Hat Tip: United Way of the Wine Country
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The Five Finger Rule to help a child find the “just right” book.
Instructions for making a word game based on dominos. We are encouraged to play a game with our students at the end of a tutoring session. This is an easy one to make yourself.
Welcome to the new and returning Schools of Hope tutors. For those of us who like instant gratification, this is a great way to spend an afternoon. Yulupa uses the PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategies) from Vanderbilt University. You can read about the program here. We use a slightly different version of PALS but the principles are the same.
When many of us went to school, the most used reading method was Whole Word (the Dick and Jane days). If you would like to review the letter sounds, you can go to Alphabet Sounds. Spring Creek Elementary made a video of a tutoring session. They do no use the same materials as Yulupa, but it gives you some idea of the flow.
If you need some additional insight check out this Advanced Tutor Training by MaryAnn Nichol. She is a professor at Sonoma State and is part of the team doing research on Schools of Hope.
Finally, for more ideas to help you with your students, just click on the Schools of Hope tag at the bottom of this post or in the left hand column on this blog.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
My son-in-law asked for a list of chapter books with pictures to share with my granddaughters who are emerging readers. While researching books on the Kirkus Review website, I ran across the highly rated Moldylocks and the Three Beards the first book in the Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe series written and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. Since I have a weakness for fractured fairy tales, I checked it out.
Princess Pink does not like princesses nor the color pink, her parents named her Princess because they were so excited that after seven boys they finally had a girl. Their last name is Pink. Princess falls into the world of fake-believe by opening the refrigerator door. She lands smack dab into a slightly twisted version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Moldylocks has green hair and the bears have become beards, just a couple of letters make the difference. Princess accompanies Moldylocks to the home of the Three Beards where they look for the just right chair, taste chili and jump on the beds before they fall asleep. When the Beards return home, Princess escapes through the refrigerator to the safety of her home but decides to return and save Moldylocks.
The story will appeal to first and second graders but it might be a little snarky for younger kids. The reading level is second grade and the book is available through Scholastic Book Service. The Sonoma County Library has a few copies and one copy of the second book in the series Little Red Quacking Hood. The Yulupa Library has two copies.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Magazines are a great way to get your kids interested in reading. Erica from the What Do We Do All Day blog has done the hard work of rounding up a list of 16 magazines for preschool and grade-school aged kids. Our family has had experience with the Ranger Rick (and the preschool, My Big Backyard now called Ranger Rick, Jr.) and Highlights for Kids. One that I have never seen before is Ask, a science magazine for kids 7-9 or 10. For older kids, they publish Odyssey.
Kids love to get mail so magazines make great birthday or holiday gifts, especially since the gift lasts the length of the subscription.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
A couple of years ago, I came across at book for early readers called The Cat on the Mat is Flat by Australian author Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton. I have been using it with some of my second graders because there is lots of rhyming and alliteration and the type is large and well-spaced. The nine stories are only a few pages long, and both the text and line drawings are funny. Kids seemed to like reading the stories. Rhyming helps kids increase their vocabulary rapidly.
Thanks to the Imagination Soup blog, I have discovered another Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton collaboration, The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow. The ten stories in this volume are less wordy but still very rhyme-y (and according to the cover, slimy) and the text and drawings are again,very funny.
One copy of The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow and four copies of The Cat on the Mat is Flat are available from the Sonoma County Library. The Yulupa Library has one copy of The Big Fat Cow Goes Kapow and lists its reading level as 1.7.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
One of the books recommended by Melissa Taylor in the previous post for 5 and 6 year olds is Frank Viva’s A Trip To The Bottom Of the World With Mouse. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for months, so it is about time to get around to it. Mouse and his explorer friend are on a ship headed to Antarctica. The seas are rough and Mouse would like to turn around and go back home, but the trip becomes worth it when they get to see penguins, whales and swim in the warm water of a submerged volcano. The book is based on a trip the author took to Antarctica (he is Mouse). You can read more about it and see some pictures of the trip here.
What makes this a terrific book for beginning readers is large, well-spaced type, few words on a page, repetition and pairing words with pictures. Not to mention, it is a good story.
The Sonoma County Library has a few copies.