Thursday, July 31, 2014

Social And Emotional Benefits Of Video Games: Metacognition and Relationships

I like this article in thinking about the "growth mindset".  

A majority of my peers were and some still are gamers.

Would be great to adapt what kids love so much into activities that will provide food for thought or promote more positive messages.  Below is a clip from the article.

Social And Emotional Benefits Of Video Games: Metacognition and Relationships
by Jordan Shapiro | KQED
Article: click here

"In 2013, the American Psychological Association published a study that identified some of the benefits of gaming, and the results were surprising. For example, in controlled tests, kids who played first-person shooters showed “faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities.” This likely has very little to do with the violent narrative and a lot to do with repetitive execution of reflex-based actions. Essentially, first person shooters are intricate 3D virtual simulations of the carnival classic “whack-a-mole.” Players need to react fast. This is why kids who play a lot of games seem to show “measurable changes in neural processing and efficiency” and a positive increase in creativity. Players practice quick thinking and hurried response."  

Shapiro, Jordan. "Social And Emotional Benefits Of Video Games: Metacognition and Relationships." KQED 16 May 2014. Web.

Keywords + Tag = motivational intelligence | Jordan Shapiro | KQED | stimulation | video games | video game | Pacman | incremental theory | growth mindset | life-long learners | metacognition | critical thinking | interpersonal skills | character education | social and emotional | health | mental health | relationships | nutritional value | Space Invaders | chess | Atari | Playstation | Sega | Nintendo | X Box | joy sticks | Carol Dweck | Stanford | intelligence | Reach for the Sun

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A License to Drive Story w/ MC Zoo

Today had a discussion with my lil' brother about his experience through driving school as he completes requirements for his permit ... later his driver's license.  He's a big time gamer so I asked what his top 3 "driving" related video games are... From 3 to 1, 1 being the best... 3... Motor Storm on PS3, 2....CTR on PS1, and 1.... Grand Theft Auto V on PS3.  Back when for me it was all about the NES Road Racer!

Road Racer!

Keywords + Tag = Road Racer | Nintendo | Family stories | MC Zoo | Isaiah | driver's license | Texas | GTA V | Playstation 1 | Playstation 2 | Playstation 3 | Playstation 4 | CTR | Crash Team Racing | Crash Bandicot | Motor Storm | NES | cars | driving | safety | fun | Sega Genesis | 90s on my mind

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reading on the Stoop, Basketball Math on the Court

Basketball Math on the Court
by Tom Robinson
Published by The Child's World

For our recent Reading on the Stoop session E-Man's Dad, my lil' brother BB.Josh, said that he wanted a book that told a story about basketball.  I searched for a children's book with a touch of history, but couldn't find one.  Though I found a brilliant book written and painted by Kadir Nelson titled We Are the Ship, The Story of Negro League Baseball (will be sharing more on this later), I did not find anything at the Richard Burges Library about basketball history, specifically.  What I did stumble across though was Basketball Math on the Court, which I thought was real cool considering we all love and play basketball (our father even played as a teen and adult and was a great referee in El Paso for all sorts of leagues city + school/youth + adult).  Personally, I thought the book was wonderful and recommend it especially for adults that are coaching youth leagues and would like to encourage reading amongst their players.  Even as an adult reading to E-Man, I learned a lot.  It was just a tough read, at times kind of dry for E-Man's reading level as he had a tough time engaging with the activities to learn ratios and percentages.  At times I wish there would've been more details related to the game's history, maybe even the players themselves, height/weight, vertical leap and any other factoids that allow readers to connect with more of the story of basketball as opposed to the statistics.  But these opinions stray from what I felt this book intended to do and what I feel it succeeds at doing for helping young readers understand the mathematics of the game.  So definitely check it out!

In addition, learning about the publisher of this text The Child's World was cool considering they're an independent, family-owned company that has been publishing books since 1968.  It's an interesting go to if you're looking for stories about specific subjects or recommendations for school libraries to help make connections to some of the subject matter being taught in schools these days.  

Upon visiting the site, I didn't find any titles I'd be interested in reading, but then again, I also didn't notice the Basketball Math on the Court book so I'm going to assume there are a number of titles out there from the past and present that would be good for reading to children.  I do recommend you connect with their social media accounts, especially Facebook for the posts.  Here's a picture they have posted on their timeline: 

We need to spread these messages as often as possible. 

Keywords + Tag = Basketball Math on the Court | Tom Robinson | The Child's World | mathematics | Los Angeles Lakers | Oklahoma City Thunder | Kobe Bryant | Ron Artest | Russel Westbrook | June | court measurements | math on the court | learning | comprehension | statistics | formulas | ratio | percentage | points per game | Wilt Chamberlain | Brittney Griner

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reading on the Stoop, Last Day Blues

Last Day Blues
by Julie Danneberg
Illustrated by Judy Love

After work this past June, I decided to head out to the Irving Schwartz Library in East El Paso to look for another book for the Reading on the Stoop session with E-Man, our 8-year old nephew.  The goal was to find any children's story that had something to do with what was going on, what was current.  Scanning the shelves, the word blues caught my attention on the book's cover.  At first, I thought about looking for something else until the idea came up to connect the theme of this book to our nephew's last day of school, which was coming up at the time.  2014 also marks the prelude to 12th grade for our youngest brother who's public school education is in its last chapter, "Senior Year".

Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg is a fun book.  A great story with amazing illustration by Judy Love.  We'd often pause during our reading to scan the pictures, the expressions on faces, the activity of a school ground, and the resemblance of teachers we all knew at some point in our lives.  

Following up on Julie Danneberg's website I learned of other texts illustrated by Judy Love such as The Big Test, First Year Letters, and First Day Jitters.  It's a neat site for learning more about Julie Danneberg and other titles for future reading sessions.  Fans will also learn about what inspires her to write, when she writes, and responses to some commonly asked questions she's received.  One question I'd have is the connection between her writing and the illustrator and whether this collaboration inspires new stories when she finds time to write.  Also how much of her future writing is inspired by re-reading her own books?

I found Last Day Blues at Irving Schwartz Library in El Paso, and it is also available at the Main Library downtown, which if you haven't visited already, I'd highly recommend taking your younger siblings to pick out a book.  It's a great place for them (and you!) to discover new and random books to read for the summer.

To view the text on the El Paso Public Library online catalogue, here is the link: click here.

To view Julie Danneberg's website visit

You can also view some other illustrations by Judy Love at  

Keywords + Tag = Last Day Blues | Julie Danneberg | Judy Love | Illustrator Judy Love | children reading | Reading on the Stoop | El Paso Public Library | Irving Schwartz Library | El Paso | El Paso Texas | Texas | The Big Test | First Day Jitters | First Year Letters | last day of school | elementary school | Charlesbridge | ISBN 9781580891042 | | Mrs. Hartwell