Picture Books that Build Vocabulary in Kindergarten
Not everyone believes that Kindergarten should be an academic experience and hence the spate of articles that I have posted on lately (see Has Kindergarten Changed or Are Kids Smarter? and Recess Essential to Kindergartener Development). This raging debate is never more apparent than at my own elementary school where we have 2.5 Kindergarten classrooms. ( The half you ask? We have a combined K/1st grade — a class combination born of shrinking school budgets rather than academic optimization. ) The two Kindergarten only teachers have been at the school for a long time and work beautifully together but they each represent the spectrum of Kindergarten philosophies: Kindergarten as play/learning the norms of behavior for school versus Kindergarten preparing children for academics. Read more…
What’s a Noun? Learn with Mad Libs Poem!
What’s A Noun?
A Person, Place or Thing.
Author: not sure but I suspect it’s a teacher at my elementary school. I found this poem hanging up in the school hallway! Read more…
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…
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…
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 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…
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…
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.
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.
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