Chance the Rapper gets chance at VMA, Magnificent Coloring Day singer nominated

All we are saying is give Chance a chance! Even if you hate rap, as do I except for one Eminem song, this is some kind of wonderful and different rapper! "Sunday Candy" like buttah, baby. Chance the Rapper gets chance at VMA, Magnificent Coloring Day singer nominated

Trash crafts for kids: Flower pens, feather pens, decorated vases, gift crafts

Valentine's Day requires writing of cards, notes or letters, so why not write with a flourish? Use this guide to design a lovely flower pens, feather pens and decorated vases for gift crafts. Give gift crafts for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Teacher Appreciation or holiday gifts. You can make these flower pens and decorated vases from recycled materials, purchasing only pens or pencils.   Trash crafts for kids: Flower pens, feather pens, decorated vases, gift crafts |

Summer enrichment activities: Nature poetry party, creative writing prompts

Summer vacation is almost here and parents, you may be wondering just what in the world you're going to do with your kids for three month. So, here are summer enrichment activities for kids. Host a writers workshop for nature poetry using these creative writing prompts. Or better still, call it a nature poetry party! That way, kids will be enthused about summer enrichment activities and not dread them like summer school (it's all in the wording!) Use these creative writing prompts for National Poetry Month.  Summer enrichment activities: Nature poetry party, creative writing prompts |

Mothers Day, Fathers Day parent gifts for kids to make: Love coupons teach 3 Rs |

Looking for inexpensive Mothers Day or Fathers Day or any-holiday parent gifts for kids to make? Why not have children make homemade love coupons. Make homemade parent gifts and crafts do double duty as learning activities. Creating love coupons and teaches the 3 Rs, reading, writing, arithmetic even spelling and punctuation. Love coupons are the perfect parent gifts for kids to make independently. Use these love coupons for Mothers Day, Fathers Day or Grandparents Day, parent birthdays.   Mothers Day, Fathers Day parent gifts for kids to make: Love coupons teach 3 Rs |

Multicultural teen fiction: Middle school books, literature around the world

Homeschool parents and middle school teachers, want to take a free world tour? March is National Reading Month, so why not read around the world of middle school books. Here is a list of multicultural teen fiction and children's literature around the world, from 20 countries and seven continents. These stories best reflect the flavor of each culture--its people, traditions, religion, region, customs, celebrations and values. These children's literature around the world books include teen fiction, historical fiction, poetry, fairy tales, folklore and mythology. Teachers, be sure to note on a map, the places you visit in this literature unit. Multicultural middle school books are coded for age and grade appropriate level--

4 (grades 4 and up)

6 (grades 6 and up)

8 (grades 8 and up, some of these middle school books are PG-13 and may have some mature situations or language)

NB means this children's literature is a Newbery Award book. Newbery Awards are given to literature around the world that describes culture and history through the eyes of a young person.  Read on for Multicultural teen fiction: Middle school books, literature around the world

Shakespeare lesson plans: Middle English, how to read and understand Shakespearean plays and poems

Beware the Ides of March! And students, beware of teachers quoting Shakespeare, or Julius Caesar in March! Teachers adore Shakespeare and the Ides of March (March 15) is their feast day! But students--meh, not so much. Are you struggling with Shakespeare? Do you despise your literature teacher for making you read Middle English? Do you fail to see the appeal of the Bard of Avon? That is perfectly understandable, but don't despair. Here are tips to vanquish that Shakespearean tragedy, parse his sonnets and laugh in the face of the Bard's comedy. Teachers and homeschool parents, use these lesson plans to make Shakespeare more approachable for students.  Shakespeare lesson plans: Middle English, Shakespearean plays for Ides of March |

Expand your vocabulary, exercise your brain, grow your mind

One of the saddest statistics I ever heard is that most people use the same 1,000 or so words over and over and over. Some much less. They must do a great deal of repeating which is a moot point, I know. But it's not just repetition of words and phrases, it's formula thinking, templated conversation, Scariest of all is that saying the same words over and over means one is never having any new, fresh ideas. One's brain is staid, stagnant, atrophied. And we know what happens to sedentary muscles--they cease to function.

How terrifying. That one could, through, repetitive thoughts and words, wear ruts in the brain, like a scratched or broken record. That sedentary thought processing kills brain cells and cripples thinking. There is so much talk about exercising the body--very important, mind you--but what about the mind? It needs to be ever exploring, sampling, evaluating, applying, analyzing new experiences and data. It  needs to find expression for thoughts, questions, plans, dreams, hopes, fears and all those crazy ideas that area just too crazy for words. Find the words and if you can't keep looking. Try new ones. So you'll make mistakes, pronounce them wrong, use them in the wrong contexts. Don't let that intimidate you. 

So people think you're arrogant if you use "big words?" Big hairy deal. Never make excuses for improving your vocabulary. If they don't like it, they can go exchange those same few hundred sound bytes with similarly conversation challenged folk. Or they can talk to the wall. Certainly it's important to listen as well as we talk, actually, better. That is true communication. So today, do a little risk-taking with vocabulary, written and verbal. Step outside your comfort "voice"box! 

Be well, my dears and do good work. 

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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