Premiers’ Reading Challenge

kids-reading-stackWhen I was at primary school, the MS Readathon was a much-anticipated event. You’d lock unsuspecting neighbours and grandparents into sponsoring you twenty cents per book read. And then you’d go forth and read eleventy million books – all short and quick ones, meanwhile racking up the funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Our hearts were in the right place, but I’m fairly certain that the MS Readathon did more for my maths than it did for my reading! Continue reading

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Show-and-tell (all)

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Anyone who knows me, will be aware that I love a good chat. In fact, barely a year went by where my school report didn’t saying something along the lines of “Katrina would achieve more if she talked less and concentrated more”.*

Needless to say, show-and-tell was the highlight of my day – talking about whatever I wanted and a captive audience. Alas, I was one of those painful show-and-tell dominators – I should have taken the hint when my prep teacher put in a roster system (reducing my daily ‘share’ with the class to a weekly gig) and furthermore when a time-limit was imposed (apparently ten minutes demonstrating my Speak & Spell was nine minutes too many). Continue reading

Ace science books for kids

http://www.iainclaridge.co.uk/blog/11638I recently read some conference notes by John Womersley (a guy involved in science and technology communication) that really resonated with me. He said that “…astronomy is a ‘gateway drug’ to get young people interested in science.” It’s true – almost all kids go through a space phase. Some even go beyond sticking glow-in-the-dark stars on their ceiling and start getting up at the crack of dawn for specific astronomical events and checking out career pathways at NASA*.

I’d add microscopes to Womersley’s ‘gateway’ list, basically for their all-round coolness (who doesn’t want to look at their own spit under a microscope?). I’d also add dinosaurs for their early-introduction-to-evolutionary-biology-appeal.

In my life BC (Before Children), much of my work entailed science communication and to this day, I’m drawn to anything that takes a complex scientific concept and explains it in a simple way. Having kids gave me further reason to seek out the best in science communication, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite science books for kids (grown-ups will love them as well). Continue reading

Bowl up to the KPS Fathers Association

Thanks to Rodney Thomson, co-founder of the Kew Primary School Fathers Association, for this week’s post.

KPSFA-4Michael Senyard and I set up the Kew Primary School Fathers Association in 2014. We got the idea from reading Steve Biddulph’s books and coming to the conclusion that we wanted our children to be exposed to good men in our community, of which we have an abundance at our school. We’ve had amazing support and guidance from the mums, the Principal, teachers, the PTA and the office and canteen staff. Continue reading