All posts in 3) Grade K-2

Easy Harry Potter Series: Ghostville Elementary

Easy Chapter Books for 2nd Grade

My middle daughter wanted to post on this series and this is what she says:

” This is kind of like a Harry Potter for kids in first or second grade. Maybe even Kindergarten if a parent reads aloud to their child. It’s about these kids in third grade and they get moved down to the basement classroom, and they start to think that there are ghosts in their room (and it’s true!). This is a series that I highly recommend. There are eleven or twelve books. Read more…

Little Librarian toy for girls who like office supplies organizing books library libraries, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Holiday Gift for Kids Who Like Office Supplies: Little Librarian

Little Librarian for Playing Pretend Library

Harley Gal Work Mom sent me the link to this gem!  My middle daughter who is 8 years old would have a field day with this as she is obsessed with office supplies and loves to organize her stuff such that it resembles a classroom, a Staples store, or a school cubby room.  Yes, she is an organizer, that one!

I’m not sure if kids love to play librarian but I noticed at the Boston Children’s Museum El Supermercado how much the kids love to use a pretend scanner.  Note, however,  that there isn’t one in this kit.  My kids never actually pretended to be a librarian though I would be really excited if they wanted to organize our jumbles of books! Read more…

SAT Words for Kindergarteners from Picture Books

Best Picture Books that Build Vocabulary

I realize that maybe only a few of us find this list both amusing and educational.  My husband and I love to ask our son what he thinks these words mean just to hear his responses.  Even when our son is correct, we always get a good chuckle.  It’s even funnier when he’s wrong.  Then, we read the sentence and he gives it another go.  Usually the sentence helps him nail down the meaning. Read more…

Recess Essential to Kindergartener Development

Kids Need Recess Especially in Kindergarten

What is Kindergarten supposed to look like:  preschool or first-grade?  Do you question your kindergarten curriculum?  The research is pointing to the importance of play as the core curriculum for kindergarten.  This is not to say that kindergarten can’t have “academics” woven throughout, but play is essential for young children to develop and outdoor time is precious and important time.  And then if you think of Emotional Intelligence … that socialization skills that are the most accurate predictor for success as an adult and that book, Everything I Know, I Learned in Kindergarten (or in the Sandbox?? You know which book I’m talking about, right?), then it all starts to make sense. Read more…

ABC Pocket Phonics iPhone iPad app for autistic children, http://PragmaticMom.com, phonics, pragmatic mom

ABC Pocket Phonics App

ABC Phonics App for Kids

I found this app online and asked for a code to try it out.  I was thinking of my son, now 6-year-old (he just had a birthday), who is in Kindergarten.  But then I noticed that this app was featured in a post of apps for high functioning autistic children so I thought it was kismet and clearly I need to check out this app which has been sitting on my iPhone untouched for a while. Read more…

Has Kindergarten Changed or are Kids Smarter?

Are Kindergarten Kids Smarter These Days?

I knew kids in my kids’ Kindergarten class who could read The Magic Tree House series before they entered elementary school.  For others, carry addition was not a problem.  I thought my kids were way behind because they would enter Kindergarten barely reading and unsure of what number came after 99.  The pressure for Kindergarten academics, I always thought, came from the standardized testing starting in 3rd grade and so Kindergarten, for many classrooms, started to look a lot like 1st grade.  I am actually o.k. with that because it worked for my kids.  Our elementary school is very strict about the cut off date of “you-must-be-five-years-old-by-August 31-no-exceptions.”  I actually thought this is just the new world we live in, but maybe the old ways are best. Read more…

NYTimes Best Seller Picture Book Sequel

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark Delights

It is a rare occasion when my husband raves about a picture book.  He’s read his fair share of picture books to our three children but bedtime stories is my favorite time of the day, not his.  And while he will read a book over and over again, there aren’t too many picture books in our house that he is excited to re-read.

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark, Deborah Diesen, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

So when he told ME to blog about this book because it’s GREAT, I have to say that I stood up at attention (figuratively as I was reclined in bed), and took note.  This is why I think he liked it so much:

  • It rhymes.  And it rhymes beautifully without losing its cadence somewhere in the story which is my pet peeve in life.
  • It has a particular part that repeats several times — when the Pout-Pout fish admits he is scared of the dark.  My husband and youngest LOVED to say the first three lines loud and strong, and the scared-y cat part high and squeaky.  They are just like that!  But it cracked them up to no end!  And this book helped my son because he, too, is afraid of the dark.
  • There are several great messages woven into the book:  being a good friend, overcoming your fears, and being helpful.
  • There is also an oceanography lesson built in.  (My husband grew up in Monterey, California and though I actually took Ichthyology (the study of fish!) in college, he knows way more about marine biology than I do just from osmosis).  He noticed that the sea creatures changed appropriately as the fish swam deeper into the ocean.  I actually learned about the different levels of the sea from Dr. Seuss’ Wish on a Fish:  All About Sea Creatures myself and also appreciated the weird and crazy looking fish at the bottom of the ocean in the trench.
  • His only criticism was that he didn’t love the illustrations by Dan Hanna.  They are ok; not terrible but just not Caldecott worthy.   That’s a shame because this a New York Times best selling author!

This is the first book that I’ve read by Deborah Diesen but I am so impressed that I’m going to find her other books.

The Pout Pout Fish, Deborah Diesen, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic MomWish on a Fish, Dr. Seuss, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

To examine any book at Amazon, please just click on the image of the book.

Top 10: Best Native American Picture Books

Debbie Reese, Pre-Eminent Scholar, Picks Best Native American Picture Books

I am so excited to find these books lists by pre-eminent Native American Children’s Literature scholar, Debbie Reese.  This is the first list for picture books and I will add the ones for Middle School and High School soon.  She has a wonderful website, American Indians in Children’s Literature.  Her bio: Read more…

Asian Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Alvin Ho

More Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

What happens when you cross a crazy popular early chapter book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with an Asian kid?  You get Alvin Ho, who is hilarious and allergic to just about everything in the world, or so he thinks, including:

  • camping
  • hiking
  • natural disasters
  • girls
  • school
  • birthday parties
  • science projects
  • man-made catastrophes
  • other scary things Read more…