Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5 Essential Literacy Activities for Beginning Readers

As your little ones enter the world of beginning to read, there are five essential literacy activities that you should incorporate into your daily lessons.  These include:

Reading to your child.  Read books to your child that offer rich oral language and involve opportunities for discussion.  For example, you might want to read the book No David! as you ask your child to infer why the mom (or dad) might be mad at David. Build your child's vocabulary with books in the Skippyjon Jones series.  You might want to see if your kiddo can use the context clues to figure out what the Spanish words mean.  Older kiddos don't have to be left out of the reading aloud experience.  A Series of Unfortunate Events is also a great vocabulary builder for your older ones.

Read with your child.  Read with your child using the support of familiar, predictable, and rhyming texts such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?  Have your child fingerpoint as they read.  You can type up segments of the text or a sentence for the child to arrange in the correct order.

Write with your child.  Take turns writing a story or a few sentences with your child about your day's activities.  Model how you think of beginning sounds as you write.  For example if you were writing "We went to the park" you might say, I know that we starts with the 'w' sound and w makes that sound.

Word Study.  Word study for the beginning reader includes letter sorts and cards to teach the alphabet, picture sorts to teach beginning sounds, and concept sorts for thinking and vocabulary instruction. 

Here are a few examples:

ABC Sort
Rhyming Bingo Game
More Sorts (features several different types of sorts)

Talk With.  Talk to your child often to help their oral language grow.  Tell stories, talk about pictures in books, play what if, anything to make your kiddo use their words.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alphabet Practice

If your little ones are working on writing their alphabet, these reproducible worksheets help learners to trace and write upper- and lowercase letters in either traditional or modern manuscript. I saw a similar product at the store the other day for $4.99 for a dry erase version.  You can print these out and slide them in a page protector or laminate them for the same effect - only less pricey!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Barnes & Noble is offering their Summer reading program again this year.  Your child simply needs to read 8 books over the summer, and then completes a reading journal.  Bring the completed reading journal to Barnes and Noble to receive a FREE book.  A bonus this year is you will be entered to win a free Nook Color.  I LOVE mine!  Print out the journal and list of free books available here.

Also be sure to check out Borders' Giveaway as well.

Borders Double Dog Dare Challenge - FREE Book

If your kiddos are 12 and under, they can earn a FREE book from Borders just for reading 10 books this summer. Simply print out this form and have your child fill in each book they read.  Then bring it down to Borders for one of many free books available.  You may want to get started on this early because I have heard that quantitites are limited and they do run out of books.  Head over here for details and a list of books.

Monday, May 2, 2011

$2/1 coupon for EXPO Dry erase markers

We go through EXPO markers at our house like we go through water!  I swear sometimes my kids eat them!  If you use EXPO markers in your homeschooling activities, you may want to
Print this coupon for $2.00/1 Expo Washable Markers Product!

Thanks Raining Hot Coupons!
For more couponing info, click here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Look what I just got!  I LOVE with a capital L SwagBucks!  It is one of the ways that I help keep the cost of homeschooling my boys as low as possible.  I use my SwagBucks earnings to get books for FREE from Amazon.com.

One way that I have learned to stretch a dollar on books and supplies is with Swagbucks. Swagbucks pays you to do what you already do - search on the internet. Each time you search using swagbucks, you can earn swagbucks that can be cashed in for a variety of gift cards or prizes. To join click on the box below and start earning.

Search & Win

Baby Chicks Lesson Plan

Baby chicks are a great way to get your homeschool kiddos involved in science.  They can learn about life cycles, debate the age old question - which came first? The chicken or the egg? 

 In the incubator. After a hen mates with a rooster, she lays fertilized eggs. In 21 days, these eggs will hatch if they are kept warm by the hen’s body or an incubator. Find out what happens inside the shell while the embryo is growing into a chick. If possible, obtain an incubator and fertilized eggs to see what happens next!

They’re hatching! When the chick is ready to hatch, it pokes a hole in the sac, sticks its head through the shell membrane, and breathes in the air space. You can hear the chicks peeping inside their shells. Baby chickens use "egg teeth" to peck their way out of their shells. When the chicks hatch, they are wet and tired. Soon they dry and turn into balls of fluff!

Here are some other resouces for learning about chickens!

I see the egg emergent reader

Chicken Litte Reader's Theater