Tag Archives: Brad Meltzer

A Great Graduation Gift

This is a reblog from a post that I did in November last year.  Now that the school year is quickly nearing its close, I’ve started hearing parents discuss what they can do to make upcoming milestones special.  Here is one idea you may want to consider.

heroes

My daughter was about to “graduate” from elementary school last year, and I started to panic.  I had seen on Pinterest all of the ideas for using the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, with signatures from past teachers, as a graduation gift.  But I wanted to do something a little different.  After much internet detective work, I found, Heroes for My Daughter, by Brad Meltzer. (He has also written Heroes for My Son.)

Fortunately, I happen to work at my daughter’s school – at least, I did last year, before she went on to middle school.  Also fortunately, all of her past teachers, including her Music and P.E. teachers, still work there.  I took pictures of them, and used a photo editing tool to make the pictures look like the ones in the book.  Then, I asked each of her teaching heroes to write a message to her.

She cried when she opened the gift on her graduation day.  Granted, she had already cried several times that day.  Leaving elementary school was a lot more emotionally taxing than either of us suspected. Nevertheless, she seemed very appreciative of the book.

During the summer, we read one of the short chapters from the book each night before she went to bed.  We both learned a lot about the people in the book, such as Julia Child and the Three Stooges.

When we finished the book, she said, “I think we should read it again.”

If you are looking for a great book to give as a gift to a child, then you should definitely consider Heroes for My Daughter (or Heroes for My Son).  And, if you can, read it along with her or him. Your child will not be the only one who benefits from this gift.  (By the way, both books include role models from both genders.)

Here is my Pinterest Board of Books for Gifted Students.  Previous entries for this year’s “Gifts for the Gifted” post are:  CubeletsSifteo CubesScrabble Flash, and Make-Do.  (You can also find these on the Games and Toys for Gifted Students Pinterest Board.)

Some of my Mediocre Moments of 2013

Mediocre

This is the time of year when people post “Best of” lists: Best Apps of the Year, Best News Stories of the Year, Best Songs of the Year, Best Posts of the Year, etc…  I try to be different when I can (if it’s not terribly embarrassing), so I decided not to take that exact route.  I briefly entertained the thought of doing a “Worst of” post – until I heard a radio story about the “Worst Movies of the Year.”  Since that idea is already taken, I decided to take a look at this year’s posts to find some of the ones that fell “in-between” according to my blog stats. Sometimes I scratch my head at the posts that get a lot of views when compared to the ones that receive little attention.  But there are some that are in the middle that might bear a second look. Maybe I posted them on a holiday, or on a big news day – or when one of the “Worst Movies of the Year” opened.  Whatever the reason for the mediocre number of views, I decided to roll a few of them out for another try because, quite frankly, I am rather enthusiastic about the topics:

  • Make Your Own History” – this post features a video of a TED talk by Brad Meltzer.  You may remember that I have mentioned Meltzer recently, as he is the author of one of my favorite children’s books, Heroes for My Daughter. In this video, Meltzer gives a passionate speech about how we can all make history, and offers the three important qualities of great achievers. It is an excellent video to show students or teachers.
  • I Wonder if We Could All Be a Bit Kinder” – I was deeply moved by reading the book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, this summer.  In this post that I wrote in August, I summarized the book, and related it’s message of the need for kindness to two other great lectures that also highlight the importance of compassion – those of Jeff and Mark Bezos.
  • Don’t Compare Yourself to Others” –  Some people I know are becoming “connected” educators through Twitter or other social networks, and they are panicking.  They see great things that other people are doing and worry that they are not good enough.  I’ll admit that I sometimes suffer from the same feelings of inadequacy.  I wrote this post to remind those people, and myself, that our most important connections are made with our students – and we all do this in different ways.  It’s great to get new ideas, but we can’t berate ourselves for not trying every single one of them.

So, there you have it – my list of mediocre posts from 2013.  Actually, there are far more than 3.  I just chose the best of the mediocre according to my very humble opinion.

I guess that means I’m not all that different after all 😉

Heroes for My Daughter

A wonderful gift
A wonderful gift that you can find here

I’m feeling a bit sentimental with the Thanksgiving holiday this week, so I chose a different kind of product for today’s “Gifts for the Gifted” post.  I actually wrote about this book back in August, but it was part of a larger article.  I think it deserves its own entry.

My daughter was about to “graduate” from elementary school last year, and I started to panic.  I had seen on Pinterest all of the ideas for using the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, with signatures from past teachers, as a graduation gift.  But I wanted to do something a little different.  After much internet detective work, I found, Heroes for My Daughter, by Brad Meltzer. (He has also written Heroes for My Son.)

Fortunately, I happen to work at my daughter’s school – at least, I did last year, before she went on to middle school.  Also fortunately, all of her past teachers, including her Music and P.E. teachers, still work there.  I took pictures of them, and used a photo editing tool to make the pictures look like the ones in the book.  Then, I asked each of her teaching heroes to write a message to her.

She cried when she opened the gift on her graduation day.  Granted, she had already cried several times that day.  Leaving elementary school was a lot more emotionally taxing than either of us suspected.  Nevertheless, she seemed very appreciative of the book.

During the summer, we read one of the short chapters from the book each night before she went to bed.  We both learned a lot about the people in the book, such as Julia Child and the Three Stooges.

When we finished the book, she said, “I think we should read it again.”

If you are looking for a great book to give as a gift to a child, then you should definitely consider Heroes for My Daughter (or Heroes for My Son).  And, if you can, read it along with her or him. Your child will not be the only one who benefits from this gift.

Here is my Pinterest Board of Books for Gifted Students.  Previous entries for this year’s “Gifts for the Gifted” post are:  Cubelets, Sifteo Cubes, Scrabble Flash, and Make-Do.  (You can also find these on the Games and Toys for Gifted Students Pinterest Board.)

Make Your Own History

I ran across this video, which is a TED talk given by the author Brad Meltzer, on the Mindshift blog originally.  It is an inspirational speech that every young person should watch.  Meltzer outlines the three pieces of advice that he gives his own children:  dream big, work hard, and stay humble.  He gives various examples of famous figures who accomplished great achievements when they were relatively young, and reminds us all that it is the normal Clark Kents of the world who make all of the difference.

In addition to watching the video, you can also access the “flipped” version on TEDEd, which offers some multiple choice and open ended questions to go along with the speech.  (You will need to register before you can access this.)

Here is the link to the video in case the embedded version cannot be viewed:  http://youtu.be/9LR7Vb6mqts

For more inspirational videos for students, be sure to check out my Pinterest board.