Registration for fall GED and ESL classes

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Registration for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education programs, including GED preparation and English as a Second Language classes, is taking place in the weeks before school begins.

Those interested in Adult Education classes do not have to live in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district to take classes. Registration takes place in Room 206 at Stone High School.

Literacy Series -- Numeracy

Numeracy is to math what literacy is to reading -- understanding the components that make up the mathematical "language." Numeracy involves understanding the different kinds of numbers -- decimals, fractions, percentages, etc. -- and being able to use them to solve problems.

If math was not your favorite subject, don't worry -- encouraging numeracy in your child is surprisingly easy. Here are some quick tips:

1. Drive -- How far have you gone, and how far do you still need to go? How fast are you going and how soon will you get there? And, a scary question, how much will it cost to fill the gas tank?

2. Shop -- Which product is the better deal? How much does each product cost per ounce? If you still use real money, how much will your change be?

3. Cook -- Double or halve a recipe. How do you change the measurements? Read The Math Chef by Joan D'Amico for more ideas.

4. Play Games -- Let your child keep score when you play games or sports. Dominoes and card games are good for recognizing and matching numbers, while Battleship is a great introduction to graphing.

5 Pay Attention -- How do you use math in your life? Share your daily calculations with your child.

For more tips and ideas, try these resources:
This page from the Peel District School Board has several pages of tips -- scroll down to where it says "Help Your Child Boost Math Skills."
The US Department of Education provides its own list of activities for preschool through grade 5.

Cindy Neuschwander's "Sir Cumference" books are a great way to learn about geometry.
For fans of One-Minute Mysteries, try 65 Short Stories You Solve With Math!.
Amy Axelrod and Greg Tang, who have written many, many books about math.

Literacy Series -- Reading Aloud

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Do you remember storytime, and how fun it was when your kindergarten teacher gathered everyone on the rug to listen to Curious George? Although you probably didn't know it at the time, whoever read aloud to you was doing one of best things we know of to support the development of life-long reading. Here are some tips and ideas to help make reading aloud a part of your own family's routine.

1. Set time aside in your day -- Don't worry, you don't have to read aloud for a long time in order to reap the rewards. Ten minutes a day is fine, or even less for the especially squirmy baby or toddler. The key is regularity, for example, always reading aloud before bedtime.

2. Make read-aloud time fun -- Choose books you and your child both enjoy. Let your child bring their favorite toy along to read-aloud time. Use silly voices and sound effects. Eat popcorn or other snacks. Reading aloud should not be a chore!

3. Get your child involved -- Ask questions about the book (or the pictures, for younger readers). Ask your child to predict what they think is going to happen next. Talk about what you liked and didn't like, as well as how the book relates to events in your child's life. When your child is old enough, let her read to you.

4. Don't get stuck on novels and picture books -- There are all sorts of things out there to bring to read-aloud time. Nonfiction, magazines, newspaper articles, poetry, and even song lyrics are all great options for reading aloud.

For more information and tips about reading aloud and encouraging reading, try Reading Magic by Mem Fox, Baby Read-Aloud Basics by Caroline Blakemore and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease -- or take a look at these great resources:
Reading is Fundamental
The National Institute for Literacy
Read Aloud America

Also, feel free to come on down to our summer playgroup and storytime sessions, starting June 21st.

Language Learning Collection

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Whether you are starting to learn another language, brushing up on one, or need some help with your English, the Ann Arbor District Library’s Language Learning collection is here to help. With materials for adults and children and over 60 languages to choose from, you will be sure to find a variety of materials to assist in your learning experience. The adult Language Learning collection at Downtown is located on the 3rd floor while the youth materials are in the Youth department, 1st floor; at other branches the Language Learning collection is located within the non-fiction 400 call # range. See below for how to search in the catalog for this collection.

Registration for AAPS Adult Education GED Summer Program

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Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education’s Summer GED Preparation has started, but it is not too late to register for this ten-week, free program. If you are 18 or older and want your GED, come to either the morning (Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.) or evening (Monday and Wednesday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) class. Both are at Stone School in Room 314. You do not need to call in advance: just arrive on time, attend class and plan to stay and enroll afterward. Classes started the week of June 1st and the deadline for new students to register is Thursday, June 10. Registration for the summer ends that morning. Registration for fall will begin at the end of August. Call 734-997-1250 with any questions.

Brush Up on Bicycle Safety!

Ride RightRide RightJoseph Kane's Famous First Facts, a wonderfully informative and interesting resource, notes that it was on this day in 1896 that the first reported automobile accident causing injury in the United States occurred. This first injury accident was an automobile-bicycle collision resulting in a fractured leg, and represents a cautionary event that's still relevant 114 years later.

Keeping cyclists safe is everybody's responsibility. Even way back then, the law relied on cyclists to be visible in traffic and to pedestrians, and to outfit their bikes appropriately for the conditions. According to an article in an 1899 edition of the New York Times, that city's own squad of bicycle policemen had made 65 arrests by 10pm on June 4th, most of which were for cyclists riding without a light and bell.

To help cyclists of all ages try to avoid the various road and traffic hazards, the AADL offers many helpful resources.

Try this search to get you started on bike safety materials for young and beginning riders. There is also a Safety Town run jointly by the Ann Arbor Police Department and the Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education & Recreation Department. Safety Town was founded in my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio in 1937 by a traffic commissioner and a kindergarten teacher, and "includes pedestrian safety, bike safety, stranger safety, drug awareness, fire safety, school bus safety, outdoor safety and seat belt safety." I remember having an absolute blast riding my tricycle around the miniature town (with Mansfield landmark buildings and working stop light!), obeying all the rules of the road I'd just learned. If the program is anything like it was back then, I can strongly recommend it for any young person.

Even we old(er) cyclists need to keep reminding ourselves how to stay safe. Here are a few books that might help us stay upright and moving forward. Parts of David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling are actually very relevant to bicyclists (and anyone in traffic). I haven't read anything anywhere that's had a better effect on my understanding of visibility, sight lines, and awareness.

For a little perspective, Kane reports that almost exactly three years after that first accident, a bicycle officer made the first ever arrest of a driver for speeding. The driver was traveling at the "breakneck speed" of 12mph on NYC's Lexington Ave.

Oh, and did I mention that speedster back in 1899 was an electric car?

Five Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Dyslexia and ADHD

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Peter Pullen, Head of School at Eton Academy, the nationally recognized independent school for students with learning challenges, will provide parents with easy to understand definitions, a review of the misconceptions associated with Dyslexia and ADHD, and five strategies to help dyslexic and ADHD students find success in school at this presentation at the Downtown Library on Monday, May 3, 7 PM.

College Night on Thursday, April 15

Finding the right college and getting admitted is easily a multi-year project for teens and their parents. Get a head start on the search process by listening to advice from some local experts. College application experts John Boshoven, Community High’s premier college prep counselor, and Deb Merion, founder of Essay Coaching will be joined by performance coach Geraldine Markel at this event for parents and teens.

College Night | Thursday, April 15 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Traverwood | Grade 9-Adult
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Find the Right Preschool for your Family

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Preschool Expo will be held at the Palmer Commons on the campus of the University of Michigan, 100 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor on Sunday, March 7, 2010 from 1:00-4:00pm. Representatives from over 50 preschools will be on hand to answer your questions, share promotional materials, and show examples of some of the great activities going on at their schools. This event is free and open to the public! What a great opportunity to learn about many preschools, all in one place. This event is sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library, Child Care Network, U of M Work/Life Programs, and Washtenaw Success by Six.

Filing for Bankruptcy

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Whether a major medical event, loss of a job or a house sunk you, bankruptcy won’t be a shining moment in your life, but it is an opportunity to get your financial life back on track. Not much free legal help is available in Washtenaw County so it is important to know as much as possible about the process and that is where the Ann Arbor District Library is a real help.
The library has a large selection of up-to-date books on the topic that you can find here: Bankruptcy
The library also has books that give great advice on how to proceed after bankruptcy that you can find here: Credit Repair
In order to file you have to pay your attorney up front, so if you are receiving a tax return soon, this could be a very good time to plan your strategy.
It is never easy to admit defeat. Just know that you have now joined a select club that includes Francis Ford Coppola, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Wayne Newton and Donald Trump. Except for Trump's hair, they all ended up doing better than ok!

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