Archive for January, 2008

early literacy

For a basic review of early literacy, click here.

The early literacy concept of Print Awareness includes learning that reading and writing follow basic rules such as moving from top-to-bottom and left-to-right, and that written language is related to oral language.   An example of print awareness is a child’s ability to point to the words on the page of a book.  Print Awareness is a reliable predictor of future reading achievement.

Your child’s print awareness can be encouraged by pointing out and reading words everywhere you see them – on signs, labels, at the grocery store and post office.  Also, as you read to your child, occasionally point to the words on the page–this will show your child that the story that you are reading comes from the words on the page and not just the pictures.

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book review

Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

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Readers get three easy-to-read and deceptively simple stories in this one delightful book.   Best friends Dog and Bear have fun, conquer fears, and learn about compromises, all in amazingly few words, and with expressions that read as easily as the text.  Young readers will relate to the simplicity and familiarity of each story, while adults will find the pair’s gentle adventures humorous and sweet.  In one story, Dog decides to change his “boring” name, and comes up with all kinds of inappropriate possibilities.  Bear, doubtful about the name change, instead suggests the name “my best friend Dog”, which earns Dog’s enthusiastic approval.  But then Dog decides to shorten that name, to what else? “Dog”. 

The illustrations are simple, bold colors contained by thick black lines, surrounded by generous amounts of white space, all which combine to give the story an immediacy and energy.  Readers will love the animals’ extremely expressive faces.

Be sure to check this book out for your youngest readers.  (Lane Library info here)

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web review

http://www.storyplace.org/ 

Can’t make it to the library this week?  Visit a virtual kids library instead, StoryPlace.  Storyplace is full of stories and activities for preschoolers and school age children.  Click on the preschool library and you will see options for an online story and an online activity for three different themes, along with a take home activity and a reading list for that theme.   The elementary library offers stories and activites for six themes.  The site is well organized, easy to navigate, and features bright colors and fun animal characters.  Clicking through the various parts of the site on their own could be great practice for a younger child, and the youngest readers will have fun choosing the next spot for their big person to click on.  This site is great fun when you want that library experience at home.

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book review

And the Train Goes… by William Bee

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“All aboard who are coming aboard…” says the train conductor at the station, and so begins a train ride for a wide variety of characters, from the fireman shoveling coal to the school class off on a trip chickens off to market.  An absolute delight to read aloud, this book is full of great sound effects that kids will love to hear and to say: the engine goes “chuff-chuff, chufferty-chuff, the train goes “clickerty-click, clickerty-clack”, the chickens on their way to market go “cluck-cluck, cluckerty-cluck”.  The heavily detailed illustrations are pen and ink, with a computer used to fill in the drawings with flat, bright colors.  Each double spread depicts a different car (they actually look more like platforms than cars) of the train and its various passengers, and is full of small details like the floral designs on the sides of each train car, and repeated in various places from the blanket on the horse to the tea cups on the table of the ladies train car.  A fantastically fun book to read aloud to train lovers and anyone who just likes to go.

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book some fun

Book some fun with teeth! 

First, read the book Tabitha’s Terrifically Tough Tooth by Charlotte Middleton (Lane Library info here), and find out just how tough teeth can be.  After you have read the book together, tell your child to go smile really big at himself or herself in the mirror. How many teeth do they see?  How many of them are loose?  Talk with your child about what happens when they lose a tooth.  For more information for parents to read on tooth loss, click here, and for information on teeth to share with your child, click here

After your child has determined how many loose teeth they have, or may soon have, it’s time to make a tooth envelope.  Start with an envelope.  Any size will do, but the best envelopes to use for this craft are the small manila-type ones made to hold keys (you can find these at any office supply store).   Have your child use markers, stickers, felt pieces, and other craft materials to decorate the outside of the envelope.   Be sure that any items glued on  are firmly attached to the surface of the envelope.  Have or help your child write their name on one side on the envelope.   You could even design multiple envelopes, one for each loose tooth!  If you do make an envelope for each lost tooth, be sure to include the date, as well.

Have fun finding out about teeth and making a tooth envelope!

For more information and activities on losing a tooth, click here.

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early literacy

For a basic review of early, or emergent, literacy, click here.

Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds
in words, for example the ability to say whether or not two words rhyme or the ability to put two word chunks together to make a word.  There are many games that parents can play with their children to help develop a child’s phonological sensitivity.

One game would be to categorize words by their beginning sound.  A fun way to do this is to have a scavenger hunt through the house finding everything that begins with a certain letter.  Go on a “D” hunt and find a desk, a doll, a dinosaur and anything else you can find that starts with the letter “D” sound.

Another fun activity is to make new words together by rhyming.  These words don’t even have to be real words, it’s the sound that’s most important in this game.  Start with the word “dog” and change the beginning sound to get “fog”, “log”, “sog”, “pog”…

Have fun with these games!  For more information on phonological awareness, click here.

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book review

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

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Uh-oh, Bird sure did wake up in a bad mood (something all readers can relate to!).  He’s just too grumpy to do anything, even fly.  “Looks like I’m walking today” he grumbles, and off he stomps.   As he walks thorugh the woods, Bird meets up with several of his animal friends, all of whom ask what he’s doing.  Bird’s replies are hilariously sarcastic, at least at first.  As he is joined by more and more of his friends, Bird’s walk becomes a follow-the-leader game, as his friends begin to imitate his every move.  In fact, thanks to his friends and their antics, Bird forgets that he’s grumpy and starts to have fun.  By the end of the story, Bird is having such a good time that he invites his friends back to his nest for worms.  The illustrations add so much to this simple story, and the grumpy expression on Bird’s face at the beginning of the story is priceless.  The bright, almost garish colors and familiar backgrounds, along with the cartoon-like animal figures, will catch a young reader’s eye and draw them into the story.  This book, along with a walk, of course, is the perfect antidote for a bad mood.  (Lane Library info)

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