Penelope Anne Cole
Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club: Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at
See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at
Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com
Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Does slow and steady always win the race? Find out how two very different creatures try to outdo each other in a friendly contest, jumping and climbing and using their natural talents in the best way they can … with surprising results.
by John Robinson Perry, Illustrations Aumi Perry
Frederick has a good life as a magician's rabbit. But when he decides he can do better on his own, he takes an unexpected adventure that will change him forever.
On one of the worst days of her life, Jennifer returns to the woods to find her and grandmother’s buried treasure from two years ago. Finding the buried treasure, she realizes the real treasure are memories that will bring back thoughts of happy times spent with her grandmother, memories that will never be buried by time.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
We're coming up on Dr. Seuss Day of Reading celebration. I was looking for crazy ideas to share with you about how to encourage reading in children, when I came across this post from:
Gary Hopkins : on Monday, November 15, 2010 (Thanks, Gary! I've edited it a little.)
Fun 'Challenges' Engage
Kids, Families in Reading
Kids lined the sidewalk in front of a Buckhannon (West Virginia) Academy Elementary School as their teachers raced by in teams of two. It was just before Halloween, so teachers dressed in football uniforms, pink rubber boots, and toilet paper might not have seemed such an odd sight -- except for the fact the costume-clad educators were pushing each other on office chairs!
The office chair race was a reward for students who earned the goofy high-speed event by reading more than 9,000 books in summer. “This was a great activity for the kids,” said Principal Randall Roy, who emceed the race. “They had a great time.”
Halfway across the country reading specialist Sandy Lambert and Principal Kim Lasanby-Barber dressed as pirates and “walked the plank” as students cheered them on. The pirate-themed celebration culminaed the fall reading challenge at Lincoln School in Spring Valley, Illinois. Students earned the reward by exceeding the goal of reading for 80,000 minutes. The school’s 200 students read for a total of 196,310 minutes.
READING CHALLNGES FROM COAST TO COAST
Principals and teachers across the country do all sorts of crazy things to encourage students to pick up books and read. Here are more examples of schools in the middle of “reading challenges".
Students at William E. Young School in Homer Glen, Illinois, are involved in a 100,000-minute reading challenge. “If 95 percent of Young Elementary students read 30 minutes a night, that means our school will have read 100,000 minutes total in just one week,” said Principal Michael Szopinski. If students achieve the goal, Szopinski will don reindeer antlers and a blinking red reindeer nose during the week of November 29.
If all goes to plan, students at Stafford (Texas) Primary School will see their principal, Kim Yen Vu, in a dunking booth next spring. The year-long “Principal’s Reading Challenge” has been going on at Stafford for a few years. Back in 2008, Vu kissed a pig when students reached their goal. This past year, she sat atop a wall -- the school’s marquee -- dressed as Humpty Vu-mpty. This year, teachers and students “aim” to see Principal Vu soaked.
Students at Bonneville Elementary School in Orem, Utah -- where the school mascot is a bronco -- had a year-long “Top Bronco” reading challenge. Parents log students’ at-home reading minutes on monthly calendars. The goal is for K-2 students to read 50 hours during the school year and grade 3-6 readers to read 75 hours, explained Principal Shawn Brooks. To motivate students, a January “half-way-there” banana split party will be held for students who've achieved half their goal. A “Double Club” movie party will be held for students who read double their goal.
At West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk, Connecticut, students take on the “Read Around the World Reading Challenge.” Students earn “miles” for each book they read on their way to 29,000 miles. To be precise, a trip around Earth is 24,901 miles, but students will stop off in -- and learn about -- some of the world’s major cities as they travel. “As students participating in the Read Around the World Reading Challenge will get raffle tickets and be eligible for prizes,” added Dr. Lynne C. Moore, the school principal.
At Burr Intermediate School in Commack, New York, the “Burr Reading Challenge” encourages students to make reading a daily habit, with special events to motivate them to read. During October students wrote book reviews on paper bags.. The “paper bag book reviews” are displayed throughout the school in (American Education Week), and after that week the bags will go back to the supermarkets to share with the community.
Reading is a community event in other ways at Burr. October 25 to December 3, students participate in the annual Ronald McDonald House Read-a-Thon. The read-a-thon raised more than $2000 for the Ronald McDonald House. Students also collected books to donate to a Suffolk County homeless shelter. [read more]
MORE FROM EDUCATION WORLD:
Find more ideas for motivating student reading in these Education World articles:
Principals’ Feats Fuel Fabulous Reading
What would students do to see their principal throw cow chips, spend a night on the roof, or get slimed? It turns out that they will do a great deal -- of reading! Included: From becoming ice cream sundaes to singing songs and kissing pigs, see what principals have done to encourage their students to read.
Principals Make Reading a School-Wide Goal
Students pledge to read thousands of pages… First- and fifth-graders buddy up for reading… Those events and others are part of school-wide reading programs at two Minnesota schools. Included: Additional activities to help make reading a school-wide goal.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Their drug of choice could be caffeine in its many forms: coffee, tea, soft drinks, "energy" drinks, power drinks, espresso beans, even caffeine pills, and so forth. We've all seen over-caffeinated students, and rolled our eyes.
But what about other drugs? In my day it was Dexamyl or Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)-- appetite curbin diet pills, also used to stay awake. I got mine from my father, who was a traveling salesman and needed help staying awake on business trips. Others got them from people with drug prescriptions for dieting. Still others got theirs from drug dealers. You'll notice that it has "amphetamine" at the end. It is in that class of drugs.
And it's no different today. Kids get Adderall from drug dealers, often in their college dorm. Others get Adderall from kids who've been prescribed it for ADD and are re-selling it to their friends. Clearly this is risky behavior. We know more about drugs and their side affects or addictive potential. If kids are only taking these drugs at mid-term and finals times, then they'll probably be okay. But if they continue to use these drugs more frequently, like once a week instead of twice a term, then there is more risk of addiction or health damage.
1) You can tell they about your own experiences -- which may or may not have an effect, but at least you're being honest about your own drug use (prescription on non), or no drug use and why you made that decision. The important thing here is to be honest and open a discussion.
2) You could give the doom and gloom talk -- about how hard it would be for family and friends to survive a worst case scenario. Short term drug use as a study aid may not pose huge risks, but there's that one case of the teen thinking he or she can fly and jumping off the 3rd floor. There are drug and alcohol related auto accidents -- not always the teen's fault, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or out of control doesn't help. There are life-changing injuries. There are teens dropping out of college because of mental or emotional instability (aided or enhanced by drug use or lack of sleep?)
Yes, your beloved child isn't a child anymore, but he or she is still yours and needs you and your support. Sometimes texting is enough for them. Not for me, sigh. But I'll take what I can get, as long as I can keep our communication lines -- whatever they are -- open.
Tags: teens, drugs, Adderall, Dexedrine, Dexamyl, Dextroamphetamine, study, mid-terms, college, lecture, help, love, support, fear, hope