Giving you the tools and skills to help you develop into a stronger teacher of literacy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Review: Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett


****Here is a link to the author drawing the Gingerbread Baby and reading the story too!****

The Gingerbread Baby is a great story to read to young children.  Jan Brett does a wonderful job with the illustrations in her stories.  Her stories show the main illustration to match the text, but she also uses the borders of the stories to predict what will happen next in the story.

Having children predict what will happen next helps children increase their comprehension, or understanding of the story.

So, make sure you discuss with your children what is going on in the borders of the pages before turning the pages to continue reading the story.  

Extension Activities:
1.  Bake Gingerbread cookies or make them out of construction paper and have the children decorate them.  Printable gingerbread babies
2.  Retell the story using paper puppets as props.
3.  Watch the video of Jan Brett drawing and reading the story.
4.  Make Gingerbread Baby houses using graham crackers.

There are many other great books by Jan Brett to include:

The Mitten
The Hat
The Three Snow Bears
Gingerbread Friends
Town Mouse Country Mouse
The Three Little Dassies

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Learning Letters: Alphabet Books

Reading ABC books to your child is one of the best ways to your child learn the letters of the alphabet.  As you read each page, talk about the items on the page that begin with the letter.  Point to the letters and ask your child to say the letter and later add "a is for __(item on the page)__", b is for _____".  Your child will be say words that begin with the letter after reading favorite ABC books over and over again and talking about things that begin with the letter.

Your child will often become interested in letters and things that begin with that letter.  They may ask you, "What does dog begin with?"  A great response is "dog begins with d and the d says d (d sound) like in dog."

Other good ABC books include:


Friday, December 10, 2010

Phonemic Awareness: Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are still a wonderful way to introduce your child to rhythm and rhyme in a playful way.  Reading and rereading classic nursery rhymes helps your child to learn the rhymes so they can recite them on their own.  You then use them as a teaching tool to help your child learn phonemic awareness, which is the ability to hear sounds in words.

Nursery Rhyme: Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill 
went up the hill
to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
and Jill came tumbling after.

1.  You can draw attention to words that begin with the same sound.
Jack and Jill have the same beginning sound.

2.  You can talk about how Jill and hill sound alike and are called rhyming words.  You can then ask the child if other words also sound like Jill and hill...(for example: Bill, fill, cat)
Bill sounds like Jill and hill.
Fill sounds like Jill and hill and Bill.
Cat does not sound like Jill and hill and Bill.

3.  You can also build vocabulary by talking about the words: fetch, crown and tumbling.

Find more Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes at: http://www.zelo.com/family/nursery/index.asp

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review & Activities: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See

Bill Martin, the author of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?", is one of my favorite children's authors because he does a great job with rhythm and rhyme.  The story is also predictable, where children learn what to expect on the next page.  They will often want to peek at the next page to see what is coming next.  Predictable books also encourage the child to participate in the reading of the story.

Your child may even try to read the book to you or read it on their own by memorizing the text they heard from reading the story over and over.  This is one of beginning stages of reading and should be encouraged.  Later, the child will begin to realize that the same word in one book is the same letters/word in another book.

Below is a link to a website with papers you can print at home to make puppets or flannel story pieces.  Encourage your child to use the puppets to retell the story in their own words.  This helps them build comprehension and show how well they understand the story.  After many readings, your child will do a great job using the puppets to act out the story.  Also, encourage them to use the book if they get stuck. The goal here is to have fun and play with language!

Link:  http://www.dltk-teach.com/books/brownbear/index.htm

There are many stories in this series which include:

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?

Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?