All posts in 2) Preschool

free kindergarten readiness printable, my book about me free printable, free keepsake book about me for preschool

Kindergarten Readiness FREE Printable Book: My Book About Me

When my son was in preschool, I created this free Kindergarten readiness book for him. I printed it out, bound it into a 3 ring paper folder, and made a copy for each child in his class and the teachers had the kids work on it for a few months before preschool ended.

free kindergarten readiness printable, my book about me free printable, free keepsake book about me for preschool

It is both a keepsake book plus, having gone through the ropes with his two older sisters, a Kindergarten readiness book to capture all the academic concepts I thought he needed for Kindergarten:

  • Counting to 10
  • Bonus: counting to 10 in Spanish
  • Letters of the alphabet
  • Bonus: lower case alphabet
  • Days of the Week
  • Colors
  • Bonus: Counting to 100 (and even by 10’s!)

I included some drawing prompts too:

  • Self portrait
  • Favorite animal
  • What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
  • Favorite Thing to Do At Preschool

You can download this FREE printable book: My Book About Me Read more…

Krishna, Demi, Hindu religion books for kids, world religion books for kids, chapter books for kids on India

Hindu Picture Book by Demi

Hindu Picture Book and Chapter Book for Kids

The great Hindu god Vishnu, greatest of all gods, promises to help bring peace to earth when evil demon kings try to kill all the good rulers of earth. He will be reborn on earth as a child named Krisha. Does this story sound vaguely familiar?! We notice a rebirth theme in World Religions!

The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna by Demi tells the story of Krishna, rescued from certain death to be raised by two cowherds. The evil demon king Kasma not deterred, sending demon after demon to destroy Krishna, to no avail. Krishna prevails in the end, destroying Kasma and wandering the earth teaching people how to live together in peace and joy. Demi, as usual, makes this story easy to read with her gorgeous colorful illustrations.

We are trying to learn more about World Religions through picture books at my house since we don’t attend church and I personally know very little about the Hindu religion. My only reference point to Krishna were the Hare Krishnas I’d seen at airports (pre-9/11 security) which always made me feel uneasy.

It was with great delight that action adventure Zoe and Zac and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard landed in my lap. Think Percy Jackson or Kane Chronicles Goes to India and you get the gist!

Like a Rick Riordan action adventure series, this chapter book for ages 9 and up has the requisite elements to draw kids in:

  • special powers our heroes must discover within themselves
  • a supernatural bad guy
  • the fate of the world resting upon their success
  • help from deities (that is where Krishna and other Hindu gods come into play)
  • something that must be saved
  • travel that traverses an entire country, in this case India

I definitely want more Zoe and Zac and wait expectantly for the next installment. Riordan takes us from Greek to Roman to Egyptian ancient gods. It’s just a small leap to travel to India next! Author Lars Guignard went to high school in the Indian Himalayas and he really gives a sense of place as Zoe and Zac traverse through India both in crowded chaos of cities and more tranquil wooded rural areas.

The lines blur between religion and mythology as they should — isn’t mythology just ancient religious beliefs? — and what remains is the probably the most exciting world religion/mythology home study unit ever! I’d use the Demi picture book after reading Zoe and Zac, just as a quick aside to explain the story of Kirshna who makes an appearance in the chapter book.

Krishna, Demi, Hindu religion books for kids, world religion books for kids, chapter books for kids on India

 To view the books at Amazon, please click on image of book or click here to see at Barnes and Noble.


fun fun elmo, sesame street chinese, learn chinese, kids learn chinese

Teach Kids Mandarin Chinese in a Fun Way

Teach Kids Chinese Through Songs

When my kids were younger, I found that Spanish Sesame Street, Plaza Sesamo, entertained my kids while also teaching them Spanish. Songs were also an effective and pleasant way to expose my kids to foreign languages. As my kids got older — 2nd or 3rd grade — they rebelled and no longer would allow Plaza Sesamo DVDs in the car. They preferred silence. Ditto to foreign language CDs.

My point is that there is a window when kids are open to learning foreign languages. Both their brains and attitudes are receptive. As they grow older, not only do they not want to learn, but also making the sounds are more challenging.

I was excited to discover that Sesame Street is now in Chinese with a series geared for teaching kids Mandarin. For a CD of fun songs to accompany your Chinese language experience, try A Little Mandarin by NYC mom Toni Wang.

I’m not saying that this combination will have your kids conversing in Mandarin, but you are laying a foundation both for training their ear and for exposing them to the concept of non-word for word translation. Who knows? This might be the introduction that makes them actually want to learn Chinese when they are older. I’m still shocked that both of my girls are choosing to learn Mandarin as their mandatory foreign language in middle school!

How about you? Are your kids getting exposure to foreign languages? How do you manage this? Please share your tips!!! Read more…

reading and writing, Kindergarten, invented spelling, making book crafts for kids

Connecting Reading with Writing in Kindergarten

Reading and Writing in Kindergarten

I am thrilled to be joining Share a Story, Shape a Future 2013 blog tour with other great literacy, children’s book and education bloggers!

  • Monday (Infants): Maria Burel at Once Upon A Story.
  • Tuesday (Toddlers): Carol Rasco at Quietly
  • Wednesday (pre-Preschool): Debbie Alvarez at The Styling Librarian
  • Thursday (Preschool): Tif at Tif Talks Books
  • Friday (Kindergarten): Terry at Family Bookshelf

My contribution is the connection between reading independently and writing for Kindergarteners … more specifically the idea of invented spelling as a necessary step that marries writing with reading.

Share a Story, Shape a Future, literacy, Kindergarten reading and writing

The Importance of Invented Spelling: The Writing Connection to Reading!

We had the most amazing Kindergarten teacher — Ms. C —  for all three of my kids. As rookie parents, she held our hand and guided us gently through the academic rigors of Kindergarten. Seriously, Kindergarten is the new First Grade. Ms. C’s goal was and is to get the kids reading by the end of Kindergarten.

She stressed the importance of writing as an important literacy step towards reading independently. In fact, invented spelling — you know that fabulous and funny spelling kids use when they first start sounding out words — is CRITICAL to teaching kids how to read independently.

“Froshus dobrmn pensr” is an example of invented spelling. What do you think the child is trying to communicate? Yes, ferocious Doberman Pinscher!

Read more…

bedtime books for kid, best picture books, best board books, best bedtime books for kids, best read aloud books for kids

Best Bedtime Books to Read Aloud

Best Bedtime Picture Books for Kids

Thank you to Susan Marx for emailing me this lovely poem full of some of my favorite children’s books for young children. Reading aloud is a passion for her and Barbara and they have penned a book about it.

Her lovely poem took me down memory lane at bedtime with my kids. We didn’t read all these great picture books and board books, but we enjoyed many of them over and over through the years!!

Thanks for this trip! What bedtime books or read aloud books are your favorites? Did you spot any in the poem?

 

Bedtime Rhyme

by Susan Marx
Let’s read a book Together to settle you down,
Time for Bed in your cozy jammies or nightgown.
Read more…
YA graphic novels, Young Adult graphic novels, graphic novels for young adults, graphic novels for teens, gritty graphic novels for kids

ABCs of Graphic Novels, U through Z

Graphic Novels from A to Z

Many teachers are turning to comic books as a tool to develop reading skills as well as a deeper love for reading. 

Authentic Education

This final collection has some Young Adult (YA) graphic novels that are not Manga (I didn’t cover Manga simply because I haven’t read any. My son is not old enough yet). From gritty to fantasy, YA graphic novels cover the gamut.

Thank you for reading my collection of posts covering the ABCs of graphic novels. You must love graphic novels too!

Day 1ABCs of Graphic Novels, A-E

Day 2ABCs of Graphic Novels, F-J

Day 3ABCs of Graphic Novels, K-O

Day 4ABCs of Graphic Novels: P-T

Day 5ABCs of Graphic Novels: U-Z

 

U is for Underpants. Captain Underpants that is! And now there is Super Diaper Baby too! Read more…

best graphic novels for girls, girls graphic novels, girls and graphic novels, graphic novels and girls

ABCs of Graphic Novels, P through T

Graphic Novels Get Kids Reading!

Graphic novels are great to kids to realize that reading is fun. While most graphic novels seem geared for boys, I’ve found a few great ones for girls. Check out the trailer at the bottom for Smile, our very favorite graphic novel for girls!

Day 1ABCs of Graphic Novels, A-E

Day 2ABCs of Graphic Novels, F-J

Day 3ABCs of Graphic Novels, K-O

Day 4ABCs of Graphic Novels: P-T

Day 5ABCs of Graphic Novels: U-Z

Read more…

ABC of graphic novels, best graphic novels for preschool, best graphic novels for boys, best graphic novels for kids

ABCs of Graphic Novels, K through O

Graphic Novels Get Boys to Love Reading

Research has found that graphic novels address the needs of multiple learning styles, and that the visualizations help readers to understand the story first and the text after. 

Journal of Classroom Research in Literacy

My son is an example of how graphic novels help to solidify the concept that reading is fun! This collection of graphic novels are all books he loves.

My favorite graphic novel is the mystery series Max Finder. You have to use both the words and images to solve the short mysteries — about 5 pages each and they’re hard! What are your favorite graphic novels? Please share! Read more…

graphic novels, ABCs of graphic novels, graphic novels for kids, kids graphic novels, best graphic novels

ABCs of Graphic Novels, A through E

Why Graphic Novels are Great for Reading!

KBN ABCs button, kid blogger network, ABCs series

Graphic novels give the brain more of a workout per sentence than any other type of media, including conventional books. 

School Library Journal

I recently discovered graphic novels from my 8-year-old son who loves them. Together, we’ve been haunting the graphic novel section of the library. I had no idea there were so many great graphic novels for young readers, including books for girls! I’m excited to be joining a group of great educational bloggers on an ABC series of posts. Mine will be on graphic novels but everyone has a different topic. Please check out the great posts. I have the list below. Read more…