Posts Tagged ‘Children’
Here are some Big Universe Learning titles that might be of interest especially around the time of Mother’s Day:
- A Mother’s Journey Acclaimed nonfiction author Sandra Markle presents the daring story of a mother emperor penguin’s struggle to reach the sea, find food, avoid predators, and make her way back to her mate and their newborn chick before they starve. Alan Marks’ luminous illustrations highlight the harsh conditions and stunning landscapes of Antarctica.
- A Zany Zoo Day Mom is in for a surprise when a trip to the zoo brings out the animal in everyone!
- Grandma’s Feather Bed Upbeat, funny and irresistibly singable, this song was made famous by John Denver and now made doubly delightful by Christopher Canyon’s illustrations. Especially if you listen along with Denver, kids will say, play it again! It is all about the cousins, the chicken pie, four hound dogs and a piggy, but as the song says, the best darn thing about Grandmas house was her great big feather bed.
- Emma’s Question A question scritches and scratches at the back of Emma’s throat.Emma is a curious kid. She loves to ask questions,and she loves the silly answers that her grandmother always gives. But now Emma has a very important question, one that she is bursting to ask, one that scritches and scratches at the back of her throat. Her grandmother is sick and has to stay in the hospital. Emma wonders if Grandma will still be able to read to her kindergarten; if she will still make up funny stories over bagels on Wednesdays; if she will still be able to watch her after school.
- We Like the Beach A girl and her mom go for a walk on the beach. They see some of their favorite things.
- Animal Mothers and Babies This book helps children learn to read with descriptions of animal mothers and their babies.
These are just a few of the publisher books about mothers. There are also many Member Books that have been created for and about mothers.
Just as all mothers are unique, each of these titles represents an individual and interesting book to read …
Maybe you will choose to read a book or a poem about mothers …
Maybe you will choose to write and create a book or a poem about mothers …
Find a way to celebrate and share!
Posted on September 3, 2012 by Terry Doherty in Literacy, Personal Experiences, Reading Lists.
Tags: Books, Children, family literacy, Family Time, Jim Trelease, Literacy, mixed age reading, nonfiction, nonfiction picture books, poetry, Read aloud, read aloud poetry, Reading, The Read Aloud Handbook
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This is an updated version of a post I wrote for the PBS Parents blog Booklights. The original article appeared in August 2010.
As I mentioned last week, reading with your kids – even when there are many years between them – can be enjoyable for everyone to share together. Sometimes it may be about the book, but every time it is an opportunity to connect with your kids and connect them with each other!
With homework looming most days, it can be very hard to find time to be together and remind the kids that reading is for enjoyment, too. Even a ritual like reading a [insert: poem, chapter, picture book, comic strip] at the table one morning or evening a week is great. It is your tradition, so do what works for you!
In The Read Aloud Handbook (now in its Sixth Edition!) Jim Trelease emphasizes that as readers, we have a listening level and a reading level. In Hey! Listen to This! (an article on his website), he re-emphasizes this point.
A consistent mistake made by parents and teachers is the assumption that a child’s listening level is the same as his or her reading level. Until about eighth grade, that is far from true; early primary grade students listen many grades above their reading level. This means that early primary grade students are capable of hearing and understanding stories that are far more complicated than those they can read themselves.
What does that mean? Well, you don’t have to read only picture books with simple messages or text. Young audiences can be enticed to enjoy text-heavy picture books and chapter books alike. There are a number of genres that naturally lend themselves to reading to mixed-age audiences, including …
Nonfiction. More specifically, nonfiction picture books, also called “informational picture books.” One of the best ways to hook kids of any age on reading is to give them some nonfiction books. They may be straight-up factual books, or they may be stories that have lots of facts in them (think: historical fiction for example). The great thing about informational picture books is that they have something for everyone. These are books that invite exploring, so whether you read all of the text or just talk about the illustrations, you’re in for an enjoyable, shared read.
Poetry. Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein write poetry that is meant to be read aloud.
Their poems are very “graphic,” allowing readers to “see” what they describe, and they often have a nonsensical quality that strike kids’ funny bones.
Humor. Despite the dictionary description, defining “funny” is a matter of personal taste. Still, a good laugh is something we all enjoy. As a parent, you understand the types of humor your kids enjoy … and you can decide what types of things you want to share together.
Books with lots of dialogue. “Dialog books” aren’t a specific genre, but a lot of short chapter books use conversation among the characters to tell the story. There are usually only a few characters (often school-aged kids and an adult or two) so it is an opportunity for everyone to take a role and read together.
These are by no means the only genres. On her website, storyteller Mary Hamilton offers a handy checklist that describes reading interests for various ages, from preschool through high school.
When you are selecting a book the whole family can enjoy, what types of books do you pick? If you have a family – or classroom – favorite, be sure to share!
Mom reading with kids: Family Story Minute by Sean Dreilinger on Flicker. Copyright. Some rights reserved.
Collage of nonfiction picture books: University of Maryland News photostream on Flickr. Copyright. Some rights reserved University of Maryland Press Releases.
Bookshelf with poetry books. Thingamababy Awesome Wall photostream on Flickr. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Roscoe Riley by Katherine Applegate. Book cover image by Mr. Biggs photostream on Flickr. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Taking time to read with your child = interest in reading your child takes.
Do you agree with the above “equation”? I do. I have found that the amount of time I put into an activity with my children, the more interest they take in it. For example, if I make it a point to spend time with my oldest son reading, he grabs a hold of that time and really takes interest. I show him that I am genuinely interested in spending “reading” time with him and he grabs all of the attention that I give to him. And, on busy days, he even questions me as to when we are going to have our “reading” time together.
During the early years of children’s lives, they grow accustom to routines. It is during this time in their lives that we should plant good roots for important routines and habits. Taking time to read with your child should be one of your main routines. This not only helps them to develop better literacy skills, but it also shows them that this is an important time to spend together. And, what better way is there to end a day as to have your favorite little one on your lap, reading along with them to one of their favorite books, opening up their imaginations, and building on their vocabulary, all usually with a few giggles here and there and a happy ending to boot!
When we take time out of our lives, and come on, our kids do know how busy we are these days, it shows them that they really are important. And, when we express to them the importance of reading and how it builds a solid foundation to their future and show them that it is important enough for us to spend that time with them doing that activity, they WILL take interest, and I can almost guarantee you that they will do it to the best of their ability also.
To some children, reading comes natural. To others, they have a more difficult time. But either way, if you just show a little interest, that interest will go a very long way. To the ones that read easily, this will give you quality time with your child in a way that they will never forget. And to the ones that have a little more difficulty, this will give them that extra boost, help, and confidence for them to gain a better understanding of reading. As they strive to “impress” you by their reading capabilities, they are turning the wheels in their mind to grasp what they learned the night before…and soon, they reading will be a natural thing to them and their doors of the future will be open wider than before.
Week 4 High Frequency Word List
~ Amy E. Snyder
Posted on February 7, 2010 by Suzan Woodard in Uncategorized.
Tags: Big Universe, Books, Children, Chinese New Year, creativity, Fun in class, Lesson Plans, literacy games, Online Children's Books, picture books, vocabulary
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Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, but did you know it’s the first day of the Chinese New Year, too? Yup – the Year of the Tiger is upon us! Maybe your child or class would have fun with some global fusion – half hearts, half dragons.
Kids like quirky, well, most of them anyway. Hang Chinese lanterns from the ceiling and cut and paste valentines. Mix in talk of tigers, dragons and firecrackers and you are sure to engage the boys, as well.
I figure most of you have the Valentine’s Day theme down pat, so I’ll give you a few hints on how to use the Chinese New Year celebration as a spring board for learning.
Get to Know and Appreciate China
- Make Chinese paper lanterns to string in a doorway or from the ceiling. Very festive.
- Read “China” by Gisela Lee, who writes about this influential country’s rich history and vibrant modern-day culture. The book posted online by Big Universe has a map, colorful pictures and a good vocabulary list aimed at sixth-graders. (Teacher Created Materials Publishing)
- Fly a kite, bring collapsible umbrellas to school or play dominoes. They were all invented by the Chinese.
- Use “Kingka,” an award-winning board game, as a class supplement. Created by New Jersey educator, mom and children’s book author Sholeen Lou-Hsaio, the Mandarin-language matching game resembles bingo and introduces the 54 basic Chinese characters. It uses “the spirited nature of a memory game to encourage effective learning. It takes away the fear students have of learning Chinese,” said Lou-Hsiao.
- Learn more about giant pandas by clicking on this link, or read “Pandas’ Earthquake Escape” at Big Universe. (Sylvan Dell)
- “Confucius, Chinese Philosopher” is another Big Universe book by Gisela Lee, who collaborated with Wendy Conklin to write this biography. (Teacher Created Materials Publishing)
- Look at “Holidays” by author Dona Herweck Rice. It’s aimed at younger children with simple text and great pictures. Keep an eye out for the Chinese New Year street parade picture. (Teacher Created Materials Publishing)
- Go to Page 33 in the book “Animal World,” published by Saddleback Educational Publishing. It offers a little zoology on the tiger – with colorful photographs and a fun “factoscope” box. Or read “What Tigers Do,” a beginner book written by Kris Bonnell and published by Reading Reading Books, LLC.
- Print out this coloring page of a tiger, a boy in traditional holiday clothing, or one of men dressed to do the Chinese New Year lion dance.
These “pigeon” books are a huge hit with my son. They reflect exactly the way that a determined young child would act in order to get their way. Notice I said “determined“.
Basically it is a simple book with simple drawings, but it is great. The story is about a bus driver having to leave the bus and he urges his readers to NOT let the pigeon drive the bus. And, of course you guessed it, the pigeon wants to drive the bus and tries to persuade the reader to allow him to do so.
This book allows true interaction with your child as your child soon learns a variety of words that the pigeon is “shouting” throughout. Therefore, this is not a bedtime book – this book will really get your child involved and in high gear! And in the process, it produces a lot of giggles!
This book ALWAYS brings a laugh when read. It is a must-have for any child. You, as an adult, will enjoy it just as much! It is one that will not sit on your shelf very often.
Week 2 High Frequency Word List
Hi everyone. I would like to take this time to introduce myself as I am new to Big Universe. My name is Amy Snyder and I am a 35-year-old mother of two boys, ages 7-years-old and age 20-months-old, and this makes me truly aware of the importance of literacy.
I have found, in my own experience, that reading is much harder than learning how to speak. Speaking comes natural to children – they hear, they listen, and then they speak. Reading is much different as it has to be learned.
I am going to start my post off with a list of 3 words out of the 100 on the high frequency word list. Each weekly post that I write, I will include 3 more. It is said that if a child can learn these words, then the child can read approximately 70% of what is needed for the future. Amazing isn’t it?
Also, I will be writing about children’s books that I have read, and we have a favorite about not letting a pigeon drive a school bus that I will write about next week, and about literacy in multiple ways.
I hope you enjoy spending quality time with your children as they begin to explore and learn a whole new world while learning to read.
Week 1 High Frequency Word List
Tip: Write these three words on separate index cards and quiz your child on these words. You will be amazed at how quickly they can learn by repeating this process a few times.
- Amy E. Snyder
The most solid way to encourage a love of reading in your child is to make sure books are a part of their everyday lives from day one, yes that means from the first day that cute little bundle of joy arrives in your home make sure you are reading to them.
When your child is first born it’s very easy to show picture books to them, the best pictures books for a newborn baby are those that include pictures of other babies. Your newborn will enjoy looking at facial expressions and gestures while you say what each baby in the picture book is doing.
The toddler years can make book reading really fun, because your child will now start to memorize their favorite books and in some cases actually be able to read the book to you. Reading along with your toddler or preschooler is so much fun because it makes you, the parent, feel accomplished in the area of parenting. To think, all you did was put a book in front of your child every day for the whole of their life and now here they are reading to you!
As your child grows older they will come to realize that books can be fun, educational and enjoyable. Reading to or with your child for twenty minutes each day will encourage them to become better readers, learn manners and even learn how to express themselves. Children books have been written in ways that make learning about life fun and adventurous.
Think about the last book you read to your child, was it a book that had hints of how to handle anger, did the book mention please and thank you? Reality is books have a great way of sneaking in hidden meanings and hidden actions that every child should learn. A love of reading will open many doors for your child as they grow up to be mature, well rounded adults.
So the only question left is … have you read to your child today?