Label: Kids Comments

May 5, 2011

        I received a letter today from a student who wants to enter our BABY ANIMALS contest and has some questions about how to use Comments. I have asked Liz Nealon, who works with me on the blog, to help you all with the answers. Happy writing!

 

- Seymour


Dear Seymour Simon:

I am not sure how to comment. I went to the blog, do you just scroll down and click ‘Comment’?

Sincerely,

Anonymous


I am so glad to have a chance to help everybody learn how to comment, because we love to read your writing!

So, let’s get started. At the bottom of each story on the blog, there is a link called "Comment." Move your mouse down, click on that link, and you will get a page that looks like this.

Here is what to do:

1. Type your first name and last initial (no last name) in the first box.

2. No email in the second box - that’s for grownups, unless you are entering a contest. If it is a contest, type in your email so that we can write to you if you are the winner. Once the contest is over, we will no longer save your email.

3. The third box wants to know your location. Just put your state or your country, not the name of your town. We think it is fun for you to see that your fellow Seymour Science readers and writers are from all over the United States, Canada and beyond!

4. The fourth box, called URL, is for adults only. If you enter anything there, we will delete it.

5. Next, click in the big white box and type away - that is where you put your comment! Once you have written your comment, please take a minute and read it over, to be sure that you have said what you mean to. Remember that this is going to be read by a lot of people, so take a minute to check your spelling, and make sure that this is a piece of writing that you want to share with others.

Below the big white box there is just one more thing to do before you are finished.

 

Type the two squiggly words that you see next to where the arrow is pointing, underneath. That is how you prove that you are a real person, and not an annoying SPAM robot.

Click "Submit" and you are done!

 

Have you ever noticed that when you add a comment to the blog it doesn’t show up right away? That is because an adult checks every comment before it is posted, to be sure that you did not accidentally give too much information (like your whole name), and also to be sure that what you wrote is something you want the whole world to read (no bullying, making fun of other kids, or saying things that might embarrass you).

That is all there is to it. Readers like "Anonymous" might want to show this blog to their parents and get permission before they try Comments. Once you do, we hope that your parents and teachers will feel good about it, and that you will have fun being part of the kids who talk about cool science with us on the Seymour Science blog.

So go ahead, give it a try! Click on "COMMENTS" at the bottom of this post, and let me know that you’re an expert now!


Families & Educators: Please feel free to write to me any time if you have questions, concerns or suggestions about our privacy policy. Our goal is to increase Internet fluency, build research skills, and empower students with knowledge of the world around them, as well as a love of science. Many children will need your help as they try these things for the first time, and we thank you for your support.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: Teachers and Librarians, Contests, Kids Write, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 19, 2011

        My wife, Liz, and I have been making our own list of Earth Day pledges this week. No matter how much you love our planet Earth - and we certainly do - you can always do a little bit better. Here is what we have decided to do this year:

 

1.    We are going to plant a few trees when it gets a little warmer this spring. Did you know that a single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime? Planting trees is an effective, important way to help the environment by reducing the greenhouse effect and combating global warming.

2.    We have also decided to observe Meatless Mondays in our house. This will reduce our carbon footprint because the raising of livestock generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Liz posted some great "meatless Monday" recipes on the website this week, for families who would like to try this, too. I can testify to how delicious they are!

3.    We will keep trying to use less water, running the dishwasher only when it’s full, doing laundry in cold water only when we have a full load, and (this is the hardest part) taking shorter showers (but not with cold water, some things are just too difficult). 

4.    And (Liz is particularly excited about this), we are building a butterfly garden, to provide a habitat for these beautiful creatures! 

I am too, because my new book BUTTERFLIES is coming out soon. I’m constantly trying to photograph butterflies and I hope our new garden will attract many different kinds of these beautiful flyers.

On the left is a photograph of the spot, currently overgrown, that we are going to clean out and plant. We will post more photos over the spring and summer, as our butterfly habitat comes to life. 

I would like to hear from all you readers of my Seymour Science blog about what you are doing to reduce their impact on Earth’s resources. A big group of you contributed to Friday’s story, telling us what you are doing to reduce your carbon footprints. Your commitment to our planet Earth and your promises are inspiring!

Now, how about Humble, Texas students? We spent time together in January, and I KNOW that you all care about the environment! Click on "Comments," at the bottom of this story, and tell me what you are going to do, not only in honor of Earth Day, but ongoing.  We will publish all your comments in one big article at the end of Earth Week, to recognize your efforts and inspire other readers to do the same.

 

Do you need some help to get you started? Some ideas about what you can do to help our environment? Some of my earlier articles, like this story on Global Warming, or another one called "Earth by the Numbers" both have lots of simple ideas for things you can do to make our planet home a greener place.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(16) Comments  •   Labels: Teachers and Librarians, Kids comments, Earth Day 2011, Gardening   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 15, 2011

        Earth Day is one week from today, Friday, April 22. The theme this year is "A Billion Acts of Green" - designed to prove that if we all take action in our daily lives, real change can occur.

 

Starting this Sunday, we are going to have an entire week of coverage of Earth Week. We will tell you about what we are doing here at Seymour Science to contribute our own "acts of green".....and we are going to ask you to tell us what you are doing in your own homes, schools and communities.

Churchville Sixth Graders - maybe you could write and tell us about how you used the carbon footprint calculator, and what some of your "Earth Pledges" were? 

Earth, Our Planet in Space, is our home. Please join us this year in showing how much we care about it.

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(10) Comments  •   Labels: Kids comments, Earth Day 2011   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 28, 2011

This week I received letters from Chonlatorn S. and Alejandro D., both students at Rue Elementary School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They had just read my book, ANIMALS NOBODY LOVES, and they were writing to defend the octopus, coyote, and other animals they think should not be in this book because they are not dangerous to humans. Chanlatorn wrote: "When skunks are in danger they will spray on you. They don’t bite you." I agree with both of these readers that no one needs to be afraid of these animals. In fact, that is one of the reasons I wrote the book!

Let me tell you about two Texas students I met last month who really go to extraordinary lengths to teach other students about "animals that nobody loves." Courtney (14) and Erik (12) are homeschooled, and I met them when they came to one of my presentations at a local school. This sister and brother work with an entomologist (pronounced en-toh-MAH-loh-gist, a scientist who specializes in the study of insects) and have started their own business, called NOT SO CREEPY CRITTERS. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtney and Erik, pictured above, told me that this all started because they wanted to help other kids get over feelings of arachnophobia (ah-RACK-no-FO-bia, meaning "fear of spiders"). Spiders do much more good than harm, eating insects that damage crops and other plants. And as Courtney and Erik have learned, some of them even make interesting pets!

This brother and sister team do presentations in classrooms and at kid events, and they introduce their audience to a wide variety of "not so creepy creatures." Their traveling menagerie of live creatures includes 4 colorful tarantulas, 2 different scorpion species, Bearded Dragon, centipede, a snake, Leopard Gecko, Blue-Tongued Skink, Peppered Roaches and Madagascar Hissing Roaches! Last summer they wrote a book, and they are working hard to continue growing their business. They tell me that fainting goats and chickens are next on their list!

Courtney and Eric are well-mannered, dedicated defenders of creepy critters, and they have also built a very informative and interesting website. Check out the section called Arachnids for lots of fascinating spider photographs, and Critter Facts, where you are challenged to decide whether a statement is a fact, or simply an opinion.

 

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, School Visits, Spiders, Insects, Facts and Fables, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 25, 2011

I very much enjoyed my Skype session this morning with some of the students at Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. They have been studying non-fiction writing, and 20 students were well-prepared with good questions. Nice job, and a great way to start my day!

I thought I’d share one of the answers with you. A student asked me: if I had not become a writer, what would I have done?

 

Thinking back to my studies, I always loved science. I fell in love with space first, and then animals. In college, I studied Behavioral Psychology, which is really the study of animal behaviors. If I had it to do all over again, I think I would have become a marine biologist. This is probably why I have written so many books about whales, sharks, dolphins, and even keeping saltwater aquariums!

 

I like doing Skype sessions because they allow me to connect with more students. I get many more requests for school visits than I can accept, as I need to spend at least some time at my desk, researching and writing books! If you are interested in booking me for a Skype session with your school, click on this link on my website to put in your request.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Becoming a writer, Sharks, School Visits, Dolphins, Oceans, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 3, 2011

A reader named Emily C. wrote today with a question about my book, NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T. Emily asked:

Why don’t I understand some of the stuff in your book? It’s confusing.

 

Ahhh….welcome to the world of Optical Illusions! These pictures are a sort of riddle for your eyes. Some people see one thing when they look at a picture, other people look at the exact same picture and see something totally different. Of course, I don’t want you to feel confused, but this book is designed to get you to look, think, look again, and then think some more. Think of it as a puzzle, and have fun with it.

 

Here is a simple example of an optical illusion. Which of these lines look longer to you, AB or CD? Most people would say that AB is longer. But, if you measure them with a ruler, you will see that they are each exactly the same length.

Try reading the book with someone else - your teacher, librarian, someone in your family, or a friend. It is fun when you each try to decipher each visual puzzle, and talk together about what you see. The more that you explore optical illusions, the more you will find that you can’t always believe your eyes!

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Kids comments, Optical Illusions   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 27, 2011

What a great time I had at Churchville Elementary School last week! The flurry of reading, writing and sharing by the students - which happened before, during and after my visit - was just wonderful!

 

Look at this great bulletin board done by sixth graders. They read my GLOBAL WARMING book, used a Carbon Footprint Calculator to determine their own impact on Earth’s atmosphere, and then wrote EARTH PLEDGES about their promises to change their own behavior to be better environmental citizens. Wonderful!

 

A student named Taylor F. wrote today to tell me that she has read almost all of my books that are in her library - FIFTY-SEVEN (57) books. Wow! Taylor!! You must be one of my biggest fans!

The comments and photographs are still coming in, including this one from a teacher and her son (a third-grader in the school).

Hi Mr. Simon!

Thank you so much for visiting Churchville! I am one of the third grade teachers there, and my son is a third grade student at Churchville as well!  When we got home, we were so excited to talk about your visit!  We love your books and enjoy reading them!  

On a side note, yesterday was our dog’s 10th birthday!  Ethan wanted to share this picture of our dog, Maveric, with you! 

Thank you again,

Tara and Ethan

 

Maveric is a beautiful dog, isn’t he?

I also received this letter from Mrs. Gorgol. Gail is the librarian at the school, and it is largely due to her efforts, along with Library Assistant Leslie Mulreaney, that the kids and I had such a great time exploring to the ends of the universe and learning about the animals that we each love the most!! Here is the beautiful letter she wrote.

Dear Seymour,

Your engaging website has been a rich resource for our students to learn about science. They have been reading your blog posts at school and at home and many have made personal connections to what they read. As a result of those connections, they were inspired to write comments of their own, send you photos, ask you questions and enter your contests. They did research and conducted a survey. They were excited to see their work published so quickly on your website and shared with a wide audience of readers across the country. This experience has been invaluable for our students as readers, writers and learners. We look forward to continuing to use your website to enrich our exploration and understanding of the fascinating world of science.

Sincerely, Gail Gorgol / Librarian / Churchville Elementary School 

 

I think that I am the one who should say "thank you" to everyone at Churchville Elementary. You really know how to make an author feel welcome! I loved spending time with you all.

Seymour Simon

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Dogs, Teachers and Librarians, Pets, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 23, 2011

       

Seymour Simon has cats on his mind, and he wants to know if you can find this little known fact: WHAT DO YOU CALL A GROUP OF CATS?

Hint: Seymour has written about this somewhere on the Seymour Science blog.

Prize: Post your comment here, and one person who has given the right answer will be selected in a random drawing to win a personally autographed copy of Seymour Simon’s book, CATS!

Enter today for your chance to win!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: Animal Books, Cats, Contests, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 16, 2011

           

Recently, Mr. K’s fifth grade class in Churchville, Pennsylvania read my book DOGS and created a poll about kids’ favorite dogs. That led to three weeks of students writing about their favorite dogs. We even ran a dog-related contest one snowy day in January.

 

I think it is time for cat lovers to have their say! Write and tell us about your favorite cat and why you love him or her.

Here’s an interesting, little known fact about cats to get you started: Scientists have discovered that a cat’s purr can coax its owner into giving them what they want by using a special noise that the human brain can’t ignore. According to the study, cats’ subliminal ‘feed me’ messages are disguised as ordinary purrs but have a high-pitched element that makes a human react as if it is an emergency, just like the cry of a baby.

Cats are highly intelligent animals. But you cat-lovers already knew that, didn’t you?

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(11) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cats, Pets, Kids comments   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 15, 2011

A Pennsylvania student named Marissa wrote this week with an unusual question. "I was wondering, what is your favorite fish? Mine is the Blobfish."

 

I happen to love fish. My favorite fish is known as "The Ram." Its scientific name is Epistograma ramarezi, and it is a dwarf cichlid. Cichlids (pronounced SIH-clid) are freshwater fish found in the tropical Americas, Africa and Asia, somewhat similar to our North American sunfish. The ram is a beautiful little fish that swims around with a great deal of determination. It is gorgeous when it is in breeding condition - a sparkly blue and red. I used to have tropical aquariums and I bred these fish and sold them. So now you know that I really like fish!

If you want to see Marissa’s favorite, the blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus), you can find a photo in my Science Dictionary under the definition of DEEP.....which might tell you something about where these very unusual creatures live!

  

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, School Visits, Oceans, Kids comments, Science Dictionary   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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