Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Science Toys?

Two of the hottest toys this season seem to be Remote Control Machines from Thames and Kosmos and Snap Circuits Light from Elenco.  These are both toys I've written about and would be great for any science loving kid on your list.  What puzzles me is that we have plenty of these items in our store, and while we have sold a few, almost all the excitement for these toys has been through on-line orders! I think the shoppers for these items spend too much time in front of a computer screen - time to head to your local toy store - we have lots of toys for scientists and geeks - but you'll never know if you don't leave your desk!

Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Ways to Create Crafty Kids

From the website Your Neighborhood Toy Store:

I hear from parents all the time that they are always looking for ways to encourage their children’s love of crafts. Sure, they give them paper to draw on and the occasional molding clay, but they’re not sure how to expand past that. Painting is too messy and everything on Pinterest is too difficult.  Read More... 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Neighborhood Toy Store Day at The Golden Apple

Neighborhood Toy Store Day is coming!  We're celebrating the 3rd annual NTSD on November 10th.  You and your family are invited to jump with Just Jump It and test your skills at Fastrack, Zing Shot, Faux Bow, Pajaggle and many other games.    Our Kids Carnival will start at 11 am and go on until 1 pm.  We'll take a break, and then start our Crafter Noon events in our classroom - all kinds of crafty fun for kids of all ages.  Crafts take place from 1 pm to 3 pm

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stirling Engine - Science

I'm very excited about this Sterling Engine kit from Thames and Kosmos.

  •  It does something practical
  •  It was easy to get working (though like all good experiments, it required tweaking)
  • The price for the kit is excellent.
Sterling Engines are an old idea that is getting new life in our green technology world.  The value of this machine is obvious the minute you see it start churning away after a few minutes in the sunshine!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gayla's Model Classroom

We're hosting a model classroom constructed by Gayla Peek.  She'll be using materials from CTP to show off the possibilities for teachers, offices and waiting rooms!  We'll be posting all the pictures on Pinterest, so check it out there!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

now!Board Interactive Whiteboard

As much as I dislike electronics in the classroom (Einstein worked with chalk!), we do come across some nifty devices every now and then.  iPads for every child would accomplish something (if you want to know what, I suggest you listen to Bill Harley's story about Mrs Ammons and the last week of school)  This week we posted on the Golden Apple Online a new item called the now!Board Portable Interactive White Board.  It is what it says it is - a device that is portable and creates an interactive whiteboard anywhere.  Pretty cool, and a good way to save some money, since not every classroom is using a white board at the same time!  We will keep you posted on teacher reactions.  The important thing to us is that the price $499 is being guaranteed by Learning Resources, meaning we will have a competitive price for local schools who want to support a local business - and since teachers will get points for the purchase, you'll save money too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Reading For Kids

We have our Grade Level lists together early this year, so I can brag about them in May, instead of July like most years!  Our reading lists cover grades k through 6+, with an extra family reads included on the 6+ list.  There are lots of books we didn't have room for - I just finished Chomp by Carl Hiassen and it's on the list, but I didn't include his previous gems Hoot, Scat and Flush.  The list is broad at the bottom - pear shaped rather than an apple - because early readers are more sponges than critics.  Our Summer Workbooks also have lists, and they are up to date, because we try to keep our Summer Workbooks up to date!  A quick Google search let me find some good curated lists - I didn't like Oprah's format - designed to force you to look at lots of advertising - but her list is pretty good.  The bottom line is always read, read read!  I would also like to make a special plea for listen - audio books are a great way to subtract boredom from a road trip.  Sure you could let the kids zone out on their own screen toys, but you will miss the joy of sharing an experience together.  My # 1 recommendation for shared road trip book is Charlotte's Web - read by E.B. White.  Sublime.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week

It's teacher appreciation week - I'm posting on Facebook all week about my favorite teachers.  Charles Blow from the NYTimes made the suggestion and I think it's a great idea.

Here's a post about my Kindergarten teacher Mrs Macken

Friday, May 4, 2012

Summer Plans!

We've posted our Summer Reading Lists - along with our Summer Workbook comparison chart.  This chart compares our 3 Summer Workbooks -Daily Summer Activities, Summertime Learning and Summer Bridge.  We also have a Summer Class scheduled - two in fact!  Finally, we are creating Summer Bundles to make shopping easier for summer.  Now we just need a pitcher of lemonade and we are ready!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Summer Activities Open House

Summer workbooks have become a staple item for kids in our area.  The joy of a summer break is an almost inalienable right, but the academic down-time does have a price.  Busy parents aren't always able to create a summer curriculum from scratch, and opportunities for quality learning need to be researched.  A workbook like Summertime Learning or Daily Summer Activities can provide a great starting place.  This year we're hosting a series of open house events to show off our resources for summer - workbooks, games and more.  We will also be offering discounts, door prizes and benefit nights for local schools.  Our first open house is this Thursday, from 4-8 pm.  Join us and find out how to make summer learning fun!  We also have started our summer learning page - with a comparison of the 3 summer books.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Summer Workbooks Are On My Mind

March 1st seems like a long way from summer, but we have to plan ahead - just like parents with kids facing almost 3 months of academic down time.  Summers can be a great time for learning - and not school type learning, but outdoors, away from adults, being kids learning.  That has become a rare thing though, and many summer hours are spent looking at a screen.   We're against screen time almost all the time, but in summer, it's a practically a sin!  If you're not reading, or swimming, or throwing rocks in a pond you're wasting a summer day that will never come back.  So what about summer workbooks?  We're going back to basics this year - we'll be discontinuing the summer workbook that encourages kids to spend time online.  We have two updated and expanded summer workbooks that are current, fun and can be worked on with a pencil under a tree!   Summertime Learning from TCR and Daily Summer Activites from Evan Moor will be our two key workbooks this year.  We're in the process of putting together a skills matrix, so parents can compare the books.  We are also putting together some great summer packages - a little work, a little play.  Everything will start to show up on our summer learning pages soon!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Librarians Improve Reading Scores

No surprises here!

Want to see students get higher reading scores? Then make sure their schools have a media specialist.
According to new research from Library Research Services, which reviewed standardized test scores from Colorado schools in 2005 and 2011, reading scores statistically increased when schools retained or gained a school librarian. "There is a positive and statistically significant relationship between advanced reading levels and endorsed librarian staffing trends," reads the report, published last month.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stepping Up Our Game with Pinterest

We're on Pinterest now.  You may think Pinterest is the flavor of the month, but here's what I've noticed already, and i've only been on for two days  - Pinterest puts you in touch with blogs.  These blogs may or may not have been wallowing in obscurity (I know this one does) but an interesting image, posted to Pinterest, has the power to draw you to a blog that you would have never come across.  Words may have substance, but images have impact, and that's what stokes the fires at Pinterest.    I'm going to search now for a popping image to illustrate this post - and if you found this blog because of what ever it was i found, well, there you have it!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The great Summer Workbook throw  down is coming!  We will be featuring two new summer workbooks, and phasing out the original Summer Bridge this year.  Having an academic daily activity is important in the summer, but how do you choose an appropriate workbook?  We're going to do the work for you - we'll be comparing the three books that we have in stock (or have stocked) - Evan Moor's Daily Summer Activities, Teacher Created Resources' Summertime Learning and Rainbow Bridges' Summer Bridge.  Each book is different and each sells for a different price.  We'll provide a detailed matrix to help you choose.  Get ready, we're going to be honest!

A Wealth of Golden Apples!

I was just searching for our blog on Google when I came across another blog called "The Golden Apple Blog".  Not surprisingly, it's for educators, and I thought it was pretty interesting!  Check it out if it's not too confusing to have two Golden Apple Blogs bookmarked!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We're running a contest this month - write a short piece about why your school should win a visit from our Cat in the Hat costume and you could the visit for Read Across America Day!  Today we got an entry in the form of a poem!

Dr. Seuss really rocks!
He should visit us around the block
at Donlon where we love to read,
read, read, read to succeed! 
Betsy Finney

We can't say she won already, but she has set a standard!
Here's a link to the contest on our FB page!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our web store has been rebuilt - we're making room for e-books, special bundles and our classes starting next month.  If you would like to check out our new site, along with some of our new Bundles - we've added two bundles for kids practicing their thinking skills - GATE testing is just one reason to learn to think!  We've included some fun activities in the bundles to make them different.  Thinking is a rewarding activity on its own, but we like to make it fun too!  Check out our bundles here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tommie's Tools is a great teacher resource that we'll be sharing with you from time to time - Tommie works with Creative Teaching Press, and her blog is full of ready to use ideas to incorporate in to your classroom - you can find her blog here:

Tommie's Tools