This week we are celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday at my school. In today’s homework packet the children received a reading oath. They are being asked to turn off the TV/ or turn off the video games one day this week and read!! Then child and parent sign the oath to say that it was accomplished. I am the child of a children’s librarian so being asked to read when I was growing up was never an issue at our house. We were surrounded by books and loved reading every free minute we had. It makes me sad that as teachers we have to assign reading as part of homework. Most of my first graders would not read for pleasure if it was not part of their homework. When I read the oath today and told them that they were being asked to turn off the TV/or video games for one day this week, there was a loud collective groan from my class. If I had my way there would be no TV or video games or computers at all during the school week. Really!! Parents, fill your home with books (books on ipads or computers count as long as there is reading going on and nothing else) so your child is able to grab a book to read whenever he/she wants to read. Only you can see that your child gets the love of reading at a very young age and when that happens, he/she will love reading for life.
Category Archives: Beginning Readers
Books Available At All Times
Learning to read is just like learning any other new skill, it takes practice…lots of practice. This is especially true for first graders. We do lots of reading at school. There is guided reading in small reading groups, reading to yourself, reading with a buddy, reading a worksheet, reading a big book, reading the room (reading all wall charts in the room) and the list goes on and on. Then the children go home and for some, the reading stops. Many children want to read at home, they are so excited about their skills and the love of reading that they just can’t stop. Then there are the children who read the bare minimum because they are only reading because their homework said that reading at home was required. Then there are the children that don’t read at all at home. Their excuses are many, “I don’t have any books at home”(hard to believe since we send the children home with books every Monday and they check out library books on Tuesdays), “I couldn’t find my book”, “I was busy”, but the one I can never believe is “my parents didn’t have time to read with me!” What? Your parents didn’t have time for you?? Parents, your child needs your guidance not only while learning to read, but also after they have become a reader. Your child should have access to books anytime they want to read one. Many parents have ipads and iphones – find the sites that free offer books for your child to read (http://www.storylineonline.net/) and then teach your child how to use your device. Make sure your child has books in the car, books by his/her bed, books in the living room for when you turn off the TV. Children will read if given the opportunity and it is up to you the parent to see that your child is reading at every available moment, and not just because he/she has to. If you want your child to become a lifetime lover of books, you have to do your part in instilling this love NOW!
Yesterday I talked about making short patterned books for the early reader and writer. For more detailed information, please read yesterday’s blog and remember that only 1 sentence starter should be used per book. The same sentence starter should be used on every page of the book. Today I will give you part 2 of the list of Sentence Starters for these books. These are just some of the repetitive patterns most frequently used for beginning readers.
Can you see a…..?
Can you see the…..?
Can you see my…..?
Here is a …..
Here is my…..
This is a…..
This is the…..
This is my…..
I like a…..
I like the…..
I like my…..
I like to go to…..
Look at the…..
Look at me in the…..
Look up at the…..
Come to the…..
Go to the…..
It is a…
Blog 90 Sentence Starters for Simple Books
Your Kindergarten child is just about half way through the second quarter of school. One popular second quarter goal is to encourage more writing from our Kindergartners. How to do that? Easy. I am sure that you have noticed that your child has a longer attention span since the beginning of school and that your child is interested in more things. The way I like to introduce simple writing and simple reading simultaneously is with short patterned books. They are easy to MAKE, yes MAKE, no money involved and your child will love them.
Materials that you need:
- 2 sheets of copy paper
- Stickers of something that your child likes (i.e., a page of scrapbooking stickers full of items, like transportation, or princesses that your child likes)
- Fold the two sheets of paper in half, staple together to make a small book
- Place a sticker on each page
- Pick ONE sentence starter from the list below and write the same sentence starter on every page.
- Your child will finish the sentence by writing the name of what is in the picture.
- Now you have a book.
Sentence Starters: USE ONLY ONE PER BOOK, WRITE THE SAME SENTENCE STARTER ON EVERY PAGE OF ONE BOOK, DO NOT MIX SENTENCE STARTERS.
I see a…
I see the…
I see my…
I can see a…
I can see the…
I am a…
Here is the…
More sentence starters tomorrow.
Fifteen-Minute Reading Activities
by the National PTA
Make 15 minutes go a long way. Try these quick reading activities with your younger kids.
1. License to read. On car trips, make it a game to point out and read license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs.
2. Better than TV. Swap evening TV for a good action story or tale of adventure.
3. Look and listen. Too tired to read aloud? Listen to a book on CD and turn the book’s pages with your children. You also can find books on your ipad. You’ll still be reading with them!
4. Labels, labels, labels. Label things in your children’s room as they learn to name them. Have fun while they learn that written words are connected to everyday things.
5. Pack a snack, pack a book. Going someplace where there might be a long wait? Bring along a snack and a bag of favorite books.
6. Recipe for reading. The next time you cook with your children, read the recipe with them. Step-by-step instructions, ingredients, and measurements are all part of words in print!
7. Shop and read. Notice and read signs and labels in the supermarket. Back home, putting away groceries is another great time for reading labels.
8. Your long-distance lap. Away on a business trip? Take a few books with you, call home, and have your child curl up by the computer/ipad/phone for a good night story.
9. A reading pocket. Slip fun things to read into your pocket to bring home: a comic strip from the paper, a greeting card, or even a fortune cookie from lunch. Create a special, shared moment your child can look forward to every day.
10. A little longer? When your child asks to stay up a little longer, say yes and make it a 15-minute family readingopportunity.
This is a continuation of the list of pattern books that I began in yesterday’s blog. Children will enjoy listening to these books and will begin to recognize the pattern in the text.
26. Lizard’s Song George Shannon
27. The Magic Fish Freya Littledale
28. May I Bring A Friend Beatrice de Regniers
29. Monday I Was An Alligator Susan Pearson
30. Monday, Monday, I like Monday Bill Martin, Jr.
31. My Five Senses Aliki
32. My Days Are Made Of Butterflies Bill Martin, Jr.
33. Pierre Maurice Sendak
34. Play With Me Mary Hall Ets
35. Rain Makes Applesauce Julian Scheer
36. The Runaway Bunny Margaret Wise Brown
37. “Sound Of” Books Bill Martin, Jr.
38. Spring Is A New Beginning Joan Walsh Aglund
39. Serendipity Books Stephen Cosgrove
40. The Tallypo Joanna Galdone
41. The Teeny Tiny Woman Seuling
42. The Three Bears Paul Galdone
43. Treeful Of Pigs Anita Lobel
44. The Turning Of The Year Bill Martin, Jr.
45. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
46. What Do You Do, Dear? Sesyle Josllin
47. What Do You Do With a Kangaroo Mercer Mayer
48. What Good Luck, What Bad Luck Remy Charlip
49. Where In The World Is Henry? Lorna Balian
50. Whose Mouse Are You? Robert Kraus
51. Would You Rather? John Burningham
The Monroe County Public Library in Indiana has compiled a very detailed list of includes 8 types of predictable books, including pattern books:
- Astley, Judy (1990). When one cat woke up. New York: Dial.
- Baer, Gene (1989). Thump, thump, rat-a-tat-tat. New York: Harper & Row.
- Barton, Byron (1989). Dinosaurs, dinosaurs. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell
- Brandenberg, Franz (1989). Aunt Nina, good night. New York: Greenwillow.
- Emberly, Ed (1974). Klippity klop. Boston: Little, Brown.
- Hutchins, Pat (1982). 1 hunter. New York: Greenwillow.
- Jonas, Ann (1989). Color dance. New York: Greenwillow.
- Martin, Bill (1991). Polar bear, polar bear. New York: Henry Holt.
- McKissack, Patricia, & McKissack, Frederick (1988). Constance stumbles. Chicago: Children’s Press.
- McKissack, Patricia (1986). Who is coming. Chicago: Children’s Press.
- Peek, Merle (1985). Mary wore her red dress. New York: Clarion.
- Prelutsky, Jack (Ed.) (1983). The Random House book of poetry for children. New York: Random House.
- Roffey, Maureen (1988). I spy at the zoo. New York: MacMillan.
- West, Colin (1986). “Pardon?” said the giraffe. New York: J.B. Lippincott.
- Wildsmith, Brian (1965). Brian Wildsmith’s Mother Goose. New York: Franklin Watts.
- Banks, Kate. Peter and the Talking Shoes. (EJ Ba)
- Banks, Kate. Spider, Spider. (EJ Ba)
- Bender, Robert. A Most Unusual Lunch. (EJ Be)
- Brown, Margaret Wise. The Runaway Bunny. (EJ Br)
- De Regniers, Beatrice Schenk. Going For a Walk. (EJ De)
- Domanska, Janina. Little Red Hen. (J398.2 Li)
- Dunbar, Joyce. Four Fierce Kittens. (EJ Du)
- Dunbar, Joyce. Seven Sillies. (EJ Du)
- Gag, Wanda. Millions of Cats. (EJ Ga)
- Galdone, Paul. The Gingerbread Boy. (J398.2 Gi)
- Galdone, Paul. Little Red Hen. (J398.2 Li)
- Galdone, Paul. The Three Bears. (J398.2 Th)
- Galdone, Paul. The Three Billy Goats Gruff. (J398.2 Th)
- Hutchins, Pat. Little Pink Pig. (EJ Hu)
- Jennings, Sharon. Jeremiah and Mrs. Ming. (Ej Je)
- Kalan, Robert. Stop, Thief! (EJ Ka)
- Krauss, Ruth. The Carrot Seed. (EJ Kr)
- Maris, Ron. Are You There Bear? (EJ Ma)
- Maris, Ron. I Wish I Could Fly. (EJ Ma)
- McNaughton, C. Suddenly! (EJ Ma)
- Nodset, Joan L. Who Took The Farmers Hat? (EJ No)
- Patron, Susan. Dark Cloud Strong Breeze. (EJ Pa)
- Wing, Natasha. Hippity Hop, Frog On Top. (EJ Wi)
- Zemach, Margot. The Little Red Hen. (J398.2 Li)
- Williams, Sue (1992). I went walking. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Kindergarten and first grade teachers and Kindergarten and first grade children everywhere are talking about patterns. We talk about them every day and encourage the children to not only find them in the world around them, but to create their own patterns whenever they have a chance. Another place to look for patterns is in many children’s books. Books are rich in text and many authors write the text with a repeating pattern which can be thoroughly enjoyed by young children. Children are so proud of themselves when they recognize the pattern in the print and know the words that are coming next. Just try to skip a few words from a pattern books while reading it to your child and see what happens! Here is a partial list of pattern books which your child may enjoy again and again and again.
- A House Is A House For Me Mary Ann Hoberman
- A Kiss Is Round Karia Kustin
- Bears In The Night S. & J. Berenstain
- Biggest House In The World Leo Lionni
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear Bill Martin, Jr.
- Chicken Little Barry Zaid
- Chicken Soup With Rice Maurice Sendak
- Color Of His Own Leo Lionni
- Did You Ever See? Walter Einsel
10. Do You Know What I’ll Do Charlotte Zolotow
11. Don’t Forget The Bacon Pat Hutchins
12. Farmer Duck Martin Waddell
13. Fortunately Remy Charlip
14. Gingerbread Boy Paul Galdone
15. Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brown
16. Goodnight Owls Pat Hutchins
17. Grouchy Ladybug Eric Carle
18. I Don’t, I Do Leland B. Jacobs
19. If I Had Mercer Mayer
20. I Like Bugs Margaret Wise Brown
21. I Paint The Joy Of A Flower Bill Martin, Jr.
22. The Important Book Margaret Wise Brown
23. It Looked Like Spilt Milk Charles G. Shaw
24. Leo The Late Bloomer Robert Kraus
25. The Little Red Hen Paul Galdone
- Your child should be writing every chance that he/she gets. Put a pencil, crayon, marker or paintbrush in your child’s hand and let them explore the writing process. Knowing how to write your thoughts down on paper takes many, many weeks, months and years to practice. Many incoming Kindergarten and first grade children know their letters and sounds but they are hesitant to use them when writing for fear of making mistakes. Encourage your child to try and write the first sound that they hear in any sound. If they want to write Mom, have your child sound out the first sound, M. If your child wants to write pumpkin, have your child sound out the first sound, P, etc. If you have a reluctant writer, a child who won’t even give writing a try, then have him/her write the alphabet letters for practice just to be able to put letters down on paper. Writing begins with baby steps and that’s where we are in Kindergarten and even at the beginning of first grade, learning our baby steps of writing. Please have paper available for your child along with writing tools such as pencils and markers. If you are headed to the grocery store, have your child ‘write’ down your list. If you are preparing dinner, have your child ‘write’ down what you need from the cabinet before you can prepare your meal. Young children will write when they have a purpose, but often will not, when they are presented with a sheet of paper, a pencil and an order to ‘write’. Help get them started and then watch out, your child’s writing will really take off.
Re-posted from 2009
Blog 55 Rhyming
Rhyming. I touched on this topic earlier when I wrote a blog about Nursery Rhymes and the importance of learning rhymes. It never ceases to amaze me how many new Kindergartners (and if you can believe it, many first graders) coming to school cannot rhyme. Children are already behind their peers, sometimes way behind, when they cannot rhyme. When a child has the ability to hear and identify words that rhyme they are practicing an important listening skill. Children are able to understand that many spoken words sound the same when they have the skill of rhyming. Rhymes help children to understand the sequence of sounds in some words. 5 year olds should be able to hear rhymes when spoken by others; they should be able to make their own sets of rhymes and should be able to make nonsense words that rhyme. If your child can’t rhyme, start practicing rhyming each and every day NOW if you want your child to be a good reader. Click on this site and you will find rhyming games, rhyming books, and internet sites for practicing rhymes. If your child can’t rhyme, he/she needs to start working, and if he/she can rhyme, practicing more rhymes can only be beneficial to the reading and writing process.
Re-posted from 2009