Episode 24: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books with Coleen Graham

Episode 24: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books with Coleen Graham

What do we mean by healthy bodies, healthy books? We share how can you use books to help your family stay healthy, and what are some great options to read together.

This week we are joined by Coleen Graham, a RN who has worked in a major pediatric hospital for the past eleven years. She also has three kids of her own, so she has had plenty of experience teaching kids about being sick and staying healthy in all sorts of settings. Along with nursing she also teaches preschool and the occasional yoga class, so we are very grateful that she was able to take the time to chat with us about this topic that has been on many parents’ minds lately!

In this episode we talk about:

1. Coleen’s job at the hospital and what she does there. She explains her unit as a “step-down NICU.” She mostly works with infants and toddlers, although they have recently started getting children of many different ages.

2. What she prioritizes as a nurse and a mom when she teaches her kids about their bodies and staying healthy. 

3. How she has used books to teach those things to her kids and why picture books do such a great job at putting these complicated topics on their level.

4. How she has seen books used at her hospital unit. For instance, she has seen a feeding tube kit that comes with a story book and coloring book that talk about what it is, how it is used, how they can talk about it, etc. Since her unit is mostly younger kids, they do not use them to explain what is going on as much, but they have books that are for the kids and parents to use while they are there, which helps to bring something familiar and comforting to a scary situation.

“The parents are happy to see a book that they are familiar with and they are happy to read to their child and it kind of makes a scary hospital experience something a little less scary.”

5. Coloring books and what a great tool they can be. Coleen has used them when teaching her kids about their bodies and she made a great point about how kids are often times better able to listen to things we are trying to teach them when their hands are busy doing something else… like coloring or drawing!

7. How she has decided what to teach her different children at different ages.

8. A few of their family’s favorite books for talking about bodies and health.

9. How our emotions and mental health can affect our physical health and how we can help our kids with their emotions and especially to identify and communicate them.

10. All three of us chime in with some books that might be good for older children, teenagers or even adults who want to

We are so grateful to Coleen for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, the books we chat about, and other resources to help us teach our kids about being healthy can be found in the following places:

In Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books we mention:

Websites:

Kids Health.org

Google Scholar

Books:

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain

What are Germs? – By Katie Daynes (Usborne)

My Body – Usborne

The Usborne Science Encyclopedia by several authors

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Standin’ Tall Cleanliness by Janeen Brady

Little Monkey Calms Down by Michael Dahl

Lurlene McDaniel (author)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost

Magic School Bus: The Giant Germ by Scholastic

The Big Book of the Body – Usborne

Daniel Visits the Doctor – Daniel Tiger book

Looking for more on “healthy” books for your family? Look at this blog post

Want to read about the Covid-19 financial crisis of 2020? Here’s a great booklist to get you started

Episode 23: Building Character with Picture Books with Mary Costello

Episode 23: Building Character with Picture Books with Mary Costello

Building character with picture books is not even possible, we here at One Page at a Time argue that it’s fantastic. We hear about how one Bookstagrammer is using picture books to help their whole family learn 12 Character Traits in 2020.

This week we are joined by Mary Costello, the amazing woman behind the website, Children’s Lit Love. Mary spent years gaining her education in Child development and Elementary education before teaching elementary school for ten years. When he oldest was born she began using that wealth of knowledge and experience in her own home and now shares it with us on her website and Instagram account. 

In this episode we talk about:

1. How she went from being the book recommendation lady for all of her friends to her website now, which still has plenty of book recommendations, but also fantastic information on children’s literacy in general.

2. Their family’s journey this year to focus on developing different character traits with their children. They wanted to be very intentional about teaching their girls certain things, so they pick a new trait each month to talk about. Mary puts together the books and other things they have used so far and shares them all on her sites.

3. We talked a bit about the nitty-gritty of how exactly they have been putting this character trait plan into practice in their family and what roles she and her husband play in what they do.

4. Mary had some thoughts on how to do something similar if you do not have the same support from a spouse. She especially points out that by the end of the year she will have twelve character traits-worth of lists and information that anyone can use, thus cutting down on a ton of work and preparation for someone who wants to try it!

5. How has it been going so far for them? In Mary’s own words, “It is going so much better than we had imagined!” It has been fun and unifying for their family and they have been able to see the differences in their girls that their efforts have made.

6. Why books are such a good fit for what she and her husband are doing with the character traits in their family this year. 

7. How Mary handles the gathering and organization of the books she collects and uses for her monthly topics. 

8. And some great book recommendations to round us off!

We are so grateful to Mary for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her sties, and their family’s character traits development journey can be found in the following places:

In Building Character with Picture Books we mention:

Instagram:

@childrenslitlove

Websites:

Books

Molly and Mae by Danny Parker

Mindset by Carol Dweck

The Power of Showing Up by Daniel J Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Clementine (series) by Sara Pennypacker

Henry Huggins (series) by Beverly Cleary

Ramona (series) by Beverly Cleary

Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson

Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson

Valentine Cats by Jean Marzollo

Excited for One Page at a Time’s Summer 2020 books and activities? So are we! Get started with the first week here

Episode 20: Learning a new language? Grab a novel! with Camilla Bates

Episode 20: Learning a new language? Grab a novel! with Camilla Bates

This week we share with you a great strategy for learning a new language: reading! If you’ve ever tried learning a new language by reading novels for fun, you may have experienced the great benefits this form of studying has. After all, if we know it is helpful for our kids learning their native language, it makes sense that free reading in a new language is a good idea.

This week we are joined by Camilla Bates, a small-town Spanish teacher (as she describes herself). She grew up in Northern Minnesota and Michigan and is now settled in rural Western Colorado, where she and her husband are raising their two boys. She has taught Spanish for more than fifteen years, has written two books and set up a website to share ideas and resources with other language teachers. 

In this episode we talk about:

Learning a new language by reading

1. How her interest in Spanish and eventually teaching it got started (slowly!). She started off taking Spanish classes herself in high school, never thinking she would stick with it. Something kept going, however, and by her third year she had discovered

2. The link between “free reading” and language learning. She learned about the important link between the two in conferences and now includes it in her classes. She wanted to give her students enjoyable things to read and wrote a four-part story with another teacher. It opened the world of writing to her and she has continued to write Spanish stories and has published two books so far, including one about a student trying to learn how to speak Spanish, which her students very much relate to!

3. While offering her students this “free reading” time to solidify the vocabulary and other things they are learning about the language, Camilla talks about the benefits of reading fiction.  “Most studies have shown that we actually learn more from reading fiction than we do from reading non-fiction, which seems counter-intuitive, but….studies have shown!” While she does include non-fiction books in her classroom collection, a great deal of it is fiction.

4. Teaching high school, Camilla is dealing with many students who do not regularly read for themselves, which poses challenges. “By the time I have them in high school, I would say 75% of my students identify as not liking reading. So when they come into my room and they are reading…- not just reading, but reading in a second language- I want it to be as comfortable an experience as possible… I don’t require them to do anything at the end of it. They literally come in, they choose a book, sit down and read.” At the end of the semester, however, she asks them something that they have learned from reading and the answers she gets are “spectacular.” 

5. Along with the “free reading” that she has her students do in every class period, Camilla also reads stories aloud to her students when teaching them new material, which helps students at every level for different reasons!

6. Camilla’s second book, Soy Carlos, was written because people always ask her how they can learn Spanish when they are not able to take a class. She always tells them to read in Spanish, but it is often difficult to find material at the right level, so she wrote a graphic novel aimed to help people learn Spanish on their own!

As a Spanish teacher, she is in a great postition to give us advice if we want to learn a second (or third or fourth, etc) language. She reminded us to start small- don’t immediately dive in and try to read Harry Potter. She gave us some great resources to get started, which we will link to below.

In “Learning a new language? Grab a novel!” we mention:

We are so grateful to Camilla  for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her books, and her website can be found in the following places:

Facebook

Websites:

Smalltown Spanish Teacher’s website

Stephen Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition

Books we mentioned:

Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous

Las Cronicas de Narnia (series) by C.S. Lewis (English version pictured here)

La Tutora de Español by S. Camilla Bates

Frida Kahlo by Kristy Placido

Biography of Santana

Los sobrevivientes by Bryan Carl Kandel

Soy Carlos by S. Camilla Bates

Dog Man (series) by Dav Pilkey

Hombre Perro (series) by Dav Pilkey

Don’t miss out on Episode 19: How We Read with Lucia and JR Ratliff