"Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them."
- Arnold Lobel


Every Tuesday is Book Review Day, where I review and recommend a children's book.

Every Wednesday is Wise Owl Wednesday, where you can butter up your brain with some children's literature facts - history, milestones, trivia ... stop by here to learn a little something about the amazing world of books for the young!

Every Thursday is Literacy Tip Day, where I offer literacy suggestions for your children based upon my teaching and parenting experience.

Keep cozy this fall with a good book!

30 April 2010

Literacy Tip #2 - Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!

We all have that book we've read to our children again, again, and...oh, yeah - AGAIN!!

Turns out, our children (as always) have hit the nail right on the head! Repetition is absolutely key to children in the reading realm, particularly infants and toddlers.  Hearing familiar words read over and over again creates new neural pathways in a child's little brain, especially when those words are read to him or her in a book they love while sitting in your lap.  Basically, this situation is the "perfect storm" for learning!!!!

So, go ahead and let your awesome little one hand you Goodnight Moon for the thousandth time - your child will reap countless benefits, and you will relish in the fact that learning and loving are happening at the same time!

Some of my children's faves:
Two Little TrainsTwo Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon)

 The Going-To-Bed BookThe Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

Mother, May I? Mother, May I? by Grace Maccarone

Winter Friends Winter Friends by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick

28 April 2010

Tuesday Book Review #3

A Tree is Nice
by Janice May Udry

With its simple, unique illustrations, A Tree is Nice provides a soothing reading experience for you and your child.  Written in amazingly brilliant prose, this book tells about the many, many blessings that trees bestow on our world.  No one can come away from this book with the urge to plant a tree right away, which is an excellent follow-up activity to do with your child as a literacy extension!!!

This book is perfect for ages 1-6 years old.

Also by this authorThump and Plunk (My First I Can Read) and Glenda.

26 April 2010

Literacy Tip #1 - READ!!!!

While it may seem painfully and ridiculously obvious, my first literacy tip is...READ...and do it often.  Read with your children, read to your children, and let your children see you reading. 

Like any other undertaking, reading skills can only improve with practice. 

As a classroom teacher, I assigned my students thirty minutes of reading for pleasure each school night.  They were to spend this time reading a book of their choice, not assigned homework.  In addition to that, we had thirty minutes of D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) in the classroom every day, where everyone, including me, put everything else aside and read a book for pleasure.  It was the highlight of every one's day!!

By the end of each school year, my students and their parents were astounded at how enormously their literacy skills had improved and how much they simply enjoyed the act of reading.  Parents who were (understandably) irritated with me at the beginning of the school year for assigning thirty minutes of reading time on top of homework were thanking me by the year's end!

While it was a very simple activity, the reading my students did on a daily basis was the secret to their true enjoyment of literature.
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