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: March Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS: March’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

It is astonishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen. ~ Frances Burnett

March is filled with mystery. And some of its mystery is written in the whirling winds, changing from Winter to Spring.

This Mysterious Month encourages your Imagination to create a tale or two, observes Windy Weather, celebrates the Green of another Spring, and/or engages that sense of Humor you may have lost inside Winter’s cave.

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

CLAMDiggers’ March 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.

March’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-March-Poetry-Posters-6581788 

Use Your Imagination

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. ~ Dr. Seuss

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  March Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 42-page unit entitled Use Your Imagination.  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Use Your Imagination: A Guide in a personal journal format for recording “your fantastic ideas” with graphic organizers & “curiosity queries”.
  • Let’s Write A Script with templates for a storyboard, playbook covers & script pages.
  • Triangular Prism Diorama Sets with directions for constructing stage sets.

General Supply List: card-stock,printing paper, lined/unlined blank page inserts, binding, laminate, dry erase markers, construction paper, decorative papers, ruler, scissors,  glue, hole punch, markers, stapler

You can access the Use Your Imagination unit by clicking on the link below:

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

Windy Weather

The wind said, ” You know I am the result of forces beyond my control”. ~A.R. Ammons

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 26-page unit entitled Windy Weather. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Wind ~ Wise includes informative text with a Comprehension & Vocabulary Fill-In component
  • Wind Power has a Positive & Negative comparison Match Chart as a lead-in for a Book with a Page Insert Template
  • Wind Catcher with instructions & a Diagram for creating an outdoor Wind Catcher
  • Wind Vane is a multiple activity with directions & a Diagram for constructing an outdoor Wind Vane as a tool for gathering data to fill-in a Wind & Weather Data Log table

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  binding materials, pencil, colors, scissors, ruler, glue, specific Wind Catcher & Wind Vane construction materials

You can access the Windy Weather unit by  clicking on the link below:

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

A Wee Bit O’ Green

Nature’s first green is gold. ~ Robert Frost

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is a   20-page unit entitled A Wee Bit O’ Green. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Better Than Gold Poster with directions, images & Better Than Gold ideas for creating a Leprechaun/Rainbow-themed visual
  •  A Book O’ Green includes page templates & answers for categorizing all things green

General Supply List: poster board, card-stock, printing paper, paper scraps, markers, green pens, reference materials

You can access the A Wee Bit O’ Green unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Wee-Bit-O-Green-6582107

Spring Into Spring

Spring-an experience in immortality. ~ H.D. Thoreau

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is an 20-page unit entitled Spring Into Spring.  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Sprout A Mini Garden  includes instructions with a materials list for starting seeds to plant in your Spring/Summer garden
  • Watch It Grow Flip~Book with directions for converting your observation log into a flip-book
  • Nature~Watchers’ Spring Journal is a book & vocabulary template with page inserts for recording the changes in plant & animal life in Spring

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding materials, seedling starter cups (egg cartons, cardboard rolls, etc.), soil, seeds, craft sticks

You can access the Spring Into Spring unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Into-Spring-6582174

HUMOR: Now THAT’S Funny!

Humor is humankind’s greatest blessing. ~ Mark Twain

Week Five of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is an 41-page unit entitled HUMOR: Now THAT’S Funny!  As a lead-in to  April Fools Day,  it contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • A Comedian’s Handbook: Helpful Hints  is a 24-page informative booklet with front/back covers and includes presentation ideas.
  • SOOOO FUNNY! : My Favorite Jokes & Riddles  has a category list for you to include as you construct a book of your favs to share.
  • Create  Cartoon Strip has dialogue templates and a sample cartoon frame to use for your new cartoon series.

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding materials,  pencil, notebook paper, cartoon strips, adding machine tape. construction paper

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

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/HUMOR-Now-THATS-Funny-6582236

 How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers:  March 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-March-A-5-Unit-Bundle-6582428

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

 

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

 

CLAMDIGGERS: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS: February’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

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

 

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

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

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

Each and Every Unit of the Literacy Enrichment Collection

The Components of each Unit include:

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

Ready, Set and Go!

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

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

What Is the CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program?

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

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

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

CLAMDiggers’ February Poetry for the Literacy Enrichment Collection

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

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

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

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

Asian New Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valentines

Love is friendship set to music. ~Pollack

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

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

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

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

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

Friendship

Friendship is a sheltering tree. ~ Samuel Coleridge

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

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

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

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

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

US Presidents

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

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

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

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

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

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

 How About a Bundle ?!?

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

Just click on the link below:

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

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

 

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

CLAMDiggers December cover

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. ~P. Corneille

The hustle and bustle of December is a month filled with festive memories ~ past, present & future, delicious & fragrant aromas~ inside & outside, exciting possibilities ~ every day & to come, and multiple celebrations of traditions~ old & new. In my opinion ~ ’tis not a Day, but a Season!

CLAMDiggers’ December Literacy Enrichment Collection includes six of these events:

  • Remembering an Early American Christmas
  • Including the Gifts of Nature with Oh! Christmas Tree!
  • Exploring the Mysteries of Santa and His Reindeer
  • Recognizing the Traditions of Hanukkah
  • Discovering the Principles of Kwanzaa
  • Celebrating the New Year to come

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 December’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ December 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.

December’s seven poems are printed onto seven 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-December-Poetry-Posters-6218170

An Early American Christmas

An Early American ChristmasSmall cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast. ~William Shakespeare

Week One of CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 35-page unit entitled An Early American Christmas. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

EarlyAmericanChristmasGame
Earl American Christmas Game
  •  Merry Christmas, America ! : A Melting Pot Match Game of Our Traditions

    EarlyAmericanChristmasMemoir,Ornament&FamilyCoupons
    Early American Christmas Memoir, Ornament & Family Coupons
  • A Frontier Christmas Memory: A Nine-Page Mini-Storybook with a Vocabulary Challenge
  • Quilted Star Ornament: A Template with Construction Instructions
  • Family Coupon Book: Template Covers, Inserts & Coupon Ideas

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding, wallpaper, decorative papers, fabric scraps, craft paper, construction paper, ribbons, buttons, colors, glue, stapler, scissors, hole punch, O-ring

You can access the An Early American Christmas unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/An-Early-American-Christmas-6218217

Oh! Christmas Tree!

The whole world is a Christmas Tree; And stars its many candles be. ~H. Blodgett

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a  31-page unit entitled Oh! Christmas Tree!. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Oh!ChristmasTree!TrioofTrees&PineconePair
Oh!Christmas Tree!Trio of Trees & Pinecone Pair
  • A Trio of Trees: Templates for a 3-D Sculpture
  • A Pair of Pine-Cone Presents: Ornaments & Trees

    Oh!ChristmasTree!GatheringGuide+BirdFeeding
    Oh!Christmas Tree! Gathering Guide+Bird Feeding
  • Nature’s Decorations: A Gathering Guide
  • Seasons Greetings, Nature: Bird Feeders & Menu Ideas

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, decorative papers, binding, plant clippers, gathering container, pine-cones, beads, paintbrush, bird foods,  scissors, tacky glue, glue stick, glitz, pencil, colors

You can access the Oh! Christmas Tree! unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Oh-Christmas-Tree-6218258

Santa and His Reindeer

There seems to be magic in the very name of Christmas. ~Charles Dickens

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a   33-page unit entitled Santa and His Reindeer. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Santa+HisReindeerWreath,GiftBag, Manual
Santa+His Reindeer Wreath, GiftBag + Manual
  •  Santa’s Reindeer Flight Plan: A 7-Page Booklet with Fill-In Info
  • Just For Fun!: Color & Cut-Out Santa & His Reindeer Wreath
  • Reindeer Gift Bag: Template & Construction Instructions
Santa&HisReindeerGame
Santa & His Reindeer Game
  • Real Reindeer: A True/False Game

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding,  pencil, colors, glitz, ribbon,  scissors, glue, hole-punch, O-ring, stapler, heavy tape, Web access, reference books

You can access the Santa and His Reindeer unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Santa-and-His-Reindeer-6218381

Hanukkah

HanukkahA candle is a small thing; but one candle can light another. ~Moeshe Davis

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 18-page unit entitled Hanukkah. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

Hanukkah
Hanukkah
  • Star of David Ornament: Template with Construction Instructions
  • Lotsa Latkes with Applesauce & Some Matzo Ball Soup, Too!: Ingredients & Cookware List with Recipes
  • Hanukkah Memories Mini Fold -Up Book: Template with Diagram

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, construction paper, glitter, ribbon, recipe ingredients, pencil, colors, scissors, stapler

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

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hanukkah-6218430

Kwanzaa

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. ~African Proverb

Week Five  of CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 15-page unit entitled Kwanzaa.. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

KwanzaaSevenPrinciplesBowl
Kwanzaa Seven Principles Bowl
  • A Harvest Bowl of Principles: Construction Instructions for A Poster with Image & Text Templates
KwanzaaMkekaMat
Kwanzaa Mkeka Mat
  • Make A Mkeka: Construction Instructions

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, construction paper, black marker, ruler, scissors, glue, framing materials, hole-punch, raffia, laminant or clear contact paper

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

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kwanzaa-6218485

The New Year

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. ~C.S. Lewis

The final week  of CLAMDiggers: December’s Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 15-page unit entitled New Year. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

New Year
New Year
  • The Best & Worst of Last Year: A Memories Book with A Best/Worst  Choice List
  • New Year Wishes Basket: Construction Instructions with Wish Ideas

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding, pencil, colors, paper plates, paper scraps, glitz, ribbon, scissors, glue, hole-punch

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

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/New-Year-6218527

How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers’  December Literacy Enrichment Collection units individually or as a 6-Unit bundle for your convenience & savings. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDIGGERS-December-A-6-Unit-Bundle-6218752

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

 

Copyright©2020BizzyLizzyBiz

 

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

This is the CLAMDiggers’ Enrichment Program Overview!

CLAMDiggers Overview

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

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

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

In the Beginning…

In the Classroom-Ludi
In the Classroom-Ludi

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

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

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

 An Educational Overview

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

CLAMDiggers is designed to build Cognitive Skills through Critical Thinking.

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

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

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

CLAMDiggers’ Format

CLAMDiggers' Format-Canva
CLAMDiggers’ Format-Canva

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

 An  Introduction with an Instructional Sequence

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

Master Materials & Literature Books Lists

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

A Lesson Plan with Curriculum Objectives

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

Activities/Projects with Directions, Illustrations, Templates & Extensions

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

Seasonal & Monthly Studies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Unit Components

Weekly Literature-Canva
Weekly Literature-Canva

Each weekly unit, or session includes the following components:

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

Crafts, Literature & More

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLAMDiggers’ Access

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

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

A Few CLAMDiggers’ Thank You Freebies

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

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

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

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

Copyright©2020BizzyLizzyBiz

P.S.  HAPPY CLAMDIGGING!!!!

 

 

 

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!

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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/

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post-Toddler, Huh?!?

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

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

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

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

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

Some “Changes” You May Be Seeing

Body & Movement Skills

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

Brain Growth & Expression

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

Emotional & Social Development

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

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

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

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

Speaking of Speaking….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Play Power = Brain Power

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing child-like about it!

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

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

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

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

Serious Play Is Hard Work

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

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

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

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

Play & Your Child's Brain Development

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

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

Be Your Child’s Play Promoter

Tunnel Play-OmarMedina
Tunnel Play-OmarMedina

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

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

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

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

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

Interactive Talk & Play

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

Planning

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

Wondering

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

Remembering

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

Predicting

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

Providing A Defined Play Space At Home

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

Keep an ear out though. Too quiet for an extended period of time and you may need to “step into the office….”

Creating an area with sturdy (so you can sit in them, too), child-sized chairs & a table encourages your child to sit and focus on independent play. Building with blocks, having a tea party, working puzzles, making a race track or construction site, creating art, and even reading a book can become a part of your Post-Toddler’s learning.

Any amount of time, even a minute or two, during which  children sit and entertain themselves with one thing helps them grow. ~ Felicia Sklamberg, a clinical specialist in pediatric occupational therapy at New York University Langone Medical Center

With Open-Ended Toys & Free Play

Open-ended toys are really the discovery tools of learning & growing. By definition they are “things” that can be used in a variety of ways to encourage:

  • play
  • creativity
  • imagination
  • problem solving
I Can Play A Lot with a Ball-CherylHolt
I Can Play A Lot with a Ball-CherylHolt

Does your child like to stack block towers, sort objects by size & colors, and/or put a 3-6-piece puzzle together? Play outside with large wheeled toys, all sizes of balls, and/or sticks & rocks ?

Are you wondering what other kinds of toys will encourage your child’s brain health, growth & development ?

Will these toy-tools encourage discovery within the Family Literacy Circle ?

“Yes” to all questions?

Here’s a list of some other open-ended, free play tools (with their skill sets), your 3 year old will probably enjoy :

Sensory

  • musical instruments
  • music for song & dance
  • play-doh & clay
  • sand
  • water

Gross Motor

  • tricycle/low-rider
  • slide
  • wagon
  • any large-wheeled toy
  • different-sized balls
  • medium & large blocks

Fine Motor

  • nesting & stacking toys
  • pegboard
  • 3-6-piece puzzles
  • crayons, paint/brushes, glue & paper

Role Play

  • dress-up clothes
  • pretend costumes
  • community helper hats & tools
  • tents & teepees
  • kitchen stuff
  • castles & houses
  • barns & fences
  • racetracks
  • street signs & stores
  • puppets & dolls
  • habitat animals: farm, jungle, forest, water

Problem Solving

  • matching games
  • building blocks with a variety of colors, sizes & shapes
  • construction toys (needed to be put together)

And BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS !!!

Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would never read yourself. ~ George Bernard Shaw

By now some of those well-loved books might need to be replaced with a second copy. Some of those “baby books” may need to be tucked away for another time & place.

Hmmm-This Book Looks Good!-Bies
Hmmm-This Book Looks Good!-Bies

Are you taking your Post-Toddler to a StoryTime at your local library, play group, elementary school or rec center? If so, observe what kinds of books are holding your child’s interest.

Many 3 year-olds love to hear stories about other places and people.

Pull some age-appropriate books from the library shelves in the children’s Picture Books, or Easy Books section.

Sit down & spread them out.  See which ones will get “checked out” for home reading.

Have your 3 year-old try these 10 books on for size:

  • DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! ~ Mo Willens
  • THE OLIVIA SERIES ~ Ian Falconer
  • A FISH OUT OF WATER ~ Helen Palmer
  • WHOEVER YOU ARE ~ Mem Fox
  • THE MIXED-UP CHAMELEON ~ Eric Carle
  • GREEN EGGS AND HAM ~ Dr. Seuss
  • CARS AND TRUCKS AND THINGS THAT GO ~ Richard Scarry
  • THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY ~ Oliver Jeffers
  • BLUE HAT, GREEN HAT ~ Sandra Boynton
  • GO, DOG, GO ! ~ PD Eastman

Be forewarned – I had to replace most of these books at home and in my classroom…….several times….

Need a few more suggestions ?

Click on my Resource Library links below.

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

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

   On – The – Go Reading Nooks With  Your Post-Toddler

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift. ~ Kate DiCamillo

If you have been steadily reading to your Post-Toddler since s/he was in-utero, you probably have a little bookworm in your home.

Alas…..Maybe not….

And Then What Happened?-DeeNurpalah
And Then What Happened?-DeeNurpalah

Some children love being read to until they can hop off  the cuddly lap of story-land.

Catch  ‘Em & Read:

  • before bedtime
  • during bathtime
  • before or during quiet time
  • during snacktime
  • under a tree outside
  • in a hammock outside
  • in the tent or teepee
  • under some covers with a flashlight

Some children would rather hear a story-telling instead of a book-story. “Stories can and should be part of your household routines & schedules. They can be as short or long as your listener’s attention.” Lisa Lipkin, Bringing the Story Home

Non-Book Literacy Stories

Spinning Tales:

What's Next?-Lichdinhtb
What’s Next?-Lichdinhtb
  • Make sure to include the story elements: beginning (characters & setting), middle (action & problem), ending (solution & prediction)
  • Ask & answer  interactive questions throughout the story
  • Invite your child to contribute to the story-telling
  • Capture your child’s attention while on a drive or a walk, in a waiting room or line, at the bus or train stop, during bathtime or before bedtime
  • Use fantasy, humor & family history as part of the story
  • Dress-up in role-play clothing  & ask your child to tell you a story about the character you are
  • Include simple props & toys for settings, characters & dialogue

Every Time We Read A Book…..

Whether the book is fiction or non-fiction, here are some tips for building literacy while reading aloud at this age & older:

  • Encourage solid pre-reading habits- daily reads, book handling, word tracking, time & order (first/middle/last), retelling with complete sentences.
  • Ask interactive questions while reading a story- what will happen next/how does the character feel/has this ever happened to you.
  • Read slowly & wait for her/him to turn the pages.
  • Answer your listener’s questions.
  • Make up rhyming words with some of the simpler words.
  • Use the story’s pictures to make up more stories.
  • Let the listener “read” the story.

I Think My Child Is Ready To Read…..

The first time my son (at 3 years-old) said, “I can read this book to you!”, my wide eyes glistened with anticipation. I couldn’t wait to hear my little genius read ME a story….at 3 YEARS OLD!!!!!

Sure enough, he proudly held the book and  carefully “read” each page of  The  Little Red Car, one of his favorite boardbooks.

He didn’t miss a word. I clapped with glee!

Over the next few weeks, he read & read this book to me….faster & faster. I guess he was becoming one with the little red car.

One day I asked him to point to the words as he read them…….uh huh…..

Smiling, I never said a word, and he continued to read the story to me everyday for the next few years.

We, also, continued playing colors, shapes, letters, sounds & word-picture rhyming games.

Learning, knowing , and applying the concepts of same & different shapes is a major step for success in letter recognition. Seeing the same & different shapes in the world prepares your child to make sense of “visual discrimination”.

BLB Shop has a collection of Interactive Color & Shape games created to prepare your child to recognize these pre-reading concepts:

I Can Sort & Match: 15 Shape & Color Games

Click on the link below to check it out.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/15-shape-color-games-ages-3-up/

I became more consistent tracking words with their pictures when I read simple sentence stories.

What Are Pre-Reading Behaviors?

Is your child  showing you some of these Pre-Reading behaviors :

  • Makes comments about language & unusual words
  • Makes up word games
  • Creates & plays with words using rhyme
  • Invents “silly” words
  • Plays with sounds
  • Plays with magnetic letters
  • Likes to read alphabet books
  • Sings the alphabet song
  • Points out “environmental print”, like the S in a stop sign
  • Knows it is the print that is read in stories

Hmmmm, Not Quite Ready….How Can I Help ?

What Will I Learn Today?-Tung
What Will I Learn Today?-Tung

Bookoola Ink from Australia produced a wonderful infographic, explaining what your child needs to know before learning to read:

  • Rhyme the sounds that letters make
  • Track / follow objects with eyes
  • Talk with an increasing vocabulary
  • Build things using fingers & hands independently to hold books & turn pages
  • Do puzzles to differentiate sizes, shapes, lines & directions
  • Look at books frequently for discovery & fun
  • Listen to someone read every day

The 5 Must-Know Skills for Reading Readiness

First of all, how is your child’s vocabulary progressing ? S/he has learned most words indirectly through your daily conversations, interactive read-alouds, both fiction & nonfiction as well as  movies/screen time. Build his/her vocabulary for understanding in these 4 areas:

Did You Know?-BenWhite@upsplash
Did You Know?-BenWhite@upsplash
  • Listening Vocabulary are words we hear & understand when hearing directions & a story
  • Speaking Vocabulary are words we use when we talk about our day & ask/answer questions
  • Reading Vocabulary are words we understand when we read, retell stories or create story from pictures we see
  • Writing Vocabulary are words we use when we write & draw pictures to tell a story

 

All About Learning Press, Inc has a concise list with tips for your eager-to-read child. Do be sure your Post-Toddler is comfortable and consistent with these skills:

Motivation to Read

  • Enjoys being read to
  • Pretends to read or write
  • Often asks for read-aloud time
  • Is enthusiastic about books
  • Thinks reading is fun

Print Awareness

  • Realizes print on a page are words with meaning when spoken
  • Holds  book correctly
  • Understands the direction that books are read-front to back
  • Knows print is read top to bottom
  • Recognizes sentences are read from left to right

Listening Comprehension

  • Understands story sequence
  • Can retell a familiar story with accuracy
  •  Answers simple questions about a story
  • Asks questions during read-alouds
  • Understands the meaning of words being read
  • Relates to the words being read in some way
  • Understands both verbal & visual information

Letter Recognition

  • Can sing the Alphabet song with help
  • Recognizes upper & lowercase letters
  • Begins to associate letters with sounds

Phonological Awareness

  • Can hear & identify different sounds in spoken words
  • Can rhyme words
  • Knows a sentence has multiple , individual words
  • Can blend sounds to make a word
  • Can identify the beginning & ending sound of a word

How Do I Teach the Alphabet

If your child is is ready, you might want to begin with her/his name. You can try to use upper & lowercase letters, but for beginning readers & writers, uppercase letters are not only easier to differentiate & recognize, but also, easier to write.

Read lots of engaging alphabet books ~ here’s a few my children & I have enjoyed:

Rhyming Text

  • ABC ANIMAL RHYMES ~ G. Andreae
  • ABC AT HOME ~ A. Hawthorne & D. Zawada
  • CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM ~ J.Archambault
  • DR. SEUSS’ ABC ~ Dr. Seuss
  • MY FIRST RHYMING PICTURE ABC ~ B. Miles

Vivid Illustrations

  • BRUNO MUNARI’S  ABC ~ B. Munari
  • MISS SPIDER’S ABC ~ D. Kirk
  • THE PHONICS ABC ~ K. Dare

Real-Life Photos

  • ALPHABET CITY ~ S.T. Johnson
  • FARM ALPHABET BOOK ~ J. Miller

Playing alphabet games is another way to continue the learning process. It is a process, so let your ABC learner set the pace. Several five-minute lessons each day may be good. So will skipping some days.

Don’t forget to repeat, maybe with a different lesson for review.

Let your child select the letters. Unless ABC order is insisted upon by your Post-Toddler, here are a few sequences to consider:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/teaching-alphabet-sequence-guide/

Make Alphabet Learning Fun!

Exploring each letter with hands-on activities is  definitely the way to keep your Post-Toddler engaged. Using the 5 senses and physical movement is necessary as well.

Change up the learning-approach with a variety of activities. Use your child’s interest (and attention span) to guide you.

Include lessons as part of your daily routine. Remember to review & repeat to build confidence & risk-taking when introducing a new letter & its sound.

Let your Post-Toddler be the teacher. It will help you know what s/he knows and needs to learn.

Click on my Resource Library link below for some great ABC activities websites:

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

Literacy’s Secret Pathway: Writing to Read

Many of my Reluctant Readers learned to read NOT by reading books, but through their own writings. They were always ready to read their own words instead of another’s words.

Once A Huge Red Ship.....IIlcsuszka writing to read
Once A Huge Red Ship…..IIlcsuszka

Their stories, surprisingly, with a few  prompts, usually included all the elements of a fluid tale: beginning (characters & setting), middle (problem & solution), and ending. Another follow-up story was always in the tank, so to speak.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself here….

Drawing, painting, coloring & writing are all very powerful expressions. For parents &  educators, they offer magical windows into the heart, mind & soul of anyone, especially a child.

But holding & controlling a paintbrush, crayon and/or pencil is a developmental feat for your young child. It takes a lot of practice with some determination, usually.

Fine Motor Skills Mastery

The mastery of fine motor skills, paired with the ability to create images in your head, is an incredible accomplishment for anyone, especially a child.

I am always amazed when watching a child in the creative zone!

In 2011 Katie Norris @ Mommy with Selective Memory and her friend Susan Case, an experienced Kindergarten teacher, created a GREAT list of Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills  :

  • pouring elements using funnels, tubes, colanders
  • sorting small objects
  • pushing objects through a slot
  • picking up marbles
  • building with blocks, logs, legos
  • lacing with lacing cards
  • grasping & placing puzzle pieces
  • arranging a variety of objects
  • picking up & placing stickers
  • playing with play-doh: pulling, pressing, stretching, rolling, pounding, squeezing, pinching
  • squeezing
  • shaking
  • beading with yarn & string
  • marking with fat pencils, fat crayons, sidewalk chalk
  • cutting with safety scissors
Self-Portrait EfraimStachter writing to read 36-48m
Self-Portrait EfraimStachter

Writing & Drawing : Same But Different

Although  your child is using the same physical skills to write & draw – the brain has other ideas. Your Post-Toddler needs to understand that writing & drawing are different.

Print carries a message. Show your beginning writer the many ways to use writing:

  • names & addresses
  • shopping lists
  • greeting cards
  • love notes
  • phone messages
  • to-do lists

Put big dots with a connecting line in a column on paper. Encourage your Post-Toddler’s “scribblings” for making a list of :

  • favorite toys
  • favorite activities
  • wish list
  • favorite foods
  • favorite colors
  • favorite animals

Write in large, traceable letters what the words are underneath or beside each entry.

Bookoola Ink from Australia produced a wonderful infographic, explaining what your child needs to know before learning to write:

  • Imagine – make up stories when painting & creating
  • Scribble & Draw – make marks & shapes to communicate messages
  • Play with letters & words
  • Manipulate – paintbrushes, crayons, pencils & chalk
  • Build – use fingers independently
  • Climb – need strong arms & body muscles to sit up & write
  • Someone to show me how important writing is everyday

What Is Pre – Writing

Learning to write in a legible way can be very challenging (see a note from your doctor). Muscle control is key as well as grasp & flexibility.

Doodling & pathway lines are good ways to prepare your child’s fingers & hand for handwriting. There are pages you can find at teacher stores & on line with fun ways to get to the “treasure”.

Anna Luther @ CincinnatiChildrens.org has a few pre-writing activity suggestions for your 3-year-old:

  • Name Tracing with your child using a highlighter on paper; try using upper & lowercase letters
  • Cutting Practice out of magazines & catalogs; glue on paper & write the simple names underneath
  • Play Doh Rope Letters formed on top of a large chosen letter you have written on paper
  • Dot – To – Dot Letters written on paper for your child to connect

Please remember to keep in mind every child grows & develops at his/her own pace. These ideas are suggestions for creating Literacy opportunities when your child is ready. And s/he will let you know as long as the activities are available & FUN!

Isn’t this an exciting time for you & your Post-Toddler?

Please share any accomplishments, questions, comments and/or concerns by filling out the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing to BizzyLizzyBiz. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Encouraging the 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?

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

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

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Writing Skills

And NOW….The Final Post in FLC’s  5~Part First Grader’s Series….

Enriching the FLC with your First Grader’s Writing Skills has its challenges and rewards…..

Wish you (or someone) could record all those wonderful new ideas & vocabulary words your incredibly bright First Grader is sharing?

Writing them down would take more than a considerable amount of time…

However, encouraging the source of all that growth to write down all those ideas & words shouldn’t be too difficult…Should it ?!?!?

Part FIVE: The Hard-Won Skill of Writing

Teach children what to think and you limit their ideas. Teach children how to think and their ideas are unlimited. ~ Sandra Parks

What favorite story, or stories do you tirelessly read again & again?

Which author do you trust to transform dull, dry facts into fascinating information?

What cookbook(s) and/or manual(s) do you refer to constantly with easy-to-follow directions that always bring great results?

Do you have a favorite editor and/or critic whose opinion you value, even when you don’t share the same view(s) about certain topics ?

You are one of the reasons why writers write !

Not only do writers love to write (on most days), they, also, write to share ideas, important events & teach. They want to share & communicate their  experiences, feelings & information. They love to ask questions & solve mysteries or problems.

As a writer, you tell your story as only you can. Whether reflecting, explaining, judging, exploring, learning, interpreting, problem solving, and/or taking a stand, your words are your words are your words…

As a parent & writer,  encourage your young scribe to see & use the power of Written Expression for his/her self and/or to share with others. How  ~ by modeling with everyday examples.

Soooo…Are You A Writer ?

Does your child see you write ?

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

Not only do you show your child how writing helps with daily life, it, also, helps to have a variety of the printed words scattered throughout the home: magazines, cookbooks, manuals, newspapers, cartoons, advertisement slicks, comics, posters, dictionaries, and. of course, many different kinds of books.

Is your child writing everyday ? I’m sure s/he is trying to read EVERYTHING in sight….oh yeah….

Yes, Your Child Needs to Write Everyday

Some time during the day , engage your child is some type of writing activity. It can be a Free Write about anything s/he is interested in exploring, feeling good or bad about,  and/or asking for more information.

Practice, practice, practice ~ and remember to encourage your writer to slow down, otherwise….

Try to make it a “routine” event. You may want to collect these writings into a box and/or scrapbook :

  • Give him/her a personal calendar to record special dates, like holidays, celebrations, birthdays, vacations, play-dates, field trips, memories, etc.
  • Have her/him write Thank-You cards , notes & letters.

BLB Shop has a Writing Literacy Tool~Lists, Labels & Love Notes– to help engage your young writer. Just click on the link below:

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

  • Make sure s/he has a “Storybook” spiral for writing those creative tales with different, colorful writing tools.
  • Add another “Info & Data Collection” notebook with Topic Tabs for research finds & new information. 

Here are some other suggestions from a First Grade Teacher @ primaryjunction.net:

  • Create a Family newspaper to record weekly activities, articles & upcoming events. You may want to include a comic strip, an advice column with  some want ads & an advertisement or two.
  • Enlist your child to help write shopping & to-do lists.
  • Play word games like Wheel of Fortune & Hangman while waiting in an office.
  • Make sure to Publish, Display & Share completed stories, posters, reports, etc.

One of the BEST ways I discovered to engage children in writing is with an Interactive Journal. Prepare yourself for some “eye-openers !”

Your Child’s Favorite Writing Activity

The Interactive Journal-Hires
The Interactive Journal-Hires

Whether you and/or some other family member participates in this very effective writing activity, the results will prove to be insightful, entertaining &, at times, hilarious.

A simple lined or unlined journal provides numerous opportunities for you & your budding author to share feelings, information, reflections, memories, problems and interactive solutions to life’s daily moments.

Usually written before “lights out”, your child will not only tell you about his/her thoughts, but also, ask you some interesting questions. You, then, answer the question(s) while s/he sleeps, respond with some comments & ask some questions of your own ~ which may, or may not, be answered.

This form of writing is a powerful communication tool and will, definitely engage your young writer. Include drawings with a variety of text lettering & messaging for emphasis & amusement.

Random ramblings are especially welcome. Here are a few ideas. Just click on this PDF link: INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

You’ll be keeping these “talks”~

So, What Are the Writing Expectations for My First Grader ?

At the beginning of First Grade, your Summer-of-Growth Kindergartner can decide (without your prompting) when to read & when to write (even though they occur simultaneously)…

S/he is able to sound out the “big” sounds & write them down when trying to spell words while writing thoughts.

S/he is even trying to use capital letters & punctuation ~ amazing, huh?!?

At the end of First Grade, s/he is probably printing very legibly when expressing thoughts in stories, journals & notes.

S/he will frequently spell familiar words correctly AND begin sentences with capital letters as well as end those sentences with a punctuation mark (most of the time….when s/he remembers to do so…).

How did this happen, you may ask….

Your First grader is writing in the classroom ALL DAY LONG ~ in all subject areas ~ math, science, social studies, health. S/he writes during trips to the Media Center, Art, Music & occasionally  in P.E.

Here’s a wonderful example of a classroom Writing Workshop, posted by Chandra, a primary teacher & parent, on her website teachingwithcrayonsandcurls:

http://www.teachingwithcrayonsandcurls.com/2017/09/launching-writers-workshop-in-primary.html

AND, if your school district follows the Common Core, here are the Writing & Language expectations for your First Grader. Keep in mind, some of these objectives began in Kindergarten & will continue in the years to come.

The Common Core’s Writing Expectations

Writing in School-Sobima
Writing in School-Sobima

Language & Writing, as well as Reading, are heavily linked together within the Common Core’s Expectations & Objectives for First Graders.

“With the guidance & support from adults” s/he will be writing & editing opinion pieces, informative, or explanatory text and sequenced narratives, or stories.

Each form of writing has a specific process for your young writer to follow. S/he is expected to include reasons to support opinions, facts to support informational topics, and sequential details to support stories.

During the writing & editing process, s/he needs to “demonstrate command” of “standard English grammar”. Some of these include:

  • printing all upper & lowercase letters with accuracy
  • using common, proper & possessive nouns
  • using singular & plural nouns with verb agreement
  • using pronouns
  • using past, present & future verbs with accuracy

S/he, also, is expected to “demonstrate command” of “standard English capitalization, punctuation & spelling” (at grade level).

Here’s a Parent-friendly version of  the Common Core’s ELA guidelines for First Grade. Just  click on the link below:

 https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/Parents-Guides-to-Student-Success

You can help your First Grader’s growth & development with some of these specific Writing Literacy Skills at home.

How Do I Build Some of These Skills at Home ?

These are some of the Writing Skills you can help your child master at home:

  • You child should be able to read his/her own writing ~ need some handwriting practice sheets? AtoZ is a great website to explore for teacher tools. You can custom-make sheets to match your child’s handwriting needs while writing spelling words & sentences. Just click on the link below:

http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/printable-handwriting-practice-worksheet-maker/

  • S/he should be writing & editing lists, letters & stories, using complete sentences. Here a short PDF Writing Checklist link: 

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

  • S/he should be spelling sight words & spelling list words with accuracy. BLB Shop has a Literacy Tool to help your child learn how to spell those words. Just click on the link below:

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

I created a PDF with Spelling Activity ideas, including several I used with my K~3 students as part of their Weekly Spelling Homework:

Spelling Activity Ideas

Hope these ideas help, especially with the FOUR FORMS OF WRITING!!!! Not talking about Lists, Labels, Letters & Love Notes…..

Those 4 Forms of Writing

Write! Read! Write! - Klimkin
Write! Read! Write! – Klimkin

Regardless of which Form your child is writing, each one should start with a Main Idea, or Topic sentence & end with a Conclusion sentence.

Each Form of writing  should have a beginning, middle  &   an ending.

Informative writing should include 3-5 facts about the Topic. Narrative writing should include at least 3 interesting events within the story. Opinion writing should have 3 or more reasons to support the opinion. How-To writing needs an order of specific steps for someone to follow.

BLB Shop has an easy-to-use, step-by-step  Primary Writing Toolkit to help you help your child with these specific Forms of writing. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/primary-grade-levels-writing-toolkit/

Reading to Writing to Reading

If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then, you must write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Sometimes writing or thinking about what to write can be frustrating. Talk about a blank slate……

So, sometimes repeating, repeating & yes, more repeating can shake up those creative juices. BLB’s Library has a Resource for getting those juices flowing, using repetitive books:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

Here’s a PDF with beginning sentence Repetitive Prompts & Book Title ideas:

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts.

And if you need more, complete with Book Templates, check out this product in BLB’s Shop:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/read-write-draw-books/

Is your youngster still struggling with her/his Writing Skills? Read on….

YIKES! My Bright Child Hates to Write!!!!!

There are several reasons why your young creative child may be reluctant to write. Hand strength, or the lack of it, could be the cause. Tuning up those Fine Motor Skills can help. Try weaving baskets, forming pottery, working wood, playing a musical instrument, building models, and creating jewelry  . BLB Library has a Resource listing several websites with LOTS of other ideas:

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

Don’t push too hard…read some books together about writing. BLB Library has a Resource for that, too:   

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

Talk about ideas together. Wordless books with their incredible drawings can inspire stories created for a potential writer. Here’s a list of some beauties: 

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

    A Simple Motivator: Writing in Drawings

Drawing to Write- Cienpies Design
Drawing to Write- Cienpies Design

Most of my beginning writers couldn’t wait to get their words inside the picture. Here’s a PDF I created just for this concept:

Seasonal Story Starters

And once you feel your young author has sharpened her/his pencils, but needs to SEE images before writing about them, BLB Shop has a great Story Starter Tool for doing just that. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/primary-story-sequence-starters-pics-sight-words-helpers/

 

Can you tell I like to write ?!?!? I hope you have found some useful information regarding this extremely important Literacy Skill. Yes, it is complex and, sometimes, frustrating ~ even for those of us who love to write. But it a VERY necessary component of  life!

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 Writing Skills

 Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

If your soon-to-be Second Grader’s vocabulary & reading skills have progressed over the summer, pat yourself on the back because those daily reading sessions have worked. Even s/he is surprised (YAY for the Family Literacy Circle !).

Now……How are those Writing Skills coming along ?

Unless your child LOVES to write…..prepare for a Super-Sized learning curve with Super-Sized expectations in your Second Grader’s Writing Workshop.

Got your Family Literacy Circle Writing Center ready?

Here are some suggestions for your young author’s Writing Space:

Home Wtg Space Checklist

This is Part Five :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

Your Second Grade Writer

Sometime this summer, inventory the following Writing & Spelling Skills with your soon-to-be Second Grader:

  • Writes last name with accuracy
  • Writes messages using phrases & sentences
  • Writes simple stories with a beginning, middle & ending
  • Recognizes & uses print conventions when writing:  end punctuation, grammar, nouns/verbs
  • Spells common grade-level words with accuracy
  • Locates known & unknown words in a picture dictionary
  • Recognizes & uses phonetic rules to spell unknown words
  • Understands & identifies the differences between a noun & a verb
  • Can write a simple, complete sentence
  • Understands compound words
  • Identifies some prefixes & suffixes
  • Identifies regular & some irregular plurals
  • Understands the meanings of synonyms & antonyms

Yeah! And there will be MORE  to learn in the Writing Arena throughout the year….

Oh ! A quick word or two about Handwriting…..

The Labors of Legible Handwriting

Picking up a paper using those fine motors skills is easy compared to the complex set of muscles (brain included) needed to write thoughts, grasping a #2 pencil onto that piece of paper in a clear, readable way.

Those skills ~ still growing and developing~ can be “nurtured” in several ways. Seemingly, “mindless” practice is one of them, but they are part of your Second Grader’s Writing Skills.

Click on this link to access a Resource on Fine Motor Skills from BLB’s Library :

Fine Motor Skills Resource Sites: Activities & Exercises for Ages 4~6

Here are a few other Handwriting~specific sites :

https://flintobox.com/blog/child-development/improve-handwriting-child

 https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-improve-kids-handwriting-4108552

https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/fun-handwriting-activities-for-kids/

Writing & Reading Together

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign
Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign

Is your child choosing to use reading and writing for different purposes without your input?

BLB’s Library has a Resource List of books about writing for your hesitant writer. Just click on the link below:

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

Engaging your child to draw pictures of the words s/he is reading can be a stepping stone into the Writing Process. S/he may decide the story should be written differently and will “edit” the text (YAY!) in a creative way.

Using Dialogue clouds in those character  pictures is definitely writing. Think comic books and cartoon strips.

Here are some book title ideas in this little freebie~ Read, Write and Draw Books :

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts

You can, also, find additional RW&D books in BLB Shop. Here’s the link:

I CAN READ, WRITE & DRAW THESE BOOKS, TOO!

Or, maybe, “reading” some Wordless Picture Books together may inspire a story or five. BLB’s Library has a Book List Resource for you:

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

Time to Make A Book ?!?

Yes, You Can Be A Bookmaker!

Record your child’s imaginings & help him/her write it/them down on pages to be bound into a book, using card-stock, paper & binding materials. Here are a few DIY bookmaking sites:

http://www.makingbooks.com/families.shtml

https://growingbookbybook.com/making-books-with-kids/

If you & yours want a “serious” book-bound presentation, this website can help you with that:

https://studentreasures.com/

Engaging your child in the fun and creative process of story telling is a very productive way to inspire writing. However, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will include learning and mastering many other writing elements this year

Second Grade Writing Expectations & Objectives

If your campus follows the Common Core, there are two major components of the Writing Process: Language, or Standard English Conventions, and the actual Writing Purposes.

Here’s a General Overview, listing the Second Grader’s Writing Skills Expectations for Language Usage & Composition:

2nd grade ELA Writing CC

You may want to check out this ELA Common Core PDF link for Parents:

 https://www.cgcs.org/cms/lib/DC00001581/Centricity/Domain/36/ParentGuide_ELA_2.pdf

I’ll get into a little (haha) more detail on these 2 HUGE topics, beginning with Standard English, or Grammar.

Good Grief, Grammar !!!

No one is perfect ~ that’s why pencils have erasers. ~ Wolfgang Riebe

I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus
I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus

Informal speech, also known as slang, colloquialisms, street talk, jargon, lingo and, even, dialect, can make learning “proper”, or Standard English confusing. Heard in peer groups, media and read in “literature”, expecting your child to use good grammar while speaking can be frustrating.

And in writing….oh my…..

Here are a few of my Freebie Helpers with a BLB’s Shop Product:

NOUNS:    Collective Nouns 

 Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

VERBS:    One Frog Hops

CAPITALIZATION: Make That Letter A Capital

I, also, created a 100+ page Grammar Handbook that includes lots of activities for learning & practicing Good Grammar with a Sentence Builder component, using Adjectives & Adverbs. You can preview it in my TpT Shop. Here’s the product link:

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

And, although Vocabulary is listed as more of a Reading Skill, I’d like to chat a little (again, haha) about it’s significant role in writing ~ choosing the exact words to express exactly what you want to say.

Here’s What I Want to Say…..

My Vocabulary -SharonAng
My Vocabulary -SharonAng

Although reading plays a large role in Vocabulary Acquisition, knowing which words you want to use in your writing, how to find them, and how to spell them correctly definitely takes some practice. It is a skill good writers learn through lots of repetition and review.

Using a Picture Dictionary is more appropriate for Second graders than teaching the actual Dictionary skills. Even my Third Graders found learning how to use a dictionary challenging. Again, practice, practice, practice. 

Click on the link below for ideas and games to help teach your Second Grader how to use a dictionary:

 https://www.theschoolrun.com/teaching-children-to-use-dictionary

Synonym, Antonym, Homonym Lists can help as well as Adjective & Adverb Lists. Here are a few sites with Primary Level Words:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-antonyms-synonyms-and-homonyms-for-kids.html

https://freelanguagestuff.com/antonyms-and-synonyms/

I have several products available in my BLB Shop:

PREFIXES & SUFFIXES:     WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

COMPOUND WORDS:  COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

VOCABULARY:  WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

I, also, have a few SPELLING Freebies:

Spelling Activity Ideas  &   ABC Order 

Yes, ALL of this in a Written Expression or Ten….yes, at least 10 by the end of Second Grade…..

The Storyteller Becomes The Author

Write the kind of story you would like to read. ~ Meg Cabot

Writing to Read-Pexels261967
Writing to Read-Pexels261967

Your youngster has been inventing & writing stories since Kindergarten. This year those stories will be following certain guidelines to meet Expectations. Her/his editing skills, as well as, paragraph construction play heavily into meeting those expectations.

Believe it or not, within the first few weeks of school, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will help him/her produce more complex and interesting stories, opinions and reports.

Does s/he keep a journal or diary at home ?

S/he will probably be excited about an upcoming Research Project (aren’t you?). YAY! It’s Our Family Tree Project !!!

And, yes, there’s more….

The Second Grade Writing Experience

Writing About This & That!-SarahJane
Writing About This & That!-SarahJane

There are more than a few writing assignments s/he will be given during Second Grade. Here’s a list of Written Expressions (with some helpful Resource links  ) your child will be composing this year:

  • The 5~Sentence Paragraph Formula ~ topic sentence, 3+ topic-supporting sentences, and a conclusion sentence, which re-states the beginning topic sentence

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

  • Narrative, or story ~  real, imagined real-life and/or total fantasy

Seasonal Story Starters

PRIMARY STORY SEQUENCE STARTERS: Pics & Sight Words Helpers

  • Informative, or report ~  nonfiction, singular topics supported with specific  facts and/or details relating to the topic

I Understand Informational Text Features

  • Persuasive, or  opinion ~ feelings about a specific subject with details to support the specific feeling

Opinion Wtg K-2

  • Research ~ group, partner and/or independent projects involving the use of several resources to support a nonfiction Main Topic

Upgrading The FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

  • Letters ~ recognizing & using the specific parts of a letter

It’s in the Mail

  • Journals ~ a daily free-write, usually, for expressing thoughts on a variety of subjects, including reading responses, math problem solving & science observations

INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

  • Poetry ~ identifying & selecting some of these styles for composition : acrostic, limerick, concrete (shapes), sensory, haiku & cinquain

50 Beginning Rhyming Words

Poetry Collections for K~5

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/grades-1-2-poetry-lessons/

Your child’s teacher may introduce the Explanatory, or How-To form of Writing. Directions and recipes are examples of this type of writing.

Editor, Please!

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. ~ Terry Pratchett

Editor Time-MasterStudio
Editor Time-MasterStudio

The Writing Stages usually taught in the classroom are :

  • Pre-writing~the brainsorm & research
  • Organizing~thoughts & sequence
  • Sloppy Copy~ the first draft
  •   Revising~ sentence building

and then, the tiresome, but, oh so necessary,

  • Editing~ grammar, punctuation, capitalization,  & spell check for accuracy

All these steps are taken BEFORE a piece of Writing is ready to be published into ~ The Final Copy.

Need a few suggestions ?

BLB’s Revise & Edit Resources

Here are some Resources to help your Second Grade Writer with the Revising & Editing Processes:

  • Sentence Builders:

Asking & Exciting Beginnings

Words Can Make Sentences: Lists, Labels & Love Notes as Writing Literacy Tools

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

  • Editing Tools:

Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

One Frog Hops

Collective Nouns

Make That Letter A Capital

Spelling Activity Ideas

ABC Order

To the FINAL COPY & PUBLISH !!!! Share with your family, share with your friends, share with your cuddlies, share with your class ! And take a BOW!

A Definite Call to Your Family Literacy Circle 

You  encourage your Second Grader’s Writing Skills when s/he sees you :

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

You, also, encourage those rapidly growing memory skills, which are engaging her/him in thinking with more complexity and depth. Check out this Growth Mindset Tools Chart:

If you are participating in an Interactive Journal (see link above), you are already seeing lots of growth in your Second Grader’s writing skills.

If your child writes~and mails~ Thank You notes, greeting cards, and friendly letters to others, s/he is experiencing a personal sense of pride in her/his writing abilities.

Have the two of you created a story book together?  How about an alphabet book on animals, plants, foods, toys, etc?

Do you know how your child feels about writing ?

A Writing Attitude Survey

If your child is a Reluctant Writer, you may want to have an informal “writing attitude survey” chat with him/her.

Have this list of statements in front of you so you can record his/her responses, like never, sometimes, and/or always.

A “Sometimes” response might need some clarification ~ does it depend on the day, the subject, some hand cramps, rather doing something else, etc.

  • Do you think you are a good writer ?
  • Do you enjoy writing at school ?
  • Do you like writing at home ?
  • Is it easy to think of things to write about ?
  • Do you like to write about real-life or make-believe ?
  • Do you like to read your writing to others ?
  • What do they think about your writing ?
  • How do you feel when it’s time to write ?
  • Which do you like better : reading or writing ?
  • How do you feel about editing your work: grammar, spelling, etc ?

And now for a few more FLC Writing Resources…

Home Writing Helpers

BLB Library has an Inquiry Resource:

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

And some Freebies:

KQRL Template

Home Research Projects

Kris Bales of Thought Co’s Second Grade Writing Prompts

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

With several BLB Shop Products:

MEETING PRIMARY LEVEL’S WRITING EXPECTATIONS

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

Plus, a Homework Hotline Helper resource from BLB’s Library:

Your Homework Help HOTLINE : Parent Involvement Strategies

So, that concludes the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

I have a new & exciting Series in the Vault ready to be released. I created it for the Independent Third Grader and above. However, your Second Grader might enjoy  these activities as well.

Hope to see you then! Thank you for reading!

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