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Bay Area Discovery Museum Blog

Play, discover, create!


Happy Noon Year!

As you walk into the entry pavillion here at the Museum you will often times be met by the smiling face of our charming Membership and Front Desk Manager, Jessica Horowitz.  Affectionately referred to as Jess by most, she has brought a fabulous sense of fun and whimsy here.  Her bright eyed enthusiasm is exemplified by her newest gem of an idea "Noon Year's Eve." I asked Jess what inspired the idea for a kid firendly New Year's celebration, to which she replied, "Kids never make it to midnight.  This way they get to celebrate! Besides, it's probably New Year's somewhere right?" And what pray-tell will kids do at the celebration?  I'm glad you asked.  There will be noise maker making, a party hat craft, and bubble wrap popping.  Don't miss the magical glittering ball drop (including beach balls) preceded by the requisite countdown to noon. The Museum will be closing at 2 PM tomorrow so come early and stay for the fun.  See you there! Thursday, December 31, noon Drop-in, no RSVP required. continue reading

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Museum

 

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Celebrate Kwanzaa throughout the Museum on December 26 with art projects inspired by the African continent and a Kwanzaa altar in the Museum’s Entry Pavilion. Renowned jazz drummer E. W. Wainwright and his ensemble, The African Roots of Jazz, take us on a musical journey that traces African-American musical forms, such as jazz, gospel, and spirituals, from their earliest beginnings in African cultures to today. The program features instrumental music, songs, theater, and audience participation.   See E.W. Waiwright speaking about his youth programs in the video above. Saturday, December 26
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free Museum admission and performances!
The African Roots of Jazz
11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Discovery Theatre, presented by Wells Fargo
Please obtain your free performance ticket at the Front Desk prior to entering the theatre.There are a limited number for each show, and only ticket holders can be allowed into the theater. continue reading

The Good Job Syndrome


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I’m gonna be honest.  I can hear every single word from Tot Spot which is directly under my desk.  And do you know what phrase I hear more than anything?  “Good job!”  The habit is part of a syndrome I’ve noticed a lot of grown-ups seem to have, and I’d love to see it evolve into really meaningful praise which supports intrinsic motivation in young children. We’ve been talking about intrinsic motivation upstairs in the Education Department ever since our recent visit to the magical Roseville Community Preschool where they take a very hands-off approach to early childhood education.  Bev Bos, who directs and teaches at the school, has written for the last 30 years about her belief in fostering independence in young children.  I saw Bev speak a couple months ago and she said something that really blew my mind, “I never ask a child to tell me about their art.”  For any ECE experts out there you know that this is a common alternative to the utterly rejected “What is it?”  Bev’s take on it (and mine too now) is that if a child wants to tell you about what they’ve made, they definitely will.  If a child constantly receives input from adults for every task, they loose their intrinsic motivation and repeat the behavior in order to receive praise or attention. Above is a fabulous concrete example of praise tactics, based on scientific research, f... continue reading
Welcome to the sixth installment of our Online Book Club, featuring NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time, either here or on our Facebook page. We’ll cover the 10 chapters one at a time over the next few weeks. We welcome your thoughts and personal experiences in the comments. If you have a question you’d like to ask of the authors, either include it in the comments or email Jennifer at jcaleshu(at)badm.org and she’ll pass it along. Chapter 6: The Sibling Effect. Freud was wrong. Shakespeare was right. Why siblings really fight. Did you know that only-child households are now more common than two-child families? Fortunately for me, as mom of 2, this chapter doesn't dwell too long on the differences between only-children and others. Fortunately, because most of the chapter is about the perennial question, "How can I get my kids to be nice to each other!?!" Observational studies show that young siblings clash for about 10 minutes of every hour - exhausting for them and for their parents.  And it turns out sibling ... continue reading

Hip Kid's Music Series: Octopretzel


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This Saturday, December 5 at 11 a.m., join us for the final show in our Hip Kid's Music Series - a lively performance by Museum favorite Octopretzel! Octopretzel’ s show is as exuberant as their whimsical name. The band creates engaging music that inspires curiosity, wonder and appreciation for the magical world we live in. Their blend of four-part harmony and skilled musicianship, guarantees a danceable, singable and super fun experience for kids of all ages. Visit Octopretzel at octopretzel.com. “Both of my kids are crazy about Octopretzel, and it has quickly become the classroom favorite at my daughter’s pre-school. The teachers can’t believe the positive effect the upbeat and playful music is having on the children.
-Dr. Jenni Joyner, founder of the Center for Creative Psychology and “Circle of Friends” Buy tickets online: Members $5; General Child $10; General Adult $12 (includes Museum admission) continue reading
Welcome to the fifth installment of our Online Book Club, featuring NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time, either here or on our Facebook page. We’ll cover the 10 chapters one at a time over the next few weeks. We welcome your thoughts and personal experiences in the comments. If you have a question you’d like to ask of the authors, either include it in the comments or email Jennifer at jcaleshu(at)badm.org and she’ll pass it along. Chapter 5: The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten. Millions of kids are competing for seats in gifted programs and private schools. Admissions officers say it's an art; new science says they're wrong, 73% of the time. Living in Marin, it's clear the race for "the right school" starts very early. Getting in the "right" preschool feels like a predictor for the "right" private elementary school, then high school, and of course college. The research presented here shows that the tests often used to choose who can have the privilege of going to the "right" school are flawed. The tests only seem to show intelligence at that moment (and I'd debate the validity of IQ tests the... continue reading
Welcome to the fourth installment of our Online Book Club, featuring NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time, either here or on our Facebook page. We’ll cover the 10 chapters one at a time over the next few weeks. We welcome your thoughts and personal experiences in the comments. If you have a question you’d like to ask of the authors, either include it in the comments or email Jennifer at jcaleshu(at)badm.org and she’ll pass it along. Chapter 4: Why Kids Lie. We may treasure honesty, but the research is clear. Most classic strategies to promote truthfulness just encourage kids to be better liars. While there are parenting implications of this chapter, I am most struck with the opening about how adults are absolutely no good at determining if a child is lying. To me, this is much more interesting a problem for society than trying to figure out if my particular children lie, and how to get them to tell the truth. Of course, I don't yet have a teenager, and my 4-year-old is just starting to test out his ability to lie - so check back with me in a few years and see if I care more then! But I guess I'm not surprised by the research that all children lie - I am surprised that it seems there is no expertise for determining t... continue reading
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