Filed under: Linguistic (Verbal) Intelligence

Family Activity Friday – World Music!

Man playing the djembe (nigerian drum)

Man playing the djembe (nigerian drum)

This weekend, listen to some music from other parts of the world with your family.

What different instruments are used? How about harmonies, chords, dynamics or rhythms? Do these differences in the country’s music give you any clues with respect to what it’s like to live in that country? See if you can find some translations of the lyrics to popular songs. Does the combination of music and lyrics paint a more vibrant picture of life there?

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99 Days of Summer Learning – Have You Signed Up Yet?

Have you heard that 2/3 of the 9th grade achievement gap is due to Summer Slide? This Summer, we’re helping parents make sure their kids’ mind muscles stay strong and active by emailing a learning activity every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We’ll cover the whole Multiple Intelligence spectrum.

Our first installment (a word smart activity) was sent this morning—featured below. Want to sign up? Do it here.


99 Days of Summer Learning
Activity #1: Family-nyms

These days, it seems like everyone is LOLing about something every time they TTY. “Net Lingo” has everyone from kindergarteners to senior citizens speaking or typing in acronyms lately.

Using acronyms can also give your family a secret language of your own either around the house or out in public. Today, figure out some codes you can use to talk to each other without having guests or passers-by in on your secrets. Some ideas to get you rolling:

EOT (elbows off the table) at restaurants

SEH (send ‘em home) when you’re ready for a play date to come to a close

GTGPP (got to go to the bathroom) keep your eyes peeled for a public restroom!

After you’ve come up with some great ones, talk about some of the other places you see acronyms in your daily life other than online. It can be eye-opening how prevalent they are in our daily life—and how we’ve been using them for years to communicate big ideas quickly.

Want more acronym fun? Play Acronymble! You can do it yourself or buy the real thing. Here’s how to play:

Have each family member pick a letter randomly or pick Scrabble tiles/magnetic letters out of a bag. Players need to decide what the letters in the acronym stand for out of the letters that are picked. For example, if players received the letters E.U.M.G., one might write, “Elvis Unglued My Grandfather,” and another, “Eek!!! Ugly Man-eating Gerbils!”

Each player then votes for his favorite acronym—but you can’t vote for your own! The beauty of this game are no right and wrong answers…and it’s different every time. You can make it tougher by putting a time limit on each round or varying the length of the acronyms (the game goes between 3 and 7 letters).

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Fall Recipes Your Kids will “Gobble Gobble” Up

Cooking with Kids...Fall StyleFew things are close to cooking for at-home learning activities that don’t feel like learning. There’s math involved in measuring and adjusting recipes; linguistic smarts involved in recipes & reviews; kinesthetic work involved in chopping/kneading/stirring/etc; interpersonal & communication skills involved since a parent needs to be in the kitchen monitoring the cook time; you can even include some naturalist skills by chatting about why “in season” is important.

Check out our Pinterest board of some of the Fall family favorites in our house.

We’ll be adding to the board all month… we hope you like them, too! We recommend trying some of these pre-Thanksgiving and, if the family likes one or more recipes, let your child(ren) make their own contribution(s) to your Thanksgiving table.

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“Uno Más” Game Repurposing Post

Repurposing UNO as a learning gameFor those of you who have enjoyed playing our repurposed Candy Land and Twister games, here’s one for another game you probably have in your home that may or may not be collecting dust.


Take the subjects in which your child is expecting tests this coming week (spelling, vocabulary, math, history, science, to name a few) and make each of them an UNO color.

For instance, red = vocab; blue = math; green = science; yellow = spelling.

The object of the game stays the same – first player to get rid of all his or her cards WINS.

Begin playing UNO in the way you normally would. When a player has to play a RED card, s/he has to answer a RED subject question correctly in order to discard a card.

Did s/he get it right? If YES, discard a RED card.
Did s/he get it wrong? If YES, s/he gets one more chance at a correct answer.

If answered correctly, play rotates to the left—no cards are lost or gained.
If answered incorrectly, the player draws a card from the pile and play rotates to the left.

All other card “rules” are the same—reverse, skip, +2, etc.
Wild cards allow the player to choose the subject to tackle during his/her turn.

We’re betting this is one exercise drill your kids will ask to play “UNO más” time. :)

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Quick Tips for Error-Proof Writing

A guest post by Brian Patterson of Grammarly

For many people, there is nothing more annoying than a typo. Be it a misspelled word in the newspaper or a punctuation problem on a blog post, readers are almost immediately distracted when they come across a typo. The same distraction holds true for teachers; if a student submits an assignment riddled with typos, they’ve already lost the battle. The paper could have brilliant points and analysis, but those will be quickly overlooked if the teacher is stumbling through the document. Today I want to share a few quick tips to help your child effectively proofread their work.

Read it Aloud
This little tip is extremely effective! Reading your writing aloud helps you catch the mistakes that you don’t otherwise see when just reading in your head. When you read to yourself, it is very easy for your brain to fill in missing words and plow through typos. However, when you read aloud, you pay much more attention to each word you are saying. As such, you can quickly catch most of typos with just this one little method.

Work with a Peer
Having another set of eyes review your work is very effective. After all, news articles and books go through rounds and rounds of revisions before being published. Shouldn’t important schoolwork go through a similar type of scrutiny? If your child’s teacher allows it, he or she should work with another student in this class, an English teacher, or perhaps the school’s writing center to spot-check the work. It can be as simple as only reviewing for typos and errors or as thorough as helping your child further develop their thoughts and ideas. Either way, use the strategy that every major publication employs, and have multiple sets of eyes review the work.

Try an Online Tool
I work with grammar checking tool Grammarly, so I’d be remiss if I left out automated grammar checking tools as a great way to quickly and effectively review a document for grammar and spelling. Gone are the days when the best check you had was a squiggly underline in your word processing software. With all of the advances in technology, the algorithms that these types of software contain are so sophisticated that they can perform very advanced reviews of content for things like faulty parallelism, dangling modifiers, and Subject –Verb agreement. To me, it always makes sense to run an important document through an automated check.

Armed with this small bag of tricks, your student should never be dinged for a typo again. And, the best part is, that the more aware your student becomes of the types of errors they are prone to make, the less likely they will be to make them!

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