If you’re curious about which hand your young child prefers, be sure to watch closely and take notes. Identifying hand preference can be difficult. A parent will have to use good observation skills and patience.
The discussion of left vs. right handedness has been a conversation in by household since my oldest child was a toddler. With 2 right handed parents, my oldest son is a lefty. This perplexed our family until we learned from my parents that until I entered school, I was a lefty. In those days, it was quite common to “unlearn” left handedness in school to be considered “normal”. Today, educators are more aware that it’s genetics and the brain that leads to a child’s dominant hand. Changing a child’s dominant hand is no longer an accepted practice and left handedness is, indeed, normal.
The left/right hand conversation continues in our house today but has moved to understanding the handedness of my grandchildren. With a left-handed son and daughter in law it would be my guess that at least one of their 3 children would be left handed. However, so far, we have 2 righty’s and 1 not yet determined. My daughter and son in law, both right handed, have confused us by having 3 left handed children. My youngest son and daughter in law, both right handed have 1 right handed daughter and 1 not yet determined. So, with all these unexplained handedness questions in our family, I’m on a search for answers.
What is Hand Dominance or Handedness?
Simply, hand dominance or handedness is the hand that is most used in performing tasks. This hand is the most nimble and rapid in performance. When young children start to consistently favor one hand over the other, they are showing that they are a “righty” or “lefty”.
Interesting Facts About Lefties and Righties
Hand preference is usually hereditary.
Boys are more likely than girls to be left-handed.
No matter what your child’s preference is experts advise against pressuring your child to choose one hand over the other or rushing the process.
Roughly 90 percent of us are right-handed.
You won’t be able to completely identify if your child is right or left-handed until the beginning of elementary school.
11 Things to Observe When Discovering Handedness
The list below contains some generally considered reliable indicators of hand preference.
Observe which foot is used to regain balance when a child loses balance.
See which ear your child uses for speaking and listening on a phone.
Which eye does he use when he looks through a hole in a piece of paper or looks through a telescope or kaleidoscope?
Ask your child to cross their legs and watch which leg they place on top.
When reaching for an item placed directly in front of him, what hand does he reach with?
If your child stirs things counter-clockwise, he/she is most likely left handed.
Which hand does he hold a toothbrush, silverware, comb?
Opening a door, a left-handed person will generally open it towards the right and a right-handed person towards the left.
Watch how your child twists a lid off a jar. A left handed will try to twist to the left A right handed will try to open it to the right.
What hand does your child tend to use when blowing his or her nose?
Watch closely what foot and hand your child uses when participating in sports activities.
5 Activities to Reinforce Left and Right
So how do we learn our left and right? Although the exact process is not totally understood, the concept can be taught and reinforced both in preschool and at home.
Sing songs such as the Hokey Pokey to both teach and reinforce left/right.
Left, Right, Center (LRC) game – Start with 3 tokens and 3 dice that have a L, R, or C on each one. After rolling the 3 dice, you pass one of your tokens to each of the directions rolled. The C is for the middle. Dots mean you keep your tokens.
Be sure to stand next to the child (not opposite) when demonstrating left/right to avoid confusion.
Use the terms left and right in everyday activities –Show me your left foot, raise your right hand etc.
Dressing – When helping your child to dress always begin with their dominant side “step in with your right foot, slide your right arm through the sleeve”.
Quick Trick: Have children place their hands palm down in front of them with the thumbs touching. The left hand looks like the letter L. Explain that this will remind them which hand is the Left.
If you’re curious about which hand your young child prefers, be sure to watch closely and take notes. Identifying hand preference can be difficult. A parent will have to use good observation skills and patience.
Reading 1000 Books to a child before Kindergarten? We’ve all heard about the importance of reading to young children. But, 1000 before kindergarten? It sounds like a lot, but if you read just one book a day that’s a little less than 3 years. Or, reading just 2 books a week, is another way to get to a 1000 by the time your child is 5. It certainly is possible if you start to keep track.
So, why is it important? Research shows that as many as one in five children have trouble learning to read and reading has been linked to academic success. With formal schooling not usually starting until ages 5-6, exposing your child to reading before kindergarten makes a lot of sense.
This gives the role of teacher for the first years of a child’s life to parents, caregivers, and preschool teachers. These are the people that spend countless hours with our kids, so recruit them into the counting process. Join the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challengeand give your child a good head start in learning.
So, maybe you don’t read 1000 books, but you get the idea. The more books you read to your child before kindergarten the better it is for your child.
When working with Early Childhood Student Teachers I often hear that they are spending lots of time looking online for resources. There is SO MUCH OUT THERE, I certainly can see how that happens! My suggestion for them is to start with just 2 “Tried and True” sites and explore them thoroughly. The two that I suggest are The National Association for the Education of Young Children and Family Education. They are extensive and are updated regularly.
I also suggest that they open a Word Doc and write a few notes about their favorite websites including notes and the dates that you researched it. This helps to organize past research and topic areas. Yes, you can BOOKMARK it too, but you’ll soon learn that many of the site names sound alike!
Yesterday I finished helping a kindergarten teacher friend of mine write a grant for some puppets for her classroom. Writing the grant was easy because, I just LOVE puppets. I remember vividly watching “Lambchop” on TV many, many years ago. Happy memories. These days I am reliving my past playing with puppets and connecting with my grandkids. Laughing and having fun just like it should be in retirement.
Why Use Puppets with Your Child?
There are many benefits in using puppets with kids. Puppets provide a developmentally appropriate way to build vocabulary, creativity, and imagination. Acting out scenes, telling stores, practicing new words, and talking about emotions all tend to be easier behind a puppet.
Puppet Activity Ideas
Help your child identify each character by giving them an identity. Have them give their new friend a name, a voice, place to live, or a favorite book. Everything to make them a “real person”. Best thing is that the next day, their puppet can be someone else with a new story to tell.
Build their vocabulary by helping them describe their puppet. Their personality, their clothes, their homes are all opportunities to learn and use both day to day vocabulary and advanced vocabulary. How often do you hear a 3-year-old tell you that something is hilarious? Challenge yourself to give your child enough information about a puppy being funny that they will start to use the word hilarious. Use it with puppets and in everyday activities and step back (and smile) when you hear it from your child.
Use the puppets to act out a scene. An everyday routine or a creative adventure.
Use your puppets to talk to each other. Communicating through question and answering is everyday life. Modeling talking and listening will help your child’s communication skills.
Encourage your child to act out a story they know or a story they’ve made up.
Help your child navigate difficult social situations playing with puppets. Perhaps it’s a problem with a friend that says inappropriate words. Help your child through puppet play to know what to do and what to say when it happens. Give them the words to help the understand and speak up to solve the problem. Giving their puppet the correct language will teach your child problem solving skills.
Kids can be brave when they are behind a puppet. Puppets can share problems and joys and be listened to by caring and loving people. They can be a great lens into your child’s life.
Puppets can become a part everyday play. They give us a chance to talk together, laugh together and share quality time. I hope you enjoy this wonderful “hand to hand” activity.
My local friends the closest location is Danbury, Ct. (Approximately 40 mins. from Fishkill area.
Scholastic Books Warehouse offers for a limited a limited time only deep discounts on books. This holiday you can purchase “Buy One, Get One Box” from hundreds of books, gifts, and school supplies. There is even a Build a Box opportunity! Refresh your school, home, and classroom libraries, and stock up on gifts for everyone.
For every item you buy, choose an item of equal or lesser value for FREE
Shop from a large assortment of already reduced items
No limits on how many items you can buy
Build-a-Box is included with the BOGO offer (yes, Danbury has it)
Perfect way to maximize school purchase orders, grants, and Title 1 funds
Coupon is $10.00 off a purchase of $100.00. OR $25.00 off a purchase of $100.00 using Scholastic Dollars.
Danbury, CT Warehouse Sale:
Weekday Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm Saturday Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Closed Sundays
The Danbury location is a Build-a-Box event. As many books as you can fit in a box for less than $29.95.
Great opportunity to fill your bookshelves at home or in your classroom. The book store has a selection of over 20,000 high-quality used books, cds, dvds and audiobooks. Books are organized and sorted to make shopping a breeze.
Entrance to the Friends’ Book Store is on the south side of the building – just look for the blue awning.
Store hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
Telephone: 845-485-3445 x 3423
Cash, checks (with valid ID) and MasterCard, Visa, and
Discover cards are accepted.
Follow them on Facebook too to check out special sales and events:
Ten months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 12 October posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 10 down and 2 more to go! Have a great month!
I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!
The Concepts of Print (COP) assessment was created by Marie Clay (1993), The assessment includes items to assess a child’s knowledge of both print and written language skills. These two skills work together to help children learn to read and write.
Many students entering kindergarten understand that a book tells a story (the print has meaning). However, very few understand “how print works”. Concepts of Print (COP) skills involves kids knowing parts of a book (using the correct terms) and understanding the letter/writing concepts included. Since many parents and teachers read to children daily; why not add a few of the COP skills.
Concepts of Print (COP) in Daily Reading
Point to the Following Parts of the Book
Front and back of the book.
Top and bottom of a picture.
Author’s Name (define that the author writes the book).
Illustrator’s name (define that the illustrator draws the pictures).
Show How to Read a Book
A sentence is read from left to right.
Pages are read from left to right.
Point to each word while you read.
Read pages from left to right.
A story has a beginning and end.
Words and Writing in Books: Basics
A capital letter is at the beginning of a sentence.
Words and sentences have capital letters and lower case letters.
Point out 1 word in a sentence, Point out 2 words.
Point out that a word is made up of a group of letters.
A comma explains to the reader that it tells the reader to pause or slowdown.
There are punctuation marks at the end of a sentences (period, question mark, exclamation mark) Explain that the marks tell the reader how to read.
Research: Clay, M. M. (1993). An observation survey of early literacy achievement. Heinemann, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801-3912.
For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general
knowledge. Knowing these dates
can help teachers engage students in conversations and students may even be
impressed by their teachers historical knowledge!
Knowing historical dates provides opportunities for students to learn history and build their general knowledge. Take a look and impress your students!
Learning to read is not easy and takes time. Many parents wonder on the best ways to help their kids learn to read. With 8 grandkids under 9, we have various levels of reading going on in our family. Ranging in age from 7 months to “newly 9” we have readers of all sizes and abilities.
I created the following list to make it a little easier for my adult children to have a few “reading ideas” to help their kiddos. Reading is very comprehensive and therefore, there is a wide range of activities at each level. The important thing to remember is reading builds on foundational skills. Therefore, each level is important for reading success. Don’t worry if your more advanced reader wants to do a lower level. Even advanced readers can continue to learn and grow from some of the Preschool Reader activities. Last week we started with our series with Very Early Readers (Birth – 2 years). This week we continue with Preschool Readers (2 – 5yrs).
Preschool Readers (2 to 5 years)
Discuss what’s happening, point out things on the page, ask your child questions
When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
Talk about print everywhere. Talk about written words you see in the world around you and respond with interest to your child’s questions about words.
Ask your child to find a new word every time you go on an outing.
Watch My Lips – Encourage your child to watch your lips and mouth while you make certain sounds. Have your child think about how his/her own lips and tongue move. You can say something like, “Can you feel how your mouth moves the same way at the beginning of the words sun, snake, and sour? Watch my mouth while I say them.” Exaggerate the letter s when saying the words.
Play sound games— Give your child practice blending individual sounds into words. For example, ask “Do you know what the word is? m-o-p?” Say the sound each letter makes rather than the name of the letter. Hold each sound longer than you normally would. This will help your child recognize the different letter sounds.
Trace and say letters while saying the letter’s sound at the same time. Use a pan filled with rice, sugar or beans to involve touch, sight and speech.
Play word games — Use a dry erase board to play word games with your child. First, write out a word like mat. Then change the initial sound. Have your child sound out the word when it becomes fat and then when it becomes sat. Next change the final sound, so the word changes from sat to sag to sap. Then change the middle sound, so the word changes from sap to sip.
Punctuate your reading.?! -. Discuss how punctuation on a page represents ways of speaking. You can say, for example, “When we talk, we usually pause a little bit at the end of a sentence. The way we show this pause in writing is to use a period.”
Dig deeper into the story — Ask your child about the story you’ve just read together. Try questions that require your child to draw conclusions. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?” A child’s involvement in retelling a story or answering questions goes a long way toward developing his or her comprehension skills.
Tell family tales — Children love to hear stories about their family. Tell your child what it was like when you or your parents were growing up or talk about a funny thing that happened when you were young.
Storytelling on the go — Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in the car. Either one of you could start. Start with a beginning middle and end and work up to a longer story. A fun activity that stretches the imagination!
Every minute counts in becoming a good reader. Why not set a goal to try to do at least one activity a day? Be prepared to have days when it doesn’t get done. It’s only a goal. Most of all, enjoy the special time with your child.
Over the years I’ve collected a collection of education books. Take a look at the list below and let me know if there are any books that you may find helpful in your placements. I can bring them to your placement on our next observation. Access to your very own professional lending library!
Brainstorm Siegel 2012
Bright From The Start Stamm 2008
Classroom Instruction That Works Marzano & Pickering 2001
Did you know that the kindergartners that start school this September will be the high school graduating Class of 2032? Yes, that’s right! I bet many of you are already thinking about how old you will be that year. However, in 2032, will our schools have prepared them for their careers? Truthfully, we do not even know what those jobs will be. So, for now, let’s concentrate on the behaviors that will help them get to the Kindergarten Graduating Class of 2020.
Behaviors Discovered in Research:
A report by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that kids entering kindergarten display a wide range of skills, knowledge, and school-readiness behaviors — some of which give them a big advantage. Through its Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS), which tracked students from kindergarten through third grade, the NCES aimed to determine whether some of these behaviors are related to academic performance. They are:
Pays attention well
Persist in completing tasks
Adapt easily to change
Shows eagerness to learn new things
Follow classroom rules
It is true that we don’t know the career path that our little ones will take, However, the above skills will not only help your child in their future career but in everyday life. Enjoy the journey!
The best way for kids to become good readers is to read, read, read! This post includes a variety of resources that will keep them engaged and provides hours of fun. The resources are both free and kid-friendly. They include reading resources for all levels from beginners to advanced readers.
Site includes a variety of resources for many areas. Perfect for preschool, K-2 , special ed and English Language Development. A paid membership is needed for access to all resources but there are many FREE.
Six months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All _____June posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 6 down and 6 more to go! Have a great month!
It’s funny the things you think of at big moments in your life. I remember very clearly what I was thinking my first day as a K-5 principal when I went out to meet the children. As they enthusiastically came off the buses, I’m sure none of them knew that their new principal was thinking “ready or not, here they come”. They arrived and although I questioned myself many times over that year, I finally came to terms with my readiness.
For years, future kindergarten parents have questioned whether their child “would be, is, or was” ready for kindergarten. The typical flightiness of 5-year olds, gives some parents cause for sleepless nights.
Parents often try to get a head start on academics with their preschooler. However, if you ask a group of kindergarten teachers what skills are the best predictors of success in kindergarten, the answer may surprise you. Although I had taught Kindergarten, it was when I became the principal of a K-2 school that I REALLY saw these behaviors ring true.
Kindergarten Behaviors to be “Ready to Learn” (alphabetical order)
adapts easily to change
follows classroom rules
persists in completing tasks
shows eagerness to learn
Kids, like adults, are imperfect. So when looking at your future kindergarten students, think “big picture” when looking at the traits. Think how your child does overall with those characteristics. If you see an area, that they need additional support, try to find opportunities to practice these skills at home over the next few months.
As a kindergarten teacher, various readiness levels are a “given” in a classroom. Sharing your concerns and working together with your child’s teacher will help support your child’s success.
The Center for Disease Control has created an outstanding resource of family-friendly materials to support a child’s development. The Learn the Signs Act Early program gives developmental milestones as well as tips to help your child learn and grow. It also has a free app, the Milestone Tracker, to help parents track the information in a fun and easy way.
The Learn the signs app includes the following features:
Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months through 5 years, illustrated with photos and videos
Tips and activities to help children learn and grow
Information on when to act early and talk with a doctor about developmental delays
A personalized milestone summary that can be easily shared with doctors and other care providers
Reminders for appointments and developmental screenings
The National Center on Improving Literacy has released a great eLearning resource on Phonological Awareness. The Ask & Answer: Phonological Awareness will help families and educators learn about this important skill. The document can be reviewed as presentation or downloaded as a Word document to be read easily.
The Question and Answer document describes key literacy terms in reading instruction. Additionally, it shares ways parents can help their child’s literacy development at home. Educators may find this tool useful to review key literacy terms and teaching practices.
Phonological Awareness in 7 questions:
What is phonological awareness (PA)?
Why is PA important?
How does PA typically develop?
How should PA be taught?
What should instruction look like for children with, or at risk for, literacy related disabilities or dyslexia?
Another one of our grandkids is going to Kindergarten in September. Miss Em will soon join her “soon to be” 1st grade sister at school and on the “always exciting” school bus ride.
As teachers, my daughter and I are pretty sure that Miss Em is ready to go; but with 5-year-olds, readiness sometimes depends on the day! For those parents looking for a good resource the Hello Kindergarten toolkit is a great online toolkit. The toolkit contains a variety of resources to help families through kindergarten transition. The resource was developed by a partnership between the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and the Connecticut State Department of Education. Although it was developed for Connecticut families, this is an excellent resource for all families looking to support their “soon to be” Kindergartener.
The toolkit includes multiple topics on transition such as:
What your child should know and be able to do before her/she goes off to school,
How to give your child a healthy start, and
How the registration process works.
Even if you think your child is ready for Kindergarten; itcertainly is worth a look. Enjoy this special time with your child!
The New York State Education Department’s Summer Reading at New York Libraries program is once again partnering with myON in 2019 to bring digital books to young readers via unlimited access to the myON by Renaissance digital library! The goal is to keep children reading and learning through the summer by providing them with access to an abundance of reading material, to help prevent summer slide and the loss of reading skills.
Students and their families can easily access the myON digital library from May 1 through September 30 with one simple statewide login. A mobile app is also available allowing up to 20 books to be downloaded and read while traveling or away from home. The myON library has a collection of over 6,000 fiction and nonfiction ebooks geared toward children from birth to 12th grade, with recorded audio, text highlighting, and an embedded dictionary all included.
Libraries are a great resource for learning all year round, but especially in the summer. Your local library has a wide variety of book selections (ebooks, audio and hardcover) for adults and kids. “A Universe of Stories” is the 2019 slogan and the theme is space and science, so check out activities being planned by your local library.
TumbleBooks of the Day is a project that provides free daily content for families, schools and public libraries to promote literacy and love of reading. Each day there is a Book of the Day, Math Book of the Day, Game of the Day and Spanish Book of the Day. There is also a Fun Fact of the Day that is customized for each state.
TumbleBooks is a FREE online collection of children’s books that are read TO your child. TumbleBooks is available at local libraries and from home with your library card. (SHHH…. A search of TumbleBooks of the Day will also give you the same resource each day).
Many of the picture books are animated, have sounds and music making them very engaging to younger listeners and readers. The longer chapter books are narrated to your child, similar to an audiobook. However, you child can follow along the text with the narration.
Yes, it does count as screen time, but isn’t nice that it counts as some early literacy and educational purpose!