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Jerdine Nolen

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By Kellie Woodhouse | February 2, 2012
The idea for Jerdine Nolen's first book sprang from an uneventful summer afternoon almost 25 years ago spent scrubbing the toilet. “I was cleaning my bathroom, and this little voice said, 'Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed,' ” Nolen, 58, recalls as she sits barefoot at her Ellicott City kitchen table sipping tea. “That was the thought that floated up to me. I had no idea what it was attached to, but when you explore through your...
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By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | February 9, 2012
Children's book author Jerdine Nolen remembers the first time she saw her name in print. As a second-grader, she wrote a Thanksgiving poem that was published in the school newspaper, and she kept her eyes glued to the pink publication while walking home. "It was really a moment to behold to see my name in print," said the special-education teacher at Mount Hebron High School, who has published about a dozen books and picture books. Her latest work, a novel titled "Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary," is one of five books nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work — Youth/Teens.
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By Jerdine Nolen | August 15, 1999
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores creative thinking and how to nurture it in children. Her column appears biweekly.You could say that almost any kind of thinking is thinking creatively. After all, someone had to create it or think it up. Thinking is a creative activity when one is allowed to be inventive. And when we allow thinking to flow over and elaborate on it, I call that creative thinking. One familiar use of constructive creative thinking, which teachers use a lot, is called brainstorming, brain teasers or brain stretching.
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By Kellie Woodhouse | February 2, 2012
The idea for Jerdine Nolen's first book sprang from an uneventful summer afternoon almost 25 years ago spent scrubbing the toilet. “I was cleaning my bathroom, and this little voice said, 'Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed,' ” Nolen, 58, recalls as she sits barefoot at her Ellicott City kitchen table sipping tea. “That was the thought that floated up to me. I had no idea what it was attached to, but when you explore through your...
NEWS
By Jerdine Nolen | September 26, 1999
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about ways to keep children safe as they venture back to school. Her column appears biweekly.By and large, the world is a safe place with good things and good people in it. We know that and must trust that in order to go on. We need to share these feelings with our children and teach them how to live in the world acting responsibly toward themselves and others.Keeping children safe is everyone's responsibility. Think about what you can do to help make our children safe.
NEWS
March 12, 2000
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores how to develop reading fluency. Her column appears biweekly. When we provide our children with a variety of quality experiences with good literature, they are able to become better thinkers while gaining fluency in reading and writing. We learn to write by writing. By writing, we learn. Developing fluency in reading comes from: Reading practice. Making predictions. Summarizing what was read. Making inferences and using sound reasoning to formulate ideas.
NEWS
December 5, 1999
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about reading and writing play materials and their important link to learning. Her column appears biweekly.Children learn about reading and writing in several ways. They watch adults, try out their own ideas, solve problems and figure out for themselves how spoken and written words are connected.Families can help by providing a place where children can read and write and by encouraging them to include reading and writing in their play activities.Here are some suggestions on what to put in that playful learning space:* Table (homemade or purchased, sized for young children)
NEWS
June 27, 1999
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores ways to occupy young minds during the summer. Her column appears biweekly.With your children, begin to think of ways to fill their unstructured hours during summer vacation. From these suggestions, make a list of ideas you like and post them in a prominent place for all to see. These projects are good ways to continue practicing skills learned during the academic year.Writing throughout the summer* Encourage your child to write letters throughout the summer to vacationing friends, grandparents or other relatives.
NEWS
September 12, 1999
Helping the student at homeEditor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about ways to nurture learning at home. Her column appears biweekly.Making sure our children have what they need for a successful school year is only half of it. Take a few moments to reflect on how the home environment can encourage and sustain learning.* Create a positive home environment that supports the school's efforts.* Make sure your children have the materials and supplies they need at school and at home.* Establish a quiet time for study each day.* Prepare a quiet place (with needed supplies)
NEWS
October 24, 1999
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today writes about activities for making reading, writing, thinking and listening connections. Her column appears biweekly.As vacation memories are stored away and we hunker down for the long trek through fall and winter, hold on to summer travel just a little bit longer. Try this activity with your children. It is a fun reading, writing, thinking, listening and creative activity rolled into one. If the weather is good, do it outside with chalk on the sidewalk.
NEWS
July 25, 2002
A NOTICE announcing Baltimore City schools' summer reading program arrived by mail last week, advertising both the district's good intentions and its bad timing. The letter calls on every city student to read six books before school resumes Sept. 3. Quick glance at the calendar: That's a book a week; get busy. The letter from Chief Academic Officer Cassandra W. Jones blames "mail delays" for the school system's failure to deliver summer reading kits to schools back in June, when students could have had a running start.
NEWS
February 24, 2002
Editor's Note: Jerdine Nolen delivers her final column today. Coming to the end of a good book can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you have been on a journey that deepens an awareness of the world and others. More important, you find out much more about yourself. On the other hand, the story is over. There is nothing left for the character to worry about, to do. Period. End of page. We close the book. Eventually, it gets put on the shelf. But that is not the end. If the author has done her job, the elements of the story (character, plot, conflict)
NEWS
February 10, 2002
Editor's Note: In her next-to-last column today, Jerdine Nolen writes a personal correspondence to her readers. Reading and writing are celebrations of the mind's ability to think. We are wired to search for and construct meaning from our environments. We strive to understand the most un-understandable things. Learning to speak, listen, read and write -- to become literate -- is the most important thing a person can ever do in his or her lifetime. It is by far the best ticket for success.
NEWS
January 13, 2002
Editor's note: Today Jerdine Nolen continues her back-to-the-basics series on reading and writing. Literacy development and growth happens only in the right environment. As parents, we must do all we can to encourage our children to become lifelong readers and writers. That means we must want that for ourselves as well. A commitment to being better readers and writers enriches our own lives and makes the world a better place. Reading aloud, speaking and listening to our children all are very potent ways to stimulate literacy.
NEWS
November 4, 2001
Editor's Note: Today Jerdine Nolen goes back to the basics and discusses why it's so important for parents to pass on the love of reading to their children. With everything that is going on in the world, now more than ever, reading and becoming a proficient reader are so very important for our children. Children who are read to and who read on their own generally do better in school. Reading allows them to open up to new subjects or ideas, which makes learning easier. Reading expands the mind and the imagination.
NEWS
October 21, 2001
Editor's Note: Jerdine Nolen goes back to the basics and reiterates why the Just for Parents column exists. When children become readers, the world opens up into something rich and wide. I would like to go back to the beginning of our conversations and think about ways to support our children toward achieving the goal of proficient reading. I have planned future articles that address many of the things we can do as parents to prepare our young ones as they make their place in the world and begin school.
NEWS
February 21, 1999
Editor's note: In her biweekly column, Jerdine Nolen today provides suggestions on how to support a reluctant reader or delayed communicator.There is no such thing as normal reading development. But by certain ages, there are certain expectations. If these expectations are not met, parents should find out why. Get help and support so you know what to do to help your child. Though it can be frustrating for all guardians concerned (teachers, parents, etc.) if the child is not reading, it's even more frustrating for your child.
NEWS
June 13, 1999
Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores ways to occupy young minds during the summer. Her column appears biweekly.Now is a good time to do constructive planning with your children, while the feeling of anticipation for ending the school year is in the air. With your children, begin to think of ways to fill the unstructured hours during those lazy summer vacation days. Make a list of ideas and post them in a prominent place. These projects are good ways to continue practicing skills gained or developed during the academic year.
NEWS
October 7, 2001
Editor's note: Today Jerdine Nolen develops a clear picture of how photos can enhance the reading experience. Photographs are snapshots in time that leave lasting impressions. Taking pictures of our children and their good works creates positive mental images to treasure for a lifetime. Capture fleeting moments, like your child doing his homework or when he and dad share a good book at bedtime. Don't forget to display the pictures - on the refrigerator, in scrapbooks or in handsome frames.
NEWS
June 17, 2001
Editor's Note: Today Jerdine Nolen presents an activity that doubles as a way to create a nice holiday gift. Children often like to make things to celebrate special days. For Father's Day, why not give him a book -- and a bookmark to go with it. Like books, bookmarks make wonderful gifts and convey certain sentiments. Materials to make the standard strip or corner bookmark * different kinds and colors of heavy paper * scissors * glue or tape * colored pens, pencils, markers * ruler * stickers, dried flowers, glitter, etc., for decorations * clear contact paper or laminate material Directions for the strip bookmark 1. Cut strips of heavy paper 2 to 3 inches wide and 7 to 8 inches long.
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