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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hop on Pop

Thought I’d give you a book that probably everyone has stored somewhere on their bookshelves- Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss!  If you don’t have it, get it immediately!  It’s perfect for learning rhyming words and word families for your little one.


LISTENING - This may be loud, but fun!  Grab some balloons and have your child sit in the middle of the room with his/her eyes closed.  Pop the balloon in one corner.  Can your child identify the corner?  Try popping more than one balloon and see if he/she can tell you how many popped.

RHYMING - Use Wikki Sticks , Twizzlers, string, highlighting tape , etc. to cover up words that rhyme.  Make sure you have A LOT!

WORDS/SENTENCES -  Turn to the last page where is says “What does this say?”  Write each word on a card by itself.  Read it all together fast as it’s written on the paper.  Ask your child if they hear any words inside of the long train of sounds (see, he, me, we, etc.).  Next, show the cards with each word on one and say them slowly.  Demonstrate pulling that long stretch of words apart to show each individual word.  Can your child do it?  Now, can they cover up each individual word in the book while looking at the cards?

SYLLABLES - There are very few multisyllabic words in this story.  Challenge your child to listen for some.  Enunciate them when you hear it.

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS -  Use this BINGO CARD to identify beginning or ending sounds.  Make sure you use the picture BINGO cards all the way at the bottom.  At this stage, your child doesn’t necessarily know how to match print with sound, but they should start to recognize sounds they hear.  Have your child point to each picture when they hear a word that starts or ends with the same sound.  You can cross off or use markers to play BINGO.  See if your child can get a row across or fill them all in!

PHONEMES - Use these BINGO cards again for when your child hears a certain sound within a word.  For example, when they hear the A in PAT, they can cover up the apple .  I would scroll down and use the picture BINGO cards first, unless your child can match letters with sounds. 


LETTERS/SPELLINGS - So many word families in this book!  Pick one and use letter tiles  to demonstrate how easily you can change from one word to another.  For example, show how RED can become NED, TED, ED or BED.  The website for letter tiles uses either upper or lower case letters.  Be sure to use them interchangeably so your child learns them. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Isn't Alphabet

I love this spin on an alphabet book.  It is a little advanced, I usually have my 2nd graders come up with their own pages following the pattern, but read aloud, it can be great for younger children.  The pattern is something like this “A isn’t for ________(a word not starting with A), it isn’t for __________(another word not starting with A but that rhymes with the first).  A is for ______(an A word followed by the sentence finishing with another rhyming word).”  You’ll understand the pattern once you get your hands on this great find!  I suggest you read this book through one time for fun before doing any of the activities!

LISTENING -  Another great book where pictures parallel the text.  Have your child point to the picture of what you are reading.  Or, play a game where you substitute a silly word for one in the story and your child must catch you. 

RHYMING - Very easy… have your child find the rhyming words on each page.  Can he/she come up with others?

WORDS/SENTENCES -  Have your child pick their favorite page.  Help them (or do it yourself) by writing the page on chart paper or construction paper.  Find a good pointer (fly swatters, popsicle sticks, unique pencils, cocktail stirs, etc.) and demonstrate pointing to each word as you read it.  Have your child copy you!

SYLLABLES - Use the jaw activity to find two syllable words as you read.  Model placing your hand under your chin and saying words on a page as you read.

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS -  Can your child listen for the word that begins with the letter on the page?  For example, on the A page, see if your child can JUMP whenever they hear the A sound at the beginning of a word.  Make sure you really enunciate it!  Or, spread out some play dough and have your child copy each letter onto it using a toothpick or pencil.  Ball it up and roll it flat again after each letter.  Try writing upper and lower case letters.
PHONEMES - Use these pages for this activity: A, C, E, G, I, N, O or V.  See if your child can identify any word with that letter in it.  Again, enunciate these words and have them JUMP or move around when they find one! 

LETTERS/SPELLING -  Point out rhyming words on each page (example- the B page has KITE, LIGHT and NIGHT).  See if your child can recognize any letters that are the same.  Write these in shaving cream, play dough, sand, marker boards or fun paper.  Help your child name other words that make the same sound.  Note that even though words make the same ending sounds, they may not always be spelled the same.  Your child needs to know that!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I love dropping my kids off at library because I get to see a quick showcase of books I’ve never seen before.  Today, this book caught my eye.  I was thinking of word families and words that begin with similar sounds.  SHEEP and SHIP jumped right out at me!  This book is PERFECT for all those Pre-School kids out there!

Again, here are activities based on your child’s progress along the phonological awareness spectrum

LISTENING - This book does a wonderful job of matching text to print.  Just about every sentence has a corresponding picture.  When you read a sentence, have your child point to the picture of that.  For example, when you read “sheep read a map” or “sheep slip” have your child point to the picture of the sheep actually doing that.

RHYMING - This book is FULL of rhyming words.  As you read them, see if your child can identify the other words that rhyme with: SHIP, LAP, FORM, HAILS, SLIDE, RAFT, LIFTS, GO

WORDS/SENTENCES - My kids love using pointers when reading.  By pointers, I mean anything small enough to be used to point to words on a page.  Find the page “Sheep read a map but begin to nap.”  Read it over several times with your child so he/she can memorize it.  See if your child can point to each word using the pointer after you demonstrate.

SYLLABLES - Ever heard of the jaw trick?  I almost forgot about it until someone at lunch today mentioned it.  Place your hand flat-out under your chin.  Try saying the word SHIP.  Did you notice how your jaw/hand only moved once (1 syllable).  Now try the word SAILBOAT.  You should’ve felt your jaw/hand move twice (2 syllables).  Have your child do that comparing these words: COLLIDE vs. SLIDE, SAILING vs. SHEEP and BEGIN vs. BUT

PHONEMES - See if your child can find the difference between these words.  Make sure you are SAYING them, not writing them: LAP/FLAP (beginning phoneme-f), SHEEP/SHIP (middle phoneme e/i), MAP/NAP (beginning phonemes), HAILS/SAILS/RAILS (beginning again), TIP/TRIP (middle phoneme-r).  Finding the difference between middle phonemes is probably the hardest, so attempt that last!

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS - Find all the words that begin with S and W.  Make sure your child is looking at the words rather than listening.  Can you find words that start with the SH sound?

LETTERS/SPELLING - Use the above list of words to compare and contrast, but use letter tiles.  Or, you can print these out .  Show how you can change LAP to FLAP by adding F, or MAP to NAP by switching the beginning sounds.  I would stay away from the SHEEP/SHIP for now because of the double e pattern in sheep.

Looking for an ending activity?  See if your child can continue the story.  Have him/her tell you what the sheep will do now!  Or, have your child make a sheep using cotton balls and draw one of his/her favorite scenes from the story!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Eric Carle, another favorite.  Do I have too many of those?  Who doesn’t know this story filled with patterns and colors?  Pull some science into this by discussing the life cycle of a butterfly.  We used to by our own butterfly kits here and actually watch them grow.  It’s a learning experience for all!

Here are some activities to go along with your child’s development.  As always, click on the stage’s title to learn about it.

Listening  - Rattle an object in different corners of the room.  Just like the fruit the caterpillar eats each day, rattle in a pattern-in one corner, rattle something once, in another corner, twice, etc.   See if your child can point to the corner from which you are rattling.  If you have a portable computer, use to find some eating sounds.  Play them in different parts of the room.  Remember, this is teaching your child to listen carefully to sounds, which will later translate into hearing sounds in words!

Rhyming - Make up nonsense words to rhyme with each fruit (APPLES- bapples, PEARS- mears, etc.)

Words/Sentences - “But he was still hungry” is repeated throughout this book.  Model pointing to each word as you say it.  Have your child try to do the same.  Write each word on an index card or colored scrap of paper.  Arrange the words in the correct order a few times.  Have your child try to do it also!

Syllables -Turn to the “Saturday” page when the caterpillar eats a lot of food!  Have your child point to each food item and clap its syllables.

Initial/Final Sounds -  Use the “Saturday” page again to determine what each food starts with.  If that’s too easy, see if your child can tell you what sound they end with!

Phonemes - Back with the Saturday food page (maybe I’m just hungry!), have your child pick his/her favorite food.  Write each letter of the word on a separate scratch sheet of paper.  Model pushing each letter forward as you say its sound.  Can your child do this?

Letters and Spelling - Have your child pick a letter of the alphabet.  Go for a word hunt- try to find words that begin with that letter throughout the book!

Anyone tried any of these activities yet?  Feel free to post books or activities you'd love to see.  I'm here to help you!