Parenting, Self-Care

Wildflowers-What Kind You Should Be On The Lookout For This Summer?

Black Eyed Susan’s

Black Eyed Susan’s are the most popular wildflower in America. These bright flowers can be found in open fields and can reach up to 3 feet tall each. Butterflies, bees, and a variety of insects are attracted to the flowers for the nectar. Expect these flowers to bloom between June and October of each year.

Common Milkweed

Common milkweeds can be found throughout the United States, however, they are more prominent in the eastern states. These flowers are high in fragrance and attract varying types of pollinators including the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is known to lay their eggs in the milkweed plant. These flowers bloom midsummer.

Pink Evening Primrose

The Pink Evening Primrose is native of the southeastern region of the United States. This wildflower spreads rapidly and tends to push down other plants when planted. It is suggested to grow this plant within a container to prevent wide spreading.

Fox Glove

This beautiful and unique flower is native to Europe and the Mediterranean region. Although extremely beautiful, Fox Gloves are poisonous. Fox Gloves produce 20 to 80 purple-pink flowers ranging in different colors. Foxglove’s bloom from June to September.

Spiderwort

Spiderwort is native to North America, South America, and Central America and blooms in the spring. Spiderworts can grow up to two feet. When a Spiderwort is cracked open, the stem of the secrets a white, sticky substance that becomes thread-like and silky once hardened (similar to a spider’s web). This is why the flower is named Spiderwort.

New England Aster

New England Aster flowers are native to Northeastern United States. It is recommended that these plants receive full sunlight. These flowers range in colors of white, purple, yellow, and pink with yellow centers.

Plains Coreopsis

Plains Coreopsis plant is commonly found in Canada, northeast Mexico, and much of the United States. This plant is an annual flower. Planters can expect several months of bloom and color until Fall/Winter. It generally reaches 3-4’ in height.

Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, Parenting, Teachers

All About Seals

Cute, lovable, and amazing swimmers! Read below to learn more about seals.

Environment

  • Seals live in the cold ocean waters of the Arctic or off the coasts of Antarctica depending on the type of seal.
  • Fur seals and sea lions live in the Northern Pacific between Asia and North America and off the coasts of South America, Antarctica, southwestern Africa and southern Australia.
  • Harp, ringed, hooded, spotted, bearded and ribbon seals live in the Arctic. Crabeater, Weddell, leopard and Ross seals live in the Antarctic.
  • Seals also make caves to live within.

Diet

  • Seals are known to eat fish, but they will also eat eel, squid, octopus and lobster.
  • A seal mom milk can be 50% fat and baby seals can drink 2kgs a day!

Other Facts

  • It is estimated there are 2 million to 75 million individual seals, according to the IUCN.
  • Seas prefer cold water! That explains why they are found in Antartica!
  • In the wild, seals can live for up to 30 years with females having a higher life expectancy than the males.
  • Seals can sleep underwater!
  • Seal baby and mom recognize each other with a wild call after experiencing separation.

Best Seal Spotting Locations in Long Island, NY

Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center – Wantagh.

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society – Southampton.

Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI) – Westhampton Beach.

Montauk State Park – Montauk.

Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, Virtual Learning

Meerkat Facts- The Small and Mysterious Animal

Small and mysterious meerkats

Environment

  • Meerkats are specially adapted to living in the harsh desert environment.
  • Meerkats can live in pretty much any dessert. However, Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Namib Desert in Namibia and south-western Angola and in South Africa.
  • Their social cooperation within a large group and their extensively burrowed tunnels helps them to survive in arid African deserts.
  • Meerkats will also share their burrows with beetles.
  • Despite living in the desert unbelievably meerkats do not need extra water in their diets. They get all the moisture they need from the insects and grubs they eat.

Diets

  • Meerkats are insectivores, which means most of their diet is made up of insects.
  • However, they are also known to eat small mammals, snakes and snake eggs, birds and bird eggs, grubs (an insect’s wormlike larva) and even poisonous scorpions.
  • Meetkats also enjoy eating fruits and vegetables.

Body Structure

  • Very small catlike carnivores, their faces often have a curious look, seemingly taking in everything in their surroundings.
  • They have long bodies and short flat ears and are able to stand on their hind legs.
  • The color of their coat can be gold, silver, brown or orange, with dark patches around the eyes.
  • They can dig their own body weight of dirt within a few seconds and their high endurance enables them to build elaborate tunnels.
  • Meerats can live up to eight years in the wild.
  • Meerkats are immune to venom and can handle a bite from a poisonous snake.
Parenting, Personality Traits

The Advocate (INFJ)- Myers Briggs for Parents

Knowing your personality primary traits as a parent further impacts how you decide to parent. Read below for more on Myers Briggs The Advocate (INFJ) personality trait for parenting.

The Advocate is someone with the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits. They tend to approach life with deep thoughtfulness and imagination. Their inner vision, personal values, and a quiet, principled version of humanism guide them in all things.

Advocates are the rarest of all personality traits.

Leaving their marks on the world, advocates are known for taking dreams and putting them into action. Advocates understand that their moves impact their own lifetime goals and dreams. As a result, meticulous steps are taken to reach these same goals.

Advocates are passionate and purposeful.

Speaking up for what’s right with conviction, advocates are known for vocalizing their truths and those of others. While this is a major trait of an advocate, there is a tendency to choose peace rather than confrontation in some situations. People with this personality type may feel called to use their strengths, including creativity, imagination, and sensitivity, to uplift others and spread compassion. Advocates live on purpose. In the event there is an injustice taking place, an advocate will voice their position as a means of living on purpose.

Advocates hold core values.

As a means of connecting with others, advocates seek time alone to reconnect and recharge. Advocates have a strong sense of self and seek to maintain this as they navigate through life and when interacting with others. Advocates seek the fix the problem but sometimes may neglect themselves in the process.

Parenting 101 for The Advocate

Advocate parents devote a large part of parenthood as a means of reflecting on how to continue to grow with their little one. Advocates seek to build independent children that can form their own ideals and beliefs. Advocates hold their children at a high expectation. Advocate parents with this personality trait tend to believe their children will live in a similar place of integrity as themselves.

Children are taught to fight for a cause at a young age.

As a result of high expectations, parents may view their children as rebellious rather then developing their own belief system.

Strengths

  • Creative
  • Insightful
  • Principled
  • Passionate
  • Altruistic

Weaknesses

  • Sensitive
  • Reluctant to open up to others
  • Perfectionist
  • Burnout often
  • Always seeks extraordinary
Newborns, Parenting

What You Need to Know About Newborns

Newborns don’t have knee caps.

Babies are born with pieces of cartilage that will eventually become the bony kneecap, or patella, that adults have. Why? Babies with bony kneecaps at birth could make the birthing process more difficult or result in birth injuries. Click here to read more.

They don’t cry tears, immediately.

Newborns start making tears when they are about two weeks old, but often it is just enough to keep their eyes moist and not enough to make real tears that you can see when they cry. Infants often don’t develop real tears that you can see until they are about two months old. Read more here.

Birthmarks are normal.

80% of infants are born with birthmarks. Parents should stay aware of any birthmarks and potential changes to them and see your pediatrician. Read more about different birthmarks from John Hopkins University.

They are born without a body clock.

Tired? You should be! Your newborn has no sense of time and the sleep schedule will showcase this. This is because newborns aren’t governed by a circadian rhythm, the physiological impulse that lets your body know to sleep at night and wake during the day. It takes around 12 weeks for a baby to properly recognize the difference between night and day, and even longer (three-five months) before they sleep at night.

They cry with your accent.

Yep, that’s true! A study conducted shows that babies cry in the native language of their parents. By recording cries of 60 babies born to French or German parents, researchers discovered that babies cry with the same “prosody” or melody used in their native language by the second day of life. Read more here.

Your baby will breastfeed on demand.

During the first six weeks, it’s essential to let your baby nurse whenever he or she wants. It is advised not to establish a feeding schedule too early as it can backfire by interfering with your milk supply. Don’t worry about having enough milk, the more your baby eats, the more you’ll produce. Read more here.

Baby poop changes over time

Depending on the diet of your newborn, you can expect changes in their diaper. Don’t despair, these changes are normal and can include changes in frequency, texture, and color. Click the link for a Baby Poo Gallery here. This will help you determine if your baby’s poop needs medical attention.

Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, EdTech

All About Leopards

This spotted, fierce cat has many interesting features. Read more about the leopard below!

Habitat

  • Leopards are found in Africa and Asia, from the Middle Eastern nations to Russia, Korea, China, India, and Malaysia. Consequently, they live in a wide variety of habitats including forests, mountains, deserts and grasslands.
  • Leopards can live in a range of geographies and climates, from deserts to rainforests, woodlands, grasslands, savannas, forests, mountains, coastal areas, shrublands, and swamps.
  • Studies have shown that leopard subspecies vary in their coloring depending on the area where they reside. Some leopards have different pads on their paws due to their habitat.

Behaviors

  • Leopards are skilled climbers, and like to rest in the branches of trees during the day.
  • Leopards are active at night when they venture out in search for food. They mostly spend their days resting, camouflaged in the trees or hiding in caves.
  • Leopards communicate with each other through distinctive calls. For instance, when a male wants to make another leopard aware of his presence, he’ll make a hoarse, raspy cough.
  • Leopards are predominantly solitary animals that have large territories.
  • Each leopard spends most of its life in its own territory. And to warn other leopards to stay away, they leave scratches on trees, and urine scent marks around their areas.

Body Structure

  • Leopards tend to have distinctive dark spots called rosettes, which create beautiful patterns against their otherwise light fur.
  • Black leopards however have dark fur which makes it difficult to see the spots. They appear almost solid black and are often called black panthers.
  • Snow leopards have, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes – helping distribute their weight over soft snow and protecting them from the cold.
  • A leopard’s height can range from 57 to 70 cm and they can reach a length of 90 to 160 cm.
  • Females typically weigh between 17 and 65 kg, and a male usually weighs anywhere from 31 to 75 kg.

Famous Leopards

  • Bagheera- The Jungle Book
  • Sabor- Tarzan
  • Makucha- The Lion Guard

Thanks to Africa Freak and Nat Geo Kids !

EdTech, Media Tools, Professional Development, Teachers, Virtual Learning

What is E-Learning and Instructional Design?

E-learning is the use of computer technologies to explore learning opportunities.

E-learning is not a one-package deal.  There are multiple ways to explore e-learning.

E-learning is not one particular tool or management system.

E-learning centers around providing accessibility and the integration of technology to meet the needs of the varying learning styles of its learners.

“Effective e-learning starts with great instructional design.“

Instructional design requires selecting, organizing, and specifying the learning materials to create an online course.

Instructional design translates high-level objectives to choices for technology and content

Instructional design provides insight on online tools, management systems, and other technologies

Together, we work as a TEAM!

There are numerous instructional design models:

ADDIE Model

Merrills Principles

Multimedia Principle Model

Gagne’s Nine Principles

And many more!

Course Design: Addie Model

Step #1 Analysis — Why is the training/course needed? We collect information and profile target learners, and understanding the needs and expectations of the organization. Analysis drives design and the development process.

Step #2 Design —In this phase, IDs select the instructional strategy to follow, write objectives, choose appropriate media and delivery methods.

Step #3 Development — IDs utilize agreed expectations from the Design phase to develop the course materials.

Step #4 Implementation — The course is released/rolled-out, delivered, to the learners, and its impact is monitored.

Step # 5 Evaluation — Is the course providing the expected results? IDs collaborate with the client and evaluate the impact of the course based on learner feedback, surveys, and even analytics. 

Course Design: Merrill’s Principles

Learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems 

Learning is promoted when prior knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge

Learning is promoted when new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner — they are shown, rather than just being told.

Learning is promoted when new knowledge is applied by the learner — they are required to use their new knowledge or skill to solve problems.

Learning is promoted when new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world — they are able to demonstrate improvement in their newly acquired skills and to modify it for use in their daily work.

Resources:  Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instructionEducational Technology, Research and Development, 50(3), pp43-59.

Course design:
Alignment of Goals and Objectives

Consider a wide range of goals

Identify real goals through research

Objectives are clear, precise, and worthy

Identify prerequisites

Identify what each objective needs

Identify high value objectives and eliminate unnecessary objectives

Learning Styles

Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.

Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.

Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

Resources:  https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/

Types of Online Learning

Synchronous Learning-
In synchronous learning activities, all students are involved at the same time. Formats include online chats, instant messaging, video or audio conferences, live webcasting and virtual classrooms. 

Asynchronous Learning-
With asynchronous learning, students set their own schedules. An entirely self-paced curriculum fits this model. Courses that have both synchronous and asynchronous components might include discussion forums, email, blogs, videos, webcasting, simulations, and games.

ADA Accessibility

“Establish requirements for making the goods, services, facilities, privileges, accommodations, or advantages offered by public accommodations via the Internet, specifically at sites on the World Wide Web (Web), accessible to individuals with disabilities.”

5 Steps to Creating Accessible Online Content for People with Disabilities

Hyperlinks

Text Design

Images/Graphics

Audio/Visuals

Documents

10 Steps to Designing
a Wildly Successful Online Course 

1. Choose perfect course topic

2.  Ensure course is in high demand

3. Create magnetic and compelling learning outcomes

4. Select and gather course content ¡5. Structure modules and course plan

6. Determine most effective and delivery methods for each lesson

7. Filming, editing and recording online course (i.e. including visuals)

8. Setting up online school through LMS or other platform

9. Ensure pricing is in tact

10. Develop marketing strategy

Resources: https://www.thinkific.com/blog/10-steps-creating-successful-online-course/

“Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass

Marilynn Andrews, M. A.

Media Tools, Parenting

Teaching Children to Take Care of the Environment

Taking Care of Our Environment

National Biodiesel Day is 3/18 along with Earth Day being on the horizon (generally in April). Let’s explore ways to talk about environmental responsibility with children.

Why?

“He that plants trees loves others more than himself.”

The World Wild Life Foundation seeks to to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Learn more about saving the environment and preserving wildlife and nature- World Wild Life Foundation.

Q: How can we and our littles become more environmentally conscious and responsible?

A: Let’s start with some environmentally friendly activities…

1. Paint with recycled objects such as cotton balls, feathers, sticks, and plastic cups. Check out Hands On as We Grow for more painting tips!

2. DIY Moss Ball using moss and yarn! Mothered Natured-Connecting Kids with Nature provides a step by step guide to this craft. For young children, close supervision is advised, given the materials.

3. Create a Play or Magic Garden 🪴

Beans, vegetables, flowers, or fruit-a play or magical garden is a great way to teach your child about the environment. Take the time to read through gardening take-aways on Family Food & Garden. Gardening Tip: Prior to planting the seeds, have your child create and draw their magical garden, and then use this as a guide when planting.

4. Create Nature Inspired Art

Fireflies and Mudpies

Mothered Natured has provided FREE printables and guides when seeking natured inspired art inspiration.

5. Read Nature and Animal Inspired Books

Click HERE for 80+ Nature and Animal Books for Children!

6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Regrow Vegetables

Planet Protectors provides FREE recycling tool kits for children. All is required is to enter your information for shipping purposes. Learning about recycling and regrowing vegetables can be fun! Your child can experiment with their favorite vegetables and watch them regrow over the weeks!

Photo provided by Spud.CA Click the link to learn how to regrow pineapples!

Planet Powers showcases exactly how to regrow vegetables inside. Most require the placement into water with a specified amount of sunlight daily. Click the above link to learn more…

7. Animal Rescue Mission Activity

Team Cartwright gives this awesome STEM activity that ties in science, wildlife and preservation.

8. Save Water Nursery Rhymes

Click the link to view the video:
Save Water Periwinkle