Friday, June 25, 2010

Late Nights= New Found Opportunities!

Check this Out!

So as I sit here and peruse through the Internet, researching and gathering ideas from literacy sites, I have stumbled upon an amazing opportunity for everyone to get involved in. As I mentioned in my last Blog, I support the Reach out and Read organization and have been able to spend time working for its great goal of providing children an escape from the hospital environment and providing them free books. Reach out and Read began a book initiative on June 20, the first day of summer, called the Summer of a Million Books. It's goal is to raise and distribute One Million books to children in Pediatric Hospitals across the country. Please go to this website and see if you can spare $5.00 for children's literacy. I'm going to forgo my two "cheats" of ice cream this week so that I can do this! It's a sacrifice. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HOLA! It's the Book of the Week!

I recently started volunteering for a great program that runs across the state in Pediatric Doctor's offices. It's called Reach out and Read, and it is an organization that gives books to children as they come in for their yearly checkups, as well as provided story-telling in the lobbies as they wait. This week I read the book Uncle Nacho's Hat to the waiting children, and they loved it!! Especially when I attempted to read the Spanish words....This book is also on Reading is Fundamental's List of "Books children who hate to read LOVE to read," so you know it's a crowd favorite!

Uncle Nacho's Hat
by: Harriet Rohmer
With text in Spanish and English, this story brings important glimpses of other cultures to American children. The Uncle Nacho story originated in Nicaragua; the other came to Nicaragua from Africa by way of Jamaica. In the first, Nacho is attached to his old hat, even though it is full of holes . When his niece Ambrosia gives him a new one, he's pleased but skeptical. He reluctantly puts the ragged hat in the trash, but thanks to well-meaning relatives and friends, the hat keeps returning to Nacho. Finally he realizes it's time to push himself to change his style, in a clever and involving lesson in acceptance of change. Ages 4-12.

Some great activities to do with this book would be:
1.Have students write a story about a major change in their lives. What was hard about this change. What was good about the change.
2. Make hats out of construction paper, or be creative and think of new ways to make a hat!
3. Gather old clothing together to give to the Salvation Army and explain why people donate clothing to others.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hey! Take this Fun Quiz!

Look at This Opportunity for Alabama!

Hey everyone, help Alabama receive free books, all you have to is take this fun quiz about children's books! Alabama is currently in 18th place, and the top 5 most voted for states will receive its share of 100,000 books courtesy of Cheerios and First Book. I'll also put this link on my literacy blog. Lets get these ...books to Bama!

Go to this website, read the books, and have fun answering the quiz questions. You can also use your child's INFERENCE knowledge to answer the questions without having read the book. Example: The character of Amelia Bedelia is a literal person. If you tell Amelia "to turn the TV up just a hair" she will do just that, turn the TV up....with her hair! That Amelia Bedelia....

Here's the site!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book of the Week! June 14

Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

With Father's Day this weekend, what better book than one that celebrates our Dads, and their patience with kids!

Description: The study of common rimes, or word families, is vital to students' early reading and writing skills. Through the contrast of short-vowel patterns, this lesson supports first- and second-grade students' use of analogy to apply their knowledge of vowel sounds in reading and spelling new words. The integration of Dr. Seuss rhymes creates an engaging study of onsets and rimes. Students will discover patterns in words, sort words based on their vowel patterns, and apply their knowledge in reading and writing activities.

1. Rhyming is the most obvious activity you can do with your children along with reading this book. You can create your own rhymes, maybe even write that special man in your family's life a rhyming Father's Day card!
2. Play Hop on Pop Hopscotch! Check it out here:
3. Ask these questions about the book:

•Do we recognize any words from this book?

•Have we seen any of these words from previous Dr. Seuss books?

•What theme do we see with Dr. Seuss and how he uses words?

•Hop and Pop rhyme…can you name two words that rhyme?

•Hop and Pop have the short -o- vowel sound, can you name two words with this short -o- vowel sound?

•Cat and Pat have short vowel –a- sounds, can you name two words with short vowel –a- sounds?

•Red and Bed have short vowel –e- sounds, can you name two words with short vowel –e- sounds?

Read more:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Great Article about Reading with Your Children!

Reading at home: What are the benefits and how to go about doing it?

Reading to your child from infancy throughout the school years has been shown to increase literacy skills and school reading success. Reading at home provides a foundation for home literacy where children are taking meaning from books and their own lives and transferring that information to other books. Thereby, building a storehouse of knowledge that they can draw from. It also promotes interest in books and a motivation to read as they grow older. This is very important because as children progress through school, reading at home tends to fall by the wayside. Other things such as extracurricular sports, music, and even television viewing become preferable to opening a book at home. Avid readers are grown by the influence of their families.

Is it enough just to read to your child though? The research says “no”. It isn’t just the mere act of reading that promotes stronger vocabulary and comprehension skills. Instead it is the way that you read to your child and how you discuss books. Look at the pictures and ask questions about what is happening in the book. Point out new vocabulary and ask what they mean. Discuss the elements of the story: who are the characters, what is the setting, what happened at the beginning, middle, and end, what did they learn from the story? These are just a few things that you can do as you read.

What else can you do to promote literacy in the home? Be a model for your child and pick up a book and read for your own enjoyment. Make grocery lists together, write notes, discuss what they are reading at school, etc. All of these things will build stronger and better readers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Book of the Week-June 7

The Big Friendly Giant by Ronald Dahl

Description: When orphan Sophie is snatched from her bed by a Giant, she fears that he's going to eat her. But although he carries her far away to Giant Country, the Giant has no intention of harming her. As he explains, in his unique way of talking, "I is the only nice and jumbly Giant in Giant Country! I is THE BIG FRIENDLY GIANT! I is the BFG." The BFG tells Sophie how he mixes up dreams to blow through a trumpet into the rooms of sleeping children. But soon, all the BFG's powers are put to the test as he and Sophie battle to stop the other Giants from tucking into the children of the world. The RAF and even the Queen become involved in the mission.

There are some great things that you can do with your children in conjunction with this book. Here are some examples:
1. Take this fun BFG Quiz with your child.
2. Talk with your child about fear, and how just like Sophie was afraid at first, she eventually learned to like the BFG. Ask the question, What were you once afraid of and are not afraid of anymore?
3. Meet the inspiration for Dahl's BFG character!
4. Read over the fun words, like "jumbly, snozzcumbers, frobscottles" and make up your own!
5. Explore more of Dahl's writing creations, your child may come to find one of his books their favorite!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Reading 2010- Flanimals

Flanimals Pop-Up Book
by: Ricky Gervais
Summary: They're grotesque. They're absurd. They're so ugly they're cute - and they could only be spawned by the mind of award-winning comedian Ricky Gervais. From a planet far away, these bizarre and whimsical beasts - from the ferocious airborne Bletchling to the badly behaved Grundit to the fatally timid Splunge - spring to life in the droll and off-the-cuff prose of a writer who some may liken to a latter-day Edward Lear. Then again, some may find these grossly amusing creatures simply-gross. And whose fault is that? Just remember: don’t pull a tab just because you’ve been told to!

The animals may seem scary, but the descriptions make them funny, a great interactive read.
Some great activities to do with your children:
1. Create your own "Flanimals," draw pictures, use your imaginations!
2. Read this book aloud to your child with different scary noises for each monster.
3. Create your own Pop-Ups! Go to this website: