be paid, so the parents felt that "no-shows" should have to pay the expense. The five year old boy's parents were very upset about receiving the bill in such a way and said they didn't plan to pay it.

What do you think?Should the parents of the boy who didn't show up, have to pay the bill?
Should the parents have called the boy's parents and not send a note home in the boy's backpack?
How would you settle this dispute?