Helmets not even in top 10 of things that keep cycling safe – Have to agree with this. My biggest fear on the bike is that it will somehow come dislodged from the trainer in the middle of an interval and I'll go slamming into my desk.
Dispelling Lactic Acid Myths – Gyah! I learned a ton reading this article!
"The takeaway? Concentrate on exhaling."
5 Myths About Running That Are Ready to Be Retired – "Chocolate milk as a recovery drink" needs to be added to every list like this.
Calf Heart Attacks – Ouch! Glad I've never had this. You'll never believe what the number one thing you can do to help this running injury get better. Yep…stop running.
Tour of Sufferlandria recap – Best. Haiku. Every
Pain pain pain pain pain
Pain pain pain pain pain pain pain
There were no Angels
The Pleasant Places to Live – Cool map! Take into account the sea breeze, and I'd argue that our June and July on the East Coast of Florida is pretty dang nice. Boost our numbers!
Cycling ‘much safer than playing rugby’ – Well, now that's finally answered.
Google Releases Chromecast SDK To Developers – Avalanche of game updates coming in 3,2,1…
It’s been a while since I posted a random sample of the stuff I’ve been reading. If you only read one of these articles, read the very first one.
Everyone a Harlot
In healthy patriarchies, men push themselves to earn the respect and admiration of other men. They work to prove their strength, courage and competence to each other. Men pride themselves on their reputation for mastery of their bodies, their actions, and their environment. They want to be known for what they can do, not just how well or who they can screw.
‘Marathon blues’ can affect Olympians and recreational athletes alike – Someone once told me there was a high rate of alcoholism for former top-level runners and former astronauts for this very reason. I haven’t seen numbers on that though.
This Handmade ‘Game of Thrones’ Board Game Is Gorgeous – The young’uns are loving strategy games these days. Can I justify this?
Cycle Workouts To Improve Your Cadence – Perfect for cross training workouts while marathon training, and a good investment.
Lost Photos – discovering lost photos in your email account – One of these days…
How To Make Caricatures Using GIMP – I hope to get around to doing this at some point.
The Benefits Of A Negative Bike Split – Wait…tell me one more time. It may actually sink in this time around.
Importing SharePoint 2007 list templates (STP) into SharePoint 2010 – Kick Aise. Quick and easy!
How the Lunar X Prize Is a Preview of the New Space Age – Popular Mechanics –
How to Develop Film Using Coffee and Vitamin C! Srsly! | Photojojo – Is there anything coffee can’t do?
TURNING TURDS INTO TRIUMPHS – What she said!
An Act of Great Cunning – Whoa!
Senate rules do not allow a filibuster when the bill under consideration has to do with imposing or repealing a tax. If the Republicans take the Senate and the Presidency, they can now repeal the individual mandate. They will not need sixty votes.
One of the best literacy gifts Pea got for Christmas this year was the Pop For Sight Words game. It’s a pretty simple toy–a popcorn box filled with sight words printed onto little cardboard pieces of popcorn. There are also some instructions included on how to play the “official” game, but we haven’t played it that way yet. Instead, we’ve made up a bunch of different games we can play with the pieces of popcorn.
Pea’s favorite way of playing right now pits her against us. She picks a word and tries to read it (preferably by sight, but we’ll let her try to sound it out). If she can read it within three seconds, she gets to keep it in her stack. If she can’t we get the piece. One important action to take here is to not just read the word and put it in your own stack. Make sure you show your child the word as you say it. Remember, we’re working on sight words here, so it really drives it home for them to see the word and hear it at the same time. The good thing about the words included with the kit is that many of them are really hard to sound out (“when”, “where”, etc.), so it really emphasizes sight word learning.
We play until we have 10 words in our pile–these are words that she could not read. Then we give her an opportunity to “steal”. We show her every word in our stack, and if she can read it she gets to steal it to her pile. Another option would be to wait until we’ve gone through all the words and give her only one chance to steal, and we may change to that option later. But by having a “steal” round every 10 words it gives her a chance to see and hear the words she’s having trouble with several times throughout the game.
At the end of the game, she gets to count all of the words in her pile (not a bad math activity either), and we keep a running score of how many words she’s able to read. We’ve seen some really good improvement, and we’ve noticed that the more often we play the game the more quickly her score rises. Repetition!
Note: the packaging makes this game very convenient and fun for the kids, but there’s no reason to purchase it necessarily. You could make your own sight word cards yourself. We’ll probably end up doing this ourselves in order to expand the number of words involved.
A while back, Ana made up a fun game we call Sight Word Shuttle Runs that not only helps the kids with learning new sight words, but also lets them burn up some energy. We just realized at dinner last night that we can play the game in reverse too.
The original game was to have the child look at a word, read it correctly, then run to a designated spot to pick up pennies, toy soldiers, stickers, or whatever else motivates your child.
The reverse game is to say the word to the child, then have them run to the designated spot to find the correct word written on an index card with a bunch of other words written on cards. If they bring back the right word, they get the motivational item to add to their pile. If not, they take the card back and try again.
Yet another fun twist to help build vocabulary is to begin a sentence and leave off the last word, having them run and pick out the word that makes the most sense to complete the sentence.
Another link dump. I promise I’ll try to include more bloggers and less news stuff in the future.
Here’s How to Stop FB From Tracking You Online – Logging out isn’t enough.
Can We Play? – Feeling guilty because you don’t get to spend enough time on education and they are aimlessly wasting the day? Don’t.
Career Ruin: Homeschooling
I realized that public school is like Social Security. There is no money to do what we are pretending we are aiming to do. We should just grow up and admit that we cannot have effective public schools for everyone. Just like we cannot have Social Security for everyone.
Well there go her Presidential hopes.
Gamers Unlock Protein Mystery That Baffled AIDS Researchers For Years – More of this please.
Woman tries to shoot possum, shoots acquaintance instead – I wasn’t even aware @knoxvillerugby was playing in ATL this weekend.
Dubya and Me – You don’t have to be a fan of his politics (I’m not) to enjoy this great piece on W.
Three Market-Based Solutions To Pull People Out Of Poverty – More of this too!
Robot Triathlete Will Complete An Ironman? – These things don’t have the greatest form, but I’m not one to talk.
I went downstairs for a cup of coffee this morning and saw Ana playing a new game with Pea. This one combines sight words with fitness (i.e. “energy release”). How lucky are we that she’s able to make up stuff like this on the spot?!?!
Pea is a very “high energy” kid. Sometimes when she’s really revved up we go out in the yard and do shuttle runs to help her release some tension and empty the tank. You may have done shuttle runs if you ever played basketball, soccer, rugby, etc. The basic concept is that you run to one point, touch the ground, run back to the starting point, touch the ground, and repeat until you are gassed. We don’t make her do this–she loves it on her own.
The game Ana came up with today was to put several slips of paper with sight words (“and”, “or”, “the”, “she”, etc.) written on them into a hat. That’s the starting point. The game is to take a word out of the hat and read it by sight, not by sounding it out. When she reads the word correctly, she gets to run all the way down the hallway to pick up an item out of a bucket. Use whatever motivates your child–marshmallows, pennies, small toys–for them to retrieve and bring back.
I could not believe how much she loved this game. The best part is that it’s very easy to add more and more words to change the difficulty level. And for a bonus, Bug was following her the whole time. She loved chasing her sister up and down the hall and repeating the words!
Here’s a quick and easy twist on a game your kids already play that can help them work on their phonemic awareness. You are probably all too familiar with I Spy With My Little Eye, where your child guesses which object you see based on the color you tell them. For example, you may say, “I spy with my little eye something…yellow.” And your child will guess all the yellow things she sees until she chooses the banana you were spying.
Try it this way the next time you’re playing–“I spy with my little eye something that begins with the ‘b’ sound.” Now, instead of colors, your child with look for objects that begin with a sound. Recognizing the sound and matching it up with an object is a phonemic awareness exercise. Don’t be afraid to explore other sounds like the ‘sh’ and ‘ch’ sounds.
You can even make it a phonics game by saying, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter ‘B’.” This will require your child to match up the letter with the sound it makes.
It’s probably not a stretch to guess that your young child has a few select books they like for you to read over and over (and over) to them. These are the books you’ve read so many times that your child can recite them back to you and can queue you when the page needs to be turned. We tend to cycle through books like this at our house. A book will make it into the rotation for a week or two, then get replaced by another. Some make it back into the rotation quickly, and some seem to be forgotten.
We try to ask questions when we read these books to help them focus on comprehension, but it seems like there are only so many questions you can come up with when you are reading the same book every night. We’ve come up with a whole new way to get Pea thinking about details while we read, and she loves this game.
We call it Name That Book. We sort of stumbled upon this game by playing a similar game with animals instead of books. We start off with three somewhat vague clues about the details and events in one of her books and let her try to guess which book we are thinking of. She can ask for more clues if she needs them, but she really likes trying to figure it out based on the initial hints. The clues get more and more specific as we go so she has an easier time guessing.
We’re also going to try a new variation on this game where she gives us the clues and we try to guess the book. Hopefully this will encourage her to listen carefully and try to come up with clues that are obscure, sort of like the Stump the Teacher game for pre-k kids.
Don’t forget, tomorrow is the deadline to enter our December giveaway. You can only enter once per Facebook account, but you can increase your chances by getting your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighbors to be a fan too! The Fridge Words toy would make a great gift for them to give back to you!
Can you tell we want more fans on Facebook? 😉
Chick Pea loves to play hide and seek, so we made up a fun game to help her with her word groups. Right now we’re working with the “-at” words (cat, hat, mat, rat, etc.). The game is pretty easy–make up cards with the words on them and put them in various places around the house. Next, we go to “base” and look at a group of pictures that represent the various words. For each picture, we send her off “hunting” for the word that goes with the picture.
The words don’t really need to be hidden. In fact, it’s probably better if they can see the several different words as they are looking for a single word, just to become familiar with the differences. It’s also a memory exercise since they can spot words they aren’t looking find them quickly when the appropriate picture shows up.
If you have a group of kids, you can make it a contest–send them all out hunting and see who can find a word first. It’s a great game for outdoors as well!
I’ve been playing a lot of Hide and Seek lately with players of varying skill level–mostly friendly games, but there’ve been a few high stakes sessions too. I’ve been taking detailed notes, and am really working to refine my game. I’m not giving away all of my secrets, but here are three tips you can use to keep most opponents confounded. Just keep in mind that every game (and every round) of Hide and Seek is different, and your opponent isn’t just “It”, but the other hiders as well.
1. If you’re “It”, count as slowly as possible.
This flies in the face of hide and seek conventional wisdom. You’d intuitively think that counting faster would allow your opponents less time to hide, and, as a result, increase your chances of discovering them while they are still in an unprepared state. However, this strategy rarely works in practice. Counting slowly, on the other hand, gives the enemy lots of time to find a hiding spot, and lots of time to get restless and impatient in that spot. If given enough time, your opponents are sure to be faced with the need to scratch or cough. This small slip up will give you the upper hand.
2. Pick a hiding spot as close to Base as possible and 180 degrees away from the direction a fleet footed “It” is likely to begin their search.
This is somewhat of a high risk tactic, especially for less experienced players. But if “It” begins their search in a direction somewhere around 180 degrees away from your hiding spot, you will have an opportunity to sprint to Base early in the round, not only ensuring you won’t have to be “It” for the next round, but also giving you plenty of time to watch the current round unfold from a safe place while you plot your next hiding spot. Just make sure you find a spot that’s close–you are unlikely to outrun a speedy “It” in a distance greater than 40 yards.
3. Choose a hiding place with several intermediate hiding spots nearby.
This is easier in the later rounds of the game, when you’ve had the chance to scout out some of the other players hiding spots you may not have found on your own. Use the intermediate spots to work your way back to Base, but still remain hidden. This is an especially effective tactic if “It” has already checked these spots and cleared them.