ABC Song Video from KidsTV123

This is the classic ABC song that many of us know.  Here it is with visuals of the alphabet which I think is the best way to sing this song.  Some children can sing the song, but when it gets to “l, m, n, o, p” then they get mixed up because that part of the song goes so fast. They might not know the letters or realize that section contains five separate lettersl

This video of the song is great because it incorporates auditory and visual senses together.  The children are seeing each letter as they sing it, and hopefully they will put the auditory name with the visual letter.

 


Happy Valentine’s Day from WordWorld: Free Downloads & Video

Our whole family loves WordWorld! We were first introduced to it when our daughter and son-in-law let their baby start watching it when he was a year old. WordWorld was the only show or video he would watch. He loved it! And the great thing is that he started learning his alphabet, letter sounds, and started reading words from watching this excellent children’s educational programming.
WordWorld is wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here is their Valentine for you:

Valentine’s Day DVDs are available at Target, Toys R Us, Amazon & select retailers nationwide.

Watch “My Fuzzy Valentine” Monday, February 14th, on PBS KIDS.  Check your local listings.

Now Featuring: Make “Valentine’s Day Pouches” to Hold Cards & Treats



Christi at The Frugal Novice developed a simple craft for her young children.   Check out her easy directions for making homemade Valentine’s Day pouches that are adorable!   By the way, the cute little boy in the picture just happens to be our grandson!

Need more Valentine’s Day ideas?  Check out these:

Valentine’s Day: Origin, Activities & Books for Children


WordWorld eBooks for iPad

WordWorld eBooks are available for download not only for the iPhone and iPod Touch but also for the iPad.  Our daughter and son-in-law have an iPad, and it is an excellent learning tool for their children.  Our two little grandsons love using the iPad!

The iPad is also an excellent learning tool for children with autism.

Now Featuring: Make a Candy Corn Wreath

Credit: Free pictures from acobox.com
Christi at Frugal Novice made the cutest Candy Corn Wreath with her two little boys.  She found this project  from Women’s Day.  This is an excellent craft project for a family or for a class. If this is done with a class, two or three students could come up at a time and glue on their candy corn. Be sure and have extra candy corn for nibbling!

(By the way, Christi just happens to be our daughter, and the two little boys just happen to be our adorable grandsons!)

New WordWorld eBook Library

The new eBook library from WordWorld has five great, fun, and educational stories for children.  Linda Labbo, Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia, has great things to say about these books.  She says, “Words come to life on screens in unique ways that invite children to interact with stories, characters, and language. The interactivity scaffolds children’s attention and provides age appropriate prompts that ensure an entertaining and educational experience.”   Scaffolding is very important in the learning process, and WordWorld utilizes that specialized teaching strategy.

In my opinion as an educator, I think Word World is one of the very best children’s educational programming available. The literacy lessons presented in the WordWorld television series are extended in the eBooks.  Kids can either read these eBooks on their own, have someone read to them, or have the stories read to them by the eBook narrator.  A Guide providing strategies is also available to maximize learning.

These are the five eBooks:

  • A Smile for Crocodile
  • Duck’s First Sleepover
  • Snug as a Bug
  • The Big Race
  • Totally Terrific Duck



New Word World Episodes Beginning October 4th

This Monday, Word World will have more literacy lessons and advanced vocabulary words as they explore compound words, phonology, letter recognition, print awareness, comprehension and socio-emotional skills.  Here is a preview show clip on compound words.

Word World wishes you “a happy Fall full of WordBuilding!”

Hap Palmer CD: Learning Basic Skills Through Music

This is one of my favorites and a favorite of nearly everyone who has used it according to the Hap Palmer website.   If you are interested in ordering this, you can go to Hap Palmer’s website by clicking on this link: Learning Basic Skills Through Music.  I used this in my Early Childhood class, and I enjoyed it as much as the children.  These learning songs are great action songs as well that help get out the wiggles out of restless students.   Here is a list of the songs:

  • 1. Colors
  • 2. Put Your Hands Up In The Air
  • 3. The Elephant
  • 4. The Number March
  • 5. Marching Around The Alphabet
  • 6. Growing
  • 7. This Is The Way We Get Up In The Morning
  • 8. Birds
  • 9. What Are You Wearing?
  • 10. What Is Your Name?

By the way, Hap Palmer’s first recording of this was in 1969, but it is still as catchy and enjoyable today as it was back then.   Hap Palmer’s songs are timeless!  The songs are easy to learn and help with retention of skills in a musical way.

Now Featuring: Homemade “Book of Colors”

Jami, the writer at Ain’t She Crazy, made a great homemade book about colors for their young son.  She used puff paint to write the names of the colors which is a great tactile sensation for little hands.  There are no pictures of objects with a particular color, just simply the colors hidden under flaps. It is well-made and invites children to discover each hidden color and then trace the name of the color with their fingers. Good job, Jami!

Five Little Monkeys Book with Sign Language DVD


Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed is a classic children’s book. Our children were raised with this story and finger play, as well as the first grade classes I taught in public school. This book also comes with a DVD featuring an adult telling the story in sign language. There is voice narration as the illustrations from the book are also shown.

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There are nine stories on the DVD, ending with There’s Something in My Attic” by Mercer Mayer. The DVD also has vocabulary for each story, ASL demonstration of the signs for some of the nouns and verbs, mini-quizzes for comprehension, and a presentation of the American Sign Language alphabet.
Here’s where to order the book with sign language DVD: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed… and More Favorite Children’s Stories (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)

New Samsung WordWorld Apps


WordWorld has three new WordWorld mobile applications for Samsung’s new bada platform.  They are available in most international countries, however, not in the United States.  Hopefully, these apps will extend literacy lessons which are seen on the WordWorld television series by using children-friendly media.  These are the new apps available:

  • BEAR’s Skateboard Park Game
  • DOG’s Letter Pit Game
  • Snug as a BUG eBook

Alphabet Letter Party

Celebrate when a child learns a letter of the alphabet that has been hard for them to learn.  Make a cookie cake either from scratch or buy a roll of the child’s favorite refrigerated cookie dough and spread it out on a pizza pan to bake.  If the child enjoys decorating, then let them decorate the cookie cake, or if they really enjoy being surprised then surprise them with it.  The main thing is to celebrate the learning that has taken place and encourage them to learn more things that might be difficult for them.

WordWorld “Build a Word” App for iPhone


The immensely popular WordWorld “Build a Word” app is now even better! In response to feedback, they installed the following upgrades:

· Re-programming the app to be compatible with the 4.0 iPhone operating system.

· Randomizing the presentation of the WordFriends for more WordBuilding fun!

· Decreasing the price. You can now purchase the app for the low, low cost of only $0.99.

“The “Build a Word” app is based on the WordWorld television show. Children will shake up this “WordBuilder” to watch letters float across the screen. They can then place letters in the outline provided to build words one letter at a time. By pushing the letters of each word together, words will magically “morph” into WordFriends! DOG, DUCK, PIG, ANT, FROG, SHEEP, BUG, COW, CAT and BEE come to life and help children build early literacy skills.”

You can download the WordWorld “Build a Word” app from iTunes.

FREE Site: Starfall – A Fun Way to Help Teach Reading

Many of you already know about Starfall.  For those who don’t, it’s an excellent free site to encourage children to learn to read while having fun.  This site is great for children learning their alphabet letters, learning the sounds of letters, and learning how to read words or short stories.

How to Teach Main Idea to First Graders

With any skill I teach in the classroom, I model the skill, have the students work on the skill with guided practice, and then observe them as they work on the skill independently.   Using these steps, this is how I would teach “main idea.”

First, write a short paragraph on the board or overhead such as this one: Michael had fun at the school carnival with his friends.  They ate pizza and then played a lot of games.  They had their faces painted.  They ate popcorn.  Then it was time to go home.

Explain that main idea tells what the whole story is about.  Explain how the first sentence tells the main idea in this story, Michael had fun at the carnival.  Then proceed with the following sentences to show how they support the main idea.

  • “Is eating pizza and playing a lot of games fun?”  “Yes.”
  • “Do most kids think getting their faces painted is fun?”  “Yes.”
  • “Is it fun to eat popcorn?”  “Yes.”

Now show how the supporting sentences would not be the main idea:

  • “Is the main idea (the whole story) about eating pizza?”  “No, because they played games, had their faces painted, and ate popcorn, too.”
  • “Is the main idea about playing games?”  “No, because they ate pizza and popcorn, and they had their faces painted, too.”
  • “Is the main idea about having their faces painted?”  “No, because they played games, and they ate pizza and popcorn, too.”
  • Reinforce how the main idea, the whole story, is about Michael having fun at the school carnival with his friends.  And all of these things (eating pizza, playing games, having faces painted, and eating popcorn) are ways to have fun.

Next, give the students a worksheet with no more than four short stories on it.  Make sure the stories are separated with lines so it will not cause any student to be confused.  Make sure the stories are numbered so you can easily refer to a certain story.

  • Read the first story together orally with the class and also all of the choices for main idea.  Work through the process in the same way as the above story.  Have the students underline the main idea in the story with a crayon or colored marker.  Then have them mark the answer.
  • Read the second story and answers orally with the class, but this time have them choose the answer by themselves.  After they have marked their answers, talk about the correct answer and why it is correct.  Allow students to change their answer, if necessary.  Make sure they underline the main idea in the story.
  • Have students complete the third story independently.  Again, after they have marked their answer, talk about the correct answer and why it is correct.  Let them correct their answer.  Make sure they underline the main idea in the story.
  • Complete the fourth story in the same manner as the third one.

Give students a similar worksheet in the same format and have them complete the worksheet independently.  Then you can assess how well each student understood the concept of main idea.

Teaching Phonemic Awareness to First Graders

There are several components to teaching phonemic awareness to children.

  • Isolating phonemes – Student can identify the individual sounds of letters.  Example: Teacher says, “What is the first sound in man?” or “What sound do you hear at the end of man?”  Student answers, “/m/” or “/n/” accordingly.
  • Matching phonemes – Student identifies the words with the same beginning sound in a short list of words.   Example: Teacher says, “Listen to these words and tell me which ones begin with the same sound: ball, bell, cat, book.”  Student answers, “ball, bell, book.”
  • Blending phonemes – Student listens to individual sounds and blends them together to form a word.  Example:  Teacher says, “Listen to these sounds and tell me the word, /m/-/a-/-/n/.”  Student answers, “Man.”
  • Segmenting phonemes – Student hears a word and makes the individual sounds for that word.  Example:  Teacher says, “Tell me the sounds you hear in man.”  Student answers, “/m/-/a/-/n/.”
  • Deleting phonemes – Teacher removes the beginning phoneme and student tells the new word.  Example:  Teacher says, “Listen to ‘grow,’ then take away the /g/ sound at the beginning.  What is the new word?”  Student answers, “Row.”
  • Adding phonemes – Teacher adds a phoneme to a word.  Example:  Teacher says, ” Listen to ‘row.’   Now add /g/ to the beginning of row.  What is the new word?”  Student answers, “Grow.”

Mobile Learning – Learning on the Go With iPhones

Our two year old grandson loves to play educational games on our daughter’s iPhone.  It’s perfect to keep him occupied when they’re in the car, at the doctor’s office, or up in her office at work.  His favorite game right now is Toddler Teasers The games include letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, and it’s available at the iTunes App Store.

It’s amazing to me that our grandson, who is two years and two months old, knows how to play games on an iPhone.   Technology is amazing and such a wonderful tool for learning!.

“Word World” – Excellent Children’s TV Program

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I highly recommend the TV Program called “World World.”  Our grandson just turned two years old, and he knows his alphabet and is making sounds of the letters on his own.  He has watched World Word for the past year, and for a long time that was the only thing on TV that kept his attention.  He loved it!  And he was absorbing reading skills effortlessly.  (By the way, our daughter and s-i-l did not let him watch much TV, especially when younger.  Word World was the only show he watched.)

ABOVE, you will notice our grandson’s World World toys that you can buy at Target and other places.  These toys reinforce the skills learned on the program.

Teaching Kids: Getting Kids Ready to Read

Tips for helping a child get ready to read:

  • Hopefully, the child will have been read to on a several-times-a-week basis starting during their baby years.  If not, parents should begin now reading to their child every day.
  • Help develop a love for reading in the child.  Make story time special and in a special place.  It should be fun, with books that interest the child.
  • Visit the library every week during children’s story time.  While at the library, let the child choose a couple of books to check out and take home.
  • Play alphabet games with the child.
  • Play games of what happened  “first, next and last.”  (Ex:  First, you brush your teeth.  Next, you put on your pajamas.  Last, you go to bed.)  You can do this with any activity the child does.
  • Have the child watch “Word World” on TV.  It teaches alphabet letters and words in a cute, colorful format.  Our grandson absolutely loves that program and started watching it when he was a baby.  He’s 19 months old now, and it is the only show that will keep his attention the entire time.  He already knows most of his uppercase letters.  If you’ve never watched Word World, I highly recommend it.  It’s one of the best children’s shows on television.

When reading a book to the child:

(You will have to adjust the questions according to the age of the child.)

  • Talk about the picture on each page first before reading the page.
  • Run your finger under words as you read them.
  • Play a guessing game of “What do you think will happen next?” as you are reading the story to the child.
  • Ask, “Why do you think this happened?” when appropriate.  Accept their answer as valid and never put down a child’s answer.  If they don’t know why, suggest a possibility.
  • Share what you like and what you don’t like about a story.
  • Ask child what they liked and what they didn’t like about the story.
  • Talk about what happened first, next, and last.
  • Talk about what the story is mainly about.
  • Have child draw pictures about the story.

Teaching Kids About the Universe

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This is a great “big book” (or “board book” as some may call them) that is made by Funfax.  It’s great for teaching different levels:

  • Young children – just talk about the basics
  • ESL students – pictures and visuals are great for teaching them
  • Gifted students – deeper material in the book can be used with them and higher level questions can be presented
  • Science lesson – pick and choose the material in the book you need for your lesson

I’ve had my book for a while, but they are still available through Amazon.

Teaching Kids About Shapes

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When teaching children about shapes, they need to do various activities to learn the differences between the shapes.  Some students may need much repetition, and some may learn them quickly.  Adjust the activities according to the student.  Here are some activities:

  • Compare the shapes to objects: “A circle is round like a ball.”  “A square is like a window (square shaped).”  “A rectangle is like a door.”   “A triangle is shaped like pizza or an ice cream cone.”
  • Have actual shapes for the student to feel. For teaching about a circle, you could use lids, tops to bottles, a ball, a plastic cup (the top and bottom), and any objects you see that have a circle in them.  In the picture below, you will even see a round, Spider-Man wipe-off board.   For teaching about a square, you could use a square box, a square book, a square cake pan, etc.  Count the four sides on all the squares.  For teaching about a rectangle, you could use a rectangular shaped box or book, an oblong cake pan, a Kleenex box, a notebook, etc.  Count the four sides on all the rectangles, two longs sides and two short sides.  For teaching about a triangle, you could use an ice cream cone, a piece of pizza (or a picture of one slice of pizza), a party hat, etc.  Count the three sides on all the triangles.
  • Use simple workbooks like the ones pictured above that have stickers and/or activities.  Count the sides on the squares, rectangles, and triangles when working with them.
  • Having students trace the shapes is an excellent activity.
  • Have students cut out the shapes. You can draw large shapes for the students to cut out first and then later progress to smaller and smaller shapes.

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Children’s Books to Teach the Color Orange

Here is a good selection of kids’ books that can be used to teach the color orange:

  • An Orange for a Bellybutton by Haruo Fukami
  • An Orange in January by Dianna Hutts Aston
  • Autumn Orange by Christianne C. Jones
  • Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
  • Each Orange Has 8 Slices by Paul Giganti  (Reprint)
  • Mystery of the Flying Orange Pumpkin by Steven Kellogg
  • Orange by Nancy Harris
  • Orange Juice by Betsey Chessen and Pamela Chanko
  • Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett
  • Orange:  Seeing Orange All Around Us by Sarah L. Schuette and Elena Bodrova
  • Oranges by Inez Snyder
  • Oranges to Orange Juice ( How Things Are Made) by Inez Snyder
  • Otto’s Orange Day by Frank Cammuso Jay Lynch
  • Star in My Orange: Looking for Nature’s Shapes by Dana Meachen Rau
  • The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
  • What Columbus Found:  It Was Orange, It Was Round by Jane Kurtz
  • Why is an Orange Called an Orange? by Cobi Ladner

Teaching Children to Count Objects

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As a first grade teacher in the public schools and in doing private tutoring in my home, I found it very rewarding to teach young students, and I know there are others who feel the same way.   Aspiring pre-school and elementary teachers can earn a teaching certificate online from a wide array of universities.

One student I tutored at my home knew how to count to ten, but one of the skills we had to work on a lot was how to count objects up to ten.  He would often get mixed up after counting five objects, would start counting too fast and miss some objects, or  he would start moving backwards and recount objects he had already counted.  It took a lot of repetition for him to learn to do this, and so we did various activities.  These are some of the activities we did:

  • Have student put 10 Teddy Grahams or Fish Crackers in a row.  Have student count slowly, touching each cookie or cracker as they count it.  Count with the student a couple of times if necessary. If successful, they get to eat one cookie.  Then count the 9 remaining cookies.  If successful, they get to eat one more cookie.  Repeat until all cookies have been eaten.
  • Use simple number workbooks.  I was able to find two sticker and activity workbooks for this student that he enjoyed. Some pages involved stickers and some involved coloring.
  • Line up various objects to count such as blocks, pennies, game pieces, etc.  Count how many there are and make a game out of it, such as put six blocks in the bucket, nine pennies in the piggy bank, etc.

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Example of a Simple Book: I Want to Travel

Here is an example of a simple book (see explanation) I made with a four year old tutoring student who knew all his letter sounds.  He really enjoyed this activity.  With this book, we worked on additional skills such as learning the sight word “want.”   (This student was reading when he started kindergarten.)

Simple Book:  I WANT TO TRAVEL

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Teach Kids to Brainstorm

Brainstorming stretches the children’s minds.  This skill will be useful in something as simple as writing a sentence all the way to creative writing, in reading skills, in math, social studies and science skills, and also in higher level thinking skills.  It is used in problem solving and the creation of solutions.  Creative people brainstorm.   This will be a skill used throughout one’s life.

PART ONE – BRAINSTORMING FROM WHAT IS VISIBLE:

The first step in teaching children how to brainstorm is for the teacher to model brainstorming, show them how you yourself brainstorm.  Take something they can see such as one of their classmates.   Think out loud and write on the board everything about that student.  For example:

  • Her name is Sally.
  • She’s in first grade.
  • She has blonde hair.
  • She has long hair.
  • She’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
  • She wears glasses.
  • She has a big smile.
  • She has a picture of a dog on her T-shirt.

Another example would be to take a book, preferably a big book so all students can see easily.   If I had the book about Goldilocks and the Three Bears, then this is what I would write on the board from what we could see in the picture on the front of the book:

  • There are three bears.
  • One bear is really big.
  • One bear is little.
  • One bear is in-between size.
  • The bears are brown.
  • There is a girl.
  • She is little.
  • She has blonde hair.
  • She is wearing a dress.
  • Here dress is blue and red.
  • There is a house.
  • It has a door and two windows.
  • There are lots and lots of trees (a forest).
  • There are flowers beside the house.

After you have modeled for the students, then brainstorm together with the students.  After that, have the students practice brainstorming with a partner, then by themselves.

Children’s Books to Teach About the Color Blue

Here is a good selection of kids’ books that can be used to teach the color blue:

  • And to Name But Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue by Laurie Rosenwald
  • Blue 2: A Pop-up Book for Children by David A. Carter
  • Blue Goes to School (Blue’s Clues Series) by Angela C. Santomero
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
  • Blue Moo by Sandra Boynton
  • Blue’s Best Rainy Day (Blue’s Clues Series) by Deborah Reber
  • Blue’s Big Parade by Justin Spelvin
  • Blue’s Checkup (Blue’s Clues) by Sarah Albee
  • Blue’s Clues Chanukah (Blue’s Clues Series) by Jessica Lissy
  • Blue’s Clues Holiday by Angela C. Santomero
  • Blue’s Fall Day by Lauryn Silverhardt
  • Blue’s Halloween Hide-and-Seek by Michael T. Smith
  • Blue’s Snack Party by Kevin Cardinali
  • Blue’s Thanksgiving Feast (Blue’s Clues Series) by Jessica Lissy
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • Colors: Blue by Esther Sarfatti
  • Counting With Blue by Lauryn Silverhardt
  • Good Night, Blue by Angela C. Santomero
  • Guess Who Loves Blue! by Deborah Reber (good for Valentine’s Day)
  • Healthy Snacks With Blue by J-P Chanda
  • In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck
  • It’s Valentine’s Day! (Blue’s Clues Series) by Brooke Lindner
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
  • Old, New, Red, Blue (Step Into Reading – story about race cars) by Lagonegro
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • Sky the Blue Fairy by Daisy Meadows
  • Thomas and Friends: Blue Train, Green Train by Rev. W. Awdry
  • Welcome to Blue’s Clues! (Blue’s Clues Series) by Angela C. Santomero
  • One For Me, One For You: A Book About Sharing (Blue’s Clues Series) by Sarah Albee

Example of a Simple Book: I Like Trucks and Cars

Here is another example of a simple book I made with a four year old tutoring student using pictures out of the Sunday paper.  We worked on color words, sight words, and adding “s” to the end of the word “car” to make it mean “more than one.”  He caught on real quick to that.  (This student was reading when he started kindergarten.)

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Children’s Books to Teach the Color Red

Here is a good selection of kids’ books that can be used to teach the color red:

  • Ann Likes Red by Dorothy Z. Seymour
  • And to Name But Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green and Blue by Laurie Rosenwald
  • Big, Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • Clifford: The Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  • Colors: Red by Esther Sarfatti
  • Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
  • Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell and Randy Cecil (southwest version of Little Red Riding Hood)
  • Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
  • Little Red Riding Hood by Brothers Grimm
  • Little Red Riding Hood:  A Newfangled Prairie Tale by Lisa Campbell Ernst
  • Little Red’s Autumn Adventure by Sarah Ferguson
  • My Red Umbrella by Robert Bright
  • Old, New, Red, Blue (Step Into Reading – story about race cars) by Lagonegro
  • One Fish, Two Fish Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • One Red Dot: A Pop-up Book for Children by David A. Carter
  • Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood by Mike Artell
  • Red by Sarah L. Shuette
  • Red is Best by Kathy Stinson and Robin Baird Lewis
  • Red Lace, Yellow Lace: Learn to Tie Your Shoe! by Mike Casey
  • Red, Stop!  Green, Go! by P. D. Eastman
  • Red Train by Will Grace
  • Red-eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley
  • Ruby the Red Fairy by Daisy Meadows
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Bunsen
  • The Lion and the Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven
  • The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood
  • The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
  • The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
  • The Red Lemon by Bob Staake
  • With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada

Children’s Books to Teach the Color Green

Here is a good selection of kids’ books that can be used to teach the color green:

  • And to Name But Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue by Laurie Rosenwald
  • Big Green Pocketbook by Candice F. Ransom
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • Colors: Green by Esther Sarfatti
  • Eco Babies Wear Green by Michelle Sinclair Colman
  • Green by Sarah L. Shuette
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  • Green Puppy Goes to the Dentist (Blue’s Clues) by J.C. Schwanda
  • Green Says Go by Ed Emberley
  • Green Wilma by Ted Arnold
  • I’m Sorry! (Blue’s Clues – Green Puppy) by Justin Chanda
  • Nature’s Green Umbrella by Gail Gibbons
  • Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch
  • Red,Stop! Green,Go! by P. D. Eastman
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Example of a Simple Book: Spider-Man

Here is another example of a simple book I made with a four year old tutoring student, a big fan of Spider-Man, who knew all his alphabet sounds.  We were working on learning to spell the word “man,” so this book reinforced what we were working on and motivated him to want to read. He really enjoyed this activity.

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Making Simple Books to Teach Skills

Making simple books to teach skills is so simple and easy.  These little books can be used to teach so many skills and used on different levels from pre-reading to independent reader.  Most children enjoy making a book on something they are really interested in, and they want to read it.  They enjoy gluing on pictures or drawing pictures to illustrate their story.

SKILLS THAT CAN BE TAUGHT BY MAKING SIMPLE BOOKS:

  • Interest in looking at books because the child is interested in the subject matter
  • How to hold a book and turn the pages
  • Learning the parts of a book such as the cover, the title, the author
  • Learning that the spoken word can be written down and then read over and over again in book form
  • Learning that we read starting with the top line and read in a left-to-right manner
  • Learning that the first word in a sentence always starts with a big, capital letter and the sentence ends with a dot/a period  (Later you can proceed to question marks and exclamation marks.)
  • Learning that the pictures on a page go along with the story and can provide clues about the story
  • Learning that anybody can make a book and put their ideas down on paper
  • Learning various phonetic skills depending on the words used
  • Learning sight words

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Computer paper or any blank, unlined paper
  • Colored markers
  • Pictures from magazines, newspapers, brochures about the zoo or tourist destinations, children’s stickers (whatever interests them such as Batman, Spiderman, Hello Kitty, holiday stickers, etc.)
  • Stapler

PROCEDURE:

  • Brainstorm with the child and decide on the topic for the book.
  • Make the cover page and write the title and write the child’s name as the author.
  • If the child is a pre-reader, have them dictate one sentence for each page.
  • Let the child watch you write the sentence so they visualize the process of writing the spoken word on paper.
  • Let the child illustrate the sentence either by drawing a picture, gluing on a picture from a magazine or brochure, or choosing stickers for their illustration.
  • Complete the book, maybe 3-5 pages for a beginner.
  • When the book is finished, start with the cover and read the title and the author, running your finger under each word as you read.
  • After you have read the book, encourage the child to read it or read it again with you.  Help the child to run their finger under the words as they are being read.
  • Older children will not require as much guidance when making books.  Depending on their skills, help them when necessary.

EXAMPLES OF SIMPLE BOOKS:

How to Teach Young Children Patterns

A very simple, inexpensive way to start out teaching young children patterns would be to have three different colors of caps from gallon milk or water jugs.  Have several of each color.  If you don’t have the caps, then cut out circles out of colored tagboard.  Start with a very simple pattern and then make it progressively harder.  Start out demonstrating the whole pattern at first, showing how to duplicate the pattern to make sure the child understands the concept of “pattern.”  Then see if the child can duplicate it.  For example:

  • Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, green, red, green, red, green, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, blue, blue, red, blue, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, red, blue, red, red, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, blue, green, red, blue, green, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, green, green, blue, red, green, green, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____

As the child masters each level, have more complicated patterns.

Then add in two dimensions of color and shape:

  • red circle, blue square, red circle, blue square
  • red circle, green square, blue triangle, red circle, green square, blue triangle

As the child progresses, make patterns out of stickers (excellent way to make patterns) and other things besides color and shapes.

Teaching Children Needing Language Development

During my first years of teaching, I taught language development and used a wonderful language development kit supplied by the school.    Here are some of the main things I used in this class:

  • Puppets! Children will sometimes respond to a puppet when they will not respond to an adult.
  • Songs! Most children will relax and open up to fun songs and learn things effortlessly because they are having fun.
  • Hands-on materials! In teaching shapes, for example, the children can experience what a circle and square feel like.
  • Games! Using simple games is a great way to practice skills that might become too repetitive otherwise.
  • Stories! Simple stories can help to teach concepts.

These are all things that help to make the learning experience fun and rewarding, something that this Early Childhood class looked forward to experiencing.

Puzzles for Young Children

Puzzles are great for developing skills in children.  Here are some of the skills that puzzles help them develop:

  • Problem solving
  • Visual memory
  • Fine motor development
  • Spatial relationships
  • Working independently

Our grandson was 16 months old this past Christmas, and we gave him several puzzles which he really likes.  W gave him four Non-Toxic Foam Puzzle Books which have one large puzzle piece on each page of the book.   Very simple.   He has several puzzles that his parents have bought him also, and he enjoys trying to put these simple puzzles together at his young age and is learning several skills.