Monday, March 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Bubbles are a lot of fun and work on development of oral motor skills.
Side walk chalk is a great outdoor toy. If you don't mind a mess, sidewalk chalk can be used in the driveway to create fun drawings. This is a great tool for fine motor development.
Play doh and cookie cutters fit perfectly in an Easter Basket and are another great tool for fine motor development.
(There was a post a while back with a play doh recipe)
Silly Putty is also a great alternative and perfect for fine motor development.
Coloring books and crayons will work on development of fine motor skills.
Water color paints and paper will also work on fine motor.
Sand and water toys can be a lot of fun. Perfect tools for motor and sensory development. This is a great idea if you have a sandbox in the yard.
Small books are also perfect for an alternative gift. (The other day in the dollar bins at Target were some great board books.)
Jump ropes and hula hoops are great spring time toys and will work on development of gross motor skills.
Of course, Easter wouldn't be the same without a small chocolate bunny.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
One of the books the children will be exposed to this week is "Peter's Chair" by Ezra Jack Keats. Peter is a character that the students have meet earlier in the year. He was the main character in the book the "Snowy Day" also by Ezra Jack Keats. Ask your child about Peter and see if they can recall what other book they met him in. Ask them about the author of both the "Snowy Day" and "Peter's Chair" see if they can make any connections between the two books.
Here are some ideas for a story discussion:
Share with your child that sometimes parents paint furniture to make it new again. Ask your child if they think this was why Peter's father painted Peter's old furniture pink, or if there might be another reason. Guide your chiild towards the understanding that blue and pink are traditional colors for boys and girls; discuss the variey of colors available to both boys and girls.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The following video is of Elmo exploring his neighborhood and learning about print in his environment. As you take your child outside to enjoy the nice weather point out print in their environment. I'm always amazed by how quickly children learn to read stop signs and the signs to their favorite stores. As your pointing out print in their environment focus on beginning sounds to words and exaggerate the beginning sound. This will help your child begin to make sound symbol connections. What a fun way to work on beginning reading skills while enjoying the beautiful weather.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The following article is on 6 early literacy skills. It helps to explain that beginning reading skills is a lot more than learning letters and sounds. Take a few minutes to read the 6 steps and then try to incorporate them into daily activities.
Six Early Literacy Skills
Young children need a variety of skills to become successful readers. A panel of reading experts has determined that six specific early literacy skills become the building blocks for later reading and writing. Research indicates that children who enter school with more of these skills are better able to benefit from the reading instruction they receive when they arrive at school.
Vocabulary, knowing the names of things, is an extremely important skill for children to have when they are learning to read. Most children enter school knowing between 3,000 and 5,000 words.
Help develop your child's vocabulary by reading a variety of books with him, both fiction and nonfiction, and by naming all the objects in your child's world.
Print Motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books. A child with print motivation enjoys being read to, plays with books, pretends to write, asks to be read to and likes trips to the library.
Encourage print motivation in your child by making shared book reading a special time, keeping books accessible, and letting your child see that you enjoy reading. Explain how you use reading and writing in everyday life.
Print Awareness includes learning that writing in English follows basic rules such as flowing from top-to-bottom and left-to-right, and that the print on the page is what is being read by someone who knows how to read. An example of print awareness is a child's ability to point to the words on the page of a book.
Your child's print awareness can be encouraged by pointing out and reading words everywhere you see them - on signs, labels, at the grocery store and post office.
Narrative Skills, being able to understand and tell stories, and describe things, are important for children being able to understand what they are learning to read. An example of a narrative skill is a child's ability to tell what happens at a birthday party or on a trip to the zoo.
Help your child strengthen her narrative skills by asking her to tell you about the book, instead of just listening to you read the story. Encourage your child to tell you about things he has done that have a regular sequence to them.
Letter Knowledge includes learning that letters have names and are different from each other, and that specific sounds go with specific letters. An example of letter knowledge is a child's ability to tell the name of the letter B and what sound it makes.
Letter knowledge can be developed by using a variety of fun reading or writing activities, like pointing out and naming letters in alphabet books, picture books, or on signs and labels. For babies, talk about the shape of things, and for preschoolers, try drawing letters and pictures in the sand.
Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds in words. Phonological awareness includes the ability to hear and create rhymes, to say words with sounds or chunks left out and the ability to put two word chunks together to make a word. Most children who have difficulty in reading have trouble in phonological awareness.
Strengthen phonological awareness by playing fun word games with your child:
- Make up silly words by changing the first sound in a word: milk, nilk, pilk, rilk, filk.
- Say words with a pause between the syllables ("rab"and "it") and have your child guess what word you are saying.
- Read stories of poems with rhymes or different sounds to your child.