Greetings from Dr. Nana!

My monthly newsletter shares the latest happenings at the Indian Gap Goat Ranch and
Indian Gap Press. I will also include a special "Kid Tip" to help adults teach
children about literacy, mathematics or economics through real life
experiences. Please forward my newsletter to your children or grandchildren, or
anyone else that you think might be interested in the "Kid Tip". I also hope you
will forward my newsletter to someone else who might be interested in learning
about my books, our goats and ranch, or my availability as a speaker. Simply
click on the Forward to a Friend button at the end of this
Book News

Since publication in 2011, Nana's Silly Goats has sold nearly 1000
copies. Bully Goat to the Rescue, published in 2012, has sold
approximately 500 copies. This is really exciting! Thank you for your

Goat News

We currently have a herd of 18 goats who continue to consume our weeds and
brush. Breeding season is now completed, and we hope there will be 3 or 4
pregnant does giving birth in late April or early May. Don't forget that we
welcome visitors!

Speaker News

In late January, I returned to Whittier Elementary School in Boulder to
share writing tips with students.

February 6, I will be presenting at the Colorado Chapter of the
International Reading Association conference in Denver.

Kid Tip

Be an effective partner in your child's education. Would you like to give your child or
grandchild a gift that "counts"? The lowly piggy bank will do the job, and teach
some basic mathematics and economics.

Money does not just "appear" from a slot in a wall. That is what many children now experience when
Mom and Dad go to the automatic teller machine.
Saving coins and then depositing those coins teaches children that you must put money "in" the bank before you can take money "out" of the bank. So, from their earliest years,
begin to have your children put spare coins in a piggy bank (or jars, or whatever is on hand). When the jar is full, deposit that money in the real bank with your child watching.

For preschoolers, let them sort (under close supervision) the coins by color and shape. Put the pennies in
one jar, the nickels in another jar, and so on. Actually handling (no, not mouthing) coins is a much better way to teach coin names and differences than teaching from "fake" coins or pictures of coins that are the norm for

For kindergarten and first grade children, let them push one coin at a time into the jar. "Count on" by the
coin value such as 1, 2, 3 for pennies; 5, 10, 15 for nickels; 10, 20, 30 for dimes. You are teaching counting by 1's, 5's and 10's and at the same time establishing one-to-one correspondence concepts. The latter means that you can
only say one number for one coin. You cannot, for example, touch the penny once and say 1, 2. This is an early developing concept and a critical one. For older children, adding and multiplying is a natural "next step". Don't forget to include the conceptual words of "more" and "less" when comparing amounts.

Another concept taught by handling coins is "equivalence". Five pennies equals or is equivalent to one
nickel. Five nickels is equivalent to one quarter.
For late elementary and
middle school students, reinforce fraction and decimal concepts. One penny = 1 cent = 1/100 of a dollar = .01. One quarter is one-quarter or ¼ of a dollar. The equivalent amount is 25 cents or .25.

The concept of saving is so important, and one our recent economic experience shows is sadly lacking in many
U.S. homes today. Over and over, let your children experience the need to save first, and spend later.

Hope this helps!

Nancy Lee Mervar
Author of Children's Goat Tales