Archive for August, 2009

Aug 31 2009

What’s the Big Deal about Parent-Teacher Communication? by Guest Author Barbara Benjamin-Treviño

Communication. Comunicación. Koh-moo-nee-kah-see-OWN. No relationship can thrive without clear and respectful interchange, especially between parents and teachers. Why is this concept so widely accepted but the implementation often so difficult?

There are enough challenges facing educators called upon to tell parents how their child is doing. Add to this challenge the lack of a common language and the anxiety level increases dramatically. With the growing number of English language learners in early nationwide, many educators are struggling with how to bridge the communication gap with parents from Spanish-speaking cultures.

Some suggest that the sole remedy is to become fluent in Spanish before the next parent-teacher conference. Others recommend grabbing the first person they see who knows some Spanish. What’s missing from both discussions is how cultural norms affect interpersonal communication.

It would be great if we were all multilingual. But it takes a long time to learn a language. Whether or not one pursues language study or not, the underlying recipe for success is to learn more about Hispanic cultures, which allows individuals to communicate in a way increases the chance of getting a response. Communicating through words without the appropriate cultural context is one of the main reasons why the memos sent home aren’t effective, even though they’re translated into Spanish. Words detached from their cultural context are sometimes meaningless.

A good starting point is to discover the difference between the notion of “well educated” in modern-day culture vs. “bien educado” in Hispanic culture. You’ll better understand that there’s more to communication than just language. Learn more by reading about The Cultural Umbrella at

Barbara Benjamin-Treviño
Bentiva Education Solutions ~ Resources for Cross-Cultural Communication

118 responses so far

Aug 28 2009

Everyday Math by Stacey Kannnenberg

Have you heard of Everyday Math?  It is used as the elementary math curriculum in many schools across the nation and the concept is simple:  do math everyday.  That I like.  Show children how much fun math can be and show it used in everyday practical matters.  Everyday Math introduces math at the core and presents it in a fun and positive environment.  Math is everywhere in everyday practical matters:  cooking, traveling, banking, simply everywhere.  

My children are at the beginning of Everyday Math so our family has yet to get into the meat of the program to see first hand the benefits in action.  I do hear from frustrated parents who are not happy with one thing about Everyday Math:  they do a different math concept everyday.  One day it could be fractions, the next it could be patterns, the next day measuring, and the next day decimals.   The idea is that at some point the light goes on and children understand the concept and if you are spending an entire unit working on fractions and then move on to measuring, the child might never have had that “aha moment” about fractions.  That might have been my problem with math in school.  The light never turned on for me with math.  I honestly still get nervous about fractions and storybook math problems and I am the first to direct my children to Dad for help on those units.  Math was his favorite subject in school and he uses it everyday in his job.  It is his passion.

So, I am going into Everyday Math with an open mind because math has never been one of my favorite subjects in school.  I am not going to let on to my kids that math was not my favorite subject, instead I am going to attempt to oversee the math homework links, to see if I could possibly start over with math at the core.  It may not be too late for me to have my own math epiphany.  I do believe in the importance of practice and at some point enough practice over and over might lead to that light bulb burning brightly between myself, my children and math. 

Copyright 2007-2009, Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Do you have a secret subject that’s still “Greek” to you?  Are you working towards making it more you-friendly?  Tell us how it’s working out! 

187 responses so far

Aug 27 2009

How to Get Hooked on Reading by Stacey Kannenberg

I will never forget the day I was finally hooked on reading. I was blessed by the presence of my friend Mary Isham one day in 9th grade.

Yes, you read it right. It took me until 9th grade to finally love reading. I wasn’t a born a reader, nor was a child-bookworm.

Even my school librarian knew I dreaded school assignments that forced me to check out books and report on a particular subject—or any subject at all. I was not a struggling reader, but I never found an interest to read anything beyond my homework assignments; which had too much reading in and of itself.

So, back to that glorious day in 9th grade…

I was walking into the school library and noticed my friend Mary Isham having an animated conversation, mostly to herself, as she openly expressed her concerns with the librarian. She was a cute and bubbly girl, dressed in her cheerleading outfit for the big game that night and seemed to be having some sort of problem.

I walked closer and overheard Mary tragically exclaim, “I can’t bear to part with it, I just can’t, you know.  I can’t stand the thought of it being put back on the shelf and no one reading it – I have checked it out three times and have read it over and over for weeks and the thought of it all alone waiting for someone to read it makes me sad.”  Mary spots me walking in and gushes, “Stacey save me!  This is such a great book and I have to turn it in today and I hate to see it sitting on the shelf alone, please, please take it and check it out…it is such a great book.”

I remember her words vividly.

That was it! 

I couldn’t believe that someone could love a book so much that she was having such a dramatic scene about returning it to the library,

So, I figured it must be good, right?  As pleaded, I took the book and checked it out.  I went home, rushed to my room, and opened its first page. I was hooked!

I even missed the football game that night.

When it was time to return it, I checked out another Victoria Holt romance book and the librarian smiled as to say something about that being a life changing event for me.

I didn’t appreciate it until now. Yes, being hooked on reading became a life-changing event for me.

Thank you Mary Isham!

What’s your favorite book? What title can cause you to get dramatic and overly-animated?

Well, whatever book it is, please introduce that book to your child, friend, family member or co-worker.

You never know, it might be a life-changing event for them too!

Copyright 2007-2009 – Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Care to share your favorite book with us?  What about a favorite author or series?  Reading can be a wonderful life-altering experience; the right book can be the key that unlocks the door.

94 responses so far

Aug 26 2009

“Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten” Review from The Baby Store Blog

We had the pleasure of reviewing Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! in an English version and in a Spanish/English version, plus Let’s Get Ready for First Grade!. Since our Blogger Mommy Jennifer’s daughter “G” is about to turn 5 years old and will be starting Kindergarten next year, we thought she would be the perfect person to review these two books for us. You will also hear from a guest reviewer, my older daughter Jessie, who is a 2nd grade teacher in Southeast Arizona. She will give us a review from a teacher’s point of view.

Jennifer and daughter “G’s” thoughts…

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! is a great book if you have a child who is getting ready for pre-k or kindergarten. This book is fun, brightly designed with colorful reusable dry erase pages. The book starts off with meeting a classroom called the “Cedar Valley Kids” taught by a teacher named Mrs. Good. It covers numerous skills and subjects such as the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, knowing your own phone number and address and so much more. 

My daughter “G” is 4-1/2 years old and absolutely loves this book. She especially likes the dry erase pages and how she can practice over and over again. She also likes how Mrs. Good is giving tips at the bottom of every page with a different look.

I have purchased other pre-k workbooks for my daughter before but she was never really interested in them and became easily overwhelmed. I really like how this book has easy to understand activities and directions and also covers all of the early-learning basics. I also like that at the end of the book, there are tips for parents and caregivers on what they should be doing to help their children learn successfully.

Let’s Get Ready For First Grade! is very similar to Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!. There is a new teacher named Mrs. Best and of course a new set of subjects and skills. Both of these books come at a great price. They are very sturdy and durable and can be used over and over again or for other children. These are both great learning tools and I highly recommend them to any parent or caregiver who has a child getting ready for pre-k, kindergarten or who is in kindergarten now and preparing for the first grade.

Jessie’s thoughts, from a Teacher’s point of view…

Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten! (Spanish/English Edition) by Stacey Kannenberg is full of great information to help get your little ones ready for their first day of school. The inside covers are filled with great tips for parents on getting your child ready for learning, homework, and even skill levels. Of these, my favorite was the stages of writing. Many parents are concerned in the early years of school about where their child is in their development and where they think their child should be. But, Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten! lays it out great.

As you move into the book, you will find numbers, letters, words, and more for your child to identify. It can be a little overwhelming for you and your child to take all of this in at once; but as it says in the book, “This information will take time to understand. Keep reading it over and over again.” This book was not meant to be completely learned by day one of kindergarten. It is a good start and meant to be referred to again and again throughout the year as practice. I would recommend taking on a page or two at a time. There is a lot of information that if done all in one sitting could stress out a 4 or 5 year old, which means stressing you out too. Also, I wouldn’t recommend handing it to a child without guidance. Depending on your state’s standards for kindergarten, this book could go beyond what your child is supposed to learn in kindergarten and even start to get him/her ready for first grade. Having both English and Spanish throughout the book does seem to clutter the pages. If this is a problem, see the English only version.

Having children who have come into my class speaking not a word of English, I would use this particular edition with children to help them in their English development skills, even outside of kindergarten. Everything in this book is in English and Spanish which would be great for the ELL (English language learner) student.

The book itself has thick laminated pages. Some pages call for writing directly in the book with a dry erase marker (great for using it over and over and with multiple children). It also has a strong binding to prevent pages from being easily torn out.

The Baby Store is giving away one of EACH of Stacey’s “Let’s Get Ready” books!
CLICK HERE to Enter!

32 responses so far

Aug 25 2009

Stacey Kannenberg on Wisconsin’s “The Morning Blend”

The Morning Blend

419 responses so far

Aug 24 2009

Stacey Kannenberg: Get Ready to Learn Mom on Toginet Radio Starting September 2nd!

What an opportunity to share my knowledge, experience, expertise and to bring you into the fold of many of my wonderful professionals who I’ve been networking with over the years!  Thank you, Toginet, for this opportunity!


To listen live at 10am CST, Wednesday mornings beginning Sept 2nd, go to and click on the Listen To Toginet Radio Live button on the top right side of the website. Also please visit Stacey’s Show Host page which is up and available now at

If you are unable to listen to the show live, you will be able to access the show podcast the following morning on Stacey’s Show Host page, or you will be able to access the podcasts on iTunes. A podcast player will also be available on Stacey’s websites soon after her debut.

The show will be all things Stacey!  My target audience is:  mom’s interested in working from home, working moms, balancing and following their passions, those interested in writing books and publishing, education, special needs and subjects like getting frugal, living green and product reviews!!  Many of my guests will be guru’s in social media, branding, viral and grassroots marketing with amazing networks: 

  • The Mom Entrepreneur
  • Woman Business Owners
  • Woman Owned Businesses
  • Savor the Success
  • Twitter Moms
  • eWomen Network
  • National Association of Women Business Owners
  • Work It
  • Working Mother
  • Work At Home Moms
  • Home Based Working Moms
  • Moms in Business
  • Start Up Princess
  • Make Mine a Million
  • The Joy of Connecting
  • Mom Inventors
  • Moms Town
  • Twitter Moms
  • Hybrid Moms
  • Moms-for-Profit
  • BlogHer
  • Role Mommy
  • And MANY more!

Comments Off on Stacey Kannenberg: Get Ready to Learn Mom on Toginet Radio Starting September 2nd!

Aug 21 2009

The Mom Entrepreneur Co-op Shop

Experience The Mom Entrepreneur Co-op Shop!

Discover unique products and services offered by mom entrepreneurs from across the U.S. and Canada. Our site has something for everyone – busy parents, kids, women, professional organizations and more.


About the Co-op Shop:
The Mom Entrepreneur Co-op Shop was founded in January 2009 as a collaborative project by members of The Mom Entrepreneur Online Support Group.

The project was managed by Traci Bisson, owner and creator of The Mom Entrepreneur, a company that offers tips, advice and resources for balancing motherhood and running a company. The goal of the Co-op Shop was to offer mom entrepreneurs an affordable way to advertise their unique products and services to a large group of shoppers. By joining together, members can reach large audiences of people at a fraction of the cost of advertising alone.

The Mom Entrepreneur Co-op Shop features the products and services from approximately 50 women every month. You will find company names listed under many different categories highlighted to the left. Click on a category and you will be taken to the page, which lists the members who sell products or services pertaining to that category. Most listings offer amazing discounts, free shipping, free gifts or other savings. To visit a site and/or make a purchase, simply click the WEBSITE link and you will be taken directly to the member’s site. The transaction occurs on each member’s site. The Co-op Shop acts as a gateway for locating quality made goods and services at affordable prices.

174 responses so far

Aug 20 2009

Amazing Books and Author Found with Donna Mavrides!

When I find a fellow author of children’s books and early childhood education specialists, I stand up and take note.  The more we can encourage positive educational techniques for our children, the better off our society will be!

Such is the case with Donna Mavrides, who holds an Early Childhood Education and Developmental Psychology degree from Penn State.  She has three books and a fabulous “Magical Moments” pre-school curriculum guide:

Magical Moments
Cognitive, socio-emotional, physical, and language goals should be attained by creating an environment that invites exploration. The children’s world should be safe, organized, exciting, and rich with sensory stimulation.
Forever Love
A gentle, yet emotional story depicting the strength of the loving bond between a father and his child.  Through honest and age-appropriate discussions, the dad describes his disease of cancer and his resolve to fight it.

Room for One More
A beautiful story to share with children whose families are expecting a new member.  The story focuses on a little girl’s reaction to the news that her family is adopting a baby.
Margaret the Magnificent
is an enormous, shaggy, black and white sheepdog that invites you to join her as she travels the globe creating magical moments for boys and girls.

Go ahead, take some time to check out Donna’s website at – you will be offering your children a wonderful opportunity for additional life-adventures through reading!

197 responses so far

Aug 19 2009

Mompreneur Stories: Flexibility by Guest Author Erika Valdez from Sramana Mitra

There are many extraordinary examples of women entrepreneurs out there—women who, due to various circumstances, have chosen to take the path of entrepreneurship and are now owners of successful businesses. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to interview many women, most of them moms, who have ventured into entrepreneurship and who are now success stories. These women have shared their experiences as mompreneurs and talked about the challenges they encountered in their transitions. Each has a unique and admirable story.

The interviews focus on the experiences of these mompreneurs, and what contributed to their decision to venture into entrepreneurship. Throughout these interviews, I observed that my subjects mentioned a number of similar themes when recounting their entrepreneurial experiences—the flexibility that entrepreneurship offers being one of the themes most often mentioned.

Click Here to read more…

11 responses so far

Aug 18 2009

Homework for Parents & 7 Things Kindergarteners Need to Know by Stacey Kannenberg

Homework for Parents…

  • Stop, Drop, and Listen!
  • Unload the backpack/homework folder with your kids daily.
  • Read with your kids every night for 15 minutes.
  • Play repetitive games with your kids.
  • Ask open ended questions to help your kids communicate.
  • Be involved in school activities and join your PTA/PTO!

7 Things Kindergarteners Need to Know…

At the beginning of the school year, kids will be asked to:

1.    know the uppercase alphabet and name the letters out of sequence or mixed up, such as: B, D, X, K, J, M, O, etc.
2.    know the numbers to 10 and identify the numbers out of sequence or mixed up, such as: 2, 5, 9, 8, 1, 3, 4, etc.
3.    identify basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
4.    identify basic shapes: circle, diamond, rectangle, triangle, oval, and square.
5.    identify basic coins: penny, nickel, and dime.
6.    count objects to 10.
7.    show how far they can count toward 100.

During the year, Kindergarteners will need to know…

  • both upper and lower case letters, in order and out of sequence
  • numbers to 30, in order and out of sequence
  • more colors and shapes, including hexagon and octagon
  • more coins, such as quarter and dollar
  • their name, address, and phone number
  • how to get dressed themselves for outside play
  • how to use the bathroom independently

…in order to make that first year a success!

2009 © Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, autora de ¡A Prepararse Para Kindergarten!, Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!Let’s Get Ready for First Grade!

133 responses so far

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