Wednesday, February 6

BOOK REPORT: president's day booklist for kids

President's Day may not rank high on your kid's list of the most looked-forward-to holidays of the year, but that's no reason to let it pass unnoticed.  President's Day is a great excuse to learn a little more about the highest office in the land and about all of the colorful characters who have held the esteemed position of President. Here are some of our favorite presidential reads with reviews from School Library Journal.

by Catherine Stier
Kindergarten-Grade 2
A simple explanation of the diverse duties of the president of the United States. Beginning with campaign speeches and posters, six children of varied racial backgrounds take turns posing as the president while providing information about the rewards and responsibilities of the position. Touching briefly on various topics including the White House, Congress, the creation of laws, the cabinet, veto power, Air Force One, and the Secret Service, Stier introduces the day-to-day activities of the commander in chief. 

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought)
by Kathleen Krull
Grade 4-8
Who says biography can't be authoritative and fun at the same time? This briskly written book presents our presidents as human beings first, figureheads second. Krull asserts that her intent was to look "at our leaders with a cool, contemporary eye, respectful but definitely nosy." She succeeds admirably. This is the perfect antidote to encyclopedia articles and standard collective biographies. Krull is factual, but her writing has pizzazz and her details bring the heads of state to life. The most coverage is given to modern presidents and the best known leaders of the past, but for almost any of the 42 men, tidbits of information contain insight.

by Hanoch Piven
Grade 2-6
Beginning with its wordplay title, this book exhibits Piven's flair for creativity and whimsy. Focusing on 17 U.S. presidents, each single- or double-page entry begins with the same phrase ("Presidents are made of…"), includes an interesting anecdote showing the human side of that individual, and presents a collage caricature made of inventive bits of realia that extend the metaphors suggested in the text. For example, George Washington is "…made of good deeds." The narrative recounts how he helped extinguish a neighborhood fire at age 67. His "portrait" has eyes made of small resin-coated American flags that reflect enough light to make them twinkle. The last spread has official portraits of all the presidents, their birth and death dates, and their years in office. 
Grade 5-9
This skillfully abridged and adapted edition of O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln (Holt, 2011) retains the format of the adult title with brief chapters written in a present tense, "you are there" style. It opens in the often-chaotic closing days of the Civil War, capturing the jubilation following Lee's surrender, the events of Lincoln's last days, and Booth's obsessive hatred of Lincoln and his conspiracy to assassinate him. It then describes the shooting and Lincoln's final hours and death, the manhunt for Booth and his allies, Booth's death, and the speedy trial and execution of his co-conspirators. This thriller-like adaptation captures the excitement of the Union victory in the Civil War and the shock and horror that quickly followed as the country learned of Lincoln's death and sought revenge on his assassins. 

Grade 4-8
What stands out in this volume is the writing, which presents history as an engaging and informative story. Hollihan opens the narrative with a focus on asthmatic “Teedie.” His efforts to strengthen his body are accompanied by a list of bodybuilding activities. Following the chronology of Roosevelt's life, a positive picture emerges of the man and his family, his rise to fame, and his impact on history. Activities include making a journal, building a diorama, “hunting” with a camera, and even making a dessert based on Roosevelt's insult that McKinley had “no more backbone than a chocolate ├ęclair.” The projects are interesting and accessible, with cautions to keep an adult nearby when necessary. Numerous black-and-white photos, insets, political cartoons, and illustrations break the text into manageable and interesting bits.

Image from
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, February 4

HOW TO discover your child's learning style

Each child is unique.  It's something that parents know by heart.  Sometimes, however, we assume that "one size fits all" when it comes to how we educate children.  Fairmont Private Schools works to identify children's academic talents and aptitudes during the admissions process so we can place them appropriately and ensure their success.  Beyond the initial assessment, Fairmont's teachers are trained to individualize and differentiate classroom learning so lessons appeal to a wide variety of learners.

Is your child an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner? There's probably no clear-cut answer   since most kids are an ever-evolving mixture of the three (with wild cards added in just for fun). For example, I'd call my active oldest son a kinesthetic/visual learner who hates sitting still, yet he'll read well into the night about dry topics such as ancient Rome--go figure!  Once again, children defy definition, but it does help to understand their leanings when it comes to learning.  Here's a breakdown of the different learning styles and their definitions provided by

Auditory learners prefer listening to explanations over reading them and may like to study by reciting information aloud. This type of learner may want to have background music while studying, or they may be distracted by noises and need a quiet space to study.

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and touching. They may have trouble sitting still while studying, and they are better able to understand information by writing it down or doing hands-on activities.

Visual learners process new information by reading, looking at graphics, or watching a demonstration. Children with this learning style can grasp information presented in a chart or graph, but they may grow impatient listening to an explanation.

Think you have your child's learning style pinpointed?  Just for fun, here's a quiz to see if you're right.

Image by Blue Mango provided by

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Friday, February 1

FRIDAY FOLDER february 1

Highlights From This Week
Re-Enroll for Fairmont's 60th Year 
The 2013/2014 school year marks Fairmont's 60th year of providing quality education. Fairmont Private School was founded in 1953 by Kenneth Holt, and we are so excited to celebrate our 60th Anniversary with you! We encourage you to return your completed re-enrollment contract to your campus Admissions Director by February 22 to guarantee your child's place for this special year. As always, we thank you for being part of our Fairmont family! 

North Tustin Cheerleaders Shine in Competition
On Sunday, January 27th, the Fairmont North Tustin Cheer team competed in the CA State Championships. The competition took place at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, CA. The squad has been working hard with practices three times a week. Their dedication and teamwork helped to pull off a great routine that won them 2nd place in the Elementary School cheer division. Their coaches, Blaire Bradley and Joanna Yujuico, along with their parents and family are very proud of the team! The cheer team will soon be heading to Orlando, Florida for Universal Cheer Association's National Competition on February 8-11. Good Luck!

Scholar Search OC 
Sunday, February 24 10am-5pm
We invite Fairmont parents and prospective parents to take part in the Orange County Scholar Search Educational Forum being held at Fairmont Preparatory Academy this February.  Fairmont has partnered with the Scholar Search Associates to co-host this special event.
To make reservations for the Forum go to the Anaheim Forum page on the Scholar Search site and click on "Reserve Your Spaces" located on the blue horizontal menu bar.

Wednesday, January 30

ARTS & CRAFTS valentine craft round-up

Valentine's Day is a crafty gals excuse to let loose!  Every year I love gathering up supplies (lace doilies, heart shaped stickers, construction paper, glue sticks, glitter...) and sitting down with my kids for an afternoon of Valentine card making. There's nothing quite like a homemade card creation and a gift straight from the heart is especially appropriate to celebrate a holiday that's all about love.  Here are some of our favorite Valentine crafts from Fairmont's Pinterest boards.  Don't forget to follow Fairmont on Pinterest for pins related to educational content, parenting support, holiday inspiration and more.

Image from artist Susan Farrington
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, January 28

THE FAIRMONT FIVE playdate ideas for all ages

Every child (and parent) loves a playdate. But even when a friend comes over, those dreaded words, "we're bored" will probably still be said at least once. Here are five playdate ideas to keep the boredom at bay.

1. For your preschool age playdate try playing Sit-Down Dance: Start some child friendly music and when the music is paused the kids have to scramble to find a seat (the floor counts). Someone can always find a seat so no one ever gets out. You can also invite some stuffed-animal dance partners to join in.

2. If your child is a little older try a Nerf gun playdate where everyone brings their favorite Nerf gun. But before the fun starts set ground rules such as no shooting others in the face, and have clear boundaries where shooting is allowed. Have plastic cup towers set up with action figures perfect for shooting down or just let them loose in the backyard. Be sure to have time-outs for finding Nerf bullets and reloading. 

3. Get ready for Valentines Day by having a valentine making playdate. Set up your table with paper, scissors, glitter, glue, stickers and anything you would want to put on your valentines. Encourage kids to bring special craft supplies that they would like to share. 

4. With our beautiful weather, an outdoor playdate is almost always possible. Get out in the sunshine with a scavenger hunt. Have the kids create their own list or find inspiration here.  

5. Create an "I am..." board. Older kids will love making collages about themselves. Get out your stack of old magazines and have the kids cut out and glue pictures and words that describe them or what they want to be. 

Image from Tiny Prints

Contributed by Darcy, Fairmont Private Schools 

Friday, January 25

FRIDAY FOLDER january 25

Visiting Korean students share a cooking demonstration about Korean cuisine

Highlights From This Week
Korean Student Visitors Present a Cooking Demo 
For the past two weeks we have had nine students from Korea at the Anaheim Hills campus.  These third and fourth graders have come here for an English Immersion Program.  They attend English school in Korea on Saturdays and we were so surprised to hear how wonderfully they spoke English!  They learned about American culture with their specialized teacher and tutor during their visit.  They lived with parents from our school during the two weeks and learned about the American family dynamic!  During their visit they visited Sea World and Disneyland and thoroughly enjoyed spending time on our campus.
On Tuesday they absolutely delighted us with a presentation about Korean cooking and traditions.  Each student stood up and spoke in perfect English about Kimchi and Jung, how to make it, and the importance of it in Korean culture!  At their school in Korea they have a large garden and grow many vegetables and herbs.  They had grown the cabbage for the Kimchi and prepared it at home in Korea and then transported it over to the US for their cooking demonstration.
While they have been visiting us, the students have had lunch and PE with our Fairmont students to get to know them.  It has been a wonderful experience for everyone.  On Wednesday they visited Mrs. Cornish's fourth grade classroom while she taught a science lesson about circuits.  It was so fantastic to see them making circuits afterwards.  They were all so proud when the lights on their circuits lit up!

Scholar Search OC 
Sunday, February 24 10am-5pm
We invite Fairmont parents and prospective parents to take part in the Orange County Scholar Search Educational Forum being held at Fairmont Preparatory Academy this February.  Fairmont has partnered with the Scholar Search Associates to co-host this special event.
To make reservations for the Forum go to the Anaheim Forum page on the Scholar Search site and click on "Reserve Your Spaces" located on the blue horizontal menu bar.

Special Academic Counseling Opportunity for 8th Graders 
Mrs. Weems, the 9th grade Academic Counselor for 2013-14 incoming freshman at Fairmont Prep, will be on site our 8th grade campuses for one day each in January. (January 29 at Historic Anaheim, January 30 at the Anaheim Hills Campus, and January 31 at the North Tustin Campus) Parents who sign up in advance for a 45-minute appointment will be able meet one-on-one with Mrs. Weems to create their student's Prep Four-Year High School to College Plan. Mrs. Weems will have the student's transcripts at the meeting, so she can suggest the best and most individualized course of study.

For those interested in the Medical Magnet or Engineering Magnet, an appointment with Mr. Prado, the Magnet Counselor is advised. Mr. Prado will be happy to schedule 45-minute appointments with those Fairmont 8th grade parents who contact him directly. Email Mr. Prado directly to meet with him at the Prep. His email address is

Please sign up for your time with Mrs. Weems at the front desk of your campus. Space is limited for this special opportunity. 

Wednesday, January 23

SNACK TIME sip some soup

January is National Hot Soup Month
Even though we live in Southern California, who doesn’t enjoy a hot cup of soup on a cool winter’s day? Served as an appetizer or as the main meal, this savory liquid can satisfy a hearty appetite or provide sustenance for a tiny appetite. Clear like broth or thick like stew, soup is easy to prepare and versatile--plus it’s good for you.
Every country in the world has soup recipes and family traditions from long ago. Here are some fun soup facts:
  • Soup can be dated back to about 6000 B.C. and was first made of hippopotamus. Wow!
  • The word “soup” is of Sanskrit origin and is derived from the words, “su” and “po”, which means "good nutrition."
  • Americans sip over 10 BILLION bowls of soup every single year! That's a lot of soup!
Forget the spoon and sip directly from a mug or colorful bowl. Enjoy your soup, hot or cold and pass the crackers, please. For kid-friendly soup recipes, visit Fairmont's Pinterest Board.

Image with recipe from

Contributed by Leslie Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Management Services