Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Decades of research show that the more children read, the better their reading skills. Take a look at 7 Reasons to read Dr. Seuss to your kids.

I have fond memories of reading Dr. Seuss as a child. I vividly recall reading the “Green Eggs and Ham”with my aunt and giggling at the silliness.  Sadly, I don’t recall reading many other books as a child, although I’m sure I read them.  Over the years I have met with concerned parents that were unsure if the “nonsense” language in Dr. Seuss books would harm their child’s language development. I understood their concerns and shared with them some reasons why reading Dr. Seuss books with their child can be beneficial. 

Why Read Dr. Seuss Books?

Do I LOVE Dr. Seuss books? No. The truth is there are many books that I have read to kids that I didn’t love. However, there are decades of research that show that the more children read, the better their reading skills. As an educator it is my job to get kids to love books, so they are motivated to read.  I believe that exposing kids to different authors and styles helps them choose their favorites. Dr. Seuss books are just some of the MANY books I read to kids. 

7 Reasons to Read Dr. Seuss

  • Silliness Abounds- Dr. Seuss books capture a child’s attention and make kids laugh. Whether it’s the nonsense language, the unexpected stories or the colorful illustrations, silliness abounds. Many kids enjoy hearing Dr. Seuss stories because they think they are funny. What young child doesn’t enjoy something silly?  Hearing adults reading silliness helps them see that reading is fun!  The books are perfect for those of us that sometimes are too serious.  Reading Dr. Seuss books with a child will give you ticket to “get your silly on”!
  • IllustrationsThe unique and imaginative illustrations help build a child’s vocabulary.  The simple color palette of blue, red, white and black also make the pictures recognizable and easy to understand and remember.
  • Great Read-Aloud Books – Dr. Seuss books sound great when read aloud.  The stories are just made for facial expressions and different voice inflections. You just can’t help doing it when reading one of his stories.
  • Rhyme – Early readers need to understand that words are made up of different sounds and the manipulation of these sounds creates words.   Hearing rhymes helps kids hear similar sounds. The rhymes included in the books is also a great exposure to poetry. 
  • Nonsense Words Are Important – Dr. Seuss books include lots of nonsense words to keep kids engaged in the story. Nonsense words deliberately draw attention to rhyme and helps develop a child’s “phonological awareness”. Phonological awareness is a basis for reading. A child with phonological awareness skills can manipulate sounds or words, or “play” with sounds or words. By engaging in word play, children learn to recognize patterns among words and use this knowledge to read and build words.
  • Sight Words Included – Sight words are words that are used commonly throughout texts we read every day. Dr. Seuss books give children experience in seeing these words in texts and helps them commit them to memory.
  • “Reading” Become Easy – Many of Dr. Seuss’ book use simple words chosen for a beginner reader.  Along with the rhyming and repetition it helps early readers remember the words and become “readers” quite quickly.  This type of “reading” helps build their confidence and motivates a child to read.

What Am I Doing on Dr. Seuss Day?

I’m grabbing my big red and white hat (doesn’t every retired Primary Principal still have one?) and I’m going to read some Dr. Seuss books to my grandkids.   I’m leaving behind any concerns and am going to share my memories of reading Dr. Seuss books when I was a child. I’m sure the thought of me being a child will bring about a chorus of giggles; and that’s OK.   Perhaps the girls will also forget the Dr. Seuss’ rhymes and nonsensical language that we shared together. My hope is that they remember fondly the laughing and the silliness of reading together. Thank you, Dr. Seuss! 

Other Dr. Seuss Resources

Read Across America Day March 1, 2019

A special day to celebrate and promote reading throughout the United States.


A special day that celebrates and promotes reading throughout the United States.

What is Read Across America Day?

In 1997, the National Education Association (NEA) started the initiative to create a special day to celebrate and promote reading. Since then schools, libraries, and community centers across the United States participate in the day by bringing people together to take part in reading books. The first celebration was held on March 2, 1998, which coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss is an American author best know for writing children’s books. 

Each year this nationwide observance is held on the first school day closest to March 2.  In 2019 it will be held on Friday, March 1st. The event continues to grow in scope and size each year. Today, more than 50 national nonprofit and association sponsors and more than 3.3 million NEA members support the effort every year.

Resources for Read Across America Day

  • National Education Association’s Read Across America (RAA)Day website- Along with RAA activities, the site provides resources and activities for reading throughout the year.

Nursery Rhymes Are Good for Kids

Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and can provide hours of fun for kids. .

Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and can provide hours of fun for kids.
Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and can provide hours of fun for kids.  

“Little Baby Bum” and Me

When my Netflix account appears on screen, do you know what my shows up as my favorite show? “Little Baby Bum”!  Why?  My two youngest granddaughters, a 2-year-old and a 10-month-old, just love this show! Yes, it’s TV, but these nursery rhyme videos are both educational and entertaining.

My favorite show is a result of letting the girls watch the show as a distraction so I can get them to eat their “non-favorite” foods.  While we watch the show together, we sing, laugh and “fly the food” right into their mouths. Even vegetables get past them when “Baby Bum” is on!  Getting them to eat their veggies is the short-term goal but knowing that teaching children nursery rhymes can help them become better readers. This makes some TV time OK with me.  

Why do kids need nursery rhymes?

  • Speech articulation –  When singing nursery rhymes, we naturally speak more clearly and slowly. Slowing down our speech helps children learn words.  This slower pace allows children to see how we form our mouth when making words, thus helping their articulation.  
  • Perfect first stories – Nursery rhymes are short and therefore can be repeated multiple times. The rhyming also catches their attention and helps them complete phrases.    
  • Help early language development – Seeing and hearing nursery rhymes helps kids make connections with new vocabulary. The more stories and rhymes kids hear, the larger their vocabulary.  As a result, they are better have better comprehension.   
  • Opportunities to strengthen fine motor skills and coordination – When children act out nursery rhymes, they strengthen their large and small muscles.
  • Strengthen creativity – Nursery rhymes are not your “everyday happenings” in life. The stories involve characters and settings that spark a child’s imagination. 
  • Create a sense of community – All kids are different and therefore their experiences with stories and songs are different.  However, exposing kids to common rhymes builds a sense of community. How cool, is it when 8 grandchildren, living in 3 separate states, can all tell the story of “Three Little Kittens” or Itsy, Bitsy, Spider”?  
  • Promote a love of books – Building a love of reading nursery rhymes can help a child transition to reading books.

Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, easy to learn, and easy for a Gigi to remember. They can provide hours of fun for kids, parents and Gigi’s.  

Other posts related to this topic:

Historical Dates and Learning: March & April

Including Historical Dates in lessons gives relevance to learning.

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!

March

Music in Our Schools Month

March 2                Iditarod begins

March 2 Dr. Seuss Birthday

March 2 Read Across America

March 5                Mardi Gras begins

March 10              Daylight Savings Time begins

March 14               Scientist Albert Einstein born (1879)

March 17              St. Patrick’s Day

March 20               First Day of Spring

March 29                Coca Cola invented (1886)

April

National Poetry Month

April 1               April Fool’s Day

April 1 April Fool’s Day

April 2    International Children’s Book Day

April 18 Paul Revere’s Famous Ride (1875)

April 19th Passover Begins

April 21st Easter

April 22nd Earth Day

April 23rd William Shakespeare born,  (1854)

April 24th Administrative Professionals/Secretaries Day

April 26th  Arbor Day

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Enrichment Problems: Feb. Grades 2-3

Math Enrichment Problems

Welcome to the 3rd month of threeringsconnections.org  Monthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies: 

  1. Draw a picture
  2. Guess and Check
  3. Use a table or list
  4. Find a pattern
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Problem Solving – Here we go! 

  1. If 1 chicken can lay 3 eggs in 4 days, how many eggs can 3 chickens lay in 8 days?
  2. A machine takes any number fed into it, adds 9 and then subtracts 1.  Abby fed the number 10 into the machine.  When the answer came out, she fed that number back into the machine.  What final number came out of the machine?
  3. At the pet shop there were 7 puppies in one cage and 5 kittens in another cage.  How many more feet (paws) were there in the puppy cage than in the kitten cage?
  4. Donna, Jerry and Noreen and ken collected empty soda cans to return for deposit.  They received 5 cents for each can and received a total of $2.  Donna collected 18 cans, Jerry 9 cans and Noreen 20 cans. How many cans did Ken collect?
  5. A passenger train has 297 passengers aboard. There are 45 passengers in each of the first 4 cars of the train.  Each of the remaining 3 cars has an equal number of passengers.  How many passengers are there in one of those cars?
  6. If     X   – 4 – 2 = 5, how much is  X + X?          +
  7. IF a + 11 = 35, how much is a – 11?

Answers:

  1. (18)        If 1 chicken can lay 3 eggs in 4 days, then 1 chicken can lay 6 eggs in 8 days.  Three chickens can     lay 18 eggs in 8 days.
  2. (26)        10 + 9 – 1 = 18, 18 +9 -1 = 26
  3. (8)          7 puppies have 28 paws total and 5 kittens have 20 paws total.  There are 8 more paws in the puppy cage than in the kitten cage.
  4. (53)        To get $2 for returning cans that are each 5 cents, 40 cans had to be returned.  Adding Donna’s cans (18) + Jerry’s cans (9) and Noreen’s cans (20) the total # cabs together are 47 leaving Ken to return 53 cans.
  5. (39)        45 passengers X 4 cars = 180 passengers.  Since the total passengers were 297-180 that leaves 117 passengers divided equally into 3 cars.  That means 39 passengers in each of the remaining 3 cars.
  6. (22)        To make the statement true:  11 must go in first box so that 11-4-2 = 5 and therefore, 11 + 11 = 22.
  7. (13)        a = 24 and therefore 24-11 =13.

Don’t forget to check in NEXT MONTH for more Enrichment Problems 

Other posts related to this topic

Math Enrichment Problems: Jan. Grades 2-3 

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3   December 15, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?  December 13, 2018

Enrichment in Class? Is Your Child Being Challenged?  December 4, 2018

Highly-abled students need attention too!  September 17, 2018

New Teacher: Best Resources

7 Best websites to support new teachers

If you're looking for quick tips, easy-to-implement ideas, and practical advice, here are some great resources for new teachers covering a range of topics.
Resources to help new teachers survive the first year of teaching.

A new teacher will face challenges and pressures during their first few years in teaching. However, there are some great resources online. Take a look at the quick tips, easy-to-implement ideas, and practical advice on the following websites. The resources cover a range of topics to help your first few weeks run smoothly and your first year.

7 Websites to Support New Teachers

Edutopia is a trusted source shining a spotlight on what works in education.  The George Lucas Foundation funds the initiative to provide educational resources for educators and parents. The Resources Toolkit for New Teachers contains an array of articles, videos, and other resources that are chock-full of tips and advice.

Scholastic New Teacher’s Survival Guide is posted in monthly installments to navigate the first year of teaching.  Tips on classroom management, curriculum and working with parents are included.

TeacherVision: New Teacher Resources – Everything a beginning teacher needs for a successful year. In addition, the site contains tips for the first day, classroom-management, and lesson plans. 


TeachersFirst –  A  rich collection of lessons, units, and web resource delivered in a user-friendly format.  Sign up is FREE.

The National Education Association (NEA)Teacher Toolkit offers a collection of blogs, videos, and other resources on a range of subjects.  First time users must register.

Teaching Channel New Teacher Survival Guide – includes various resources to support new teachers related to your first year teaching.

U.S. Department of EducationSurvival Guide for New Teachers is written to give research and information on first-year teaching. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

On this Valentine’s Day, a great big Thank You to all the teachers who LOVE to teach and teach kids to LOVE learning. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you to all the teachers who LOVE to teach and teach kids to LOVE learning.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Science Fair is COMING!

Learning about science is at the heart of a Science Fair project.

Learning about science is at the heart of a Science Fair project.
Learning about science is at the heart of a Science Fair project.

So, the secret is out, I love a Science Fair.  However, this is a trait that was not inherited since my adult kids are not big fans! I know I’m to blame, partially at least, for loving to do science experiments with them when they were young. At one point, they loved doing them too. But at times they just wanted to do something else and were just not interested in designing aluminum foil boats to see which boat could carry the most amount of pennies. What a surprise for me! In case you were wondering, your boat design should include sides and the pennies carefully placed and distributed evenly across the boat. A 4 X 4-inch boat can hold well over 100 pennies! I’m sure there are a few people out there that just might want to give that a try.

The Science Fair packet comes home

Last week, my granddaughter in Kindergarten came home with a Science Fair packet from school. Excitedly, she explained that high school students visited her classroom and made lava come out of a volcano made out of Play- Doh!  She was thrilled to learn that she could participate in the Science Fair by just doing an experiment. Great marketing high school students!  Miss M wanted to sign up IMMEDIATELY!

Reluctant at first to share with me the news about Miss M’s Science Fair, my daughter broke the news cautiously to me. So as not to appear too excited, I calmly walked to the basement door and when out of sight, excitedly ran down the stairs to find my collection of Science Fair books. After suggesting different experiments that could be done “quick and easily”, she informed me that she already had an idea.

Miss M’s experiment question will be “What type of liquid will make plants grow best”?  She has already checked the refrigerator to find different watering liquids and decided she would try milk, iced tea, lemonade, and apple juice. Yes, she is missing a “few things” but she’ll get it done. 

Miss M has already shown that she is curious and enthusiastic. Two characteristics needed to be a successful scientist. Science Fair, here she comes!

Coming Soon: The Science Fair Experiment Continues  

Other posts related to this topic:

Your Child’s Vision Should Be Checked

Your child’s vision should be checked.

Your child's vision should be checked
Your child’s vision is important for school success.

How is the child’s vision?  That was a common question to our school’s s Response to Intervention (RTI) Committee, when a struggling student was referred to the committee. Our school nurse, a key contributor to RTI, would give an update to the team on the most recent vision screening.  If necessary, she would re-screen the child to be sure to rule out vision issues as a reason for the child’s classroom difficulties. A student may indeed be struggling in class if they are having vision or hearing issues. Thank you, Miss Peggy and School Nurses, everywhere!

I have a personal connection with school vision screenings.  In the mid 60’s it was a school nurse that discovered that I could not see out of one eye and recommended to my parents to have my vision checked.  I was diagnosed with amblyopia, the most common cause of vision problems in children. Commonly known as “lazy eye”, one eye is weaker that the other because the brain area for one eye didn’t fully develop.  This causes the loss of the eye to see details. If detected early, it is reversible. Unfortunately, in my case, it resulted in permanent vision loss.  My disability has made me hyper-vigilant to be sure young children get eye exams at a young age.

When should your child’s vision be tested?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at 3 years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age 5 or 6.

For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Your child’s pediatrician should checks your child’s eyes during routine exams and will make a referral if a problem is suspected. School screenings, although valuable. should not be a substitute for an eye exam completed by a doctor.  

How important are eye exams to learning?

Healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to learn and to reach their academic potential. In order to be successful in school your child needs the following basic visual skills for learning:

  • distance vision
  • near vision
  • eye movement skills
  • focusing skills
  • peripheral awareness
  • eye/hand coordination

At your child’s next routine physical exam, be sure to check with your doctor if a vision problem is suspected.  They may even refer you to an eye doctor that specialized in pediatrics.  Good vision is key to a child’s physical development and success in school.  

Other resources to support your child’s vision

Vision for Kids

American Optometric Association

ThreeRingsConnections’ Blog Content January 2019

Education is the means of developing our greatest abilities.
Education is the means of developing our greatest abilities.

One month down in 2019- how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? Was one of your resolutions to fit in some professional development for yourself? If so, take a look at January’s archives and catch up on your resolution. All January’s posts are below, as well as, all 72 posts since I started this blog in September 2018. With this second Newsletter post I’ve achieved 2 months of MY resolution to post a monthly newsletter for Threeringsconnections.org.  2 down and 10 more to go! Have a great month!

January 2019 Archives

January’s Most Popular Posts:

3 most viewed by our blog readers. Were they on your favorite list?

My Favorite January Posts:

Take a look at a few posts coming next month

  • Calling 911 Needs to be Taught to Kids
  • Kids: It’s time for a “shower of hearts”
  • Historical Dates and Learning: Feb. & March

Kid Songs and “Battle of the Sexes”

Mrs. Bear wears the winning medal.
Mrs. Bear wears the winning medal.

On a recent vacation, I participated in a “Battle of the Sexes” competition and went head to head against my husband.  Unfortunately, I lost the speed test of pulling tissues from a box. Ladies, it’s all in the wrists; which I learned too late. Please learn from my mistakes.

However, I did make it to the finals where the challenge was a race to sing songs without repeating a song already performed in the round. So, while the guys were thinking of current songs, I channeled my inner Kindegarten teacher and broke into kid songs! Isn’t it amazing how you can remember all the words to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, but you can’t remember where you put your keys? Who won?  Sorry guys, but you can’t go wrong with singing kids songs!

What kid songs should I sing?

This event reminded me that when my first grandchild was born, my son told me he didn’t know any songs to sing to the baby.  I reminded him of the nursey rhymes, Christmas songs, Irish songs and kid songs we sang together when he was little. Armed with a musical repertoire, he was ready in case a song or two was needed to soothe his son.

Here’s a quick A to Z list of kid songs

If you too need to have a few kids songs on hand, here’s a quick A to Z list of songs to jog your memory. You will see some “author creativity” in songs that start with G, Q, U, V, X, Y and Z since there were not many choices. (or maybe ones that I could remember!) Don’t afraid to be creative when you are stuck!  Include your child’s name or something they like to do and your kids will love it!  

  • ABC Song
  • BINGO
  • Clap Hands, Clap Hands
  • Do Re Mi
  • Eeensy Weensy Spider
  • Five Little…. (monkeys, ducks)
  • GG and Gpa (sing to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)
      GG and Gpa are so much fun
      Playing and dancing
      Until the day is done
      Singing, laughing loving me
      We’re as happy as can be
  • Happy Birthday
  • If Your Happy and You Know It 
  • Jack and Jill
  • Koala Bear Turn Around
  • London Bridge is Falling Down
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • Nick, Nack, Paddy, Whack (This Old Man)
  • Old McDonald Had A Farm
  • Pop Goes the Weasel
  • Q is for Quiet Please (sing to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)
      Quiet Please, Quiet Please
      Kids are in the school
      Singing, learning, having fun
      And Learning the Golden Rule
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • Skip to My Lou
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
    • U is for Unicorns (sing to the tune of” Old McDonald”)
        Unicorns are so much fun
        Oh yes, they are.
        And in the air they fly around
        Oh yes, they do!
        they have a long horn,
        they have 4 legs
      pretty colors
        and a shiny mane
        Unicorns are so much fun
        Oh yes, they are!
  • V is for Violin (sing to the tune “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
    Play, play, play a tune,
      on your violin.
      Meg is doing a really good job.
      Play it once again.
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • X is for X-ray (sing to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)
      X-ray starts with letter X,
      Letter X, Letter X.
      X-ray starts with letter X,
    X, X, X, X!
  • Yo Yo’s Are Fun (sing to the tune of “Row, Row, Your Boat”)
      Yo Yo’s are lot of fun
      Won’t you play with me
      Wrap the string
      Drop it down
      Pull it up again.
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Da!

Kids songs are a fabulous learning tool

Be prepared because we all know that little kids love repetition.  When you have heard “Five Little Ducks” or “Let it Go” for the hundredth time; try to remember that repetition encourages the use of words and memorization and that’s a good thing! Happy Singing!

Other posts related to this topic

Historical Dates and Learning: Feb & March

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!

February

American Heart, Black History, and National Dental Health Months

February 2           Groundhog Day

February 5           Chinese New Year- Year of the Boar

February 11         Thomas Edison born (1847)

February 12         Abraham Lincoln born 1809 (16th president)

February 14         Valentine’s Day

February 15         Susan B. Anthony born 1820

February 16         Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 18         President’s Day

February 22         George Washington’s Birthday

February 27         International Polar Bear Day

March

Music in Our Schools Month

March 2                Iditarod begins

Dr. Seuss Birthday

Read Across America

March 5                Mardi Gras begins

March 10              Daylight Savings Time begins

March 14               Scientist Albert Einstein born (1879)

March 17              St. Patrick’s Day

March 20               First Day of Spring

March 29                Coca Cola invented (1886)

Double Rainbow New Year

Double Ranibow

In Eastern cultures, a double rainbow is considered a sign of good luck. To leprechaun believers, they know that the leprechauns left his pot of gold for those that believe. Lastly, In the Bible (Genesis 9) a rainbow is part of Noah’s story in which God promises never to create another destructive global flood. Overall, a double rainbow is pretty special!   T

For my science friends…because I know you want to know how this happens.  Here’s the scientific info on double rainbows in 10 easy (sort of) steps:

  1. In a single rainbow, sunlight spreads into a spectrum of colors from red to violet. But in a double rainbow, the colors are inverted, with red appearing on the inside and violet on the outside.
  2. All rainbows require the presence of the sun and rain in order to form. The sun must be to the viewer’s back and the rain must be falling ahead of the viewer.
  3. As sunshine breaks through the clouds and beams towards the raindrops, some of the light encounters the raindrops and bends – this process is called refraction.
  4. When the light refracts, the process causes the sunlight to separate into different wavelengths. These different wavelengths correspond to different colors: red and orange correspond to longer wavelengths, while blue and purple correspond to shorter wavelengths. 
  5. The refracted lightwaves then bounce – or reflect – off of the circular edge of the raindrop, and then they refract again as they exit the raindrop and travel through the air.
  6. Because raindrops are relatively round when the sunlight refracts through them, the visual result is a spherical arc that soars all across the sky.

Double Rainbow- How Did that Happen?

  1. The first and brighter rainbow is called the primary rainbow. This rainbow is created by the process described above,and only requires the light to reflect off the raindrop once before refracting out of the raindrop. 
  2. The second and more faint rainbow is called the secondary rainbow. It occurs when refracted light does not escape the raindrop afterbeing reflected the first time. Instead, the refracted light reflects off the raindrop’s surface a second time as well, producing a secondary rainbow with its colors reversed compared to the primary rainbow
  3. Fewer light rays are available to undergo the additional refraction process, so the resulting secondary rainbow appears less vivid.


To all my blog friends:
I wish for you a Double Rainbow 2019 filled with luck, fortune and                              sunny days!                             

                                                                                   Donna G.



9 Sight Words Games for Kids

Look at Sight WordsWhat Are Sight Words?

The importance of learning sight words is that it will help your child’s reading accuracy and fluency. Sight words are the most common words found in reading.  They appear on almost every page in a book; especially in early reader books.

It is important for beginning readers to practice reading sight words.  They usually don’t follow any phonics rules which means that kids will not be able to “sound them out”.Having this instant or automatic recall of sight words helps early or beginning readers develop into smooth and efficient readers.

The fun part of teaching sight words is that kids can learn the words by playing a variety of games. The more exposures to the words the quicker they will learn them and be able to identify them in books.  All you need is a list of sight words, some dedicated parent/child time to review and some activities to make the learning fun.

9 Sight Word Games for Kids

Fly Swatter Game – Using a blank BINGO card, add some of the sight words.  Give your child a fly swatter (or something similar) and when you read a sight word, have them “swat” the word.  Parent advisory, kids are going to really hit the word, so stand back and try not to laugh! When I taught Kindergarten and first grade, I played a variation of this game where 2 children raced to “swat” the word on the whiteboard. Flying fly swatters!

Roll a Sight Word – Child rolls a die and then finds a word from the master list of sight words with the same number of letters that came up on the die.  Child can write the word on a piece of paper or just say the word. Add some fun to the activity by allowing the child to say the word with some voice changes (yell, whisper) or allow them to do an action (stand up, turn around) while they tell you the word  Be creative and have fun.

Sight Word Writing – Draw the sight word in play dough, sand or salt with a pencil, spoon or a finger. Young children love to “sweep” the word away with a small paintbrush.   Another variation is to write the words on a blackboard with a paintbrush using water.  After writing the words they can be brushed away or will evaporate (a Science lesson too!)

Sight Word Magnet Race – Cut out the sight words and add a paperclip.  Spread the sight words on different surfaces and use a magnet under the surface to move the sight words.  Two people can race to move a sight word across the paper to a finish line.

Memory– Make 2 copies of the sight words, cut them out and choose 10-12 words.  Taking both copies off the word, turn them over and have your child keep turning over cards until a sight word match is made.  This can be done taking turns or the child can do the game by themselves.

Sight Word Jars – Make 1 copy of the sight words and cut them into slips ad put them in a jar or dish.  Choose a word and ask your child to find the word and say the name aloud.

Find the Sight Word -When reading with your child, have them find sight words in the book.  Once they notice the word, they can make a special movement (touch nose, hand up)  Finding sight words in books helps kids see the connection between reading and oral language. I

Sight Word Basketball – Ask your child to read a certain number of sight words (# is your choice). When they read the words then allow then to shoot a basket.  No, you don’t have a real hoop.  Anything that is unusual will do.  Throwing a pair of socks into a laundry basket works great.

Simple Sight Word Bingo – Create sight word BINGO cards by adding sight words to the BINGO card template (DLTK’s Custom Bingo Cards). Print out sight word BINGO cards by using the word list below and the DLTK site and you have free, simple to make cards that can be randomized for multiple cards.    B-I-N-G-O !

Dolch Sight Word List has them all! 

The Dolch Sight word list includes the most common 220 words and 95 nouns encountered in children’s books. The Dolch word list resource below is organized a few different ways: Alphabetically by grade, by frequency by grade, and in some cases by frequency combined. This provides you with several different ways to conduct Dolch word list practice in your classroom or at home. The Dolch Website has many activities to use in your classroom or at home.

Have fun!

Other posts related to this topic

Fluency in Reading: 12 Ways to Increase

Pre primer (40) Primer (52) First (41)
 a all after
and am again
away are an
big at any
blue ate as
can be ask
come black by
down brown could
find but every
for came fly
funny did from
go do give
help eat going
here four had
I get has
In good him
is have her
it he how
jump into just
little like know
look must let
make new live
me no may
my now of
not on old
one our once
play out open
red please over
run pretty put
said Ran round
see ride some
the saw stop
three say take
to she thank
two so them
up soon then
we that think
where they walk
yellow there were
you this when
too
under
want
was
well
went
what
white
who
will
with
yes

 

A Thanksgiving Turkey for Christmas!


I planned to spend the day before Thanksgiving with my 5-year-old                granddaughter making a Thanksgiving Turkey craft. When she arrived that morning she immediately asked about the crafts and I realized I had forgotten to go to the craft store.  Well, this certainly was going to stretch our creativity.

After looking through boxes of decorations, she decided that a straw pumpkin and some Easter eggs would be perfect to make a turkey. Honestly, I had my doubts, but back we went to the kitchen to make a turkey!

Good News: Well, she did it.  Her basic idea was to make the pumpkin the turkey body and to somehow use the colorful eggs for the feathers. Adding some paper plates, glue and some color, our turkey “Lila” was created.   

Bad News: On the way home in the car, “Lila” the turkey got squashed and needed to be repaired.  She was devastated.

Good News: Miss M brought the broken “Lila” back to our house and we glued her back together again. Miss M asked me to bring “Lila” to Thanksgiving dinner, so she wouldn’t get squashed again in her car.  Great faith in GG!

Bad News: On the way out the door to Thanksgiving dinner, I left “Lila” on the kitchen table. Once again Miss M was devastated. Uggh! So much for trusting me.

So, after all that work, “Lila the Turkey” never made it to Thanksgiving.   

Good News: Wanting everyone to meet “Lila”, Miss M decided to add some Christmas decorations to her.  An additional plus to her plan was that since Christmas was at my house, we were pretty sure Lila would make it to the holiday table.   

Good News:  While others were singing about a “Partridge in a Pear Tree”; at our house we were singing about a “Turkey on our Christmas table”! 

Merry Christmas!  

Other posts related to this topic:
October 20, 2018       Fostering Creativity in Kids

Historical Dates and Learning

I admit it.  When I was both a teacher and a principal, there were some historical dates that came and went; and I totally missed them.  For kids in school, knowing those dates on the calendar provide opportunities to learn about history and helps to build their  general knowledge.  Knowing these dates can help teachers engage students in conversations and students may even be impressed  by their teachers historical knowledge!

Personally, I hope knowing some of these dates will help my trivia team score some points at our weekly competition!  Go Wizards! 

(December 2018 and January 2019)

Dec.2-Dec 10          Hanukkah

December 10          Emily Dickinson’s Birthday (1830)

December 10          Human Rights Day

December 15          Bill of Rights Day (1791)

December 16          Boston Tea Party Anniversary (1773)

December 17          Anniversary of the Wright Brothers Flight (1903)

December 21          First Day of Winter

December 25          Christmas

December 25          Clara Barton’s Birthday

Dec. 26-Jan. 1         Kwanzaa

Happy 2019!

January 1               New Year’s Day

January 1               Emancipation Proclamation Anniversary (1863)

January 1-3            Japanese New Year Festivities

January 7               Orthodox Christmas Day

January 20             World Religion Day

January 21             Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Observance (1929)

January 23              First Native American US Senator (1907)

January 28              Christa McAuliffe Day

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3

Monthly Math Enrichment

Welcome to the first month of threeringsconnections.org  Monthly Math Enrichment Problems post, Each month I will post some Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Which Strategies Will You Use? 

When solving math problems  try one of the 6 common strategies listed below:

  1. Draw a picture
  2. Guess and Check
  3. Use a table or list
  4. Find a pattern
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Enrichment Problems – Here we go! 

  1. Teagan’s brother is now 8 years old, two years ago she was old as he is now. How old will Teagan be in 5 years?
  2. Declan spent 18.00 on baseball cards.  This is twice as much as Meghan and Lowyn spent together.  Meghan spent $4.00.  How much did Lowyn spend?
  3. Marian, Cole, Kelly and Donna were invited to a party.  Marian did not arrive last. Kelly arrived after Cole but before Donna.  Kelly did not arrive right after Cole.  Of the 4 of them Marian was the ____ to arrive.
  4. Abby bought as many 24-cent hair ribbons as she could with her $5.  How much change did Abby receive.
  5. Matt has 35 quarters in his collection.  If he puts 7 quarters in each row, how many rows of quarters will he have?
  6. Chris is Kelly’s brother.  Chris has one brother.  Kelly has twice as many sisters as brothers.  How many children are in the family?
  7. Connall eats breakfast at 6am and lunch at noon.  When it is ____ it is twice as much time until lunch as it has been since breakfast.                            a)     7am                          b)   10am                      c)  8am                      d) 5pm

Math Enrichment Problems- Answers:

  1. Teagan is now 10 and in 5 years she will be 15 years old.
  2. Half of $18 is $9.00. Meghan spent $4.  Lowyn spent $9 – $4 = $5.00
  3. 2nd.  Kelly had to be 2nd or 3rd (after Cole but before Donna),.  Since Kelly  did not arrive right after Cole, Cole arrived first, Kelly 3rd and Donna last.  That leaves Marian to arrive 2nd.
  4. She bought 20 ribbons 20 X .$24 – $4.80.  $5.00-$4.80 = $.20.
  5. 35-7= 28-7 = 21-7 =14-7 =7-7 =0  there will be 5 rows 0f 7 quarters.
  6. If Chris has one brother than Kelly has tow brothers.  Since she has twice as many sisters as brothers.  Kelly has 4 sisters.  In the family there is a total of 7 children.  The seven children are Kelly’s 2 brothers + her 4 sisters + Kelly.
  7. c) 8am is 4 hours from noon and 2 hours from 8am

Try some of the problems today with your child.   Once solved, create for them a similar problem by changing the numbers.  This gives them an opportunity to try the problem again to reinforce their  new skills.  This strategy helps them solve the problem easier each time which will build their math confidence.  Enjoy!

Math Enrichment Problems: Dec. Grades 2-3    December 15, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?  December 13, 2018

Enrichment in Class? Is Your Child Being Challenged?  December 4, 2018

Highly-abled students need attention too!  September 17, 2018

Math Enrichment: How To Encourage?

Does Your Child Need Math Enrichment Problems? 

When I was a classroom teacher, I found the first week of December a very busy time.  First quarter Parent Conferences were over, and parents were ready to support their child’s strengths and weaknesses. For those students with high math ability I recruited parents to encourage their child to try the Math Enrichment Fun Center (MEFC).  The center had 12 more advanced math problems.  I found some kids were hesitant to try the center due to fear of failure. Once students finished the 12 problems in the MFC, they were able to bring the problems home to share with their parents.

Math Fun Centers (MEFCs) for Everyone!

Five years later when I became the school’s teacher of the Talented and Gifted program, I made Math Enrichment Centers for all the grade 2 and 3 regular education classrooms. They were made with a large trifold board with 12 library pockets with a problem in each.  The MEFCs became quite popular and teachers loved having the center available.  Each month I replaced the problems with a new set.  Because good resources never get old, I reused the problems again as a K-2 principal when I offered Enrichment Math to second graders!

This month I’m starting a Monthly Math Enrichment post that will include Math Enrichment problems for grades 2-3.  Please check out my post on December 15rh titled  Math Enrichment Dec. Grades 2-3 .

4 Reasons Why Math Enrichment Will Benefit Kids

  1. Improves Problem Solving – Enrichment problems can benefit students that excel in classroom math and want to deepen their mathematical understanding. It allows them to explore different strategies to strengthen their problems solving skills.
  2. Reduces Stress– Enrichment problems extend your child’s math skills without the added pressure of grades or comparing themselves with other classmates. Practicing math problems on a child’s own schedule eliminates time pressures and allows kids to enjoy math.
  3. Builds Confidence– Enrichment math problems helps to build confidence by improving a child’s math skills.
  4. Strengthens Critical Thinking – Math enrichment keeps kids thinking.  Math problems should engage a child in reasoning and thinking out of the box.

I hope you will find them useful with your students in class or your kids at home.

Enrichment in Class? Is Your Child Being Challenged?    December 4, 2018

Highly-abled students need attention too!   September 17, 2018

 

Awesome Website Resources: Dec. 2018

Monthly Website Resources from threeringsconnections.orgWebsite Resources?  You bet!

Recently, while working with a group of teachers, I was asked to recommend great website resources to help them meet the needs of their students. I’m starting with the 7 below because they are some of the websites that our teachers used when I was a K-2 and K-5 principal.

So here they are teacher friends and thank you for the great topic for future posts. Be on the lookout for monthly posts that will include 7 (lucky #7) website resources to support students from preschool through Grade 12.

Take a look at December’s TOP Website Resources

  1. Education Northwest for Writing- Even if you don’t use the 6+1 traits of writing, this site offers great resources that can be adapted to your needs. Included in the site are lesson plans, writing prompts and rubrics to support language arts. Be sure to look at the samples to practice scoring and see how other teachers score the same piece.  This will be helpful when preparing for state testing. (ELA)
  2. Read, Write, Think – The site provides high quality resources in language arts instruction. Every lesson has been aligned to both the IRA/NCTE Standards for ELA and also to individual state standards. (ELA)
  3.  National Library of Virtual Manipulatives – Find activities for every area of math from preschool through high school. (Math)
  4. Smithsonian Education -The Learning Lab offers thousands of  resources for educators, including lesson plans, virtual tours of their latest exhibits, and the opportunity to connect with experts in the field.  Be sure to check out the virtual field trips.  It’s not a real field trip but it’s the next best thing. (General)
  5. SMART Exchange for Interactive Whiteboard -Take a look at the SMART Exchange before creating any lessons for your interactive whiteboard from scratch. This site has existing lessons and ideas submitted by teachers. (General Tech)
  6. Annenberg Learner– The Annenberg Foundation provides many professional development series on demand for FREE. The foundations’ goal is to encourage more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge about teaching. Annenberg Learner resources can be accessed for free. (Professional Development)
  7. Utah Education Network (UETN) – Don’t be fooled this site is not just for Utah! The UETN connects all Utah school districts, schools and higher education institution to create a site with quality education resources that can be used in any classroom. (Multi-subject)

Hope you find them helpful! Enjoy!

Other posts related to this topic

Best Reading Resources for Teachers October 3, 2018

 

Puzzles the Perfect Present: But For Who?

puzzles are great to help kids with problem solvingPuzzles, Puzzles Everywhere….

With the holidays around the corner, I’ve started to wrap the grandkid gifts .  As I unearth them from  secret hiding spots around the house, I see  that I have bought a large selection of puzzles.  As a yearlong Christmas shopper, I have discovered that my quest to find the “the perfect gift for a certain grandkid” has left me with a hodgepodge of gifts with too many for one child and nothing for another! Staring at the collection of gifts I wonder ” which grandchild did I buy this perfect present for”? Good thing puzzles are interchangeable “perfect” gifts!

Truth is, I’m a puzzle lover.  Sudoku, Wheel of Fortune or jigsaw, love them all.  As a result, I have discovered that I am also a serious puzzle buyer!  Looking at my grandkids kids gift collection I have all sizes and topics ranging in size from 2 to 1000 pieces. Yes, only 2 pieces in my homemade environmental puzzle for the 2 year old. Puzzles challenge my thinking and exercise my mind.

When assessing students in school, we focused on their social, emotional and academic growth. Now, when choosing toys for my grandkids I try to think of these same areas.  Ok, I admit it, sometimes it’s a real stretch to justify a Pokemon Mega Powers Collection Card Game. But that’s what GG’s are for! However, there’s no stretching with puzzles.  They’re an idea toy that benefits kids and can be lots of fun.

Let’s see the top 6 benefits for kids playing with puzzles.puzzles are great to help kids with problem solving

  1. Problem solving– Children must think and develop strategies on how to solve a puzzle. This This process involves problem solving, reasoning skills and developing solutions. Whether they choose to fill in a puzzle around the frame or from picture clues, it helps children think in a logical way.
  2. Attention Span and Patience -Most puzzles are not done quickly. An interesting puzzle can hold a child’s attention and keep them engaged for hours. Therefore, the challenge of solving or completing a puzzle will help develop patience.
  3. Social– My granddaughters love doing puzzles with us. Working on a puzzle as a team gives many opportunities for talking. Sharing ideas and joint problem solving will help a child work as a team.  Working on a team effectively is one of the qualities that today’s employers look for.  Never too young to build your resume skillset.
  4. Self-esteem– Who doesn’t love the feeling of satisfaction when you finish a puzzle? That feeling helps build a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Two very important life skills to develop.
  5. Fine Motor Skills Development– Puzzles are a fun way for children to develop and refine their fine motor skills. When engaged in playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces turning them around until they fit into the puzzle. Fine motor skills are necessary for handwriting and other important achievements. This trial and error of matching pieces also involves a lot of hand and eye coordination.
  6. Shape Recognition and Geometry– In order to complete puzzles, kids need to recognize and sort pieces. For this reason, many first puzzles are shape recognition puzzles.

A Worthwhile Gift

Let’s be honest, grandkid visits change the dynamics of retirement.  My house becomes noisy, a little messier and a lot more fun.  Puzzles have become my” go to” as a grandkid gift for many reasons.  They are fun educational toys that are reasonably priced and challenge my grandkids minds.  They are also easy to store, can be done without adult help, and somewhat quiet!

Other posts related to this topic

Fine Motor Activities for Kids: Less than $10.00 – November 6, 2018

Math Problem Solving and Young Children  – November 1, 2018