Book Review: I’m Not Afraid

I shared Lee Ann Mancini’s children’s book, I’m Not Afraid!, with my students and they loved it. This book, illustrated by Dan Sharp, is a part of a series of  award winning books about the Coral Hood Sea Kids and their adventures.

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This adorable little book is full of great lessons! Based on Isaiah 28:9-10, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord…”, this book series teaches children valuable lessons about sharing, dealing with fears and more. A coworker and I shared this book with students and they were asked what their favorite parts were and this is what they said:

“My favorite part of the story is wen Suzie prays and trust God. My favorite character is Suzie!” Angel, 2nd grade

“My favorite character is Suzie. My favorite part is when she went on the roller coaster and when she prayed. I think it was very nice.” Jacqueline 4th grade

My favorite character is Rachel. She had already built up the faith so she wasn’t scared. Eden 3rd grade

“My favorite character is Suzie and I liked it when she prayed on the roller coaster so she wouldn’t get scared.” Josiah, 5th grade

These books are inspirational and create a platform for teachers and parents to open up a dialogue about what the child may be feeling about fear. These are not easy topics to introduce sometimes and having a friendly, non-invasive remedy to discuss the content can really help in discovering how some children may feel and help them realize the same about others.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


DVD Review: Theo V3: God’s Heart

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What an honor to be invited by FishFlix to review a Christian Children’s DVD. I was so excited when FishFlix sent Theo: Teaching Children God’s Word which includes God’s Heart: Lesson 7- Justification, Lesson 8- Adoption, and Lesson 9- A Day in Prayer. I invited all of my children (ages 4, 10, 14, and 16) down to watch the DVD for the first time because my desire was to hear their reactions. I was surprised that my fourteen-year-old son stayed to watch the entire three lessons. My three daughters and my son truly enjoyed the animation and my youngest was laughing throughout the three lessons. She also covered her eyes when Jesus was on the cross and when I asked her what she was doing she said, “This is so sad, Jesus is dying!” This created an opportunity to discuss what he has done for us and plant that seed of awareness.

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The animated characters were cute and spoke with accents. There are two mice with  “Laurel and Hardy” type of personas and a child-like character, which are adorable and likeable. Theo, the main character and narrator, has a pleasant grandfather type feeling to him and speaks eloquently. The vocabulary words used within the lessons as well at the theme to the lessons are well worth discussing with family after viewing the lessons. The DVD comes with lesson guidance in booklet form inside the cover of the DVD to help parents or guardians.

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Aside from my children enjoying Theo Children’s DVDs, I was very pleased with them as well. The lessons were sound and expressed God’s love, grace, and relationship with us. I would share these within my classroom as much as I would at home. As an avid viewer of Christian material for my home and class I also enjoyed scrolling through FishFlix.com. They have a large variety  of material and reasonable prices. I look forward to review more DVDs from FishFlix.

 

 

 

This DVD was sent to me by FishFlix in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Curriculum Review: Worldviews in Conflict A Study in Western Philosophy, Literature, & Culture

By Kevin Swanson

Worldviews in Conflict Set

Generations with Vision

10461 South Parker Road

Parker, CO 80134

(Disclaimer by publisher – “Because a study of history contains both documented facts pertaining to dates, conversations, and events in the past, as well as opposing and controversial interpretations of the significance of those events, people, and ideas, some educational content can be subjective in nature or reflective of an author’s own worldview.”)

This course introduces the high school student to a number of the major thinkers, writers, and ideologies that have formed our modern world. The author does caution the teacher, student and reader that most of the men presented were not Bible-believing Christians and therefore presupposes that all ideas are not equal in truthfulness or merit, and some being, “downright dangerous and destructive.

If most are dangerous and destructive, why then should the Christian high school student study these authors? This course will equip the young person called to leadership in academia, media, politics, or the church by familiarizing them with ideologies contrary to the Word of God and Biblical world and life views and preparing them to “understand the lay of the land on the battlefield in the war of worldviews.”

The author states, “Instead of providing a rich education in the Scripture and Christian authors, students are subjected to a confused mixture of writings from pagan and Christian and expected to sort it all out.” Even students with Christian high school and college upbringings are leaving the faith in droves because of the undue, uncritical support for the “classics.” Exposure to Greek philosophy, transcendentalism, and humanism without the familiarity of all the Biblical verses IGod’s truth) used in the text to counter the false ideas conveyed in the material will inevitably prove detrimental in preserving distinctively Biblical worldviews.

It is this reviewer’s opinion that this course is not for every student but rather only those mature enough to rightly divide truth from error, good and evil. A strong sense of conviction and a fair amount of apologetic fortitude would serve the student of this course well. This course will strengthen both critical and higher level thinking skills in students. The text contains advanced vocabulary which may require personal research for definitions or appropriate commentary from the teacher to explain the information presented.

Each chapter includes both biographical and philosophical information of the authors presented, as well as references to current, mainstream media and culture which the author’s ideologies have influenced. There is then sufficient information presented creating an opportunity for dialogue in presenting Biblical counter positions and truth. The chapters conclude with a section, “Engaging the Weapon of Prayer,” – powerfully scripted prayers to secure a lasting influence in the hearts and minds of the student of the living God who is sovereign over all.

There is a concise “How to Use the Curriculum” section in the textbook, as well as a thorough Teacher Guide, complete with a weekly lesson plan schedule, worksheets, and exams, and answer keys.   Lessons are deemed to take approximately 30-45 minutes, three days a week and the teacher’s guide includes a variety of activities and learning, worksheets for vocabulary recognition and basic understanding, and tests for major concepts and information retention.

As a Christian educator and a mother of a high school student, this course is particularly of interest to me in preparing both my students and son to be able to righteously stand in and influence a fallen world.

Review by Denise Jaramillo

See a product video about the curriculum here: Worldviews in Conflict A Study in Western Philosophy, Literature, & Culture

To shop for more Masterbooks curriculum by grade level click here: Grade level shopping

See more information about this set here: Masterbooks.com

To find out more about the publisher click here: New Leaf Publishing

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Master Books a division of New Leaf Publishing. No other compensation was received and a favorable review is not guaranteed.


Reblog of College-bound students: Create a Positive Digital Footprint

By Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, Law Professor & Children’s Rights Advocate, European Schoolnet

From Laura Galindo:   I believe this is a very important topic in our modern day. Keeping a positive digital footprint can be very difficult if a student doesn’t see social media for what it is: a permanent connection with the entire world. Depending on security and settings on a student’s technological devices, anyone can view and download content from their social media feeds.  From these feeds, future deans and employers to the student may view the content. Dr. Elizabeth  Milovidov blogged about the benefits of keeping a clean online profile for the future.  This was retrieved from: Family Online Safety Institute  Enjoy!

One of the ways that I explain digital footprints to college-bound students is by using the following scenario:

Imagine a puppy in an apartment with a white linoleum floor.  The puppy has just come in from a muddy romp outside and walks around the apartment.  No matter what room the puppy meanders into, we can see the comings and goings because of the traces left all over the floor.

Now imagine this: your data = muddy footprints and your Internet presence = the white linoleum floor.  And there you have it, what your digital footprint can look like on the net: a muddy mess.

To state it more clearly, your footprint is everything that shows up when someone searches your name.  Gasp.

It is never too late to clean-up your digital footprint or to create a positive digital identity and reputation and the following steps can get you started:

1. Download the FOSI checklist to guide you on your initial clean-up of your digital footprint.  The checklist advises you to do a web search of your name, check privacy settings, use strong passwords, update software, and think before you post.

2. Go through your social media accounts and delete any questionable photos.  Turn all your settings to private, even settings on past posts. Delete abandoned social media accounts and unsubscribe to mailing lists that you no longer follow or that would be undesirable to follow.

3. Once you’ve cleaned things up a bit, start thinking about how you can build your positive reputation.

4.Set Google alerts on every college that interest you, like them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites where they have a presence.  If you really have something to say, engage with them. But don’t just post blah-blah to have contact. It’s like being in class: raise your hand when you have something to say.

5. Create a positive identity by ensuring that your social presence means something. What are the issues you care about? Do you have a blog about something you are passionate about? (if not, create one!)  Get some ideas by looking at how these teens used the Internet for major good.

6. Use social media to inspire others; start a blog about the good things in your community, make a virtual fundraising campaign, text a compliment to a friend.

Above all, once you start, keep on going. Keep adding to the positive footprints by your positive actions, one step at a time.

Image courtesy of Flickr. 

 


Curriculum Review:ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student/ SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student

 

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Stobaugh (2012) did a wonderful job at organizing the information in The SAT and The ACT College Preparation Course for the Christian Student.   He states, “The ACT test assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The SAT, on the other hand, is an IQ-type test … and measures a students’ ability to problem solve” (pg. 8-9). It is a text that utilizes a devotional type style of delivery for students to exercise the characteristics needed to successfully master test-taking skills. The literature-based formate comes with a free downloadable essay workbook available online.

As a high school student’s parent and educator, I appreciated the emphasis on scripture and devotion journal writing as the main source of one’s wisdom. Every day students are to read their devotional entry and scripture, write in their journal and read and study vocabulary cards. The daily assignment continues with problem-solving and vocabulary practice. On the side of each page are helpful hints for critical thinking and positive quotes to help each student maintain focus and a positive mindset.

There are several aspects of these books that I found very useful. In the SAT text, there is a 1- 2- or 3- Year plan is easy to follow for a student in any year of their high school career. While the ACT text contains a 10-week plan and a 50-day plan. They both give very sound advice about how to survive in secular universities without losing your faith.

Overall, both of these texts are excellent resources for the college-bound student to prepare for their future.

See more at SAT/ACT Bundle

About the Author: James Stobaugh

 

These texts were given to me in return for an honest review of the content as part of the Moms of Masterbooks Book Review program.


Curriculum Review: Advanced Pre-Med Studies

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The Advanced Pre-Med Studies Package includes a Parent Lesson Planner (PLP), Building Blocks in Life Science, The Genesis of Germs, Body by Design, and Exploring the History of Medicine. Each of these books is beautifully designed and illustrated. The front cover of each one is in color and the inside content is in black and white. The reading material and workbook pages/questions are integrated into the same texts with answers in the back. More worksheets, tests, and quizzes are in the PLP and are set out in an easy to read format.

Here are additional features listed on the webpage New Leaf Publishing:

  • Each suggested weekly schedule has three easy-to-manage lessons which combine reading, worksheets, and vocabulary-building. Designed to allow your student to be independent, materials in this resource are divided by section so you can remove quizzes, tests, and answer keys before beginning the coursework.
  • As always, you are encouraged to adjust the schedule and materials as you need to in order to best work within your educational program.
  • Workflow: Students will read the pages in their book and then complete each worksheet. Tests and quizzes are given at regular intervals with space to record each grade.
  • Lesson Scheduling: Space is given for assignment dates. There is flexibility in scheduling. While each quarter has 45 days of assignments, they do not have to be given M-F. Some students may prefer to do more assignments each day, allowing for breaks on other days. Each week listed has five days but due to vacations, the school work week may not be M-F.
  • Parent Lesson Planners are easy-to-use with suggested daily schedules, as well as three-hole, punched perforated pages so worksheets, quizzes, and tests can be easily removed before students begin their coursework

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Any student interested in the possibility of a career in the medical field will benefit from this Biblically-integrated science course. In today’s world, the battle between evolutionary theories and creationist theories is real!  Many leave the body to science alone and withdraw God’s creation and His healing power and authority on how to maintain the body as if it did not matter. This curriculum explains both and makes it clear what the Word says about each topic without discounting the discoveries made throughout history in the field of medicine and biology.

Masterbooks and New Leaf Publishers have never disappointed with their books, DVDs, and curriculum. I am a happy mommy and teacher when using their supplies!

Disclaimer: I received this curriculum as part of the Moms of Master books blogging program free of charge. This does not guarantee a favorable review.


Curriculum Review: Elementary Anatomy

Elementary Anatomy: Nervous & Respiratory Systems by Lainna Callentine, MEd, MD

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       I couldn’t be happier with this collection! Lainna Callentine, MEd, MD put together a concise and easy to use the curriculum to introduce elementary students to anatomy. This curriculum is geared toward 3rd-6th graders. It is a year of curriculum for 2 – 3 lessons a week for 36 weeks at a pace of 30-45 minute lessons a day. The two student books, God’s Wondrous Machine: The Electrifying Nervous System and God’s Wondrous Machine: The Breathtaking Respiratory System, are themselves electrifying and breathtaking with all the artwork and details inside the book’s pages! Throughout the book, you will see three levels of vocabulary to stretch every reader. The detailed pictures and timelines reflect the reality of the anatomic system with the history of gained knowledge of those systems over the years.

In addition, the Teacher’s guide is by far a blessing to those who will use it. It has the lessons all planned out for ease of use and a flexible timeline to go with it. Considering that time is the biggest obstacle to battle, this is wonderfully helpful. The plans incorporate the use of lab kits that are sold separately but are only for enriching the lessons, they are not necessary for lesson comprehension. The teacher’s guide includes lesson plans, worksheets on different levels, and activities to incorporate. I am definitely going to enjoy using this for years to come!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Masterbooks for my honest opinion and review.