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: Parents
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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!
When I was a young mother, I really looked forward to the time of the day when all of the hustle and bustle had ended, homework was done and baths and teeth were finished. Story time. Our children looked forward to this special time each evening as much as we did. It was a time to think about our day, plan for tomorrow and ALWAYS listen to a story or two. My niece, who is now a young mother herself, came across this website that listed 20 questions that you should ask your child at bedtime. It is a wonderful way to connect with your child and see what he/she has been thinking about. Take a look and go ahead start asking your child these questions and look forward to the delightful conversations that will follow.
Your child 5 year old child will experience enormous physical and emotional growth this year. We focus on the physical because we can measure it and see it but we cannot measure the emotional growth of a 5 year old as easily. You’ll have to make observations about the emotional growth as it matures during this school year. The American School Counselor Association published the following about Kindergartners:
Where They Are:
The average five-year-old is enthusiastic, helpful, and conforming. He:
- Attempts only things he/she knows he/she can do.
- Needs attention, affection, and praise.
- Is energetic and fidgety.
- Has a short attention span.
- May show opposite extremes of behavior.
- May become less well-behaved as the school year progresses.
Where they’re Going:
At five years old, your child is learning to understand himself/herself. You can help by encouraging him/her as he/she:
- Develops a positive, realistic self-image.
- Learns to respect himself/herself.
- Begins to understand his/her own uniqueness.
- Gains awareness of his/her feelings.
- Learns to express feelings.
- Learns how to participate in groups.
- Begins to learn from his/her mistakes.
To learn about the emotional growth of a first grader read here:
When we clean up in our classroom, the children are expected, and required, to clean up after themselves. This seems pretty simple, you make the mess, you clean it up. However, this is a new concept for many Kindergartners and First Graders who come to me from homes where Mom/Dad or someone else cleans up after them. What a shock it is for these children when they find out they have to clean up themselves without adult assistance. One of the questions that I ask parents at our parent/teacher conferences is what type of responsibilities/jobs does your child have at home? What job will only get done if your child performs it? Many parents have the answer right away since their child does have responsibilities at home. Other parents, after giving it some thought realize that their child has no home jobs. Now some of these parents realize that it IS time to help their child mature and do small tasks at home, but others will listen to my advice and then go home and continue to do everything for their child. Kindergartners and First Graders are old enough to do many things at home: Make their own bed, put their dirty laundry in the hamper, help sort/fold clean laundry, empty the silverware from the dishwasher, feed the fish/dog/hamster/guinea pig/, set the silverware/napkins on the table, the list is endless. The point is, NOW is the time to have your child start helping out at home, as these self help skills will carry with them wherever they go throughout the day.
re-posted from 2009
Newsletters sent to you from your child’s teacher or school should be read as soon as you receive them. Most Kindergarten and First Grade teachers send out newsletters weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly in order to keep parents informed of what has happened or what is about to happen in the classroom. I send my weekly newsletters out by email and I post them on Blackboard but all teachers have their own method of sending them to you. These newsletters are packed full of information about what is being taught in your child’s class, upcoming events, pictures, daily goings on in the room and general information about your school. The writing of these newsletters takes time and your child’s teacher writes them for you with you in mind. These newsletters contain valuable information which will help you stay informed and provide you with conversation starters for you to talk about your child’s school experience with your child. The next newsletter that you get from your child’s teacher, the PTA/PTO, or School Principal, please take the time to read the newsletter as it contains news that you can definitely use!
Watching too much TV can affect your child and not in a good way. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming. Do you limit your child’s TV time? Please take a moment to read this article about the effects of too much TV on your child:
If you are interested in establishing healthy habits for TV, Video Games and the Internet please read this article:
Reposted from 2009
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