CLAMDIGGERS:  August’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS:  August’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

Friends, Sun, Sand & Sea; That sounds like a Summer to me. ~ Lily Ross

Depending on where you live or are, August can be the HOTTEST month of the year……

The breeze is hot. Swim water is warm (except the Pacific Ocean). You sweat in the shade. Ice ….what ice !?!

What do I do in August? Wish, wish, wish for RAIN!!!! And stay indoors near a fan and air co…..

Yes, staying indoors for hours during the day seems to solve the TOO HOT problem…..but it can, also, create another problem, too……

Here are a few Solutions: invite your family & friends to showcase their talents in a Show; daydream & create using your imagination; study great inventions as an inspiration for constructing a robot; and/or cook up some Edible Insects (with food stuff NOT bugs).

Opportunities for creative expressions in art, science, math, social studies, and writing are included in the four units of August’s activities.

Each and Every Unit of the Literacy Enrichment Collection

The Components of each Unit include:

  • colorful Front & Back covers
  • a Contents list
  • an Introduction Sequence
  • a Master Materials List
  • a Thematic Literature List of fiction& nonfiction trade books
  • an overall Lesson Plan
  • Projects/Activities with Construction Instructions written on an Independent Reading Level for Grades 3 ~ 6

Ready, Set and Go!

Preparation for each of these units can be done  by following this sequence:

  • Read over the Materials & Tools needed for each project in the Master Materials List ~ a component included with each Unit.
  • Gather the Materials & Tools together specific for each Activity ~ card-stock, printing paper, scissors, glue, pencil, colors, etc.
  • Protect your work space with a plastic, washable tablecloth, newspaper, or butcher paper ~ the latter invites doodling & checklists.
  • Read all the steps included in the Sequence part of the Instructions provided for each Project/Activity BEFORE beginning.
  • Keep a copy of these Construction Instructions close by, so you can re-read as you create.
  • Clean up your work space when you have completed what you wanted to do.

What Is the CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program?

Click on this link for more information on CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program:

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

Read on for more Details on each Unit, but, first, take a look at August’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ June Poetry for the Literacy Enrichment Collection

During my years in the classroom, I discovered the best way to focus my students’ attention for new content was a choral read of thematic poetry written with colorful images.

August’s five poems are printed onto five thematic 8 ½ x 11″ images you can enlarge if needed. The font sizes are large as well.

You can access this PDF freebie in Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s TPT Shop by clicking on this link:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDIGGERS-August-Poetry-Posters-6957502

SPOTLIGHT: Dancers, Singers, Musicians; Sculptors, Painters, Magicians

You could be the star, you shine so bright. You could be your own Spotlight! ~ Hey Miss Awesome/Sualci

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  August’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 50-page unit entitled SPOTLIGHT: Dancers, Singers, Musicians; Painters, Sculptors, Magicians .

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Begin with the Overview, Set-Up & Who’s Who List Template included in SPOTLIGHT.
  • Then, put  Publicity to work with try-out flyers and templates for posters & the program.
  • Next, have the Talent Selection Committee handle the Auditions & Callbacks, Performance List & Prep.
  • Prepare The Master of Ceremony with tips, vocabulary & a Master Performance List.
  • Finally, give the Crew their job descriptions for Staging the Show.
  • Decide if you want to present a Theme-Based Talent Show with an Additional Acts List.

General Supply List:   card-stock, printing paper,  poster board, colors, pencils, clipboards, highlighters, note-cards, stage setting materials/tools, etc.

You can access the SPOTLIGHT unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SPOTLIGHT-A-Showcase-of-Talent–6957558

INSECTS

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~ Confucius

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: June’s  Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 25-page unit entitled INSECTS.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Learn which insect is a Helper Or Pest: A Sort & Match Game.
  • Collect the Edible Insects Recipe Cards onto A Ring of Edible Insects. Then, cook & eat ’em up !

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  binding materials, pencil,  scissors, hole punch, O-ring, cooking tools, utensils & ingredients

You can access the INSECTS unit by  clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/INSECTS-6957642

I’M BORED!!! Daydreams & Mysteries

To be quite oneself, one must first waste a little time. ~ E Bowen

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a  29-page unit entitled I’M BORED! : Daydreams & Mysteries.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  •  Un-Bored yourself with I’m Not Bored Activity Card Ideas compiled into a book, cards & category dividers.
  •  Pick A Daydream and make a poster about it.
  • Create Mystery Messages with invisible ink, solve a few word puzzles, and invent your own secret code.

General Supply List: cardstock, printing paper, O-ring, hole punch, pencil, colors, scissors, binding, poster board, invisible ink formula

You can access the I’m Bored!: Daydreams & Mysteries unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/IM-BORED-Daydreams-and-Mysteries-6958075

INVENTIONS: Machines & Robotics

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. ~ Jim Rohn

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: August’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 53-page unit entitled INVENTIONS: Machines & Robotics

  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  •  Learn about Simple Machines, tell what you know, and locate the Simple Machines in your home.
  • Create a Time Line Info-gram about World ~ Changing Inventions, play a Before & After Sort game, and make an Invention Reflections Booklet.
  • Read a Robotics interactive learning reference manual and invent a robot of your own.

General Supply List: heavy printing paper,  cardstock, scissors, tacky glue, colors, tape, stapler, binding, building materials & tools

You can access the INVENTIONS: Machines & Robotics unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/INVENTIONS-Machines-and-Robotics-6958118

 

 How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers:  August’s Literacy Enrichment Collection units individually or as a 4-Unit bundle for your convenience & savings.

Just click on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDIGGERS-Augusts-Four-Unit-Bundle-6959787

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

P.S. I included a Collection of Products, Resources & Freebies for a Summertime of Activities. You can access this read on my   blog : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/clamdiggers-summer-literacy-enrichment-collection/

P.S.S. My TpT Shop has a Summertime Freebie: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Summer-Memory-Makers-6831876

and a Summertime Product Unit : https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDiggers-Summer-Celebration-Calendars-6831968

AND…. four SUMMER GAMES: Vocabulary Study for Grades 3~6.

Here are the TpT Links for each Grade Level:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-3rd-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6944754

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-Fourth-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6944778

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-Fifth-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6944813

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-Sixth-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6948865

(Sixth Grade Level is a Freebie!)

You can, also,  access an Overview of these Summer Game by clicking on this link:

CLAMDIGGERS’ SUMMER GAMES: Vocabulary Study for Grade Levels 3 ~ 6

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

 

CLAMDIGGERS’ SUMMER GAMES: Vocabulary Study for Grade Levels 3 ~ 6

How about learning a new vocabulary word or two every day this Summer?!?

CLAMDiggers'Summer Vocabulary Games

CLAMDIGGER’S Summer Games: Vocabulary Study for Grade Levels 3-6 is here to help you do just that…

AND have fun while doing it!!!

A WORD Can Be Many WORDS

A Word can be named as a Part of Speech and/or several Parts of Speech:

  • nouns & pronouns
  • verbs
  • adverbs & adjectives
  • articles
  • prepositions & conjunctions
  • and, Oh ! ~interjections

It can, also, be:

  • a Synonym and/or an Antonym
  • a Contraction or a Compound Word
  • a Homophone
  • a Homonym
  • a Heteronym

You can, also, add letters to the beginning and/or ending of a Word to change its meaning. These are known as Prefixes and Suffixes.

Need  a fun way to introduce some of these Vocabulary Elements? An engaging, colorful book sprinkled with humor is perfect.

BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

Vocabulary Study Book Lists for Engaging Grade Levels 3 ~ 6

If you are willing to increase your Vocabulary ~ as you should ~ you are going to enjoy quite a few benefits.

New Vocabulary Is Brain Food

Adding new words to your Vocabulary has quite a few perks.

It improves your  communication skills:

  • LISTENING ~ Language Acquisition
  • SPEAKING ~ Idea Development
  • READING ~ Comprehension & Word Recognition
  • WRITING ~ Expression & Grammatical Accuracy

It helps you to think and learn about the world.

It allows you greater access to new information.

AND ~~~~ it increases your intelligence!

Yes~ YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY!!!

Here’s more information on that mind-bending subject:

https://vocabularyzone.com/undeniable-link-vocabulary-iq/

The wonderful website Reading Rockets has a LOT of information and resources regarding the Value and Teaching of Vocabulary. Click to read:

https://www.readingrockets.org/reading-topics/vocabulary

You Can Help Your Child Increase Their Vocabulary

There are quite a few websites LOADED with fun & easy ideas for helping your child learn New Vocabulary.

https://www.theschoolrun.com/how-to-build-childs-vocabulary

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/vocabulary-instruction-teaching-tips-rebecca-alber

https://www.giftedguru.com/21_ideas_for_teaching_vocabulary/

https://imaginationsoup.net/teaching-kids-new-vocabulary-at-home/

https://bedrocklearning.org/blog/21-fun-ways-to-improve-your-childs-vocabulary/

And I have created several interactive, hands-on Games and Activities for learning the Vocabulary Words your child will be seeing, hearing, reading, and writing according to his/her current Grade Level.

CLAMDIGGER’S Summer Games for Boosting Vocabulary

Each of these Summer-themed Games contains Grade-Level Specific Vocabulary Word Lists collected from frequently cited reading texts ~ fictional and informational as well as academic terms used in the classroom on a daily basis.

The 7 games included follow Bloom’s Taxonomy sequence for increasing Critical Thinking Skills: 

  • The Vocabulary Guide presents a review of grammatical terms used to identify the components of Words ~ KNOWLEDGE.
  • Specific Game Sorts allows the learner to understand how each word follows certain rules  ~ COMPREHENSION by organizing, summarizing, translating & describing the wide range of categories Vocabulary Words can share.
  • Specific Word Activities provides opportunities for the learner to take what s/he knows & use it ~ APPLICATION of learned content to produce solutions  in a variety of problems.
  • Word Part Specific Charts, Lists & Tables enables the learner to use Critical Thinking  Skills for ~ ANALYSIS of learned Vocabulary Words into components by recognizing  the relationships of their different and/or similar elements.
  • Additional Vocabulary List gives the learner connections for making unknown words known ~SYNTHESIS of these diverse elements for building and strengthening Vocabulary acquisition.
  • And prepares the learner for ~ EVALUATION, then, provides opportunities for making judgements on newer, unknown Words by using the Skills attained from following the above sequence.

A Grade-Level Specific Literature List ~ see above BLB Resource Library link~ along with a general Lesson Plan are included.

A variety of Word categories are explored with each Vocabulary Word groups.

Vocabulary Word Groupings

These Summer-themed Vocabulary-Boosting Games cover the following Word Elements: 

  • Summer Blooms: Nouns & Verbs
  • Pool Party: Adjectives & Adverbs
  • Summer Fruit Basket: Prefixes, Suffixes & Root Words
  • Under The Sea: Synonyms & Antonyms
  • Sandcastles: Summer Compound Words
  • Summer Vocabulary Words Study: Third-30 words/Fourth-40 words/Fifth-50 words
  • Third-Contractions/Fourth-Homophones/Fifth-Heteronyms

And each of these Categories includes several components.

Vocabulary Word List Game Components

Each Game Unit includes these components:

  • Colorful Sort Mat Image
  • Matching Game Pieces
  • Storage Pocket with How-To-Play Directions
  • Fill-In Lists & Answer Sheets
  • A different Extension Activity per Game Unit with its Answer Sheet

Now, onto the Grade-Level Specific Summer Games with their TeachersPayTeachers Product links….

SUMMER GAMES: Boosting Third Grade~Level Vocabulary

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-3rd-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6944754

SUMMER GAMES: Boosting Fourth Grade~Level Vocabulary

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-Fourth-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6944778

SUMMER GAMES: Boosting Fourth Grade~Level Vocabulary

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-Fifth-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6944813

SUMMER GAMES: Boosting Sixth Grade~Level Vocabulary

This one is a Freebie!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-GAMES-Boosting-Sixth-Grade-Level-Vocabulary-6948865

Oh ~ and remember I compiled CLAMDIGGERS’ Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection for you and yours.

Here’s the Overview link:

CLAMDIGGERS’ Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection

AAAAAAND~ I created a TpT Summer Activities Calendar entitled CLAMDIGGERS Summer Celebration Calendars to keep you and your BIZZY all Summer long!

Click here:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDiggers-Summer-Celebration-Calendars-6831968

Make this a Summer of Literacy Learning FUN!!!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

 

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

CLAMDIGGERS’ Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection

  Welcome

To

CLAMDIGGERS’ Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection               

CLAMDIGGERS’ Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection is a HUGE combination of my Product Units, Resources from my Resource Library, and Freebies guaranteed to engage your youngster(s) with lots of entertaining activities and projects ~ involving LOTS of too-busy-to-be-bored time….

But, before I begin & you read on, let me share some things my many Summers with Kids of various ages taught me:

  • a DAILY routine is a SANITY ~ SAVER for you & the kids
  •  Outdoor time EVERY DAY is a MUST, especially if it’s water-related
  • Multiple opportunities for arts, crafts & projects is a NECESSITY

Click on this link for some wonderful website helpers:

Website Helpers for Summer Fun with Kids

And now to the Resources, Freebies & Product Units…..

Every Day’s A FUN DAY During Summer !

Hello Summer-Daniel Dan-outsideclick
Hello Summer-Daniel Dan-outside click

One way to avoid the Boredom Blues during the long, hot days of Summer is to have a long  List of Options.

Here’s a short “rescue”  list with links:

https://funcheaporfree.com/100-summer-activities-for-kids-free-printable-included/

https://www.verywellfamily.com/summer-fun-ideas-kids-and-parents-3542627

https://redtri.com/things-to-do-with-kids-during-summer-vacation/slide/1

https://thewanderingrumpus.com/index.php/2018/05/03/50-fun-things-to-do-with-your-kids-this-summer/

If you need something more organized and day-to-day, I’ve created  Celebration Calendars for June, July & August. This project-unit consists of a monthly-themed activity list and a daily celebration list with over 65 specific activities. Recipes & Activity Sheets are , also, included. Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDiggers-Summer-Celebration-Calendars-6831968

I, also, created a 138-page Summer Literacy Camp jam-packed with activity ideas/projects and their directions, images & planners.    

Here’s its link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Summer-Literacy-Camp-Handbook-for-K-3-

And, if you are planning a Family Vacation…

Going On Vacation

Going on Vacation
Summer Foot-Wear – CFI

Some of the best memories are made in flip-flops. ~ Kellie Elmore

If your family wants to go on vacation, but is still undecided, here are a few family-friendly suggestion sites:

https://travel.usnews.com/rankings/best-family-summer-vacations/

 https://www.familyvacationcritic.com/best-family-vacation-destination-in-every-us-state/art/

https://www.today.com/parents/40-must-see-places-take-your-kids-they-re-grown-t74481

And if travel will require some time and distance, I created a Road Trip Fun Activity Booklet to entertain your youngster(s) which you can access on this link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Road-Trip-Fun-Activities-Booklet-4650274

Not able to travel away from home this Summer? Keep reading for a few FUN Stay-Cation ideas.

Stay~Cation Wanderings

Stay-Cation Wanderings
Wander & Wonder – Comfreak

It’s summer and time for wandering….~ Kellie Elmore

Summer’s weather and long days of daylight are a perfect combination for family & friends to exploration and discover.

Here are a few ideas listed in this freebie: 

20 Stay-Cation Wanderings

Yes, lots of time spent with family & friends….

Family, Friends & Me

Family, Friends & Me
Summer & Me – ZzzVector

Friends, sun, sand, and sea; that sounds like a summer to me. ~Unknown

All children do some serious growing during the Summer. Usually their bodies and brains experience those changes.

The Healthy Body, Healthy Brain Nutrition Guide will help your child learn the importance of eating healthy foods: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Healthy-Body-Healthy-Brain-A-Nutrition-Guide-6025336

Here’s a Freebie Brain Foods Poster:

Brain Foods Poster

You may even notice some “emotional maturity” begin to develop….

 Here are a few product units for your child to enjoy and share about him/herself:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/THIS-IS-ME–4908531

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ITS-MY-PARTY–4910852

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MY-PAST-PRESENT-AND-FUTURE-4910521

You can, also, purchase these 3 product units as a Bundle. Here’s the link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/My-Celebrations-with-Family-Friends-Who-I-Am-5911297

All the above units have friendship & family elements included as does the following link for creating & playing a Friendship Board-game:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Friendship-6449292

A few more Friendship unit products about Picnics, Bicycle Fun & Safety & Pets are available by clicking on these links:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lets-Have-A-Picnic-6779852

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bicycle-Fun-Safety-6779767

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/We-LOVE-Pets-6022312

Check out these Family-Friendly Movie Sites from the Resource Library:

Ten Websites with Family~Friendly Movies-to-Watch Lists

And this freebie Screen-Free List:

80 Screen-Free Activities

Creativity and the Arts are part of the list of activities to promote the growth & development of Critical Thinking Skills.

I Can Be SO VERY Creative!

I Can Be SOO VERY Creative
Anything Is Possible – Anand Kumar

Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly. ~Van Morrison

If your child needs a little confidence nudge and/or inspiration, my Resource Library has a reading list as well as a few ideas for beginning a creative hobby that might help:

Creative Arts Book List: 20 Reads to Share with Your Aspiring Artist

Hobbies & Collections: Promoting Creativity & Discovery

Does s/he need some ideas on how to Use Your Imagination and/or Writing that blockbuster Script?

Click on this product link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Use-Your-Imagination-6581911

Here’s a product link for your aspiring Comedian: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/HUMOR-Now-THATS-Funny-6582236

Is your youngster seem to always have his/her nose in a book and you’d like to see some diversity in the reading material choices? Keep reading…

I Can Read All Summer Long!!!

I Can Read All Summer Long
Reading – Nathalie_art

One benefit of Summer is that each day we have more light to read by. ~ (paraphrased) Jeanette Walls

How wonderful to be able to read into the night and early morning without a care in the world except for what’s going to happen next in the book I am devouring….

Of course, my Reference Library has several Book Lists for you and yours in several genres:

NOW THAT’S FUNNY!! Books for Smiling, Giggling & Laughing Out Loud

Poetry Collections for K~5

FABLES & FOLKTALES from AROUND THE WORLD : K~3 Book Lists & Websites

Read~Aloud Chapter Books : 20 Engaging Reads for 5~8 Year Olds

A Dozen Long & Short Reads About Summer for Kids, ages 8~12

And a Fairy Tale Board-Game product to make & play: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fairy-Tales-6686403

Invite your friends and Start A Book Club:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lets-Start-A-Book-Club-4659723

Or you can always write your own book for others to read…..

Have You Ever Read A Book About…..

Have You Ever Read A Book About...
Write On – NGarman & BartekHdd

I could never in a hundred Summers get tired of this. ~Susan Branch

Recording Summer’s events in a personal journal or diary is a wonderful way to keep your youngster(s) writing throughout the vacation days.

Composing stories, creating poetry and/or doing research will help those Critical Thinking skills stay sharp as well.

BLB’s Resource Library has a read & link for encouraging the Writing Process.

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to Encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

Inquiry Investigation Investigators?

Inquiry Investigations: Authors, Books & Websites for Your Child’s Exploration & Discovery

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/OH-YAY-A-RESEARCH-PROJECT-Processes-Templates-Resources-4762269

Need some Paragraph Writing assistance?

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Paragraph-Planner-A-Literacy-Tool-for-Primary-Writers-4735915

And a few Writing & Research  Freebies:

It’s in the Mail

Asking & Exciting Beginnings

Make That Letter A Capital

Home Research Projects

KQRL Template

Got a few “mad” scientists, geographers and/or historians wandering around the lab searching for their next Research Topic ?

Read on for Science, Social Studies, Geography and/or History options.

Scientific Subjects

Scientific Subjects
Wild & Wonderful – Simon, Batista & DRock

Yellow butterflies look like flowers flying through the warm summer air. ~Andrea Willis

The following links are all products I have created relating to Scientific Discovery.

Four Primary Science Labs: Earth, Ecology, Life & Physical

A Bundle of the Four Primary Science Labs

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Four-Primary-Science-Labs-Bundle-5912092

Plant Studies

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/THE-TINY-GIANT-An-Interactive-Informational-Text-Features-Learning-Tool-4761688

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Bushel-of-Apples-5902626

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Arbor-Day-A-Celebration-of-Trees-6686564

Animal Studies

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hibernation-6353928

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Baby-Animals-6779721

Conservation

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Every-Day-6686518

Weather

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SNOW-6353844

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Windy-Weather-6582041

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Clouds-Rain-6686444

Read on for Social Studies, Geography & History Resources & Activities are coming up next….

Studying Our World

Studying Our World
The World At Your Feet – CFI

If you’re not barefoot, then, you’re overdressed. ~Unknown

Studying Our World ~ to me, anyway ~ is ABSOLUTELY fascinating. If your  youngster (or three) loves finding out how the civilizations of Our World have affected us today, I have a few drops in that bucket to hold his/her (their) interest.

The categories I’ve listed, of course, have cross-over elements and events.

Social Studies / History

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Then-and-Now-6120874

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Neighbors-in-the-Neighborhood-6779824

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Community-of-Helpers-5902019

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Civil-Rights-6353888

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Native-Americans-6120967

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lets-Learn-A-Little-Spanish-4194820

Celebrations

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Celebration-of-the-USA-4196470

15 USA Holidays

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/US-Presidents-Day-6449419

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/USA-Multicultural-CelebrationsBook-Lists-Activities-Recipes-for-15-Fests-4765824

Ten Major Global Celebrations: Traditions, Symbols, Foods & a Book List

Geography

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Old-World-Explorations-6022465

If your youngster(s) need a little boost in Reading & Writing this Summer, keep reading for LOTS of Resources, Product Units & Freebies. Your Home-School efforts just got a little easier !

Your Home-School Summer School

Your Home-School Summer School
Summer School Bummer – Kidaha

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it in summer school. ~ Josh Stern

My son, a smart as he is, was NOT an avid reader `like his mom, the school teacher. However, during the Summer Vacation months, a 30 minute DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time was NOT an option. He chose when to spend those reading minutes during the daylight hours. Hottest time, preferably….

So, if you need some Home-Summer-School action and need some additional assistance, I’ve got some support for you & yours.

Here’s the BLB Resource Library link:

School in Summer!?! What A Bummer!!!

Hope these tips, ideas & resources help to make your Home Summer School a success!

And make sure you take some “do nothing” time ~ it’s important….

Taking Some “Do Nothing” Time

Taking Some "Do Nothing" Time
Doing Nothing Is Doing Something – Completely Shaw

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen

On August 11, 2017, Parent Co. published an article on their site entitled, “Why the Lazy Days of Summer Are Actually the Most Memorable for Kids”.

Podcast host/writer Shauna Niequist & writer Tish Oxenreider traveled extensively with their children. When they asked them to cite the most memorable events of the vacations, the extraordinary was not expressed. What was shared were the ordinary things like “swimming in the  hotel pool, wandering through fields, playing with new friends, and eating”.

Consequently, both moms came to the same conclusion ~”When everything is awesome, nothing is awesome.” Their children remembered everyday, ordinary events when they had their parents’ undivided attention.

“Uh huh”….. I mused. So, I created a little 18-page Freebie with Lots of Together activities and a Scrapbook template for capturing, recording, and  keeping those Summer Memory Makers.

Here’s the link to download:

Summer Memory Makers

You can, also, try Daydreaming ~ it’s a scientifically proven remedy for Beating the Boredom Blues! Just click on this link for more info:

You Can Beat Those Boredom Blues By Daydreaming

WHEW!

And as the Summer sadly with some gladly comes to a close and  a New School Year quickly approaching, here are  a few items to help you & yours prepare:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-To-School-5902175

SCHOOL ROCKS !1!

Hopefully,  this CLAMDiggers Summer Literacy Enrichment Collection of Resources , Product Units & Freebies will keep you & yours engaged all Summer long with its new  ideas for your Family Literacy Circle.

Let me hear from you with questions, concerns, comments.

Please share them by filling in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. I look forward to hearing from you & will try to respond as soon as possible.

However, if you wish to be a FREE subscriber to the BLB Exclusive for more tips, ideas, strategies, updates & more, please fill in the form below.

COPYRIGHT 2021BIZZYLIZZYBIZ

 

 

CLAMDIGGERS: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

 

February’s wintery weather  is warmed by Valentine’s  celebration of love and Friendship.

Recognizing Asian cultures’ New Year with its 16 days of family festivities as well as honoring the Presidents of the United States are, also,  part of this month’s unit interactive studies.

Opportunities for creative expressions in art, science, math, social studies, and writing are included in February’s activities.

Each and Every Unit of the Literacy Enrichment Collection

The Components of each Unit include:

  • colorful Front & Back covers
  • a Contents list
  • an Introduction Sequence
  • a Master Materials List
  • a Thematic Literature List of fiction& nonfiction trade books
  • an overall Lesson Plan
  • Projects/Activities with Construction Instructions written on an Independent Reading Level for Grades 3 ~ 6

Ready, Set and Go!

Preparation for each of these units can be done  by following this sequence:

  • Read over the Materials & Tools needed for each project in the Master Materials List ~ a component included with each Unit.
  • Gather the Materials & Tools together specific for each Activity ~ card-stock, printing paper, scissors, glue, pencil, colors, etc.
  • Protect your work space with a plastic, washable tablecloth, newspaper, or butcher paper ~ the latter invites doodling & checklists.
  • Read all the steps included in the Sequence part of the Instructions provided for each Project/Activity BEFORE beginning.
  • Keep a copy of these Construction Instructions close by, so you can re-read as you create.
  • Clean up your work space when you have completed what you wanted to do.

What Is the CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program?

Click on this link for more information on CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program:

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

Read on for more Details on each Unit, but, first, take a look at February’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ February Poetry for the Literacy Enrichment Collection

During my years in the classroom, I discovered the best way to focus my students’ attention for new content was a choral read of thematic poetry written with colorful images.

February’s five poems are printed onto five thematic 8 ½ x 11″ images you can enlarge if needed. The font sizes are large as well.

You can access this PDF freebie in Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s TPT Shop by clicking on this link:

   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDIGGERS-February-Poetry-Posters-6441574

Asian New Year

A family in harmony will prosper in everything. ~Chinese Proverb

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 15-page unit entitled Asian New Year. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Lion Dance Mask with Lion  Dance Mask Tracers Template
  • Celebration Lantern with Gung Hei Fat Choy Characters & Asian New Year Animal Images

General Supply List: card-stock, construction paper, paper plates, glitter, large craft stick, red paper ribbon, yellow crepe streamers, pipe cleaners, ruler, scissors,  glue, hole punch, markers, stapler

You can access the Asian New Year unit by clicking on the link below:

  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Asian-New-Year-6449138

Valentines

Love is friendship set to music. ~Pollack

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is an  15-page unit entitled Valentines. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Hanging Crayon Hearts with Heart Shape Tracers Template
  • Fold – Up Valentines Poem Book with Hearts Templates & Valentine Poems

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper, construction paper, crayons, glitz, wax paper, pencil sharpener, iron, cloth ribbons, lace doilies, Valentine stickers, glue stick, scissors, hole punch, tape

You can access the Valentines unit by  clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Valentines-6449221

Friendship

Friendship is a sheltering tree. ~ Samuel Coleridge

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a   21-page unit entitled Friendship. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Friendship Work-Out Sheet with Solution Strategies for  Friendship Building
  •  Friendship Board Game with Game Labels & Image, Labels & Image Placement Diagram, 60 Game Cards & Blank Game Cards Template

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, file folder, paint chips, stickers, treasures, markers, scissors, glue, stamps & inkpad

You can access the Friendship unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Friendship-6449292

US Presidents

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is an 18-page unit entitled US Presidents.  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Presidential Hats of George Washington & Abraham Lincoln  with Templates & Diagrams
  • All The Presidents’ Hats with Hats Info Cards & Hats Symbols

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, construction paper, gold paper, glitter, oatmeal canister, plain red, white or blue cap, scissors, glue, stapler

You can access the US Presidents unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/US-Presidents-Day-6449419

 How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers’  February Literacy Enrichment Collection units individually or as a 4-Unit bundle for your convenience & savings.

Just click on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLA75MDIGGERS-February-4-Unit-Bundle-64521

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

 

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

CLAMDiggers: October’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS: October’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

The wind walks wildly in the trees tonight. ~ JT Stickney

Mysterious October is a  month full of exploration, discovery, color, and imagination. CLAMDIGGERS: October’s Literacy Enrichment Collection includes four of these events:

  • Celebrating Country & City Pets
  • Discovering Old World Explorations
  • Learning & Applying Healthy Nutrition
  • Enjoying the Fun of Halloween

The Components of each Unit include:

  • colorful Front & Back covers
  • a Contents list
  • an Introduction Sequence
  • a Master Materials List
  • A thematic Literature List of fiction& nonfiction trade books
  • an overall Lesson Plan
  • Projects/Activities with Construction Instructions written on an Independent Reading Level for Grades 3 ~ 6

Preparation for each of these units can be done  by following this sequence:

  • Read over the Materials & Tools needed for each project in the Master Materials List ~ a component included with each Unit.
  • Gather the Materials & Tools together specific for each Activity ~ card-stock, printing paper, scissors, glue, pencil, colors, etc.
  • Protect your work space with a plastic, washable tablecloth, newspaper, or butcher paper ~ the latter invites doodling & checklists.
  • Read all the steps included in the Sequence part of the Instructions provided for each Project/Activity BEFORE beginning.
  • Keep a copy of these Construction Instructions close by, so you can re-read as you create.
  • Clean up your work space when you have completed what you wanted to do.

Click on this link for more information on CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program:

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

Read on for more Details on each Unit, but, first, take a look at October’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ October Poetry

During my years in the classroom, I discovered the best way to focus my students’ attention for new content was a choral read of thematic poetry written with colorful images.

October’s five poems are printed onto six thematic 8 ½ x 11″ images you can enlarge if needed. The font sizes are large as well.

You can access this PDF freebie in Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s TPT Shop by clicking on this link:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDiggers-October-Poetry-Posters-6022128

We LOVE Pets

Animals are such agreeable friends they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~George Eliot

CLMDgrsOct:We Love Pets
CLMDgrsOct: We Love Pets

 Week One of CLAMDigger’s October Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 30-page unit entitled We LOVE Pets . It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Oct: Pets Care Manual
Oct:Pets Care Manual

  • COUNTRY PETS / CITY PETS: A PET~CARE MANUAL

Oct: Pets Poster Parade
Oct: Pets Poster Parade

  • SHOW & TELL PET PARADE

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, pencil, colors, glue- stick,  scissors, binding materials, reference materials, envelopes/stamps, poster board, pet photos, mementos

You can access the We LOVE Pets unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/We-LOVE-Pets-6022312

Old World Explorations

Exploration is wired into our brains. If we can see the horizon, we want to know what’s beyond. ~Buzz Aldrin

CLMDgrsOct: Old World Explorations
CLMDgrsOct: Old World Explorations

Week Two of CLAMDigger’s October Literacy Enrichment Colllection is a  53-page unit entitled Old World Explorations . It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Oct: Ship & Game Cards
Oct: Ship & Game Cards

  • SETTING SAIL: Parts & Provisions of the Seafaring Vessel

Oct: Game Board
Oct: Game Board

  • INTO THE NEW WORLD: An Exploration Board Game

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, pencil, colors,  rubber bands, scissors, glue stick, tape/stapler, blue poster board, blue & green paint chips, ziploc, die, game-player movers, treasures

You can access the Old World Explorations unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Old-World-Explorations-6022465

Healthy Body! Healthy Brain!: A Nutrition Guide

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. ~Jim Rohn

CLMDgrsOct: A Nutrition Guide
CLMDgrsOct: A Nutrition Guide

Week Three of CLAMDigger’s October Literacy Enrichment Collection is a   42-page unit entitled Healthy Body! Healthy Brain! : A Nutrition Guide. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Oct: Nutrition Food Groups
Oct: Nutrition Food Groups

  • YES, YES, YES, PLEASE! 4 BAGS FULL!

Oct: Nutrition Menus, Servings & Recipes
Oct: Nutrition Menus, Servings & Recipes

  • EVERY DAY I NEED TO EAT…..
  • FOLLOW THE FOOD GROUPS RECIPES

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, pencil, colors, glue-stick, scissors, reference materials, dry erase marker, hole punch, O-ring, food photos/images 

You can access Healthy Body! Healthy Brain! : A Nutrition Guide unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Healthy-Body-Healthy-Brain-A-Nutrition-Guide-6025336

Boos & Hisses ! It’s Halloween!

Boos and Hisses need Chocolate Kisses.~BLB

CLMDgrsOct: Halloween
CLMDgrsOct: Halloween

Week Four of CLAMDigger’s October Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 47-page unit entitled Boos & Hisses! It’s Halloween !  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Oct: Pumpkins
Oct: Pumpkins

  • HANGING PUMPKIN PATCH

Oct: Halloween Party
Oct: Halloween Party

  • HAPPY HALLOWEEN PARTY!

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, recyclable paper shreds, straw-colored raffia, string, ribbon, yarn, pencil/pen, envelopes/stamps

You can access the Boos & Hisses! It’s Halloween! unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/BOOS-and-HISSES-Its-Halloween-6025457

 

You can  access CLAMDiggers’  October Literacy Enrichment units individually or as a 4-Unit bundle for your convenience & savings. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDiggers-October-A-4-Unit-Bundle-6025631

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

 

Copyright©2020BizzyLizzyBiz

 

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

This is the CLAMDiggers’ Enrichment Program Overview!

CLAMDiggers Overview

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his/her might that which s/he desires. ~Paulo Coelho

I am very excited to share CLAMDiggers: a 52~week, cross-curricular, enrichment, and  interactive program I developed from my teaching and learning experiences with children, ages 8~11 years-old.

They always encouraged and inspired hands-on activities with readily available materials. Producing projects, such as games, books, sculptures, puppets, skits, paintings, food, keepsakes, etc. enhanced not only the learning process propelled by children’s love of an engaging read, but also, stimulated their creative skills in critical thinking, problem solving, visual & spatial reasoning, etc.

In the Beginning…

In the Classroom-Ludi
In the Classroom-Ludi

CLAMDiggers was originally developed as a classroom enrichment program and/or an after-school activity club for children, ages 8-11, integrating fiction and nonfiction literature with craft-making, role-play and artistic expression.

However, given the changing landscape of education, I tweaked and edited each Unit’s activities to make them more tech-friendly and accessible. Their priority remains as an interactive, hands-on learning experience.

Initially formatted for a classroom teacher, I re-worded Activity Directions into an Upper Elementary Independent Reading Level. The Lesson Plan is written as a guide for teaching reading comprehension within the thematic trade book selection list.

 An Educational Overview

Building Cognitive Skills with CLAMDiggers-Hires
Building Cognitive Skills with CLAMDiggers-Hires

CLAMDiggers is designed to build Cognitive Skills through Critical Thinking.

While promoting the ongoing development of a child’s eagerness to explore the accomplishments of creative production through manipulative experiences, CLAMdiggers:

  • cultivates an appreciation for appropriate children’s literature using a thematic approach
  • addresses cross-curriculum objectives throughout each lesson for analysis, synthesis and evaluation
  • inspires creative production using a variety of art media
  • provides opportunities for extension and enrichment within the framework of each session
  • increases an understanding of the global community on both physical and cultural levels

The impact of CLAMDiggers is immediate and expansive, as each child internalizes the confidence to express imaginative responses.

CLAMDiggers’ Format

CLAMDiggers' Format-Canva
CLAMDiggers’ Format-Canva

This labor of love of mine is assembled into seasonal / monthly / weekly collections (Summer, too) and formatted to correspond with educational guidelines. Each session includes:

 An  Introduction with an Instructional Sequence

The Unit’s Introductory Overview includes a suggested Instructional Sequence for integrating the fiction and nonfiction, Thematic Literature, grade-level  trade books listed  with the Haptic Activities included.

Master Materials & Literature Books Lists

The Unit’s Master Materials List is a complete inventory of each Activity’s necessary supplies for completion. Substitution ideas are, also, included. The Unit’s Thematic Literature List is compiled of titles I successfully used in the classroom. Children predictably and positively responded to these 10-12  reads. There are spaces for you to lists your choices as well.

A Lesson Plan with Curriculum Objectives

Each Lesson Plan generally focuses on  ideas for utilizing a variety of Comprehension Elements within the Literature reads. It, also, provides the Objectives the specific session will address. These Curriculum guidelines are designated in abbreviations: LA (Language Arts), MTH (Math), SS (Social Studies), SC (Science), HLTH (Health), A (Art), M (Music) & PE (Physical Education). The Activities/Projects are listed as well.

Activities/Projects with Directions, Illustrations, Templates & Extensions

Directions for the Activity or Project have been sequentially tested for understanding. I know how LITERAL  children can be, especially with Hands-On tasks. Some illustrations and templates may be included for, hopefully, easier modelling and tracer accessibility. Extension ideas at the conclusion of each Activity/Project will give you and your child more possibilities for enrichment.

Seasonal & Monthly Studies

CLAMDiggers' Invitation for Study--Atlantamomoffive
CLAMDiggers’ Invitation for Study-Atlantamomoffive

Each Seasonal collection of Literature Study & Activity/Project options includes opportunities to:

  • celebrate Nature’s seasonal changes
  • investigate weather patterns
  • observe the sky’s phenomena
  • explore a variety of animals
  • discover plant-life

Monthly Units have a collection of mini- poetry posters to introduce a focus on the content of the different lessons within each weekly session. They may include connections to:

  • celebrate holidays & special occasions
  • examine historical events
  • research social environments
  • create plays & games
  • apply critical thinking skills for problem solving
  • use imagination for expression

Here’s Condensed Contents List of the CLAMDiggers’ Seasonal & Monthly Main Ideas:

JANUARY: Nature in Winter/Snow/Civil Rights/Hibernation

FEBRUARY: Asian New Year/Valentines/Friendship/US Presidents

MARCH: Dr Seuss & Imagination/Windy Weather/A Wee Bit O’ Green/Spring Into Spring/Humor

 APRIL: Fairy Tales/Clouds & Rain/Earth Day Everyday/Arbor Day: A Celebration of Trees

 MAY: Mothers’ Day/Baby Animals/Bicycles & Safety/Neighbors in the Neighborhood/Let’s Have a Picnic 

JUNE: The Sun/Fathers’ Day/Backyard Summer Fun/Going on Vacation

JULY: Independence Day/Summer Nights: Moon & Stars/Tall Tales & Legends/Fun in the Water: Oceans, Lakes & Rivers 

AUGUST: Spotlight/Insects/I’m Bored ! Daydreams & Mysteries/ Inventions: Machines & Robotics

 SEPTEMBER: A Community of Helpers/Back to School/ Grandparents/Autumn Comes/A Bushel Of Apples 

OCTOBER: We Love Pets !/Old World Explorations/Nutrition Guide/ Boos & Hisses ! It’s Halloween! 

NOVEMBER: Autumn Fantasy/Then & Now/Native Americans/ Giving Thanks 

DECEMBER: An Early American Christmas/Oh! Christmas Tree!/ Santa & His Reindeer/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year

Weekly Unit Components

Weekly Literature-Canva
Weekly Literature-Canva

Each weekly unit, or session includes the following components:

  • front & back covers
  • a contents list
  • introductory sequence overview
  • master materials activities list
  • thematic literature book list
  • lesson plan
  • one-four activities with sequential instructions & extension ideas

Crafts, Literature & More

Crafts, Literature & More-Hermann
Crafts, Literature & More-Hermann

You can utilize CLAMDiggers’ enrichment program in a variety of ways:

  • a Home-School enrichment program
  • an hour after-school club session introduced with a teacher-read trade book and guided activity
  • a several hours mini “workshop” with your child or several children partner-reading several trade books, electing a teacher-read book and producing activity (ies)
  • an on-going classroom, thematic DEAR with an independent and/or partner-student read, promoting a book-share, a teacher-read encouraging comprehension and culminating in project production with usage for evaluation
  • center-based tasks to include student-generated comprehension assessments in conjunction with activity production
  • cooperative group preparation of book and project presentation
  • multi-grade level student partnerships for book-shares and activity production
  • extra-credit or homework assignments to encourage parental involvement

Laminating a pocketed folder with brads or providing a notebook with dividers will help your child or children keep lessons and materials organized. A permanent black marker will enable them to title the cover.   

Book Reviews & Comprehension activities with Project Directions can be part of the folder’s contents.

Encourage your students to anecdote the Directions with questions & thoughts.  It will help generate Critical Thinking and, hopefully, facilitate Brainstorming and Creativity for Extension Activities .

CLAMDiggers’ Access

Whether selecting a few weekly units individually and/or a monthly bundle (which will include a 30-page booklet of Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension, Brainstorming & Writing), CLAMDiggers’ enrichment program for Upper Elementary Learners will be available ~hopefully~ for purchase on Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s Teachers Pay Teachers Shop several weeks before the Month’s due date. September’s Monthly/Weekly Units are first. Access to the Monthly Poetry Posters will be in the Shop as well. Here’s the link to my Shop:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mz-Bizzy-Lizzy-Biz

A Few CLAMDiggers’ Thank You Freebies

I hope this literature-based, Literacy enrichment program has caught your interest. Here are a few 10-page Freebies I created to show my appreciation. Just click on the links to open these PDFs:

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

As a parent-teacher and/or classroom teacher of children, ages 8-11, I know you and yours will find these Units engaging and fun. I would love to hear from you.

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2020BizzyLizzyBiz

P.S.  HAPPY CLAMDIGGING!!!!

 

 

 

Planning the Family Literacy Circle During Your Pregnancy

Planning the Family Literacy Circle During Your Pregnancy

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.~ from Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne

WOOHOO!!!! You’re a parent! A mommy!  And in less than 9 months your outer body mommy-hands, arms, legs & feet (not to mention your chest) will be filled with a small, soft, beautiful life. That sleeps, eats, yawns, coos, and, well, you know what else the precious little darlin’ does…..Planning the Family Literacy Circle During Your Pregnancy

But for now, your little seedling of life is safely tucked away….for the next 36 weeks,  giving you time to plan.

When you have some awake-time during these first few months (I, like other moms, was constantly in need of a nap), you’ll probably dream about:

  • Who your baby will favor in looks? Eye/hair color? Your dimples? Daddy’s cleft chin? Grandma’s curly hair? Grandpa’s long, slender body? Your sister’s smile? Your brother’s freckles? Your cousin’s big feet & hands? Your Great-Aunt’s nose?
  • What will your baby’s personality be like? Your mom’s love of gardening? Your dad’s love of fishing? Your aunt’s love of books? Your uncle’s love of travel? Daddy’s love of humor? Your love of long walks on the beach?

It’s, also, okay to worry about, well, what pregnant parents worry about. Don’t scare yourself. Take care of the 2 of you with good nutrition, fresh air and lots of laughter, rest  & pampering.

You are planning the Family Literacy Circle during your pregnancy.

Begin the Family Literacy Circle with “Dear Baby of Mine……”

Starting a journal during this time will make a wonderful memory gift for you to give your child later in life. Reading some of these entries will answer questions your child will have about when s/he was “growing in your tummy.” Here are some thoughts you may want to include in this keepsake:

  • names you are considering for your baby and why
  • a list of your favorite songs, stories, rhymes, books
  • activities you want to share with your baby
  • places you want to take your baby
  • things you are doing to prepare for your baby’s arrival
  • special traditions your family celebrates, especially birthdays
  • important lessons you want to teach your baby
  • little bios of all  the people your baby will meet

Your feelings and reflections, especially when spoken out loud to share with your baby, will begin the literacy circle of bonding. Connecting with your little swimmer this way helps you to prepare for  your growing family through language-the first MAJOR step in forming the Literacy Family Circle.

BLB Shop may have just the journal you are looking for ~

The Waiting Womb Journal : 36 Gestation Meditations

Click on the link below to check it out!

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/the-waiting-womb-journal-36-gestation-meditations/

 Your Pregnancy and Your Baby’s Brain

Pregnant at the Grocery Store-JBarsky0
Yummy in My Tummy-JBarsky0

Dr. John Medina, a brain scientist,  stated in his book, Brain Rules For Baby , you should leave your little embryo/fetus alone during the first 4-5 months of your pregnancy. S/he can’t hear you until then, anyway. Of course, not to contradict the experts and/or cause harm to your unborn child, but most mothers (including myself) start chatting with Baby as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

I guess the “disclaimer” here would be…. your baby’s brain is not actually listening/understanding what you’re saying during the first half of your pregnancy.

Dr. Medina does go on to say scientific research has tested and evaluated several activities parents can do to help with their baby’s brain development during pregnancy.  

Helping with the Growth & Development of Your Baby’s Brain

Here are Dr. Medina’s “Four Things Proven to Help Baby’s Brain”:

Nutrition Needs

  • Eat LOTS of fruits & veggies
  • Make sure your prenatal vitamin has folic acid
  • Take iron which is necessary for your baby’s proper brain development & normal functioning
  • Eat foods with omega3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, cod, haddock & sardines
  • Disclaimer- scientists don’t know why pregnant women have “random cravings” (I personally had to have ice cream every day after my DAILY intake of Mexican food. I was unable to eat my favorite food- peanut butter because it gave me heartburn, which I had never experienced until pregnancy)

Baby’s Birth Weight

  • Your baby’s brain size is related to the birth weight of up to 8 pounds (so, a 10-pound baby doesn’t mean a larger brain)
  • Snacking on the right foods will secure that desired weight  (for me – it kept headaches away, which I experienced during pregnancy if I didn’t eat when I /we were hungry….and had never experienced until then. I put away a hefty sum of granola bars, especially during the last trimester).

Exercise

  • Look into swimming, dance, stretch, and/or yoga classes especially formatted for pregnancy
  • Walk as much as you can everyday and breathe deep
  • Moderate exercise  helps during labor
  • Don’t over do it because you can overheat your baby
  • Moderate exercise can, also, reduce stress

Stress

  • Some people, as part of their genetics, are more sensitive than others to stressful situations- if that is you- keep it to a minimum
  • Your stress hormone- cortisol- slips through the placenta & enters your baby’s brain
  • Avoid too much stress – especially during the 3rd trimester – because it can “profoundly influence your prenatal baby’s development”
  • I’ve dedicated a section in this blog to “Stress Tamers”

  Your First Trimester with Your Baby

Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.~ by Dr. Seuss from The Cat in the Hat

In Kathy Kinsner’s May 16th, 2016 article, “Bonding With Your Baby Before Birth” for the website http://www.zerotothree.org , she tells us your baby’s brain starts to form just three weeks after conception. It continues to develop in many different ways throughout a lifetime.

During the beginnings of your baby’s brain development, it starts storing information – new skills and memories- to keep and use during her/his life.

Infogrades Infographic: “Guide to Pregnancy: Week to Week” lists some helpful data on what is happening to you and your baby during this first trimester:

Baby

  • Grows from the size of a sesame seed to the size of a lime
  • Develops brain cells at a rate of over 100 per minute
  • Begins to form major organs
  • Starts to wriggle inside your womb

Mommy

  • Produces pregnancy hormones
  • Feels your body (and emotions) rapidly changing
  • Needs to nap because you’re more tired than usual
  • Needs to eat lots of fruits & veggies

Literacy Plan During Your First Trimester

Although most experts will tell you to leave your little embryo in peace for the first four to five months of your pregnancy, there are several Literacy Planning and Brain Development Support  can activities you can do:

Madonna in Red-Vidallari
Madonna in Red -Vidallari

  • Visualize & start to prepare Baby’s room
  • Write a letter to your newest little family member
  • Start your daily 2 mile walk & find different, non-strenuous places to explore
  • Relax & drift into a light nap
  • Visit the children’s section in your local library & look for books you’ll want to share with your baby
  • Write down the titles & remember some of  your childhood favorites
  • Call some of the surrounding elementary schools, learning centers and/or churches to see if they’re having a children’s book sale.
  • Check out  this book list in BLB’s Resources to help you plan your Family Literacy Circle’s library:

http://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/building-baby-and-toddlers-first-library-of-25-book-titles/

Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.~Dr. Seuss

Exercise Benefits for Both of Your Brains

Unitypoint.org’s infographic “Get Moving, Baby!” is filled with specifics regarding the effects of exercising during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy. You should always check with your obstetrician before beginning  a workout plan even it is listed as specific for “Pregnancy”.

Go Outside - Greyerbaby
Go Outside – Greyerbaby

Here are some Exercise Benefits:

  • helps with your sleep & daily rest
  • increases your energy levels
  • improves your mood
  • eases aches & pains, especially in your back
  • reduces your risk for pregnancy complications
  • prepares your body for childbirth

“Walk This Way”

I found this short article  in the February 2017 issue of AARP magazine’s section Healthy You (yes, I’m of the age) titled “Walk This Way”. Author Sara Altshul suggests a variety of “motivational” strolls & their benefits:

The Family Time Walk

Talking, laughing, debating, planning, and/or holding hands together while stepping outdoors for a mile or 2 is very  healthy for you and yours. It can calm your overactive brain as well as restore your attention span.

The Tree Hugger’s Walk

Nature walks through parks and on forest trails can be healing. Researchers found it improved lung & heart functions. You can always park yourself on a bench or under a tree for a shaded rest.

The Meditation Master’s Walk

You don’t need to be seated on a meditation mat to reap its goodness. Allowing your mind to rest in a quiet, peaceful way has the ability to ease high blood pressure, digestion woes, anxiety, depression & insomnia.

The Socializer’s Walk

Joining a “walk group” with friends and/or other waiting mommies is not only fun, but  also, helps keep you and your baby on a healthy track. One study showed group walks can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

The Philosopher’s Walk

Deep thinking during your daily stroll is a great brain booster. It improves your memory and reasoning skills. “Brainstorming” opportunities and solutions to troublesome problems are additional perks to this type of meandering.

For me – a  nice, long walk on the beach combines several of these “types” of walks. Must be why everyone always feel so GREAT after one of them!

Baby's Beachtime - Albaroma
Baby’s Beachtime – Albaroma

Onward to Your Second Trimester with Your Baby

How are we doing? I LOVED this part of my pregnancy! Feeling your baby’s first “kick” is  magical and powerful! Bonding with your baby with chats, songs & laughter is SO important for your baby’s brain development. By the end of this trimester, your baby has millions of brain cells!

Baby Love - Tasha
Baby Love – Tasha

Dr. Medina of Brain Rules and Infogrades Infographic: “Guide to Pregnancy: Week to Week” share some useful data on what is happening to you and your baby during the critical second trimester:

Baby

  • Grows from the size of an avocado to the size of a coconut
  • Has its own fingerprints
  • Develops ears & can hear by 20 weeks
  • Becomes sensitive to smells, temperature & bright light
  • Responds & prefers your voice
  • Wriggles, yawns, hiccups & burps

Mommy

  • Feels more aches especially in back, ankles & feet
  • Your belly button might pop out
  • Has more energy than in the first trimester
  • Eats lots and lots (Thanksgiving dinner is a fun food fest!)
  • May crave certain foods

Literacy Plan During Your Second Trimester

Talking with Baby-Jashina
Talking with Baby-Jashina

Studies have found your voice has a calming effect on your baby because when you speak,  his/her heart rate slows down.  Daily chats, reads and songs boost your baby’s brain power.

Listening to language is a HUGE Literacy step inviting your baby into the verbal world. Your baby’s brain needs to hear the different tones, pitches, vibrations, accents & basic sounds commonly  spoken every day.

Although your voice is the most familiar and soothing to your baby, make sure Daddy, siblings and other loved ones talk, read, and sing with Baby, too. Your baby will connect their voices as a bond of love, comfort, and security.

The Power of Oral Language in Literacy

How do we bring our new, little acrobatic gymnast into the Family Literacy Circle? Communicate with daily oral language.

Chats & Conversations

  • Baby’s Family: Daddy, brother, sister, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, other loved ones, and pets
  • Baby’s Home: her/his room, kitchen, bathroom, yard, etc
  • Daily Life: routines, chores, errands
  • Plans for his/her arrival
  • Special Occasions: traditions, holidays, celebrations
  • Your favorites: places, activities, things, memories
  • Baby’s Name Choices (my baby actually kicked on a specific name when I read the list of choices)

Books, Stories & Songs

  • Read from your Pregnancy journal
  • Read some of your favorite childhood books
  • Read rhyming  books you have just for your new baby
  • Read some of your favorite recipes
  • Have loved ones read to your baby
  • Create stories about your adventures
  • Create family-memory stories
  • Create stories with invented characters
  • Sing songs & lullabies

Talk and sing to your baby every day. Find time during the day or in the evening right before you go to sleep to read and/or tell a story to your baby. You will notice her/him physically reacting to your voice(s). S/he might even remember some of the rhyming and rhythmic verses and stories you’ve read while in utero. Babies have been known to remember music as well.

Beware of Stress Producers

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~ from Winnie the Pooh by AAMilne

The word stress was coined over 50 years ago by researcher Hans Selye. a Doctor of Medicine & Chemistry. He was studying the effects of “noxious agents” on people.

 I Got This! - Efes
I Got This! – Efes

Dr. John Medina cites Three Different Types of Toxic Stress in his book, Brain Rules for Baby that will hurt your baby’s brain development:

  • Too Frequent  happens every day and is continuing & unrelenting stress, such as -an overly demanding job, chronic illness, no social support, poverty
  • Too Severe is a loss of control during  traumatic circumstances in one’s life, such as – marital separation, divorce, death of a loved one, especially a spouse. loss of a job, criminal assault
  • Too Much for You is an overwhelming feeling  of despair & depression brought about by unexpected or overpowering events.

Staying in the “Happy-Go-Preggo” World

One of the easiest and most effective things you can do during a stress attack is massage that big, beautiful baby carrier of yours. It decreases excessive baby jumping (I thought my ribs were permanently stretched). Your baby will jump or kick during sudden loud noises. A gentle belly rub will help lessen prenatal complications and lower a premature birth rate.

Here are Seven Simple Stress Busters during pregnancy suggested on the website Sparkle People. Here’s the link:

https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=75_easy_stress_busters

No Stress Here! -Grisguerra
No Stress Here! -Grisguerra

  1. Get a massage
  2. Go for a walk or swim
  3. Call a friend
  4. Write in your journal
  5. Play a quick game
  6. Take a nap
  7. Plan something fun

Just being pregnant can bring stress:

  • the discomfort (oooowww) due to “expansion”,
  • the lack of sleep (crankiness) due to the discomforting expansion,
  • the sometime nagging worries (what if…),
  • the wait (Good Grief! Another MONTH!!!),
  • the anticipation (I’m SO ready),
  • the preparation (do we have enough…)…….

NOT trying to stress you out here…… Stress isn’t good for you AND it hurts your baby’s brain development.

20 Stress Tamers

So, here’s a little freebie I created for you to put on the fridge when even your favorite snack doesn’t help. If “OMG! How Am I Going to Get Through This!!!!!” is taking a hold of your usually happy-go-preggo day, read through this list of 20 Stress Tamers. Then, choose one , several or all suggestions to help calm yourself (and your little angel). You can do the list in a sequence, small grouping, or if you’re having a particularly “Enough Already!!!!” day, repeat the entire Tamers list until you’re once again –  “happy-go-preggo”.

click to download & copy 20 Stress Tamers

  And remember, as we remind ourselves in the nation of TeacherLand- “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”.

Literally…The Home Stretch (or the Third & FINAL Trimester)

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.  ~ A. Einstein

Come On, Baby! Time to Try on Your Onesie! - Public Domain Pictures
Come On, Baby! Time to Try on Your Onesie! – Public Domain Pictures

YIPPEEEEEE! Now for the FUN months!!! Here’s what’s happening to you & your little swimmer, I mean, diver:

Baby

  • Grows from the size of an eggplant to the size of a pineapple
  • Can smell your perfume
  • Smiles during calm music & scowls at loud, raucous music
  • Practices breathing air
  • Begins its descent into the birth canal at 36 weeks

Mommy

  • Can hear & feel Baby’s heartbeat
  • Can count Baby’s kicks
  • Can see & feel Baby’s movements
  • Needs more rest & Stress Tamers (especially foot & back massages)
  • Needs to practice birth-breathing

I know you’re tired, but walking  those 2 miles EVERY DAY is SOOOOOO VERY GOOD and important for you & your baby now.

Literacy Plan During Your Third Trimester

Your baby is responding more and more to you and his/her loved ones’ voices. Continue speaking, reading, (especially rhyming verses) storytelling, singing & humming with your baby. You’ll be resting more these last few months, so make sure you have a stack of Baby’s books, joke books & magazines, as well as your journal, doodle/drawing paper, pens, pencils & colors near by.  Although my rib-swinger and I were very found of classical music during this time; my visiting family & friends tried not to fall asleep mid-sentence. But, baby & I were calm, relaxed, and breathing deeply.

YOU GOT THIS!!!!!

Want to share your pregnancy stories? Have some helpful tips & info? I would love to hear them.

  Fill out the Contact Me form if you have a question and/or concern, but don’t want to subscribe…..yet.

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2017BizzyLizzyBiz

Nurturing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Newborn (0-6 mos.)

Our children will teach how to love, how to forgive, and how to be full expressions of our deepest selves, if we only let them.  ~Ann Ruethling & Patti Pitcher

When I first “organized” this series on The Family Literacy Circle, I thought “Nurturing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Newborn” would be its own post. However, after completing the research, I knew one post wasn’t going to be enough. Nurturing the Family LiteracyCircle with Your Newborn (0-6 mos.)

Your baby’s first year is  HUGE !  Continuing with the Literacy Circle  is one of the most important gifts you can share with your newest family member.  

Learning to control the physical world with her/his body is your baby’s primary focus: eating, grabbing, rolling over, sitting up, babbling/talking, crawling, walking, climbing, “toddling”. These skills are gained through imitation and repetition. You can see your baby’s personality begin to emerge while “working” on these accomplishments.

How To Make a Nurturing, Literacy-Friendly Home

There's No Place Like Home -Carlo Navarro
There’s No Place Like Home -Carlo Navarro

Cynthia Aldinger, founder of Lifeways North America & author of Home Away from Home , coined the phrase “Living Arts”. Creating a supportive and caring home has 4 major elements, according to Ms. Aldinger:

  • Domestic Activity– Model the work necessary to keep a home safe, healthy & secure. Include your child(ren) so they have opportunities to imitate what is being done and, then, participate with the family.
  • Domestic Activity’s  Literacy Value: oral language, sequential order, following directions, cause & effect, problem/solutions, details
  • Nurturing Care – Share your life experiences while focusing on your child(ren) as major contributors to the family’s history.                           
  • Nurturing Care’s Literacy Value: oral language, main ideas, characters & setting, fact & opinion, compare/contrast
  • Creative Discovery – Recognize your child(ren)’s desire to be physically & mentally active while exploring & mastering new skills
  • Creative Discovery’s Literacy Value:   experimenting, risk-taking, brainstorming, problem solving, sequencing, critical thinking
  • Social Ability – Build confidence in your child(ren) that will help grow & nurture relationships with others outside the family’s sphere, such as friends, schoolmates, clubs, teams.    
  • Social Ability’s Literacy Value : inference, prediction, character, settings, generalizations

Your Newborn’s BrainPower

Grasp of New Life-Jelly
Grasp of New Life-Jelly

Did you know ?

  • Newborns  have about 100 BILLION brain cells at birth
  • 75% of your newborn’s brain develops AFTER birth
  • Your baby’s brain DOUBLES in size within her/his first year
  • Your newborn can feel pleasure, fear & distress
  • Your newborn’s 5 senses quickly develop once outside the womb
  • His/her hearing is not fully developed, but s/he recognizes & prefers mother’s voice
  • S/he  recognizes mother’s smell at birth
  • S/he is sensitive to sounds, light & temperature
  • S/he can distinguish light from dark, but not different shades of color (pastels), which will develop later

Your newborn’s sensitivity to bright light does not affect his/her need to sleep 15-17 hours a day. During the first few weeks, s/he usually doesn’t know the difference between night and day.

How Smart Is My Baby?

Dr. John Medina, a brain scientist & author of the book, Brain Rules For Baby , shares a few facts about intelligence:

  • No intelligence gene has been isolated
  • IQ (intelligence quota) measures one’s ability to take IQ tests
  • Researchers can’t agree on what IQ tests measure
  • IQ can change throughout one’s life & is affected by stress, age & cultural environment
  • Family life affects a child’s IQ

He, also, says the human intelligence has 2 “essential ingredients”:

  1. The ability to record & keep information-the memory
  2. The capacity to use that information – reasoning & problem solving

You and your loved ones can support & nurture your newborn’s brain development in several ways.

How To Boost Your Newborn’s BrainPower for Literacy

Hello Baby!-Public Domain Pics
Hello Baby!-Public Domain Pic

Babies enter the world with a lot of love and trust. Bonding between parents and child is a major key to the healthy  growth and development of your baby’s brain.

Rahima Dancy, an internationally- known  early childhood educator & author of You Are Your Child’s First Teacher and Susan Sloop from the University of Illinois Extension (I combined the lists) offered some suggestions:

  • Touching, cuddling & rocking your baby a lot promotes brain growth and  a sense of security & well-being
  • Responding quickly to your baby’s cries or fussiness with a soothing & calming voice builds positive brain circuitry in her/his brain as well as emotional security
  • Giving your newborn some peace & quiet time so s/he will adjust to her/his physical life
  • Spending time face-to-face & being attentive with your baby gives her/him  the confidence to explore, discover & learn about the world BUT DO NOT overstimulate or force physical development
  • Talking, humming & singing with your newborn stimulates his/her brain for understanding speech, producing language, & gaining skills for reasoning as well as planning

Your Newborn’s Oral Language Development & Literacy

Enough Talk Already -Tim Bish
Enough Talk Already -Tim Bish

Yes, talking, singing & humming with your newborn helps develop language & literacy. Believe it or not, s/he is communicating with you, too!

Another way to communicate with your newborn is through sign language. “Between 6 to 8 months, babies’ long term memories are developmentally ready to retain the words they hear and the signs they see.” (White & Harper: Signs of a Happy Baby 2017)

Pathways.org, who is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings, provides some great information on early childhood growth & development abilities & milestones.

0-3 Months

  • Quiets and/or smiles in response to sound and/or voice
  • Turns head towards sound and/or voice
  • Shows interest in faces
  • Makes eye contact
  • Cries differently for different needs: hungry, tired, uncomfortable
  • Chuckles, gurgles & coos

Literacy Boosters

  • Talk about everything you are doing: washing your hands, getting dressed, cooking food, feeding baby & family, putting away toys
  • Use short sentences
  • Stress important words
  • Speak slowly & vary your tone
  • Use pictures and/or objects to help your baby understand
  • Read books (more on that later)

4-6  Months

  • Reacts to sudden sounds and/or noises
  • Listens and responds when spoken to
  • Begins to to use consonants when babbling: da da; ma ma; ba ba
  • Makes different kinds of sounds to express feelings
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Uses babbling to get attention

Literacy Boosters

  • Hum, chant, rock & bounce in a rhythmic way
  • Give your baby a rattle to shake while you sing and/or listen to music together
  • Use a mirror to play “who” & “where” games
  • Play “Peek-A-Boo” games
  • Make sure your newborn has musical toys
  • Give your newborn toys with a variety of textures

Baby Talk: The Communication  of Crying

You’ve probably noticed your infant:

  • playing with saliva (spit spray is fun)
  • raspberry-tongues (always a favorite)
  • blowing bubbles (they LOVE to do this)
  • vocalizations (yells, shouts, growls, howls)
  • cah-rrrryyyy-ing ( yes, it’s baby talk)

A few words about the Communication of Crying –  As a new mother, I was nervous about “understanding” the different cries my baby “spoke”. Very quickly, I learned to recognize what his cry-speak (just made up that term) was communicating. My Mother-Sense alerted me to what he was loudly “saying”. Believe me, they’re not ALL distress signals. Your tired-self will clue you in. And, you, like I, will be amazed at the variety of wails.

Here’s What I Discovered

The Distress Calls were no-brainers for me, as with many parents. My body went into immediate, reflex action. The other cries’ solutions came with a trial-and-error approach. No one wants to hear a baby’s mournful moans, but, sometimes, s/he is just expressing a feeling and/or thought of the moment. Listen closely to your little one and you will be able to distinguish the difference between a cry for help and a cry of frustration. It’s the language of babies-your baby- so, interpreting his/her cries will strengthen the bond between you. “Yay! S/he gets me!”

Here’s How I Discovered What To Do

  • Distress Calls or Pain: hunger, indigestion, teething, injury, sickness Mother-Sense: hair-raise on the back of my neck, increased heartbeat, stomach-clench, cool sweat, drop every & any thing to address the call, uh- alarm
  • Annoyance Alerts: diaper duty, clothing adjustment, sucking &/or attention need, toy access desired  Mother-Sense: respond & assist in a timely manner or escalation is imminent
  • Grumble Yowls: dissatisfaction, discomfort, irritation, moodiness Mother-Sense: distract with silliness or fake crying, change of scenery-going outdoors works great, everyone has days like this
  • Whimper Whines: confusion, tiredness, boredom, mild frustration, lonely, sound exploration, maybe some aches due to growing pains Mother-Sense: wait a short while to see if Baby will self-soothe (IMPORTANT), if not- talk to Baby calmly, offer toy to distract, give teething biscuit or ring, pick up & rock when big tears occur

Disclaimer: I am not a child expert – just a loving parent & elementary educator. well, that was more than “a few words” now, wasn’t it ?!

Literacy Needs Playtime

BabyBlocks-BethL
BabyBlocks-BethL

Watching your baby play is one of the most fascinating and revealing activities you can do. Listen to his/her babbling while at play. You may recognize some of your tones and expressions (in babblese). Not only will you learn how & what your baby is learning, but also, what keeps his/her interests.  Seeing glimpses of your baby’s emerging personality and the way problem solving happens is a treasure. Try not to interfere too much when you hear groans or wails of frustration. These, what I call “growing pains”, are helpful to your baby’s brain growth & development.

Kallokyri’s “Importance of Play”

 In June 2016 Anastasia Kalokyri created a whimsical  infographic : “Facts About the importance of Play in Early Childhood” for shoptwinkie.com.

Within  the 8 Stages of Play, from birth to ages 6 & 7, she describes several stages of your newborn’s play. 

During Unoccupied Play from birth -3months, your baby’s movements seem to be random without a clear purpose. However, researchers have found these movements are an important first step in the early stages of play.

Constructive Play, which also begins at birth, starts with infants putting things in their mouths to see how they feel & taste.

Beginning at 3 months your newborn may not notice others sitting & playing nearby.  During Solitary Play your baby is exploring the world by watching, grabbing & rattling objects.

 How Play Affects A Child’s Development

Here are some other facts Ms. Kalokyri shared:

  • How s/he learns & works out who s/he is
  • How the world works & how s/he fits into it
  • Helps build confidence
  • Helps to feel love, happy & safe
  • Helps to develop social skills, language & communication
  • Helps connect & refine pathways in her/his brain
  • Helps him/her learn about caring for others & the environment
  • Helps her/him learn physical skills

Playing with your newborn is a very important part of her/his literacy development because it stimulates brain and oral language growth & development. Remember to encourage quiet, solo playtime in your newborn because it is just as important to her/him.

  Games, Toys & Literacy

I'm Playing! -Colin Maynard
I’m Playing! -Colin Maynard

Playing games with your newborn is a wonderful way to bond and stimulate brain health. Learning  through our 5 senses is the human way to make contact with the physical world.

Choose toys that encourage creative and interactive play. Toys made with bright colors and a variety of textures, especially wood , wool, cotton, help your baby connect with the real world.

Talking, humming & singing during play is a great way to boost literacy. Oral language is an important building block when nurturing the Family Literacy Circle. encourage loved ones to participate.

When your baby is tired of playing & needs some quiet time, s/he may: begin sucking, wrinkle face, stare vacantly, yawn, squirm, cry.

Developmental Play for Your Newborn

Because games, toys & books are the POWER tools of your baby’s Literacy World, I researched several different sources to help bring this information to you. It was encouraging to read the repetition within the variety of authorities, scientists & specialists. Here are a few I used and combined their findings.

Dr. Glade Curtis, a pediatritian, and Judith Schuler, MS, co-authored 2010’s Your Baby’s First Year. They help parents  understand how they can help their baby’s first year of growth & development with a week-by-week approach. They divide play into: stimulate vision, talk & sing, and vocabulary & language.

Of The Hearth.com cited ZerotoThree.com & Maternal Child Nursing Care as sources to help her create her “Developmentally appropriate Play for Babies ” chart. It is divided into 4 types of play: visual, auditory, tactile & kinetic.

I created tables to share  the information. Remember to continue and build on each activity every week.

Developmental Play for Your Newborn (Birth to 1 Month)

AGE SEE & PLAY HEAR & PLAY TOUCH & PLAY GRAB & PLAY
WEEK 1*Show bold-patterned objects
*Show pictures of loved one's
faces
*Talk & sing to baby
*Play soothing music
*Hold, caress & cuddle baby
*Rock baby in a rocking chair
WEEK 2*Look closely into baby's face
*Look closely into baby's eyes
*Sing nursery rhymes
*Play lullaby CDs
*Swaddle baby*Put baby on his/her back
*Take baby for a stroller walk
WEEK 3*Move simple bright pics and
see if baby tracks
*Show bright toys close
*Vary the tone of your voice
*Say baby's name often
*Keep baby warm*Wear baby in a carrier
WEEK 4*Show pictures of loved one's
faces
*Read anything aloud
*Dance with toys while you sing
*Give butterfly kisses*Gently shake a rattle
WEEK 5*Show bright toys close *Take baby on a house tour, pointing out objects*Place baby on tummy with bright toys*Roll a ball while baby is in your lap or in a carrier
WEEK 6*Hang a mobile above baby*Describe what your doing when doing chores & caring for her/him*Play with baby & a mirror*See if baby will grab colorful rings
WEEK 7*Make funny faces*Take baby outside & point out trees, plants, sky, clouds, etc*Touch baby"s parts & name them*Shake toy keys & move them

Developmental Play for Your Newborn (2-3 Months)

AGE SEE & PLAY HEAR & PLAY TOUCH & PLAY GRAB & PLAY
WEEK 8* Make room bright with high contrast colors* Tell baby what you're doing while dressing him/her* Give baby a gentle massage
*Use an infant swing or bouncer
WEEK 9*Show baby bright toys & slowly move them right/left * Laugh when baby laughs* Comb baby's hair with a soft brush*Place baby on tummy with a mirror
WEEK 10*Show baby bright toys & slowly move them up/down * Dance with toys while you sing* Help baby touch different textures*Place baby on tummy with toys
WEEK 11*Show baby bright toys & slowly move them in a circle * Play CDs with nature sounds* Play "Little Piggies"*Utilize toy bars
WEEK 12*Show baby a small doll in the mirror*Make up a story to tell baby*Point to one of your body parts & then touch baby's same part*Utilize infant mats
WEEK 13*Show baby how to shake a rattle in the mirror*Talk to baby about using 4-5 word sentencesPlay "Pat-A-Cake"*Hold up a variety of toys to see which ones baby reaches for
WEEK 14*Wave bye-bye with baby in the mirror*Ask baby short questions: "Are you ready to eat?""Do a gentle horsey-rock*Hold a toy in each hand to see which one gets grabbed
WEEK 15*Read wordless books with bright, simple pictures*Expose baby to home sounds & different outdoor sounds*Blow on baby's fingers*Gently move baby's arms & legs in a swimming motion

Copy of Developmental Play for Your Newborn (4-6 Months)

AGE SEE & PLAY HEAR & PLAY TOUCH & PLAY GRAB & PLAY
WEEK 16* You might need to remove mobile or place out of baby's reach* Expose baby to classical, jazz & pop music as well as different languages* Look for toys with multiple sensory feels
* Bounce baby in lap while holding in a standing position
WEEK 17*Make a family & frequent friends photo display* Tell stories about the people in the photo display*Show baby the real person next to the photo & touch the person* Make sure loved ones are playing on the floor with baby
WEEK 18*Hang prisms to "catch" rainbows*Talk about the colors of the prism rainbows* Place your hand in the prism rainbow & then baby's hand* Place prism in baby's grasp
WEEK 19* Blow bubbles * Pop blown bubbles* Touch & hold blown bubbles*Catch a blown bubble & place on baby's hand
WEEK 20*Play peek-a-boo in the mirror*Look in the mirror with baby & make faces* Introduce wooden & plastic kitchen utensils*Put kitchen utensils on baby's play mat with baby
WEEK 21*Place some fruits & veggies in a variety of shapes & colors in front of baby*Talk about the fruits & veggies shapes & colors*Pick each one up & place in baby's hand using texture & temperature words*Place a few fruits & veggies in baby's reach
WEEK 22*Have baby see you make a bubble bath*Drop some toys to hear different splashes"See if baby will imitate your drop & splash play*Hold a bath toy in each hand to see which one gets grabbed
WEEK 23*Show baby a few books & see which one gets chosen*Change your voice when talking about different images in the book*Talk about the different textures of books: board, cloth, plastic, felt*See if baby will hold book & read to you

It might be fun to record some of the changes you see in your baby’s play. How’s the babblese progressing? Any new sounds? Preferences? I’m sure you’ve noticed a few books your baby likes to hold & eat.

Reading with Your Newborn in the Family Literacy Circle

Reading with My Feet-Iha21
Reading with My Feet-Iha21

Reading to a Newborn? Really?

Remember, you’ve already introduced reading to your baby-in utero. Reading aloud to your newborn has many benefits:

  • presents a perfect bonding opportunity: snuggle & read
  • watch & learn what interests your baby
  • interaction teaches your baby reading is fun
  • teaches your newborn new vocabulary & ideas
  • encourages different sound expressions for oral language

In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended reading to newborns. Evidence supports the fact your baby actually understands what your are reading, unless, of course, it’s The Theory of Realitivity or War and Peace .

Your baby’s brain is still developing; and reading stimulates the brain’s growth & development. Reading books with your Newborn nurtures the Literacy Circle, preparing and developing the habit of lifetime reading.

When & Where Do I Read to My Newborn ?

Yes, your baby is spending most of her/his time eating. sleeping & trying to master the physical world. Reading can be done during the day and for a few minutes at a time.  Make it part of your daily routine.Try “weaving” some pages or a short book throughout each day and/or evening:

  • when your newborn wakes up in the morning or from a nap
  • right before a nap or nightly bedtime
  • repeat some of the rhymes you’ve read during bath time

Or you can change up the reading routine:

  • while you are waiting in a restaurant, doctor’s office, the car
  • choose different places to read: the floor, at the table, on the bed, outside in the hammock, on a park bench
  • have loved ones read to the baby

How Do I Read to My Newborn ? 

  • Read with expression, changing your tone & pitch
  • Read slowly, pointing & describing the images
  • Pause in-between the pages so your baby can have time to look
  • Look to your baby for clues on interest /focus
  • Maybe you need to share a different book or read at another time
  • Re-read favorites often
  • Give your baby a chew toy while you read
  • Be interactive with your baby during the read: ask questions

What Kind of Books Should We Read to a Newborn?

There’s no substitute for books in the life of a child.     ~Mary Ellen Chase

 So many books! So little time! Fear not!  

I Remember This Picture! - Nickelbabe
I Remember This Picture! – Nickelbabe

Many of my Third  graders continued to read wordless books as source of enjoyment to themselves & others. They created vocabulary-rich stories around the pictures.

Parent & child development sites will give you “tried & true” recommendations. Siblings, relatives & loved ones will share their favorites, too. Mommy & Daddy can probably recite their favorites from memory.

Your child will let you know which books are the “preferred” reads. You’ll hear them being shared with friends, dolls, pets & stuffed animals in another year or two..

Book Choices

Some experts say select books with black & white images for babies under 6 months of age. Just a thought… Some other suggestions for book choices are:

  • Books with large, simple pictures
  • Thick, sturdy board books
  • Cloth & soft, vinyl books
  • “Bath-time” books

Remember books will first be explored in your baby’s mouth. Make sure your baby knows s/he is more important than the chewed & shredded book. It is well-loved!

Here’s a list of several of my “tried & true” board book choices from the BLB Resource Library: 

http://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/baby-board-booklist/

Go to your local library, elementary school library and/or bookstore to “check” them out.

A Little P.S. Note

While researching more sources, tips & ideas to add to this Family Literacy Circle Series, I came across Elizabeth of Frugal Mom Eh!’s post ” 20 Things to Do with Your Baby Before They Turn One.”  Here’s a few suggestions for the 0-6 months window:

  • Capture your newborn’s hand & foot prints. Looking at my adult son’s newborn “prints” still brings a gulp to by heart.
  •  Learn and/or compose some songs to sing to your baby. Remember “rhyme, rhythm & repetition.”
  • Take TONS of pictures. You’ll be amazed how much your little one changes in a matter of days. Seriously!
  • Go swimming in water if weather permits. Your baby will sigh with the memory.
  • Fill in that Baby Milestone Book while your emotions are present. You will absolutely LOVE re-reading it. Your growing child will love hearing about it, too!
  • Baby Milestone Book suggestions: bottle to high chair food, baby bath to bath tub, cradle or bassinet to crib, baby food to finger food, major movements, favorite toys & showing teeth

Need a Baby Milestone Book ? BLB Shop has one you may like.

Baby’s First Year of Firsts : A Memory Keepsake Book

Click on the link below to check it out.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/babys-first-year-of-firsts-memory-keepsake-book/

I’m sure you have some wonderful tips & ideas to share. Are there any questions and/or concerns you have about your newborn’s first 6 months-regarding Literacy, of course? Isn’t it amazing how our everyday lives affect our children’s? Fill in  the Contact Me form below, but you don’t want to subscribe….yet. I’d love to hear from you!

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2017BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Nurturing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Infant (7-12 Months)

The only time I ever felt qualified to be a parent was before I had kids.  ~ Father in comic strip “Baby Blues”

Infancy, the first year of a child’s life, comes from the Latin for “without Nurturing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Infant (7-12 mos.)words.” Watching your infant’s glee when s/he begins to independently roll over is one of many physical feats s/he is working hard to master. Pulling up, sitting alone, and crawling opens your baby’s world in a new way.

Now, learning to walk is what all these efforts  your infant is guiding him/her self towards. How your baby achieves these physical goals can give you some understanding of her/his personality.

Rahima Dancy, who authored You Are Your Child’s First Teacher offers some insightful observations.

Does your baby:

  • Constantly “work” at moving his/her body along OR is s/he content to stay in a seated position?
  • Seem to understand falling is part of the process & “forge” ahead OR become discouraged & seem hesitant to keep trying?
  • Use her/his arms & hands to reach for things OR just pick up things close by?
  • Howl & continue with his/her efforts OR stop & whine?

Praising and encouraging your striving infant will definitely help, but remember- it is her/his body that s/he needs to conquer. Sooner or later, the will to JUST DO IT overcomes the frustration and “growing pains.” Your infant’s growing brain is an important part of this process.

Our Brain

The 2-Sided Brain - Seanbatty
The 2-Sided Brain – Seanbatty

Curious about what the brain does? I found an interesting brain image listing some of the separate brain functions scientists have discovered.  The “corpus callosum”, the Latin word for the brain, is divided into 2 parts – the right side & the left side.

The Right side of the brain is labeled the Creative and controls:

  • the left side of the body
  • gross motor skills (large body movements)
  • visualization: the big picture, images & symbols 
  •  long term & visual memory
  •  “outside of the box”  & spontaneous thinking
  • feelings & encoding (creating secretive messages)

The Left side of the brain is labeled the Logical and controls:

  • the right side of the body
  • fine motor skills (hand tool control)
  • language: letters, numbers,  grammar, punctuation, detail
  • short term & hearing memory
  • rules, patterns & planned thinking
  • analysis & decoding ( solving secretive messages)

Which brain-side rules you? Some people’s brain-sides have equal control or an interweaving of skills from both sides. For example, I love language , but numbers-not so much.

Gifts of the Brain

 In Dr. John Medina’s book Brain Rules for Baby , he shares 5 of the intellectual gifts with their characteristics your baby has nestled within her/his brain:

The Visionary: Desire to Explore

  • loves & needs to experiment, test & “tinker”
  • asks extraordinary questions about ordinary things
  • sees connections between unrelated ideas, problems or questions
  • asks “what if” “why not” “how come you’re doing it this way”
  • does not value “right” answers over challenging questions

The Planner: Self-Control

  • loves to plans & problem-solve
  • has the ability to shut out distracting thoughts
  • sets goals with the foresight to complete them

The Creative: Power to Invent

  •  copes with puzzling situations
  • sees new relationships between “old” things
  • thinks up ideas & things not currently existing
  • engages in healthy “risk-taking”
  • Stirs positive and/or negative emotions in others

The Orator: Influence of Language

  • communicates using a variety of vocabulary & sounds
  • understands the social meanings of words
  • born with the ability to learn & speak any language

The Mime: Silent Messages

  • interprets nonverbal communication
  • uses facial expressions to communicate
  • uses body gestures to communicate

Some brain gifts are stronger than others in each person. Sometimes a little “exercise” will encourage and strengthen quieter gifts. Which ones do you feel particularly “gifted” with  in your life? How will you nurture these gifts in your infant?

Nurturing Your Infant’s Brain Growth & Development

Baby in Thought-Amy Elizabeth Quinn
Baby in Thought-Amy Elizabeth Quinn

Remember your infant will grow & develop in her/his own way at his/her own pace. S/he will progress in a sequential, or orderly, way & build on the skills s/he has already learned.

Depending on your baby’s personality, s/he may focus on only one task/goal at a time. So, if s/he is working hard on walking, language may be slower. Once the walking goal is met, you may hear an increase in babblese.

My son walked very early ( at 8 months) and didn’t start speaking until much later. He was enamored with his physical world and how he was able to “grasp”  it!

Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychotherapist & author of The Science of Parenting,  wrote ” your baby’s frontal lobes are in front of her/his brain. Their many important functions give us the following abilities:

  • to learn
  • to pay attention
  • to concentrate
  • to plan & problem-solve
  • to manage stress
  • to control impulses

Those frontal lobes need a lot of stimulation from relationship interaction to increase social, emotional & intellectual growth & development”.

Dr. Sunderland goes on to offer several strategies & techniques for nurturing the growth & development of your infant’s brain:

  • talk to you infant ALOT, using “normal” , yet simple language
  • always make eye contact & smile
  • use words with body gestures for everyday language: eat, drink, I love  you, hug, sad, happy, hurt, mad, scared

Talk to your infant during the day when s/he is with you. Pretend you are his/her Tour Guide to a new world. S/he is ready to learn & be a part of your world because you are the most important part of his/her world.

Brain Boosters for Your Infant

Baby Loves to Eat -Public Domain Pics
Baby Loves to Eat -Public Domain Pics

Talking & playing with your infant are necessary to help his/her brain grow & develop. Child research supports this interaction as a major key to a healthy & responsive intellect.

Words of Caution: Dr. John Medina listed a few major Early Learning Stunters in his book, Brain Rules for Baby:

  • Keep the TV, video games & computer off
  • Keep your baby physically active
  • Keep giving your baby lots of face-to-face interaction

In July 2016 Mom of 11 Kids posted an infographic: “Seven Ways to Boost Baby Brain Development”. They are simple, daily activities you will do without much “to-do”: 

      • Play peek-a-boo & other hiding games
      • Play patty-cake & other hand games
      • Read together every day
      • Play with toys that teach, like blocks
      • Get messy with water, mud, puddles
      • Sing songs & verses together with repetition, rhythm & rhyme
      • Teach as you eat different foods – taste, touch, smell, colors, shapes, cold, sweet

These brain boosters build vocabulary as well as oral language. Both are strong literacy elements. Don’t forget to ask questions. You might get your first nod and/or head-shake.

How To Use Oral Language for Your Infant’s Literacy Growth

I Wonder How These Taste-PublicDomain Pics
I Wonder How These Taste – PublicDomain Pics

Continuing with Dr. Sunderland’s  techniques for brain growth, she has specific strategies for parents to use when communicating with their child(ren):

  • Watch, wait & listen after giving your infant a toy
  • Copy & comment on her/his responses
  • Use comments & choices instead of commands
  • Use lots of facial expressions & touch

Go Out into Nature Everyday for At Least  20 Minutes

  • It will calm your baby
  • It positively impacts your infant’s brain wave patterns
  • It lowers the frequency of stress
  • The variety of textures, sights, sounds & smells are wonderful for your baby’s senses. Tasting can be , well you know……

My children ALWAYS loved being outdoors, regardless of the weather. When my son was an infant, I would settle him under the trees while I hung up his daily dozen diapers. His babblese was joyful and expressive!

Yes! Your Infant Is Talking to You (in Babblese)

The Language of Babblese-EME
The Language of Babblese-EME

Responding to infant’s language is one of the most important things people can do to encourage & increase more talk. Having conversations with your infant is a major pathway to literacy.

Oral language has 2 parts: Expressive Language – actual speech and Receptive Language – hearing & understanding what you hear. Between the ages of 9 and 12 months, you may see & hear a steady increase in both what your infant is saying and understanding.

Remember each child learns in her/his own way. Some are listeners,  some are talkers; some have a lot to say, some have a few special words; some love to talk, some not so much. Know any grown-ups like that?!

FYI-here’s a chart (love making these!) with some Expressive & Receptive Language milestones your infant may have met:

Infant Oral Language Milestones (7 - 12 Months)

AGE IN MONTHSEXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE
( SPEECH)
RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE
(HEAR &UNDERSTAND)
By 9 months*Imitates sounds
*4+ sounds in babblese
*Takes turns in vocalizations
*Begins using hands to communicate wants/needs (reaches to be picked up)
*Consistently responds to own name
*Looks at familiar objects & people when named
*Follows some routine directions when paired with gestures
*Not fearful of everyday sounds
By 12 months*Says 1 or 2 words
*Begins speech sounds
*Babblese has "strings"of speech
*May nod "yes"
*May shake head "no"
*Babblese has the sounds & rhythms of speech
*Understands up to 50 common words-baby, bottle
*Responds to simple directions- "come here"
*Follows your gaze & points
*Notices when hurt

If you and your loved ones are looking into your infants eyes and talking to her/him every day,  oral language will continue to grow. Playing with your infant is a great time to have conversations. Encourage loved ones to participate daily.

Literacy Needs Playtime

Wanna Play with Me? -Public Domain Pics
Wanna Play with Me? -Public Domain Pics

Your infant is probably no longer in an Unoccupied Stage of play (Kalokyri’s “Facts About the Importance of Play”), but comfortably immersed in the Solitary & Constructive Stages of play.

Having mastered some movement goals-sitting up, pulling up, crawling- means your Infant is ready to discover his/her world. Make sure your home is a safe place for your crawler (and those babies can pick up some speed!) to explore. Get low on your hands & knees (with padding, of course) for a dust bunny view (I mean…..).

Try not to “teach” too much, but help her/him find out what’s making the world around him/her come into his/her experience. Again, instead of you all the time,  have older siblings and/or loved ones attend to your infant’s fussiness or frustration when it happens – and it will! Taking your grumpy cub outside is usually a great soother and/or distraction.

When playing with your infant, remember to See & Play, Hear & Play, Touch & Play, and Grab & Play. Involving as many of the 5 senses as you can during playtime encourages literacy through language, interaction and experience. Building on the skills your baby knows will give her/him confidence to try new activities and make the physical world more familiar and exciting.

The Game Play of Literacy

Interactive games are your infants (and most children’s) favorite ways to play. They promote language, discovery, surprise, fun & laughter. Games using hands and feet bring giggles. Hiding games bring loud laughter (and hiccups). Make sure to maintain eye contact. Use rhyming & repetitive language.

Interactive Game Ideas

  • clapping to rhymes & songs
  • face-to-face play
  • lap movement
  • bathtime bubbles
  • song & dance

The Power of Music

During your pregnancy and your newborn’s first 6 months of life, I’m sure you used the power of music to soothe, calm & entertain the 2 of you. Lullabies, classical music, new age, jazz, and, even some soft rock were/are great ways to communicate with each other.

Now, you may notice a little rhythmic wiggling when certain songs & music is played. Using music as a fun way to “teach & play” with your infant. Try some of these musical activities:

  • Sing songs with rhymes, like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in the tub.
  • Sing songs with body play, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.
  • Sing songs using your infant’s name while doing activities together, like “This is the way we…”.
  • Use toys as instruments while you sing songs, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star & Mary (or baby’s name) Had A Little Lamb”.
  • Sing or hum (make up some words) while you dance with your baby.

You can, also, sing while creating interactive games with toys. It is lots of fun! Listen to how siblings & other loved ones talk, sing and play with the “new baby bird in the nest”.

Games with Toys as a Power Strategy for Literacy

A few words about toy selection- Gender Stereotype Freedom. Make sure all kinds of toys are available for your baby. Girls need to know about cars & trucks -how else will they learn to drive & maintain them. Boys need to know about dolls -how else will they learn to care & nurture their own children. Believe it or not, this can be a literacy opportunity-stretching both sides of the brain.

In my Home-Care & Day-School for children (yes, it’s going to be more than a few words-but this is true-life data), my toddler girls loved playing with cars, trucks, blocks. Think engineers, architects & designers. My toddler boys loved playing with stuffed animals, kitchen sets, dollhouses. Think veterinarians, chefs & designers. Not to mention what great partners they will be in a marriage. I’m just saying……

Does your infant have TOO MANY TOYS? Think your infant is feeling overwhelmed and/or overstimulated to the point of boredom?????

Try putting away some of the toys. Hold several choices in your hands to see which ones s/he reaches for. After a few weeks, bring out the “new” toys and see if s/he has an interest in them.

Babies usually enjoy playing with toys that:

  • Have different textures
  • Are very bright & colorful
  • Are musical
  • Make noises
  • Have mirrors
  • Have knobs, pushers, etc (reaction toys)
  • Can be banged on to make music
  • Can be easily grasped
  • Can be chewed on

Check out the Six Games with Toys activity list with directions I created for some play ideas:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/infant-literacy-toy-games/

Don’t be too surprised if that $100 toy you absolutely had to have because you knew it would be your baby’s favorite toy is ignored for the box it came in. Your home is packed with “toys” your baby will love and play with all the time.

Your Home Is A Toy Land

Although there  was a playroom in my Home-Care/Day-School, the toys were always dragged out of the playroom and into the living room and/or dining room.

Couches & chairs became stages, platforms, building sites & race tracks. The kitchen table – the same- with additional puzzles, papers, play-doh, & crayons.

So, I  tucked toy bins in these areas for clean-up time. Those filled carriers, then, were stacked in the playroom at the end of each day.

Scarves, towels, socks, & pieces of colorful, textured fabrics become capes, hats, doll blankets, animal tents, meadows, ponds, puppets, beds, & rooftops-once they pass the taste test, of course.

Putting on & taking off hats, socks & shoes can entertain your older infant for quite a few minutes-over & over & over again. Day after day after day….

A favorite Toy Land spot-the kitchen!

Baby’s Kitchen Play Land

Keep in mind – play is your baby’s work. Where ever you are, s/he wants to be near. My baby’s food was handmade as well as our daily bread (I love to cook!). I spent quite a few hours a day in the kitchen. I discovered, as did my baby, the kitchen is a full of toys.

When my son began his search-and-see, I made sure the bottom kitchen cabinet had large bright plastic & wooden spoons, measuring cups, a colander, some pots & pans with their lids, plastic mixing bowls,  & some storage containers with lids. His clang- bang music was quite a dinner bell!

Sturdy empty boxes in a variety of sizes , especially those large, appliance ones, are worth the trees that donated their lives to make them. Be ready to cut out some windows & doors. Creativity & exploration will last longer than the boxes will!

Sounds like lots of messes every day, you say?!? 

Creativity + Discovery =  A Learning  Mess For Literacy

The Bliss of A Mess-Lubomirkin
The Bliss of A Mess-Lubomirkin

Personally, I would be considered a Master Messer. Not in a destructive way, but messes are part of the “creative & productive process.”  Making a mess and, then, cleaning or putting things away teaches cause & effect, freedom of expression, etc. The way I see it-” making a mess is part of success!” For me & children, anyway…..

When children are busy having fun & learning – be ready & hope for- a mess. Listen & participate in the language of exploration, sequence, cause & effect, details, etc. All the “story” elements are present. The Story of Discovery!

Of course, some are bigger than others…..

Try these messes on for size:

  • Water play in the tub: splash, squirt, pour, fill, sink, float, full, empty & bubbles (say the words to match the action)
  • Water play in the sink (see above)
  • Water play outside in the pool, water bucket, wagon, wash tub
  • Fill &Dump with water, toys, sand, dirt, mud (stay very close)
  • Finger-painting- find an edible recipe, like one made with cornstarch
  • Scribble with large pieces of paper & fat crayons (talk about color, shapes & pictures/stories)
  • Paint with a large paintbrush & colored water

BTW-Those plastic kitchen utensils make great water toys , sand, mud & dirt toys, too. A word of caution– use big rocks, pebbles are  too temptingly taste-worthy!

Sing a “Clean -Up” song. Wipe your baby down & maybe change clothes. Have a drink & a snack. Settle in for Book Time!

 Book Time & Infant Literacy

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. ~ Emily Buchwald

“Brain Wonders” is a joint project by Boston University Medical Center, Erikson Institute & Zero To Three (see link).  

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1056-beginnings-of-literacy

Their 2003 study on Early Literacy supports, not only the “new   understanding of early literacy development”, but also, “its critical influence in shaping brain development.”

The research  states:

  • Language, reading & writing (early scribbling in infants) develop at the same time , making them interconnected.
  • This development process that begins in the first 3 years of life is continuous.
  • Real life settings through positive interactions with people, books, stories, paper & crayons are important factors in literacy skills development.

Please note: early literacy does NOT mean early reading. Trying to teach infants & toddlers to read before they are developmentally ready can cause more harm than good. The frustrations and failures will have a negative impact on their motivation to read.

How To Create Your Infant’s Love of Books & Stories

InfantLiteracy-Public DomainPics
InfantLiteracy-Public DomainPics

Believe it or not, chewing on a book page is part of early literacy behaviors. So, plastic, vinyl, cloth & sturdy board books need to be part of your infant’s hands, feet & mouth-on library.

Place them in the crib, playpen (if you use one), tub, diaper bag & a floor bin/basket for ready-access. Don’t forget to put a few books in the kitchen play-cabinet- fruits & veggies, breads & milk, pasta shapes & kitchen tools.

Include books with bright colored real-life images of everyday, familiar objects & toys, shapes, colors, animals, other babies’ faces & faces of loved ones, including pets.

Handmade books will become well-loved. Get your camera ready for “Baby Book Time Publication”. Click & slip photos into a mini-foto book with plastic sleeves. Here are some Book Titles:

  • My Family At Home
  • Other Family & Friends
  • My Pets
  • My Toys
  • In My Bedroom
  • In the Kitchen
  • Play Time Outside

If your infant has become a curious crawler, make sure you have a basket of books as part of his/her path. Cloth, plastic & sturdy board books will suit your infant’s “taste” at this time.

How To Read Wordless Books

 Bright, bold colored picture books without words are a wonderful beginning into her/his discovery of the book world. You & loved ones can make the “stories” personal & suitable for your young learner.

Whether you’re inventing a story to go with the pictures or just talking about the actual pictures, think about using these few tips:

  • Make sure there are no more than 3 images per page
  • Trace the images with your finger and, then, your baby’s finger
  • It’s okay to skip pages if your baby’s interest seems to lag
  • Talk about the images using short, simple sentences
  • Try to use rhyming words: cat, hat, mat, bat
  • Sing the book

Take A Minute to Read-NickelBabe
Take A Minute to Read-NickelBabe

 

Wordless picture books will inspire a story for many years into your child’s life, even after s/he becomes a reader of words. It will amaze you how many different stories can be told about the same pictures as s/he gets older. And the story being told can depend upon who & when it’s being told. If only stuffed animals could talk…….

Picture books without words encourage many literacy development skills, while answering the following questions:

  •  What is happening in this picture? comprehension/understanding
  • Why is this picture important to the story? vocabulary, oral language
  • What makes you think this picture is important? inference. drawing conclusions
  • What do you think will happen next? prediction

So, What Else Is New?-Yusuhyun
So, What Else Is New?-Yusuhyun

Well if you’ve made it to the end of this post-

Thank You so much for reading!

I really enjoyed researching, writing & reminiscing! Please share your comments with me by filling in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. I look forward to hearing from you!

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2017BizzyLizzyBiz

P.S. Click on the link below for access to Your Baby’s First 12 Months of Growth & Development in the BLB Resource Library.

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/babys-first-12-months-growth-development/

 

 

 

Exploring the Family Literacy Circle with Your Pre-Toddler (12 – 24 months)

A person’s a person no matter how small. ~ Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss

Can you believe your tiny, cuddly Newborn, though still pretty new, especially to you & yours, is already A YEAR OLD!?!Exploring the Family Literacy Circle with Your Pre-Toddler

Have a fun party? Take LOTS of pictures for that interactive Literacy book?

Crawling? Walking? Running? If not yet, your Pre-Toddler will soon be moving faster it seems than, at times, the speed of light!

Physical Mobility & Sensory Exploration with these newly acquired skills is the name of his/her action plan! And when those gleeful giggles & babblings become quiet, “UH-OH”……

S/he is SO ready to get hands & lips on all those previously unattainable & exciting  discoveries. Cabinet doors are the most inviting. Pulling up on everything is fair game. Grabbing & mouthing anything within reach is a given (think pet food on the floor….). Childproofing is a definite MUST! My little cub could be found foraging in the refrigerator unless he was asleep!

Wondering Why I Name This Age Group “Pre-Toddler”?

My Pre-Toddler seldom crawled on hands & knees. He preferred the “bear-crawl”, cub that he was,or moving on his  hands & feet together. He was upright & run-walking before 12 months. A mixed blessing for me -immature access, but easier on my back!

Not all babies are toddling by the first year. Some personalities love to sit and, if the mood strikes them, crawl. Some crawlers are very happy, and very fast, moving on hands & knees for quite a while into their mobility development. They’ll pull up and, maybe, even stand solo for a while. But, to travel, crawling is preferable.

Some Pre-Toddlers will pull out of a walkers’ hands to get down on the ground. For a lot of babies, a walking/running comfort-zone is usually by 24 months, or 2 years old.

Then, there’s the “attitude”…..

Briefly, Pre-Toddlers are too busy happily traveling, exploring & inspecting the premises. Scrutiny, confusion & willful decisions are too time consuming. This mental & emotional probing, I feel, belongs to the emerging & resolute Toddler.  More on the teeny adolescent in the next, upcoming blog: “Managing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Toddler”.

Have You & Your Pre-Toddler……..

  • been counting fingers & toes? #This little piggy…
  • been naming body parts? #Hands, shoulders, knees & toes…
  • been swimming at a big pool? #Rec center
  • been to a petting zoo, park and/or playscape? # neighborhood map
  • been on a playdate with other children? # Mothers’ Day Out
  • been exercising with your baby? #Airplane take-offs & landings

Are You & Your Pre-Toddler……

  • playing together without screen time?
  • reading together for a period of time everyday?
  • having fun together being silly & goofy?
  • talking about the shapes & colors of things?
  • singing & dancing together?

Are you and/or loved ones remembering to document your baby’s Milestones in that beautiful baby book someone gifted to you?

Speaking of Baby Milestones in Growth & Development, check out  https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/babys-first-12-months-growth-development/ in my Resource Library for a quick overview. Remember your Baby’s brain continues to grow!

Your Pre-Toddler’s Brain

The article, “It’s All Connected” posted on the website, Sesame Street in Communities   states the brain creates 700 new connections EACH SECOND in the first few years of your baby’s life. By the age of 3, your child’s brain is 80%  as big as an adult’s.

bay brain power 12-24 months
Baby Brain Power-LuidmilaKot 12-24m

Important fact to remember~

No two brains grow & develop at the same rate. 

Interactive movement using the 5 senses is critical to your pre-toddler’s healthy brain growth and development. Yes, taste-feeling is still a natural response at this age, so monitor closely because everything is “fair game”. Seriously.

Indoor & outdoor exploration is exhilarating for your baby, especially now s/he is moving with some independence. However, as Dr. John Medina of Brain Rules cautions, “over-stimulation can be just as hazardous as under-stimulation.”

Building Your Baby’s Brain Power

Grover, a Sesame Street character, narrates a video-book for children, ages 2-6, on the Sesame Street in Communities site. YOUR AMAZING BRAIN shares these tips:

  • The brain is your body’s first organ to absorb nutrients.
  • Brain food for kids are – salmon, eggs, peanut butter, whole grains, oats, berries, beans & colorful veggies.
  • Use all the 5 senses when- reading, coloring, talking, listening, moving & playing games.
  • Repeated physical activities – banging, throwing & choosing help develop the reasoning skills of cause & effect, compare & contrast, and predictions. (from “It’s All Connected”)

Remember – some babies pour ALL their energy & curiosity into Movement & Manipulative Mastery. In other words- “No time for talk! Gotta go! Places to see! Objects to taste!”

So. if you are waiting anxiously for Baby’s first words-other than babblese- it might be a while. And it’ll be worth the wait. Just keep stimulating your pre-toddler’s brain with meaningful oral language.

Learning The Language of Speech & Literacy

The only place you find perfection is in a dictionary ~ Old Saying

New, advanced  research is helping scientists understand more about the mysterious workings of the brain and how we, as humans,  learn language.

In Dr. Sandra Crosser’s article, “Enhancing the Language Development of Young Children” contributed to the website, Early Childhood News.com , she states the young child’s developing brain is very flexible, or open to new knowledge. The critical time for learning language occurs before the age of 8 or 9.

If your infant has been hearing the same sound combinations repeatedly, the brain forms a response map to those specific sounds.  So, then, a child “usually” tends to understand and speak  the language of her/his environment with reasonable fluency by the age of 3. Clarity, on the other hand, will sometimes come and go with “baby” and permanent teeth.

However,  the rate that children learn and speak language is strongly influenced by his/her surroundings. Trauma, neglect, stress, or abuse can interfere with normal language development.

How Is Normal Language & Speech Learned ?

Communication is interactive experience between two people. It involves listening, understanding & expressing.

pre toddler speak
Pre-Toddler & Language-tel13588006626

There are several theories offered by Dr. Crosser’s article to help explain how children learn to understand and, then,  speak their native language.

The Nativist Theory states that children are born with the desire to make sense of the world and can understand the different sounds in any language. By 12 months their babblings will only use familiar sound combinations.

Social Learning Theory says children imitate  words & language patterns they hear by watching & listening to the familiar people in their environment. They repeat sounds that are rewarded with smiles & praise, dropping sounds that are not rewarded.

Finally, the Interactionist Theory proposes that children need more than their inborn traits  and desire to speak. “They need to speak and be spoken to. Neither one, alone, is enough.” (Bohannon & Bonvillian, 1997)

Personally, I think, depending on the child, and her/his environment, a combination of all these theories contributes to language & speech development. But, I’m not an expert linguist or speech pathologist….

What Are the Signs That My Baby Is Learning Language?

Remember~each child learns at her/his own pace. Some pre-toddlers are too busy exploring their physical world to talk about anything. Some are very ready and motivated to talk, talk, talk. These are personality traits NOT signs of intelligence.

Babblese , a baby’s first  language, is a sure sign your baby is learning language. Keep talking with your baby about everything, looking directly into those beautiful eyes and responding to the responses you’re receiving.

Even when your pre-toddler begins to use words (“Use your words, dear.”), the communication of cries will still happen. Need a memory jog? Probably not, but if so- re-read the section titled “Baby Talk: The Communication of Crying” in this post: http://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/nurturing-your-newborns-literacy/

Understanding How Listening & Speaking Happen

Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician, who has authored several successful parenting books, offers this explanation for the physical side of speaking:

pre-toddler language development
I’m Talking Here!-JFGagnon

To “say” words, you have to perfectly coordinate your lips, tongue, throat & diaphragm. The first bunch of words are gestures. The second bunch of words are invented. The third of words are learned from you.

Some experts support the practice of teaching & using sign language (hand & arm gestures as words) to  encourage language skills.  Sign language, which strengthens the same area of the brain used in speaking, can bridge the communication distance between listening & speaking. (White & Harper: Signs of A Happy Child 2017)

A Listening & Speaking Development Chart

In the ” Language Acquisition” world, the words Receptive & Expressive describe the major players. Receptive is how language is being received, or understood. Expressive is how language is being expressed, or spoken. Here’s another one of my charts:

Pre-Toddler Oral Language Milestones (12-24 Months)

AGE IN MONTHSEXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE
( SPEECH)
RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE
(HEAR &UNDERSTAND)
By 15 months*Combines sounds & gestures
*Imitates simple words & actions
*May use 4-10 words
*Consistently follows simple directions
*Shows interest in pictures
*Can ID 1-2 body parts when named
*Understands 50 words
By 18 months*May use 10- 20 words (mostly nouns) for favorite things
*Responds to ?s
*Continues to produce babblese
*Repeats words overheard in conversation

*Understands early direction words-in/out/on
*Understands & responds to simple directions
*Points at familiar objects & people in pictures
*Responds to yes/no ?s with a nod or head shake
*Enjoys music, rhythm & tries to dance
By 21 months*Uses words more than gestures
*Consistently imitates new words
*Names objects & pictures
*May have a vocabulary of 20-50 words
*Understands some emotion words-happy/sad
*Understands some pronouns-me, you, my
*Can ID 3-5 body parts when named
By 24 months*Uses at least 50 words
*Begins to use 2 word phrases
*Uses pronouns-me,you,my
*Uses gestures & words during pretend play
*Understands more than 50 words
*Understands action words
*Can follow 2 step-related directions
*Enjoys listening to stories

How You Can Help Your Child’s Language & Speech

Studies show that children at 16 months can speak an average of 40 words, but understand over 300 words. However, children can experience a “language burst” around 18 months or later. (White & Harper: Signs of A Happy Child 2017)

According to new (2016) research provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “every additional 30 minutes a day children under the age of 2 spent using handheld screens, like smartphones & tablets, meant they were 49% more likely to have speech delays.”(Time Books:The Science of Childhood “Tips for Toddlers” p.29)

Parentese  

Many people of many different cultures & languages, including ours, use a style of speech called “parentese” when speaking to very young children. (Gelman & Shatz, 1977; Pine, 1994)

Parentese is NOT baby talk. The speaker:

  • uses a slightly higher than normal pitch
  • exaggerates vowel sounds
  • speaks in short, simple sentences
  • uses repetition
  • stresses/accents certain words
  • pauses between sentences

Other Tips for Your Child’s Language Literacy

Annabelle Humanes stated in her  March 2016 article, “A Few  Simple Little Things You Can Do to Increase the Amount of Language Your Child Hears, and In Turn, Help Them Learn” for The PiriPiriLexicon that researchers have found children who can say the most words by the age of 24 months were the children who heard the most child-directed speech at 19 months (during that “language burst”).

Talking with & to your child (interactive) is not the same as talking at your child (commands & discipline).

Here are her  helpful tips:

  • Describe & label EVERYTHING. Repeat.
  • Tell stories, using your imagination about every day objects.
  • Ask questions, wait for a response & answer it, especially if your child doesn’t (or can’t)reply.
  • Be positive, repeat what they say & add to it.
  • Use simple but real language-no baby talk (googoogaga).
  • Pair gestures with your words.
  • Stop & Listen.

Just a note from me: Don’t be afraid to play with sounds. Be silly. Make up words & try to give them a meaning.  This activity not only exercises their speech patterns & physical skills, but also, encourages their creativity. Besides all that, it’s biggley, tiggley & giggley fun!

Need more info? Check out this  list in my Resource Library:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/language-speech-development-sites/

What I Learned About Language, Playtime & Literacy

Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn. ~ O. Fred Donaldson

Decades ago when I had a Home Day School for infants through 8 years, interviews with parents & child(ren) were part of my “acceptance” process. A few parents, not many,  were curious about the structure, or schedule of the day. 

play, language & literacy pre toddler
Outside for Play-Cuncon

“What time was art/reading/numbers/puzzles/ etc?”

“Is there a nap or quiet time?” “When & for how long” “My  2 year old doesn’t take naps……(oh yeah ?!)”

“Will my child have instruction time ? What will s/he be taught  & for how long throughout the day?” (7am-5pm ?!)

My responses to these questions were, basically- “Your child will receive enough structure in a few years when they attend kindergarten. Although all these activities are available, your child must make those choices.  I encourage coloring/drawing, making puzzles/play-doh sculptures & building with blocks every day. Your child will play outside a lot because they LOVE to be in nature. I do, however, read a story during the daily ‘Quiet Time’ after lunch. ”

Very few of those few parents wanted their child to attend.

I learned SO MUCH about children during those years (and I had a degree in Education). Listening to children’s literacy grow through interactive language with each other & with their toys (tools, really) is absolutely fascinating. I never had a child who didn’t want to hear a story read. Observing & listening with the occasional, necessary interaction will give you great insight into what they are reacting to and absorbing from you, others, and their environment.

“Old School” Becomes “New School”

Interestingly enough, “Old School” thinking has returned as today’s “Modern School” thinking regarding the Importance & Power of Play in Childhood Growth & Development.

In fact (Gopnik, Alison: The Philosophical Baby 2009) “psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that babies, not only know more and learn more, but also, imagine more and experience more than we would ever have thought.”

In the “Hurray for Play” section of Dr. Medina’s book, Brain Rules, he  states open-ended activities during play partnered with (monitored, of course) free play increases:

  • memory
  • creativity
  • language
  • problem solving
  • less stress
  • social skills

Whether indoors or outdoors, children play to learn and make sense of the real world. They will choose ToyTools to help them explore and discover how to understand their environment.

The Wonderment of Nature Play

Except for toy vehicles for outside use (low-riders, wagons, scooters, bubble lawnmowers), my Home Day School children stayed very engaged using Nature Toys: grassy hills, rocks, nuts, pine cones, seedpods, sticks, leaves, flowers. Amazingly, they even found fossilized shells, large & small, to include in their play!!!!

pre-toddler water play
I Love Water!-Rujhan-Basir

Speaking of playing outside, unless the weather is very hot, bitter cold or pouring down rain, my children & I bundled up to go into Nature for however long we (mostly me) decided. Summer weather is especially fun because water play is a HUGE favorite! Lots of different household items can become water toys: spoons, bowls, cups, colanders (a good one). But, toys are optional because water itself is a GREAT toy. Ahhhhh! Such is the life of ducklings!

Simple Nature walks around the neighborhood is oxygen-food for the brain & body. It will, also,  give you the opportunity to engage children in the Language Literacy growth of new vocabulary. Although I used this time to introduce different words, I preferred to ask questions. This allowed them to ponder and discover answers independently – an important step for critical thinking. Nice food for thought during Quiet Time…..

Pre-Toddler Developmental Toy ~ Tools & Activities 

Right now at 12 months, your Pre-Toddler is enjoying Solitary Play. Around 18 months, or so s/he might begin to play along side others without interacting with them, also known as Parallel Play. However, as a child nears the 2 year old mark, the pronoun “mine” becomes an expression of property rights. Constructive Play (Explore & Discovery through the Senses) continues to develop & grow. (Kalokyri, “Facts About the Importance of Play in Early Childhood” June 2016)

Although role play is a frequent & popular part of Child’s Play, there are developmental activities to encourage Literacy Growth & Development cited in the article, ” 20 Fun Activities for a Toddler, 12-18 Months”on the website chicklink.com. Here’s a few of them, along with the skills these activities encourage:

  • sorting into container with holes / skill: hand-eye coordination
  • hiding hand-sized objects  in sand, torn paper, etc / skills: sensory, language, gross motor
  • painting with water, brushes, sponges & fingers on construction paper / skills: creativity, sensory, fine motor
  • using sticky notes to create object flaps for peek-a-boo book play / skills: fine motor, vocabulary
  • blowing games using bubbles, whistle, straw in water / skill: speech muscles
  • making a cardboard house / skills: LOTS

Growth & Development Toy Ideas for Your Pre-Toddler

Rahina Dancy, author of  You Are Your Child’s First Teacher,  supports choosing these toys to encourage growth & development in your child. They :

  • represent the real world
  • are aesthetically pleasing
  • have large components
  • encourage exploration & discovery

Suggestions:

  • open & closing containers with lids
  • shape sorters
  • stacking cups
  • pop-up beads
  • blocks
  • push/pull toys
  • balls for kicking & throwing
  • bubbles for blowing & chasing
  • finger paints

Your Home As One Big Playhouse

As toy tools dribbled out of the playroom (HA HA) & their boxes, landing (and hiding) in every nook & cranny of my Home Day School, the only source of irritation for me was an unprepared barefoot discovery (OUCH). Puzzles, play-doh, crayons & paper managed to stay on the table (safety issues-little ones & “because I said so”- not afraid to use that one). I was definitely outnumbered in the work / play domain of my children.

Couch cushions & pillows (sometimes with draping sheets) became a variety of structures. The kitchen, with its utensils, plastic bowls & pots / pans (with their lids, of course,) became the music room & its instruments. Dining room chairs & table became an obstacle course. Thank goodness the bedrooms were upstairs. The playroom was just a holding tank for unused toys. The bathroom wasn’t particularly inviting for play….only serious business went on in there.

WHAT’S A TEACHING MOTHER TO DO ?!?!?!!!!!

Believe me, in my public school classroom, children picked up (part of their jobs). They liked & appreciated an organized, neat environment. Even their desks (well, most of the desks-mine not included) were arranged for quick materials access-no digging needed. But I digress…

Every Toy in Its Place & A Place for Every Toy

Organizing is a pleasure for me and an important learning activity for children-young & old (maybe not teens). They enjoyed it, at first (most of the time for them / all of the time for me). 

the order of Toy tools
The Order of ToyTools-MarkusSpiske

Rahina Dancy, author of  You Are Your Child’s First Teacher provides support for this project. “Giving each toy a ‘home’ or place teaches:

  • sequential thought processes
  • order in the larger world arena
  • work habits (putting things away where they belong).”

Felicia Sklamberg, a clinical specialist in pediatric occupational therapy, added, “Babies are easily overstimulated, which  makes a catchall toy box overwhelming.”

And so, we created toy baskets, bins & boxes. Nothing fancy that required additional funding-wooden boxes, fruit baskets, milk crates, etc. Some parents even donated some bins for the cause.

Here’s The Scoop !

  • Nature’s Treasures (some of these might need to be washed before coming into the house)
  • Art Basket: pencils, crayons, markers (for older kids only- too many young, rainbow-colored lips), finger paint, water colors, brushes, sponges, stickers, paper, play-doh, cookie cutters, alphabet tracers, old magazines, scissors, glues, craft stuff
  • Puzzles Box: including a smaller, lidded container for wandering pieces (a good rainy or too hot/freezing day activity)
  • Motor Vehicles Garage
  • Blocks Building
  • Legos & Duplos
  • Work Tool Box: hammers, screwdrivers, etc
  • Dress-Up Trunk (still a box)
  • Talk & Media Mix (a must-have): phones, microphone, walkie/talkies
  • “Role” Play Basket (a must-have): dolls, action figures, animals, puppets
  • Book Box (oh yeah!)

Ready to go indoors? Park the vehicles and store the outdoor toys in their own plastic, outside storage (a large clothes basket). The children “enjoyed”  hosing & soaping them down, though I put them in the dishwasher for a sterilizing blast, as needed-usually once a week.

Older children are great supervisors & helpers for this end-of-the-day exercise. Here’s a little ditty to go with Clean Up Time:

It’s Clean Up Time! Clean Up Time!

Let’s go, Everybody! Clean Up Time!

Toys in baskets, boxes & bins!

We know where they’re landing (or going /sleeping /resting)  in!

 If you put this practice into play, I’m curious to know if & how this works out for you & yours. Let me know in the Contact Me form at the end of this post (just have to talk about books, of course).

 Time for  Book Talk & Literacy with Your Pre-Toddler !!!

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is best of all. ~ Jacqueline Kennedy

For many children at this age, books are a very important ToyTool for them.  If reading a book with loved ones has been a pleasant, common, every day experience, they will continue to want easy access to meaningful ones they can enjoy again & again.

Teaching Early Literacy & Behaviors are skills that will continue to benefit your child as well as your Family Literacy Circle.

Dr. Judith Schickedanz, a professor of Education at Boston University & author of the book: Much More than the  ABCs, was the first to describe early literacy behaviors of very young children. How children interact with & respond to books are building blocks of the literacy growth & development.

She lists these categories with their skills as links to language, reading & writing  process of Literacy:

  • the physical handling of books- chewing &  page-turning
  • the interaction with books – looking, recognizing, pointing & laughing at pictures of familiar pictures
  • the understanding the pictures & story of books – talking & imitating about events / actions
  • the reading behaviors of stories – talking to the story, babbling imitations of the story & running fingers under the printed words

Book Reading Habits & Routines with Your Pre-Toddler

Besides being a great bonding experience and increasing her/his knowledge of the world, reading with your Pre-Toddler has many Literacy Building benefits (Hamilton Reads/Ontario, “The Early BIRD Program Manual”). You are helping your child to:

  •  learn early book-handling habits-holding it the correct way & turning pages
  • increase his/her attention span, listening skills & memory
  • access early brain exposure to letter shapes & forms
  • connect printed words to the spoken word & related pictures
  • be exposed to story frameworks & imagination
  • engage in beginning critical thinking skills- who, what, why, next

Daily Reading Time Tips (12-18 months)

Anita West contributed some very useful ideas to Ruethling & Pitcher’s wonderful book, Under The Chinaberry Tree:

  • Choose a time when your pre-toddler is “winding down”.
  • Let her/him choose the book(s) and/or  “read” to you.
  • Read the book the same way every time & with expression.
  • Talk about the pictures, but don’t stay on one page too long.
  • Start reading easy-to-read, simple books with bright pictures & few, large-print words.

Daily Reading Time Tips (18-24 months)

  • Choose books with a bit more text that tell a simple story.
  • Talk about the pictures instead of the text if child is squirmy.
  • Connect the story & pictures to real life.

  Reading for Meaning/Understanding with Your Pre-Toddler

Reading for pleasure is one of life’s rewards, once you know how to read. Understanding what you read gives that pleasure meaning.

When reading with your pre-toddler, especially after s/he reaches 18 months, try to follow this sequence with a few interactive questions about the story:

  • read & talk about the book’s title & its cover (what do you think this book is going to be about)
  • do a “picture-walk” from the  beginning pages to the last page (now, what do you think this story is going to be about)
  • track your finger under the words & encourage your pre-toddler to do it, too
  • point to the pictures that have words to match (can you point to the dog)
  • ask prediction questions before turning the page (what do you think will happen next)
  • encourage him/her to ask questions about the story (do you want to ask me about something in the story)
  • ask some questions at the end of the story (what do you think will happen now; did you like the story; what did you like about the story; does this story sound like something else you know about)

rdgonalap-stocksnapre-toddler reading on a lap
Reading on a Lap-StockSnap

Of course, you don’t need to ask every single question I’ve included. Sometimes your pre-Toddler will just want to hear the story (hand-over- your-questioning-mouth signal).

This  is the reading sequence I used with my beginning, reluctant, and, even, my independent readers. Conversations  greatly increase the understanding of what is being read, as well as the vocabulary being used to tell the story.

“I Want Us to Read This Book !”

A house without books is like a room without windows. ~ Heinrich Mann

First of all, the stories need to be “short”. Books with rhyming words are usually favorites. Pre-Toddlers over the age of 16 months enjoy “me” books. After 24 months, make-believe books are understood & fun to read. Here are a few suggestions from Brain Wonders of the website, zerotothree.org:

pre-toddler reading a book
I Can Read-Nickelbabe

  • sturdy board books that can be carried
  • books with real-life photos of children doing every day things, like eating, playing, moving, sleeping
  • simple books about animals
  • beginning alphabet books
  • hello & goodbye books
  • good night books for bedtime

You can, also, make a book:

  • of words your pre-toddler is saying with pictures
  • of drawings s/he has made, writing words &/or a sentence about it

Children’s natural love of animals & the sounds they make (which children love to imitate) inspired me to create a little, make & take downloadable book entitled :

Animal Talk : Exploring 20 Common Animal Sounds

You can find it in BLB Shop or click on the link below to check it out:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/animal-talk-exploring-20-common-animal-sounds/

Need some board book ideas? Check out a list of my favorites in BLB’s Resource library. Just click on this link:

http://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/baby-board-booklist/

Reading for Literacy with Wordless Picture Books

Reading a wordless picture book is one of the most enjoyable ways to share a story. Listeners get to tell the story using their creativity, imagination & perceptions. It’s a GREAT way to build the literacy skills of listening, oral language, vocabulary, words with picture connections, and understanding the flow elements of a story. I absolutely LOVE them!

“But you don’t have to take my word for it!” ~ Levar Burton on PBS’ Reading Rainbow

Click on the link below for a list of some of my favorite Wordless Picture Books for children, ages 0-3 years.

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/wordless-picture-books/

OMG!!!! This is my longest post yet! I thought about dividing it into 2 parts, but I couldn’t decide how….

Thanks for reading through it. I hope you found some useful & meaningful information.

Any questions &/or comments?  Just fill in the Contact Me form below……(and she’s still talking…..). You will NOT be subscribing. 

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Discovering the Family Literacy Circle with Your Post-Toddler (36-48 Months)

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Your precious darling is growing from a baby into a young child.Discovering the Family Literacy Circle with Your Post-Toddler(36-48 Months)

Look at the birthday party pictures last year and compare them to this years’ party. Notice anything different? (not you-your child)

Yes, some Toddler  expressions and behaviors are still present, but something else is taking place in your dear little one. 

With an almost full set of baby teeth, more body control, and a larger, spoken vocabulary, your three year-old is becoming more confident & comfortable in his/her world.

Does it feel like many (not all, of course) of the “Two” behaviors have calmed down?

Not as many fits, tantrums, & NOOOs?!?

Fewer bites, hits, kicks, spits & throws,  rather, launches ?!?

I am talking about your three year-old, NOT you…..

Well then (BIG sigh), your Post-Toddler has arrived.

Post-Toddler, Huh?!?

Life Is Good!-CrisCris1
Life Is Good!-CrisCris1

S/he appears less frantic & can sit still for longer periods of time when engaged in an interesting activity. S/he is using words more & “body” less when expressing feelings.

S/he is showing more interest & patience with exploration & discovery. Notice how s/he is spending more time observing & imitating others.

That is why I named this stage of growth & development: Post-Toddler. Still some Toddler-stuff present, but outbursts & frustrations are less frequent. Unless s/he is tired, sick, hungry, and/or just having one of those days (don’t we all?!?).

And sometimes those “growing pains” can be….well, you know…

Some “Changes” You May Be Seeing

Body & Movement Skills

  • appears taller & leaner
  •  puts on shoes & dresses with some help
  •  feeds oneself with a spoon
  • throws overhand & tries to catch
  • jumps & climbs
  • pedals a trike or low-rider
  • holds a crayon with thumb & first 2 fingers
  • enjoys manipulating play-doh/clay, sand & water
  • YOU CAN: show your child how to hop, tiptoe, waddle, slither

Brain Growth & Expression

  • understands “now”, “soon” & “later”
  • asks who, what, where & when questions
  • shows an interest in alike & different
  • identifies the colors red, blue, yellow & green
  • talks in 3-5 word sentences
  • may stumble over some words, but is NOT stuttering
  • YOU CAN: add small, new bits of information to your child’s sentences

Emotional & Social Development

  • follows simple directions
  • accepts suggestions
  • makes choices between 2 different things
  • enjoys making others laugh & being silly
  • enjoys playing with other for short periods of time
  • wants adult attention & approval
  • likes looking at “when you were a baby” pictures
  • YOU CAN: ask for help with simple household tasks

Now that wasn’t your three year-old a year ago, was it?

Need more info? PBS Parents is a great site loaded with specifics. Click on the link below.

http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/three/socialandemotionalgrowth.html

Speaking of Speaking….

How Does That Fit?BrunoNascimento
How Does That Fit?BrunoNascimento

Your Post-Toddler’s Language Literacy continues to develop & grow.

S/he can enunciate most consonants & vowels with a few consonant blends, too, like “tw” & “kw”.

With over 300 words in his/her expressive vocabulary, s/he is talking A LOT more – to you, toys, pets, nature. Although your child, at this stage, still thinks each word has only one meaning, s/he is, also, spending much of the day asking A LOT of questions.

Think “who, did what, when & where”. These questions/answers are actually the building blocks of reading comprehension’s Main Idea. You are finally discovering what is in that hard little head of hers/his.

Your 3 year-old believes there is an answer to every question asked (isn’t there?!?). Even “Magic !” is a reasonable answer to him/her.

Be ready, though, s/he may answer your question with a question. Or water the dog to make it grow…..

Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician who wrote The Happiest Toddler on the Block, suggests using “Okay?” at the end of ideas, directions, etc. This simple word shows your child you, not only, have an interest in her/his point of view, but also, hope s/he   agrees with yours……possibly…..

How You Can Continue to Encourage Your Post-Toddler’s Language Literacy Growth

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach’s Info-Sheet on Developmental Milestones, “Ages & Stages at 3 Years”, offers these suggestions:

  • Use directional words, such as “in/on/under” when explaining &/or answering.
  • Use comparison words, like “big/little, same/different, front/behind”.
  • Sing songs, rhymes, sounds, words & simple sentences.
  • Ask your child to tell you a story.
  • Have many back-and-forth conversations, using short sentences, asking questions & listening.
  • Talk about colors, shapes & numbers everyday.
  • Take a Nature Walk. Look for & talk about shapes, sizes, colors, textures, smells & sounds.
  • Teach your child to memorize his/her first & last name.

Play Power = Brain Power

A mind once stretched to a new idea never returns to its original size. ~ Oliver Wendall Holmes

Play is the essential tool we use, as humans, to develop our 5 senses, gross & fine motor skills, receptive & expressive language, as well as emotional & social skills.

It, also, influences the amount of brain cells we produce.

Hmmm, I Wonder....Bessi
Hmmm, I Wonder….Bessi

Exploration, curiosity & determination are the necessary paths we use to discover how to understand our world, whether large or small.

Nothing child-like about it!

It’s a survival skill we use everyday and all day long. Well, most of us anyway…..

Currently, your Post-Toddler’s brain continues to develop in 2 areas: the Limbic, or emotional part of the brain & the Cortical, or thinking part of the brain.

Emotional/Social growth begins around 12 months and continues until 48 months. This stage of development can be encouraged with play involving teams: winning, losing, taking turns & sharing.

The growth of concrete & abstract thinking begins around 36 months and continues until 6 years old. Play involving humor, language, arts & games will encourage this stage of development.

Serious Play Is Hard Work

And hard work can not be successfully accomplished without serious play….

So, if you equate play with fun ~ it doesn’t always work that way. Play is the action, or process used during creation, exploration, & experimentation until we reach the destination, or discovery.

A bit wordy, I know, but  synchronizing work with play is “how I roll”.

I combined Kristina @ Planes & Balloons’ 2016 article, “Some of the Many Benefits of Play”   with Perry, Hogan & Marlin’s 2000 article, “Curiosity, Pleasure & Play: Skills Developed Through Play”  to create an info-table explaining the impact of play on your child’s brain development.

Play & Your Child's Brain Development

BRAIN AREA BRAIN AREA BRAIN AREA
Emotional & Social
Development
Self Growth Thought Development
Empathy Control Problem Solving
Stress Management Expression Language
Negotiation Confidence Mathematics
Social Interaction Reliance Creativity
Teamwork Goal Setting Concentration
Follow Rules Memory

Additionally, your child’s desire & ability to Role Play, I feel, is developed within all 3 of these brain areas. Creativity & self-expression may influence the particular role s/he is “playing”. Is s/he fantasizing, imitating, and/or coping ?

Be Your Child’s Play Promoter

Tunnel Play-OmarMedina
Tunnel Play-OmarMedina

Although your Post-Toddler still enjoys playing beside others & watching them play, soon, s/he will have the tools to play WITH other children.

The ability to share, take turns and cooperate continues to grow & develop with each passing day.

Remember, some people are more socially-driven than others.

In 2016 NourishBaby displayed Shoptwinkie.com’s infographic, “The Importance of Play in Early Childhood”. Learning through discovery will happen if you:

  • don’t take over (Here, let me….)
  • ask questions (How are you going to….)
  • allow him/her to find the answers independently (Oh, I see…….)

Interactive Talk & Play

If your child enjoys interactive language while playing, another part of the material included script suggestions for supporting the different stages in your child’s play:

Planning

  • What will you need ?
  • Let’s think about what you are going to do.
  • Tell me how you will start. What will happen then?

Wondering

  • I wonder what this is.
  • What do you think that is for?
  • Why do you think that happened?

Remembering

  • Tell me how it all started.
  • Can you remember what happened when….?
  • How did that feel?

Predicting

  • Can you guess what will happen next?
  • What do you think will happen if you….?
  • What do you think will happen if you don’t….?

Providing A Defined Play Space At Home

Not all parents want to turn their homes into a giant playground. Many children enjoy having a “space of their own”.  This “office of play” is part of your child’s growth & development.

Keep an ear out though. Too quiet for an extended period of time and you may need to “step into the office….”

Creating an area with sturdy (so you can sit in them, too), child-sized chairs & a table encourages your child to sit and focus on independent play. Building with blocks, having a tea party, working puzzles, making a race track or construction site, creating art, and even reading a book can become a part of your Post-Toddler’s learning.

Any amount of time, even a minute or two, during which  children sit and entertain themselves with one thing helps them grow. ~ Felicia Sklamberg, a clinical specialist in pediatric occupational therapy at New York University Langone Medical Center

With Open-Ended Toys & Free Play

Open-ended toys are really the discovery tools of learning & growing. By definition they are “things” that can be used in a variety of ways to encourage:

  • play
  • creativity
  • imagination
  • problem solving

I Can Play A Lot with a Ball-CherylHolt
I Can Play A Lot with a Ball-CherylHolt

Does your child like to stack block towers, sort objects by size & colors, and/or put a 3-6-piece puzzle together? Play outside with large wheeled toys, all sizes of balls, and/or sticks & rocks ?

Are you wondering what other kinds of toys will encourage your child’s brain health, growth & development ?

Will these toy-tools encourage discovery within the Family Literacy Circle ?

“Yes” to all questions?

Here’s a list of some other open-ended, free play tools (with their skill sets), your 3 year old will probably enjoy :

Sensory

  • musical instruments
  • music for song & dance
  • play-doh & clay
  • sand
  • water

Gross Motor

  • tricycle/low-rider
  • slide
  • wagon
  • any large-wheeled toy
  • different-sized balls
  • medium & large blocks

Fine Motor

  • nesting & stacking toys
  • pegboard
  • 3-6-piece puzzles
  • crayons, paint/brushes, glue & paper

Role Play

  • dress-up clothes
  • pretend costumes
  • community helper hats & tools
  • tents & teepees
  • kitchen stuff
  • castles & houses
  • barns & fences
  • racetracks
  • street signs & stores
  • puppets & dolls
  • habitat animals: farm, jungle, forest, water

Problem Solving

  • matching games
  • building blocks with a variety of colors, sizes & shapes
  • construction toys (needed to be put together)

And BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS !!!

Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would never read yourself. ~ George Bernard Shaw

By now some of those well-loved books might need to be replaced with a second copy. Some of those “baby books” may need to be tucked away for another time & place.

Hmmm-This Book Looks Good!-Bies
Hmmm-This Book Looks Good!-Bies

Are you taking your Post-Toddler to a StoryTime at your local library, play group, elementary school or rec center? If so, observe what kinds of books are holding your child’s interest.

Many 3 year-olds love to hear stories about other places and people.

Pull some age-appropriate books from the library shelves in the children’s Picture Books, or Easy Books section.

Sit down & spread them out.  See which ones will get “checked out” for home reading.

Have your 3 year-old try these 10 books on for size:

  • DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! ~ Mo Willens
  • THE OLIVIA SERIES ~ Ian Falconer
  • A FISH OUT OF WATER ~ Helen Palmer
  • WHOEVER YOU ARE ~ Mem Fox
  • THE MIXED-UP CHAMELEON ~ Eric Carle
  • GREEN EGGS AND HAM ~ Dr. Seuss
  • CARS AND TRUCKS AND THINGS THAT GO ~ Richard Scarry
  • THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY ~ Oliver Jeffers
  • BLUE HAT, GREEN HAT ~ Sandra Boynton
  • GO, DOG, GO ! ~ PD Eastman

Be forewarned – I had to replace most of these books at home and in my classroom…….several times….

Need a few more suggestions ?

Click on my Resource Library links below.

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/wordless-picture-books/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/building-baby-and-toddlers-first-library-of-25-book-titles/

   On – The – Go Reading Nooks With  Your Post-Toddler

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift. ~ Kate DiCamillo

If you have been steadily reading to your Post-Toddler since s/he was in-utero, you probably have a little bookworm in your home.

Alas…..Maybe not….

And Then What Happened?-DeeNurpalah
And Then What Happened?-DeeNurpalah

Some children love being read to until they can hop off  the cuddly lap of story-land.

Catch  ‘Em & Read:

  • before bedtime
  • during bathtime
  • before or during quiet time
  • during snacktime
  • under a tree outside
  • in a hammock outside
  • in the tent or teepee
  • under some covers with a flashlight

Some children would rather hear a story-telling instead of a book-story. “Stories can and should be part of your household routines & schedules. They can be as short or long as your listener’s attention.” Lisa Lipkin, Bringing the Story Home

Non-Book Literacy Stories

Spinning Tales:

What's Next?-Lichdinhtb
What’s Next?-Lichdinhtb

  • Make sure to include the story elements: beginning (characters & setting), middle (action & problem), ending (solution & prediction)
  • Ask & answer  interactive questions throughout the story
  • Invite your child to contribute to the story-telling
  • Capture your child’s attention while on a drive or a walk, in a waiting room or line, at the bus or train stop, during bathtime or before bedtime
  • Use fantasy, humor & family history as part of the story
  • Dress-up in role-play clothing  & ask your child to tell you a story about the character you are
  • Include simple props & toys for settings, characters & dialogue

Every Time We Read A Book…..

Whether the book is fiction or non-fiction, here are some tips for building literacy while reading aloud at this age & older:

  • Encourage solid pre-reading habits- daily reads, book handling, word tracking, time & order (first/middle/last), retelling with complete sentences.
  • Ask interactive questions while reading a story- what will happen next/how does the character feel/has this ever happened to you.
  • Read slowly & wait for her/him to turn the pages.
  • Answer your listener’s questions.
  • Make up rhyming words with some of the simpler words.
  • Use the story’s pictures to make up more stories.
  • Let the listener “read” the story.

I Think My Child Is Ready To Read…..

The first time my son (at 3 years-old) said, “I can read this book to you!”, my wide eyes glistened with anticipation. I couldn’t wait to hear my little genius read ME a story….at 3 YEARS OLD!!!!!

Sure enough, he proudly held the book and  carefully “read” each page of  The  Little Red Car, one of his favorite boardbooks.

He didn’t miss a word. I clapped with glee!

Over the next few weeks, he read & read this book to me….faster & faster. I guess he was becoming one with the little red car.

One day I asked him to point to the words as he read them…….uh huh…..

Smiling, I never said a word, and he continued to read the story to me everyday for the next few years.

We, also, continued playing colors, shapes, letters, sounds & word-picture rhyming games.

Learning, knowing , and applying the concepts of same & different shapes is a major step for success in letter recognition. Seeing the same & different shapes in the world prepares your child to make sense of “visual discrimination”.

BLB Shop has a collection of Interactive Color & Shape games created to prepare your child to recognize these pre-reading concepts:

I Can Sort & Match: 15 Shape & Color Games

Click on the link below to check it out.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/15-shape-color-games-ages-3-up/

I became more consistent tracking words with their pictures when I read simple sentence stories.

What Are Pre-Reading Behaviors?

Is your child  showing you some of these Pre-Reading behaviors :

  • Makes comments about language & unusual words
  • Makes up word games
  • Creates & plays with words using rhyme
  • Invents “silly” words
  • Plays with sounds
  • Plays with magnetic letters
  • Likes to read alphabet books
  • Sings the alphabet song
  • Points out “environmental print”, like the S in a stop sign
  • Knows it is the print that is read in stories

Hmmmm, Not Quite Ready….How Can I Help ?

What Will I Learn Today?-Tung
What Will I Learn Today?-Tung

Bookoola Ink from Australia produced a wonderful infographic, explaining what your child needs to know before learning to read:

  • Rhyme the sounds that letters make
  • Track / follow objects with eyes
  • Talk with an increasing vocabulary
  • Build things using fingers & hands independently to hold books & turn pages
  • Do puzzles to differentiate sizes, shapes, lines & directions
  • Look at books frequently for discovery & fun
  • Listen to someone read every day

The 5 Must-Know Skills for Reading Readiness

First of all, how is your child’s vocabulary progressing ? S/he has learned most words indirectly through your daily conversations, interactive read-alouds, both fiction & nonfiction as well as  movies/screen time. Build his/her vocabulary for understanding in these 4 areas:

Did You Know?-BenWhite@upsplash
Did You Know?-BenWhite@upsplash

  • Listening Vocabulary are words we hear & understand when hearing directions & a story
  • Speaking Vocabulary are words we use when we talk about our day & ask/answer questions
  • Reading Vocabulary are words we understand when we read, retell stories or create story from pictures we see
  • Writing Vocabulary are words we use when we write & draw pictures to tell a story

 

All About Learning Press, Inc has a concise list with tips for your eager-to-read child. Do be sure your Post-Toddler is comfortable and consistent with these skills:

Motivation to Read

  • Enjoys being read to
  • Pretends to read or write
  • Often asks for read-aloud time
  • Is enthusiastic about books
  • Thinks reading is fun

Print Awareness

  • Realizes print on a page are words with meaning when spoken
  • Holds  book correctly
  • Understands the direction that books are read-front to back
  • Knows print is read top to bottom
  • Recognizes sentences are read from left to right

Listening Comprehension

  • Understands story sequence
  • Can retell a familiar story with accuracy
  •  Answers simple questions about a story
  • Asks questions during read-alouds
  • Understands the meaning of words being read
  • Relates to the words being read in some way
  • Understands both verbal & visual information

Letter Recognition

  • Can sing the Alphabet song with help
  • Recognizes upper & lowercase letters
  • Begins to associate letters with sounds

Phonological Awareness

  • Can hear & identify different sounds in spoken words
  • Can rhyme words
  • Knows a sentence has multiple , individual words
  • Can blend sounds to make a word
  • Can identify the beginning & ending sound of a word

How Do I Teach the Alphabet

If your child is is ready, you might want to begin with her/his name. You can try to use upper & lowercase letters, but for beginning readers & writers, uppercase letters are not only easier to differentiate & recognize, but also, easier to write.

Read lots of engaging alphabet books ~ here’s a few my children & I have enjoyed:

Rhyming Text

  • ABC ANIMAL RHYMES ~ G. Andreae
  • ABC AT HOME ~ A. Hawthorne & D. Zawada
  • CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM ~ J.Archambault
  • DR. SEUSS’ ABC ~ Dr. Seuss
  • MY FIRST RHYMING PICTURE ABC ~ B. Miles

Vivid Illustrations

  • BRUNO MUNARI’S  ABC ~ B. Munari
  • MISS SPIDER’S ABC ~ D. Kirk
  • THE PHONICS ABC ~ K. Dare

Real-Life Photos

  • ALPHABET CITY ~ S.T. Johnson
  • FARM ALPHABET BOOK ~ J. Miller

Playing alphabet games is another way to continue the learning process. It is a process, so let your ABC learner set the pace. Several five-minute lessons each day may be good. So will skipping some days.

Don’t forget to repeat, maybe with a different lesson for review.

Let your child select the letters. Unless ABC order is insisted upon by your Post-Toddler, here are a few sequences to consider:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/teaching-alphabet-sequence-guide/

Make Alphabet Learning Fun!

Exploring each letter with hands-on activities is  definitely the way to keep your Post-Toddler engaged. Using the 5 senses and physical movement is necessary as well.

Change up the learning-approach with a variety of activities. Use your child’s interest (and attention span) to guide you.

Include lessons as part of your daily routine. Remember to review & repeat to build confidence & risk-taking when introducing a new letter & its sound.

Let your Post-Toddler be the teacher. It will help you know what s/he knows and needs to learn.

Click on my Resource Library link below for some great ABC activities websites:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/15-abc-activities-websites/

Literacy’s Secret Pathway: Writing to Read

Many of my Reluctant Readers learned to read NOT by reading books, but through their own writings. They were always ready to read their own words instead of another’s words.

Once A Huge Red Ship.....IIlcsuszka writing to read
Once A Huge Red Ship…..IIlcsuszka

Their stories, surprisingly, with a few  prompts, usually included all the elements of a fluid tale: beginning (characters & setting), middle (problem & solution), and ending. Another follow-up story was always in the tank, so to speak.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself here….

Drawing, painting, coloring & writing are all very powerful expressions. For parents &  educators, they offer magical windows into the heart, mind & soul of anyone, especially a child.

But holding & controlling a paintbrush, crayon and/or pencil is a developmental feat for your young child. It takes a lot of practice with some determination, usually.

Fine Motor Skills Mastery

The mastery of fine motor skills, paired with the ability to create images in your head, is an incredible accomplishment for anyone, especially a child.

I am always amazed when watching a child in the creative zone!

In 2011 Katie Norris @ Mommy with Selective Memory and her friend Susan Case, an experienced Kindergarten teacher, created a GREAT list of Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills  :

  • pouring elements using funnels, tubes, colanders
  • sorting small objects
  • pushing objects through a slot
  • picking up marbles
  • building with blocks, logs, legos
  • lacing with lacing cards
  • grasping & placing puzzle pieces
  • arranging a variety of objects
  • picking up & placing stickers
  • playing with play-doh: pulling, pressing, stretching, rolling, pounding, squeezing, pinching
  • squeezing
  • shaking
  • beading with yarn & string
  • marking with fat pencils, fat crayons, sidewalk chalk
  • cutting with safety scissors

Self-Portrait EfraimStachter writing to read 36-48m
Self-Portrait EfraimStachter

Writing & Drawing : Same But Different

Although  your child is using the same physical skills to write & draw – the brain has other ideas. Your Post-Toddler needs to understand that writing & drawing are different.

Print carries a message. Show your beginning writer the many ways to use writing:

  • names & addresses
  • shopping lists
  • greeting cards
  • love notes
  • phone messages
  • to-do lists

Put big dots with a connecting line in a column on paper. Encourage your Post-Toddler’s “scribblings” for making a list of :

  • favorite toys
  • favorite activities
  • wish list
  • favorite foods
  • favorite colors
  • favorite animals

Write in large, traceable letters what the words are underneath or beside each entry.

Bookoola Ink from Australia produced a wonderful infographic, explaining what your child needs to know before learning to write:

  • Imagine – make up stories when painting & creating
  • Scribble & Draw – make marks & shapes to communicate messages
  • Play with letters & words
  • Manipulate – paintbrushes, crayons, pencils & chalk
  • Build – use fingers independently
  • Climb – need strong arms & body muscles to sit up & write
  • Someone to show me how important writing is everyday

What Is Pre – Writing

Learning to write in a legible way can be very challenging (see a note from your doctor). Muscle control is key as well as grasp & flexibility.

Doodling & pathway lines are good ways to prepare your child’s fingers & hand for handwriting. There are pages you can find at teacher stores & on line with fun ways to get to the “treasure”.

Anna Luther @ CincinnatiChildrens.org has a few pre-writing activity suggestions for your 3-year-old:

  • Name Tracing with your child using a highlighter on paper; try using upper & lowercase letters
  • Cutting Practice out of magazines & catalogs; glue on paper & write the simple names underneath
  • Play Doh Rope Letters formed on top of a large chosen letter you have written on paper
  • Dot – To – Dot Letters written on paper for your child to connect

Please remember to keep in mind every child grows & develops at his/her own pace. These ideas are suggestions for creating Literacy opportunities when your child is ready. And s/he will let you know as long as the activities are available & FUN!

Isn’t this an exciting time for you & your Post-Toddler?

Please share any accomplishments, questions, comments and/or concerns by filling out the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing to BizzyLizzyBiz. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Encouraging the Family Literacy Circle with Your Kindergartner’s Play Power

And Now for the Second Part of the Family Literacy Circle’s Kindergarten Series…

Play continues to be a significant part of your child’s growth & development.   Free Play, which is highly recommended by brain & child experts as well as children themselves and  Pretend Play, which is the natural-occurring form  of daily learning, are both important parts influencing the Brain’s wiring for Thinking & Learning skills as well as Creative & Social skills.

Even the toys, or tools, your child chooses to include in his/her play are essential. They influence creativity & imagination everyday.

ACT TWO : Play Power

Free Play, Toys as Tools, and Pretend Play all are important parts of FLC K Play Poweryour 5-year-old’s ability to problem solve, brainstorm & understand her/his immediate world as well as explore & discover new & different ones.

You can encourage how your child participates in & learns from these ongoing  adventures in a variety of ways.

Guidance without too much interference will strengthen in your child’s decision-making abilities, confidence & independence.

Of course, there will be times when issues of safety (and sanity ) have definite boundaries…. I mean, risk-taking has its limits in the REAL world…..

 Yes, Your 5 Year Old Is A BRAINIAC !

Teach a child how to think, not what to think. ~ Sidney Sugarman

Her/his brain is almost the size of an adult’s. It will continue to develop for the next 20 years. And just a “heads-up”…. you’re in for some REAL brain-wave excitement in about  10 years time….

Some these Cognitive, or Thinking & Learning Skills your child may be displaying are:

  • creating more imaginative ways to complete a task
  • asking more analytical questions while weighing the choices
  • understanding & using concepts like: big, bigger & biggest; first, middle & last; yesterday, today & tomorrow; first, then & next; more, less, same; before & after; above & below
  • asking & answering a variety of questions, including “how many”
  • inventing games with simple rules
  • identifying basic colors of blue, yellow, red, green & orange
  • beginning to understand how to sort & classify objects by size, shape or type
  • showing interest in cause & effect

Promoting Your Child’s Brain Growth & Development

Your continued interaction with your child, not only strengthens brain cell connections, but, also, builds skills in language, cognition & socialization as  well as self-help skills. Specifically:

  • Encourage independent problem solving; however make suggestions & decide on solutions together
  • Suggest your child use all 5 senses for more in-depth observations
  • Allow for an  extra “get ready” window to promote independence during time-sensitive preparations 
  • Promote Literacy through drawings, pictures & lots of questions
  • Make sure your child plays OUTSIDE a lot, especially with other children because, yes, s/he is preferring activities that involve others

Free Play and The Brain

When my children become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. ~ Erma Bombeck

Free Play-Justin Young
Free Play-Justin Young

Whether alone in her/his “hide-away” place or playing with peers, child development and brain experts agree on the significant power of free, unstructured play.

During free play, children express their emotions & feelings, which helps them to identify who they  are.

Unorganized play without lots of rules  promotes the development and growth of creativity, flexibility , and adaptation to future challenges.

Sergio Pellis, a neuroscientist from Alberta, Canada, observed that “the brain rewires itself under the positive stress of play, as children figure out how to navigate the world and each other.”

As part of a peer-play group, children learn to share, resolve conflicts, make decisions, and be assertive.

“If You Play with Me, I’ll Be Your Best Friend….”

Children Play Together-Ed Gregory
Children Play Together-Ed Gregory

Your 5-year-old wonder has moved quite comfortably into the Social stage of play partnered with the Expressive stage of play. S/he enjoys playing with others in his/her age group, seeking and creating opportunities to engage in this type of play.

S/he is interested in exploring new playgrounds, parks and friends’ houses. Community play-spaces can have a positive effect on youngsters, making them feel more connected to their neighborhoods.

Swinging on playground swings & trying out new jungle gyms are especially enjoyable to your 5-year-old. You may notice her/him initiate conversations & play in a familiar way with other children, even though they’ve never met.

Free, physical play is SO important for your child’s development of his/her body awareness. It stimulates growth  as well as strengthens her/his fine & gross motor skills. S/he may bring toys to the play area and invite some peers to play with them. Together, of course !

YAY ! What A FUN Toy !

Creating A Toy-Emma Roorda
Creating A Toy-Emma Roorda

Your child’s toys should  stimulate & engage his/her imagination, communication, collaboration, creativity, and cognition, as well as her/his gross & fine motor skills.

You’ve heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. It may have been created while watching children at play. Believe me when I tell you, I have seen & heard children create amazing worlds with little and/ or nothing but their incredible  imaginations, a few pebbles, sticks, leaves, and a pile of dirt……

So, What Are Some Brain~Food Toys ?

Open-ended toys, or play tools can used in many, many ways, depending in your child’s imagination or learning-needs.

Here are a few ideas child development experts suggest for your child’s growth in these areas:

Games

  • board games for pre-readers, like Chutes & Ladders, Connect Four
  • card games, like Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid
  • dominoes
  • memory & match games
  • puzzles with 15-20 pieces

Construction

  • large & small wooden/plastic blocks
  • Duplos
  • Lincoln logs
  • tinker toys

Arts & Crafts

  • play-dough & clays
  • scissors & glue
  • pencils. crayons, washable markers & watercolors
  • drawing & construction papers

Outdoor

  • jump ropes
  • high bouncing ball (utility rubber ball)
  • wagon
  • 3-wheeler
  • bicycle with training wheels

Dramatic & Pretend

  • puppets, dolls, stuffed animals
  • action & animal figures (Play-mobiles)
  • trucks, cars, train sets/race tracks
  • pretend walkie-talkies, phones & cameras
  • dress-up clothes & costumes
  • play tools
  • LARGE cardboard boxes

I know I repeat myself, but at my Home Day School, I observed my children create everything from blocks, rocks & sticks. And there were HUGE crates of toys readily available in their playroom !

Powerful Pretend Play

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination. ~ Albert Einstein

A Castle of the Imagination
A Castle of the Imagination

At the age of 5, your child is becoming more & more project-minded. S/he is planning play scenarios that include buildings, different roles, materials & tools with the drawings to implement them. A script may not be in writing, but the appropriate dialogue is in place…..with assignments  for each person, animal & object.

Not only are your child’s Pretend Play plans “elaborate”, they will be enacted for long periods of time with new (and improved) details added each time.

Feel like your child is ready to try  some new & different Pretend Plays ?  Visit my Resource Library for a Pretend Play website collection: Pretend Play Power : 8 Helpful Websites.

Or click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/8-helpful-pretend-play-websites/

How You Can Contribute to Your Child’s Pretend Play

In The Play Kitchen-Shlomaster
In The Play Kitchen-Shlomaster

During Pretend Play, especially with others, your child is engaging in problem solving and building new understandings about the world , other people & oneself. New ideas are tested, many questions are asked (and some answered), and discoveries through exploration are numerous.

Although your 5-year-old has some definite ideas & plans regarding his/her Pretend Play, you can make some “suggestions” on what s/he might want to include into the setting. Ask questions, like “How will you….., What if the……, When will you….., Where are the……?” to promote details, cause/effect and expansion.

Six (or Seven) Simple Pretend Plays

As children we LOVED to play House, Mommy, Daddy, Baby, Cook, etc. Dressing up in our parents’ old clothes & accessories, including humongous shoes delighted us for hours, days, months, and, yes, years.

You might like to view a collection of 6 Simple Pretend Play ideas in a quick-read, table format, so I cheerfully created one (LOVE those info-tables). I included materials you will find around the house in the attic, basement, recycle bin or closets; at yard sales (gold mines); or neighborhood discount stores.

Six (or Seven) Simple Pretend Play Scenarios & Material Lists

SCENARIO
OR
ENVIRONMENT
LARGE-SIZED ITEMSMEDIUM-SIZED ITEMSSMALL-SIZED ITEMSCLOTHING & LINENS
Housebroom, mop, vacuum. ironing board, lawnmower, rake, washing machine, dryer, clothes baskettrash and/or leaf bags, feather duster, clothesline, cleaning spray bottles, cleaning caddy, phone, storage binsiron, cleaning & yard gloves, clothespins, drinking water bottle, message pad/pencil, small clipboards for listskerchief, cap, cleaning rags, sponges, laundry
Nurserycradle/crib, highchair, baby carrier, stroller, bathing tub, changing tabledolls, cuddly toys, diaper bag. storage binsbottles, rattles, chew toys, tub toys, board booksdoll clothes, diapers, wash & burb cloths, blankets, baby pillow
Kitchenstove/oven, sink, fridge, table, chairs, cabinet/shelves for kitchen stuffpots/pans, dishes,bowls,cups, mixing bowls, colander, dish rack, cookbooks, clipboards, storage bins cooking & eating utensils, food pictures, play fruits & veggies, play canned & boxed foodapron, wash cloths, dish towels, napkins, tablecloth, place-mats
People's Health Clinic
&
Vet's Office/Clinic
table & chairs, pet carriersscale,clipboards, medical bag, patients:dolls,stuffed animals, storage bins medical gloves, medical tools: stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, reflex hammer, bandages, gauze, band-aids, cotton ballslab coat, wash clothes, blankets, towels
Construction Site
wagon, table & chairs, trucks, earth movershardhats,tool box, shovels, clipboards, storage binstools: hammer, saw, screwdrivers, ruler, t-square, measuring tape, nuts, bolts,, screws, nails, vices, paper/pencils, phone, ropes, chains, safety goggleskerchief, boots, vests, work gloves, toolbelt
Restauranttables, chairs, stools, menu board, kitchen-to-server window, cash registerdishes, bowls, cups,vases & flowers, order wheel, trays, bus tub, storage bins eating utensils, play food, salt/pepper shakers, sugar & creamerpackets, ketchup/mustard containers, play money, order tickets/pencils, small clipboard, clothespins, phone, calculator, to-go bagsaprons, table settings: napkins, place-mats, tablecloths

To promote additional Literacy skills in these 6 Pretend Plays,  I created signs, bin labels, hat symbols, forms and lists to accompany each scenario. They are gathered together in a DIY Collection Manual : Prop~Templates for 6 Simple Pretend Plays complete with Construction Instructions as well as Tips & Idea Suggestions. Here’s the link to this product in BLB Shop:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/simple-pretend-plays-proptemplates/

 

I hope you found some useful Play Power tips & strategies  to help you & yours prepare for this eventful step in your family’s lives. Let me hear how you are ….

Any questions &/or comments?  Just fill in the Contact Me form below……(and she’s still talking…..). You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a  FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Choosing A School for Your Kindergartner : Learning & Teaching Styles

This is Part Three of Your Family’s Literacy Circle Kindergarten Series

Preparing your 5-year-old for Kindergarten can be a daunting task. There are so many questions and concerns parents have regarding the  groundwork needed for your child to enter in this totally new learning environment. Academic & social skill abilities usually top the list of worries. 

Is my child really ready to enter Kindergarten?!?

ACT THREE: Learning & Teaching Styles

When one teaches, two learn. ~ Robert Heinlein

Hopefully, this post will address some of your concerns. It explores the different Learning Styles of your child as well as the variety of Teaching Styles available to help you & yours decide on the best learning environment for your Kindergartner.

Your Five-Year-Old Wonder Child

Choosing a School for Your KindergartnerRemember last year…around 12 months ago… when your child was 4?  Toddlerland  was in the distance with fewer & fewer bouts of frustration….S/he was building  & planning & talking about it….a lot, but, still experienced some….well, you know.

Did you notice the closer s/he came to his/her 5th birthday, some pretty big changes were beginning to occur? Or should I say evolve? Like a larger understanding & speaking vocabulary? Completing tasks without being told and, maybe, in a “different” way? Longer focus & concentration? Some serious debating going on?

 Hmmm… let’s see what else you’ve observed in this young child, who is now only a baby to you and anyone else your age….

Does your child:

  • show eagerness to learn new things?
  • like to solve problems & puzzles in creative ways?
  • use her/his imagination when doing most activities?
  • ask a lot of  “analytical ” questions?
  • consider a variety of options before making a decision?
  • enjoy challenges that require “long-term” thinking?
  • like to participate in a variety of new experiences?
  • prefer activities that involve other children?

S/he is DEFINITELY a 5-year-old, bursting with exuberant enthusiasm and an abundance of creativity.

Kind of….weird…and oh, so, refreshing…Not that this stage of growth & development doesn’t come with its own set of challenges…. But you got this! Your parenting teaching skills are preparing for this next HUGE adventure…..

I Got This, You Say ????

If your child is displaying some, if not all, of those above mentioned characteristics, here are some of the learning skills with confidence building blocks you have successfully and diligently put into play:

  • given her/him chances to make simple choices
  • helped him/her complete something new without too much interference
  • fostered creativity with new experiences with tools & adventures
  • exhibited patience during your child’s activity involvements
  • recognized her/his achievements
  • encouraged his/her progress

PBS Parents’ Child Development Tracker/Approaches to Learning offers a more in-depth study of your 5-year-old’s growth in these areas. Click on the link below:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/five/approachestolearning.html

Need a few more ideas? Check out my 10 Amazing, Info-Packed Websites for Parenting & Child Development in the BLB Resource Library. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/10-amazing-info-packed-lwebsites-parenting-child-development/

Your Child’s Learning Style

5 Senses Learning-Caroline Hernandez

I recently (today) read an article in my daily feed regarding people’s learning styles. It was debunking the theory, stating there was no significant data to support using this as a teaching tool ~ even though 90% of teachers continue to inventory their students as a basis for diversifying their lessons……

As an educator, I tried to design my lessons with the 3 major Learning Styles in mind. However, I found most Early & Primary students are Hands-On, or Kinesthetic, learners. Most students showed a preference for listening or seeing. Again, a lot of Visual learners.

Even as learning teachers going to workshops/ professional development seminars, we preferred “Make & Take” sessions instead of lectures with power points. The “hand-outs” served as our “hands-on” tools, which we used for…..

What IS My Child’s Learning Style ?

Anywho ~ there are numerous informal inventories you can do to help you “discover” your child’s Learning Style as you prepare for his/her “Going-To-Kindergarten” journey. Your observations are probably enough, but here are a few ideas I gathered from a variety of simple surveys:

My child learns best when:

  • watching someone else
  • listening to someone
  • touching or building

When in a new place, s/he :

  • notices the people & sights
  • listens to the new & different sounds
  • moves around a lot, wiggles & taps

While waiting somewhere, s/he:

  • looks around, reads or doodles
  • talks or listens to others
  • walks around, touching things

My child enjoys:

  • reading & drawing
  • talking & singing
  • running & building

When I read to him/her, s/he:

  • loves to point to & talk about the pictures
  • repeats the words I am saying
  • fidgets & squirms

S/he remembers things more easily when:

  • pictures are involved
  • verbal repetitions are made
  • movement is present

When my child writes or draws, s/he:

  • worries how it looks
  • talks to self
  • pushes hard on the pencil/crayon

S/he needs a learning environment that is:

  • free from clutter & lots of movement
  • free from a lot of noise
  • free from sitting still too long

Now, your child probably does ALL of these things at some time or another. Think in terms of “most of the time”.  First choice is a Visual Learner, second choice is an Auditory Learner & choice three is a Kinesthetic Learner.

Want a few more characteristics? Visit the link below for Dr. Molly Pennington’s 2015 article:

https://www.noodle.com/articles/how-to-identify-your-child-learning-style

Does My Child’s Learning Style Equal Intelligence?

First of all ~ Major NO !

Explore & Discover-Dimitri Svetsikas
Explore & Discover-Dimitri Svetsikas

Intelligence is one’s ABILITY to learn, solve and/or create. Learning Style is the WAY one prefers to learn, solve and/or create. Some experts say these are “personality traits” instead of learning styles and intelligence. Your call. 

I think being aware of people’s “learning” preferences is an effective way to teach AND learn. I wonder if that’s a smart, er-intelligent way to approach life…..

As a matter of discussion, there are “multiple intelligences”, according to several experts.

In particular, Howard Gardner’s Frames of the Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence, states there are at least 7 (8, if you count Naturalistic).  SOOO, how about a Table of these “Smarts” & their characteristics?!?

Gardner's 8 Multiple Intelligences

Intelligence TypeThinking ProcessPreferencesLearning Tools
Word Smart: Verbal-Linguistic words & languageread, write, tell stories, speak other languagesbooks, writing tools, journals, word games, puns, tongue twisters, multimedia
Art Smart: Visual-Spatial images & spacedraw, paint, photography, sculpt, puppetry, daydreamart, mazes, puzzles, museums, maps, charts, diagrams, videos
Math Smart: Logical Mathematical
logic & reasoningnumbers, science, exploration, patterns, codespuzzles, investigations, experiments, mysteries, brain teasers, calculators, analogies, planetariums
Music Smart: Musical-Rhythmic
melodies & rhythmsing, whistle, hum, tap, listen to music, play an instrumentconcerts, multimedia, rhythm, rhyme, poetry, songs, recordings
Body Smart: Kinesthetic-Bodily
physical sensations & movementdance, run, jump, build, touch,role-play drama, athletics, tactile experiences, manipulatives
Nature Smart: Naturalist
connections with natureplants, animals,rocks, nature connections, outdoorsdata collection, exploration, classify natural objects, natural materials, growing things, animal care
People Smart: Interpersonal
social interactionsfriends, social events, discussions, interviews cooperative learning, board games, peer tutoring, clubs, group games, phones, multimedia, social networks
Self Smart: Intrapersonal
deep inside selfset goals, meditate, dream, quiet time, hobbies, reflection secret places, solo time, self-paced projects, journals, books, creative materials

PS Think you are smarter than you thought?!? Me, too!!!

Speaking of Brain Waves

Remember those Right & Left Brain choices discussed in “Our Brain” ?

See https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/nurturing-literacy-with-your-infant-7-12-months/

There are a few strategies you can put in place to assist with your child’s learning skills. You may need to mix it up depending on the subjects s/he is trying to understand.

Left Brain Needs

  • a quiet, well-lit space with an individual desk
  • structured, independent work
  • step-by-step with exact details
  • some assistance with defining Main Ideas & Inferences

Right Brain Needs

  • a softly-lit group work space
  • open-ended, group work
  • graphic organizers
  • manipulatives & experimentation

And there are a FEW things your 5-year-old needs to know how to do before entering a Kindergarten classroom that have little to do with his/her smarts…..

Ready (or Not) for Kindergarten Class

You don’t remember the times your parent held your handle bars. You remember the day s/he let go. ~ Lenore Skenazy

Creativity Tools-Mike Fox

If you enter “Kindergarten Readiness Skills” in a search engine, you will receive a LOT of responses. My advice ~ choose one written by a Kindergarten teacher. S/he not only is a voice of experience, but tips & strategies will, also,  be included on how to fill in some gaps your child may have before the BIG day.

So, some of the lists are quite lengthy…. Education.com lists 10 Kindergarten Readiness Skills with some tips & strategies.  I’ve combined it with other ideas, which you can access in the BLB Resource Library. Just click on the link below for Kindergarten Readiness Skills: A Parent & Child Checklist:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/kindergarten-readiness-skills-a-parent-child-checklist/

In addition to a healthy number of Literacy skills your 5-year-old needs in preparation for Kindergarten, s/he will be, well, bombarded with a KAZILLION classroom & school routines.  To be fair, these can change according to school district policy, campus policy and/or teacher preferences. 

Karen Jones, an elementary educator with 12 years experience & a parent came up with this lengthy, but accurate inventory of “Routines & Procedures”. Sit down with a snack & a tall drink while you check out this list…..

http://www.mrsjonessclass.com/2014/06/routines-routines-routines.html

Ready For Kindergarten ?

One of the most popular  Primary classroom activities with children is the Daily Calendar. Students gather as a group around a colorful board to interactively participate while learning some  life skill concepts, such as time, weather & vocabulary. I have created one for you & yours ~ My Calendar Corner ~ in BLB’s Shop. Just click on the link below & let me know what you think:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/my-calendar-corner-daily-prek-thru-3rd-grade-literacy-activities/

How to Choose A School for Your Kindergartner

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see. ~ Alexandra K. Trenfor

Playscape- Noah Hurricane
Playscape- Noah Hurricane

As your child’s first teacher, you are very aware of how s/he learns, successfully. Kindergarten is a critical year and can set the stage for many years to come. Expectations & curriculum may vary with school/district policy, but most schools, regardless of classification, want your child reading, writing & problem solving with math computations before entering First Grade.

Here are a few of the  10 Factors to consider when selecting a school for your child, according to publicschoolreviews/2017:

Finding a Good Fit

  • Will the school provide a specific, rigorous course of study ?
  • Will the school accommodate my child’s learning style and/or special needs ?
  • What is the level of social contact with peers ?
  • How do scheduling & extracurricular activities fit with our family’s ?

Choosing a Focus

  • Does the school offer a second language study ?
  • Does the school offer opportunities in the Fine and/or Performing Arts ?
  • How important is Science & Math ?
  • Is new & innovative Technology used as part of the curriculum ?

 Looking At Basic Campus Effectiveness

  • High expectations
  • Great teachers & staff
  • Engaged, visible children
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Active parent participation

Visiting the School

  • Meet teachers, staff & principal
  • Talk to other parents & students
  • Check out a PTA meeting
  • Ask questions

Have A Few More Questions ?

Speaking of questions, readingrockets.org has an article, “Four Steps to Selecting a School for Your Child”, written by the US Department of Education & other websites offering an EXTENSIVE list of questions to address your concerns. You can even download a booklet. Connect with the link below:

 http://www.readingrockets.org/article/four-steps-selecting-school-your-child

So, What Are the Choices ?

Free Play-Jessica Tootoo
Free Play-Jessica Tootoo

There are lots of options including Homeschools, Private Schools & Online Public Schools. The options I will offer in this post are Neighborhood Public Schools & Alternative, or Non-Traditional Schools, which can be considered private.

As an parent & educator, I found the regular availability of Free Play, or Recess was just as important to learning as Nutrition & Academics. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as other studies, children, who had indoor or outdoor Free Play/Recess as a regular part of their school day:

  • were more attentive & more productive in the classroom
  • developed the thinking skills that are positively linked to learning & academic performance
  • created fantasies to help them cope with difficult situations
  • provided stress-relief

There are several types of Neighborhood Public Schools to consider:

  • the one around the corner or across the street from your home that your child(ren) can walk or ride their bikes to
  • a Charter School that may offer an unique, smaller class-size, learning environment and are free from  many traditional public school regulations
  • a Magnet School that exists outside of “zoned school boundaries”, but is part of the local public school system with alternative methods of instruction

Read below for several other  Alternative Schools with unique approaches to educating minds.

Is A Non~Traditional School Right for My Child ?

Several effective methods of teaching do NOT include lectures, homework, report cards or formal assessments. I have only listed these 3 : Montessori, Steiner,  and Reggio Emilia, but there are more.

Montessori

The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn. ~ Maria Montessori, M.D.

  • Children select learning activities independently each day.
  • Learning tools are tactile.
  • Teachers observe, not direct.
  • Classes  are grouped for 3-year movement.
  • Methods are usually found in preschool & elementary schools.
  • Several hundred US public schools utilize Montessori practices.

You can learn more by clicking on the link below:

  https://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori

 

Waldorf

The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education. ~ Rudolf Steiner, founder

  • Children are prepared for “living”, emphasizing creative expression with social & spiritual values .
  • Learning tools are :(4-6) sensory-based, (7-14) creativity-based, (15-18) structure & social-based.
  • Teacher & curriculum- directed.
  • Classes  are grouped for 7-year movement.
  • Methods are found in K-12 Waldorf schools.
  • There are eight hundred Waldorf schools internationally.

You can learn more by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.waldorfeducation.org/waldorf-education

 

Reggio Emilia

Children need the freedom to appreciate the infinite resources of their hands, their eyes and their ears, the resources of forms, materials, sounds and colors. ~ Loris Malaguzzi, founder 

  • Children self-direct a variety of creative projects.
  • Learning tools are art & discovery-based.
  • Teachers guide, not instruct, without set lesson plans.
  • Classrooms mimic home environments.
  • Methods are used for teaching children ages 3-6 .
  • Schools all over the world utilize this inquiry-based practice.

You can learn more by clicking on the link below:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggio_Emilia_approach

Need More Educational Options Info ?

There are other traditional & non-traditional school options available for you to think about. Educational World. com can help you with this.

Click on the link below for multiple articles, reviews, resources & links regarding teaching approaches, philosophies & practices:

http://www.educationworld.com/preservice/learning/methods.shtml

You, Your Child & School

Kindergarten School-HPGuesen
Kindergarten School-HPGuesen

As an educator in Primary & Intermediate classrooms, I discovered one of the most important ways to ensure a student’s success was the parent’s involvement with his/her child’s school activities & academic engagement. Putting habits and expectations in place during  this first year will lay the foundation for self-motivation and responsibility in the future (until adolescence…..). You will see a resurgence, usually, during Senior-itis & college, hopefully.

Your child will benefit by your involvement in his/her education at school. Send him/her ready for school by:

  • Making sure s/he is well-fed & rested
  • Checking s/he is dressed appropriately
  • Has the necessary school supplies
  • Has completed homework and/or projects

I created a mini~picture “Ready For School” poster help your Kindergartner each school morning & evening before. Post it at eye level in your child’s room or by the front door. Click on the link below to print the PDF:

K Ready for School Pic-List

Parent Involvement Strategies

Tiffani Chin, PhD, the founder of EdBoost & author of School Sense, suggests several  general strategies for parents to follow when becoming involved in your child’s education in school:

  The School

  • attend school events, like “Meet the Teacher”, Open House, festivals & fairs
  • visit the website
  • talk with teachers, counselors, administrators & staff
  • volunteer

School Is A Priority

  • check the backpack every day for school notes & correspondence
  • help with homework
  • visit your neighborhood library
  • attend educational events & places
  • go to conferences

Partner with The Teachers

  • ask how to help your child
  • voice your concerns about your child performance & behaviors
  • listen carefully & follow the advice
  • respond to notes, emails and/or phone calls
  • show you appreciate their efforts

The relationship between you, your child & school is best expressed as one of teamwork. Strengthening this bond tells your child his/her “work on the job” is important, meaningful & necessary.

Remember to keep the Family Literacy Circle alive & well as your child’s First classroom.  Read Your Educational Home Environment in BLB’s Resource Library by clicking on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

So, How Was Your Day At School ?

In spite of my child “doing nothing” at school everyday (because I always asked) for 12 years, or let’s just say the last 8 years of K~HS, he was able to graduate from college with honors and go on to graduate school…..

Fear not, Liz Evans @simplesimon&company offers some creative,  answerable questions  to ask your child each day after school. Click on the link below:

https://www.simplesimonandco.com/2014/08/25-ways-ask-kids-school-today-without-asking-school-today.html/

 AND… if and when Homework is involved……I created a a read with some Parent Involvement Strategies in Your Homework Help HOTLINE,  available in BLB’s Resource Library. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/homework-help-hotline-parent-involvement-strategies/

 

I hope this post has been helpful to you. These decisions can cause anxiety with some sleeplessness……

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns and/or additions you would like to see. Just fill in the Contact Me form below……(and she’s still talking…..). You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Encouraging the FLC with Your Kindergartner’s Reading Skills

This is Part 4 of the Family Literacy Circle’s Five ~ Part Kindergarten Series

This post’s main focus is on developing & engaging the Reading Skills of your 5-year-old, Part One of this Series ~ Your Kindergartner’s Language Skills ~  offers key content regarding the growth & development of your child’s Phonological Awareness Skills, which is a major component for pre-reading skills. You can read the Language post by clicking on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/5-year-olds-language-skills/

ACT FOUR : Encouraging Your Kindergartner’s Reading Skills

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ~ Richard Steele

As I stated in the first few sentences, your child’s oral language FLC K Reading Skillsskills in both understanding, or receptive, and speaking, or expressive, is beginning to extend into the written language of reading. Rhyming words play a big part in this progression. I put together a 50-word rhyming list for you & yours. Click on the PDF link below:

50 Beginning Rhyming Words

Understanding a variety of  letters in words represent a variety of sounds helps your child comprehend the purpose of the written language in stories & books.

Environmental print has given her/him clues for several years now. Still working on matching uppercase letters to lowercase letters? Here’s a PDF Literacy Game for learning that skill. Click on the link below:

We Go Together

This specific understanding is how s/he learns how to “sound out” letters and “smush” them into printed words ~ READING!!!!! It is such an exciting accomplishment for your child and kudos to you, their First teacher, who has been the springboard of this New World!! 

WOW ! How Did I Do That?!?

Reading with your child since the beginning of his/her life ~ maybe in utero? ~ has provided a great many stepping-stones onto the path of learning how to be an independent reader. Here are just a few of the lessons taught by example that your child has  learned through your patient,  gentle, fun & interactive persistence:

  • Books have a title, author & illustrator.
  • Books are read from left to right & top to bottom.
  • Stories have a beginning, middle & ending.
  • Some stories are make-believe, or fiction & some stories are real-life, or non-fiction.
  • Words in stories are made up of letters & sounds, some of which your child may be able to identify.
  • S/he loves to retell some favorite stories.
  • S/he wants to “read” picture books from memory.
  • S/he might be able to recognize some words by sight.

However, learning to read is not a natural skill. Our five senses can help, but the brain does not have a “reading area”.

Reading & The Brain

Reading & The Brain-Public DomainPics
Reading & The Brain-Public DomainPics

Jan Bernard@dragonsdencurriculum.blogspot.com has some suggestions for brain-based reading instruction in her blog post:  “Seven Ways to Use the Brain to Make Reading Easier”.

National Reading Panel

Research supports that good phonics development is critical to effective reading. Playing with words, knowing the sounds of letters, and  manipulating these sounds are the foundation skills of understanding print.

Personal Connections

Using memories and personal life experiences to relate with the text increases the comprehension of the  text being read.

Reflection Connection

Engaging your reader in hands-on activities centered around the read gives him/her time to process  the content and discover meaning within it.

Pace

Teaching several points instead of many will ensure your reader is understanding the content s/he is reading.

Fun & Movement

Making the lesson entertaining and providing opportunities for physical change, such as group work, partner activities and/or games helps the brain retain information.

Interaction

Turn & Talk, group discussions, and student-teaches are all  effective  ways to engage readers when learning the content.

These ideas, also, promote Critical Thinking skills.

What Are Critical Thinking Skills?

Asking “what if” & “why” questions are  great ways to encourage and inspire expansive, creative thinking. For example, what if you found a dragon’s egg? What if you found a genie in a lamp? What if a neighbor of the 3 Bears knocked on the door while Goldilocks was there? 

You may already ask “big thinking” questions during a read with your child. Heidi Butkus @ heidisongs does a nice job of presenting how to engage critical thinking in young children.

Some of the beginning interactive questions are:

  • Connecting Text to Self : Has anything like _________ ever happened to you or someone you know?
  • Compare & Contrast: How are _______&_______the same? How are they different?
  • Form an Opinion: How did you feel when________?
  • Evaluate: Do you think __________was a good or bad idea?
  • Prediction: What do you think will happen next?

The next set of questions are a bit more “thought-provoking”.

  • Cause & Effect: Because ________began, ___________is what happened next.
  • Hypothesize: Since__________is always happening, __________is probably why it happens.
  • Develop a Logical Argument: I think___________is true/not true, because_____________and____________.
  • Infer: What is happening and why?
  • Draw a Conclusion: What do you think about the WHOLE story?

How about using these questions with a story you’ve read to your child a few hundred times, like…….?

 Critically Thinking About Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

This author & illustrator of numerous award-winning books has created many well-loved picture books as well as a “cast” of mice characters for his mouse stories collection. I’m sure you’ve heard of Owen, Julius, Chrysanthemum & Sheila Rae. Chester & Wilson,  two of the main mice in Chester’s Way, like to do things a certain way everyday, until Lily moves into the neighborhood with her own way of doing things every day…..

  • Connecting Text to Self : Do you like to do some things the same way every time you do it?
  • Compare & Contrast: How are Chester / Wilson & Lily the same? How are they different?
  • Form an Opinion: How did you feel when the older mouse boys circled Chester & Wilson ?
  • Evaluate: Do you think Lily squirting those boys away was a good or bad idea?
  • Prediction: What do you think will happen when Victor moves into the neighborhood?
  • Cause & Effect:  Because Lily “squirted” those big boy mice way,  ___________is what happened next.
  • Hypothesize: Since Chester & Wilson are  always playing together, __________is probably why it happens.
  • Develop a Logical Argument: I think Victor will/will not become friends with them  because_____________and____________.
  • Infer: Although Chester & Wilson enjoy doing things differently from Lily, they still enjoy her differences because____________? Will they feel the same way about Victor?
  • Draw a Conclusion: What do you think about the WHOLE story?

Are you and/or your child Visual Learners/Teachers? Check out your “Style” in the FLC post: Choosing A School for Your Kindergartner: Learning & Teaching Styles by clicking on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/choosing-a-school-for-your-kindergartner-learning-teaching-styles/

I have, also, included 3 beginning- to- read comprehension graphic organizers for you and yours to use on a BIG sheet of paper. Click on the PDF link below:

K Rdg Comp GOrgs

How Will I Know If My Child Is Ready To Read ?

Certain common concepts can be woven throughout a story. Does your 5-year-old understand near/far, same/different, through/over/under? Here’s a PDF checklist to help review positional & directional words.

 Beginning Directional & Positional Words

Understanding, using, and applying Time concepts  continues to be developmental since the  “language of time” is such an abstract idea.    Emphasizing words such as soon, later, early, yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, morning, noon and evening when doing concrete activities will help to give meaning to these ideas.  Even my Third Graders struggled with defining “when” in the Setting story element.

BLB Shop has a Calendar Kit you can use as a daily activity lesson at home. You can view it by clicking on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/my-calendar-corner-daily-prek-thru-3rd-grade-literacy-activities/

The expectations for Kindergartners has changed A LOT within the last 15 years. Previously,  objectives revolved around interactive, hands-on learning centers, like blocks, kitchen, painting, etc. Currently, those are preK objectives with Kindergartners expected to be emerging readers, writers & math problem solvers. Here’s a list of pre-reading skills  your 5-year-old needs to know when ENTERING Kindergarten.

  Beginnings : A Book Tells A Story

Open A Book-Comfreak/CCOCreativeCommons
Open A Book-Comfreak/CCO

If you & yours are a family of readers, these book skills are already in place:

  • Books have parts: front & back covers with a title page.
  • Books are held safely & pages are turned from left to right.
  • Books’ words are read from left to right & top to bottom.
  • Groups of letters can make words.
  • There are spaces in between complete words.
  • A sentence is a group of words “strung” together with different ending marks that are not letters.
  • Letters & words on a book’s page are spoken with meaning & messages.

You have taught these skills by:

  • Making read-alouds a routine part of each day
  • Promoting the above skills & concepts each time a book is read
  • Finger-pointing the words as you read.
  • Helping your child become aware of environmental print, such as building & road signs, food labels, billboards, etc
  • Reading interactively with your child by asking questions, making connections, explaining unknown words, & having her/him retell the story
  • Identifying story elements, such as  beginning, middle & end; characters & setting; main idea & details; problems & solutions

During your child’s Kindergarten year, s/he will learn many more specifics about books being read.

Kindergarten & Book Growth

Your child’s “book knowledge” will include several new aspects as well as preferences.

As non-fiction books become a more important tool when teaching curriculum objectives, s/he will learn about the Table of Contents, a glossary & an index. Engaging in longer discussions as content is being shared will, also, be part of your child’s growing knowledge within books.

Having  extensive libraries in the classroom & as a media center available to your 5-year-old will provide opportunities for growing interests in specific authors, fiction verses non-fiction, and entertainment independence.

The attention span of your young listener will expand into chapter books, more in-depth discussions & responses, and greater  comprehension of specific content details.

You will notice your child pointing to words  as s/he “reads”. This strong characteristic shows a progression from his/her Phonological Awareness to Phonemic Awareness ~ yes, READING!!!!

What Are Phonemic Awareness Skills ?

S0, is your child ready to master the Phonemic Awareness Skills? This set of skills includes your child’s ability to hear, identify & manipulate the sounds letters make.

BLB Shop has two games ready to help your child learn these powerful reading skills. S Says SSSSSS has Beginning Letter & Sound Games. M Says MMMM has games for learning the Ending Letter & its Sound.  Just click on the links below to access a view:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/beginning-letter-word-sound-games/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/ending-letter-word-sound-games/

Modeling As A Teaching Tool

Let us read and let us dance ~ two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. ~ Voltaire

Throughout the years you have read countless books countless times. Your little pupil wants to read how you have been reading to him/her for the past 5 years. You have probably noticed how dear this time is with your loved one, even if s/he is squirmy. Benefits of read-alouds are:  sharing quality time, especially at night; being a book resource for sharing different stories; thinking together; and getting an insider view into your child’s interests, humor & comprehension.

There are a few Read-Aloud Tips, courtesy of readingeggs.com, heatherhaupt.com & I to further your modeling/teaching tools when reading aloud to your young listener.

Kinder Listening-Anissa Thompson
Listening-Anissa Thompson

  • Make time to read interactively every day without distractions.
  • Choose well-written & beautifully illustrated books (not too easy/difficult) with your child’s interests in mind without a lot of dialogue.
  • Be ready to read favorite books again & again & again because your child is learning sounds and words through repetition.
  • Try to read using lots of expression & animation without imposing your own thoughts onto your child.
  • Opt for books related to your child’s current learning experiences.
  • Finish a book once you have started it unless you discover your child is not engaged in the story/subject.

The Complex Worth of Simple Wordless Picture Books

Wordless picture books are NOT just for toddlers & pre-schoolers. Some of those books you “read” to your “baby” might continue to be interesting, but in a very different way. (See    https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/wordless-picture-books/

Their amazing, detailed illustrations offer numerous opportunities for imaginative & creative thinking. Not only do they emphasize the power of illustration, but they, also, encourage verbal & vocabulary skills, promote point of view recognition, and develop your child’s confidence as s/he “tells” the story.

Spend some time asking comprehension questions about the Story Elements:

  • Setting – place, time, unusual/familiar, things to do
  • Characters – thinking, feelings, desires/needs
  • Plot – problems/solutions
  • Predictions – next, opinions, choices
  • Lessons – themes, if/then, symbols

As a Family Literacy Circle activity, have each family member and/or friend , choose a page to tell the story and, then, pass the book to the next person.

Need some Wordless Picture Book ideas for your older “reader”? Check out More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5-8   in BLB’s Resource Library. Just click on the link below:

  https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/wordless-picture-books-older-readers/

“Just One More Chapter, PLEEEEEZE!!!”

Reading an interesting & entertaining chapter book aloud is one of the pleasures you can share in your Family’s Literacy Circle. It is SO MUCH FUN!!!

Whether it is part of your night-time ritual, a rainy afternoon past-time or a vacation ride diversion, your captive audience will usually want just one more chapter read.

Did you know there are benefits to reading aloud chapter books to your young and older one(s) ? Here are some of them shared by readingeggs.com:

  • Develops stronger vocabulary through listening & hearing new words in a new context
  • Builds connections between spoken & written words
  • Strengthens thinking by exposing your child to sophisticated language
  • Improves attention span & concentration through listening
  • Provides enjoyment &, then, views reading as a positive experience
  • Allows a safe way of exploring strong emotions of oneself & others
  • Promotes bonding & strengthens relationships
  • Helps your child develop his/her social, communication & interpersonal skills

I can tell you from my experiences as a parent & educator, all of the above are true. Plus as a lover of reading, it is FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Here is a list I compiled as a Resource in BLB’s Library of some captivating chapter books I have shared with children. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/read-aloud-chapter-books/

You Can Help Your Child Become A Reader

The greatest good you can do for another is not to share your riches, but to reveal to him/her his/her own. ~ Disraeli

I Can Read You A Story-Jill111
I Can Read You A Story-Jill111

Your 5-year-old is becoming aware of book type diversity. S/he knows the difference between real & make-believe stories. S/he realizes some  made-up stories that could really happen, or realistic fiction.  Some books are all about facts, or nonfiction. Some are ABC books & some are song books.

Making sure your child has immediate access to books -everywhere at home- s/he enjoys will encourage lots of reading. Bring books on car trips, the store & visits. Hand him/her a book instead of a device. Ask teachers, librarians & other parents for book suggestions.

Create an “I Am A Reader” poster together to hang up in his/her room. Or use the one I created  for you to make with your budding reader. Just click, download & print on the link below:

  I Am A Reader poster

The 5 Components of Reading

Before beginning to teach someone to read, it is important to administer a Reading Inventory. Throughout my decades as an educator, I have given a wide variety of assessments. Click on the Reading Rockets link below for an example:

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/informal-reading-assessments-examples

My successful tried & true method of teaching a child -who wants to learn how to read- how to read consists of 5 major elements:

  • a solid Sight Words, or High Frequency Words base
  • a strong, developmental phonics program
  • an ongoing receptive & expressive vocabulary list
  • a reliable group of comprehension strategies for fiction & nonfiction reads
  • a daily opportunity for reading aloud to improve fluency

You can work with your child’s teacher to assist in your child’s reading  progression. S/he will know specifically in which of these 5 areas your beginning reader needs more practice. 

Otherwise, continue reading interactively with your child every day.

HELP!!!! My Child Is A NON-Reader!

If a child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in a way the child learns. ~ Rita Dunn

Lost in Kindergarten -Cole Stivers
Lost in Kindergarten -Cole Stivers

Your bright, energetic 5-year-old has waited all summer to enter the exciting new world of Kindergarten with all of his/her friends. New clothes, shoes &  a cheerful lunchbox have been carefully selected. Lots of colorful school supplies have been purchased & tucked away into his/her new, hand-picked backpack. The first few weeks of school, s/he comes home happy & exhausted. By week 3, s/he is not as thrilled with Kindergarten. S/he is becoming more confused & almost reluctant to go to school…..

During Meet the Teacher night, her/his teacher gently pulls you to the side and quietly urges you to schedule a conference as soon as possible. You swallow back some tears, replying, “Of course…” as the teacher reassures you, “We can work this out together.”

Do I Have a Resource for you!!!!

Just click on this link below for Guiding Your NonReader Into The Reader’s World:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/guide-nonreader-readers-world/

YOU GOT THIS!!!

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Enriching The FLC with Your First Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

This IsThe FLC First Grader’s Series

Yes, like last year, this year is another HUGE one for your 6-year-old.  First Grade is filled with incredible LEAPS & BOUNDS! Your child’s growth & development intellectually, physically AND emotionally is almost approaching “light year” speed.

Five of the major Literacy Arenas influencing his/her ground-breaking discoveries are: Learning & Language Skills, Creative Arts & Play Shills, Inquiry Power, Reading Skills , and Writing Skills. So, I am dividing this incredibly important year into a series of 4 or 5 separate blog posts.

PART ONE : Learning & Language Skills

Children always learn, but not necessarily what you want them to learn. ~ Dr. L. Katz

Somewhere during the summer, before your 6-year-old enters FirstFLC First Grade: Lrng & Lang Skills Grade, you’ll notice your somewhat-round child became all arms and legs. No way are last year’s clothes & shoes going to fit! This growth will continue for a few years ~an average of 2 to 2.5 inches per year. Remember the thumbprint-measure at the end of new shoes.…. Ignore the “This is TOO BIG for ME!” comments…. And cross your fingers to prolong another wardrobe upgrade before next Summer…..hopefully, Fall……

Must have been all the new physical skills~fine & gross motor~ s/he kept practicing all Summer…. running & jumping & skipping & hopping & skipping & skipping & hopping….EVERYWHERE!!!!! Oh.. and, purposely, rolling & spinning ’round & ’round…..

Indoors found him/her drawing lots of pictures & cutting out lots of pictures to accompany lots of newly written stories….drawing & cutting & gluing (“Teacher says ‘Just a dot, not a lot’ “) & writing….Yes, s/he needs more paper & magazines & glue…..

Although the hand-eye coordination is improving….s/he will probably fall out of chairs several times in the next year and  baby teeth will fall out of her/his mouth.  Pencils can become “teething sticks”. As a First Grade teacher, I was asked to “pop-out” many front teeth and scooped up many “plopped-on-the-floor” bodies…

BIG NEWS FLASH!!!! S/he is TYING her/his own shoes laces!!!!!!

How does s/he have enough energy to ask SSSSOOOOO many questions?!?!?!?

Your Budding Brainiac

Why Oh Why? Johnny-McClung
Why Oh Why? Johnny-McClung

Even at rest, your soon-to-be First Grader spends hours upon hours pondering the great questions of the Universe and her/his place in it. The Age of Reason has arrived in your child’s brain development, stimulated by the opportunities received at school to learn new concepts and ideas.

Curiosity encourages exploration and discovery.  PBSParents offers a few tips on how you can help build these Learning Skills:

  • Allow him/her to make simple choices, such as what to wear, what to eat for snack, where to eat out for a meal, which shoes to buy (of the several options you’ve okayed), what present to buy for whom (within your budget).
  • Give your child some support when needed to finish a new task or activity, but don’t take over or rush him/her to complete it.
  • Encourage creativity in your child’s expressions by offering new material & experiences without influencing her/his decisions.
  • Praise achievements, progress & eagerness to take risks (safely, of course).

“Inside the First Grader’s Brain”

Although I have taught many First Graders ~ and what an absolutely FASCINATING bunch they are ~ I, myself was curious to know what makes those incredibly interesting 6-year-old brains tick. Hank Pellissier, founder of the Brighter Brains Institute, contributed an article in June 2018 to greatschools.org with the above title.

Scientifically, this is what is happening inside your First Grader’s brain:

  • The sensory lobes that recognize & analyze challenges are maturing at a rapid rate.
  • There is rapid brain growth in vocabulary, grammar & pronunciation.
  • Your child is probably “leaping” from magical thinking to logical, rational mental processing.
  • S/he may become fixed on rules & regulations.

You can “nuture” your child’s logical mental processing & satisfy his/her Rules & Regulations focus with a small activity game  I created : Choose A Category”. You’ll find it in BLB Shop by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Keep reading for some suggestions on nurturing this brain stage.

Pellissier’s Parenting Your First Grader’s Brain Tips

Included in his article are some tips (with some comments from yours truly) on how you can help your child’s brain during this stage of growth & development:

  • Set high expectations ~ they will be welcomed, met & exceeded
  • Provide a relaxed & emotionally secure environment ~ so effective for his/her explosive world of intellectual adventures
  • Contribute PATIENCE during her/his dramatics ~ enrollment in the Creative Arts, especially music will help temper some of these behaviors-6-year-olds can be quite a “serious” bunch and “talking about feelings” is still too confusing for them….too busy emoting
  • Make SURE s/he runs & plays outside EVERYDAY for at least 30 minutes ~ non-negotiable, rain or shine, in addition to school recess
  • Focus your child’s attention with board games & limit TV/video games time ~ yes. yes. yes- you will notice BIG behavior changes
  • Include lots of vocabulary exploration because s/he can acquire 10 NEW WORDS A DAY, plus now would be a good time to expose your child to another language ~ I retained lots of another language I learned as a child as well as many First Grade ESL students exit into mainstream
  • Encourage your young reader to pay attention to ALL letter sounds in words ~ s/he can’t WAIT to get to the next word……

SO MANY QUESTIONS !!!!

Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think. ~ Margaret Mead

Sometimes answering a question with another question is a great way to stretch the brain’s growth. Karen Nelson@weareteachers posted a list of 62 questions for increasing those thinking & learning skills. Just click on this link: https://www.weareteachers.com/critical-thinking-questions/

Or you can click on this pdf link to download, copy & print “A Short List of  Critical Thinking Question Stems” I created to get you started: A Short List of CT Questions

And What Is Critical Thinking?

Here Is What We See-TorstenDederichs
Here Is What We See-TorstenDederichs

“Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions.” ~ study.com

You will notice your VERY curious & engaged 6-year-old studying things intensely. S/he will, then, describe a thing (or 20) using its characteristics, and, then, find similarities & differences between a variety of things. These are his/her growing & developing cognitive skills at work!

Need a little (HA!) more in-depth information ? Yes, you guessed it! Click on this link from BLB’s Resource Library for ideas, tips & strategies in A Parent’s Guide to Building Learning & Critical Thinking Skills https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

These “working” words will show up at the most surprising times……correctly,too!

Such Language!!!!

Favorite First Grader phrases include:

“You’re not the boss of me!” (I still use that one…)

“I didn’t do it!” (use that one, too)

“S/he told me to……”

“S/he did it, too!”

And tho’ your First Grader “hates” tattle tales, s/he is quite the tattler…. such talkers….

The rate your child is learning to understand and speak new words is growing, quite literally, by leaps & bounds ~ about 3000 within the school year! S/he is even talking ABOUT words, not just using them during expression. 

S/he is starting conversations, using defining & describing words more frequently, staying on topic, taking turns during the conversation, and ~ this is a jewel~ giving directions to others. S/he is, also, able to re-state ideas using different words if what was expressed is not understood by the listener.

And how did all this happen, you may ask?? Some of those high expectations coupled with lots of “world” knowledge being shared in school are definitely factors influencing this language growth.

The “Common Core” Standard Expectations for Language

By the completion of First Grade, your child is expected to show mastery in quite a few grammatical conventions as well as a number of other areas in the English language. I’m just going to list some general ones, because, quite frankly, college graduates haven’t mastered some of these……really….., so, maybe, this is why these Standards are being implemented in so many  states’ public school districts.

Grammar Usage 

There are 10 “command”, or mastery expectations for speaking & writing, but  I’m just listing a few of the main ones :

  • common, proper & possessive nouns
  • singular & plural nouns with matching verb agreement
  • personal, possessive & indefinite pronouns
  • past, present & future verb tenses
  • complete simple & compound statements, questions, commands & exclamations

BTW, I created a PDF downloadable game for Singular & Plural Nouns with Matching Verb Agreement: One Frog Hops! Two Frogs Hop! Just click on this linkOne Frog Hops

Speaking & Listening

Basically, these expectations are about participating in an interactive First Grade topic conversation:

  • asking & answering in complete sentences
  • asking & answering questions about details from a read text
  • asking & answering questions about details from an oral lesson
  • using words & phrases learned from grade level texts
  • describing people, places, things & events using clearly stated details & ideas

Need more specific information about the Common Core Standards for First Grade Language? Click on the link below: 

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/1/

In Parentese, Please!

Your Child & School-Amber MB
Your Child & School-Amber MB

The National PTA has written a “Parents’ Guide to Student Success” regarding the Common Core Standards. It lists the main Mastery expectations for ELA Literacy & Mathematics as well as some ELA Literacy Parent Involvement at Home tips for your First Grader:

  • Read books together with your child & help him/her sound out difficult words.
  • Act out stories together from books, TV and your child’s imagination.
  • Pick a “Word of the Day” every day, beginning with a different letter. Have your child write the word & look for other things beginning with the same letter.
  • Have your child sign up for a  Public Library card & visit the  with your child every week, checking a variety of books ~ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays.

 Literacy Language Lifters

Here are a few additional suggestions for promoting your First Grader’s listening & speaking skills:

  • Continue playing with language through rhymes, songs & word games, especially when new nonsense words can be created
  • Invent meanings for those new nonsense words
  • Increase verbal directions from one & two-step to three-step
  • Ask your child to repeat those directions back to you
  • Promote the understanding of game rules
  • Include Time (before/after) & Distance (close/far) concepts in your interactive conversations
  • Ask her/him to repeat stories that have a series of events to relate in order
  • Continue asking the “wh” questions for comprehension: who, what, when, where, why
  • Introduce your child to a different language ~ s/he will absolutely LOVE learning words in another language AND 6-years-old is an optimal time in his/her language development for this skill.

 Learning Another  Language Benefits

World Learning-Mihail-fotodeti
World Learning-Mihail-fotodeti

There are more than a few advantages to having a access to another language. Learning another language increases your child’s literacy, analytical,and problem-solving skills. It boosts your child’s confidence, self-image, and tolerance.

According to pandatree.com, a multilingual teaching website,  your child will experience 15 or more benefits. Among them are:

  •  speaking, understanding & connecting with more people.
  •  stimulating his/her brain growth.
  • boosting first language abilities
  • training one’s ear for music
  • increasing out-of-the-box thinking

And in my experience as an educator~ all my students thought it was great fun and were always eager to learn MORE!

So, if you would like to teach your child a few common vocabulary words and phrases in another language ~ say Spanish~ BLB Shop has just the product for you and yours: Let’s Learn A Little Spanish has 10 mini-lessons with easy-to-use instructions. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/learn-spanish-minilessons/

 

Just a little postscript:  Your First Grader’s Learning & Language Skills is the first part of this 4, maybe 5 part series for First Graders. Play, Inquiry, Reading & Writing are in the mix as well. Stay tuned!

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Inquiry Skills

Welcome to Part Three of The FLC First Grader’s Series

Your 6-year-old is asking MORE questions than s/he usually does.

And even though s/he LOVES rules and boundaries in his/her expanding world, those very important inquiries are giving you clues to the puzzles being solved in her/his broadening brain.

Your First Grader’s  Inquiry Skills are growing. They are becoming an important part of his/her brain development and academic success.

A “How-To……” book of instructions for everything in life right now would be just fine with her/him!

PART THREE :  Inquiry Skills

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. ~ Eugene Ionesco

There is a philosophy that an answer can be found within the context of its question…..or at least its beginning is….

Your First Grader comes home with many new & wonderful ideas to share. S/he LOVES explaining how explorations became discoveries.

And, THEN, “what if…..?” Oh, the imagination of the inquiring mind!!!!

This state of inquiry, however, is not satisfied with thinking about things.

Your 6-year-old and his/her longer attention span  likes to learn & problem solve by doing: experimenting, planning, building, collecting, and, maybe even , performing magic tricks just to solve what “appears” to be unsolvable.

You can promote these Critical Thinking questions. BLB’s Library has several ideas for you to use in an interactive resource:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

Within that page are 2 downloadable PDFs:

 A Short List of CT Questions

Questions for Brain Food Menu

You Can, Also: 

  • provide storage boxes for her/his special collections of rocks, seeds, shells, leaves
  • Add nonfiction books to the library about animals, plants, sun, moon & stars, seasons, weather, holidays & celebrations, world cultures, community helpers, inventors & inventions, machines & transportation
  • Take field trips to history & science museums, work places & factories, other neighborhoods
  • encourage his/her growing awareness of time & days of the week by including him/her in planning daily events

S/he probably has lots of Giant Ideas (where DO they come from) with lots of Important Questions (how DOES s/he think up all of them)…….

  Encouraging The Critical Thinking Process of Inquiry

Do you remember the KWL (What do you Know, What do you Wonder about,  & What have you Learned) your teachers may have used during your classroom  discussions?

Check out this How-To use  a K-W-L Chart site:

 https://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/inquiry_chart

Although it can be time-consuming, I found a KWL chart to be  a very valuable exploration & discovery tool. Used interactively, it provided me, and my students, with knowledge already in place~no wasted time on redundancy~ and ownership of what was to be learned ~ with a few prompted questions, ideas, & vocabulary clues from me. 

When Do We Use A KWL ?

You can use this tool with your child in a variety of scenarios:

  • to enrich & reinforce a variety of science, social studies & geography topics being taught in school
  • to increase reading comprehension elements in  fiction & nonfiction reads at home and for school
  • to use as a home-management builder in a number of arenas: chores, safety, nutrition, clothing/weather, etc.

SO~I’ve created something a little different that includes a Resource section in this discovery chat titled KQRL. Here’s a downloadable 8.5×11″ PDF template you can print, laminate & re-use during you & yours’ Inquiry Investigations:  KQRL Template

Wondering what science, social studies & geography concepts your First Grader will be learning in the classroom?

Your child’s school district can provide you with a list of objectives & expectations. Ask her/his teacher for assistance and explanations.

Science Explorations in First Grade

Using My 5 Senses-KellySikkema
Using My 5 Senses-KellySikkema

Your child will engage his/her 5 Senses to observe, ask questions,  and, then, record   what s/he is learning.  Entering data on graphs (pictographs & bar graphs), hand-drawings as well as written words are products used to show what s/he understands.

This is a  “general” list of science concepts your child may (or may not) be learning throughout his/her year in First Grade:

Physical Science

  • Forces in Motion: push & pull, balance, magnetism, electricity
  • Changes in States of Matter (solid, liquid & gas)
  • Properties of Liquids
  • Sound Production & Travel
  • Properties of Air

Earth Science

  • The Universe: day & night sky, moon, stars, sun
  • Weather: seasons, temperature measurement
  • Properties & Uses of Earth Materials: soil, rocks, minerals, water

Life Science

  • Human Body Systems & Nutrition
  • Ecosystems: habitats, survival needs, protection/ecology
  • Life Cycles: plants, animals
  • Diversity & Variations: plants, animals

Your Home~Grown Science Lab

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. ~ Mary Lou Cook

PBSParents offers some very useful  suggestions on how to explore science concepts with your child in everyday scenarios. And just for you, I created a table -YIPEE- to help with that!

Home~Grown Science Explorations & Discoveries

FAMILY ENVIRONMENTPHYSICAL SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONSEARTH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONSLIFE SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS
Backyard/Front Lawn
Park/Playground
Nature Trail
Forces in Motion: trikes, bikes, scooter, wagon; playground equipment
Matter: solids, liquids, gases
Sound:different machines in the air/on the ground
Properties of Air: balloons, paper airplanes, Frisbee, kites, leaves
Light/Dark: day & night sky elements, moon phases, shadows, shade, self-reflection in water
Weather: clouds, temperature, precipitation
Materials:different rocks, soil varieties, waters(lake, pond, brook, river, mud puddles)
Different Plant & Animal Ecosystems
Stages of growth in plants & animals
In the Car
On the Bus/Train
Forces in Motion: Push / Pull
Sound: Machines at work
Travel: Speed
Light/Dark: self-reflection in window, vision adjustments to sight, building sights, day vs night sky visibility in different environments
Weather: cloud formations in open sky, visibility during precipitation at different speeds
Materials: landforms, bodies of water
Different Plant & Animal Ecosystems: city/country, desert/plains/forest/seaside
In the Kitchen
At the Market
Forces in Motion: push/pull of different utensils, float/sink of different food elements
Matter: changing states from solid to liquid to gas
Liquid Properties: changes with heat, cold, mixtures
Properties of Air: forces of air when applied to different foods, like meringues
Weather: on foods' stability, spoilage, growth in the garden
Materials: how rocks, soil, water affect foods
Human Body: nutrition, food groups, menu/recipe combinations, extra foods
Plant & Animal Ecosystems: growth, food sources, omnivores/herbivores/carnivores
Life Cycles: plants from seed, growth/harvest, preparation

I don’t know about you, but, there are questions children ask that defy an explanation…..So, instead of trying to give reason that might not be understandable or accurate, a more “scientific” approach will probably satisfy those questions. Wonder, inquire & investigate along with your child, encouraging him/her to explain why s/he thinks the way s/he does. Yes~answer a question with another question.

Ready to Set Up A Home~Grown Science Lab ?

Your Primary  learner LOVES to investigate his/her Inquiries!

I’ve created 4 of them for you & yours, addressing several of the objectives found in the Physical, Earth, Life & Ecology Sciences. Each contain several investigations with sequential activities for observations, predictions, explorations, experiments & discoveries appropriate for children, ages 5-8.  You can visit these “Labs” in BLB’s Shop by clicking on the links below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-physical-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-earth-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-life-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-eco-science-lab/

Whew!!!! Have FUN!!!

But wait…..there’s more!

Your First grader will, also, be learning about the diverse cultures & countries of the world. Using the Inquiry approach to these studies is a great interactive way to engage her/his learning.

Navigating the World Through Investigations

World Traveler-TeddyKelley
World Traveler – TeddyKelley

I found Social Studies & Geography an easy way to integrate reading & writing. Not only are they inter-related, they are incredibly relevant & engaging for most children. Who doesn’t want to explore his/her home country, ancestral roots, holiday traditions, and, then, navigate the way there?!

Here’s a general, sequential inquiry map several fellow teachers & I used in our classrooms before the curriculum timeline rules changed. It’s a thematic approach that blended & covered all required objectives, including some  Math, Health & Science expectations. We began at the beginning~the Home.

Family & Home

  • Where do you live: apartment, house, duplex, trailer, shelter?
  • Can you draw a map of the inside of your home?
  • Who is part of your family at home?
  • What are the needs of most families?
  • How do families meet those needs?
  • Are chores & shared responsibilities part of your family?

Neighborhood

  • What other buildings are in your neighborhood?
  • How is an apartment complex like a neighborhood?
  • Do your friends and/or relatives live nearby?
  • Is there a park or playscape in your neighborhood?
  • Are these other places in your neighborhood: school, gas station, restaurants, markets?
  • Can you draw a map of your neighborhood, using a few symbols & a compass rose for directions?

The Communities in A Town or City

Community

  • What is a community?
  • How are neighborhoods & communities the same? Different?
  • Do you know where these buildings are in your community: retail shops, restaurants, fire & police stations, schools, churches, hospitals, clinics/offices, athletic fields, cinemas?
  • Who are the community helpers in these places?
  • How do you know ( uniforms, special jobs)?
  • When do you need these community helpers?
  • How do some of them keep communities safe?
  • What are “goods” and “services”?
  • Which community helpers provide services? Goods?

City/Town

  • What is the difference between a town & a city?
  • Do you know how many people live in our town/city?
  • How many of these places have you visited: concert hall, opera house, theater, museum, historical sites, sports arena, transportation hubs ~ bus terminal, train station, airport?
  • How did you travel to those places?
  • Where can you find a major waterway in our town/city? What is its name?
  • Have you ever traveled to a different town or city?
  • Was it in our state or a different state?
  • Can you locate our town/city on this map?

Widening the Scope

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils. ~ Ever Garrison

State

  • What is the name of the state we live in?
  • Is a state larger or smaller than a city?
  • Are there only towns & cities in our state?
  • Do you know the names of some other towns or cities in our state?
  • Do you know the names of any other states?
  • Have you ever traveled to any other state?
  • What did you see/do there?
  • Where is it on this map?
  • How did you travel there?
  • Can you locate our state on this map?
  • What are those other names a part of on the map?
  • What is famous about our state?

Country

  • These states are all part of a what?
  • What is a country?
  • Do you know the names of any other countries?
  • What is the name of our country?
  • Why is our country called “The United States of America”?

Click on the link below to download, copy & print a PFD I created for celebrating USA Symbols, Citizenship & National Holidays:

USA Mini Lessons

To Global Awareness

Continent

  • What do you see on this globe?
  • How are the lands separated from each other?
  • What is a continent?
  • Can you find the country of the United States?
  • What is the name of its continent?
  • What large bodies of water border the United States?
  • Where are the other continents?
  • How many do you think there are?

World

  • Can you think of other languages & customs?
  • Have you seen people who dress differently than you & your family?
  • Have ever eaten food from another country (Mexican, German, Chinese, Indian)?
  • Why do you think people from all over the world come to the USA?
  • Do you know what a folk tale is?
  • How do different cultures celebrate holidays?
  • Can you tell where this (these) piece (s) of art were created?
  • Where do you think this music was created?
  • Have you ever seen this kind of dancing?

YES! All this and MORE in a year of First Grade!!!!!

OMG!!! What Can I Do to Help Me Help My Child!?

In A Garden of Resources-JoelFotos
In A Garden of Resources – JoelFotos

First of all, if you are receiving a weekly newsletter from your child’s teacher, you will know what is being taught & how long it will be taught.

Ask the teacher and/or media center facilitator for content recommendations.

Your local library can help you locate books, CDs & DVDs to add to the lessons.

Visit science & history museums, planetariums, aquariums & botanical gardens, especially ones with guides,  kid-friendly exhibits & hands-on explorations.

You can, also, visit BLB’s Resource Library for a list of authors, books & websites to add to your collections. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/inquiry-investigations-authors-books-websites/

There is another, more in-depth way to encourage your child’s Inquiry Skills. It’s a technique called UbD.

Big Ideas & Essential Questions

An idea is “big” if it helps us make sense of lots of confusing experience and seemingly isolated facts. It’s like the picture that connects the dots or a simple rule of thumb in a complex field. ~ Grant Wiggins

Another Question-Elijah'sSong
Another Question-Elijah’sSong

Your child’s classroom teacher may, also, (or maybe not) be using a learning technique called UbD~Understanding by Design ~ especially during science, geography & social studies units, which are, then,  coordinated thematically with fiction & nonfiction reads. Projects & knowledge are student-driven through exploration & discovery guided by questions the students have formed regarding the subject.

The “Essential Questions” will usually help define the “Big Idea”, which is usually a general, or abstract statement.

When forming the Questions, keep these insights in mind:

  • They have no right or wrong answers
  • They promote inquiry to help learn the Big Idea.
  • They encourage critical thinking, curiosity & real life problem solving.

Basically~ What do you see? What do you think about what you see? What do you wonder about when you see it? How & where can you find out more?

 Need more info and tips on how to provide your child with  inquiry-based explorations? George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia is a great site to visit. Just click on the link below:

https://www.edutopia.org/article/inquiry-based-learning-resources-downloads

 

Your First grader’s wonder is nutrition for his/her brain. encourage, promote & nurture those curious questions with exploratory & discovery investigations.

  Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Reading Skills

 Greetings! You have arrived at Part Four of The FLC  First Grader’s Series: Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Reading Skills

Depending on the expectations of your First Grader’s campus, s/he may or may not be reading grade level text.

Most public school systems want their Kindergartners reading at a certain level before going into First Grade. Some private schools feel the same way.

Other  schools offer a different approach entirely when preparing a child to read. There are MANY different methods you can try, especially if your child is a reluctant reader.

Reading Rockets cited Understood.org’s article, which  listed 11 Methods for teaching reading, especially if your child is struggling with this all-important skill. You can check them out by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.readingrockets.org/article/11-methods-teaching-reading-help-struggling-readers

As a trained Special Education teacher, I used a variety of methods, even when I was teaching in the Gen Ed classroom.

PART FOUR: Enriching Your First Grader’s Reading Skills

So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well:They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky. ~ William James

I was, and am, a book eater, I mean reader. I have been devouring books since I was 5 or 6 years old. Not that I didn’t enjoy other recreations as most children do, but reading is a Passion for me. It is one I love to share, especially with children. Teaching a child how to read is one of the most exhilarating things in the world that I can share…..

And like Mr. James says, it’s not just about the actual reading & understanding of the letters, words, sentences, paragraphs & pages. It’s more about the participation in and the inspiration of thoughts, imaginations, inventions, and, yes, “worlds”. 

As a child, and now, as an adult, my inquiring nose can usually be found in one of many genres of books.

How I Learned to Read

The other day I read an interesting & nostalgic memory shared by Theresa, a teacher & fellow-lover of reading. She has a site called Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits. While introducing her great nephew’s reading progressions, she, also, offered her ” Becoming A Reader” experiences as a child. Here’s the link to her post:

https://theresasteachingtidbits.blogspot.com/2018/09/becoming-reader.html

It sparked some recollections in me as well. My parents were both avid readers. My mother, especially, loved reading to us ~ we, who could sit still long enough, loved it, too. She read patiently, deliberately, interactively, and always with lots of expression. Lots of books, both novels & informative as well as STACKS of comic books were always in our home. Saturday trips to the library (a favorite of mine) were a frequent part of our errands.

And let me be clear……this reader-nurturing environment does NOT guarantee you’ll raise a Book-Lover. Several of my siblings (and my child), bright as they are, had “better things to do than sit around and read a book!”

However, college & life influenced changes in that opinion…….

Reading at my school was taught with the Dick, Jane, Puff & Spot primers (yes, I’m that old) in small reading groups named Bluebirds, Red Robins, etc. ;  spelling lists with sentences & book reports~written with oral presentation (YIKES!).

My parents’ expectations & participation with teachers ensured all of their children were reading on or above grade level. No foolishness allowed!

Teaching methods have changes A LOT since then (more on that later), except, of course,  within the setting of your child’s First Classroom ~ at home.

My Child Can Read……When S/He HAS TO DO IT

I Can Read Anywhere! -Madalin Calita
I Can Read Anywhere! -Madalin Calita

Feel fortunate s/he can read. Promoting ENJOYMENT during the read, especially with a very, physically-active child & the instant gratification of tech EVERYWHERE can be a challenge….

To quote Dr. Frank Serafini, a professor of Literacy Education & Children’s Literature~

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who haven’t found the right book.

In addition to reading with your child since in utero, having lots of different types of reading material (yes, magazines & comic books count) lying around, visiting the library, and reading yourself (WHEW!!), there are a few other things you can do (as if that’s not enough…). Dr. Tiffani Chen, the author of School Sense & creator of the site edboost.org has some other suggestions (with a few of my ideas thrown in). Just click on the PDF link below:

Encourage Reading for Pleasure

You know you can always ask your child’s classroom teacher and/or your school’s media specialist for some assistance as well.

well….I Don’t Always Understand What the Teacher’s Reading Terms Mean…

As teachers we get very comfortable with our “environmental language.” Met with the blanks stares of our students usually gives us the visual clues we need to re-state and/or define some of the vocabulary words we educators  use constantly all day long.

Do NOT hesitate to ask your child’s teacher to do the same for you. There are quite a few of them, like Fluency, Tracking, High Frequency Words, etc. So, instead of being shy and/or confused during a parent-teacher conference regarding his/he reading progress…..

I created a PDF list of the Literacy terms educators use to define reading elements with explanations for you, written in the sequence I use in my Reading Program. Click on the link below:

 Literacy Terms

Your First Grader has a long, on-going list of Reading Goals to achieve by the end of the year…….

TARGET: Your Child As An Independent Reader

I Am A Reader! Lutfi-Gaos
I Am A Reader! Lutfi-Gaos

If your child attends a  school, public or private,  that has adopted the Common Core, you’re probably familiar with the academic objectives & expectations his/her teacher uses to guide instruction.

Although your BIG First Grader continues to enjoy being read to, s/he is becoming more interested in the actual skill of how-to read. Soon, you will be read to by her/him!

His/her listening & speaking language skills are growing at an almost accelerated pace. S/he understands opposite concepts & how things are the same & different. S/he uses adjectives, adverbs &  prepositions when expressing thoughts. 

LinguiSystems, Inc. compiled a Communication Milestones Guide as a general growth & developmental reference for reading & writing during your child’s year in First Grade.

Beginning of First Grade

  • Identifies more & more sight words with accuracy
  • Begins to decode new words with more independence
  • Uses a variety of reading strategies to increase comprehension
  • Reads aloud & retells familiar stories easily

End of First Grade

  • Recognizes 100 sight words
  • Understands words make up sentences
  • Reads & comprehends grade level material fluently

Common Core basics for Reading is divided into 3 areas:

  • Understanding & locating Key Ideas & Details when reading grade level Literature (Fiction) & Informational Text (Nonfiction)
  • Identifying & explaining the content structure of Literature & Informational Text
  • Knowing & applying the reading skills of phonological awareness, phonics (spelling), word recognition & fluency

The National PTA has written a downloadable PDF Parents’ Guide to Student Success, which you can access by clicking on the link below:

https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/Parents-Guides-to-Student-Success

Keep reading for how~my~students~learn~to~read “skeleton” formula……

My “Skeleton” Reading Skills Formula Sequence

Reading a book is like looking through a window. ~ Zetta Hupf

Or  the “bare bones”……. in baseball lingo:

The Warm-Up/On Deck

  • Sight Words & Phrases
  • Fluency Phrases
  • Phonetic Structures

The Pitch/In the Box

  • Picture Walk
  • Silent Read with Vocabulary Search
  • Vocabulary Definitions

At Bat/The Swing

  • The Read
  • Fluency Check
  • Student Inquiry

In Scoring Position

  • Student Retell/Key Elements included?
  • Comprehension Q & A if any missed on the retell
  • Independent, Hands-on project

Sound like a lot???? Actually it depends on the levels of each reader. After assessment, I use the areas of strength to support & promote the areas that need more stability.

A Quick Beginning

I Know Some of These Words- PublicDomainPictures
I Know Some of These Words- PublicDomainPictures

Prepare your emergent reader’s  brain with his/her current, leveled Sight Word review. Whether you’re pointing to the word(s) or s/he is handing you known Sight Word cards, this “warm up” activity is a effective way to begin the Reading Circle.  Each word should be recognized in seconds without needing to be decoded. I use Dolch’s Sight Words & Phrases. This PDF link  includes Sentences as well.

 https://education.yourdictionary.com/for-teachers/dolch-sight-words-in-phrases.html

Liz, a teacher, parent & creator of the site “The Happy Teacher” shares lots of sight word games you can play with your child as a “practice” for these words. Here’s the link to these activities:

http://www.thehappyteacher.co/2017/09/sight-word-activities-for-parents.html

The next quick, beginning warm-up addresses 2 skills together: Fluency & High Frequency Words. Here’s a downloadable, copy & print PDF list: 

Kindergarten & First Grade HFW

The Curriculum Corner offers reading-leveled Fluency sentences  choices, using Fry’s 500 High Frequency Words list as a downloadable PDF. An assessment tracker is included. Here’s the link to this very helpful resource:

https://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner123/2015/09/fry-fluency-sentence-resources/

BLB Shop has a collection of High Frequency Word games. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/yes-i-am-reading-high-frequency-words-games/

What Is Fluency?

Fluency is the skill affected by the speed, accuracy & expression of your child’s oral reading. Here’s a downloadable PDF resource for A Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY as a Reading Skill:

 Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY

The accuracy of words being read is built on your child’s ability to use these  2 skills: decoding & context clues.

 What Are Decoding Skills & How Are They Used?

Your child’s Decoding Skills rely heavily on her/his Phonological Awareness Skills. How s/he tries to figure out a new, unknown word during reading depends on what s/he has mastered regarding the letters & their sounds.

Need to know what your child knows in the phonological realm?

An educational site, Heggerty, has created a group of serious, Phonemic Awareness Assessments, complete with how-to-administer instructions. It  has downloads for grade levels PreK and above. Just click on the link below to select a downloadable PDF:

 https://heggerty.org/downloads/

BLB Shop has several games & activities for strengthening your First Grader’s Phonological Awareness Skills.

  • Beginning & Ending Letter Sounds in Words:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/beginning-letter-word-sound-games/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/ending-letter-word-sound-games/

  • Word Families

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/i-am-jam-reading-word-families-games/

Becky, a parent, reading specialist & author of the Fabulous Reading Resource site: “This Reading Mama” shares a BUNCH of Phonological Awareness tools on the link: https://thisreadingmama.com/ultimate-list-free-phonics-activities/

Helloooooo…….Are We Reading A Story Yet?!?

Picture Walk-Samueles
Picture Walk-Samueles

I know this sounds like A LOT of prep before getting to the book, but all this groundwork is building confidence in your young reader.

Once you form a “getting ’round to reading” routine, this predictable~prep pattern will become a successful stepping stone your beginning reader expects. S/he, even, looks forward to its repetition & will remind you if you forget something.

Okay…….time for a Picture Walk. This is a confidence & comprehension builder. Your child will actually delight in his/her ability to predict & understand a new story just by carefully studying the pictures. Here’s downloadable PDF guide for Going on A Picture Walk with Your Child: A Pre-Reading Tool :

 Going on A Picture Walk

Onto understanding & defining the Vocabulary element……

Solving the Mystery of Those New Vocabulary Words

A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket. ~ Chinese Proverb

Many new vocabulary words can be understood using context clues, that is, reading the understood words before & after the unknown word to solve its meaning.

I have found that after the Picture Walk, some readers enjoy reading silently to see if the predictions they made are true.

As another pre-reading strategy for understanding, I make a list of vocabulary words I think may be new & challenging. Of course, a new word in isolation can be difficult to define, but you’d be surprised to learn what your First Grader knows.

A vocabulary word can be heard & correctly understood, spoken with accuracy, and, even, read exactly. Applying, or using the word during  writing or as an answer to comprehension questions is another skill altogether.

Organizing words into groups can be an effective way to understand vocabulary words. BLB Shop has a game for learning this Critical Thinking skill. Check it out by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

I, also, created a downloadable PDF Parent Guide for helping your beginning reader learn & use New Vocabulary Words:

Solving the New Vocabulary Words Mystery

Need some other ideas for keeping those big, new words in your child’s usable vocabulary? Lisa Van Gemert, teacher & author of the site, “Gifted Guru” has some fun ideas.

http://www.giftedguru.com/21_ideas_for_teaching_vocabulary/

THE READ

Time To Read- Public Domain
Time To Read- Public Domain

Now for the FUN part!!!!!

Reading a new story is a very exciting activity. Using picture clues & context clues gives your beginning reader the tools s/he need to recognize words accurately, fluently & with understanding.

Decoding Skills play a huge part in the flow and comprehension of the text. Like a mystery, a new, unknown word can be daunting (YIKES!) or challenging (WAIT~I GOT THIS!). There are several ways your young (and older) reader can “attack” and succeed.

And, YES, I created a downloadable PDF Parent Guide for Helping Your Child Use Decoding Skills:

Cracking the Code of Decoding Skills

Does your child want to reread the story? How about taking turns, page by page? This activity will reinforce the understanding of the text as well as give you the opportunity to model fluency & expression.

Was S/he Thinking About What S/he Was Reading?

Understanding the question is half the answer. ~ Socrates

WOW! What a beautiful read!

Most emergent readers take great pride in the ability to “read” & decode all the words in a story. However……

Some readers struggle with Thinking While Reading….

Is your child asking questions before, during & after reading the story? If so, YAY! That means s/he is Thinking While Reading.

If s/he has been thinking & understanding what s/he is reading, his/her  re-tell of the story should be fairly accurate.

Re-telling the story in a sequence might be a little difficult, so, listen, first. Jumping into the plot, or actions of the story may be where s/he begins.

You can use prompting questions, such as: What happened at the beginning of the story? Then, what happened? Why did that happen? and so on.

Need a little guidance? Here’s a downloadable PDF you can use to help your child  understand what s/he is reading:

Tell Me A Story Abt the Story Read

Here are some great Post-Reading ideas shared by Alison, a literacy specialist, consultant & author of the website: “Learning at the Primary Pond.”

https://learningattheprimarypond.com/blog/12-post-reading-activity-ideas-for-shared-reading-k-2/

AND…….. here are 50  book-reads for First Graders recommended by Lindsay Barrett on the site, “We Are Teachers”:

https://www.weareteachers.com/first-grade-books/

My Child…….Almost…..HATES to Read….

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book. ~ Dr. Seuss

There are MANY reasons your child, or anybody, is reluctant to read, even, though you’ve been reading to him/her since s/he was born and s/he likes listening to you read….

Does s/he:

  • Start misbehaving when it is her/his turn to read ?
  • Say reading gives him/her a headache or makes her/his eyes hurt ?
  • Think  reading and/or its assignment is stupid ?
  • Say reading is boring ?
  • Get confused and/or lost during his/her reading ?
  • Say s/he doesn’t understand the content being read ?

Here’s a Help! My Child HATES to Read downloadable PDF list of tips & ideas for you to try with your Reluctant Reader:

Help! My Child Hates to Read

BLB’s Library has a Resource that might help you navigate your Non-Reader into the Reading World:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/guide-nonreader-readers-world/

Sometimes, it’s the book, NOT the reader.

I Want to Read THIS Book to You !

You'll Like This Book !-Tim & Annette
You’ll Like This Book !-Tim & Annette

Most children, Reluctant Readers included, LOVE to read a book to another, usually younger, child.

Offering a variety of choices within a genre can spark your Reluctant Reader’s interest. Check out these options from BLB’s Resource Library:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/creative-arts-book-list/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/read-aloud-chapter-books/

Repetitive pattern books with predictable text can coax the most reluctant reader into reading. Here’s a list from BLB’s Resource Library:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

Here are another Predictable Book List: 

http://marcialmiller.com/wordpress/2010/12/predictable-books-for-emergent-readers/

AND, if you & your child prefer a more DIY approach to books, I created a downloadable PDF with Sentence stems to get you started:

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts

 

If you’ve read to the end of this post ~ Thank You! I hope you found some information that was helpful. Your First Grader deserves every opportunity to continue his/her education in the excited way s/he has approached learning this year. Reading is a MAJOR key to his/her success ! Let me know if I can help!

  Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

Upgrading the Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

In Second Grade ALREADY!!!!! Prepare for Academic Acceleration in Learning & Language Literacy Skills. Listening & Speaking Vocabulary become increasingly…complex. Reading & Writing expectations approach independence. And the ongoing Research Projects….

Yes, there’s a TON of Academic Acceleration happening during your 7 year-old’s Second Grade year! And, yours truly is here to try & offer some helpful strategies & tips for “dealing” with this “BLOW OUT” year, which, BTW, will set the tone for next year’s “I Totally Got This !” Third Grade year….

So, Faithful Reader, I’m, again, writing a 5 ~ part Series. This time for Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grade: Language Skills, Celebrations (Part 2), Research Skills (Part 3), and the ever-ongoing Literacy Skills of Reading (Part 4) & Writing (Part 5).

This is Part One :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

  Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streighttiff

Notice anything different about the way your 7 year-old looks? Some of that “baby-ness” may be slowly melting away as his/her motor skills continue to mature. S/he may even grow a few inches taller. Ready to take the training wheels off that two-wheeler?

Not only is his/her curiosity continuing to increase, the abilities to investigate & analyze the mysteries of the world are growing as well.

Those limitless questions are part of the excitement s/he is feeling about the exploration and discoveries of new environments  as well as all those social situations. (OMG ~ did s/he just ask me THAT question?!?)

S/he is beginning to prefer playing with friends instead of adults, although family outings are still very enjoyable.

Once answered, s/he is eager to share the new knowledge s/he has learned with others, making your child a perfect candidate as a Peer-Mediator for a school-wide program called “PMII”, or Peer-Mediated Instruction & Intervention.

Yes, I’ve Heard About That Program

As a Peer-Instructor, s/he may act as an assistant during classroom instruction, cooperative learning, and/or peer-tutoring.

S/he may, also, be asked to help as a peer-supporter with social skills connections, such as easing reluctant students into group-share situations (cafeteria, recess, activities).

One of the most successful roles s/he will participate in is as a peer-interventionist during conflict resolution scenarios. As an educator of the young, I can tell you these youngsters work wonders with their peers as situational problem solvers without the company of an adult or teacher. Here’s a sample of an effective dialogue a Peer Mediator  may use. This PDF includes strategies with  options as well as typical student conflicts.

http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/peer-mediation.pdf

However,  because your Second Grader is beginning to show concerns about what others (especially peers) think of him/her~ growing self-criticism & some confidence-shrinking may become an issue occasionally.  And  then, there’s the Worry-Wartness symptoms….

What’s to Worry About?

That malady called “Peer Pressure” is beginning to take hold now.  Longing to be part of a group, your 7 year-old does not appreciate having attention called to his/her actions and/or accomplishments…. unlike the last few years…..oh dear…

Your child may worry about things that never seemed bothersome in the past, like clothes (“Too babyish!”), homework (“I’ll NEVER get all this done !”), physical irritations (“I think I have a deadly disease!”), bedtime (“I know there’s something hiding in my closet…”).

According to Hank Pellissier, founder & director of the Brighter Brains Institute, many Second Graders ” HATE making mistakes, not finishing tasks, and losing at anything. They have to be first, correct, punctual, best & perfect.” Sound familiar???

He further states that all this particular area of angst is part of your child’s brain growth. Understanding concepts like time, space, direction, distance & time are influencing the expectations s/he has on the completion of activities.

You Can Learn from Your Mistakes

You must never feel badly about making mistakes…as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons that you do by being right for the wrong reasons. ~The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I came across this great piece of helpful information when trying to boost a child’s confidence, especially when s/he is feeling insecure during the learning process. It is an anchor chart,  Jen of Runde’s Room discovered created by a group of elementary school teachers. I did some editing, so please feel to use it with your little WorryWart:

So, of course,  a safe, reliable, predictable & reassuring environment is necessary for maximum learning to occur. Keep those routines in place!

Your Child’s Classroom Learning Environment

I Love Learning!-DavidSluka
I Love Learning!-DavidSluka

Although having high expectations for your child may seem a bit harsh, they are, in fact, a match for those s/he and her/his classroom teacher has already put into play. Your Second Grader loves a good challenge ~ even thrives on it ~ as long as the limits are not too stressful. Rigor is a part of the curriculum.

The Second Grade classroom is filled with SEVERAL libraries: fiction readers ~ Picture & beginning Chapter trade  books;  nonfiction readers ~ earth, physical, ecology & life science concepts; social studies concepts ~  world culture, community helpers, economics, historical biographies, & atlases;  math concepts ~ measurement, computation, fractions, money, geometry. There are bins of manipulatives, tools, instruments, notebooks, writing supplies, art supplies, etc. Center nooks are usually in place : reading, writing, science, math, social studies, a large, interactive calendar, maps, and, maybe even, a globe.

Your Child’s Home Learning Environment

Your Home Learning Environment probably shares many of the same elements. My Resource Library has some information for you regarding Your Educational Home Environment. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And a PDF Materials list for you to download, copy & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

And, then, there’s your Brain’s favorite Learning environment ~ the Great Outdoors! Nothing like fresh oxygen!

Your Seven Year-Old’s Brain

Call for brain power. ~Barbara Jordan

Outdoor play is critical to all children’s growth & development. They need to walk, run, jump, twist, turn, spin & play. Not only are 7 year-olds ready for free physical play, they are, also, ready get those training wheels off their speed racers, skateboard (YIKES) and participate in organized sports as well as back yard games. You remember these, right?!

  • Hide ‘n Seek
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump-rope
  • Jacks
  • Marbles
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Mother/Father/Granny/Granpa/Auntie/Uncle, May I ?
  • Simon Says
  • Multiple Tag Games
  • Freeze Dance

Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen

In a recent article “Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature”, written by Danielle Cohen & published on the Child Mind Institute website, research supports what we  humans, have known all along. 

As educators, we all agree indoor recess is just not the same as being outside on the playground. Being outdoors is beneficial, not only to your physical health, but also, to  your mental wellness.

“Most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less  anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.”

Here are links to the complete article with an additional link for Ideas:

https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/

https://childmind.org/article/ideas-for-getting-your-kids-into-nature/

Lots of research, also, suggests students who engage in physical, outdoor play are able to learn more easily in academic environments. Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist & author of the book, Spark : The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain states exercise elevates a brain-building chemical he calls “Miracle-Gro for the Brain” because it encourages its growth & development.

Here’s another interesting article regarding Green Spaces & the Brain : https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/research-finds-surprising-thing-that-can-boost-your-childs-brain-development/

And there are lots of indoor Brain exercises you can do.

Inside the Brain Activities

Second Grade requires students to participate in a more rigorous learning environment. Their Critical Thinking skills are engaging them in more complex reading, longer writing compositions, and greater problem solving concepts.

Ready!-AlainAudet
Ready!-AlainAudet

Because they are improving their brains’ processing skills, creating & presenting research projects become a significant part of their everyday classroom  expectations. Technology will be used for these investigations, but…..go easy on Screen Time….it’s a Brain ~ Eater, but more on that in Part 2…..

Memory & rational brain areas are growing, giving them more impulse control, independence & planning power. Three-step directions should be easier for your child to follow ~ clothes in the hamper, bath with soap, pajamas on. Oh, and brush teeth & hair….guess that’s more than 3….

Need some support ? Gotta a Resource in the  Library for you: :https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/meeting-following-directions-challenge/

I, also, have the Resource “Your Child Is A Brainiac” available for you :

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

And a few Critical Thinking List PDFs for you to download, copy, print & use for ideas :

A Short List of CT Questions   &   Questions for Brain Food Menu

And, speaking of Brain Food…..

Yes, There ARE Brain ~ Healthy Foods

Numerous brain scientists & nutritionists agree ~ there  are certain foods, when part of our daily diet, actually help brains grow, develop & function more effectively. I created a little PDF reminder you can put on the fridge next to your grocery shopping list. It’s a broad, general list, so Go Julia (Child) !   Brain Foods Poster

Many lists I read, listed Oatmeal, Blueberries & Eggs as the top 3 foods, especially for children. Hmmm…sounds like Breakfast & Cookies……  And because I LOVE to cook, especially with children, I  adapted a few recipes using these ingredients for you to make and eat with your child (ren). They’re in a PDF, recipe card format with front & back covers, so you can download, copy, print & cut apart to include as a section in your kitchen recipe box or notebook :

Brain Food Recipes

This GREAT website is packed with loads of links, activities & recipes to include in your family’s health & wellness regimen:

 https://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/brain-games-for-kids/

Plus a few more:

https://www.myrecipes.com/kids/back-to-school-brain-food

https://www.delish.com/cooking/g4136/healthy-foods-for-kids

https://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/4-brain-foods-for-kids

The Brain continues to influence the healthy development of your child’s Language skills ~ yes….finally…for the Language part of this post. It is in the title, after all…..

Your 7 ~ Year ~ Old’s Literacy Language Skills

 Remember the Receptive & Expressive ~ Listening & Speaking ~ components of your child’s ever-growing  Language Skills? Well, talk about Academic Acceleration….

Your Second Grader’s curriculum content, trade books, grade-level readers AND critical thinking vocabulary expectations are escalating to new heights….

Conversations-JosephGonzalez
Conversations-JosephGonzalez

If your child’s school district follows the Common Core, here are a FEW of the Listening & Speaking objectives being taught in the Second Grade classroom:

  • actively participate in collaborative discussions about grade-level content with peers as well as adults in small/large group settings
  • use complete sentences to ask or answer questions, tell a story with details, recall & describe an experience, verbalize comprehension of learned content/concepts with key ideas
  • orally present & explain research projects to include details

Speaking of Concepts…. Does your 7 year-old understand:

  • Opposites
  • Left/right
  • Ordinals ~ first, second…
  • Differences & Similarities
  • Comparatives ~ small, smaller, smallest
  • Time ~ yesterday, tomorrow, last week, etc.

And how’s his/her grammar ?

Got Grammar!?!

Then, there are a bunch of the “Conventions of Standard English” to be used when writing and/or speaking. Some of these, I’ll call them Grammar, include:

  • Pronouns
  • Plurals ~ regular & irregular
  • Collective Nouns
  • Possessives
  • Past Tense verbs ~ regular & irregular
  • Adjectives & Adverbs

I created a few PDF Grammar activities for you to download, copy, print & play with your Second Grader:

One Frog Hops      &      Collective Nouns

My BLB Shop has a game to help your child learn how to Categorize Nouns, which is, also, a Critical Thinking skill. Just click on the link below for access:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Then…………there is, also, the Vocabulary Acquisition & Use components….for Understanding & Using when Speaking, Listening, Reading AND Writing….. uh huh….

MY, What a BIG Vocabulary You Have…..

Among the expectations in THIS category…..

  • root words /prefixes / suffixes
  • compound words
  • synonyms
  • critical thinking words
  • high-level, academic words
  • difficult common content vocabulary
  • beginning dictionary & glossary skills

My Calendar Corner collection in BLB Shop can help your Second Grader master some of these Vocabulary concepts in a fun, engaging way:

  https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/my-calendar-corner-daily-prek-thru-3rd-grade-literacy-activities/

I, also, created a specific product for learning those BIG High-Level & Common Content Vocabulary Words :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

The website, studenttreasures.com, published an article ~ “Effective Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to Second Graders” with these ideas:

  • Engage in oral & hands-on Wordplay
  • Use visual elements, like a Word Wall, Word Collages
  • Locate vocabulary during read-alouds

OMG!!!! Now you see why I had to divide this content into a 5 ~ part series…..

Just one more thing….I promise….

SOOOOO, By the End of Second Grade….

Your child, approaching or celebrating 8 years-old, will probably:

I Got This !-Nappy936120
I Got This !-Nappy

  • Continue to improve his/her reasoning, processing & focusing skills
  • See connections between concepts for compare & contrast purposes
  • Experience a MAJOR vocabulary expansion
  • Increase her/his reading fluency, decoding & comprehension skills
  • Utilize dictionary skills to locate irregularly spelled words, harder words, definitions & synonyms
  • Improve his/her editing & revising skills during the writing process

Onto Celebrations !!!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

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Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Celebrations

Upgrading the Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

Notice how many different activities your Second Grader is curious about exploring, and, maybe, yes, maybe, even, trying ?

Is s/he bringing home lots of celebration ideas ? 100th Day!?!

And you’re ready to jump in ~ ALL in !?!

But you see some hesitation and, then, some reluctance, surprisingly enough, when it wasn’t even your idea….

Uh…it’s not you…

Your seven, soon to be eight year old, may be experiencing a bit of.. ah…gulp.. an identity crisis…(EGADS! ALREADY?!?!)

Seven can be a difficult time for your child’s self-assurance. Not really a baby-baby, but not really a confident eight year old either (think how independent you were in Third Grade).

Unfortunately some Second Graders are already concerned with what their peers think of them and how they “fit in”…..(OMG!!! NOT YET!!!)

Encouraging and engaging your child with a celebration or 20 will help build his/her confidence, self-esteem, and, most importantly, critical & risk-taking skills. I’ve come up with some (ha!) ideas that might help move the process along….

This is Part Two :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Celebrations

Where Is My Bright, Confident Child?

Don’t educate your child to become something or someone, educate them to explore and celebrate who they already are. ~ Vince Gowmon

If your seven-year old appears to be a bit shaky at times regarding who s/he is, it may just be a “bad hair”  day….or not.

Second grade can definitely be overwhelming for some children. It seems like the  expectations are either too high or too numerous to fulfill successfully.

All the new content in school may be coming at your child too quickly for him/her to process in a solid way. Learning strategies for reading comprehension, math problem solving, writing elaboration is only the beginning.

And, if that’s not enough…..there’s research and science fair projects…..but I’ll get into that arena in my next post….”Second Grade Research”.

Oh yeah… and the 3000 new vocabulary words s/he is expected to learn, understand, and, maybe even use,  is huge. Some of them are pretty big, too ~ think…..”analyze, transform, reflect, collaborate…” to mention a few…

I did create a product with activities to help your child learn those WOW Words. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

My previous Second Grader post is all about your seven year old’s Language & Learning Skills :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/second-grade-learning-language-skills/

For now, though, let’s talk about how to engage your occasionally “pensive” child with activities to inspire self-assurance sprinkle with some ego-boosters.

You ! Wonderful You !

Celebrating Me!-ZachVessels/unsplash

Celebrating Me ! is a great way to help your child appreciate who s/he is ~ with a little bit of applause on top.

For starters, you can choose a “few” books to share with your child from the 100s  of All About Me books listed on the Good Reads site. Click on the link below:

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/all-about-me

I, also, created a 12-pg PDF All About Me freebie filled with prompt ideas and fill-in shapes to help your child make a Pin-Up Poster, telling the world who s/he is:

This Is Me !

If your Second Grader is interested to know what was going on in the world on the day s/he was born, check out a newsletter PDF template you & yours can fill in:

Our Family News

with a little help from these 2 sites:

https://mybirthday.ninja/

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/

And As Life Goes On…..

Creating a Memory Book together is a great approach for your child to see how s/he is growing & maturing into a unique person.

Here are some suggestions of what can be included in this visual autobiography:

  • My Family Tree
  • My Friends
  • Things I Enjoy Doing So Far
  • Favorite Vacation So Far
  • Favorite Teacher(s) So Far
  • Best Present Ever!
  • Best Thing I’ve Learned How To Do So Far
  • One of the Most Interesting Things I’ve Discovered So Far
  • Funniest Time
  • Saddest Time
  • Happiest Time
  • Scariest Moment
  • Most Embarrassing Moment
  • My Biggest “Growing Up” Moment…..So Far

And here’s the link to the 25cmx20cm  PDF Memory Book Template pages:

Memory Book Template Cvr & Pgs

Share this experience as special You & Me time or pull out your scrapbook/memories to work on the “hobby” together.

Happiness Is Having A Hobby

Creativity is intelligence having fun. ~ Albert Einstein

“Find something to do or…..” was a very effective catchphrase my mother used as an anti-boredom technique.

There were always colors, papers, scissors & glue to encourage idle hands as well as building tools, pretend play clothes, puppets, etc. Designing paper dolls, paper puzzles, costume additions, etc filled many rainy or too-hot-to-play-outside days.

I usually had my nose in a book ~ historical fiction was/is a fav. I, also, loved to cut out articles & pictures to organize into notebooks ~for future reference, of course.

Garden Walk-PDP

We seldom got bored during outdoor play….. Lots of things to collect & make out there.

Hobbies ~ I have numerous ones ~ are fabulous avenues into who you are explorations & discoveries. Expose your child to the limitless possibilities.

Studies have shown hobbies & collections can benefit your child in many ways. Hobbies can increase focus, time management skills & self-awareness. Collections are great for teaching organization & detail. The website altiusdirectory listed some important ones :

  • help develop motor skills & bilateral coordination
  • encourage self-discipline  & personal accomplishment
  • act as educational tools for critical thinking & cognitive skills
  • build creativity, imagination & guessing skills
  • engage in goal setting, decision-making & problem solving
  • grow into career paths
  • continue to be lifelong interests

Need a few Hobby & Collection ideas ? BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/hobbies-collections-promote-creativity-discovery/

Downsides to Hobbies & Collections: cost, space and MESS…. These sites may help with those detractors:

 https://www.familybreakfinder.co.uk/activities/50-hobbies-for-kids/

https://hobbyzeal.com/hobbies-for-kids

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/hobbies-for-kids-discover-amazing-ideas-for-your-childs-interest/

Oh, and video games,television & web-surfing are not hobbies, though I will watch my favorite shows WHILE doing a hobby.

Smile….You’re on Candid Camera

Turning off Screen Time (while eyes are glued to it) is an invitation to the  creation of a House of Horrors with the sound effects magnified through rock concert-caliper amps…..yes, oh, the HORROR!!!!!

The worst & best consequence I could dole out as a parent was NO SCREEN TIME.  Within a week, I watched my child transform from a , uh, growling meanie to a cheerful, nice person. Seriously….it was kind scary and oh, so enlightening.

PBS & other educational programing-only (I wasn’t a  Monster Mom) – did little to soothe the savage beast……at first….

Current & past studies confirm the negative effects too much screen time has on your child’s growth & development in ALL areas ~ physical, mental & emotional.

Stepping Away from Screen Time

Sand Dig-Counselling

Dr. Michael Gurian, a family therapist, brain scientist & author of the book, Nurture the Nature , offers a few guidelines for how much media is too much:

  • Notice your child’s social behaviors ~ unrealistic screen & virtual relationships? isolation from others? withdrawal from interactions?
  • Gauge your child’s emotional responses ~ increased aggression? progressive stress & fatigue?
  • Measure your child’s cognitive development ~ shortening instead of lengthening attention span? a variety of troubles learning new things?
  • Observe your child’s physical growth ~ weight, coordination, gross motor skills, flexibility, endurance

Another brain scientist, John Medina, suggests negotiations based on “trading for digital time”:

  • Divide screen time into categories, like school work, technology learning, research & (the heavy) recreation.
  • Non-screen activities can buy screen time on the weekends after school work, chores, family time, etc are completed.

Here’s a PDF, usable Alternatives List I  created for you:

80 Screen-Free Activities

FYI ~ The National Parks Service offers an AWESOME Junior Ranger program packed with a variety of interests, like fishing, bats, archaeology, caves, historic preservation and MUCH more. Here’s the link for more info:

 https://www.nps.gov/kids/junior-rangers.htm

And, BTW, cooking together is a WONDERFUL way to engage everyone in a healthy, fun life skill activity. Yes, BLB Shop has a few products to encourage you & yours:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/1000-strawberries-family-cookbook/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-kitchen-for-family-cooking/your-kids-can-help-when-its-lunch-packin-time/

You can, also, create some screen time filming, and, then, watching a variety of Pretend Play scenarios, explorations, vacations, holiday gatherings ~ you know ~ good ol’ Home Movies !

AND……Action !

Children find everything in nothing. ~ Giacomo Leopardi

Who doesn’t love a good movie !?! Believe me ~ I am a MAJOR fan !

As children, my sisters, friends & I loved to build stages for our variety acts & alternative environments when preparing our role play scenarios. Our parents were always entertained and encouraged sequels.

Your Second Grader’s improved learning & memory skills are encouraging a lot of growth in her/his creativity. Toys without specific instructions & boundaries will engage your child’s imagination & cognitive skills.

Pretend Play is beginning to look & sound like a Reality Show with its detail, dialogue & “sets”.

This downloadable freebie has several Invitation Templates for your child’s Pretend Play scenarios:

PretendPlayRealityShows Invites

BLB Library has a Resource with sites for more Pretend Play explorations:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/8-helpful-pretend-play-websites/

And, if you have an aspiring artist ~ visual and/or performing artist in your midst, you can, also, check out BLB Library for a Book List Resource:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/creative-arts-book-list/

Or, maybe, you have an aspiring Social Butterfly and/or Party Planner on your hands…. After all, who doesn’t love a PARTY!?!?!

Oh Yeah ! Let’s Partaaay!

Water Fun!-PeterJanzen

Does your child love to go to parties? Is his/her Pretend Play involve making parties (think tea parties, swim parties, sleepovers) & inviting others?

Your Party Planner may have a career plan in her/his future….for now. It may be time to take your Social Director to the next level.

Talking & fantasizing are definitely the beginnings of what is called ~in your seven-year old’s mind~ the pre-planning stages. You can help reality set in with a brainstorming, Q&A session, especially when the Budget enters the equation:

  • Who is the party for & Why?
  • When & Where?
  • Is there a Theme?
  • How Many People will be invited?
  • What Kind of party is it: brunch, lunch, dinner, snacks only, dessert, buffet?
  • What kind of Food & Drinks will be served ?
  • Decorations?
  • Entertainment: games/contests, prizes, music?
  • Clean-up crew?
  • Cost / Budget?

Here’s a pair of PDF templates (Party Organizer & Budget Worksheet) to get you & yours started : Party Planner

And your child is stretching out: neighbors, school & community.

Celebrating Your Child’s Out~of~the~Door Places

CelebrateFriends-YannaZazu

Since Kindergarten you’ve been hearing “My teacher says…” “At school we….” “S/he’s my friend at school…” Your youngster is, hopefully, a proud & eager participant in all things School. Get out your pompoms & join in !

This “School Rocks !” PDF , fill-in-the-blanks,  mini-poster freebie will let you know why your Second Grader is so enamored with her home-away-from-home :

SCHOOL ROCKS !1!

How well does s/he know the neighborhood & community? Has s/he been studying maps at school ? Make one together that starts with your home & branches out to nearby places you visit together, including shops, the library & fire station.

The study of Community Helpers has been part of your child’s classroom since Kindergarten.  This PDF freebie will give you some clues about how familiar  your Second Grader is with his/her town, city, state & country. An interview sheet is included in case s/he wants to find out more about specific community workers : Community Helpers

So, speaking of the USA…..

Celebrating Major USA Holidays

There are 10  Federal, or Public holidays we, as a Nation, celebrate together. They are days to recognition & honor our accomplishments throughout the history  of the USA.

Usually included as a 3-day weekend, many businesses, especially banks, some state & federal offices, the post office & maybe, your child’s school will close to enjoy the long weekend.

Those 10 Federal Holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day ~ January 1
  • Martin Luther King Day ~ third Monday in January
  • Presidents’ Day ~ third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day ~ last Monday in May
  • Independence Day ~ July 4
  • Labor Day ~ first Monday in September
  • Columbus Day ~ second Monday in October
  • Veterans’ Day ~ November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day ~ fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas ~ December 25

Here’s a 6-page, PDF freebie with Family Activity Ideas for celebrating each of these Holidays plus 5 more including Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and  Halloween : 15 USA Holidays

We, also, as a Country of many diverse cultures, celebrate the many different countries’ customs & heritages  so many of us brought with us when we arrived to live here.

Celebrating Our Multiculturalism

The future of our world lies in the hands, hearts, and minds of our children. ~ David Decker

Many schools across the USA hold an International Day for families & friends to share their different customs, foods, heritage, clothing, handwork & language.

Some schools celebrate their diverse cultures with an International Night. Families set up tables & booths to showcase their different customs, foods, heritage, clothing, handwork & language as a mini community festival.

I taught on a campus with so many international children, we hung flags from the hallway ceilings, representing each one. We were like a small United Nations !

BLB Shop has a 77-page PDF product ~ USA Multicultural Celebrations ~  with information, book lists,  activities & recipes for you & your family to experience while celebrating our Multicultural Nation. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/15-usa-multicultural-celebrations-books-activities-recipes/

Of course, there are 100s of festivals  across the USA, including 10 Major Global Celebrations. These special days are celebrated by millions of people.

Ten Major Global Celebrations

Swinging-Stocksnap

These ancient Holidays are shared by millions & millions of cultures around the world. Most are based on religious beliefs. However, not all who participate in the festivities are necessarily followers of the religion.

How many of them do you know?

RELIGIONBELIEVERWORLD POPULATIONCOUNTRIES MOST LIVE INMAJOR HOLIDAYS
ChristianityChristianTwo BillionAmericas, Europe & OceaniaEaster & Christmas
IslamMuslimOne BillionNorth Africa, Asia & Middle EastRamadan & Eid al-Fitr
HinduismHindu900 MillionIndiaDiwali & Holi
BuddhismBuddhist350 MillionSouth & Southeast AsiaVesak & Obon
JudaismJew14 MillionUSA, Israel & EuropePassover & Hanukkah

To learn more about these celebrations, check out the Resource in BLB Library : Ten Major Global Celebrations. It includes information on traditions & symbols with a book list for each culture :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/ten-major-global-celebrations/

And….just one more thought about Celebrations…..

Everyday Celebrations

Carefree-Pexels

Did you know there are days on the calendar for celebrating peanut butter, spaghetti, dragons & daydreamers ? Months & weeks have specials celebrations, too, like Frog Month & Pizza Week. Holiday Insights on the site The Spruce is LOADED with Family Fun Celebration Ideas. Here’s the link:

https://www.thespruce.com/celebrations-4163111

Well, believe it or not, I didn’t mean for this post to be so lengthy….

But, if you’re reading this, Faithful Reader, I hope you discovered some new ways for you & yours to celebrate !

Let me hear how much fun your Family Holidays are !

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Upgrading The FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

Within the first few weeks of school, I’m sure you (and your Second Grader) tried not to be too overwhelmed by :

  • the amount of content in ALL subject areas being covered ~ ALREADY!?!
  • the amount of Homework being given ~ where’s that WEEKLY checklist?!?
  • the amount of classroom expectations with their accountability ~ REALLY!?!
  • the amount of changes your child seems to be going through ~ QUICKLY!?!

With you  celebrating these changes with your seven-year-old, s/he will be preparing to embrace an even bigger change in what your young Scholar will achieve ~ the successful completion of…. THE RESEARCH PROJECT!!!

This is Part Three :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Skills

Your Second Grade Scholar

The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation. ~ Ray L Wilbur

By now you & yours have created a “work-space” for getting those academics done. Homework has been coming home for most students since Kindergarten, even if it was just reading together for minutes every night and a weekly spelling list and, oh yeah, some math problems…..

Yes, the Homework load will definitely increase, following your district’s guidelines for Second Grade. It should be a review of content to be done independently by your child. It will, usually, include independent reading for a certain amount of  time with a  a few sentences about comprehension to be written, a weekly spelling list with a daily study activity, and a few math computations with a word problem or two to solve. S/he should be able to complete these assignments independently in under 30 minutes, including the read time…. Issues?

Maybe BLB’s Homework Hotline Resource can help: https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/homework-help-hotline-parent-involvement-strategies/

Until…..it’s time for the Research Project, but that’s in the future (and not so distant…)

So…. your BIG Second Grader may be ready to move away from the kitchen table and into a more private, “serious ” study space. It may require some research….

A Private Study Space of My Own

I came across a helpful little article, “Quick Study” by Caylin Harris in the September 2017 edition of FAMILY CIRCLE. She collected some ideas from Amanda Titchenal, Leslie Josel & Kate Varness and offers these suggestions:

  • Make the creation & design a “joint effort”. The sense of ownership will encourage use & maintenance of the work-space.
  • Choose furniture with the flexibility to “grow” with your child, physically & aesthetically.
  • Keep going through that “Goes Home” folder together. Is there a separate Homework folder? They may be color-coded.
  • Music ? Yes/No ? Some types of music is actually beneficial for studying. Check out what moves, motivates or distracts your child’s focus & concentration. Headphones ? Maybe not….
  • Use organizational boxes, bins & racks. Have your child label them. I used dividers in drawers for easy, quick access to tools & materials. Not a fan of Junk drawers, myself…..
  • Open shelving on pegboard allows for easy access & visual organization. Big fan of that option especially in a closed space.
  • Make sure a Celebration Board is part of the work-space ~ cork, magnetic, plexiglass with ribbon.

Don’t really have space for a work-space?

A Home Project….and Some Research

Actually, you do. Josel suggests making a tri-fold privacy shield out of a presentation board. It does need to stand on its own and the height may need a trim.  Your child can decorate & stick on pockets for organizing. When the shield has done its work,  your child can fold it up and slide it under the bed, beside a chest of drawers or inside the closet.

Setting up a Home Learning Environment can be  challenging, especially if space is limited and other “stuff” is taking up space ~ DO NOT get rid of the dishwasher…. This BLB Resource may have some helpful ideas for you & yours:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

You know your child has not only been engaged in research at school since Kindergarten, but, s/he has, also, been conducting informal Research Projects at home. They may be totally verbal, but…”Here’s why we need a dog..”; “There’s tons of stuff to do at….”; “I really need to join….”~ to mention a very few…

Collecting and ~ yes ~ writing down the information is an entirely different “project”. So, I thought I would create a few  Family Fun Home~Grown Project Templates with an idea list : Home Research Projects

Of course,  you  obviously are an important partner for developing those Critical Thinking Skills your child so readily uses to “present” a potential Family Research Project…

The “Brainiac” Project

Growing Those Critical Thinking Skills-Sulaco229
Growing Those Critical Thinking Skills-Sulaco229

The braininess of your young Scholar is really beginning to “present” itself. If you’re unsure, click on this Resource to confirm his/her state of mind: https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

And it’s only going to increase in growth & complexity…

There are 4 Big areas you can  continue to help develop your child’s cognitive skills:

Observation

  • Improves descriptions
  • Increases meaning & comprehension with details

Spatial Thinking

  • Defines shape characteristics: same/different, sequences/patterns, classifications into groups
  • Uses directional & positional words with increasing accuracy

Verbal Thinking

  • Shares picture descriptions with greater detail, using part to whole
  • Selects living & nonliving things with similarities & differences
  • Orders living & nonliving things into a sequence by characteristics
  • Classifies living & nonliving things by traits or characteristics

Academic Vocabulary

  • Understands subject-specific words that describe, classify & compare/contrast
  • Begins to apply or use subject-specific vocabulary during verbal & written explanations of key concepts

Academic Vocabulary development can be a tricky, if not confusing area to address. BLB Shop has a product with games & activities  to help understand and use these words in Second Grade : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

And speaking of Academic Vocabulary, did you know there are 4 types of Knowledge & 6 Cognitive Processes (Bloom’s Taxonomy ~ remember him…) !?!

Yes…There Are 6 Levels of Thinking within Those 4 Kinds of Knowledge…

And now for some 25-cent words to include in this SHORT explanation of Knowledge & Thinking… which, believe it or not, your Second Grader is already hearing in the classroom…

FOUR TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE

Factual

  • terminology (specific words/vocabulary)
  • specific details & elements

Conceptual

  • classifications & categories
  • principles & generalizations
  • theories, models & structures

Procedural

  • subject’s specific skills & algorithms (rules of process)
  • subject’s specific techniques & methods
  • criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures

Metacognitive

  • strategic (careful design/plan)
  • appropriate cognitive tasks
  • self-knowledge

SIX COGNITIVE SKILLS

COGNITIVE PROCESSFACTUAL KNOWLEDGECONCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGEPROCEDURAL KNOWLEDGEMETA-COGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE
RememberListDescribeTabulateAppropriate Use
UnderstandSummarizeInterpretPredictExecute
ApplyClassifyExperimentCalculateConstruct
AnalyzeOrderExplainDifferentiateAchieve
EvaluateRankAssessConcludeAction
CreateCombinePlanComposeActualize

Again ~ not only does your young Scholar understand many of this “terminology”, but s/he will, also,  be  (if not already) using this Knowledge and Cognitive Thinking Skills during the Research Project Process. UH HUH!!!

Need a bit more info ? Click on the link below:

 https://galileo-camps.com/why-galileo/blog/a-parents-guide-to-blooms-taxonomy/

There are a few things you can do at home to help build the skills s/he needs to successfully & accurately produce a Research Project.

Home ~ Grown Research Project Prep

You can not open a book without learning something. ~Confucius

Open Your Mind & Learn-DavidClode
Open Your Mind & Learn-DavidClode

You are probably already doing this if you and yours are Nonfiction book readers ~ you have taught your child the value of learning how to use Informational Text Features like: the Table of Contents, the Glossary, Captions under images, Labels, Diagrams, Bold & Colored Print, etc.

Informational Text Features Infographic
Informational Text Features Infographic

Second Graders learn how to use at least 17 of these helpful clues when trying to understand and discover which pieces of information will be necessary to include in the Research of a Topic. Here’s a little workbook you can use for reviewing and/or reteaching these all important Research Skills:

I Understand Informational Text Features

I, also, painstakingly, created a fun and very concise Literacy Learning Tool for teaching Informational Text Features that includes an interactive Nonfiction book I wrote ~ THE TINY GIANT: A True Story About Watermelons~ with a mini comprehension workbook. Here is the BLB Shop link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/interactive-informational-text-features-learning-tool/

An Informational Text Features Mini ~ Lesson

What Kind of Crab Is This?-Bmewett
What Kind of Crab Is This?-Bmewett

Your beach-loving boy has just caught a crab of some kind. A nonfiction book about Ocean Animals needs to be found because he needs to know EVERYTHING about this small, interesting creature. Wherever you decide to look for a book, it needs to have the right information. “So, where’s the first place you should look in the book?” you ask your eager learner.

He quickly opens to the Table of Contents, but doesn’t want to read that much yet. “Where else could you find what you’re looking for ?” If he doesn’t know about the Index ~ here’s your teaching moment~ and “SO, you know you want to find out about…” “A crab!” he exclaims. “Look! Here it is on page…!” Well, it’s a Section with all the different crabs found in the ocean. Guess, he’ll have to do a little more……research.

If there are pictures of different crabs, encourage him to study the photo and think about what he already knows. Then, it’s time to read the Caption underneath it to see if this crab could be the same, or a similar one. Is there a Map or some other Location image ? Ask your child to look for them.

Kind of like a Treasure Hunt, huh!?!

These interactive questions mirror how your Second Grader is learning how to use Informational Text Features in the classroom.

The Teacher ~ Parent Connection

Have you connected with your child’s school and the teachers ? We Are Teachers created a short PDF loaded with tips and ideas regarding the relationship between you, your child & school. Just click on the link:

https://www.weareteachers.com/free-school-success-guide-for-parents/

Classroom Research Project Sequence

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. ~ Socrates

Although author and book studies can be part of a Research Topic, Geography, Social Studies & Science are heavy hitters in this category.

The “I Wonder…” phase of the Inquiry is usually begun in a KQRL template. Here’s an example  : KQRL Template

Your Scholar is participating in a monthly Research Project which usually begins as a whole class lesson presented in sequential mini-lessons. Peer editing is usually part of this Process with a final, strongly visual Presentation piece, such as a flyer, poster, or even a sculpture.

His/her teacher may assign cooperative groups of 3-4 classmates a variety of Topics for them to discuss and, then decide on a specific Topic Question / Sentence.

A partner Project may be next with an independent Project as a cumulative study towards the end of the year. One, or several may be given periodically as an ongoing homework task with a deadline schedule for the different parts of Project research until its  Presentation due date. 

The Topic usually starts out BIG : Animals to a Smaller Topic: Birds to a specific, simple Topic: The Life Cycle of a Robin.

Possible Second Grade Science Topics

Leaf Study-Stocksnap
Leaf Study-Stocksnap

These Topics may, also, be part of a Science Fair Project ~ again, Big to Small to Specific:

  • Animals: traits & characteristics as in diet, habitat, seasons, life cycle
  • Habitats : plants, animals & land-forms of ocean, forest, desert, tundra
  • Earth : properties & characteristics of rocks, soil, waterways, land-forms
  • Weather : characteristics of the seasons, elements, extremes
  • Human Body Systems : nervous, digestive, muscular & skeletal
  • Matter: properties & states of solids, liquids & gases
  • Forces: properties & management of electricity & magnetism

BLB Shop has 4 Science Labs: Physical, Earth, Life & Ecology to help you and your young Scientist explore these Topics:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-physical-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-earth-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-life-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-eco-science-lab/

Social Studies & Geography Topics are next.

Possible Social Studies & Geography Topics

WWhere Oh Where ? BenKerckx
Where Oh Where ? BenKerckx

Here are some Social Studies & Geography curriculum objectives that may be explored during this Second Grade year :

  • Maps & Globes : identify geographic features
  • Communities : explore the different helpers, careers, goods & services
  • Governments : discuss purpose, elections, laws &  differences of local, state & federal levels
  • Historical Figures : impacts, contributions & biographies
  • America : history, customs & celebrations

You can check out my previous Second Grade post on Second Grade Celebrations for some ideas :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/second-graders-celebrations/

Need a few  mini-lessons on Community Helpers, USA Symbols & USA Celebrations ? Click on these links :

Community Helpers

USA Mini Lessons

15 USA Holidays

Finally, BLB Library has a  Nonfiction Independent Reads Book List as a Resource for these 3 subject areas to assist your Second Grade Scholar with her/his Research :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/nonfiction-independent-second-grade-reads/

And now, for the Feature Presentation ~the actual Research Project Process with its steps & expectations…..

The Research Project Process

Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children. ~ Walt Disney

Research-BessHamiti
Research-BessHamiti

Many school districts, including several of the ones I taught in, use the The Big 6 Research Model developed by Mike Eisenberg & Bob Berkowitz in 1987.

This Information Literacy Research Method continues to be used throughout the world because of its grade level & subject versatility.

This Research Model :

  • provides a plan for engaging students in the learning experiences of problem solving and critical thinking
  • helps them evaluate which pieces of information  will  answer the specifically defined Topic Question/Sentence
  • encourages students to create ideas for unique products or presentations of their research.

Many Primary educators adapt the Big 6 sequence into the Super 3, which provides students with the same basic elements using a simpler vocabulary.

Here’s a mock-up table comparing the 2 methods :

THE BIG 6 METHODTHE SUPER 3 METHOD
Task Definition : What am I supposed to do & what information do I need?Plan: What am I supposed to do ?
Information Seeking Strategies: What sources will I used to help me find this information ?Plan : What do I need to find out ?
Location & Access : Where can I find these resources & who can help me find them ?Do : How do I find what I need to complete the task ?
Use of Information : How will I record the information I find ?Do : What can I make to show what I have learned ?
Synthesis : How will I show what I have found & stay organized in a timely manner ?Review : Did I do what I was supposed to do ?
Evaluation : I will know I have done my best & use an editing checklist to be sure.Review : Did I do my best work or do I need to do something else before I am done ?

Pitt County Schools in North Carolina offers a 35-page, thorough, parent-friendly explanation of these 2 methods in a PDF.

https://www.pitt.k12.nc.us/cms/lib6/nc01001178/centricity/domain/34/0910_files/big6andsuper3pdf.pdf

BLB Library, also, has a Resource for  understanding the Inquiry Investigation Process:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/inquiry-investigations-authors-books-websites/

And, if you need an easy-to-use, step-by-step Instruction Handbook with Templates & Reference Checklists for The Research Project AND The Science Fair Project, you can find this Guide in BLB’s Shop. Just click on the link below :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/research-project-toolkit/

About That Science Fair Project…..

Need specific Science Fair Project info ? This site, Science Kids, offers grade level ideas with a help-guide for using the Scientific Method:

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/projects.html

Speaking of a help-guide….

Dear Parents of Project Researchers……

Oh Yay! A Research Project !-White77
Oh Yay! A Research Project !-White77

As a parent and educator, it’s really difficult for me to know where to “draw the assistance line” .

There are so many “variables” to consider when your child, especially your Second Grader, comes home with The Project to complete.

So, again, I did some research, and, I think I found a few pieces of sound advice to share with you.

Diane Divecha of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence defines too much help basically tells your child s/he is not capable of doing the work. Instead, she recommends support your child by helping him/her develop the skills to do the projects independently with experiencing the stress  big projects can bring.

The Advice…..

  • Teach those organizational skills needed for effectively completing all the parts of a Research Project ~ to-do list, materials list, task schedule
  • Show how time management can help make the Project advance more efficiently, even if it means s/he needs to modify some of the product.
  • Review, if necessary, how to use some of the tools, materials & supplies.
  • Act as a sounding board for ideas and a discussion resource to encourage your child’s ownership of his/her work efforts. 

I’m sure you’re not surprised by the length of this post, but there was a lot of ground to cover….Believe me ~ I did the Research…

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