Category Archives: Beginning Readers

Reading Oath

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.



Filed under Beginning Readers, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Parents, Reading

Learning About Authors and Illustrators

Kindergartners and First Graders are curious and interested in learning about the authors and illustrators of the books that they are reading.  Here is a site that has it all in once place. It is full of links to the websites of over 600 authors and illustrators. You just click on the first letter of the authors or illustrator’s name and you will be brought to a list where you will be able to choose the author or illustrator that you are looking for. Have fun!

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Books Available at All Times

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 ( 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!

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Filed under Beginning Readers, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Parents, Reading

Sentence Starters

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…..?

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…..

We can…..

We are…..

We like…..

It is a…



Filed under Beginning Readers, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Writing

Sentence Starters for Simple Books

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)
  • Pencil


  • 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.


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.

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15 Minute Reading Activities

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 TVSwap 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.


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Pattern Books Part 2

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.




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