LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs: The Alphabet Is Everywhere

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs

Ready to help your youngster learn the ABCs?

Does s/he know the ABC song?

Is s/he drawing letters to make words & then, reading them?

Educators & Language experts agree the ABC-way to learn the alphabet is not the easiest or most  effective path to take when teaching the Literacy foundation steps of reading & writing.

There are several “philosophies” regarding the  order of how the alphabet can be taught. Letter recognition and its sound should be taught together at your child’s own pace.

You can learn more about which Alphabet Sequence is the easiest way for your learner(s) to learn by clicking & opening this link:

Teaching the Alphabet : A Sequence Guide

Alphabet Words Are Everywhere!

Using everyday, familiar vocabulary from your learner(s)’ environment can be an effective tool. I developed eight different, multi-leveled  LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs  Hands-On Product Units involving the Body, Clothes, your Home, the Kitchen, Foods, Play, Nature, and Animals to actively engage your child(ren)’s learning   process of the Uppercase & Lowercase Alphabet Letters.

All Product Units contain the following components:

  • Introduction
  • Construction  Instructions
  • ABC Theme – Based Book Ideas
  • A Literature Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Game Sort Mat
  • Labels
  • Storage Pocket
  •  Uppercase, Lowercase & Blank Letter Cards
  • Image, Word  & Blank Cards
  •  Handwriting & Information Response Sheets

Additional extension and application activities are, also, included.

They are available in Mz. Bizzy Lizzy’s TeachersPayTeachers Shop.

Here’s a Freebie Overview of these 8 Alphabet Product Units.

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : An Overview & ABC Card Set

This 21-page Freebie is available for download and includes the following components:

  • Game Sort Mat
  • 2 Game Board Labels
  • Storage Pocket
  •  26 Uppercase & Lowercase Letter Cards
  • 26 Image & Word  Cards
    Here’s the access link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-An-Overview-ABC-Card-Set-8185314

I’ll begin with On Your Body.

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : On Your Body

This 43-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional component:

  •  6 Body Parts Fill-In Diagrams with Answer Sheets 

Help  your youngsters discover new Vocabulary Words to match their body parts during their “Anatomy Study”.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-On-Your-Body-8185388

Next up : Clothes to Wear

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : Clothes To Wear

This 34-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional component: 

    • Clothes Hanger Mobile:  My Closet Inventory & My Favorite Clothes Diagram

Help  your youngsters discover new Vocabulary Words as they explore the World of Fashion.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-Clothes-To-Wear-8185431

Onto: In Your Home

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : In Your Home

This 34-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional components: 

  • More At Home Ideas: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Inside My Home Template
  • Outside My Home Template

Help  your youngsters discover new Vocabulary Words as they explore all the crooks & crannies of their Living environment.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-In-Your-Home-8185486

Followed by: In the Kitchen

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : In Your Home

This 40-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional components: 

  • 16 Draw & Label Kitchen Cards
  • 10 Level K Words for Handwriting
  • 9 Level 1 Fill-In Sentences w/ Answer Sheet
  • 8 Level 2 Fill-In Sentences w/ Answer Sheet/Compose 4
  • 10 Level 3 Fill-In Sentences w/ Answer Sheet/ Compose 3

Help  your youngsters learn new Vocabulary Words as they explore all the tools needed for a working Kitchen.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-In-The-Kitchen-8185569

And now from the Kitchen: Foods To Eat

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : Foods To Eat

This 37-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional components: 

  • Observing & Recording the Rainbow Colors of Fruits & Veggies
  • Recipes for Fruit Salad & Veggie Salad with Created Recipes

Help  your youngsters discover new Food Words as they explore and create dishes to share and eat.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-Foods-To-Eat-8185611

Time for: Fun Play Stuff.

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : Play Fun Stuff

This 40-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional components:

  • Venn Diagram for Indoor/Outdoor Play w/ Answer Sheet
  • Our LOTS OF FUN Day at the Park Fill-In Story
  • More At Play Fun Stuff Ideas & Blank Fill-In Sheet

Help  your youngsters discover new ways to have Fun as they learn different Play Stuff Vocabulary .

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-At-Play-Fun-Stuff-8185676

And when you’re: Out In Nature.

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : Out In Nature

This 46-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional components:

  • 6 Additional Vocabulary Lists for Weather, Waterways,            Land-forms, Plants, Animals & Habitats
  • Double-sided Nature News Template

Help  your youngsters  discover new Vocabulary as they explore Nature.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-Out-In-Nature-8185741

While in Nature: Animals, Animals, Animals.

LOOK AROUND FOR YOUR ABCs : Animals, Animals, Animals

This 57-page Product Unit is available for download and includes the following additional components:

  • Additional ABC Animals Word Lists
  • Animal Groupings Data Sheet with Guess My Animal Group Fill-In
  • 2 Fill-In Data Charts with Answer Sheets
  • 2 Blank Animal Data Templates
  • Animal Book Template with K ~ 3 Leveled Page Inserts

Help  your youngsters  discover new Animal Vocabulary Words as they explore the Animals of the World.

Here’s the TpT link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LOOK-AROUND-FOR-YOUR-ABCs-Animals-Animals-Animals-8185836

Need additional Products, Activities and Ideas?

Additional Products, Activities and Ideas

A few more Alphabet Activities/Products available in my TpT Shop. Here are the links:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/We-Go-Together-A-Matching-Alphabet-Letters-Game-3941614

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lets-Play-Some-Alphabet-Games-8-Literacy-Activities-3941504

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Learning-Games-for-Alphabet-Letters-Their-Sounds-5919499

I have, also, collected a list of several websites to explore when looking for more Alphabet Activities.

Here’s the link:

15 FUN & Hands-On Learning ABC Activities Websites

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©2022BizzyLizzyBiz

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS: FEETSPEAK!

HOT OFF THE PRESS: FEETSPEAK!

FEETSPEAK Book Cover
FEETSPEAK Book Cover

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

With the help of Writers Republic, I have self-published the first story book of the I AM A CHILD trilogy! It’s Hot Off The Press: FEETSPEAK!

I wrote these three stories several years ago with a muse on my shoulder guiding me with ideas, verbiage, imagery, and, significantly, a common thread ~ the resilience of children faced with tragic circumstances.

The kindness and care of loved ones, the understanding and flexibility of community as well as  the beauty and solace of nature contributed to the healing process of each character.

Before I tell you how each of these three elements play a part in the story of  FEETSPEAK, I want to share with you why I wrote these stories.

Why I Wrote These Stories

Thirty years teaching Early Childhood and Elementary school children from all over the world on at-risk campuses confirms my belief in the uniqueness of each child.

Many of these children suffered life-altering tragedies from loss, displacement, hunger, and neglect. Their ability to overcome these challenges with their resilience continually astounded me, as a child who grew up in a comfortable, middle-class environment.

They inspired me to create the stories in the I AM A CHILD Trilogy.

So,  briefly, this is what the story of FEETSPEAK  shares with you, Readers….

FEETSPEAK’s Story

All children are born into an ancestral heritage, rich with tragedy, joy, and a touch of magic.

No two stories are alike, yet encouraging an appreciation for cultural diversity, creative problem solving, and ecological respect as well as protecting the timely development of the contemporary child are daily challenges faced by parents and educators.

In FEETSPEAK, a young child, traumatically mute after her parents are killed during a rainstorm, communicates by selecting different shoes to wear.

Living near a pond and its creatures on the Midwest Plains with her maternal grandmother provides Cinnamon with comfort and understanding.

However, when an engaging French family with a young girl her age moves into the house down the road, Cinnamon must learn other ways to share her thoughts and express her feelings with her new friends.

Soon to enter First Grade, will she be ready to participate and learn in this totally new environment?

You may now be wondering ~ how do those three elements: loved ones, community, and nature influence the healing process of a traumatized child? Please note my stories are just that ~ stories of fiction. Of course they are idealized, but in my experience, these three factors in people’s lives can be extremely influential and effective.

The Loved Ones of FEETSPEAK

My young heroine shares her story surrounded by her loving family. She lives with her grandmother. She frequently visits her uncles and aunt.

Her close neighbors become constant friends and company. Their kindness, acceptance, and care provide the six-year-old child with new experiences to help her explore other  places outside the quiet world she has escaped into.

Some of these “other places” are very new and, somewhat, uncomfortable to her, but her family and friends, as well as the community members she encounters help her overcome her reluctance to engage.

An Understanding Community of FEETSPEAK

When a variety of life’s circumstances enter and disrupt Cinnamon’s routine existence with her family and friends, she slowly begins to understand the necessity of living outside her sheltered world. She even begins to enjoy the diversity of the experiences.

Meeting new community members like doctors, teachers, shopkeepers, and entertainers, among others, open up different vistas for communication. She is definitely intrigued,  although hesitant. The community continues to engage with her in spite of her uncertainty.

And, perhaps, the most powerful of all the environmental elements is the constancy of Nature.

The Constancy of Nature in FEETSPEAK

I spent many hours ~ I LOVED it!~ researching the flora and fauna of the several environs described in the story,  FEETSPEAK,  as I did in the other two stories of the I AM A CHILD Trilogy.

Most of the story takes place during the Spring, Summer, and early Fall with one Wintry exception. The majority of the setting takes place on the Plains of the USA’s Midwest and special care was given to a little pond near the small wheat farm Cinnamon lives on with her Grandmother.

A respectful graciousness is shared by all the characters in the story for the beauty and gifts Nature gives.

Country living is shown to be bountiful, yet challenging. A willingness to work and respect the land is threaded throughout the story of FEETSPEAK.

A brief exploration of the USA’s  Blue Ridge Mountains and the maple woods of its Northeast are, also, part of the scenery.

Part of my publishing package with Writers Republic includes a whimsical, engaging website, which gives me opportunities to Blog about FEETSPEAK and include many Book Study activities.

My Author’s Website

This website is extremely easy to navigate. The Navigation Bar includes an animated Home Page ( it’s delightful ! ), an About the Author (ME!) link, an About the Book link with a summary and buttons to click for places to purchase and view book pages, my Blog link, and a Contact Me link for all your questions, comments, concerns, and requests.

FEETSPEAK is available in hardback, paperback, and digitally.

Here’s the link:   http://eashields.com/

I’ve already posted several Blogs (surprise!) and there’s LOTS more to come. Read on….

THE BLOG

As an educator, one of my VERY FAVORITE teaching opportunities involved a Book Study. Teased by my teammates for going on and on with activity after activity focused on ONE class-read novel, I just handed them the FAT Unit I created that went on and on into the wonders of a well-written novel.

“The possibilities,” I’d remark with a grin, “are ENDLESS!”

And it is with the same enthusiasm, I have created and developed MANY activities for you and yours to explore and choose while reading FEETSPEAK.

Some, not all, of course, of the Book Study activities include:

  • learning new Vocabulary Words
  • analyzing Comprehension Elements
  • using Graphic Organizers
  • investigating Characters and their Traits
  • exploring the Power of Colorful Descriptors
  • transferring Verbal Imagery into Drawings
  • writing Letters
  • cooking up a Recipe or five…
  • discovering Nature

Believe me ~ there’s MORE!!

 The Blogs I have published so far:

  • WELCOME !
  • CHILDHOOD MUTISM 
  • HELPING YOUR GRIEVING CHILD.

The next Blog is FEETSPEAK’S STORY SEQUENCE.

Most activities will be a digital download.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this Info~Blog for Hot Off The Press: FEETSPEAK! as much as I enjoyed writing it.  It’s  my latest (and, maybe, my greatest) “endeavor” !

I hope you will visit me @: http://eashields.com/.

Tell me what you think on my Author’s website Contact Me link.

  Questions ? Comments ? 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:  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’ August 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: July’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS:  July’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

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

July is DEFINITELY a Summer month !

This HOT, HOT month if filled with activities & food to COOL, COOL you down ~ swimming, anything frosty & icy, non-heat cooking & eating (unless it’s a BBQ), fans, air co, shade, hammocks, shorts, flip-flops, sunglasses, and LOTS of sunscreen.

Our BIG summer celebration happens on The Fourth of July with lots of star-spangled fireworks to light up the Summer Night, which is usually full of the moon & stars. Many Tall Tales & Legends are shared on lazy Summer days & nights before & after hours of splishing & splashing in a cool body of water.

Opportunities for creative expressions in art, science, math, social studies, and writing are included in the four units of July’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 July’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ July 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.

July’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-Julys-Poetry-Posters-6879850

Independence Day

One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation evermore. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  July’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 19-page unit entitled Independence Day .

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Create a Star Streaming Patriotic Pinwheel by following the directions & using the pinwheel & stars template.
  • If you want to contribute a dish or two for the Fourth of July Eats, read & select some Food Ideas for A Star-Spangled Celebration to make and/or prepare the recipes included: Sandwich Stars & Lemon Star Punch with Red, White & Blue Salad and A Patriot’s Parfait .

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper,  glitters, ribbons, pencil/pen, colors, scissors, hole-punch, O-ring, bead/button, push pin, unused pencil, food prep ingredients

You can access the Independence Day unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Independence-Day-6880148

Summer Nights: Moon & Stars

Summer Night ~ even the stars are whispering to each other. ~ Kabayashi Issa

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: July’s  Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 20-page unit entitled Summer Nights: Moon & Stars.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Study the phases of the moon after making the Moon Phases Shape Book.
  • Construct a Glow-in-the-Dark Mobile with special paper and/or craft foam for your room.
  •  All that star-gazing will, hopefully, inspire you to Create A Constellation & Its Story to tuck inside the book cover template.

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  binding materials, pencil, colors, scissors, ruler, glue, stapler, string, black paper

You can access the Summer Nights: Moon & Stars unit by  clicking on the link below:

  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SUMMER-NIGHTS-Moon-Stars-6880207

Tall Tales & Legends

The thing about legends is…..sometimes, they’re true. ~Caretaker from the movie “Ghost Rider”

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: July’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a  42-page unit entitled Tall Tales & Legends.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Put together & play the Am I A Tall Tale Or A Legend? game.
  • Read the Tall Tale Guide & Tell Me A Tall Tale.
  • Then, turn the Tale into a script and play with players for the Tall Tale Theater.

General Supply List: cardstock, printing paper, pencil, colors, scissors, binding, play production tools & materials

You can access the Tall Tales & Legends unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/American-Tall-Tales-Legends-6880264

Fun in the Water: Oceans, Lakes & Rivers

Water is the driving force of all Nature. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 36-page unit entitled Fun in the Water: Oceans, Lakes & Rivers.

  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Learn the difference between salty & fresh waters when you construct & play several sort & match games with What Do You Know About Water, Water Everywhere ?
  • Build Tiny Islands in the Sea and record your observations of their growth on a data chart.
  • Make a water safety poster & sort game when learning about Water Safety & Water Fun.
  • Create a Water Safety & Fun Memory Books Mobile with a variety of book cover images.

General Supply List: heavy printing paper,  cardstock, scissors, glue, tape, stapler, rubber bands, veggie tops & bottoms, book binding material, white poster board, colors, blue & green cardstock, notebook paper, pony beads, fishing line, crimps, hole punch, paper clips, pliers, ruler

You can access the Fun in the Water: Oceans, Lakes & Rivers unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FUN-IN-THE-WATER-Oceans-Lakes-Rivers-6880354

How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers:  July’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-Julys-4-Unit-Bundle-6880387

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

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: June’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS:  June’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~R.W.Emerson

How very lovely is the month of June !

There’s still enough Spring in the air with its gentle breezes to cool off Summer’s warming sun! Long vacations are on the horizon with camp outs, street fairs, amusement parks , and farmers’ markets gaining more attention.

It’s the perfect time to celebrate Fathers’ Day; organize some Summer Solstice Backyard Fun with friends, family & neighbors; go on the long-awaited vacation to a favorite haunt and/or a new, exciting place; and, of course, before the warm weather becomes HOT, enjoy The Sun with all its sparkle.

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

June’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-June-Poetry-Posters-6866768

THE SUN

The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but the wide world’s joy. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  June’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 20-page unit entitled THE SUN .

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • A Facts About Our Sun Sheet to include in an informative text  entitled Our Sun Book
  • A Sun Sparkle Catcher includes how-to make directions for   constructing a beaded singular sun-mobile to hang in a  sun-catching window.
  • The Sun Mosaic is a piece of art you will create to symbolize the colors of the bright, glowing sun.
  • Write a storybook about the sun’s HEAT after collecting some reactions from others: “The Sun Was SOOOOO HOT……”

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  black poster-board, colored paper scraps, scissors, glue, binding, wire, chenille stems, pony beads, monofilament, crimp, wire cutters

You can access  THE SUN unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/THE-SUN-6866847

Fathers’ Day

A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow. ~ Anonymous

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: June’s  Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 16-page unit entitled Fathers’ Day.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • A Race Car Magnet includes Construction Instructions, Tracer Templates, and other race car model ideas.
  • Wrap your gift inside a Gift Box you have folded with a gift tag you’ve chosen from several tags.

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  craft foam, magnet strip, tacky glue, scissors, colors, paper clips, pencil

You can access the Fathers’ Day unit by  clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fathers-Day-6866931

Backyard Summer Fun

Anyone can go on an adventure, even if it’s in your own backyard. ~ Carmela Dutra

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: June’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a  56-page unit entitled Backyard Summer Fun.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • A Backyard Fun Eco ~ Fair includes the planning, organizing, activities/games ideas with how-to direction cards, supply lists, and the images you’ll need to post at each site.
  • The seasonal NatureWatchers’ Summer Journal comes with the journal covers, page inserts , and vocabulary list. 

General Supply List: cardstock, printing paper,  pencil, colors, scissors, binding, O-ring, hole punch, specific Fair supplies

You can access the Backyard Summer Fun unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Backyard-Summer-Fun-6866987

Going On Vacation

A vacation is having nothing to do all day and all day to do it. ~Robert Orben

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: June’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 36-page unit entitled Going On Vacation.

  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Make & decorate a Brown Bag Backpack from a paper grocery bag to hold all your Travel Games.
  • The Travel Activities Overview lets you decide which projects you want to create & include in your Brown Bag Backpack.
  • There are over 6 different Travel Games you can make to take with you to play while you go on vacation.
  • Write about your vacation adventures in My Travel Journal you download, print & put together.
  • Don’t forget to correspond with family & friends while you’re on vacation on your “Wish You Were Here….”  Stationery.

General Supply List: large paper grocery bag, cloth strips, brad fasteners, string,, stapler, scissors, ruler, markers, glue, cardstock, game materials, printing paper, binding, pencil, stickers

You can access the Going On Vacation unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Going-On-Vacation-6867091

 How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers:  June’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-June-A-4-Unit-Bundle-6867291

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

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: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

Nature is the art of God. ~Dante Alighieri

What a merry, merry month May is !

Artists celebrate this month with songs, poetry, and paintings. Warm breezes with plenty of sunshine invite all of Earth’s living  things to frolic through soft, grassy fields of wildflowers and wade in its warming waters.

It’s the perfect time to celebrate Mothers’ Day, giggle at Baby Animals, give your Bicycle a tune up, ride around your Neighborhood, and go on a Picnic with friends.

Opportunities for creative expressions in art, science, math, social studies, and writing are included in the five units of May’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 May’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ May 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.

May’s six 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-May-Poetry-Posters-6779604

Mothers’ Day

A mother understands what a child does not say. ~ Jewish Proverb

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 16-page unit entitled Mothers’  Day .

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • An I LOVE YOU Fan includes how-to make directions for constructing a large, usable Fan with Sample Sentences to choose for writing on each fold.
  • A Tea Party for Mom contains Invitation Templates, a Tea Party Checklist with a Sample Place Setting Diagram, and several Food preparation ideas.

General Supply List: file folder, card-stock, printing paper,  decorative paper, ribbon, pencil/pen, ruler, scissors, tacky glue, clothespins, food & tea ingredients

You can access the Mothers’ Day unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mothers-Day-6779662

Baby Animals

Animals are born who they are, accept it, and that is that. ~Gregory Maguire

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: May’s  Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 16-page unit entitled Baby Animals.

It contains the following Project/Activity:

  • A Baby Animals Pop-Up Book includes Construction Instructions, Cover/Page Insert Template, Info Chart with Blank Fill-In Template. Baby Animal Photos, And a Vocabulary List.

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  binding materials, pencil, colors, scissors, ruler, glue,double-stick tape

You can access the Baby Animals Pop-Up Book unit by  clicking on the link below:

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

Bicycle Fun & Safety

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a  21-page unit entitled Bicycle Fun & Safety.

It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • You & Your Bicycle offers Bicycle Adventure Ideas, a Bicycle Parts Diagram with a Checklist, and a Pre-Riding Safety List.
  • Bicycle Safety includes a Bicycle Safety Checklist paired with a mini-quiz for testing  Safety Knowledge.
  • A Bicycle Fun & Safety Shape Book has a Covers & Page Insert Template for making a Memory Book.

General Supply List: cardstock, printing paper, O-ring, hole punch, pencil, colors, scissors, binding

You can access the Bicycle Fun & Safety unit by clicking on the link below:

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

Neighbors in the Neighborhood

The whole world is one neighborhood. ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 22-page unit entitled Neighbors in the Neighborhood.

  It contains the following Project/Activity:

  • Design A Neighborhood includes Construction Instructions for building a Neighborhood with Places, Street Names, Building Names, Map Key & Compass for a Make-A-Map, and Building Faces Templates.

General Supply List: heavy printing paper,  cardstock, straws, play dough, green poster board, small chipboard boxes, black construction paper, colored paper & cardstock scraps, pencil, ruler, scissors, tacky glue, colors, tape, sticky notes

You can access the Neighbors in the Neighborhood unit by clicking on the link below:

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

Let’s Have A Picnic

Nothing’s better than a picnic. ~ Zooey Deschanel

Week Five of CLAMDiggers: May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 24-page unit entitled Let’s Have A Picnic.

  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Plan A Picnic includes Picnic ~ Menu Ideas, a Sample Menu with Blank Menu Templates, 5 Picnic Recipe Cards with several Blank Recipe Cards & Collection Covers,   Lists for Eco-Packing a Picnic, and Invitations for Indoor/Outdoor Picnics.
  • Make  A Sit-Upon gives Instructions for Constructing a Indoor/Outdoor seating mat.

General Supply List: heavy printing paper,  cardstock, colored cardstock scraps, colors, white grease pencil, scissors, hole-punch, O-ring, newspapers, oilcloth, clothespins, tacky glue.

You can access the Let’s Have A Picnic unit by clicking on the link below:

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

 How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers:  May’s Literacy Enrichment Collection units individually or as a 5-Unit bundle for your convenience & savings.

Just click on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDiggers-May-A-5-Unit-Bundle-6782072

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

 

Elevating Your Upper Elementary Child’s Literacy

Elevating Your Upper Elementary Child’s Literacy

If you become a bird and fly away from me,  I will be a tree that you come home to.  ~ from The Runaway Bunnyby Margaret Wise Brown

I’m sure you’re noticing A LOT of changes in your 8~11 year-old child….oops..I mean, young girl/boy…

In my experience with this age group, I discovered these children to be immersed in what I call “The Golden Age of Learning”.

Their Literacy independence is inspiring them to explore a plethora of adventures in an imaginative and creative way. They are able to locate the answers to SO MANY of the questions they continually ask every day. And are SO VERY delighted to be able to do so!

Their Problem Solving skills as well as Task Completion rate are increasing with accuracy….most of the time.

If you haven’t done so already, dear Reader, NOW is the time to UP YOUR GAME for your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy!!!

 Your Upper Elementary Child’s Literacy

 I’m sure you’re SO over hearing “I’m NOT a CHILD anymore!” (note the correction in the Intro….), especially when supervision is a must.

Family Time is becoming…..rare, unless, of course, a few of “my friends” can be included…. Just how many extracurricular activities can one person participate in !?!?

I will tell you, though, those clubs, classes and sports will be a GOOD thing in the coming years….Seriously~keep the meter running.

Oh, and Hobbies & Collections are DEFINITELY a MUST for elevating your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy.   Here are a  few categories:

  • Visual Arts, like painting, sculpting, drawing
  • Crafts (several), like scrap-booking, sewing, cooking,  etc.
  • Performing Arts, like acting, singing, dancing, etc.
  • Musical Instruments, like piano, guitar, trumpet, etc.
  • Sports: Team & Solo, like soccer, baseball, tennis, track, skating, martial arts, etc.
  • Camping Excursions, like scouting, nature hikes, etc.
  • Gardening, like veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers, landscaping, etc.
  • Building Sets, like Legos, Lincoln logs, etc.
  • Model Kits, like ships, airplanes, cars, rockets, etc.
  • Board Games, especially ones that involve mystery & strategy.

Need more ideas ? BLB’s Library has a few Resources for you. Just click on these links:

Hobbies & Collections: Promoting Creativity & Discovery

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

This website link lists “101 After School Club Ideas” you can start or suggest to neighbors, friends and/or your child’s school campus:

https://kidactivities.net/clubs-for-school-age-kids-page-1/

Not only is your 8~11 year-old  digging deep into how things work, they are, also,  developing quite a passion for the world beyond their family and surrounding community.

WOW! It’s A Great Big World Out There!

The World Is Ours~Canva Foto
The World Is Ours~Canva Foto

Your child’s interest in reading about exciting adventure, fantasies, and science fiction’s future feeds his/her daydreams. Seeking other places, cultures, and, yes, even worlds influences daily thoughts and ideas.

Having the tools of independent research allows her/him to travel into the far-reaching realms of imagination and creativity.

Here are a few family travel links:

https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/family/photos/bucket-list-trips-for-kids

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/national-geographic-kids-travel/index.html

BLB’s Library has a few Resources, too:

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

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

Don’t be surprised if s/he wants to learn a few more languages along the way….

Language’s listening and talking are taking on a whole new perspective within your 8~11 year-old’s communication skills.

Well, You Won’t Believe What Happened Next….

You may have to “listen in” to conversations between your youngster and her/his friends to hear the substantial amount of new vocabulary being included in the day-to-day dialogues.

And, then, she said...~Canva5
And, then, she said…~Canva5

And they’re not just everyday words either….

S/he is learning how to say exactly what s/he wants/means to say. Communication, especially between peers, is becoming more and more important.

The phone, if you are permitting one, is a new “appendage”…

You’ll, also, notice a keener sense of humor is emerging. There is, also,  an appreciation for solving riddles and a more sophisticated involvement in word play. S/he is very entertained/ing with his/her clever, sly Language skills.

BLB’s Library has a Resource for encouraging your child’s “funny bones”:

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

So, “Where is all this ‘sophistication’ coming from?” you wonder….

Common Core’s Ongoing Language Expectations

Beginning in Third Grade and continuing throughout each grade level,  s/he is expected to “demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking”.

Here’s a general list of the sentence structures s/he is expected to understand, form and utilize with accuracy:

  • Explain what a noun, verb, adjective and adverb is and how they are used in a sentence
  • Form sentences with accurate subject-verb agreement
  •  Can form & speak simple, compound & complex sentences

Specifically, there are expectations for forming & using the different parts of speech as well:

  • regular & irregular plural nouns
  • abstract nouns
  • regular & irregular verbs
  • simple verb tenses
  • comparative & superlative adjectives and adverbs
  • conjunctions

Many of these expectations are modeled and taught during reading instruction. Remember~ your child’s independent level of Reading is not only contributing to the amount s/he chooses to read, but, also, the escalating amount of fiction and nonfiction texts s/he is  experiencing in the classroom.

I Am Reading to Learn

Today a Reader, tomorrow a Leader.~Margaret Fuller

Even though your upper elementary child’s literacy level may enable her/him to read independently, you can continue to ensure her/his comprehension of the text by listening to him/her read aloud and using the following  strategies:

  • Ensure the content is not only appropriate for his/her maturity level, but, also, her/his actual reading level.
  • Encourage a Pre-Read for background knowledge, vocabulary understanding & interest level.
  • Confirm the content of fictional reads has a predictable Beginning, Middle & Ending structure with one Main Problem/Conflict.
  • Make sure the content of nonfictional reads has a predictable & supported Main topic.
  • Periodically, ask questions about the read and/or have her/him retell what was just read.
Reading to Learn-Canva10
Reading to Learn-Canva10

If you want to wait until after s/he has finished reading the chapter or slim book, here are some comprehensions questions to ask:

  • What happened in the Beginning of the story?  (listen for Important Details)
  • Middle? Ending? (again, listen for Important Details to be included during the Retell)
  • Did the story remind you of anything or anyone? (his/her response  should be a “Yes, it made me think about….”)
  • What is the Setting of the story? (characters, place & time)
  • What was the Main Problem, or Conflict in the story & how did it get Solved? (several solution attempts may be made before the actual success of one)

Using these comprehension strategies verbally or in a Reading Response Journal will continue to strengthen your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy.

Is your child a “Good” Reader?

“Good” Reader Strategies

Yes, reading for pleasure is VERY important. However, Your Independent Reader needs to read for accuracy so s/he is learning as s/he reads.

What Good Readers Do

~PREVIEW~

  • Look at the Book Cover & Title
  • Do a Picture Walk & scan some of the Text

~QUESTION~

  • Ask Who did What, When, Where, Why & How.
  • Ask if the text is making sense & supporting the Main Idea.

~PREDICT~

  • Wonder about what you think will happen in the story.
  • Make some predictions and, then, read to find out how accurate your predictions were.

~INFER~

  • Think about  how some of the Important Details are meaningful to the story.
  • Use those Details to help you define the Author’s Purpose for telling the story.

~CONNECT~

  • Relate the story to your thoughts, feelings and what you know.
  • Compare/Contrast the story to other stories you’ve read or heard as well as the world around you.

~SUMMARIZE~

  • Organize/Sequence the Main Details of the story.
  • Draw Conclusions about those Important Details.

~EVALUATE~

  • Once you have finished reading the story, decide what you learned from the text.
  • Then, decide if what you read was important to you & if you enjoyed reading it.

And, what is your Independent Reader reading?

Your Child’s Reading Interest Levels

Reading to Learn~Canva12
Reading to Learn~Canva12

You can continue elevating your upper elementary child’s Literacy by making sure s/he has access to a wide ~ and I mean WIDE~ variety of fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, newspapers & how-to project books.

Books about historic, modern, and futuristic adventures with humor, excitement, mystery and the “unexpected” are definitely reads to pique his/her interests.

Here’s a great link with Book Ideas for your Independent, Upper Elementary Reader:

https://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Kids’_Book_Recommendations:_Ages_8_-_11

BLB’s Library has a Resource for Poetry:

Poetry Collections for K~5

As well as several Resources in BLB’s Library and Shop for Informative Text, which continues to GROW in importance:

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

OH YAY! A RESEARCH PROJECT!: Processes, Templates & Resources

THE TINY GIANT: An Interactive Informational Text Features Learning Tool

However, if you have a struggling or non-reader, BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

Guiding Your NonReader Into The Reader’s World

Perhaps, s/he would rather WRITE than read….

Writing to Read

What you don’t know would make a great book. ~Sydney Smith

If last year was Second Grade, you are aware of the Writing Expectations your child faces. Here’s a reminder link:

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

Now, multiply those Literacy Expectations again and again…..and again.

You may want to have access to Common Core’s Standards for Third Grade Writing and Beyond. Here’s a link:

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/3/

Yes, it’s pretty extensive and will continue to increase with difficulty.

Oh……… and , then, there are the Expectations for the Writing Conventions of Standard English :

  • capitalization
  • commas
  • quotation marks
  • possessives
  • spelling : patterns, prefixes & suffixes

My Teachers Pay Teachers Shop has a Resource for Grammar Usage:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Please-Practice-Good-Grammar–4711045

Make glossaries, dictionaries, and other reference word helpers part of the easy-to-access library. They are definite tools for:

  •  unknown words’ spelling and multiple-meanings
  • root words
  • how prefixes & suffixes affect root words
  • figurative language
  • literal & non-literal words/phrases in context
  • abstract words

Fortunately, if those fine motor skills were hampering your child’s writing progress, the coordination of hand & fingers are improving ~ a plus to the actual physicality of writing.

Otherwise, if writing is a struggle ~ and it is for many of us ~read on for a few helpful suggestions.

ARGH!!! Writing !!!!

ARGH! Writing!~Alexandra Koch
ARGH! Writing!~Alexandra Koch

Loves to read, but Hates to Write!!!! BLB’s Library has a few Resources for you:

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

and for some inspiration:

More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

The BEST and most effective  suggestion I have for your I HATE TO WRITE writer is Interactive Writing between you and your child. Select a journal, have your writer decorate it, and begin:

INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

BTW…  a few ideas and suggestions for making your home and your Upper Elementary child’s Literacy Learning Space an inviting environment.

Ready, Set….Learn!

Ready, Set, Learn!~KitzD66
Ready, Set, Learn!~KitzD66

Here are a few Resources & checklists for helping you make your home a Learning & Teaching ~Friendly environment:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

Questions for Brain Food Menu

 YOUR CHILD IS A BRAINIAC ! A Parent Guide for Building Thinking Skills

and last, but not least……

Your Homework Help HOTLINE : Parent Involvement Strategies

I hope this Post has some ideas and suggestions you can use in your Family Literacy Circle regardless of the Independence of your Learner.

Now…for the 52-week, cross-curricular, interactive, hands-on, enrichment program I promised to deliver for your 8~11 year-old Learners. Click on the link below for CLAMDiggers:

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

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/

 

 

 

Building the FLC’s Reading & Writing Skills with Your “I AM FOUR!”

Building the FLC’s Reading & Writing Skills with Your “I AM FOUR!”

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. ~Sydney J. Harris

 The months in your four year-old’s life (and yours) are flying by…..

Your baby is becoming a young child and will SOON be entering KINDERGARTEN!!!!!

A  classroom environment in a school is very different than your Family Literacy Circle’s home school environment ~ VERY different.

The first noticeable difference, even if your child will be attending a “free-thinking  school” where the rules are more relaxed, is the amount of other children included in the environment. Think 15-400!

Then, there are a plethora of rules, routines & procedures…..oh my….

Finally, there are the academic expectations for your young one. The Literacy skills you have been building with her/him will encourage success in this new and exciting setting.

Regardless of “where” your Pre-Schooler’s education will be continued, building the Family Literacy Circle’s Reading and Writing Skills with your “I Am Four!” learner is one of the most important gifts you can share with your child and yourself.

 Pre~Schooling Your Pre~Kindergartener 

When several of my sisters and I were growing up, Kindergarten was not the first year of organized schooling.

As children growing up in the 50s & 60s, our parents, being our first teachers, “home~schooled” us (from birth, really) during the pre~school & kindergarten years.

PreSchooling ~Markus Spiske

Upon entering First grade, we knew our colors, basic shapes & sizes, alphabet, & numbers 1-maybe 20. We could write our names (and each others’ names), our numbers to 10, and draw ourselves with arms, legs & a torso.

Whether sitting at the kitchen table, driving in the car, playing in the park, digging in the backyard, building in the living room, shopping at the stores, or daydreaming on vacation, we were always talking, listening & sharing about anything and everything. 

Oh, AND we graduated from State Universities….. some of us with High Honors & Graduate degrees.

Current Kindergarten expectations have children reading by the end of the first semester, writing & editing complete sentences, and solving word problems with calculated precision.

REALLY!??

BUT….don’t get me started on THAT!

Anywho…

Before talking about your actual Learning Environment, here is an easy-to-use  Pre~School tool I’ve created for you in my BLB Shop  so you & your four-year-old can  monitor her/his Pre~Schooler’s Kindergarten Prep-Skills Progress.

My “I Am Ready for Kindergarten” Workbook: A Pre~School Checklist

Click on the link below for the downloadable & print PDF.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-literacy-family-circle/ready-kindergarten-workbook-preschool-checklist/

What Does A Successful Learning Environment Look Like?

 If s/he is beginning to understand and use symbols – think letters & numbers, your Family Literacy Circle is progressing nicely.

If s/he is struggling with and/or not interested in  the beginning Literacy skills, including these key elements suggested by Dr. Michael Gurian, a brain scientist & author of Nurture the Nature  in your “Home Day School” may help encourage your child’s interest:

  • Learning must engage a child’s entire body & include the 5 senses by doing, moving, experiencing.
  • Learning happens uniquely for each child according to his/her own time, pace, interests, and thought patterns.
  • Learning happens indoors & outdoors.
  • Learning needs focus & meaning on a specific task or a set of related tasks thru story, action & individual responsibility.
  • Learning, however, can take place when your child’s mind wanders, doodles, etc.
  • Learning should have challenges with successes & failures addressed without shaming or hovering.
  • Learning can occur by rote and/or by relationships to your child’s world, objects & manipulatives.

Need some Materials & Activities Ideas for Your Home~Learning Experience?

Click, download & print from the PDF link below:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

Some Developmental Guidelines

Jenae, a former First Grade teacher & parent, created a great website to assist parents with educating their children.

She provides some guidelines in a variety of your child’s developmental areas and suggests playing with learning  15-20 minutes a day to encourage growth.

  • Social/Emotional: board games, play dates, clean up, task persistence
  • Language: 1 & 2-step directions, read together, free drawing, uppercase & lowercase letters with their sounds
  • Cognitive: object sort (color, size, shape), patterns, count aloud to 20, count objects, shape hunt, positional & directional concepts, opposites
  • Physical (Gross & Fine Motor): run, jump, climb, skip, catch, stack blocks, cut with scissors, string beads, puzzle play, play dough, write name
  • Creative: pretend play, color recognition, paint, draw, explore

Click on the link below to visit her website:

https://www.icanteachmychild.com/

Reading Everything About Anything

 Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. ~ Tomie dePaola

Reading Together -Poechrist32

In all my years of meeting and teaching thousands of young children, I have never met a child who didn’t like/love to be told and/or read a story.

Your Pre-Schooler enjoys stories about being “big & strong”. S/he wants to hear about dancers, firefighters, animal caretakers, doctors, and other “new” characters that can be used in pretend play.

S/he can follow & understand the sequence of a story as well as  talk about its characters & events. Re-reading favorites strengthens these vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Include these activities for a change of pace when rereading certain stories:

  • make up different endings with your child
  • play with the words-rhyming, re-using, silly sentences
  • have your child retell the story
  • act out the story, using simple props & costumes

Some young children, however, struggle with sitting still long enough to hear a story. Even at bedtime, they are either too tired or too interested in other things to focus on listening to a story. They want to…..it’s just difficult.   Interactive stories, poems & rhymes with lots of movement are for them. Your comprehension questions will be answered verbally & physically!

Actually, almost all children love them!

For some squirmy children, the reading of words is boring and limited. These movers are usually talkers & doers, wanting to be “in” the story.

Enter….Wordless Picture Books!

“Reading” Stories Without Words

I am a part of everything I have read. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Reading in My Own Words~Jeshoots

You can, also, try “reading” books without words as a great interactive,  Literacy book tool.

One of the wonderful things about this type of book is there are no right or wrong ways to read it!

A new story can be created each time the book is held by you and/or your child. Some children even like to read these valuable stories in reverse, beginning at the end of the story!

Here are some tips from Reading Rockets for sharing wordless picture books with your child to encourage pre-reading skills:

  • Model proper book handling & page turning behaviors.
  • Read the title & (author) illustrator.
  • If it’s a first read, ask for a prediction of the story.
  • Take a picture walk through the book pages.
  • Talk about the characters’ expressions, the setting & colors to reinforce the idea the story & pictures can be connected (and your words, too).
  • Go back to the beginning of the book & begin telling the story.
  • encourage your child to read the story with you by asking the “W” questions: who, what, when, where, why.
  • Add descriptive words to persons, places, objects & actions.
  • Finish the story by asking: Which pictures helped us tell the story? What was your favorite part of the story? Have you ever been in a story like this?

Need a few book suggestions? BLBs Resource Library can help. Just click on the link below.

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

PLUS~ Vanessa Levin @pre-kpages (a great pre-school resource website) suggests these additional “Wordless Picture Books for PreSchoolers”:

  • PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST ~ Tomie dePaola
  • THE RED BOOK ~ Barbara Lehman
  • THE LION AND THE MOUSE ~ Jerry Pinkney
  • WHERE’S WALRUS ? ~ Stephen Savage
  • CHALK ~ Bill Thomson
  • DEEP IN THE FOREST ~ Brinton Turkle

Bonus Literacy Tool of Wordless Picture Books

 As a teacher of Reluctant Readers, my students eagerly looked forward to learning how to read stories they had created. Writing down simple sentences from your wordless picture book read is definitely a way to start the Emergent Reader process with a few other skills woven in, of course.

Remember to ask/ include “Who? Did what? When? Where? & Why or How?” when writing down the story sentences from your storyteller. These are  key comprehension elements ~ Main Idea.

 Reading the Language of Literacy in 26 Letters

TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book. ~ Anonymous

Print Awareness, Letter Recognition, and Letter Sounds are  3 important pre-reading skills necessary for your Pre-Schooler to master before s/he begins to read words with accuracy.

What Is Print Awareness ?

If your Family Literacy Circle Circle includes many  shared reading experiences with your four year old, s/he probably knows each boldly written word you’ve been pointing to as you read, represents a spoken word, and has meaning.

Reading Words Everywhere- oz_ka

S/he understands:  books are read from front to back,  print is read from top to bottom, and sentences are read from left to right.

You and others are using Environmental Print, such as product boxes, road signs, store marquees & logos, flyers, posters & billboards, labels, recipes, the mail & commercial ads to help your child understand words carry a variety of messages, not just storybook words.

S/he is recognizing individual letters, especially in his/her name and realizes uppercase & lowercase differences. Exploring, discovering & saying some of the sounds the letters make is beginning to make an impact in your child’s Literacy World.  S/he sings the Alphabet song as a daily activity with growing accuracy and independence.

How To Teach Those 26 Letters of Literacy

 Strong suggestion~ when teaching the Alphabet ~ do NOT teach the letters in ABC order.  Rote memorization of the alphabet in order will only help your child in Third grade whens/he is practicing dictionary skills.

Check BLB’s Resource Library for several different ways to present the alphabet to your PreSchooler. Just click on the link below.

 Teaching the Alphabet : A Sequence Guide

Here are a few ideas to help your Pre-Schooler learn the alphabet:

  • Go to the library. Lay out a collection of Alphabet books. Have your child select some to check out.
  • purchase magnetic, foam, puzzle, and/or block alphabet pieces.
  • Prepare meals/snacks with alphabet pasta. cereal, cookies & crackers.
  • Talk about letters that begin family members, pets & friends’ names.
  • Make sure to emphasize the sounds with letters.
  • Make letters from play dough, stickers, shaving cream, pipe cleaners.
  • Draw letters in sand, dirt, mud & on the driveway with chalk.
  • Make a game out of all these activities.

Need a few more ideas?

Check out BLB’s Resource Library for a list of 15 ABC Activities Websites to help you engage your Pre-Schooler’s interest in the Alphabet. Just click on the link below.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/15-abc-activities-websites/

Need some alphabet game ideas?

I created some alphabet games & activities with uppercase & lowercase letter cards, real-life images as well as beginning vocabulary cards.

 Let’s Play Some Alphabet Games: 8 Literacy Activities

Click on the link below to discover this tool.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/alphabet-games-8-literacy-activities/

Phonology, Phonemes & Phonics ~ Oh My !?!

Understanding and speaking are the building blocks of a strong base for oral language. Oral language is an important key to understanding and acquiring  pre-reading skills.

Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness & Phonics are the skills built from a strong foundation in oral language. They are necessary tools when learning to read.

Phonological Awareness skills are the beginning steps directly related to a person’s ability to read. They include:

  • recognizing when words rhyme
  • noticing similar beginning sounds in words
  • understanding the separate sounds in a word
  • combining separate sounds to make a word
  • separating parts of a word into segments, or syllables
  • hearing the beginning & ending sounds of words
  • understanding  letters & sounds  create a word

Phonemic Awareness skills are one’s ability to recognize, blend, take apart, and use individual sounds (a phoneme is one sound)  in words. There are 41 phonemes in the English language to combine into syllables & words. These skills include:

  • putting sound together to make a spoken word
  • taking a word apart into sections, or syllables
  • using a different sound to make a new word in a word family (bat, cat, mat, sat)

Phonics is the teaching of letters with their sounds to help learn the patterns in spelling words and use decoding to read unknown words. Phonemic awareness as well as knowing letter symbols with their sounds are necessary for learning this skill.

How To Promote Phonology & Phonemes Skills

There are lots of oral language activities you can do with your child throughout the day to encourage awareness and mastery of these pre-reading stepping stone skills:

  • read rhyming books
  • play rhyming games
  • sing rhyming songs
  • make up rhyming words
  • break up & say words in syllables/ clap each part & count
  • talk about words with the same beginning sound
  • talk about words with the same ending sound
  • break up & say simple words with their individual sounds

Reading to Write and/or Writing to Read ?

Reading to Write &  Writing to Read are basic principles in the Literacy Skills World.

Your child will guide you into the direction s/he needs to take in order to achieve success in both arenas.

Some children are very partial to reading, not writing. Some youngsters prefer writing to reading. Some enjoy both challenges interchangeably.

Some children, bright as they can be,  want nothing to do with either one! These young children are rare, but if you have this child, there are websites to help you & your child solve this struggle.

Here’s a great one to explore, created by Becky Spence, an experienced classroom teacher, reading tutor & parent.

Just click on the link below:

https://thisreadingmama.com/

Writing Activities & The Brain

Liz, an Early Childhood educator, created the infographic: “the importance of Developing Pre-Writing Skills in Early Childhood” on her  website, Liz’s Early Learning Spot. It includes brain information from Dinehart & Manfra’s multi-year research with 3000 pre-schoolers published in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. (“Handwriting in Early Childhood Education” 2015)

  • Writing stimulates attention, impulse control & working memory.
  • Writing (NOT tracing or typing) letters activates the reading circuit in 4 & 5 year olds.
  •  When the basic skills of writing are automatic, the brain can concentrate on creating written expression.

Pre-Writing Readiness

Walking Into Writing~ Sonja Paetow

A print-rich environment  is a very important arc in your Family Literacy Circle. Modeling and teaching your child the value of writing will boost her/his abilities to read and create expression.

Your guidance in helping to develop your Pre-Schooler’s fine motor skills will promote his/her ability to write & read  words/sentences as well as create & express thoughts.  

This sequential process, which began at birth, is easier for some to “grasp” and harder for others. Here are  some helpful fine motor skills activities I listed in the “Fine Motor Skills Mastery” section of Discovering the Family Literacy Circle with Your Post Toddler. Click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/post-toddler-literacy-circle-discovery/

Hopefully, your Pre-Schooler wants to learn how to write his/her name. YAY!

I’ve, also, added a Fine Motor Skills Sites: Activities & Exercises page to BLB’s Resource Library. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/fine-motor-skills-resource-sitesteaching-activities-exercises-for-ages-4-6/

For more great ideas, tips & how-to’s, visit “The Building Blocks for Writing Readiness” article on Liz’s Early Learning Spot. Her website is FULL of helpful activities. Just click on the link below.

http://www.lizs-early-learning-spot.com/pre-writing-skills-essential-for-early-learners/

Pardon My Wordiness

If you are here, still reading ~bless your heart~ thank you! (Perk to follow)

I hope I have given you some meaningful & helpful information for this critical age  (yes, another one) in your growing child’s development.

How your child enters Kindergarten is unbelievably important!

As an Elementary & Special educator, as well as a parent,~believe me~your role as your child’s First Teacher is the most significant part of her/his future education. Continuing an active Family Literacy Circle will play an incredible role in your child’s success. WAY TO GO!!!!

 The Perk is a download & print General School Readiness List. Just click on the link below.

5Rs of SchoolReadiness

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!

However if you wish to join the BLB Exclusive for additional  tips, ideas, updates & resources, please fill out the form below as a FREE Subscriber!

COPYRIGHT2018BIZZYLIZZYBIZ

 

Encouraging the Family Literacy Circle with Your Kindergartner’s Language Skills

Welcome to the Family Literacy Circle’s Kindergarten Series

This year is a HUGE one for your 5-year-old ! Kindergarten is one (yes, another one) of your child’s milestones. Many preparations for changes are needed for a successful launch into his/her first, big school year.

Five of the major Literacy Acts influencing this new Play are: Language Skills, Play Power, Choosing a School, Reading Skills , and Writing Skills. So, I am dividing this incredibly important year into a series of 5 separate blog posts.

You should listen to even the smallest voice; someday it could be the one that makes a difference. ~ Crystal Marcos

ACT ONE : Language Skills

Your lively, spirited, and VERY curious 5-year-old child is SO ready to embrace theEncouraging the Family Literacy Circle with Your Kindergartner's Language Skills wonders of the world !   Those tools s/he has so diligently been working on and with are beginning to show some mastery. Frustration levels are lessening and confidence levels are rising. S/he is even amazing him/herself. “Look what I can do !” & “Wanna see me……?!?” are  frequent expressions now.

Within just one year, from age 4 to age 5, s/he has experienced tremendous growth in his/her gross & fine motor skills (moving & grasping) , language skills (understanding & speaking), cognitive skills (thinking & learning), and social skills (feeling & relating).

Here are some “new ” Motor & Social Skill developments you might be seeing during this incredible year:

Gross Motor Skills

  •  throws a ball overhead
  • jumps over low objects
  • rides a 3 wheeler with skill
  • skips ~ a thrilling  moment
  • catches bounced balls ~ another thriller
  • can change the direction, speed & quality of movements

Fine Motor Skills

  • shows a right or left hand preference
  • controls & uses a fork & knife
  • dresses oneself with little help
  • can manage zippers & buttons
  • can lace shoes, but not tie yet
  • cuts on a line with scissors
  • uses pencils & crayons in a more exacting way

Social Skills

  • is eager to try new things & take risks
  • makes decisions for oneself
  • notices the feelings of others
  • likes to feel grownup, especially when relating to younger children
  • has a basic understanding of right & wrong
  • understands & respects rules
  • enjoys giving & receiving
  • wants to collect things
  • needs to have a “hide-away” place for alone time

Encouraging Your Child’s Motor & Social Skills

Tired 0r Bored? Blake-Meyer
Tired 0r Bored? Blake-Meyer

Iowa State University’s Extension & Outreach program suggests these teaching & learning opportunities:

Gross & Fine Motor Skills

  • using a broom
  • pouring from a pitcher
  • playing “Follow the Leader” with skipping, galloping, hopping
  • tossing a ball at a target
  • helping to ride a bicycle with training wheels. if your child expresses an interest
  • cutting out coupons

Social Skills

  • setting the family table
  • providing that comfortable “hide-away” place
  • helping him/her understand strong feelings
  • giving her/him words to cope with strong feelings
  • praising specific behaviors specifically

Loving & Learning Language (with Some Deletions)

Believe it or not, your 5-year-old can understand between 4000 & 5000 words AND will gain 3000 more words within the year. Many new words will be learned through new experiences with new books, particular areas of interest (animals, plants, community helpers), and category names (weather, planets, cooking).

S/he has a speaking vocabulary of between 2200 and 2500 words with few pronunciation or grammatical errors. S/he is constructing 5-8 word complex & compound sentences, including conditional “If” statements!

I know you might be thinking, “Do we even say that many different words when speaking to him/her ?!?”

And now you’re saying, “Where did you hear / learn that word (or those words)?!?!?”

Your directed speech to your child may not contain a big variety of words, but s/he is listening to  and watching a LOT more language than your expressions from a LOT of different sources. Think ~ other people, young & old, everywhere…….

If your child  listens to what s/he hears,  understanding what is being said may, or may not be part of his/her language experience. Remember spelling certain words around certain ears….. 

You’ll know what s/he knows as the words (like them or not) come tumbling out of your “babe’s mouth”……

The Difference Between Understanding & Speaking Skills

Understanding Language Skills

  • follows 3-step directions without cues*
  • makes sense of what is said at home & at school (most of the time)
  • comprehends short stories &  answers question with accuracy

*Problems with Following Directions? Check out Meeting the Following Directions Challenge in my Resource Library : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/meeting-following-directions-challenge/

Speaking Language Skills

  • speaks in multiple sentences at a time
  • enjoys conversations/dialogues with adults
  • likes to tell stories, riddles & jokes
  • will argue, debate & occasionally bargain
  • makes direct requests, using cause & effect reasoning

A major perk at this time of your child’s speech & language development is his/her ability learn a second or third language ! This will improve how quickly your child understands and, then, applies new information as well as using it in creative ways.

Encouraging Your Child’s Language Skills

Using 5 Senses for Language-Abigail Keenan
Using 5 Senses for Language -Abigail Keenan

During the last 5 years (and even before that- in utero), you have been engaging & interacting with your child. This is why his/her language skills are developing so nicely.

The “Ages & Stages” content for a 5-year-old in  Iowa State University’s Extension & Outreach program and I suggest continuing your productive work with these teaching &  learning opportunities. They will encourage your child’s   language growth  in  listening, understanding & speaking :

Listening & Understanding Skills

  • talk with your child as s/he learns & practices new tasks
  • ask your child to create new & different endings to familiar stories
  • help your child memorize his/her address & phone number
  • discuss community helpers & their jobs
  • have your child give you directions on how to do something

Speaking Skills

  • ask your child to tell you a story
  • encourage your child to recount an  adventure and/or outing
  • urge your child to use her/his 5 senses when describing an experience and/or object
  • engage your child in a conversation using questions
  • have conversations that promote your child’s curiosity

Carrie Clark, a speech pathologist, has LOTS of wonderful resources, tips, ideas & games on her website to promote your child’s growth & development in her/his language skills. Click on this link: https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/

Speaking of Language & Literacy….

Understanding and using language to speak are building blocks for the reading component of Literacy. The beginning skills included in Phonological Awareness are followed closely by Phonemic Awareness and, then, Phonics.

Sound like the same stuff???

They are related, but skill specific. (See “Phonology, Phonemes & Phonics….Oh My !” in Reading & Writing with Your I Am Four !) Click on the link: https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/building-reading-writing-skills-with-your-preschooler/

During your child’s 4th year, s/he really showed an enjoyment for rhyme (can, fan, man, pan, ran) and alliteration (Freddy found forty fossils).

Between 5 & 6 years old, s/he can learn to:

  • recognize and produce rhyming words: bug, hug &_______?
  • clap and count syllables: cat (1), rabbit (2)
  • blend a beginning sound with a rime:  /m/ /at/ (mat)
  • identify a beginning sound: in “dog” /d/

This last component bridges into the Phonemic Awareness realm of  The 41 English Sounds. More on the Land of Phonemes the Family Literacy Circle post for age 6.

“J” Is the First Sound in ………….

 Starts with a J-Anissa Thompson
Starts with a J-Anissa Thompson

Wondering how  your child’s Phonological Awareness skills are progressing?

Jen, a K-12 Reading specialist, & Kathi, a K-6 Literacy coach are “hellotwopeasinapod”. They have combined their expertise and graciously freebied a great Phonological Awareness Assessment, which, also, tests Phonemic Awareness. This diagnostic will help you identify what your child’s skills are.

This verbal & audio assessment comes with teacher directions and is aligned with reading curriculum expectations. It  includes rhyme, syllable counts, & Phoneme objectives. Use it as a discovery tool every few months to help you & your child know which skills are mastered and which skills need review.

Click on this PDF link below for this thorough diagnostic tool:

https://www.sess.ie/sites/default/files/Temp_Upload_Files/2014-1/8%20Pg%20PhonologicalAwarenessAssessmentAFoundationalReadingSkillsDiagnosticTool.pdf

Remember Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear & manipulate individual sounds. Your child may not be ready to distinguish, identify & play with all 41 sounds yet, but s/he will as the year progresses.

  Phonological Awareness Skills Teaching Sequence

Language & Speech research agree on the following recommended order for teaching children these skills. The latter parts of the skill sequence are the beginnings of Phonemic Awareness. Dr. Rhea Paul, an expert in Psycho-linguistics, has published many books in this field. Here are her recommendations:

  1. Rhyming words
  2. Dividing words into syllables
  3. Combining syllables into words
  4. Identifying words with the same beginning sound
  5. Identifying words with the same ending sound
  6. Counting the individual sounds in words
  7. Identifying the different sounds in words
  8. Blending individual sounds into words
  9. Manipulating sounds in words
  10. Identifying the sounds each letter makes

This may all “sound” like a bunch of “hair-splitting mumbo-jumbo” to you, but being able to play with   word sounds  is a critical part of how your child will make sense of the words s/he is reading.

Teaching your child these skills doesn’t need to be a “sit down and do” affair. Informal, everyday, anywhere practice is a very productive way for learning the sounds of words. Oral interactivity is the only material needed.

Okay….So, Where & When Do I Teach These Skills?

Sounds of Ball-Baphael Biscaldi
Sounds of Ball-Baphael Biscaldi

You can practice Phonological Awareness skills with your child while standing in a line, sitting in a waiting room, shopping for groceries, driving in the car, watching your child bathe, picnicking  in the park, eating meals/snacks, reading books, looking at environmental print, reading cereal or juice boxes, playing in the pool, and/or walking the dog.

And How Do I Teach These Skills?

Carrie Clark, the speech pathologist @speechandlanguagekids offers some tips and ideas:

Rhyming words : point out rhyming words when reading rhyming books; make up rhyming word lists together

Dividing words into syllables : clap, stomp, jump & count syllables together and/or alone

Combining syllables into words : say syllables of words with pauses in between & ask your child to put them together to make the word; start with 2 syllables

Identifying words with the same beginning sound : help your child come up with a list of words with the same beginning sound (like in his/her name or favorite toy)

Identifying words with the same ending sound : help your child come up with a list of words with the same ending sound (like in his/her name or favorite toy)

Counting the individual sounds in words : start with a short word (dog) & divide the words, slowly,  into its individual sounds (d…o…g);  ask your child to count the different sounds

Identifying the different sounds in words : have your child choose a word, divide it into each sound, and repeat it to you

Blending individual sounds into words : say the separate sounds of a simple word (c….a….t) & ask your child to say the word

Manipulating sounds in words : remove the first letter of a word ( say the word “cup” without the “kah” sound); substitute letters in words (take off the “m” in “mop” & put in “t” to make the word……”top”)

Identifying the sounds each letter makes : reverse sound and letter (what letter has the sound “muh” / what sound does the letter “t” make); point out letters & print in books and everywhere

Click on Carrie Clark’s website link (speechandlanguagekids) found in the Speaking Skills section of “Encouraging Your Child’s Language Skills” for more tips & ideas.

 

I hope you found some useful Language Skill 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

 

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 Writing Skills

This is Part 5 of the Family Literacy Circle’s Five ~ Part Kindergarten Series

Developing & engaging the Writing Skills of your 5-year-old is this post’s focus.  This complex set, yes set, of skills has several components, beginning with the growth & development of your child’s fine motor skills. This can take some time, routine, exercise & patience. As a preparation-overview for helping your child with his/her writing skills, check out the sections: “Writing Activities & The Brain” as well as “Pre-Writing Readiness” in my post, Building Your Family Literacy Circle’s Reading & Writing with Your “I AM FOUR!” Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/building-reading-writing-skills-with-your-preschooler/

THE FINALE~ACT FIVE : Encouraging Your Kindergartner’s Writing Skills

You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Written expression offers an exciting opportunity for your child toFLC Writing Skills see how the worlds of creativity are imagined & invented.

If drawing has been, and continues to be, part of her/his communication, letter formation & words will be easier to approach.

There are many different sensory activities that can encourage this key part of his/her Literacy growth & development.

By the end of Kindergarten, your child’s writing skills should include:

  • writing upper & lower case letters
  • writing her/his first & last names in a legible, readable way
  • using letters & sounds to spell common, frequently-used  words in a legible, readable  way
  • using letters & sounds to attempt spelling less common words in a legible, readable  way
  • writing several sentences without a lot of help from an adult
  • writing responses to topics studied in school, or elsewhere
  • writing about a book s/he has read
  • writing about some of his/her life experiences

Did I just hear a large chorus of OMGs?!?

The expectations in Kindergarten are now what YOU were expected to know at the end of First grade…. Read on for the Common Core’s current list of objectives & expectations for Kindergarten…..

The USA’s Common Core Writing Expectations

From 2011  to 2012 many states & territories of the USA reviewed, adopted & began using the K-12  Common Core Standards for Language & Math in their schools. By 2018, 41 of the 50 states were using these Standard Expectations. Some states revised & re-worded  the Common Core; some states continued to use their own set of Standards. For more specific information, click on the Common Core link below, or visit your state’s website:

http://www.corestandards.org/

And the Common Core Language (Some of Them) & Writing Standards Are……

If your child will be, or is attending school in one of the “Common Core” states/territories, here is a list of Kindergarten’s  Language & Writing Standard Expectations:

Language: Standard English Conventions

  • Writes & speaks using accepted English grammar
  • Prints many upper & lowercase letters
  • Understands & uses questions words
  • Produces & expands complete sentences
  • Uses capitalization, punctuation & spelling with accuracy
  • Capitalizes the first word in a sentence and the pronoun “I”
  • Recognizes & names end punctuation with accuracy
  • Writes a letter or letters for most consonants & short-vowel sounds
  • Spells simple words they way they sound

 

Language: Vocabulary Growth & Use

  • Sorts common objects into categories
  • Shows an understanding of common verb & adjective opposites
  • Identifies real-life connections between words & their uses

 

Writing: Types & Purposes

  • Uses drawing, dictating & writing to compose an opinion about a topic or book read; an informative or explanation about a topic; a narrative about one or several events in sequential order
  • Responds to suggestions for editing writing
  • Uses digital tools to produce & publish writing
  • Participates in shared research to produce writing projects

UH HUH!!!! Of course, these are progressive developments taking place throughout the year and continuing on into First Grade.

So, let’s get them grasping that fat red pencil in a way that promotes writing!!!

Strengthening Those Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills-PatrickFore
Fine Motor Skills-PatrickFore

How are your 5 year-old’s finger grasping skills?  Does s/he:

  • Hold a pencil or crayon in a non-fisted grip?
  • Control scissors when intentionally completing a task?
  • Trace lines & basic shapes with accuracy?
  • Copy figures like a circle, square, triangle?

Parents.com has a great article listing the skills your child learned last year as a 4-year-old, either with you or in Pre-School. Check it out by clicking on the link below:

https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/physical/child-developing-motor-skills/

There are lots of FUN activities to share with your child as Fine Motor developmental tools and/or to use as warm-up exercises for pre-writing.

 It is important to remember that drawing and writing, though similar, are not the same. Painting, scribbling & drawing are important steps in the growth & development of writing. Scribbles, in particular, are the early attempts of writing words & thoughts.

A child’s eye sees letters as a combination of curved & straight lines as well as  shapes.  Drawing letters can be a start, but the end result should be automatic when writing letters.  Drawing to form  an image uses a different part of the brain than writing letters to form words.

BLB’s Resource Library includes a page on locating sites with activities & exercises for developing Fine Motor Skills in children, ages 4~6. There are, also, some sites offering free, downloadable, practice skill sheets for tracing, cutting & letter-writing. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/fine-motor-skills-resource-sitesteaching-activities-exercises-for-ages-4-6/

What Are the “Stages of Writing”?

Your child’s beginning, “purposeful” writing may look like scribbling….It is, but it ISN’T to your child. Just ask. You’ll receive several sentences describing what the “writing” is saying. There may even be some random letters and, or symbols included, but they won’t represent accurate sounds to words.

In the next stage of writing ~ Letter Strings~ your child will chose legible, random letters and write them in the correct progression-left to right. S/he will read the writing back to you from top to bottom. However, the letters s/he has chosen do not correspond with the sounds in the words written.

The final stage before your child is actually connecting letters & sounds into words is when s/he copies the words s/he sees, known as Environmental Print. S/he usually doesn’t know what the words are and they don’t form a sentence.

These  important stages, when encouraged and praised, will lead to your child’s ability to construct meaningful words into sentences.

Keep reading for some tips to encourage these important early stages of writing.

Call Those Scribbles ” Writing”

Kinder Pre-Writing Stage-EfraimStochter
Kinder Pre-Writing Stage-EfraimStochter

If your child enjoys drawing and attempts to “write” about her/his pictures, take that as a positive sign! Those “scribblings” are meaningful. You can encourage your child to make those “words” say something with an interactive conversation. When given a specific answer, write it down on the picture (with permission, of course).

You can, also, have your child help you write lists and notes. Be sure to take and send them once “written”. Write notes to each other.

Make sure to include fill-able writing forms in your child’s Pretend Play scenarios.

Use colorful sticky-notes to label things around the house.  Point and use these words in your interactive writings about events, routines & descriptions.

Your child can tell you sentences to write and, then, have him/her make a drawing to go with the sentences. Make a collection book of these writings to read together. SO FUN!!!

If s/he enjoys tracing letters, numbers & shapes ~ YAY!!! If you see random letters (some from her/his name) included in his/her descriptions ~ WooHoo!! Time to set up a Writing Nook.

Setting Up A Writing Nook for Your Budding Writer

Writing Supplies-AnnCA
Writing Supplies-AnnCA

First of all, make sure your child’s writing space includes a hard surface like a lap-desk, clipboard and/or table. Organize some of these materials in containers on a shelf or stacked crates:

  • pencils- colored & regular
  • crayons- glittered & regular
  • markers- water-based, fine & regular point
  • papers- 8×11″, lined, unlined, colored & white
  • papers- large, colored construction, manilla & newsprint
  • wallpaper- murals for pic ideas & deco for book covers
  • pre-made blank books & list pads
  • dry erase board with dry erase markers
  • cookie sheet & magnetic letters
  • pictured vocab cards & picture dictionary
  • blank cards & envelopes
  • stamps & stickers
  • glue sticks, tape & scissors

Hang an alphabet chart nearby with a few Writing Ideas containers.

  • The “Mystery Writer”container can have “hidden” choice strips for surprise prompts, like “The Big Red Truck” or “The Giant Ladybug”. 
  • You can, also, have a container with a stack of “Sentence Beginners” strips , like “I like to eat…..”, “I can draw…….”, “Outside I can see……..”, “I can play….”
  • A List-In 2 Me” Tin can have one -word cards as choices, like colors, toys, foods, clothes, friends, animals, family, celebrations
  • A “Travel Agent” container can hold pictures of places from around the world, vacation spots, habitats, the community
  • Include some Handwriting Practice sheets, too

Deb @learnwithplayathome collected some ideas from a variety of contributors.  Click on the link below :

http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2014/05/learn-to-write-12-activities-for-early.html

Join the Writing Nook, too, for modeling, actual writing, interactive writing, and sharing/reading what you are writing on your paper, cards, notepad, journal, etc.

You Are Your Child’s First Writing Teacher

Heart of Letters-GDJ
Heart of Letters-GDJ

In addition to Writing & Reading a Daily Morning message to your child  plus labeling house item together on sticky notes, there are many other writing activities you can do together.

Scholastic Parents & I have several suggestions for ways to “slip writing into everyday play”:

  • Make simple signs for block-built structures & Lego creations
  • Write lists together for going on errands.
  • Take pictures of Environmental Print while out & about, so you & your child can compile a  “World~Words” book together
  • Use letter stamps on play dough to explore letters & write words
  • Create simple menus & signs for Pretend Play restaurants, like Pizza Parlor, Cozy Cafe, Breakfast Bistro,  Sandwich Stand, Blue Plate Diner
  • Write name tags for different roles during a variety of Pretend Play scenarios
  • Use chunky sidewalk chalk on the driveway to create murals, game frames, designs, messages, floor plans, city-scapes, neighborhoods, pretend play scenery
  • Compose invitations for playroom tea parties, backyard picnics, fashion shows, plays, concerts, art exhibits, readings (especially authored storybooks)
  • Encourage your child to sign his/her paintings, drawings & other creations

As your child’s Kindergarten year progresses, try to include more school-objective expectations as writing activities into the Family Literacy Circle.

And On A More Serious Note…..

Letters To Words To Sentences To........-973894
Letters To Words To Sentences To……

Your Kindergartner’s teacher has probably presented a few Writing Structure expectations for her Sentence Writers to follow:

  • Sentences begin with a capital letter~ reinforce the differences using the alphabet letters chart.
  • Sentences end with an stop mark~make mini emoji-like faces on cards to go with each one.
  • Each word in a sentence is followed by a space~use a finger or thin craft stick to help with this skill.
  • Write letters as neatly as possible~handwriting letter practice will help with this.
  • Read the sentence to see if it makes sense~re-read, if necessary for accuracy.

Here’s an 8×11″  Writing Checklist Mini-Poster to hang up in your child’s Writing Nook. Just click on the link below, download & print:

MyPencilPerfectWriting

Once your young writer knows most of the alphabet with their letter sounds, s/he will using that knowledge to spell words during written composition. Try not to correct too much. Instead, help him/her learn how to use  a sight & vocabulary word chart/cards, word family lists, and a simple picture dictionary as well as word-sound stretching. 

Using these skills will help your child meet the high expectations that are currently part of your Kindergartner’s Writing Goals for the year: writing fiction & nonfiction stories (the narrative), writing a book review ( the opinion), and writing directions (the informative, or how-to)……

Yes, Seriously…..Continued….

My Story-PanXiaozhen
My Story-PanXiaozhen

I heard that collective GASP!!!! Believe me, many educators were/are part of that concern…..but that is a whole ‘nother convo-post.

Back to the ” informative” part of this section….

So, YES ~  3 main types of writing (several varieties are part of the “main types”) with several (usually about five) complete, related sentences on a topic, using minimal adult/teacher intervention are the Common Core Writing expectations by the completion of Kindergarten……

YES…5 Different Pieces of Writing….

How-To Draw A Face-RawPixel
How-To Draw A Face-RawPixel

The Narrative can be a personal, nonfiction story about an event in your child’s life. Think celebrations, holidays, vacations, younger/older siblings & relatives, friendships, growing experiences, etc. The other piece of story-telling your Kindergartner is expected to compose is a simple fictional piece, complete with a setting, characters, events  as well as  a problem to be solved.

The Informative can be a How-To, or Instructional sequence describing the way to make or do something. Think how to ride a bike, how to brush one’s teeth, how to make a breakfast cereal bowl, how to build a sheet-tent, etc. The other part of this expectation has to do with sharing learned, nonfictional facts about a subject. Think bears, apple trees, community helpers, parts of a flower, holidays, seasons, etc.

An Opinion is usually written about books being read as a class, by the teacher and/or independently by your emergent reader.

Graphic organizers can help with this process. I created a few as a PDF for you to use. Just click on the link below to download & print:

5 GOs for K Wtg

And as rigorous as this sounds, many 5 (soon to be 6)-year-olds are able to accomplish this. The growth from beginning Kindergarten (think Pre-K) to the  end of Kindergarten (think Pre-First) is HUGE and amazing!!!

However, some writers are reluctant, especially at this level….well at any level, really…. As a PUBLISHED author~it’s called a Block….

This Is TOO HARD!!!!!

You can make anything by writing. ~ C.S. Lewis

Several factors can contribute to your child’s reluctance to putting the pencil-to-the-paper:

  • S/he is not confident with his/her knowledge of what the letters are, how the letters look, and/or how to form the letters on the paper.
  • S/he is struggling with grasping a writing tool  and, then, using it to form the letters on paper.
  • S/he becomes frustrated when trying to choose what to write about.

Continue practicing the alphabet with fun, hands-on activities. You can find some ideas from a number of websites. BLB’s Resource Library has a page to help with that. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/15-abc-activities-websites/

BLB Shop has a download & print ABC Activities product, too. Here’s the link to these games:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/alphabet-games-8-literacy-activities/

If Fine Motor skills are part of your child’s struggle with writing, click on the several  links provided in the “Strengthening Those Fine Motor Skills” section of this post.

Remember to show your child  the importance of writing throughout the day as you write notes, lists, calendar appointments, etc.   Your interactive writing with your child is, also, very instrumental in the actual writing process of literacy.

HEY!!!! I CAN Write Words & Sentences!

Letting your reluctant writer set the pace for her/his learning is one of the keys to putting that pencil (or any writing tool)-to-the-paper. Instead of specific lessons, blend writing into everyday activities & especially during play, like labeling things, making signs, filling out Pretend Play lists & forms.

Every Picture Is A Story-Blake Campbell
Every Picture Is A Story-Blake Campbell

One of the easiest ways to start the writing process is to begin with a drawing your child has created. Label parts of the picture with post-its, describe what the picture is telling, give the picture a title, and, then, write some simple sentences together.

Another fun way to get the writing “juices” flowing is to use the rhyming activity the Word Families encourage. Use those words as a basis for a song to be performed on the Family Stage in Concert or as a verse to be shared during a Poetry Reading with other family poets.

Need a few Writing Tool Kits to include in your child’s Home Writing Nook?

BLB Shop can help! Just click on the links below to check them out:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/kindergarten-writing-tools/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/reading-writing-word-families-high-frequency-words-learning-tool/

Celebration Power

Probably one of the most powerful ways to engage your “budding” author is through the  Interactive Journal. This personal – written dialogue between you & your child can be quite a surprising way to learn as well as discover thoughts, feelings & knowledge. It is a very successful Literacy tool for writing (and parenting…..).

Need some other ideas, tips and/or suggestions? The post from Creekside Learning lists as for First through Third, but there are some FUN ideas you can use with your Kindergartner. Click on the link to read:

http://creeksidelearning.com/handwriting-activities-for-kids/

 

Well,  not a lot of Writer’s Block here (or on any of my other Posts for that matter)….. Hope you found some usable info. Writing in Kindergarten can be a struggle…..

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

Enriching the FLC with your First Grader’s Play & Creative Arts Skills

Welcome to Part Two of The FLC First Grader’s Series

Your 6-year-old’s Learning & Language Skills have been growing exponentially since last year. (See https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/first-graders-learning-language-skills/)

First Grade is encouraging lots of new vocabulary words -seems like everyday a few more are expressed with accuracy- in your serious, yet exuberant learner. S/he loves using them during play.

And, although s/he seems to prefer structured, play-by-the rules activities, free, unstructured play time is just as important, as always, for your child’s healthy growth & development.

PART TWO :  Play & Creative Arts Skills

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ~ Albert Einstein

Have you noticed your 6-year-old is becoming more aware of  others and prefers playing in groups (with a new best friend everyday)?

Are his/her self-control skills improving?

Is s/he  willing to share and work out problems with others more frequently-withOUT adult supervision- (even though tattling is still an issue)?

Does s/he LOVE showing off her/his talents?

Is his/her Pretend Play becoming more elaborate with the desire to use REAL objects NOT toys-food, clothing, vacuum cleaner ?

Are blocks, Legos, paints, poems & songs in the Top 10 List of her/his favorite things to do?

Lesia Oesterreich, a Human Sciences Specialist at Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, offers a few ideas to continue encouraging the growth & development of your child’s Creative Arts & Play Skills at home:

  • To help promote an understanding of rules: make connections by playing simple table games like cards, dominoes, tic-tac-toe & some board games like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Qwirkle
  • To show how to work together: solve jigsaw puzzles, plant a garden, make a snack, perform household chores
  • To encourage a sense of accomplishment : provide opportunities to weave, build models, cook, make crafts, practice music, present plays & puppet shows

However, if your child attends a public school without the benefit of daily recess…...

Structured vs Non-Structured Play Time

Although your youngster is becoming quite fond of the predictability of routines both at home, school & after-school activities, child development experts continue to agree on the value of daily, unstructured play time. Click on the link below for a great article on this :

https://habyts.com/screen-time-limits-benefits-unstructured-play/

If you think your child is not  getting some unstructured play time during the school day, you might want to check with the district/state guidelines.

l found it very disappointing that as of March 2018, according to an article written by Irena Schunn for the Capital News Service (“Virginia Makes Play Time A Priority in Elementary Schools”),  only 8 states in the USA REQUIRE elementary schools to provide daily recess (not counting PE).

Speaking of PE, the Council on Physical Education for Children and the National Association for Sport & Physical Education, both agree that PE does NOT have the benefits of good, old-school recess:

Recess allows ” elementary children to practice life skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation, respect for rules, taking turns, sharing, using language to communicate, and problem solving in real situations.”

Oh Yeah-we could all use some recess, I’d say…..

Then, there’s the “hindering of children’s Executive Functioning”……and this is a biggie in your child’s growth & development.

HUH?!?!?

And what is “executive functioning”? Hint…..it may or may not be part of a CEO’s job description…. But, seriously……

The formal definition: “The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.”

Here’s an in-depth explanation with a list of what these functions are and do:

http://www.ldonline.org/article/29122/

Ellen Wexler’s 2014 article, “Study: Too Many Structured Activities May Hinder Children’s Executive Functioning” was contributed to the site educationweek, with several unsettling findings.

Researchers have found that working to achieve goals  using the self-directed executive function -planning, decision-making, manipulating information, and switching between tasks- develops mostly during childhood.

Too much time spent in structured activities, according to a study by psychologists at the University of Colorado & the University of Denver, interfere with children’s, specifically 6-year-olds, ability to make decisions, work towards goals, and regulate their behaviors.

In other words, children NEED to spend time deciding what they’re going to do with their time.

SOME time is NOT a free-for-all…..EGADS!!!!

And I Do This How????

Unstructured Play-MarkusSpiske
Unstructured Play-MarkusSpiske

I’m NOT advocating dis-enrolling your child from his/her favorite soccer team, dance class, art session, music lesson, or theater group. On the contrary, ONE, not several, of these extracurricular activities is a wonderful opportunity for many reasons (which I will get into later on in this post…You Know IT~).

First of all, the benefits for “free time” are: cultivating independence, encouraging imagination, boosting creativity & strengthening problem solving skills. (K. Ginsburg MD, pediatrician @ the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia)

Instead of turning on the video-sitter, try these non-structured~no rules or guidelines other than safety, of course~ activities:

  • Whatever the weather (within safety reasons): GO OUTSIDE ~ splash in puddles, make snow sculptures,  capture bugs, hike, climb & swing in trees, ride bikes & scooters, construct forts & houses, stir up some stone soup, gather leaves, hop & skip around.
  • Outside Games: Hide & Seek, Swinging Statues, Hopscotch, Simon Says, Scavenger Hunts, Hula Hoop, Jump Rope, Jacks, Tic-Tac-Toe w/ rocks & sticks, Blow Bubbles, Ball Games~catch, 4 square
  • Create & Get Messy: Indoors & Outdoors~ water & mud play (bakery, cafe, sculptures, buildings, roadways), paint, chalk, leaf collages, rock formations
  • But I’M BORED!!!!!! :Time to brainstorm  how not to be without too much adult “interference”……What worked for my mom and me ~ “Find something to do or I will find something for you to do…….”

Of course. there are some Pretend Play scenarios that can be accommodated for Outdoor play, especially if a tent or playhouse is available….

“Pretend I’m A…….. & You’re A……..”

Almost all creativity requires purposeful play. ~ Abraham Maslow

Have you noticed a change in your 6-year-old’s Pretend Play?

OR do you need to get that Pretend Play started? Check out my resource in BLB’s Library for 8 Helpful Websites by clicking on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/8-helpful-pretend-play-websites/

Yes, the scenarios are becoming more involved ~ with engaging others, with creating “plot” layers, with inventing props. You could have a budding playwright, set designer, actor, director and/or screenwriter on your hands.

You might want to set your phone on video……

Although his/her imagination is “running wild”, understanding the difference between real and make-believe is taking hold. Using real objects while doing real activities during “pretend” play is becoming more important.

BLB’s Shop has a colorful PDF product for 6/7 Pretend Plays complete with props, signage,  & templates ready to download & print. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/simple-pretend-plays-proptemplates/

You might, also, want to read the “6 or 7 Simple Pretend Play Scenarios & Materials List” section with an easy-to-use table  of this post: https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/kindergartners-play-power/.

BLB’s  Library has a resource to help you & yours with a more complex approach to Pretend Play. It offers 6 Scenarios involving more characters engaged in more involved activities with performance ideas & tips. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/your-growing-childs-pretend-plays-reality-show/

I’ve, also, created matching Invitation Templates for each Scenario. Just click on this PDF link to download & print:

PretendPlayRealityShows Invites

But, it’s NOT all about Pretend Play at home…..

Continuing Literacy Through Play At Home

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher & pupil are located in the same individual. ~ Arthur Koestler

Whether you are homeschooling or enhancing your child(ren)’s education at home, there are many ways to include play as a learning strategy.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children states  young learners need to begin their days with time to :

“develop self-regulation; language; cognition; social competence; opportunities to explore the world safely; emotional control; symbolic & problem-solving abilities; emerging skills……play is the engine that drives their learning”

I had planned to include a TON of information regarding this, but, instead, I’ll supply links to the articles I found written by experienced, primary educators. There are many! Here’s a few listed alphabetically by author, not importance:

Sarah Cooley’s http://firstgraderatlast.blogspot.com/2016/08/why-i-am-bringing-play-kitchen-back-to.html

Renée Dinnerstein’s https://www.investigatingchoicetime.com/

Kaplan Early Learning Company’s http://www.kaplanco.com/blog/post/2016/03/08/how-to-incorporate-active-play-into-math-and-literacy.aspx

Andrea Sabean’s https://thekindergartenconnection.com/10-ways-to-incorporate-more-play-in-the-classroom/

Olivia Wahl’s https://medium.com/@heinemann/why-every-kindergarten-and-first-grade-school-day-should-begin-with-inquiry-and-imaginative-play-323f110e64ec

Some Play~Pretend, Free, Open-Ended, Structured, Non-Structured, etal~, though, can be influenced by the imaginations of centuries-old minds~think Fairy Tales….

Can That REALLY Happen in Real~Life???

Come On, Tooth Fairy!-MohamedAbdelgaffar
Come On, Tooth Fairy! MohamedAbdelgaffar

Fairy Tales are indeed alive & well in your 6-year-old’s vivid imagination. Think~ Tooth Fairy visits!

A major experience in a First Grader’s life is the losing of his/her baby teeth, especially those two front teeth. As a first grade teacher, I had to “help” out many of those dangling pearls, mainly for fear the children would swallow them.

One of the best, and most endearing, as well as imaginative, class-books we wrote was entitled, “What the Tooth Fairy Does with My Tooth”. From giving it to babies to crushing it into fairy dust (crushing?! OH NO!), each child had an interesting perspective on what happens to her/his tooth.

Here are a few engaging Tooth Fairy Tales to share with your “toofless~wonder”:

  • Bear’s Loose Tooth by K.Wilson & J. Chapman is a rhyming (YAY) story about a young bear experiencing his first loose tooth while he & his forest friends are eating lunch. He wonders how he will eat without it. The illustrations are soft, yet bright forest colors.
  • Tooth Fairy’s Night by C. Ransom is a Step-Into-Reading book your child will enjoy reading with/to you. The text shares the tooth fairy’s daily evening rituals & travels. The illustrations are colorful & cheerful renderings of her starry nights.
  • Loose Tooth by L.M.Schaefer & S.Wickstrom is a funny,  My First I Can Read book about a young boy trying to get his stubborn, loose tooth to come out (NOOO not the string on a doorknob!!!!). The illustrations are comical in a cartoon-style.

But, on a more serious note about those make-believe tales…..

To Tale or Not To Tale……

Tales of all kinds are part of all cultures~fairy tales, folk tales, tall tales. Many have been verbally handed down to new generations from thousands of years ago. These tales hold within them legends of bravery, trickery, good and evil. Aesop, a Greek storyteller who lived 2600 years ago, engaged his listeners with talking animals that taught life lessons.

I, like millions of other children, was raised with fairy tales told by the Grimm Brothers and/or adapted by Disney (loved the music!). Whether read to me or seen on the big screen, these 1000s-of- year-old tales, full of wonder & magic, engaged my imagination, and, still do.

However, not all children are fans of this genre. My son preferred the whimsy & humor of Dr. Seuss (an absolute FAV of mine) and stories with talking animals.

Child experts agree most fairy tales (except maybe The Three Little Pigs & Goldilocks’s visit to The Three Bears’ cottage) shouldn’t be shared with children under 6-years-old.

What do you think?

The Fairy Tale Debate

It's Raining Rainbow Bubbles-MyungWonSeo
It’s Raining Rainbow Bubbles-MyungWonSeo

Lisa Lipkin, a New York-based storyteller & author of Bringing The Story Home: The Complete Guide to Storytelling for Parents~a very informative read~ shares her Pros & Cons in “The Fairy Tale Debate”:

Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Fairy tales have resourceful characters, who figure out how to outwit the villains & their dastardly deeds.
  • The “hero” characters make good choices in spite of the odds.
  • The tales show: faithfulness to a belief or character; kindness & patience are rewarded; and teamwork brings success.
  • The imagery in fairy tales is fantastical with enchantments, talking animals, and super-human courage.

NOOOOOOOOO~Too Scary!!!

  • The villains, who are scary & evil, do cruel & heartless things.
  • Sometimes, those villainous deeds~full of greed & spitefulness~go unpunished.
  • There are ominous forests full of secrets, spells & magic.
  • Some of the phrasing in fairy tales is scary & foreboding.
  • Heroes & villains use gratuitous violence.
  • Men & women are stereo-typed~think beautiful, helpless princess needs to be rescued by a handsome, white knight…..

 Goodreads has several parent reviews of Ms. Lipkin’s book.

Here’s the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1904131.Bringing_the_Story_Home

Yes, I Want to Read Fairy Tales to My Child

Harvey Karp MD, a pediatrician & author of the humorous book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, shares a few ideas ( with my two cents) on how to read & anecdote those “questionable” fairy tales:

  • In the beginning of the story, interactively engage all the senses when describing the characters, using the pictures, expressions, questions, & prior knowledge.
  • During the middle of the tale, talk about the “lesson(s)”~there is always a few~ you want to teach and/or have your child realize as part of the lesson.
  • Towards the ending~it’s usually happy~ make sure to include an emphasis on the little helper characters~think the mice in Cinderella~ and use your voice as a tool for understanding the roles of the different characters.
  • Wait a while before introducing stories with children at-risk~think “Hansel & Gretel”, “Bambi” (I got so hysterical, my mom & I had to leave the theater), “Little Red Riding Hood”, etc.

Love Fairy Tales, but want to challenge those stereotypes with your child(ren)? Joanna Parkes shares a great PDF using drama to do just that:

https://ark.ie/downloads/Far_Away_From_Me_Classroom_Activity_Pack.pdf

So….Speaking of “Drama”…..

“All The World’s A Stage…”

Art is the Literacy of the heart. ~ Elliot Eisner

I See An Artist-BekahRussom
I See An Artist-BekahRussom

Expressions of creativity~ ART~ can be recognized in many forms. 

Bringing to life any abstract, imaginative thought with one’s physical being is, to me, a method of art.

Whether using a paintbrush or a cooking utensil, the inventive energy of an artist becomes a reality.

Your youngster will use this energy to explore, discover, and, then, interpret her/his world in a unique & inspired voice. Nurture, nurture, nurture it.

If you’ve got a perfectionist or a reluctant artist in your midst, a good book might help him/her relax into the world of art. I gathered a few reads into a book list available in BLB’s Library. Click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/creative-arts-book-list/

The benefits of encouraging artistic expression are, not only numerous, but also, essential to your child’s healthy growth & development.

10 Benefits of the Creative Arts for Your Child

Lauren Martin offered “10 Reasons Why Arts in Education Is So Important for Kids” in an article she posted in 2014 for learningliftoff.com.

  • Creativity
  • Improved academic performance
  • Motor Skills
  • Confidence
  • Visual Learning
  • Decision Making
  • Perseverence
  • Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability

I’m just  listed them, but you can read the in-depth version by clicking on the link below plus a few other articles explaining the significance of the arts for your child’s growth & development:

   https://www.learningliftoff.com/10-reasons-arts-in-education-important-kids/

 http://folsomcasharttrail.com/the-trail/blog/10-reasons-why-art-and-music-are-critical-for-our-youth

https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/how-the-arts-benefit-your-children-academically-and-behaviorally

However, there are things you can do at home to enrich your child’s life with the Arts.

Art Enrichment At Home

As music is the poetry of sound, so is painting the poetry of sight. ~James McNeil Whistler

In all my decades of teaching children, I NEVER met a child who didn’t enjoy creating an expression in art.

Whether visually through painting, drawing, &/or sculpting or performing through dancing, singing, &/or playing an instrument, every child has an artistic  talent.

As a parent, you can strengthen your child’s growth & development by including into your home some of Jay Davidson’s ideas he suggested in his article for the Child Development Institute.

Performance Arts

Listen to My Song-Pezibear
Listen to My Song-Pezibear
  • Act out stories with props & costumes
  • Save old Halloween costumes & your old dress-up clothes, shoes, etc.
  • Listen to music at home & in the car that is not your usual fare.
  • Check out different music from the library.
  • Dance & sing together.

Visual Arts

My Vision on Paper-Zela
My Vision on Paper-Zela
  • Stock an “Art Studio” at home with a variety of tools & materials.
  • Create a scrapbook together of photos, memorabilia, drawings, etc.
  • Look for an Arts Program after school, on weekends, during vacations, and as a camp. Your local community parks & rec center can help with this.

Want more info? PBS Parents has a great Creative Arts article. Just click on the link below:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/six/creativearts.html

 

Whew! I hope you found some useful information & ideas for your child’s Play & Creative Arts Skills. 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. 

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

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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

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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 !

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