Sometimes early readers just need a little push. No, that doesn’t make you a tiger mom. I know from experience that this happens with teachers in Kindergarten classrooms too. Sometimes early readers need a push.
They’ve got the skills. They know phonics. They can sound out words. But it’s still a bit hard.
That’s why it’s helpful to make it worth their while. The more practice kids get, the easier it will be to read. The easier it will be to read, the more they will enjoy reading. The more they enjoy reading, the faster they will develop advanced skills.
Incentives, bribery, whatever. I don’t care what you want to call it. But I know it works.
With my son Bruce I offered a new Star Wars book for every 6 Bob Books he read. But it’s been harder to find an equally attractive book incentive for Jenna(4). So finally we paged through the American Girl catalogue and looked for something exciting. Hence our new chart featuring Rebecca Rubin.
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but I used a dot stamper to represent each Bob Book twice. The chart includes all of the books from sets one, two and three. So once Jenna has read every Bob Book in sets one, two and three twice, she’ll earn Rebecca. I’m crossing them out as we go along.
Getting through the third set of Bob Books would mean having first grade reading skills. To me, that’s worth $110!
Move over pawns, we have a new way of doing Hands on Equations to help jazz up the last five lessons. Instead of using the blue and white pawns, we are using chocolate and yogurt covered raisins.
My son Bruce started doing Hands On Equations a year and a half ago. (For more info, click here.) We very steadily worked on one lesson a week all through first grade. But in second grade, Bruce’s normal school work was doing a better job of “filling up his brain”, so we moved Hands On Equations to the back burner. This summer we’ve been cooking it up again, and are almost done.
Here’s an example of the problems he is working on now:
3(-x) + 2 = -10 + x
I can’t say enough good things about Hands on Equations. I’m still really impressed. If you’ve got a kid who can handle third grade math, be sure to look into it. The website is: http://www.borenson.com/
Right now Jenna(4) and I are doing a new Part-Whole Circle problem every day. Focusing on word problems helps teach reading and math at the same time. It also compliments what Jenna is doing in Right Start Level A.
But you don’t need a formal math program to try this idea with your preschooler at home. Here’s how it works.
Here are some other problems we will be working this week:
For more ideas for math with your preschooler, please click here.
Here’s my “I Brake for Moms” column from today: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20130825/BLOG5205/708259976/Summer-vacation-is-turning-this-family-into-wild-things–
It’s on page two of The Good Life section in The Everett Daily Herald.
Here’s the situation. I started Teaching My Baby to Read on Blog.com, back in February 2011. The Blog.com platform was always unstable and problematic. Then earlier this year, all of Blog.com went down for almost a month! That’s when I made the official switch over to Word Press.
But what should I do now? Should I leave the Blog.com site up? It’s really sad because my stats over at Blog.com were something like 69,000 unique visitors, and 250,000 page views. If you’re a blogger, you’ll understand the sadness of leaving that behind.
Does it hurt this new site to still have the blog.com version up, or would it hurt more to disable it completely?
I still haven’t fixed all of the links. Sometimes you’ll be reading here and click on something, and it will accidentally take you back to the blog.com site. There’re also bloggers and people out there who have my old blog.com site referenced and linked on their pages.
I really don’t know what to do and this is all very frustrating. If any of my readers have advice, I’m all ears!
They are kind of like the periodic table of the elements placemat I had when I was little, only for grown-ups.
…Which makes me realize that I’ve never bothered to buy placemats like that for my own kids, even though it is a really good idea.
I can’t believe I’m thinking about Christmas already, but now I am!
The grandmas are always asking me for present ideas for the kids, and I never know what to say. So I’m adding some very cool placemats to the Grandma Please Buy This page for my blog.
Feel free to pass that link along to the grandmas in your life, in case it helps.
Grandma Please Buy This!
My “I Brake for Moms” column in the Sunday edition of The Everett Daily Herald yesterday: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20130818/BLOG5205/708189984/-1/blog5205#Even-faith-in-infomercials-is-rewarded-eventually–
When I first started Teaching My Baby to Read two and a half years ago I was a blogging newbie. My first few months of blogging, I shared pictures of my children just like every other blogger I followed. I thought this was safe, because I had changed my children’s names.
Then, something happened that made me rethink everything I knew about Mommy Blogs.
The one and only week I ever posted on a certain unmentioned forum for gifted children, another poster viciously attacked me. I still don’t know what his/her problem was, but it was ugly. Really, really awful thing were said about me personally, and the moderators did not step up in time.
That was my first introduction to total strangers hating on me online, and it was enough to make me seriously reconsider what I was sharing about myself and my children.
The first thing I did was I stopped showing my children’s faces on my blog. I’d include a hand, foot, or elbow, but never a full image.
Once my “I Brake for Moms” column in The Herald started, I decided to pull back further. Now that I’m sharing anecdotes about my children with all of Snohomish County every Sunday morning, I feel the need to be extra careful about my children’s privacy. I have my husband double-check what I write each week to make sure my children won’t hate me later when they’re grown adults. I’ve also stopped including our address in school directories.
The biggest change is that I no longer share any pictures of my children on Facebook. I don’t even mention them by their true names. But I do send out a traditional Christmas card every year to family and friends, which includes a family picture.
Other Mommy Bloggers are making different choices than I, and I don’t judge them whatsoever.
We are parenting in a brave new world. The line between public and private is getting blurred, and blogging is still brand new. Twenty years from now, none of us know what our own children will think about any of this.
What I do know is that one more hit, one more post, and the elusive chance of a page going viral, isn’t worth risking my children’s esteem and affection.
So blog readers? You’ll just have to trust me on this one. My kids are super cute, even though you won’t being seeing their pictures.
My daughter Jenna is 4, and is in the middle of completing Right Start Level A.
Here’s some fun we had this morning “playing math”, using our math balance. This isn’t from a specific Level A lesson; it’s just the two of us making things up. But this will give you the idea of how you can use a math balance to help kids develop number sense and computation skills.
Fun, right? Our balance is from our Right Start kit, but you can also purchase a Number Balance on Amazon.
Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery) by Julianna Deering is a highly entertaining mystery set in 1930’s England. It feels like you are reading a film noir movie, from the golden age of Hollywood.
I won’t describe any of the plot because there’s too much risk of giving clues away. But I will say that one thing I especially appreciated about this book was how clever it was.
I’m not a mystery buff so I didn’t understand at first, but Derering was playing around with Father Knox’s Decalogue, the “Ten Commandments for Mystery writers“, the entire book. She intentionally broke as many rules as possible, just for sport.
Now that I know that, it makes me want to read the book again, start to finish, so I can look for the broken Decalogue. Very cool!
P.S. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion and review.
My teacher credentialing program was grounded in Balanced Literacy Instruction. That means taking the best of Whole Language and Phonics, smashing them together, and teaching kids to read. (If you’re interested in more info about Balanced Literacy Instruction, click here.)
I like Balanced Literacy Instruction because I’m a big believer in flexibility. Yes, I love phonics. Yes, my kids have known their letters and sounds since they were two. But that doesn’t mean that Whole Language doesn’t have some tricks to offer.
One of those ideas from the Whole Language world is to label everything (and I mean everything!) in your classroom.
So I was thinking, why not try this at home?
My daughter Jenna is 4 years old now and can read Bob Books #1-3 on her own independently. But by book #4, she’s bored.
I don’t push her. Jenna will tell me when she’s ready to read.
But in the meantime, I can be as sneaky as I want. She might come home from a Grandma day and find the whole house labeled for her!
So come on baby girl! I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve that might pique your interest in becoming an independent reader. It’s a long way to Kindergarten and I’ve got a whole bunch of fun things planned.
- Reflections on Balanced Literacy (insidetheclassroomoutsidethebox.wordpress.com)
Have you looked up your car’s safety rating on Safecar.gov? Take a deep breath and knock on wood before you do.
My “I Brake for Moms” column in today’s paper explains what’s happened in our family once I looked up our Major Japanese Brand sedan: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20130811/BLOG5205/708119981/-1/blog5205#A-mothers-car-has-to-be-able-to-take-a-beating
Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron had me laughing, crying and thinking for days. The only thing that’s bugging me is I can’t decide which of Cron’s books I like better. A couple of weeks ago, I read and reviewed Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale, and it has stuck with me too.
“Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir…of Sorts” tells the story of what it was like for Cron to grow up the son of an alcoholic. It’s also a look back at life Greenwich, Connecticut a generation ago, and how times have changed.
Cron’s remembrances of life as an altar boy had me in stiches. The kindness and wisdom of Father Durcan had me in tears.
In many ways, Cron reminds me John Shelby Spong, (but I hope I don’t tick anyone off by saying that.) Cron isn’t afraid to ask deep questions. He’s not afraid to think. He’s not intent on pegging God down and boxing God up into a neat and tidy definition. (But I might be wrong…)
I got this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinions and review. I look forward to reading many more books by Cron in the future.
- Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me (thewritelife2.wordpress.com)
- Chasing Francis….someone send me off to Italy, Please…. (renoanderson.wordpress.com)