In the beginning was hydrogen. With heat and time, hydrogen begat helium. After more heat and billions of more years, helium begat lithium and then beIn the beginning was hydrogen. With heat and time, hydrogen begat helium. After more heat and billions of more years, helium begat lithium and then beryllium. After billions of more years, and more fusion and collisions and heat, the other elements slowly were created.
We all have read in the news recently about another element that was discovered. The newly discovered elements exist a very short time; hundredths of a second. Why should we care about them? They are, after all, useless to both scientists and laypeople. But this book got me thinking: if there are billions of years left in the universe, and enough heat is available somewhere, would more and more elements be formed naturally and would they seed other worlds and create new types of life? I can’t stop pondering the possibilities.
The chapter on electron shells remains over my head, but I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery of the book and the immense beauty of the periodic table. The photo is of my notes.
Teresa of the New World is a loving coming of age novel about Teresa and her adventures and journeys as she leaves her mother's tribe in the southweTeresa of the New World is a loving coming of age novel about Teresa and her adventures and journeys as she leaves her mother's tribe in the southwest of North America during the time of the Spanish conquistadors. There are touches of magic in this powerful book that transport the reader.
Teresa of the New World is rich in imagery: camp fires seen from above on a hill "flickered on the ground like fallen stars." And "he saw the shadows of shadows creeping into the compound." When I read "a thunderstorm lit by the sun’s last rays," I saw the light and smelled the rain.
Author Sharman Apt Russell has a clarity of style and freshness that I enjoyed as much here as in her non-fiction nature books. She writes so easily about nature and introduces us to the flora and fauna of the southwest desert. She uses the ancient lore of the raven much as a Greek chorus; it warns us of danger, foreshadows events, and hels Teresa understand her circumstances and surroundings.
We experience the entire range of Teresa's emotions. When her Spanish father abandons her (for valid reasons) when he returns to Spain, we feel Teresa's anguish as she "waited for the world to end." Teresa experiences anxiety and fear, just as we do. And she learns a strategy to overcome this unrelenting fear: "if they kept moving forward as quickly as they could without becoming exhausted, then fear would not come too close." A lesson we all can use in our lives.
The book is rich in projects and lessons for the classroom. For history alone, there are epidemics among the native people, slave taking of the native people (methods which the Spanish used were mimicked or copied a century later by Europeans in Africa). There is the Lengend of Juan Diego and the MIracle of the Roses, which I first read about in Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, another beautiful novel of the Southwest. For science, the flora and fauna of the desert are beautifully described. Vocabulary development is rich in Spanish, English, and Aztec words that can stimulate discussions about the book.
Teresa's journey comes to an end. It is an open ending: there are "questions not yet answered." Questions that beguil all of us our entire lives. I admire Teresa and wish I could have known her when she was older. I hope to remember the lessons she has taught me about perseverance and overcoming personal pain....more
The best description of this short, interesting read is the last paragraph:
Nostalgia has no place in today’s school: nostalgia is a kind of disease—aThe best description of this short, interesting read is the last paragraph:
Nostalgia has no place in today’s school: nostalgia is a kind of disease—a “dis-ease” with the present, and a desire to return into the past. But there were good things of the past which should be recognized and revived: this is not nostalgia.
Sloane, Eric (2012-11-13). The Little Red Schoolhouse (Dover Books on Americana) (Kindle Locations 362-364). Dover Publications. Kindle Edition.
This book is for a beginning naturalist. I am going to use it in school because it covers the most familiar things: robins, slugs, bees, mosquitos andThis book is for a beginning naturalist. I am going to use it in school because it covers the most familiar things: robins, slugs, bees, mosquitos and many other creatures and plants (even the Big Dipper). There is one essay for each week of the year and four sections for the four seasons. The essays are very short and interesting. Lawrence keeps things simple so that we are not overwhelmed with what we don't know. We don't have to learn scientific names and other esoteric things unless we want to continue our studies. This book is required in a University of Maine beginning naturalist program. Lawrence's next book, A Field Guide to the Familiar, promises to continue to expand our horizon....more
If you live in Vermont you have to at least own this for reference or, even better, read the entire book. Without knowing the natural history (includiIf you live in Vermont you have to at least own this for reference or, even better, read the entire book. Without knowing the natural history (including the ancient geographical forces) you will miss a fuller understanding of where you live, why the flora and fauna live there with you and even why the government works as it does here. The importance of historical context for natural history cannot be exaggerated. I wish I had read this earlier and not just because of the reasons I have already given. The book is simply full of fascinating information. I read this on Kindle even though I have the print edition. This book is a part of the curriculum for the high school earth science program. The book is well written but badly needs an update. It also needs much better photographs that are in color. The sketches are excellent....more
I finished this book months ago and kept forgetting to review it. Just a couple of comments at this point: it is common sense, more stuff for teachersI finished this book months ago and kept forgetting to review it. Just a couple of comments at this point: it is common sense, more stuff for teachers to learn and do, and has very little research cited in the text. I have not even seen whether research was cited in the credits. The strategies given in the book are second nature to most of us at school. I am glad I read it so that I have the ability to discuss the problems of these children, but I wish I had read a library copy instead of buying the book....more
Jewell Parker Rhodes has crafted a magical and inspiring story about Lanesha, a 12 year old girl living in New Orleans' Ninth Ward during Hurricane KaJewell Parker Rhodes has crafted a magical and inspiring story about Lanesha, a 12 year old girl living in New Orleans' Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina. This is not a sorrowful book but an uplifting one about people who love deeply and care about their families. Lanesha is older than her years but I found myself wondering if even she could overcome the problems she had to face in those scary days. I recommend this book for middle school children, boys and girls, and for their families. Don't miss reading this one....more
The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt I thought I would toss this book at the first chapter, but I continued on in my quest of reading all of the 2012 DCFThe Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt I thought I would toss this book at the first chapter, but I continued on in my quest of reading all of the 2012 DCF nominated books — and I'm glad I did. I think this may end up being my favorite. I love the young Moxie, a girl who thinks she is so plain that she needs a new persona and goes about inventing several. She is also a pianist, of a quality that I always wanted to be. She learns a lot at her first month of boaring school about personalities, lying, and variation. The lessons she learns could benefit all of us who make assumptions about "types" of people. We all may be guilty of this to some degree.
My only "complaint" may be whether thirteen year olds have as much maturity as Moxie and her friends have. They make complicated choices for their lives that are noble and altruistic. They navigate female friendships better than I have in my life at times. But all in all, I admire these girls and enjoy reading about their lives in boarding school.
I love this girl so much that I hope Elizabeth Cody Kimmel has many sequels for Moxie. I'll read them all. This book is for middle school readers and unfortunately boys may not like it or understand parts of it....more