Saturday, May 2, 2009

Grab Bag Reviews

Get on over to Grab Bag Reviews - the button is over to the right - they have the best give aways - They have a hand painted birth plaque with the baby's name and date of birth.... Go one over and enter to win it.

Two of a Kind Working on a Full House and Sponkey Monkey

There is a really cool diaper bag give away over at Two of a kind working on a full House: by: Spunky Monkey: Go by there and see it. They have lots of other great give aways too - like a steam cleaner for the floor that looks like it would do a jam up job! I would love to win both of them.

Make Worksheets for Writing Skills Practice!

You can make your own worksheets for your child/students to practice writing skills on this site - It's great

Friday, May 1, 2009

strategies for creating strong readers

Through reading aloud, providing print materials, and promoting positive attitudes about reading and writing, you can have a powerful impact on your child's literacy and learning.

Invite your child to read with you every day.
When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help your child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word said is the word seen.
Read your child's favorite book over and over.
Read many stories with rhyming words and repeated lines. Invite your child to join in on these parts. Point, word by word, as your child reads along with you.
Discuss new words. For example, "This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?"
Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.
Read from a variety of children's books, including fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books.

Teaching Students to Decode Text

As an elementary school reading teacher, one of your main jobs will be to help many primary students (K-2) to decode basic words and text. Even the simplest words can be a challenge to the struggling reader and your job is to give them the best tools and strategies so that harder and harder words will start to flow off their tongues naturally. In my room, I introduce my young readers to six straightforward strategies that they must memorize and use when they come across a word that they just can't seem to get past. It really works to post these strategies in your room where they will become familiar and helpful friends to your struggling readers as they move towards competency:

Think About the Meaning of the Story - This is key. Students must learn to rely on the context and meaning of the story in order to forge meaning of unfamiliar words. As adults, we sometimes have to do this in our own reading, so this is an extremely important skill that you must help your students to master.
Chunk It - Teach your students to break the word up into more "know-able" parts. For example, the word "unbelieveable" looks quite daunting. But, when chunked up in to "un-be-lieve-able," it will almost certainly be more manageable.
Get Your Mouth Ready to Say the Sound - If a student has reached a total stumbling block, they might need to take it letter by letter.
Reread - Sometimes the students will have to read, read, and read again in order to get the intended meaning of the text. Teach your students to be persistent and they will reap the rewards of reading comprehension.
Skip, then go back. - If the student is totally lost, they might want to try skipping a little bit of the text and perhaps the meaning will become more clear as they move ahead. Then, they can go back and fill in the blanks, using the added information they gained from moving ahead.
Look at the picture. - Usually, this is the students' favorite strategy because it's relatively easy, effective, and fun. Don't let them get stuck on this single strategy. It's definitely a good one, but sometimes it can be the easy way out at the expense of students learning the more in-depth strategies.
Give these strategies a try with your young readers. They need to live them, love them, and learn them. Comprehension and reading enjoyment are right at their fingertips, but they do have to work at it until it comes more naturally. Have fun with the excitement of reading with these enthusiastic young minds!

Article By: Beth Lewis

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Phonics or Whole Lanaguage Approach - what does research say

Reading experts, such as Harvard Professor Catherine Snow, who led a study of children's reading problems for the United States National Academy of Sciences, recommend that teachers and parents take the best of phonics and whole-language approaches to teach children reading. This has been called 'balanced instruction'.

The best thing that a parent can do is sit down and read to your child - don't just buy the books. If the child's attention span is short when they are young, just point to the pictures and name them. Read the books over and over - this is so good for your child emotionally and educationally.

Go To Simply Stacy for a Great Skinny Dip Candle Giveaway

Find Simply Stacy at:

You can also find her button on my page. Skinny Dip Candles are great - they are candles and massage oils all in one.