WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: A Vocabulary Toolbox

Did you know between the ages of six and eight years old, you are learning 6-7 new words a day?

AND at six years old you use over 3000 words in your daily speech?

AND at six years old you understand between 20,000-24,000 words?

However, studies show you need to use a new word between 10 to 16 times before you can use it as part of your Vocabulary effectively and with accuracy.

I created this 13-Unit, multi-leveled Series as a Vocabulary  Toolbox for encouraging young Writers to WRITE THE RIGHT WORD when composing their written expressions.

The Project Units contain Vocabulary Words in several different category groups.

The Vocabulary Groupings

Here’s the listing of the Vocabulary Categories offered in the WRITE THE RIGHT WORD  Series:

  • Vocabulary Games
  • Word List Books
  • Primary & Intermediate Sensory Words
  • Multi-Leveled Homophones
  • Multi-leveled Homonyms
  • Heteronyms for Levels 4~6
  • Antonyms for Levels 2 ~ 6
  • Multi-Leveled Emotion Synonyms
  • Multi-Leveled Description Synonyms
  • Multi-Leveled Action Synonyms

These Projects Units include similar Components.

Project Unit Components

As well as having an Introductory Contents List, each Unit of the WRITE THE RIGHT WORD Series usually includes the following elements:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity Sequence
  • 20-plus, Leveled Vocabulary Cards
  • Application Opportunities
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

All these Project Units are available in my Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Shop on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. I will include each one’s link with a brief description of what the Unit contains.

I’ll start with the Overview, which has Vocabulary Games and is a Freebie.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: An Overview

This 25-page Freebie includes 11 Vocabulary Games with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Activity  Sequence:
  • Mini Lesson Focus
  • Growing Your Vocabulary Is So Important
  • Tips for Increasing Vocabulary
  • Benefits of Playing Interactive Vocabulary Word Games
  • Word Game Evaluation Sheets
  • Storage Pocket
  • Vocabulary Labels
  • Vocabulary Game Cards
  • Additional TPT Resources List

Here’s the TPT Link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Unit-Overview-7988393

The next Project Unit is a Word List Book~Making Activity.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Word Lists Book

This 26-page Project Unit includes multiple ideas for compiling a book, or books of Word Lists with the following Contents:

  •  Introduction /How To Use Word Lists
  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • My Book of Word Lists:
  • Book Covers
  • Title Page & Table of Contents
  • 20 Titled Book Page Inserts
  • 4 Blank  Book Page Inserts
  • Words for Word List Pages
  • Word List Page Answers
  • Blank Page Suggestions

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Word-Lists-Book-7988470

The next Project Unit is an exploration of Sensory Words for Primary Learners.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Primary Sensory Words

This 23-page Project Unit  encourages young learners to utilize their 5 senses in Vocabulary discovery with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Sensory Word Rating Sheets
  • Game Sort Mat
  • Storage Pocket
  • Word Sort Labels
  • 75 Primary Sensory Word Cards
  • 15 Blank Word Cards
  • Sensory Word Cards Answer Sheet
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Primary-Sensory-Words-7988661

The next Project Unit is an exploration of Sensory Words for Intermediate Learners.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Intermediate Sensory Words

This 23-page Project Unit  encourages older learners to utilize their 5 senses in Vocabulary discovery with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Sensory Word Rating Sheets
  • Game Sort Mat
  • Storage Pocket
  • Word Sort Labels
  • 75 Primary Sensory Word Cards
  • 15 Blank Word Cards
  • Sensory Word Cards Answer Sheet
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Intermediate-Sensory-Words-7988689

The next Project Unit is a multi-leveled exploration of  Homophones.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Levels 2 ~ 6 Homophones

This 51-page Project Unit  explores a multi-leveled Vocabulary discovery with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Game Words Sort Mat
  • Bingo ~ Lingo Card
  • Levels 2 ~ 6 Storage Pocket
  • Response Sheets
  • Level 2 Homophones : 20 Word Cards, 12 Blank Cards, 10 Fill-In Sentences & Answer Sheet
  • Level 3 Homophones : 31 Word Cards, 17 Blank Cards, 15 Fill-In Sentences & Answer Sheets
  • Levels 2 & 3 Homophone Pairs & Trio Answer Sheets
  • Level 4 Homophones :30 Word Cards, 18  Blank Cards, 15 Fill-In Sentences & Answer Sheets
  • Level 5 Homophones : 35 Word Cards, 13 Blank Cards, 10 Fill-In Sentences & Answer Sheet
  • Levels 4 & 5 Homophone Pairs & Trio Answer Sheets
  • Level 6 Homophones & Homonyms : 32 Word Cards, 16 Blank Cards, 26 Homophones Meaning Match, 12 Homonyms Meaning Match, Homophones & Homonyms Answer Sheets
  • 8 Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Homophones-7988790

The next Project Unit is a multi-leveled exploration of  Homonyms.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Levels 2 ~ 6 Homonyms

This 94-page Project Unit  explores a multi-leveled Vocabulary discovery with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Game Words Sort Mat
  • Levels 2 ~ 6 Storage Pocket
  • Response Sheets
  • Level 2 Homonyms : 23 Image Cards & 23 Word /Definition Cards 
  • Level 3 Homonyms : 30 Word Cards, 30 Definition Cards, 6 Blank Word & Definition Cards &    Answer Sheet
  • Level 4 Homonyms :31 Word Cards, 31 Definition Cards,  5 Blank Word & Definition Cards &     Answer Sheet
  • Level 5 Homonyms : 31 Word Cards, 31 Definition Cards, 7 Blank Word Cards., 5 Blank Definition Cards &  Answer Sheet
  • Level 6  Homonyms : 34 Word Cards, 34 Definition Cards, 8 Blank Word Cards,  6 Blank Definition Cards &  Answer Sheet
  • Sixty More Homonyms List
  • 8 Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Homonyms-7988843 

The next Project Unit is a multi-leveled exploration of  Heteronyms.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Levels 4 ~ 6 Heteronyms

This 50-page Project Unit  explores a multi-leveled Vocabulary discovery with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Game Words Sort Mat
  •  Storage Pocket
  • Response Sheets
  • Level 4 Heteronyms
  • 20 Image & 4 Blank Cards
  • 20 Word/Definition & 4 Blank Cards
  • 11 Answer  & 5 Blank Cards
  • 20 Fill-In Sentences with Answer Sheets
  • Levels 5 & 6 Heteronyms
  • 20 Word & 4 Blank Cards
  • 20 Definition & 4 Blank Cards
  • Words with Definitions Answer Sheet
  • 20 Fill-In Sentences with Answer Sheets
  • Thirty- Six  More Heteronyms List
  • Take the Heteronym Sentences Challenge
  • 8 Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Heteronyms-7988897

The next Project Unit is an exploration of  Antonyms for Levels 1 & 2 .

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Levels 1 & 2 Antonyms

This 37-page Project Unit  explores an Antonym discovery for Levels 1 & 2 with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Levels 1 & 2 Game Sort Mat
  • Levels 1 & 2 Game Pieces Storage Pocket
  • Level 1 Opposite Words
  • 40 (20 Pairs) Game  Word Cards & 20 (10 Pairs) Blank Game  Word Cards
  • My Opposite Words Book: Cover, Title Page & Page Template Insert
  • Answer Sheet
  • Level 2 Antonyms
  • 60 (30 Pairs) Game Word Cards & 20 (10 Pairs) Blank Game  Word Cards
  • Sort Answer Sheet
  •  20 Fill-In Sentences
  •  Sentences Answer Sheets
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Antonyms-1-2-7991443

The next Project Unit is an exploration of  Antonyms for Levels 3 & 4 .

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Levels 3 & 4 Antonyms

This 36-page Project Unit  explores an Antonym discovery for Levels 3 & 4 with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Levels 3 & 4 Game Sort Mat
  • Levels 3 & 4 Game Pieces Storage Pocket
  • Game ~ Choice Cards
  • Game Response Sheets
  • Level 3 Antonyms
  • 50 (25 Pairs) Game  Word Cards & 10 (5 Pairs) Blank Game  Word Cards
  • Sort Answer Sheet
  • Define It ! Answer Sheets
  • Level 4 Antonyms
  • 50 (25 Pairs) Game Word Cards & 20 (10 Pairs) Blank Game  Word Cards
  • Sort Answer Sheet
  • Define It ! Answer Sheets
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Antonyms-3-4-7991501

The next Project Unit is an exploration of  Antonyms for Levels 5 & 6 .

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Levels 5 & 6 Antonyms

This 35-page Project Unit  explores an Antonym discovery for Levels 5 & 6 with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Levels  5 & 6  Antonym Pairs Game Sort Mat
  • Levels 5 & 6  Antonyms As Parts of Speech Sort Mat
  • Parts of Speech Labels
  • Levels  5 & 6 Game Pieces Storage Pocket
  • Game Response Sheets
  • Level 5 Antonyms
  • 52 (26 Pairs) Game  Word Cards & 8 (4 Pairs) Blank Game  Word Cards
  • Sort Answer Sheets
  • Level 6 Antonyms
  • 52 (26 Pairs) Game Word Cards & 8 (4 Pairs) Blank Game  Word Cards
  • Sort Answer Sheets
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Antonyms-5-6-7991538

The next Project Unit is a multi-leveled exploration of  Emotion Synonyms.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Emotion Synonyms

This 29-page Project Unit  explores a multi-leveled discovery of Emotion Synonyms with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book  List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Game Sort Mat
  • 10 Basic Emotion Word Cards with 80 Synonym Word Cards
  • 10 Answer Cards & 2 Blank Answer Cards
  • Storage Pocket
  • Response Sheets
  • Circle Six Game Board: Graphic Organizer & List Templates
  • 10 Emotion Synonym Faces & Backgrounds with Answer Sheet
  • 10 Sparkling Fill-In Sentences
  • 10 Create Your Own Sparkling Sentences Template
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Emotion-Synonyms-7991622

The next Project Unit is a multi-leveled exploration of  Description  Synonyms.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Description Synonyms

This 34-page Project Unit  explores a multi-leveled discovery of Description Synonyms with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book  List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Game Sort Mat
  • 20 Basic Description Word Cards with 160 Synonym Word Cards
  • 20 Answer Cards & 4 Blank Answer Cards
  • Storage Pocket
  • Response Sheets
  • Circle Six Game Board: Graphic Organizer & List Templates
  • Antonym Match Game Sort Mat & Answer Cards
  • 20 Sparkling Fill-In Sentences
  • 20 Create Your Own Sparkling Sentences Template
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-THE-RIGHT-WORD-Description-Synonyms-7991637

The next Project Unit is a multi-leveled exploration of  Action  Synonyms.

WRITE THE RIGHT WORD: Action Synonyms

This 40-page Project Unit  explores a multi-leveled discovery of Action Synonyms with the following Contents:

  • Construction Instructions
  • Book  List
  • Activity  Sequence
  • Action Words & Their Synonyms Game Sort Mat
  • 20 Basic Action Word Cards with 160 Synonym Word Cards
  • 20 Answer Cards & 4 Blank Answer Cards
  • Storage Pocket
  • Response Sheets
  • Circle Six Game Board: Graphic Organizer & List Templates
  • 20 Sparkling Fill-In Sentences
  • Action Interaction Game Sort Mat 
  • 10 Basic Action Word Moon Cards & 6 Blank Moon Cards
  • 50 Noun Word Cloud Cards & 10 Blank Cloud Cards
  • 10 Answer Cards
  • 20 Create Your Own Sparkling Sentences Template
  • Writing Toolbox Cards

Here’s the TPT Link:     https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/WRITE-TH-RIGHT-WORD-Action-Synonyms-7991681

 

 I hope you find some of the Project Units in my WRITE THE RIGHT WORD Series an effective  teaching tool for engaging your young writers to include new Vocabulary Words when composing their written expressions.

Need Some Additional Vocabulary & Writing Ideas?

Check out these Posts:

USING FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE: Add Color to Your Writing

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

My Resource Library , also, has a few helpful Vocabulary & Writing reads:

Vocabulary Study Book Lists for Engaging Grade Levels 3 ~ 6

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

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

Copyright©2022BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations

Are you Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations ?

Before we begin ~ this Post is about Abbreviations NOT Acronyms….

Both Abbreviations and Acronyms are shortened forms of words or phrases.

An Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word ~ usually 2-4 letters ~ used to represent the whole word, such as Dr. for Doctor or tbsp. for tablespoon, while an Acronym contains a set of initial letters from a phrase that usually form another word such as ASAP for As Soon As Possible or LOL for Laugh Out Loud.

Why  Use Abbreviations ?

When talking and/or writing it takes less time to say or write the first initial of each word or an abbreviated form of the full word than to spell out every single word. This makes communication easier and faster. Several every day examples are:

  • Writing down directions to somewhere is easier to when using N, S, E or W on a St., Ln. or Blvd. instead of writing North, South, East or West on a Street, Lane, or Boulevard.
  • Words like tablespoon, teaspoon, Fahrenheit, pounds are hard to fit on a recipe card, so, using tbsp,tsp. F. and lb. will keep the measurements on the 3 X 5″ recipe card.
  • Large group words like Company and Association take up a lot of space on a sign, so using Co. and Assn. can save time and money.

When to Use Abbreviations ?

In writing, abbreviations are especially useful when you need to squeeze a lot of writing into a small space, like:

  • signs
  • posters
  • letters
  • envelopes
  • lists
  • notes
  • texts
  • recipes
  • diagrams
  • measurements
  • directions

You can, also, use abbreviations in place of long or cumbersome phrases to make your sentences easier and quicker to read:

 Without Abbreviations ~Drive North on Highway 357. Take the Green Street exit. Turn right on Maple Lane. Then, continue on Maple Lane until Poplar Boulevard.

With Abbreviations ~ Drive N. on Hwy 357. Take the Green St. exit. Turn rt. on Maple Ln. Then, cont. on Maple Ln. until Poplar Blvd.

So, I created 6 Activity Units for Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations during everyday communications when writing and talking.

Each Activity Unit contains eight similar Components.

Activity  Unit  Components

Here is a list of the Components included in each of the six Abbreviation Activity Units:

  • Construction  Instructions
  • Lesson Plan
  • Anchor  Chart Diagram
  • Pre -Test Forms with Answer Cards
  • Game Sort Mats with Storage Pocket & Game Pieces*
  • Response Sheets
  • Abbreviation  Sentences & Answer Sheet

*Game Pieces include the “long” word and its abbreviation.

Keeping reading for a brief description of each Activity  Unit.

COMMON ABBREVIATIONS: Classroom  Clips

This 37-page Activity Unit includes a general collection of Abbreviations seen in the different subject areas taught in the classroom: Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Geography, Science, and Math (Customary & Metric).

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product  access:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABBREVIATIONS-Classroom-Clips-7364876

COMMON ABBREVIATIONS: It’s About Time

This 32-page Activity Unit includes Calendar (months & weekdays) Abbreviations, Time, and an annual, mini,  make-‘n-take Calendar.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product  access:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABBREVIATIONS-Its-About-Time-7364912

COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Mini ~ Scopes  Measurements (Customary & Metric)

This 30-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric  Abbreviations for height, weight, distance, volume, and temperature. A Math problem-solving component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product access:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABBREVIATIONS-Mini-Scopes-Measurements-7364959

COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : People (Individuals & Special Groups)

This 22-page Activity Unit includes a Abbreviations given to individuals as Common & Special Titles as well as Group Titles.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product access:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABBREVIATIONS-People-7365008

COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Short  Order Kitchen (Customary & Metric)

This 24-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric Abbreviations seen in Recipes as well as Food Amounts found in packaging. A Math problem-solving component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product  access:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABBREVIATIONS-Short-Order-Kitchen-7365043

COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Travel  Tidbits (Customary & Metric)

This 45-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric Abbreviations for In-Town Directions, USA’s 50 States, the 7 Continents, and Global Directions.  A Geography/Map component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product access:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ABBREVIATIONS-Travel-Tidbits-7365068

A Few Last Words

Some of these Activity Units have “cross-over” Abbreviations. For example: Common Titles for Individuals are found in both Classroom Clips and People. Measurements can be found in Classroom Clips, Mini-Scopes, and Short-Order Kitchen. 

However, each specific Activity Unit offers more than a few Abbreviations regarding its Abbreviation subject area. Plus, the Game Sort Mats, Game Pieces, and Abbreviation Sentences are specific to its subject area as well.

Regardless of which Activity Units you decide to purchase for your teaching  purposes, I hope you and yours have fun while learning this valuable Literacy Skill.

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: 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!

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Copyright©2017BizzyLizzyBiz

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then, there’s the “attitude”…..

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

Have You & Your Pre-Toddler……..

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

Are You & Your Pre-Toddler……

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

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

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

Your Pre-Toddler’s Brain

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

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

Important fact to remember~

No two brains grow & develop at the same rate. 

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

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

Building Your Baby’s Brain Power

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

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

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

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

Learning The Language of Speech & Literacy

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

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

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

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

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

How Is Normal Language & Speech Learned ?

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

pre toddler speak
Pre-Toddler & Language-tel13588006626

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

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

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

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

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

What Are the Signs That My Baby Is Learning Language?

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

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

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

Understanding How Listening & Speaking Happen

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

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

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

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

A Listening & Speaking Development Chart

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

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

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

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

How You Can Help Your Child’s Language & Speech

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

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

Parentese  

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

Parentese is NOT baby talk. The speaker:

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

Other Tips for Your Child’s Language Literacy

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

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

Here are her  helpful tips:

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

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

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

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

What I Learned About Language, Playtime & Literacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Old School” Becomes “New School”

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

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

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

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

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

The Wonderment of Nature Play

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

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

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

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

Pre-Toddler Developmental Toy ~ Tools & Activities 

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

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

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

Growth & Development Toy Ideas for Your Pre-Toddler

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

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

Suggestions:

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

Your Home As One Big Playhouse

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

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

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

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

Every Toy in Its Place & A Place for Every Toy

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

the order of Toy tools
The Order of ToyTools-MarkusSpiske

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

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

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

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

Here’s The Scoop !

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

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

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

It’s Clean Up Time! Clean Up Time!

Let’s go, Everybody! Clean Up Time!

Toys in baskets, boxes & bins!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Reading Habits & Routines with Your Pre-Toddler

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

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

Daily Reading Time Tips (12-18 months)

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

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

Daily Reading Time Tips (18-24 months)

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

  Reading for Meaning/Understanding with Your Pre-Toddler

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

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

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

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

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

“I Want Us to Read This Book !”

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

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

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

You can, also, make a book:

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

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

Animal Talk : Exploring 20 Common Animal Sounds

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

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

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

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

Reading for Literacy with Wordless Picture Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Managing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Toddler (24-36 Months)

Characters  and moral development, as well as spiritual reflection and moments of joy, are crucial for fully developing the nature of each child. ~ Michael Gurian PhD Nurture the Nature

 And how is your little angel doing? Flying, Landing? Managing the Family Literacy Circle with Your Toddler

Climbing up & down? Up & down? Stairs? Furniture? You? Trees are next (OMG)!!!!

Doesn’t need or want help walking (holding your hand ANYWHERE can be a struggle)? Running, and, oh, yes, the newest favorite- JUMPING, JUMPING, JUMPING ?!?

S/he has worked very hard during the last year or so to master upright movement (I DO IT!!!- is a favorite phrase now-more on that later).

Balance & coordination are improving, so prepare for some physical risk-taking.  Think tricycles ( we called them low-riders), lots of throwing (FORE!!!  INCOMING!!!!), and galloping (yes, like a herd of wild horses). With sound effects….

So ~ have you re-baby-proofed your home? S/he is a lot taller and more-much more-mobile now. Still loving to get into EVERYTHING!!! Cabinets, drawers, hampers, refrigerator doors, and, yes, toilets. Moving a chair to reach a door knob and/or latch can be expected in the near future. So, time to upgrade those knobs, handles & latches.

“No, no, no!” is pretty much meaningless. Exploration is being driven by confident mobility and boundless curiosity. YES !!!! It’s a good thing ~ a GREAT thing, actually.

Understanding Your Toddler’s Brain

Ready or Not !-Kazuend/toddler
Ready or Not !-Kazuend

If you’re like me, you’re thinking the brain’s the brain. I, however, did a little research to help me (and you) understand our most powerful & mysterious “organ”.

Dr. Bruce D. Perry, an American psychiatrist with a PhD in Behavioral Sciences, has written several books on children in crisis. Here’s what he taught me, thanks to the article – “Using Play to Build the Brain” @ gooeybrains.com.

Our brains grow from conception  in a sequence/order,  beginning with the most basic areas first. Then, the other more complex areas start to develop. Each area (there are 4 broad brain areas) needs to grow in a healthy, functioning way before we can move on and focus on building the next area- in order. 

Ready to Know More?

  • The most basic building block in the brain is the brain stem, which keeps the body functioning-heart rate, temperature, sleep & fear states, etc. It develops in us as infants during 0-9 months of age.
  • Between 6 until 24 months of age, the midbrain is developing. This area helps to build  movement, or motor skills- both gross & fine. Our 5 senses are, also, combining and fine-tuning at this time within our bodies.
  • The limbic area is all about emotions. We can gain the skills of tolerance, empathy, belonging & social relationships during the ages of 12 to 24 months.
  • The most complex area of the brain is the cortical area. Developing between the ages of 3 until 6 years of age, this part of the brain controls concrete (factual) and abstract (creative) thought. Language skills, imagination, morality & respect are gains at this time of growth.

Since the brain grows & develops each of these sections in order, don’t ask  or expect your toddler to do something s/he is not ready to do. S/he is a “work-in-progress”. Remember each child develops in his/her own time/rate.

Keep reading for a few tips you don’t have to be a brain specialist to use.

 Encouraging  Your Toddler  Brain’s Growth & Development

Toddler's World of Wonder-Jennifer Wai Ting Tan
World of Wonder-Jennifer Wai Ting Tan

Did you know by the age of 3, your child’s brain is 80% as big as an adult’s brain?

Keep in mind your toddler continues to experience the world through all 5 of her/his senses. You & loved ones can encourage your toddler brain’s healthy growth & development everyday with a few things you are probably already doing. Dr. Gurian, a brain scientist, family therapist & author of Nurture the Nature, provides these guidelines for parents:

  • Nutrition: eating right means avoid junk food or sugary snacks & try not to have long lag times between meals
  • Rest: increasing sleep might help ease cranky/whiny behaviors
  • Discovery: exploring nature is an easy way to use all 5 senses
  • Readiness: teaching every “little” thing is “big” to your toddler, so not too much at once and only when s/he is developmentally ready
  • Independence: hovering  will interfere with your child’s need to develop, play & learn as an individual
  • Behaviors: providing lessons in “right & wrong” whenever you can

Now, just a few thoughts about video screens : television, computer, tablet, game console & phone……

Your Toddler’s Brain & Screen Time

More & more early child development studies are supporting the negative effects of too much screen time. Dr. Gurian and other developmental brain specialists shared some of the recent findings:

  • It can affect: behaviors, sleep, future obesity & mood development.
  • It can increase behavior problems: even after 1 hour of educational programs-is your child more aggressive, more passive and/or more lethargic?
  • It can translate into lower reading & short term  memory scores.

When I had my Home School, the TV was never on until the end of the day for PBS’ Reading Rainbow, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood & Sesame Street. The children, ages 1-5, wandered in & out of the room during Reading Rainbow & Sesame Street, watching for 2-3 minutes at a time. Mr. Rogers, however, held their attention for much longer periods of time. Often, they responded to his soft, calm questions earnestly, sitting very still and focused……

As my child grew up, television privileges were a sure-fire way to achieve behavior adjustments. It usually took about a week or so (withdrawal period-seriously) before my lovable, communicative & creative son returned.

Environment Matters in Brain Growth & Development

Once your Toddler has mastered many mobility skills (first building block), s/he will continue to use that movement & begin working/playing on the next building blocks. Early childhood authorities generally agree your young one is working on these  4 areas of growth & development at the same time:                                                                                                                             

Toddler Learning-Bessi
I Am Learning-Bessi
  • Physical-gross motor skills (the big muscles of crawling, walking, climbing, etc) & fine motor skills (hand-eye coordination of holding, coloring, cutting, throwing, catching, etc)

  • Language & Speech-understanding & expressing thought (vocabulary, sentence structure, etc)
  • Social/Emotional- understanding self & others (playing, sharing, feelings, etc)
  • Self-Help/Adaptive-being independent (dressing, feeding, etc)

Cognitive, or reasoning, develops later, usually beginning around 3 years old.So, now, you (and I) understand why our toddlers (and we) suffered misunderstandings…..

According to Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychotherapist with more than 30 years of experience working with families, creating an engaging environment for your growing child needs to involve all 5 of the senses, movement, social interaction & thought-at the same time. The benefits to your child’s brain health are:

  • lower levels of stress chemicals
  • decreased anxiety in an anxious child
  • new brain cell growth

“What I’m Trying So Hard To Say!!!”

If I accept the sunshine & warmth, then, I must also accept the thunder & lightning. ~ Kahlil Gibran

One minute your dimpled darling is full of giggles, hugs & kisses and within seconds (it seems), your red-faced toddler is crying, yelling & (yikes!) biting with an almost-full set of teeth.  Try to remain calm because your puzzled frustration is small (maybe) compared to the large tantrum going on now (AGAIN!!).

A major contributor to this repetitious scenario is your toddler’s inability to speak in words.  Those articulation muscles are not keeping up with what your child is able to think & understand.

Although s/he understands A LOT of words, your Toddler continues to work on the actual physical components of speech:

  • Articulation- how we make sounds
  • Voicing- how we use our vocal cords
  • Fluency- tone & rhythm

Your toddler’s slower, physical ability to express may not be keeping pace with what s/he is thinking & understanding. However, here’s a little chart on what may be happening and/or what is to come.

Speech & Language Chart of Growth & Development

Age in Months Receptive / Understanding Expressive / Speaking
By 30 months*Follows 2-step directions
*Consistently understands basic nouns, verbs, pronouns
*Understands "mine" & "yours"
*Can point to many body parts when asked
*Consistently uses 2-3 word phrases
*Knows & says own name
*Produces direction words, like in, out, on, off
*Begins to name requested objects
*Can say 400 words
*Participates in simple. take/turns conversation
*Repeats words heard in conversation
By 36 months*Understands opposites like hot/cold, big/small
*Simple understanding of colors, space, time
*Recognizes how objects are used
*Understands "why" questions
*Understands most simple sentences
*Produces 4-5 word sentences
*Uses plurals
*Answers simple "who, what, where" questions
*Answers more "yes/no" questions
*Can say almost 900 words
*May begin telling stories about experiences
*Able to express some simple feelings
*Sings favorite songs
*Likes to make up silly words
*Talks aloud to self & in imaginary play



Special thanks to North Shore Pediatric Therapy 4 Kids Infographic: “Speech & Language Milestones” and Katie’s October 2012 article: “Your Child’s Speech & Language-24-36 Months @ Playing with Words 365 for sharing their information.

And by age 3, WHOA!!! Be prepared for an explosion of brain-fueled questions, answers & anything else needing to be expressed. You’re going to be amazed !!!

You Can Boost Your Toddler’s Language Literacy

The ability to think, reason & problem solve grows out of language. ~ Rudolf Steiner

You can  help grow your mini Powerhouse’s ability to speak, using  some of  these tips collected from The Early Bird  Program Manual,  “Boosting Your Toddler’s Speech & Language” @ the piri-pirilexicon & Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Toddler on the Block  :

  • Point out interesting sights & sounds at home, outside, on errands, trips
  •  Use simple, but  real language-no baby talk
  • Repeat words a lot, so your child will remember them
  • Describe everything your child is interested in
  • Gesture more
  • Ask questions in a questioning way, but don’t push for an answer
  • Tell stories
  • Sing songs, especially rhyming ones
  • Let your child hear you talking to other people, pets, birds, etc
  • Stop & listen
  • Be positive & fun

Rhyming, interactive poems are very enjoyable to your Toddler. Remember “Itsy Bitsy Spider” & “Hickory Dickory Dock” ?

I have create 5 games using 5 short, simple rhymes to play with your child to encourage  speech while having fun:

Toddler Talk : 5 Interactive Body & Picture Play Rhymes

Click on the BLB Shop below & check it out.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/toddler-finger-picture-play-rhymes/

The 3 Stages of Speech Development

There are 3 stages of speech development once your child is speaking, according to Dr. Karl Konig, a therapeutic pediatrician:

  • Saying – Your child uses one-word sentences to communicate a desire (more)  or emotion (here).
  • Naming – Your child can label a thing and, then, be specific (toy/truck).
  • Talking – Your child is using whole sentences during dialogue.

Need more information? Click on this link from my Resource library:   https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/language-speech-development-sites/

Some Other Pieces to Your Toddler’s Puzzle

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Louisa May Alcott Little Women

Toddler-I Am Me!!
I Am Me!!

Yes, the Family Literacy Circle would not be complete unless the “personality” of your toddler is included. Believe it or not, this part of the growth & development is very important to understanding how learning is taking place as well as the communication being shared.

Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician & author of The Happiest Toddler on the Block, offers a humorous & unique approach for meeting the challenges of your “cave-kid”. 

Many toddlers are a blend of easy, cautious & spirited, depending on their mood of the moment. Dr. Karp provides 9 behavior traits for parents to observe while trying to solve the “problems” s/he is gleefully creating.  They are:

  • Activity – Does your child enjoy playing quietly OR is s/he fidgety & constantly moving?
  • Regularity – Do you have a daily, predictable routine?
  • First Reaction – How does your child react to new situations?
  • Adaptability – How does your child handle change or unexpected events?
  • Intensity – Is your child mild/gentle OR boisterous/passionate?
  • Mood – Is your child usually happy/easy-going OR grumpy/easily frustrated?
  • Persistence – Does your child “go with the flow” OR fight all the way?
  • Attention Span – Is s/he focused during play OR  easily distracted?
  • Sensitivity – Is s/he unaware of small changes OR reactive to them?

Karp estimated 40% of toddlers are easy-going/flexible, 15% are cautious/sensitive  & 10% are spirited/challenging. He goes on to say that about one-third of toddlers don’t fit into any category.

My toddler was very spirited, could be cautious with some flexibility sprinkled in, but most of the time, he “steam-rolled over limits”. YAY…… What an eye-opener for adolescence-to-come!!!

What’s A Parent To Do ?!?!?

I’m not saying those few years were easy because I understood what was going on with my Mighty Mite…….  However, there were a few strategies  that worked for us, most of the time……

Having a Home School, my children & I relied on 3 of my Four Rs: Routine, Repetition & Ritual. Relax-not so much….

If you’re interested in some schedule-planning tips…..

BLB’s 10 R’s Schedule

How About a Little Chat ?!?

And now a few thoughts about communicating with your toddler-

  • Deep breathes before you begin speaking in short, simple phrases

    I'm Listening...-BarunPatro/toddler
    I’m Listening…-BarunPatro
  • See & speak eye-to-eye
  • Use gestures & facial expressions
  • Ask (see key words & phrases)
  • Re-phrase your negatives-no, don’t, can’t- into positives
  • Help your child to use words, not actions
  • Give choices-this or that?
  • Follow through on consequences-“when you/then”
  • Pick your battles, especially with a strong-willed toddler, because if you don’t – that is all you will do all day long for months & months

Grab your Relaxation whenever you can- it is a little easier in the evening, but Quiet Time is Quiet Time. In the meantime, enjoy watching your Toddler during play. It’s a powerful thing!

Follow this website link for more Parenting Your Toddler Tips:

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/growing-independence-tips-parents-toddlers-and-twos

The Power of Play & Literacy

Play is the work of the child. ~ Maria Montessori

Even though your 2 year old toddler continues to play along side not with, others,  s/he may imitate some of their play movements. Parallel Play builds non-verbal & observation skills.

I Love To Play! -Kruszyyzna0
I Love To Play! -Kruszyyzna0

S/he will begin to notice patterns in the world, identify things that match & label, sort & organize things using color words. I observed toddlers at this age lining up their toys according to size & color or putting them in groups.

Around 2 1/2 years old, you may overhear your toddler engaging in fantasy, or pretend play. S/he might play simple games that require taking turns. S/he is preparing to be interested in Cooperative, or Associative Play, which usually occurs as a 3 year old.

The article, “Using Play to Build the Brain” @ gooeybrains.com, included an infographic by Bruce Perry, a leading psychiatrist at the Child Trauma Academy, explaining the developmental skills children gain through play. Here’s my version.

BLB's Bruce Perry's Play Skills Model

Encouraging & Nurturing Your Toddler’s Imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge. ~ Albert Einstein

Listening to Pretend Play is one of the most enlightening ways to gain a glimpse into your child’s heart, mind, and spirit. It is fascinating! Even with minimal dialogue, his/her gestures, facial expressions & body language will communicate what s/he is saying during the serious work of play.

Funny Me! Frank-McKenna
Funny Me! Frank-McKenna

In the past 40 years, there’s been a revolution in our scientific understanding of babies & young children. Long before they can read or write, they have extraordinary powers of imagination and creativity, and long before they go to school, they have remarkable learning abilities. ~ Alison Gopnik “The Start of Thinking” for Time Magazine’s The Science of Childhood

Ann Ruethling & Patti Pitcher, who co-authored Under the Chinaberry Tree, observed that creativity is necessary to imagine new solutions  with new ways of living to solve the world’s problems. They offer suggestions that really work for engaging your budding critical thinker.

  • Allow time for your child to experience hours of fantasy & outdoor play with very few toys that have only one answer & are prepackaged.
  • Allow your child to be bored without rescuing him/her because it stimulates creativity.
  • Always have materials to make things available at home, like string, sticks & boxes.
  • Limit structured daily time because it closes opportunities for open-ended play.
  • Make messes & mistakes

For centuries, children have created their toy-tools out of whatever they can find around them. They  model for us-who have forgotten- how to synchronize work with play !

Your Toddler Is A Toy Maker

My parents , who raised 5, yes 5 giggly girls, love to tell the story of the rocking horse we received one Christmas. “Red” was a large, wooden, hand-painted, red horse, accented with black detail. He had heavy, coiled springs attached to a frame and lived in our living room for almost 10 years until the youngest had her last ride.

The huge box Red arrived in received most of the attention-for days-until it couldn’t stand anymore.

With nothing more than a little imagination, boxes can be transformed into forts or houses, spaceships or submarines, castles or caves. Inside a big cardboard box, a child is transported to a world of his/her own, where anything is possible. ~ National Toy Hall of Fame

Your toddler enjoys playing with a variety of  toys. Until around 3 years old s/he will continue to “mouth” them. The list is simple:

  • push & pull toys
  • large & shaped blocks
  • cars & trucks
  • rocking horse
  • tricycle or low-rider
  • small & large balls
  • musical toys
  • dolls & stuffed animals
  • dress-up clothes
  • table, chairs & play dishes

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles ! A Perfect Toy!

 Do we ever “outgrow” our love of bubbles?!? Hmmmm, let’s see… bubble baths, bubbly drinks, bubble gum, foam, froth, frolic…

BUBBLES!!!!Leo-Rivas-Micoud/toddler
BUBBLES!!!!Leo-Rivas-Micoud

Bubbles are fascinating fun, especially to your toddler.  Chasing them can engage him/her for a while, especially if those bubbly “toys” make a landing before popping.

Oh yes, and popping them is fun, too! Big ones, small ones, wiggly ones, windy ones! 

Learning to make & blow bubbles is a proud moment for her/him. Added bonus-speech muscles are being worked & new vocabulary is being learned.

Besides being introduced to a few scientific facts & skills, your child is, also, learning about:

  • cause & effect
  • visual tracking
  • hand-eye coordination
  • shapes
  • imagination & creativity

Here’s a wonderful “bubble” website you can link to connect on:

https://leftbraincraftbrain.com/how-bubbles-work-20-things-to-do-with-them/

Bubbling with Excitement Over Books

You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be – I had a mother who read to me. ~ Strickland Gillilan

Your toddler’s brain is like  sponge, soaking up enormous amounts of information. However,  s/he needs constant repetition because s/he forgets most of what s/he is absorbing.

What Research Has Discovered

Reading is a crucial part of bonding and brain development. Although s/he is not understanding many of the words yet, his/her future depends on the number of words heard when spoken & read. (Dr. Michael Gurian, author of Nurture the Nature, 2007)

The first three years of exploring & playing with books, singing nursery rhymes, listening to stories, recognizing words & scribbling (more on this topic later on in this blog) are truly the building blocks for language & literacy development. (“Early Literacy” @zerotothree.org/BrainWonders, 2003)

Toddler Reading- Public Domain Pictures
Toddler Reading- Public Domain Pictures

When parents & loved ones show their young children how positive the reading experience is while sharing books, they play a powerful role in their children’s reading achievement. (Strickland & Denny, 1989)

Children who have had many loving, enjoyable reading experiences before coming to school “feel the joy of making sense of the mystery of print”. (Cullinen, 1989)

Research has discovered, reading favorite stories again & again (be ready to purchase several copies of several, well-loved books-I did), is very important to the literacy development of children. After repeated readings, children will “respond more frequently to questions in more complex ways”. (Teale &Sulzby 1987)

 Discovering Your Toddler’s Favorite Books

Does your toddler carry around some of his/her books?

Have you noticed her/him reading them to stuffed animals & dolls?

Good job, Parents! Reading & books are part of your child’s life.

Ready to introduce more books into your Toddler’s library?

My Very Own Library - Pexels/toddler
My Very Own Library – Pexels

Choose books with simple, realistic life images; touchy/textured parts & look-and-see discovery flaps. S/he will begin turning the pages back & forth. Soon, s/he will noticed the print and ask you what it says.

Here are some suggestions from “BrainWonders & Sharing Books with Babies” @zerotothree.com:

  • books with simple stories
  • rhyming books that can be memorized
  • bedtime books
  • books about: shapes. sizes, numbers & the alphabet
  • books about: animals, vehicles, playtime
  • books about saying hello & goodbye

Need a few actual book titles? Check out these book lists in BLB’s Resource Library:

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

 Making Books Together

Draw a  book with your Toddler watching. Make  books with photos. Including your Toddler’s life in these photo books is fun and a great ways to build language, literacy & self-esteem. Here’s some ideas for  (Baby’s Name) Helps At Home:

  • Cooking in the Kitchen – Mommy mixes in a bowl / I can mix in a bowl;  I put water in a pot / Daddy makes pasta; etc
  • Cleaning Around the House – Mommy & I dust; Daddy & I vacuum; I help Mommy & Daddy wash, dry, fold & put away clothes
  • Playing Together – We read together; we sing & dance together; we build together; we walk the dog together

BLB Shop has a short e-book full of ideas:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/make-25- interactive-babylovephoto-books/

 A Few Words About Literacy & Wordless Picture Books

Sharing wordless picture books with your Toddler is a great way to encourage the growth of important Literacy skills. It builds oral language, vocabulary, comprehension & listening skills. Since you are creating the story, be sure to include a beginning, middle & end.

Spend time looking at the cover and talking about the book’s title. Enjoy the pictures, point out a few things,  and stay on one page as long as your Toddler is interested. Here is a Wordless Picture Book reference list from BLB’s Resource Library:

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

How to encourage Your Toddler’s Literacy with Reading

You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child. ~ Dr. Seuss

Let's Read Together -Dassel/toddler
Let’s Read Together -Dassel

Interactive reading- talking with your child about the story while the story is being read- encourages language development. Questions about the pictures & the story engage your Toddler’s attention. Comments & predictions will soon follow.

Your 2 year old Toddler may want the story s/he has heard before to be read exactly like you’ve read it the previous 10 times.  You may hear him/her reading this same story to pets & toys.

S/he will not only be pointing & identifying objects in the pictures, s/he will begin identifying the actions, too. S/he may want to hear longer and more complex stories read at different times.

When reading a book with your Toddler, encourage good reading habits by using this sequence:

  • reading the title/author/illustrator
  • looking at the book cover, ask your child to make a prediction about the story before opening the book
  • occasionally asking your child “what is happening” by looking at the pictures, especially if s/he seems “fixed” on a picture
  • tracking the words as you read
  • occasionally asking “recall” questions – what/how/do you think
  • introducing “surprise”
  • using expression as you read/changing voices for characters
  • reading the story again
  • enjoying the story with your child & make it entertaining

NOTE: If your wiggly Toddler is not interested in reading a book together, please do not push it. S/he will bring a book to you soon. Just make sure s/he sees you & loved ones reading & writing. Yes, maybe, s/he is more interested in writing…..

 A  Writer or Artist  In Your Family Literacy Circle?

Your Toddler’s fine motor skills are becoming more defined.  S/he is able to stack block towers, string  beads, hold  a spoon when eating & turn the pages of a book.

Include your child when writing short messages- phone, greeting cards, love notes. Show your child the difference between writing & drawing. When you write the grocery shopping list, include some drawings- apples, milk jug, macaroni.

Toddler & Chalk-Debsch
Toddler & Chalk-Debsch

Make sure fat pencils, crayons & sidewalk chalk are available for your Toddler to use at home.

If your child likes to draw on paper, you can make a very special “book” together.  After her/his drawing is completed, ask about it. Write the sentence, or words, on a sticky note. Ask if you can write it on the front or back of the picture. Make a collection of these in a book you can read together.

Your Toddler’s oral and written expressions are important ways to build growth in literacy. There are no rules-just opportunities!

If you’ve read to the end of this (WHEW!) long post about your child’s BIG year, I have a little something for you & yours. Click, download & print on the link below for some PlayDay ideas with your Toddler.

Toddler Playday

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

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

Copyright©2017BizzyLizzyBiz

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

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:

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:

Teaching the Alphabet : A 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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COPYRIGHT 2021BIZZY LIZZYBIZ

 

 

Building the Family Literacy Circle’s Language & Play with Your “I AM FOUR !”

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. ~ Angela Schwindt

WOW! Can you believe your baby is ALREADY 4 years old ?

And how DIFFERENT your child is from only a year ago ?

Way  too energetic, busy & imaginative to spend time with …..tantrums (most of the time….)?

Becoming a problem solver right before your very eyes?

Humorous? Very chatty, using LOTS of new words?

Wants to play WITH others?

I mean…. just the PHYSICAL accomplishments alone are HUGE:

  • runs, hops,  jumps & SKIPS (really worked hard on that one skill); leaps & balance are next…..
  • catches, throws & BOUNCES (whoa!) a ball; kicking & hitting on the horizon
  • pedals & steers a trike or lowrider; downhill racing….yikes!!!!
  • unzip, unsnap & unbutton clothing (yay?)
  • uses spoon, fork…….& knife (serrated butter) to feed, not propel, yet…….

SOOOOO, your (baby)child is performing these daily tasks solo with  A LOT of pride:

  • washing (with soap) & drying hands (on a towel….when reminded)
  • using utensils to eat (skillfully)
  • brushing teeth
  • combing hair
  • dressing in clothes ?!? (another whoa……)

Kindergarten is right around the corner (YIKES)…..

 Speaking of “Very Chatty”…..

Why & How ? MichaelMims
Why & How ? MichaelMims

Did you just hear your child say….”actually” and/or “as a matter of fact” ?!?!?

Here’s a fun & interesting activity ~ count how many times your four-year-old asks “WHY?” in a day, afternoon, hour….

I remember thinking to myself ~ after offering a reasonable, age-appropriate response to my little builder’s “why ?” ~ he is still asking “why”…. 

And “because I said so” never worked….

Oh, I did say, on several, well more than several occasions, “well, why do you think…..” and had my “mind blown” more than a few times as well !

“How?” questions are, also, favorites of the four-year-old inquiring & expanding mind.

Speaking of questions – asked & answered – you may want to find out which “wh-” questions your small inquisitor can understand & answer. for example, ask this series of related questions several hours after the fact:

  • What did you eat for snack?
  • Where did you eat your snack?
  • When did you eat your snack? ( a little more challenging because the concept of time is still developing)
  • How did you eat your snack?
  • Who did you eat your snack with ?
  • Why did you eat your snack ?

Building on what is known to acquire more answers is, in my opinion, what your “I AM FOUR!” child is exploring, discovering & constructing. Being able to verbalize so many thoughts & questions her/his brain has been working on for several years is especially gratifying. So, prepare to become the go-to Fountain of Knowledge for your preschooler.

These questioning marathons are wonderful opportunities as skill- builders:

  • responding in conversation-mode 
  • creating more complex sentences
  • sharing what is learned with others
  • critical thinking   (more on that later)
  • following sequential directions
  • storytelling- imagined & real
  • comprehending stories read/told
  • listening for important, relevant information
  • understanding new vocabulary

The Listening & Speaking Language of Literacy

Yes, right now, your four-year-old not only understands 3-4 THOUSAND words. s/he can, also, speak 1500 words…in complex sentences.

Don’t worry if you overhear your growing child “talking to her/himself”. S/he is just practicing conversation skills.

You may even hear him/her using a simpler sentence structure when speaking to younger children ! Amazing, huh ?!?

A word about enunciation – s, ch, sh, z, j, v, th, & zh are still difficult to produce and will probably continue to be for the next few years.

Is s/he creating words when a word needed for expressing a thought isn’t in his/her vocabulary? How wonderful is that?  Playing with words is a great building block for reading.  Keep those words in an “I AM FOUR!” dictionary.

Vocabulary Builders

There are many ways to help increase your child’s vocabulary:

  • Read aloud – often.
  • Use new, “big” words during daily conversations.
  • Make sure s/he understands the meanings of new words. Ask.
  • Add descriptive words to your stories & your child’s stories.
  • Create picture/word charts or word walls. review.
  • Use themes to grow vocabulary: Halloween, seasons, animals, foods, etc
  • Identify objects using color, number, same/different, size (big/little) 
  • Introduce quantity comparison words, like empty & full, more & less
  •  Teach positional & directional concept words

What Are Directional & Positional Concept Words ?

Both lists of these concept words answer where or  how objects & people are placed or arranged.

Directional & Positional concept words add dimension & more precise descriptors to your child’s  vocabulary. They, not only help define his/her world, but also, bring a greater understanding of order into it.

You can teach these vocabulary words everyday as part of your conversations with your child.

Building MsC
Building DirectionsMsC

Make it into a fun, interactive game using toys. Take turns putting the block in front of the bear and, then, behind the bear. Place the car near the ball and. then, far away from the ball.

Click on the link below to download & copy a list of these beginning concept words.

Beginning Directional & Positional Words

 If your child is struggling to learn these spatial concepts, here are a few teaching tips from Carrie Clark, a speech pathologist @ speechandlanguagekids.

  • Teach by demonstration & object, one pair of concept words at a time, ie up & down
  • Hand your child the object, telling him/her to hold it up in the air or down on the  floor
  • Ask a yes/no question while you demonstrate: Am I holding the (object) up in the air? Down on the floor?
  • Have your child tell you whether s/he is holding the (object) up in the air or down on the floor.

If the pair of concept words are too confusing, choose a different pair or just begin with one word of the pair.

Are You Following Directions ?

I cannot tell you how many 100s (uh-1000s) of times I asked this question as a classroom teacher ! OMG!!!!

Even when repeating the directions and, then, having students parrot back those same directions successfully, the follow – through lacked success….. Really- “Put your name on your paper.” Some of my FIFTH graders were not doing this, even with a prompt! GOOD GRIEF!!!

Perhaps some early childhood intervention will help prepare your pre-schooler for the onslaught of directions that will be part of the daily elementary school routine for every activity. AND from a  variety of teachers.

Developmentally, your four-year-old is not only understanding &  usually following 3 step directions, but also,  those directions do not have to be related.

Sidebar ~ when giving directions, try to say “please” & “thank you”. It is a good opportunity for modeling manners & showing appreciation. 

Does your child struggle with this skill? 

Click on the link below for access to The BLB Resource Library’s :

 Meeting the FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS Challenge

Let me know if the strategy works for you & yours !

Oh, and FYI, here’s the link to Carrie Clark’s great website for a ton of Speech & Language information, tips & games:

https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/

 Freedom to Play Promotes Brain Power

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning. For children, play is serious learning! ~ Fred Rogers

By the age of four, 85% of  your child’s core brain structure is formed. This core brain structure is the basis for future health and academic success. 

Play = Brain Power MiPham
Play = Brain Power MiPham

Studies continue to pour in regarding the critical role free play has in the growth and development of the brain, as well as physical   and social skills.

In 2007  the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that play stimulates brain growth in the areas of:

  • attention span
  • focus
  • visual tracking
  • hand-eye coordination

A research team at the University of Arkansas linked play to   increases in cognitive & thinking skills at infancy,  3 years of age & again at 4.5 years of age.

Various studies have linked higher learning skills  to playing with blocks.

Pretend play increases language & vocabulary skills in both speaking & understanding.

Play promotes, not only, the mental health of your child, but also, his/her physical health:

  • gross & fine motor control
  • strength
  • endurance

The social development of your child during play is HUGE! (more on play stages & types later) Play, not only, teaches your child how to play, but also, how to play with others. Cooperative play promotes:

  • creative thinking
  • problem solving
  • decision making
  • communication skills of listening, cooperating & negotiating

Free play isn’t just something children like to do ~ free play is something they NEED to do.

The Price of Free Play

In 2011, Dr. Peter Gray, a Boston University psychology professor, published an article in the American Journal Of Play regarding the importance of play. Gray and other play experts have noted the relationship between the decline of free playtime and the rise of depression, anxiety & suicides.

As the average amount of time spent in highly structured play, such as organized sports, play dates, enrichment classes, etc, rises, so do these mental health issues.

Passive leisure spent on screen time, such as television, video games. texting, etc, is, also, impacting the mental health of our youngsters’ growth & development in a negative way.

How to encourage Quality Play Time

Oompah.com of “naturally brilliant toys” created a wonderful infographic with these simple, every-day tips you probably already include within your child’s play-scape.

Use everyday opportunities / schedules are not necessary

  • bathing time
  •  cooking a meal
  • setting the table
  • making home repairs
  • walking around the neighborhood
  • running errands
  • listening to music

Interactive Play

  • get on the floor
  • put together new puzzles
  • teach how to take turns during games
  • take an interest in your child’s games

Add “loose parts”  to encourage creativity during play

  •  make blankets, logs, ropes, buckets & boxes available
  • items that can be moves, changed, combined, manipulated

Go Outdoors

Water Play Frank-McKenna
Water Play Frank-McKenna
  • pitch a tent in the backyard
  • play & splash in the rain
  • plant a garden
  • make nature art
  • build a fort
  • collect rocks
  • watch wildlife
  •  go on a nature treasure hunt
  • blow bubbles

There’s Play & Then, There’s Play

Your preschooler is beginning to play WITH others more. S/he is learning the interactive lessons of give, take & cooperation ~ the Social stage of play.

Did you know within each of the stages of  play, there  are different types of play  ~ around 16 according to A Playworker’s Taxonomy of Play Types by B. Hughes? Your child has been engaged in a variety of play “types” since birth. With the help of the website, thehealingpathwithchildren.com , I have listed 14 of them in alphabetical, NOT developmental order.

Check out this “Table of Play”.

PLAY TYPESDEFINITION AND/OR CHARACTERISTICSPLAY ACTIONS
Communicationusing words, suggestions & gesturesmime, charades, jokes, play acting, singing, whispering, pointing, poetry, ball games
Creativeusing self-expression & imagination to make & change things with an element of surprisedesign, explore, materials, tools, props, equipment, experiment
Deeptaking physical risks, developing survival skills & conquering fearclimb obstacles, lifting large objects, roller skating, gymnastics, lighting campfires
Exploratorymanipulating and/or moving objects for property, possibility & content informationhandling, throwing, banging, stacking, mouthing
Fantasyrearranging the world in an unlikely way ~ make-believetall as a skyscraper, tiny as an ant, go into outer-space, slay a dragon, climb Mt. Everest
Imaginativeignoring the rules of the physical worldbecome a tree, boat, animal, robot, alien, laser beam, teapot, hammer, spaceship
Locomotormoving in any or every physical directionchase, tag, hide & seek, tree climbing, hopping, skipping. turning around in circles
Masterycontrolling & using the materials of naturedigging holes, building a dam, constructing shelters, gathering food to eat
Objectusing hand-eye manipulation & movements on an objectpainting with brushes, coloring with crayons, drawing with chalk, pouring with a cup
Recapitulativeexploring family history & traditionsstories, folklore, culture, rituals, rhymes
Roleusing common, usual tools for interactionsweeping with a broom, talking on the phone, pushing the grocery cart, mixing the soup
Rough & Tumbleusing physical contact to discover flexibility & strengthtouching, tickling, wrestling, interactive exercising
Socio-Dramaticacting out real-life, personal experiencesbeing mommies & daddies, playing house, going shopping,
cooking meals, disciplining
Symbolicusing objects to represent other thingsa branch is a wand, a rock is a person, a string is a crown, a block is a cookie

See how busy your child has been synchronizing work with play ?!?

The Real Promise of Imagination

The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and, therefore, to foster civilization. ~ L. Frank Baum

One of the most endearing experiences I had during my years as an educator in my Home Day School involved listening to children’s creative role-play.

Whether indoors or in nature, they were always entertaining each other with make-believe on the real life stage or a fantasy world.

The perceptions they revealed were enlightening as well as fascinating !

Rocks became feasts, sticks became magic wands, leaves became messages, and acorns became magic spells.

Blankets were capes, pillows were tunnels, tables were caves, and chairs were obstacle courses.

Nicola, a mother of 5 & creator of the site – craftykidsathome, shared her insights in the blog, “Benefits of Imaginative Play”. 

  • develops creativity, especially for problem solving
  • grows imagination, especially for story-telling
  • encourages language skills, especially for vocabulary
  • improves social skills, especially for cooperation
  • introduces career research, especially for “when I grow up..”
  • teaches life skills, especially for home chore contributions
  • explains real life scenarios, especially for current events

Unless, of course, your youngster is a total realist….then, this natural childhood playtime will needs to be “taught” and encouraged. its value is ENORMOUS!

A Play Plan

What “make-believe play behaviors” do you notice your 4 year-old child displaying?

Dr. Shen-Li Lee, author of Brainchild and creator of the parenting website @ Figur8.net, shares some examples of “immature play” vs “mature play”:

Immature Play

  • repeats the same actions over & over
  • uses objects realistically NOT creatively
  • does not use toys or props in make-believe role-play
  • uses few words & dialogue to create play scenarios
  • interacts minimally with other children
  • cannot describe what will be played in advance
  • conflicts with others about props & roles
  • will play in scenarios for only 5-10 minutes

Mature Play

  • creates & acts out pretend scenarios
  • uses toys & props in symbolic ways to fit into the scenarios
  • uses a lot of language & includes imitative speech during role play
  • includes & interacts with others during role play
  • adds new ideas for multiple roles during the scenarios
  • discusses roles & actions before enacting scenarios
  • solves conflicts & invents props as problem solutions
  • can extend play scenarios for long periods of time, even days

There are several “schools of thought” regarding a preschool child’s growth and development through play:

Play Plans-Mufidpwt
Play Plans-Mufidpwt

Jean Piaget‘s theory states different stages of intelligence provide “self-initiated discovery” opportunities to develop independence and motivation. 

Lev Vygotsky‘s theory needs parent/teacher-guided social interactions to help the young child grow play from “immature to mature”.

Bizzy Lizzy‘s theory is a young, growing mind needs both: an engaging, stimulating environment to promote independent thought coupled with nurturing, interactive “teachers”.

If you want to assist your young builder with her/his play growth & development, check out ” Vygotsky’s Play Plan Guide for Parents & Teachers” in BLB’s Resource Library link below.

 Vygotsky’s Play Plan Guide for Parents & Teachers

Toys As Literacy & Pretend-Play Tools

“We all can dance,” he said, “if we find the music we love.”  ~       Giles Andreae Giraffes Can’t Dance

Does your “BIG” 4 year-old, who is trying to figure out the meaning of everything, want everything s/he sees on TV, in stores, at school, and, of course,  anything his/her friends have in their possession? See the relationship between the two? 

New studies show most preschoolers prefer to play with objects that will teach them the most. This spontaneous,  “active learning” of play gives them greater experiences about how those objects work. Alison Gopnik The Philosophical Baby 2009

Oompah Toys.com’s infographic “Playtime!” includes a toy list for Highest Quality Playtime. These toys are open-ended, which means they encourage creativity & imagination. They, also,  offer  multiple opportunities for a variety of pretend play scenarios.

Here’s their list (with some additions)  of what kinds of toys & tools encourage what types of play:

Learning

  • books (see my Resource Library for some suggestions)
  • alphabet toys
  • strategy & board games (click on the link below for some ideas)

https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/10-best-preschool-board-games/

Manipulative

  • blocks, Duplos, Legos, Lincoln logs
  • nature tools: sticks, rocks, shells
  • puzzles
  • dexterity toys (shape sorters, lacing, stringing beads, nuts & bolts, stacking, latching & connecting)

Active

  • balls (try an indoor bowling game)
  • trikes, low-riders & wagons
  • sand toys
  • trucks & cars

Make~Believe

  • puppets, dolls, action figures, stuffed animals
  • costumes & dress-up
  • play kitchens, fire stations, school, stores, eateries, health clinics

Creative

  • art supplies: glue, crayons, paints, paper, scissors, colored chalk, play dough
  • musical instruments (click on the link below for DIY ideas)

http://redtri.com/homemade-instruments/slide/6

Need a few  story “script” ideas ? 

BLB Shop has a collection of ready-to-use story scripts you can use while interacting with your child & her/his toys:

Toy~Telling Tales

Click on the link below to check it out.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/toytelling-tales-scripts/

 Pardon My Wordiness

 Dear Reader:

This  post began as a 5000 word “tome” (YIKES). So I thought dividing it into 2 separate blogs would be an easier-on-the-eyes thing to do for a more enjoyable read.

Part 2 of the “I AM FOUR!” post discusses how to promote  Reading & Writing skills with your Pre-Schooler. It, too, is filled with lots of resources , tools & tips.

See you there!

Bizzy Lizzy

 

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

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

COPYRIGHT2018BIZZYLIZZYBIZ

 

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

Welcome to the Family Literacy Circle’s Kindergarten Series

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

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

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

ACT ONE : Language Skills

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

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

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

Gross Motor Skills

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

Fine Motor Skills

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

Social Skills

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

Encouraging Your Child’s Motor & Social Skills

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

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

Gross & Fine Motor Skills

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

Social Skills

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

Loving & Learning Language (with Some Deletions)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Difference Between Understanding & Speaking Skills

Understanding Language Skills

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

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

Speaking Language Skills

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

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

Encouraging Your Child’s Language Skills

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

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

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

Listening & Understanding Skills

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

Speaking Skills

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

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

Speaking of Language & Literacy….

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

Sound like the same stuff???

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

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

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

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

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

“J” Is the First Sound in ………….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  Phonological Awareness Skills Teaching Sequence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And How Do I Teach These Skills?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I hope you found some useful Language Skill tips & strategies to help you & yours prepare for this eventful step in your family’s lives. Let me hear how you are ….

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

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

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Encouraging the Family Literacy Circle with Your Kindergartner’s Play Power

And Now for the Second Part of the Family Literacy Circle’s Kindergarten Series…

Play continues to be a significant part of your child’s growth & development.   Free Play, which is highly recommended by brain & child experts as well as children themselves and  Pretend Play, which is the natural-occurring form  of daily learning, are both important parts influencing the Brain’s wiring for Thinking & Learning skills as well as Creative & Social skills.

Even the toys, or tools, your child chooses to include in his/her play are essential. They influence creativity & imagination everyday.

ACT TWO : Play Power

Free Play, Toys as Tools, and Pretend Play all are important parts of FLC K Play Poweryour 5-year-old’s ability to problem solve, brainstorm & understand her/his immediate world as well as explore & discover new & different ones.

You can encourage how your child participates in & learns from these ongoing  adventures in a variety of ways.

Guidance without too much interference will strengthen in your child’s decision-making abilities, confidence & independence.

Of course, there will be times when issues of safety (and sanity ) have definite boundaries…. I mean, risk-taking has its limits in the REAL world…..

 Yes, Your 5 Year Old Is A BRAINIAC !

Teach a child how to think, not what to think. ~ Sidney Sugarman

Her/his brain is almost the size of an adult’s. It will continue to develop for the next 20 years. And just a “heads-up”…. you’re in for some REAL brain-wave excitement in about  10 years time….

Some these Cognitive, or Thinking & Learning Skills your child may be displaying are:

  • creating more imaginative ways to complete a task
  • asking more analytical questions while weighing the choices
  • understanding & using concepts like: big, bigger & biggest; first, middle & last; yesterday, today & tomorrow; first, then & next; more, less, same; before & after; above & below
  • asking & answering a variety of questions, including “how many”
  • inventing games with simple rules
  • identifying basic colors of blue, yellow, red, green & orange
  • beginning to understand how to sort & classify objects by size, shape or type
  • showing interest in cause & effect

Promoting Your Child’s Brain Growth & Development

Your continued interaction with your child, not only strengthens brain cell connections, but, also, builds skills in language, cognition & socialization as  well as self-help skills. Specifically:

  • Encourage independent problem solving; however make suggestions & decide on solutions together
  • Suggest your child use all 5 senses for more in-depth observations
  • Allow for an  extra “get ready” window to promote independence during time-sensitive preparations 
  • Promote Literacy through drawings, pictures & lots of questions
  • Make sure your child plays OUTSIDE a lot, especially with other children because, yes, s/he is preferring activities that involve others

Free Play and The Brain

When my children become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. ~ Erma Bombeck

Free Play-Justin Young
Free Play-Justin Young

Whether alone in her/his “hide-away” place or playing with peers, child development and brain experts agree on the significant power of free, unstructured play.

During free play, children express their emotions & feelings, which helps them to identify who they  are.

Unorganized play without lots of rules  promotes the development and growth of creativity, flexibility , and adaptation to future challenges.

Sergio Pellis, a neuroscientist from Alberta, Canada, observed that “the brain rewires itself under the positive stress of play, as children figure out how to navigate the world and each other.”

As part of a peer-play group, children learn to share, resolve conflicts, make decisions, and be assertive.

“If You Play with Me, I’ll Be Your Best Friend….”

Children Play Together-Ed Gregory
Children Play Together-Ed Gregory

Your 5-year-old wonder has moved quite comfortably into the Social stage of play partnered with the Expressive stage of play. S/he enjoys playing with others in his/her age group, seeking and creating opportunities to engage in this type of play.

S/he is interested in exploring new playgrounds, parks and friends’ houses. Community play-spaces can have a positive effect on youngsters, making them feel more connected to their neighborhoods.

Swinging on playground swings & trying out new jungle gyms are especially enjoyable to your 5-year-old. You may notice her/him initiate conversations & play in a familiar way with other children, even though they’ve never met.

Free, physical play is SO important for your child’s development of his/her body awareness. It stimulates growth  as well as strengthens her/his fine & gross motor skills. S/he may bring toys to the play area and invite some peers to play with them. Together, of course !

YAY ! What A FUN Toy !

Creating A Toy-Emma Roorda
Creating A Toy-Emma Roorda

Your child’s toys should  stimulate & engage his/her imagination, communication, collaboration, creativity, and cognition, as well as her/his gross & fine motor skills.

You’ve heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. It may have been created while watching children at play. Believe me when I tell you, I have seen & heard children create amazing worlds with little and/ or nothing but their incredible  imaginations, a few pebbles, sticks, leaves, and a pile of dirt……

So, What Are Some Brain~Food Toys ?

Open-ended toys, or play tools can used in many, many ways, depending in your child’s imagination or learning-needs.

Here are a few ideas child development experts suggest for your child’s growth in these areas:

Games

  • board games for pre-readers, like Chutes & Ladders, Connect Four
  • card games, like Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid
  • dominoes
  • memory & match games
  • puzzles with 15-20 pieces

Construction

  • large & small wooden/plastic blocks
  • Duplos
  • Lincoln logs
  • tinker toys

Arts & Crafts

  • play-dough & clays
  • scissors & glue
  • pencils. crayons, washable markers & watercolors
  • drawing & construction papers

Outdoor

  • jump ropes
  • high bouncing ball (utility rubber ball)
  • wagon
  • 3-wheeler
  • bicycle with training wheels

Dramatic & Pretend

  • puppets, dolls, stuffed animals
  • action & animal figures (Play-mobiles)
  • trucks, cars, train sets/race tracks
  • pretend walkie-talkies, phones & cameras
  • dress-up clothes & costumes
  • play tools
  • LARGE cardboard boxes

I know I repeat myself, but at my Home Day School, I observed my children create everything from blocks, rocks & sticks. And there were HUGE crates of toys readily available in their playroom !

Powerful Pretend Play

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination. ~ Albert Einstein

A Castle of the Imagination
A Castle of the Imagination

At the age of 5, your child is becoming more & more project-minded. S/he is planning play scenarios that include buildings, different roles, materials & tools with the drawings to implement them. A script may not be in writing, but the appropriate dialogue is in place…..with assignments  for each person, animal & object.

Not only are your child’s Pretend Play plans “elaborate”, they will be enacted for long periods of time with new (and improved) details added each time.

Feel like your child is ready to try  some new & different Pretend Plays ?  Visit my Resource Library for a Pretend Play website collection: Pretend Play Power : 8 Helpful Websites.

Or click on the link below:

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

How You Can Contribute to Your Child’s Pretend Play

In The Play Kitchen-Shlomaster
In The Play Kitchen-Shlomaster

During Pretend Play, especially with others, your child is engaging in problem solving and building new understandings about the world , other people & oneself. New ideas are tested, many questions are asked (and some answered), and discoveries through exploration are numerous.

Although your 5-year-old has some definite ideas & plans regarding his/her Pretend Play, you can make some “suggestions” on what s/he might want to include into the setting. Ask questions, like “How will you….., What if the……, When will you….., Where are the……?” to promote details, cause/effect and expansion.

Six (or Seven) Simple Pretend Plays

As children we LOVED to play House, Mommy, Daddy, Baby, Cook, etc. Dressing up in our parents’ old clothes & accessories, including humongous shoes delighted us for hours, days, months, and, yes, years.

You might like to view a collection of 6 Simple Pretend Play ideas in a quick-read, table format, so I cheerfully created one (LOVE those info-tables). I included materials you will find around the house in the attic, basement, recycle bin or closets; at yard sales (gold mines); or neighborhood discount stores.

Six (or Seven) Simple Pretend Play Scenarios & Material Lists

SCENARIO
OR
ENVIRONMENT
LARGE-SIZED ITEMSMEDIUM-SIZED ITEMSSMALL-SIZED ITEMSCLOTHING & LINENS
Housebroom, mop, vacuum. ironing board, lawnmower, rake, washing machine, dryer, clothes baskettrash and/or leaf bags, feather duster, clothesline, cleaning spray bottles, cleaning caddy, phone, storage binsiron, cleaning & yard gloves, clothespins, drinking water bottle, message pad/pencil, small clipboards for listskerchief, cap, cleaning rags, sponges, laundry
Nurserycradle/crib, highchair, baby carrier, stroller, bathing tub, changing tabledolls, cuddly toys, diaper bag. storage binsbottles, rattles, chew toys, tub toys, board booksdoll clothes, diapers, wash & burb cloths, blankets, baby pillow
Kitchenstove/oven, sink, fridge, table, chairs, cabinet/shelves for kitchen stuffpots/pans, dishes,bowls,cups, mixing bowls, colander, dish rack, cookbooks, clipboards, storage bins cooking & eating utensils, food pictures, play fruits & veggies, play canned & boxed foodapron, wash cloths, dish towels, napkins, tablecloth, place-mats
People's Health Clinic
&
Vet's Office/Clinic
table & chairs, pet carriersscale,clipboards, medical bag, patients:dolls,stuffed animals, storage bins medical gloves, medical tools: stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, reflex hammer, bandages, gauze, band-aids, cotton ballslab coat, wash clothes, blankets, towels
Construction Site
wagon, table & chairs, trucks, earth movershardhats,tool box, shovels, clipboards, storage binstools: hammer, saw, screwdrivers, ruler, t-square, measuring tape, nuts, bolts,, screws, nails, vices, paper/pencils, phone, ropes, chains, safety goggleskerchief, boots, vests, work gloves, toolbelt
Restauranttables, chairs, stools, menu board, kitchen-to-server window, cash registerdishes, bowls, cups,vases & flowers, order wheel, trays, bus tub, storage bins eating utensils, play food, salt/pepper shakers, sugar & creamerpackets, ketchup/mustard containers, play money, order tickets/pencils, small clipboard, clothespins, phone, calculator, to-go bagsaprons, table settings: napkins, place-mats, tablecloths

To promote additional Literacy skills in these 6 Pretend Plays,  I created signs, bin labels, hat symbols, forms and lists to accompany each scenario. They are gathered together in a DIY Collection Manual : Prop~Templates for 6 Simple Pretend Plays complete with Construction Instructions as well as Tips & Idea Suggestions. Here’s the link to this product in BLB Shop:

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

 

I hope you found some useful Play Power tips & strategies  to help you & yours prepare for this eventful step in your family’s lives. Let me hear how you are ….

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

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

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Enriching The FLC with Your First Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

This IsThe FLC First Grader’s Series

Yes, like last year, this year is another HUGE one for your 6-year-old.  First Grade is filled with incredible LEAPS & BOUNDS! Your child’s growth & development intellectually, physically AND emotionally is almost approaching “light year” speed.

Five of the major Literacy Arenas influencing his/her ground-breaking discoveries are: Learning & Language Skills, Creative Arts & Play Shills, Inquiry Power, Reading Skills , and Writing Skills. So, I am dividing this incredibly important year into a series of 4 or 5 separate blog posts.

PART ONE : Learning & Language Skills

Children always learn, but not necessarily what you want them to learn. ~ Dr. L. Katz

Somewhere during the summer, before your 6-year-old enters FirstFLC First Grade: Lrng & Lang Skills Grade, you’ll notice your somewhat-round child became all arms and legs. No way are last year’s clothes & shoes going to fit! This growth will continue for a few years ~an average of 2 to 2.5 inches per year. Remember the thumbprint-measure at the end of new shoes.…. Ignore the “This is TOO BIG for ME!” comments…. And cross your fingers to prolong another wardrobe upgrade before next Summer…..hopefully, Fall……

Must have been all the new physical skills~fine & gross motor~ s/he kept practicing all Summer…. running & jumping & skipping & hopping & skipping & skipping & hopping….EVERYWHERE!!!!! Oh.. and, purposely, rolling & spinning ’round & ’round…..

Indoors found him/her drawing lots of pictures & cutting out lots of pictures to accompany lots of newly written stories….drawing & cutting & gluing (“Teacher says ‘Just a dot, not a lot’ “) & writing….Yes, s/he needs more paper & magazines & glue…..

Although the hand-eye coordination is improving….s/he will probably fall out of chairs several times in the next year and  baby teeth will fall out of her/his mouth.  Pencils can become “teething sticks”. As a First Grade teacher, I was asked to “pop-out” many front teeth and scooped up many “plopped-on-the-floor” bodies…

BIG NEWS FLASH!!!! S/he is TYING her/his own shoes laces!!!!!!

How does s/he have enough energy to ask SSSSOOOOO many questions?!?!?!?

Your Budding Brainiac

Why Oh Why? Johnny-McClung
Why Oh Why? Johnny-McClung

Even at rest, your soon-to-be First Grader spends hours upon hours pondering the great questions of the Universe and her/his place in it. The Age of Reason has arrived in your child’s brain development, stimulated by the opportunities received at school to learn new concepts and ideas.

Curiosity encourages exploration and discovery.  PBSParents offers a few tips on how you can help build these Learning Skills:

  • Allow him/her to make simple choices, such as what to wear, what to eat for snack, where to eat out for a meal, which shoes to buy (of the several options you’ve okayed), what present to buy for whom (within your budget).
  • Give your child some support when needed to finish a new task or activity, but don’t take over or rush him/her to complete it.
  • Encourage creativity in your child’s expressions by offering new material & experiences without influencing her/his decisions.
  • Praise achievements, progress & eagerness to take risks (safely, of course).

“Inside the First Grader’s Brain”

Although I have taught many First Graders ~ and what an absolutely FASCINATING bunch they are ~ I, myself was curious to know what makes those incredibly interesting 6-year-old brains tick. Hank Pellissier, founder of the Brighter Brains Institute, contributed an article in June 2018 to greatschools.org with the above title.

Scientifically, this is what is happening inside your First Grader’s brain:

  • The sensory lobes that recognize & analyze challenges are maturing at a rapid rate.
  • There is rapid brain growth in vocabulary, grammar & pronunciation.
  • Your child is probably “leaping” from magical thinking to logical, rational mental processing.
  • S/he may become fixed on rules & regulations.

You can “nuture” your child’s logical mental processing & satisfy his/her Rules & Regulations focus with a small activity game  I created : Choose A Category”. You’ll find it in BLB Shop by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Keep reading for some suggestions on nurturing this brain stage.

Pellissier’s Parenting Your First Grader’s Brain Tips

Included in his article are some tips (with some comments from yours truly) on how you can help your child’s brain during this stage of growth & development:

  • Set high expectations ~ they will be welcomed, met & exceeded
  • Provide a relaxed & emotionally secure environment ~ so effective for his/her explosive world of intellectual adventures
  • Contribute PATIENCE during her/his dramatics ~ enrollment in the Creative Arts, especially music will help temper some of these behaviors-6-year-olds can be quite a “serious” bunch and “talking about feelings” is still too confusing for them….too busy emoting
  • Make SURE s/he runs & plays outside EVERYDAY for at least 30 minutes ~ non-negotiable, rain or shine, in addition to school recess
  • Focus your child’s attention with board games & limit TV/video games time ~ yes. yes. yes- you will notice BIG behavior changes
  • Include lots of vocabulary exploration because s/he can acquire 10 NEW WORDS A DAY, plus now would be a good time to expose your child to another language ~ I retained lots of another language I learned as a child as well as many First Grade ESL students exit into mainstream
  • Encourage your young reader to pay attention to ALL letter sounds in words ~ s/he can’t WAIT to get to the next word……

SO MANY QUESTIONS !!!!

Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think. ~ Margaret Mead

Sometimes answering a question with another question is a great way to stretch the brain’s growth. Karen Nelson@weareteachers posted a list of 62 questions for increasing those thinking & learning skills. Just click on this link: https://www.weareteachers.com/critical-thinking-questions/

Or you can click on this pdf link to download, copy & print “A Short List of  Critical Thinking Question Stems” I created to get you started: A Short List of CT Questions

And What Is Critical Thinking?

Here Is What We See-TorstenDederichs
Here Is What We See-TorstenDederichs

“Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions.” ~ study.com

You will notice your VERY curious & engaged 6-year-old studying things intensely. S/he will, then, describe a thing (or 20) using its characteristics, and, then, find similarities & differences between a variety of things. These are his/her growing & developing cognitive skills at work!

Need a little (HA!) more in-depth information ? Yes, you guessed it! Click on this link from BLB’s Resource Library for ideas, tips & strategies in A Parent’s Guide to Building Learning & Critical Thinking Skills https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

These “working” words will show up at the most surprising times……correctly,too!

Such Language!!!!

Favorite First Grader phrases include:

“You’re not the boss of me!” (I still use that one…)

“I didn’t do it!” (use that one, too)

“S/he told me to……”

“S/he did it, too!”

And tho’ your First Grader “hates” tattle tales, s/he is quite the tattler…. such talkers….

The rate your child is learning to understand and speak new words is growing, quite literally, by leaps & bounds ~ about 3000 within the school year! S/he is even talking ABOUT words, not just using them during expression. 

S/he is starting conversations, using defining & describing words more frequently, staying on topic, taking turns during the conversation, and ~ this is a jewel~ giving directions to others. S/he is, also, able to re-state ideas using different words if what was expressed is not understood by the listener.

And how did all this happen, you may ask?? Some of those high expectations coupled with lots of “world” knowledge being shared in school are definitely factors influencing this language growth.

The “Common Core” Standard Expectations for Language

By the completion of First Grade, your child is expected to show mastery in quite a few grammatical conventions as well as a number of other areas in the English language. I’m just going to list some general ones, because, quite frankly, college graduates haven’t mastered some of these……really….., so, maybe, this is why these Standards are being implemented in so many  states’ public school districts.

Grammar Usage 

There are 10 “command”, or mastery expectations for speaking & writing, but  I’m just listing a few of the main ones :

  • common, proper & possessive nouns
  • singular & plural nouns with matching verb agreement
  • personal, possessive & indefinite pronouns
  • past, present & future verb tenses
  • complete simple & compound statements, questions, commands & exclamations

BTW, I created a PDF downloadable game for Singular & Plural Nouns with Matching Verb Agreement: One Frog Hops! Two Frogs Hop! Just click on this linkOne Frog Hops

Speaking & Listening

Basically, these expectations are about participating in an interactive First Grade topic conversation:

  • asking & answering in complete sentences
  • asking & answering questions about details from a read text
  • asking & answering questions about details from an oral lesson
  • using words & phrases learned from grade level texts
  • describing people, places, things & events using clearly stated details & ideas

Need more specific information about the Common Core Standards for First Grade Language? Click on the link below: 

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/1/

In Parentese, Please!

Your Child & School-Amber MB
Your Child & School-Amber MB

The National PTA has written a “Parents’ Guide to Student Success” regarding the Common Core Standards. It lists the main Mastery expectations for ELA Literacy & Mathematics as well as some ELA Literacy Parent Involvement at Home tips for your First Grader:

  • Read books together with your child & help him/her sound out difficult words.
  • Act out stories together from books, TV and your child’s imagination.
  • Pick a “Word of the Day” every day, beginning with a different letter. Have your child write the word & look for other things beginning with the same letter.
  • Have your child sign up for a  Public Library card & visit the  with your child every week, checking a variety of books ~ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays.

 Literacy Language Lifters

Here are a few additional suggestions for promoting your First Grader’s listening & speaking skills:

  • Continue playing with language through rhymes, songs & word games, especially when new nonsense words can be created
  • Invent meanings for those new nonsense words
  • Increase verbal directions from one & two-step to three-step
  • Ask your child to repeat those directions back to you
  • Promote the understanding of game rules
  • Include Time (before/after) & Distance (close/far) concepts in your interactive conversations
  • Ask her/him to repeat stories that have a series of events to relate in order
  • Continue asking the “wh” questions for comprehension: who, what, when, where, why
  • Introduce your child to a different language ~ s/he will absolutely LOVE learning words in another language AND 6-years-old is an optimal time in his/her language development for this skill.

 Learning Another  Language Benefits

World Learning-Mihail-fotodeti
World Learning-Mihail-fotodeti

There are more than a few advantages to having a access to another language. Learning another language increases your child’s literacy, analytical,and problem-solving skills. It boosts your child’s confidence, self-image, and tolerance.

According to pandatree.com, a multilingual teaching website,  your child will experience 15 or more benefits. Among them are:

  •  speaking, understanding & connecting with more people.
  •  stimulating his/her brain growth.
  • boosting first language abilities
  • training one’s ear for music
  • increasing out-of-the-box thinking

And in my experience as an educator~ all my students thought it was great fun and were always eager to learn MORE!

So, if you would like to teach your child a few common vocabulary words and phrases in another language ~ say Spanish~ BLB Shop has just the product for you and yours: Let’s Learn A Little Spanish has 10 mini-lessons with easy-to-use instructions. Just click on the link below:

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/learn-spanish-minilessons/

 

Just a little postscript:  Your First Grader’s Learning & Language Skills is the first part of this 4, maybe 5 part series for First Graders. Play, Inquiry, Reading & Writing are in the mix as well. Stay tuned!

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

Upgrading the Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

In Second Grade ALREADY!!!!! Prepare for Academic Acceleration in Learning & Language Literacy Skills. Listening & Speaking Vocabulary become increasingly…complex. Reading & Writing expectations approach independence. And the ongoing Research Projects….

Yes, there’s a TON of Academic Acceleration happening during your 7 year-old’s Second Grade year! And, yours truly is here to try & offer some helpful strategies & tips for “dealing” with this “BLOW OUT” year, which, BTW, will set the tone for next year’s “I Totally Got This !” Third Grade year….

So, Faithful Reader, I’m, again, writing a 5 ~ part Series. This time for Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grade: Language Skills, Celebrations (Part 2), Research Skills (Part 3), and the ever-ongoing Literacy Skills of Reading (Part 4) & Writing (Part 5).

This is Part One :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

  Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streighttiff

Notice anything different about the way your 7 year-old looks? Some of that “baby-ness” may be slowly melting away as his/her motor skills continue to mature. S/he may even grow a few inches taller. Ready to take the training wheels off that two-wheeler?

Not only is his/her curiosity continuing to increase, the abilities to investigate & analyze the mysteries of the world are growing as well.

Those limitless questions are part of the excitement s/he is feeling about the exploration and discoveries of new environments  as well as all those social situations. (OMG ~ did s/he just ask me THAT question?!?)

S/he is beginning to prefer playing with friends instead of adults, although family outings are still very enjoyable.

Once answered, s/he is eager to share the new knowledge s/he has learned with others, making your child a perfect candidate as a Peer-Mediator for a school-wide program called “PMII”, or Peer-Mediated Instruction & Intervention.

Yes, I’ve Heard About That Program

As a Peer-Instructor, s/he may act as an assistant during classroom instruction, cooperative learning, and/or peer-tutoring.

S/he may, also, be asked to help as a peer-supporter with social skills connections, such as easing reluctant students into group-share situations (cafeteria, recess, activities).

One of the most successful roles s/he will participate in is as a peer-interventionist during conflict resolution scenarios. As an educator of the young, I can tell you these youngsters work wonders with their peers as situational problem solvers without the company of an adult or teacher. Here’s a sample of an effective dialogue a Peer Mediator  may use. This PDF includes strategies with  options as well as typical student conflicts.

http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/peer-mediation.pdf

However,  because your Second Grader is beginning to show concerns about what others (especially peers) think of him/her~ growing self-criticism & some confidence-shrinking may become an issue occasionally.  And  then, there’s the Worry-Wartness symptoms….

What’s to Worry About?

That malady called “Peer Pressure” is beginning to take hold now.  Longing to be part of a group, your 7 year-old does not appreciate having attention called to his/her actions and/or accomplishments…. unlike the last few years…..oh dear…

Your child may worry about things that never seemed bothersome in the past, like clothes (“Too babyish!”), homework (“I’ll NEVER get all this done !”), physical irritations (“I think I have a deadly disease!”), bedtime (“I know there’s something hiding in my closet…”).

According to Hank Pellissier, founder & director of the Brighter Brains Institute, many Second Graders ” HATE making mistakes, not finishing tasks, and losing at anything. They have to be first, correct, punctual, best & perfect.” Sound familiar???

He further states that all this particular area of angst is part of your child’s brain growth. Understanding concepts like time, space, direction, distance & time are influencing the expectations s/he has on the completion of activities.

You Can Learn from Your Mistakes

You must never feel badly about making mistakes…as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons that you do by being right for the wrong reasons. ~The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I came across this great piece of helpful information when trying to boost a child’s confidence, especially when s/he is feeling insecure during the learning process. It is an anchor chart,  Jen of Runde’s Room discovered created by a group of elementary school teachers. I did some editing, so please feel to use it with your little WorryWart:

So, of course,  a safe, reliable, predictable & reassuring environment is necessary for maximum learning to occur. Keep those routines in place!

Your Child’s Classroom Learning Environment

I Love Learning!-DavidSluka
I Love Learning!-DavidSluka

Although having high expectations for your child may seem a bit harsh, they are, in fact, a match for those s/he and her/his classroom teacher has already put into play. Your Second Grader loves a good challenge ~ even thrives on it ~ as long as the limits are not too stressful. Rigor is a part of the curriculum.

The Second Grade classroom is filled with SEVERAL libraries: fiction readers ~ Picture & beginning Chapter trade  books;  nonfiction readers ~ earth, physical, ecology & life science concepts; social studies concepts ~  world culture, community helpers, economics, historical biographies, & atlases;  math concepts ~ measurement, computation, fractions, money, geometry. There are bins of manipulatives, tools, instruments, notebooks, writing supplies, art supplies, etc. Center nooks are usually in place : reading, writing, science, math, social studies, a large, interactive calendar, maps, and, maybe even, a globe.

Your Child’s Home Learning Environment

Your Home Learning Environment probably shares many of the same elements. My Resource Library has some information for you regarding Your Educational Home Environment. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And a PDF Materials list for you to download, copy & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

And, then, there’s your Brain’s favorite Learning environment ~ the Great Outdoors! Nothing like fresh oxygen!

Your Seven Year-Old’s Brain

Call for brain power. ~Barbara Jordan

Outdoor play is critical to all children’s growth & development. They need to walk, run, jump, twist, turn, spin & play. Not only are 7 year-olds ready for free physical play, they are, also, ready get those training wheels off their speed racers, skateboard (YIKES) and participate in organized sports as well as back yard games. You remember these, right?!

  • Hide ‘n Seek
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump-rope
  • Jacks
  • Marbles
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Mother/Father/Granny/Granpa/Auntie/Uncle, May I ?
  • Simon Says
  • Multiple Tag Games
  • Freeze Dance
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen

In a recent article “Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature”, written by Danielle Cohen & published on the Child Mind Institute website, research supports what we  humans, have known all along. 

As educators, we all agree indoor recess is just not the same as being outside on the playground. Being outdoors is beneficial, not only to your physical health, but also, to  your mental wellness.

“Most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less  anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.”

Here are links to the complete article with an additional link for Ideas:

https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/

https://childmind.org/article/ideas-for-getting-your-kids-into-nature/

Lots of research, also, suggests students who engage in physical, outdoor play are able to learn more easily in academic environments. Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist & author of the book, Spark : The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain states exercise elevates a brain-building chemical he calls “Miracle-Gro for the Brain” because it encourages its growth & development.

Here’s another interesting article regarding Green Spaces & the Brain : https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/research-finds-surprising-thing-that-can-boost-your-childs-brain-development/

And there are lots of indoor Brain exercises you can do.

Inside the Brain Activities

Second Grade requires students to participate in a more rigorous learning environment. Their Critical Thinking skills are engaging them in more complex reading, longer writing compositions, and greater problem solving concepts.

Ready!-AlainAudet
Ready!-AlainAudet

Because they are improving their brains’ processing skills, creating & presenting research projects become a significant part of their everyday classroom  expectations. Technology will be used for these investigations, but…..go easy on Screen Time….it’s a Brain ~ Eater, but more on that in Part 2…..

Memory & rational brain areas are growing, giving them more impulse control, independence & planning power. Three-step directions should be easier for your child to follow ~ clothes in the hamper, bath with soap, pajamas on. Oh, and brush teeth & hair….guess that’s more than 3….

Need some support ? Gotta a Resource in the  Library for you: :https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/meeting-following-directions-challenge/

I, also, have the Resource “Your Child Is A Brainiac” available for you :

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

And a few Critical Thinking List PDFs for you to download, copy, print & use for ideas :

A Short List of CT Questions   &   Questions for Brain Food Menu

And, speaking of Brain Food…..

Yes, There ARE Brain ~ Healthy Foods

Numerous brain scientists & nutritionists agree ~ there  are certain foods, when part of our daily diet, actually help brains grow, develop & function more effectively. I created a little PDF reminder you can put on the fridge next to your grocery shopping list. It’s a broad, general list, so Go Julia (Child) !   Brain Foods Poster

Many lists I read, listed Oatmeal, Blueberries & Eggs as the top 3 foods, especially for children. Hmmm…sounds like Breakfast & Cookies……  And because I LOVE to cook, especially with children, I  adapted a few recipes using these ingredients for you to make and eat with your child (ren). They’re in a PDF, recipe card format with front & back covers, so you can download, copy, print & cut apart to include as a section in your kitchen recipe box or notebook :

Brain Food Recipes

This GREAT website is packed with loads of links, activities & recipes to include in your family’s health & wellness regimen:

 https://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/brain-games-for-kids/

Plus a few more:

https://www.myrecipes.com/kids/back-to-school-brain-food

https://www.delish.com/cooking/g4136/healthy-foods-for-kids

https://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/4-brain-foods-for-kids

The Brain continues to influence the healthy development of your child’s Language skills ~ yes….finally…for the Language part of this post. It is in the title, after all…..

Your 7 ~ Year ~ Old’s Literacy Language Skills

 Remember the Receptive & Expressive ~ Listening & Speaking ~ components of your child’s ever-growing  Language Skills? Well, talk about Academic Acceleration….

Your Second Grader’s curriculum content, trade books, grade-level readers AND critical thinking vocabulary expectations are escalating to new heights….

Conversations-JosephGonzalez
Conversations-JosephGonzalez

If your child’s school district follows the Common Core, here are a FEW of the Listening & Speaking objectives being taught in the Second Grade classroom:

  • actively participate in collaborative discussions about grade-level content with peers as well as adults in small/large group settings
  • use complete sentences to ask or answer questions, tell a story with details, recall & describe an experience, verbalize comprehension of learned content/concepts with key ideas
  • orally present & explain research projects to include details

Speaking of Concepts…. Does your 7 year-old understand:

  • Opposites
  • Left/right
  • Ordinals ~ first, second…
  • Differences & Similarities
  • Comparatives ~ small, smaller, smallest
  • Time ~ yesterday, tomorrow, last week, etc.

And how’s his/her grammar ?

Got Grammar!?!

Then, there are a bunch of the “Conventions of Standard English” to be used when writing and/or speaking. Some of these, I’ll call them Grammar, include:

  • Pronouns
  • Plurals ~ regular & irregular
  • Collective Nouns
  • Possessives
  • Past Tense verbs ~ regular & irregular
  • Adjectives & Adverbs

I created a few PDF Grammar activities for you to download, copy, print & play with your Second Grader:

One Frog Hops      &      Collective Nouns

My BLB Shop has a game to help your child learn how to Categorize Nouns, which is, also, a Critical Thinking skill. Just click on the link below for access:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Then…………there is, also, the Vocabulary Acquisition & Use components….for Understanding & Using when Speaking, Listening, Reading AND Writing….. uh huh….

MY, What a BIG Vocabulary You Have…..

Among the expectations in THIS category…..

  • root words /prefixes / suffixes
  • compound words
  • synonyms
  • critical thinking words
  • high-level, academic words
  • difficult common content vocabulary
  • beginning dictionary & glossary skills

My Calendar Corner collection in BLB Shop can help your Second Grader master some of these Vocabulary concepts in a fun, engaging way:

  https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/my-calendar-corner-daily-prek-thru-3rd-grade-literacy-activities/

I, also, created a specific product for learning those BIG High-Level & Common Content Vocabulary Words :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

The website, studenttreasures.com, published an article ~ “Effective Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to Second Graders” with these ideas:

  • Engage in oral & hands-on Wordplay
  • Use visual elements, like a Word Wall, Word Collages
  • Locate vocabulary during read-alouds

OMG!!!! Now you see why I had to divide this content into a 5 ~ part series…..

Just one more thing….I promise….

SOOOOO, By the End of Second Grade….

Your child, approaching or celebrating 8 years-old, will probably:

I Got This !-Nappy936120
I Got This !-Nappy
  • Continue to improve his/her reasoning, processing & focusing skills
  • See connections between concepts for compare & contrast purposes
  • Experience a MAJOR vocabulary expansion
  • Increase her/his reading fluency, decoding & comprehension skills
  • Utilize dictionary skills to locate irregularly spelled words, harder words, definitions & synonyms
  • Improve his/her editing & revising skills during the writing process

Onto Celebrations !!!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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

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

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills

Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

You may have noticed a BIG difference in your soon-to-become-a-Second-Grader’s speaking, listening & reading skills over the summer.

Not only is s/he listening for the meaning of discussions & conversations, s/he is, also, participating with his/her ideas clearly expressed in complete sentences AND is following multi-step directions with accuracy.

These are some of the “perks” her/his progress with reading comprehension skills : Main Ideas, Details, Sequence.

S/he is very excited about his/her ability to read some text independently.

And, although, s/he wants to transition from an Emergent/Beginning Reader into an Independent Reader, s/he still LOVES your time together reading together, especially those wonderful Chapter Books.

This is Part Four :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills

Your Second Grade Reader

The more that you read, the more you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go. ~ Dr. Seuss

Here’s a brief checklist of other Reading Skills your child is preparing to use in Second Grade. S/he can:

  • Recognize & understand new words by using phonics & context clues
  • Use a basic sight & high frequency words vocabulary with accuracy
  • Speak the beginning, middle & end sounds within a word
  • Add, omit or change sounds in a word to make a different word
  • Read & make words in word families
  • Read some compound words & contractions
  • Understand & interpret  stories or short passages
  • Answer the 5 Ws & How questions accurately
  • Retell the Main Idea, Characters, Setting & the Sequence of Events with accuracy
  • Use a story’s elements to make a plausible prediction
  • Follow simple, written directions correctly

Your child will continue to develop and extend these skills during Second Grade as well as adding just a “few” more….

How’s your Literacy ~ Rich Home Environment coming along?

From Playroom to Study Nook

Is there a place in your home, near the “library ” bookcase for bean bags & large floor pillows?

If your child has a bookcase  in his/her nook, make sure to include other reading materials besides fiction & nonfiction books, like pamphlets, catalogs, comic books, magazines.

You may want to set up a special “display” area for current study materials as well as a calendar/schedule on a cork board.

Include infographics, labeled/captioned  posters, and/or maybe an “anchor chart” regarding specific skills ~ your child’s teacher may help with that resource.

Here’s an I AM A READER Poster you can make with your soon-to-be-an-Independent-Reader : I Am A Reader poster

Oh, and a dry erase board with multi-colored dry erase markers is a great tool for planning, vocabulary word of the day, graphic organizers, and, of course, a brain-break doodling session.

Need some other ideas?

Check out this Resources in BLB’s Library :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And here’s A Materials & Activities List Freebie to download & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

Your Home is your child’s first classroom and can continue to provide an on-going Literacy Space. It will  encourage and build  her/his academic success with Reading accuracy as its foundation.

Second Grade’s Reading Expectations

Reading becomes more complex in its vocabulary within much longer content. The words have more syllables, common prefixes & suffixes, irregular spellings & complex phonetic rules. Synonyms, antonyms, compound words & adjectives are part of word definitions.

  The variety of fiction & nonfiction genres as well as poetry types expands into:

FICTION

  • Realistic
  • Historical
  • Fantasy
  • Science
  • Mystery
  • Traditional: Folklore, Fables, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Legends & Myths

NONFICTION

  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Informational

POETRY

  • Acrostics
  • Limericks
  • Haiku
  • Cinquains
  • Sensory & Shapes

Story Structure (beginning, middle & end) with  its Elements (Main Idea, Character, Setting, Problem/Solution, Lesson)  are explored in greater detail. Emphasis of comprehension can be done by comparing & contrasting similar stories, characters’ response, and   cultural definitions. Why the author wrote the story is, also, part of the comprehension discussion.

Nonfictional reading is used for Research Projects with attention given to text features such as labels, caption, diagrams, glossaries, indexes, etc. Click on my previous post for A LOT more info:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/second-grade-research-skills/

So ~ reading at grade-level includes word recognition accuracy at a steady pace with expression. Using Comprehension strategies to locate evidence and self-correction skills are benchmarks for your Second Grade reader.

Here’s a List of the Reading Literacy Terms such as Decoding  Skills & Fluency Rate,  your child’s teacher will be using during The Conference : Literacy Terms

Let’s Begin At The Beginning

Blast Off ! - RDBrittliff
Blast Off ! – RDBrittliff

You and your child have been “working” on Word Attack Skills since, really, s/he was in-utero. Letters, sounds & their combos are the building blocks of beginning to read ~ think the hearing & speaking skills of Phonological Awareness to Phonemic Awareness and, now, Phonics ~ the written version.

Second Grade currently introduces more of those Phonetic structures to increase your child’s ability to Decode all those BIG, unknown vocabulary words s/he is experiencing while reading more complex content. 

Along with blending 2 or more consonant sounds together at the beginning and/or ending of a word, here are some other graphemes (written letters) & phonemes (spoken sounds), your child will be learning this year:

  • Consonants Digraphs: ch, sh, th, wh, qu, ng
  • Hard & Soft c & g
  • Silent Consonants: wr, kn, lk, mb
  • Long Vowels: silent e &  teams
  • Vowel Patterns: igh, y 
  • Diphthongs: ou, ow, oo, aw, au, oi, oy
  • R-controlled Vowels
  • Inflectional Endings: s, es, ies, ves, ed, ing

BLB Shop has TONS of games for teaching some of these specific skills:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/consonant-blends-learn-beginning-ending-blends/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/one-sound-consonant-combos/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/variety-vowel-sounds/

Here’s a short Parent Guide with Verbal Prompts to use while listening to your child read until s/he needs to Decode: 

Cracking the Code of Decoding Skills

Malia Hollowell from Playdough to Plato created & shared several Reading Roadmap “Sheets” for meeting some of readers’ challenges. Among her suggestions are:

  • Does that sound in the word: Make sense, sound right, look right?
  • Skip the word & come back to it during the re-read
  • Stretch out the word slowly; then saying it again fast (kids love this one & it can be very effective)
  • Make a good guess

Decoding Skills go hand-in-hand with the speed & flow of your child’s reading.

The Ebb & Flow of Fluency

Fluency, or Fluent Reading is the ability to read without stopping to decode words. Decoding occurs in a quick, mental, self-check way.

Speed, Word Recognition Accuracy, Comma Pauses, End Punctuation Inflections, and Expression are all components of Reading Fluency.

Getting stuck can be disruptive to his/her thought process & comprehension, although, it doesn’t always affect understanding.

For example, a child may read the words accurately without stopping in an even pace, but NOT understand anything s/he read. Just as another child may read and decode more slowly, but understands exactly what s/he read.

Click here for a Parent Guide on Fluency :

Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY

Malia Holloway ( The Reading Roadmap) and Emily@ Education to the Core along with her Facebook Group Teachers shared these suggestions for building Fluency:

  • Model a comfortable fluency pace with your daily read-aloud.
  • Make sure your child is choosing a just-right book to read.
  • Create some flash cards with short, silly sentences or phrases, using Sight & High Frequency words.
  • Use poetry as an effective way to teach & improve fluency.
  • Speak with different voices for different characters.
  • Monitor punctuation pauses  : short for comma / longer for a period / voice up for a question / excitement for an exclamation.
  • Remember informational, or nonfiction text is usually read more slowly that fiction.

And, speaking of Sight & High Frequency Words…..

Words, Words & More Words

Lotsa Words-159556Pixabaycco
Lotsa Words-159556Pixabaycco

Memorizing Second Grade Level Sight Words &  High Frequency Words can definitely improve your child’s Fluency Rate.

I combined Dolch’s Sight Word List with Fry’s High Frequency Word List as your Second Grader will view them from the beginning of the year onward. Here’s the List with some Activities:

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

Here’s a great site for DIY Sight Word Games including links:

https://thelettersofliteracy.com/27-awesome-sight-word-activities/

And, it’s not just Sight Words & High Frequency Words your Second Grader is learning…..

WOW! Those Are Really BIG Words!

Using those Decoding Skills to read those BIG, new Vocabulary words can, also, help with Fluency and, more importantly,  Comprehension.

Hopefully, my Freebie Parent Guide can shed some light on this Word Study subject : Solving the New Vocabulary Words Mystery

I, also, created a few Noun/Verb Freebie Games for you & yours to play:

One Frog Hops uses Sight Words for matching Plural Nouns and their corresponding Verbs.

Collective Nouns includes picture/word matches for groups of  living & nonliving things.

BLB Shop has more than a few Games & Activities to engage your Second Grader in Word Study:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/compound-words-connections-ten-file-folder-games/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/contractions-prefixes-suffixes-activities/

Finally, I organized my Reading Strategies into a Mini-Poster & Flip Cards Sequence Guide   ~ Ready To Read ~ for your Second Grade Reader when solving the “I’m STUCK on this word!” dilemma : Reading Success Sequence

The Vocabulary in the MANY different books s/he is reading this year is GINORMOUS!!!

So,  What Books Are on My Second Grader’s Level?

A book is a dream you hold in your hand. ~ Neil Gaiman

Reading on the Moon-MysticArtDesign
Reading on the Moon-MysticArtDesign

Before I get into actual Reading Comprehension Strategies, I thought I’d go on a bit more about the “newer” book genres your child will be sharing with you from the classroom (according to the Second Grade Core Expectations).

Within the Fiction Genre, there is an emphasis on stories created that could happen in real-life, have a historical basis,  contain mysteries to be solved as well as inventive futuristic stories and imaginary fantasies. Books & stories about the Creative Arts can be very engaging to your aspiring artists.

BLB Library has a Book Resource for you & yours:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/creative-arts-book-list/

S/he will be reading a large selection of Traditional Literature, which are 100s-of-year-old tales passed from one generation to another. BLB Library has a Book List Resource : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/fables-folktales-from-around-the-world-k3-book-lists-websites/

Exploring the many types of Poetry is another on-going genre in Second Grade. Here’s BLB’s Library Resource link for this genre:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/poetry-collection-book-lists/

You may have noticed your child’s developing sense of humor. Funny chapter books are a wonderful way to read-aloud while guiding & sharing & laughing out loud:

And, yes, BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/20-funny-books/

Don’t forget Joke & Riddle Books, too.

Now for the NOT funny side of your Second Grader’s reading experience….

Non~Fiction Readers

Although these books may not be as entertaining as fictional reads, they will capture your child’s fascination for the real world and all it real-life wonders.

BLB’s Library has a Resource to help meet those Informational Text needs:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/nonfiction-independent-second-grade-reads/

Oh, BTW ~ Research Projects are an on-going part of Second Grade….. So, here’s a Freebie to help your child learn about those Informational Text Features :

I Understand Informational Text Features

BLB’s Shop has a few products to help you & yours with this huge step, well, written step that is now an, again, on-going part of her/his academic life.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/research-project-toolkit/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/interactive-informational-text-features-learning-tool/

Here are five sites with fiction & nonfiction Book Lists, summaries, opinions & locations collected by teachers, librarians, parents & kids:

https://www.weareteachers.com/second-grade-books/

https://www.greatschools.org/gk/book-lists/favorite-books-for-second-graders/

https://www.readbrightly.com/9-superb-chapter-books-second-graders/

https://imaginationsoup.net/read-aloud-books-second-grade/

https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/best-books-second-grade

There’s A LOT to understand…..

YIKES!! That’s A TON of Text to Understand !

I Understand-Pezibear
I Understand-Pezibear

Comprehension Skills can be mastered by using a variety of Reading Strategies.

You have been teaching your child many of these during your read-alouds with him/her throughout the years. You did this by:

  • pointing out specific details & key ideas/facts in the illustrations on the Picture Walk and throughout the story (click on this link for the Parent Guide to the Picture Walk : Going on A Picture Walk)
  • asking & answering the 5 Ws
  • defining time & place regarding present, past ,future & fantasy vs reality
  • retelling the story by including important details, such as the characters, setting & plot (click on this link for the Parent Guide to Tell Me A Story : Tell Me A Story Abt the Story Read)
  • using descriptive language & lots of expression
  • explaining new vocabulary words
  • making personal connections to the story
  • discussing lessons & morals of the stories
  • sharing both fiction & nonfiction books

Your child’s teacher uses similar strategies during read-alouds to encourage comprehension.

Guided reading promotes an effective way to teach how-to-understand-the-read  strategies during one-on-one time.

Guided Reading Comprehension Strategies

In Second Grade many of the following Story Elements Comprehension Questions are discussed orally with maybe a short prompt or two for written responses.

However, as the year progresses, written responses to these questions begin to occur more frequently. This Comprehension Q & A can help your child understand & answer those questions with accuracy: Primary Rdr’s Comp Q & A

Filling in Graphic Organizers (Click on this Reading Graphic Organizers link: K Rdg Comp GOrgs ) are easy ways to engage your child’s understanding of texts read. Here’s a Comprehension Freebie example using  Aesop’s fable ~ “The Crow and the Pitcher” : I Understand the Story

Take a breath ~

Although your Second Grader may feel overwhelmed at certain times, s/he is totally capable of learning all these things AND MORE!!! You and yours have got this!!!

OMG!!!! How Can I Help!?!?!

Now that you’ve taken a deep breath…or several….

Remember, there are several ways you can help your child read and listen to stories with a purpose in mind, which you have probably been doing for years.

Dr. Michael Gurian, a brain scientist, family therapist & author of the book, Nurture the Nature, offers these suggestions:

  • Engage discovery in nature
  • Encourage imagination with physical & mental play
  • Include morals & values in family discussions
  • Foster positive relationships with peers
  • Show support of the school environment

There are many DIY Comprehension games you can make together &  play with your child to keep learning fun. Here are a few links:

https://www.weareteachers.com/second-grade-reading-comprehension-activities/

https://www.themeasuredmom.com/10-diy-reading-games-for-kids/

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/six-games-reading

https://www.word-game-world.com/reading-games-for-kids.html

I Can Read Anywhere-Victoria Borodinova
I Can Read Anywhere-Victoria Borodinova

Keep reading anything everywhere with your child everyday and encourage her/him to read  to other children. Listen to books on tape while driving. Record your child reading a story. Act out stories.

And… if your child struggles with reading…….

  Teaching Your Child to Read WITHOUT Words

For some children Reading is a challenge…..for a number of reasons.

Does your child “freeze” at the sight of words on a page you are not reading?

Wordless Picture Books are not just created for “babies”. They are, also, “written” for older children ~ like me ~ and may be the way to actually engage your child into reading. Really….

 They can inspire your child’s creativity & imagination while building reading comprehension skills, vocabulary AND critical thinking.

Nicole Clevenger@playfullearning.net and I  have some  suggestions for fun activities with Wordless Picture Books:

  • Use Post It notes to write down thoughts or dialogue of the characters & place them directly on the book pages beside them.
  • Use Post It notes to write down observations, questions, predictions, and/or inferences about what’s happening in the illustrations.
  • Ask your child to write a book review that includes the story elements: Main Idea, Characters, Setting, Problem/Solution.
  • Encourage your child to create a Wordless Picture Book and narrate it as it is being read. Write down those thoughts & attach them to the backs of the illustrations. Hopefully, your child will want to read those words.

I, also,  compiled a Wordless Picture Books list for older children:

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

Please know ~ it’s not that s/he can’t read or doesn’t want to read. S/he may just not be ready to read.

Well…S/He Can Read…. A Little…..

Check out this little Freebie: Help! My Child Hates to Read

A few questions, regardless of your child’s reading level:

  • Is the reading material  interesting to your child?
  • Are you reading together & talking about what’s being read?
  • Is your child tracking the words as s/he reads?
  • Does s/he use the pictures in the story to help?
  • Is your child trying to sound out unknown words with some accuracy?
  • How many sight words can s/he read quickly?
  • Can your child retell the story accurately?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, keep doing what you’re doing with lots of repetition & review. Soon, his/her reading level will increase.

Here are some other Resources in BLB’s Library I hope will help:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/guide-nonreader-readers-world/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/read-aloud-chapter-books/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

And a little follow-up Freebie to go with Repetitive Readers : I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts .

A more in-depth approach to this reading strategy can be found in BLB’s Shop:

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

One more VERY effective Reading Strategy for engaging a Reluctant Reader is Partner, or Paired, Reading ~ usually with a peer, friend or slightly older “mentor”.

Reading Together-KOMUnews
Reading Together-KOMUnews

I used this reading strategy every year with my struggling readers and found this approach to be highly effective for building confidence, improving reading skills, and encouraging a love for reading ~ for pleasure. A definite Win ~  Win ~ Win !!!

Click on this Reading Rockets link below for more information:

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/partner_reading

And now with summer coming….

Your Summer Reading Program

Reading……a vacation for the mind. ~ Dave Barry

No, I’m not talking about Summer School….more like a Summer Camp….with an emphasis on Reading.

Summer Reading- Sondich
Summer Reading- Sondich

I’m creating a Summer Literacy Handbook, so stay tuned…..

SO~UPDATE~ here’s the link to my TpT shop where you’ll find, among other freebies & products ~ my Summer Literacy Camp Handbook:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Summer-Literacy-Camp-Handbook-for-K-3-4620902

It’s JAM-PACKED!!!

In the meantime, here’s a few suggestions to Encourage Reading for Pleasure :

Encourage Reading for Pleasure

WHEW!!!

If you’re still reading this post, Faithful Reader ~ thank you !!!

Hopefully, you have read some useful information regarding your child’s Reading Literacy.

Part Five on Writing Skills is my next & final post on the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

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