Wednesday, February 27

Rock On With High Frequency Words


I always forget about YouTube on the educational side of things for kids, but this song is pretty rockin’. A fun way to get them to recognize sight words without trying too hard! The people who made this video also have others I’ll have to check out!


One of my very favorite blogs for families learning together is icanteachmychild.com. I just found another great post on there, this time about finding quality children’s literature. Hope you have a chance to read it here:

http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2012/05/childrens-literature-how-to-find-a-good-book/

Use Good Reads for Book Suggestions


I recently discovered that goodreads.com has a great area for children’s books. I have only ever used them for keeping track of the adult books that I’ve read. In a quick search, I found a list of popular easy readers – http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/easy-readers. So if you’re ever out of ideas for new authors or books, check it out!

Haley, the author of the blog carrotsformichaelmas.com, put together a fun list of children’s books if you need some inspiration! I say bring the list with you the next time you go to the library or share with a grandparent when they’re asking what your child wants for her birthday.

http://carrotsformichaelmas.com/2012/06/03/20-picture-books-that-will-delight-your-children-and-that-wont-annoy-you/

Give Old Books a Good Home

Masons Ftrd Home


This is a sad and sobering statistic – 61% of children who live in poverty have no books in their homes. That’s right, zero. It’s hard for me to even comprehend a house with no books. Another depressing statistic – by age three, children living in poverty have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers who do not live in poverty.

I’m sure there are many organizations who try to help solve this problem, but two good ones that I know of are Raising a Reader (raisingareader.org) and locally in Los Angeles we have BookEnds.org. You can actually donate to either cause or you can mail or drop off some of your old books to BookEnds. They have all the details on their website. What a great way to teach your child about giving and sharing a love of reading with others!


Endless Alphabet - Fabulous Free App!!

B and I just played Endless Alphabet for the first time on the iPad. It’s hilarioius because they make the little letters into monsters who make their sounds each in a unique way. The thing I really like is that it’s incorporating spelling, phonics, and vocabulary together. They pick unusual words and then demonstrate their meaning. Parents also love that the sounds aren't annoying. Very cool and you can’t beat the price! Here’s another review of it: http://ipadinsight.com/best-free-ipad-apps-2/best-free-ipad-app-of-the-week-endless-alphabet/


Wet Dry Try App

Oh, I’m so excited to try this app with my son. It’s by Handwriting Without Tears, an excellent program for teaching handwriting to your child. They have so many great things, but here’s the link to their new app – http://wetdrytry.com/ It makes handwriting multisensory. The app replicates drawing on a chalkboard three different ways. The brilliant part is that it gets harder and they can earn stars like on Angry Birds. So smart! I’ll let you know how B likes it. Update: I like it a bunch! Not the most exciting app on the planet, but really great for consistent, appropriate handwriting practice. B found it very easy to use, too!

Handwriting Paper


I love DJ Inkers for their fonts and computer clipart, but now I love them for their free downloadable handwriting paper. http://www.djinkers.com/photo_gallery.php?pid=233

Great Parent Websites

Detectives and Explorers
I have been exploring the readingrockets.org website. They have some great app suggestions and other fun things! I just learned that they also have a sister site just for parents called startwithabook.org. They have all of these great themes to click on like “Bugs, Birds, & Animals,” “The Night Sky,” and “Time & Time Travel.” For each theme, they’ve designed an activity packet with suggestions for what books to read. A great summer vacation project or something to use when your kids are passionate about a certain subject or learning new things!

Another good website to check out is ReadWriteThink.org. They are run by the International Reading Association, so you know what they recommend is research-based. I like that they have everything organized by grade level. Plus, there are games and printouts!

Sunday, February 24

Fabulous Book for Parents

Jenae Jacobson has read my mind and written the same book I would have written on this topic. It is very user-friendly and a fast read. You can even buy it as an e-book for your Kindle or computer! Click on the picture to be taken to her store.

cover1

Great Parent Resources for Raising a Reader and Writer



For Getting Books


Your Library (also good for audiobooks on CD)
Scholastic Book Orders (usually given out by teachers-affordable and good easy readers)
Store.scholastic.com (if you can’t get a book order from a teacher, go here)
Bookworm.com (organized by top lists and age level plus they have deals and discounts frequently)
LA Kids Consignment Sale (visit lakidsconsignment.com for next sale)
Used Book Sales at Libraries
Used Book Stores/$1 Book Stores
Garage Sales


Websites:
I Can Teach My Child to Read – can print e-book of I Can Teach My Child to Read from here, good activities for little ones
Pioneer Valley Books – Their leveled reading assessment can help you determine your child’s reading level, provide examples of each level, books for purchase
Center for Early Literacy Learning – provides free guides and videos for parents
ReadingA-Z.com and its sister sites like Reading-Tutors.com – print free samples of leveled books, alphabet pages, read articles, or join for a yearly fee
TeachersPayTeachers – search by topic (sight words, alphabet, etc.) for excellent activities and lessons created by teachers – some free and some for a minimal fee
FamilyReading.org – book lists, suggestions for family activities
ReadingRockets.org great resource for parents, top app lists, plus activities for kids
TumbleBooks – quality animated books read aloud and read along books (click on Children’s section, click on the right on “Websites & Research,” then scroll down to the bottom where you can click on the TumbleBooks icon. This connects you to the site for free)
StarFall.com – recommended by Burbank teachers for kids going into Kindergarten – okay for word work, beware the strong focus on sounding out everything
PBS – great resources for parents and activities for kids
FirstStepReading.com – free videos good for alphabet sounds and sight words
KindergartenKindergarten.com – Great Kindergarten teacher blog where you can print your own easy readers
• Author Websites – Children’s authors have amazing websites. Check out Mem Fox, Jan Brett, Tomie dePaola, Rosemary Wells and Eric Carle for starters.


Videos/TV Shows that Enhance Literacy Skills
*Most available free at your library, pbs.com, or hulu.com
Word World
Leap Frog Letter Factory Video
Between the Lions
Martha Speaks
Sesame Street (pre-reading)
Meet the Sight Words Videos


Good Literacy Apps (found in the app store for tablets or your phone)
iCanWrite
iWriteWords
Kids Writing Pad
Sentence Builder
Toontastic
Alpha Writer
Ready to Print
Clifford’s BE Big with Words
Montessori Crosswords
Word Wagon by Duck Duck Moose
Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion
Simplex Spelling with Reverse Phonics
Preposition Builder
The Electric Company Wordball
Shape-O ABC’s
Starfall ABCs
Story Patch
C is for Cow
Dr. Suess’s ABC
Intro to Letters
Alphabetic
Pictello
Bob Books
FirstWords Deluxe
Licking Letters
Pogg – Spelling & Verbs
TeachMe: Kindergarten
Word Magic
Alphabetic Order
Interactive Alphabet