Saturday, August 20, 2016

Back to School with DK

It is the time of the year where children of all ages will go back to school whether you walk to go to the school down your street, take the bus to go to school, or homeschool.  And when school supplies appear on shelves in store throughout the country you can be certain that new books are also available in bookstores.

The Back to School Boutique at DK Canada is also available to find titles that will help your student (s) to develop new skills or learn about a specific subject.  As part of the initiative to promote the books from DK Canada, I have received five titles that could be interesting for you and your child.


51RdylYRafLSpell Check (Canadian Edition) 

Let’s face it, Canadian spelling is different in many ways from the American spelling.   Homeschoolers from Canada knows where to find the best spelling program but since it is based on the American way of spelling, sometimes we would like to find a book that would help us to teach how to spell English words correctly in Canada.   Well the Spell Check Canadian Edition could help you in providing a fun way to practice spelling.   From homophones and contractions to how to use a dictionary, Spell Check covers all the spelling rules and exceptions your child needs to know, with loads of tips and tricks to help them spell correctly. Learn the tough words like "elephant" and "telephone," and remember which words have tricky plural endings.

The book contains high-frequency sight words that help with both reading and writing, as well as engaging activities including word searches, crosswords, and jumbles.  Spell Check is perfect for reluctant learners who will respond to humor and fun on the bright, colourful pages.  The book is packed with images that will allow your child to better visualize some words.   Though there is no grade associated with this book, I think it would be better for a grade 3 or 4 student.  



Help Your Kids with Study Skills514ilPQ2S1L

If there is one thing I want my kids to learn is to how to study properly.   These skills will be able to equip them for numerous years to come because let’s face it – we always learn and you never know when study skills will come in handy in life.  Help Your Kids with Study Skills is a unique step-by-step visual guide with invaluable advice on how to support your child's classwork, homework, and revision, with effective study methods that suit a range of learning styles for the third grade level and beyond.

From exploring your child's preferred learning approach to using mind maps, flow charts, and mnemonic devices to handling test preparation and exam-day anxiety, this guide can help you place your child on the road to success. Jargon-free text and crystal-clear visual breakdowns help kids get their heads around tricky subjects, and a section covering math, science, history, geography, and other core areas provides subject-specific tips.

The table of contents itself is pretty descriptive.

  1. How we learn: why we need study skills, helping a student to study, how the brain works, studying effectively, learning styles.
  2. Preparing and Setting Goals: getting motivated, active learning, taking responsibility, independent study, handling the pressure, staying well, study space, getting organized, concentration, do not waste time, dealing with perfectionism, the right mind-set, creating schedules, maintaining schedules, educational development.
  3. Getting and Working with Information: finding information, enhancing reading skills, evaluating information, engaging with learning, exploring learning styles, working with others, active listening skills, teamwork, project work, making notes, enhancing memory skills, developing thinking skills, what is critical thinking, enhancing critical thinking, reflective thinking, improving writing skills, breaking down the question, answering the question, building an argument, checking work, enhancing presentation skills, keep practicing, using computers.
  4. Online Study: equipment, types of sources, finding material, bookmarking, taking notes online, plagiarism, social media, virtual learning environments, safety online, revolution in online courses.
  5. Review Techniques: getting started, common problems with review, review timetables, using active learning for review, review cards, reading, notetaking styles, mind-maps, memory and the brain, flowcharts and mnemonics, more memory aids, memory and technology , know what is expected, review groups, peer and self-assessment.
  6. Exam Techniques: what is an exam, written exams, multiple choice, oral exams, other exams, hints and tips for exam day, getting final grades.
  7. Handling Anxiety: what is exam stress, coping with exam stress, healthy studying, time out, relaxation, visualization, and positive thinking, know when to seek help.
  8. Reference: this section contains summaries as well as various resources for each chapter.

The book is packed with graphics, color, as well as great tips on how to study well.   The first reaction of one of my kids when I told him I will schedule this book for him to read was “WHY?” but my husband explained to him that it was a great skill to develop and have in life.   As a matter of fact, this book will be on the reading list of my high school and my middle school students this fall.  Next spring, I will schedule it for my 6th grader so that he is fully prepare for next school year.


51nzXYrx2TLCoding with Scratch Made Easy

Developed in consultation with leading educational experts, Coding With Scratch Made Easy is designed for children ages 9-11 and packed with exercises and activities to teach computer coding using Scratch, a free coding program from MIT developed especially for children.
Help kids learn to code with Coding With Scratch Made Easy--Learn the Basics, Games, and Projects.  Computer coding is quickly becoming a necessary and sought-after skill. It is being incorporated into the curriculum to ensure students understand the languages and uses of computer coding. Quick and easy to use, especially for kids who have no experience with computer language, Scratch is currently one of the most popular and largest technology trends for children, providing a gateway to more complicated coding languages.

Young novice coders will learn about the basics of coding, how to download Scratch, and how to work with scripts, animations, loops, movement, and sounds, before putting them all together to create fun games and projects.  The book contains easy-to-follow instructions and Minecraft-style illustrations.  Coding With Scratch Made Easy is the perfect introductory practice book to build and sharpen coding skills for kids.   The book’s table of contents is as follow:

  • What is Scratch?
  • Getting Scratch – using Scratch online and offline
  • Exploring Scratch – getting to know your way around Scratch
  • Your first project – make Scratch Cat talk
  • Move It! – taking steps, bouncing back
  • Which way? – giving directions to sprites
  • Loops – making things happen again and again.
  • Animation – walking and dancing
  • Party time! – adding scenery and music
  • if-then – making decision in Scratch
  • Variables – boxes for storing data
  • Math – doing equations with Scratch
  • Inputs and events – questions, answers, and triggering scripts
  • if-then-else – using “true or false” questions
  • A game: Dragon!
  • Games: Fishball, Ghost hunt, Rapid reaction, Melon bounce
  • Projects: Weird music, skywriting, quiz time, pet party, bounce painting

When the child has completed the book, he/she will have a good understanding on how coding can be fun and how you can make games and projects with Scratch.    Then you might want to invest in other books which will help to develop their new skills.


Coding Projects in Scratch51bOFkyMGoL

Using fun graphics and easy-to-follow instructions, Coding Projects in Scratch is a straightforward, visual guide that shows young learners how to build their own computer projects using Scratch, a popular free programming language.

Kids can animate their favorite characters, build games to play with friends, create silly sound effects, and more with Coding Projects in Scratch. All they need is a desktop or laptop with Adobe 10.2 or later, and an internet connection to download Scratch 2.0. Coding can be done without download on

Step-by-step instructions teach essential coding basics and outline 18 fun and exciting projects, including a personalized birthday card; a "tunnel of doom" multiplayer game; a dinosaur dance party animation with flashing lights, music, and dance moves—and much more.

The simple, logical steps in Coding Projects in Scratch are fully illustrated with fun pixel art and build on the basics of coding, so that kids can have the skills to make whatever kind of project they can dream up.

Supporting STEM education initiatives, computer coding teaches kids how to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically, and is quickly becoming a necessary and sought-after skill. DK's computer coding books are full of fun exercises with step-by-step guidance, making them the perfect introductory tools for building vital skills in computer programming.


In this book, your child will expand his/her knowledge when it comes to coding in Scratch with fun projects.   Check out the table of contents for more details on what is included in this book:

  • What is coding?  creative computers, programming languages, how Scratch works, getting Scratch, the Scratch interface, types of projects
  • Getting started: car art, dino dance party, animal race, ask Gobo, funny faces.
  • Art: birthday card, spiralizer, fantastic flowers,
  • Games: tunnel of doom, window cleaner.
  • Simulations: virtual snow, fireworks display, fractal trees, snowflake simulator.
  • Music and Sound: sprites and sounds, drumtastic.
  • Mindbenders: the magic spot, spiral-o-tron

The book provide step-by-step coding in order to allow your child to learn while practicing.  It will permit them to improve their coding skills and learn to create fun projects.


51VmrW0zBPLCoding Games in Scratch

Did you know that Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft, wrote his first computer program—a tic-tac-toe game—at age 13? Coding Games in Scratch shows how kids can start coding their own games, too, using Scratch, a popular free programming language.

With Coding Games in Scratch, kids can build single and multiplayer platform games, create puzzles and memory games, race through mazes, add animation, and more. All they need is a desktop or laptop with Adobe 10.2 or later, and an internet connection to download Scratch 2.0. Coding can be done without download on

Essential coding concepts are explained using eight build-along game projects that guide young coders step-by-step, using visual samples, easy-to-follow instructions, and fun pixel art. Written for children ages 8–12 with little to no coding experience, Coding Games in Scratch teaches important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas, all while creating games to play with their friends.


In this particular game, the child will learn more about coding games in Scratch.   The table of contents offers some insights on what is included in the book:

Computer games:  what makes a good game, atmosphere, types of games, how coding works.

  • Getting started: introducing Scratch, getting Scratch, Scratch tour.
  • Games: Star Hunter, Cheese Chase, Cicle Wars, Jumpy Monkey, Doom of the Broom, Dog’s Dinner, Glacier Race, Tropical Tunes.
  • What’s Next? remixing and beyond, better Scratch, the next level, jobs making games, have fun.

Hopefully by the time your child is finished with this book, he/she will have developed an interest in coding and have a better understanding on how that works.  


As you can see these books will help your child to develop new skills like learning to study or learning a language allowing him/her to code.    Most importantly these books are pack with fun ways to learn something new.

The Back to School Boutique has more titles available to help learn whether in geography, mathematics, science, music, handwriting, English, as well as different dictionaries.  


All the books mentioned above are available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even on and






Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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