Good Use of Media

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Parenting, Super Why!

iTunes/PBSKids release:

“PBS Kids Raising Readers program helps build reading skills all year long.  This summer they’re presenting 10 weeks of special programming with offline activities from your favorite PBS KIDS programs.  Download free PBS Kids TV episodes every week through August 15″

Via iTunes, simply go to:   iTunes Store > TV Shows > PBS KIDS Raising Readers

OR click on the PBS KIDS Raising Readers ad here

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, My Projects

Physicist and ska/soul musician, Jeremy Roberts, cleared up the subject of Augmented Reality for me..well, at least I can follow a conversation about it.   Interacting with complex concepts in an engaging way holds such potential for not only the educational field but the sciences, the arts..the list goes on.

The ability to not only visually project data or concrete information on real world objects (in our 3-D world) but to interact within it, has enormous potential.  But we’ve just scratched the surface.

Get ready for augmented reality devices/software to enter your home, if they haven’t yet.  Time to rest my head…

Check it out on, then email me to let me know how you would apply this technology.

by: Greg | Filed under Good Use of Media

Move over etch-a-sketch! Adobe has released Adobe Ideas ($5.99 app) for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  It’s a digital sketchbook app which looks basically like Photoshop XXtra-light. While it might be a bit advanced for the preschool set, the interface is streamlined to get most up and running relatively quickly.  When your child is done with his masterpieces, just attach a VGA adapter & have his presentation on the big screen for opening night!


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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media

While there are so many powerful and beautifully crafted picture books these day, I’ve chosen three that truly stand out from the crowd with regard to story and the author/illustrator’s depiction of the text..

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. & Erin Stead is a sweet story about a zookeeper who catches a cold and is visited by his friends..the zoo animals.  Soft & warm illustrations compliment the text about the value of friendship.

Preschool-Grade 2



Art & Max is a beautifully illustrated and written book by 3x Caldecott medalist David Weisner (Sector 7).  We follow 2 lizard artists as they explore the world where various art techniques and styles are deconstructed in a fantastically beautiful way.

Preschool-Grade 3



The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is another must have in your child’s collection.  This (exclusively pictures) book tells the tale of a reader who gets literally pulled into a magical red book to explore an array of amazing adventures wherein all that view this book go on their own adventure!

K-5th Grade

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Kids, Parenting

This is something we do quite often on television.  It’s part of our philosophy behind creating shows with a foundation in education but that kids want to tune in.  We always incorporate humor that is age appropriate.  But, we also always use humor to diffuse a situation.

For instance, in Super Why we have this intense moment (probably not “intense” to most people but for us this scene was intense!) when Super Why finally confronts the BIG BAD WOLF.  We have been searching for him the whole episode and he is finally here. And he is BIG.  And he is BAD.  So, what do we do? First we ask why.  The Wolf says, “Because it says so in my story, I am the Big Bad Wolf.”  Hmph.  Point taken.  So, in true Super Why style we change the story to save the day.  We turn the BIG BAD wolf into a SMALL GOOD wolf.  And you know what happens?  He cries hysterically (amidst violins in the background) because he has no friends.  If only (sniff) he had some friends (sniff) he wouldn’t be so BAD and blow down the pig’s houses.  Well, this was HYSTERICAL to our audience.  And it diffused the tense situation.  I need to try that at home.  Not sure I can change the mood of my daughter when she is acting all BIG AND BAD but I’m sure I can find a way to keep my emotions in check and DIFFUSE WITH HUMOR!

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media

Yesterday my 4th grader took me to The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and then the National Gallery in London, all in the comfort of our  home. Google Art Project has gotten access to a huge variety of renowned museums around the world and allows you to virtually explore (as if  there) to view most of their collection.  Zoom all the way in to see the texture and technique the masters had used or walk all the way around a sculpture to see it the way Rodin would have.  Even if you haven’t gone to the Moma since college, this is a trip you’ve gotta take!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media

Remember the little ball cartoon you’d draw in the lower right corner of your schoolbook & be so proud of yourself when a simple flip of each page would animate the ball?   Well, time/technology has kicked it up a notch.

We just stumbled across a FREE 3-day summer workshop from Apple which is apparently in the works. It leads up to an Apple Camp Film Festival for the kids to showcase their work. How cool is that?!

[More Camp Info]


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by: Greg | Filed under Good Use of Media, Stuff We Love
Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad BUT for every hundred apps out there, you might find one that really stands out from the tech crowd. Just found it today!!  Auryn has released amazing interactive storybooks which pay strict attention to utilizing interactivity well and incorporating subtle fine arts into mobile devices.  One can choose from a varied assortment of stories that are truly unique and involve everything from block stacking to a physics room!


Best Book App – Appy Awards 2011

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media

Chapter Books



The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, illustrated by Brian Selznick:
A fun story of two doll families, one antique and one modern and how they interact with each other.


The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies:
This novel explores the brother-sister bond through itssibling characters, one math-smart and one people-smart, while cleverly blending in math and humor.



No Flying in the House by Betty Brock, illustrated by Wallace Tripp:
My absolute favorite book as a child. It’s about a little girl who finds out she is a fairy.



Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli:
A compassionate novel that

celebrates the individuality of its eccentric title character



And don’t forget the old classics:
Little House on the Prairie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan



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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media

As a kid, all I wanted to do was jump inside one of my books and hang out with Laura Ingalls Wilder or ride the glass elevator with Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. As a grown up, I now write about Super Why and the Super Readers soaring into books every day, but at night, my girls and I snuggle up and escape into the world of make-believe.

It’s been shown that even fifteen minutes of reading a day can expose kids to more than a million words in a year. Here, a few of my all-time favorite books to read together.


Picture Books


The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer:
The main character is an empowered and persistent Princess, who is a great role model for my girls.



A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni:
This book has a fabulous message of  being proud of who you are.




The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein:
This is a nice conversation starter about being a whole person.


The Lion’s Share by Matthew McElligot: An animal fable that weaves in math exercises



The Elephant and Piggie book series by Mo Willems: A wonderful series that is written and illustrated comic-book style. My girls and I each pretend to be  one of the characters as we read together.



The Francis Book Series by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban: This book exemplifies the way I always hope to parent my kids. The stories showcase playful  ways to approach preschoolers




Blue’s Clues books, especially, Welcome to Blue’s Clues and the early reader series where you  get a glimpse inside Blue’s thoughts with books such as, “Blue is my Name”.




Super Why books:  Where kids can practice their

literacy skills while going on reading adventures



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