Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reading With Charlie

While we were visiting family out of state, I was able to tutor my sweet nephew Charlie for a few weeks. I wish we lived closer because it was so much fun working with him. 

Here are some of the activities we did together to help with reading:

*Whiteboard practice: We did EVERYTHING on the whiteboard. We practiced vowel sounds by writing a word and then I'd ask him to change the "a" sound in cat to the "u" sound and hold up his whiteboard nice and high to show me what word he made. We did this with much more complicated words such as stack to stuck.

*Ending practice: We practice endings such as "ed" "ing" and "ies" in words like played, hopping and puppies. Since we were slightly limited on resources, we practiced these types of words with magnets, letter cards, magic "finger" writing in the air, on the whiteboard, and with chalk. Using shaving cream or whipping cream would have been fun too!

*Spelling practice: Any of the above activities can work for practicing spelling words but we also practiced with pictures and letter cards. What made it fun is that we were outside on a blanket, still enjoying the sun. {this is the activity in the picture above}

*Journal writing: Since reading and writing go hand in hand, I gave Charlie his own notebook where we practiced writing with crayons and he was able to take home each day. This gave him the opportunity to write stories or draw pictures if HE wanted to. If he did, he earned a sticker. :)

We played a few other games that I had saved from teaching as well as reading together for 15 to 20 minutes daily. The best way to improve fluency is to read everyday for at least 20 minutes. 

Last, to help motivate Charlie, I gave him a mini notebook where he could earn 3 stickers during each "session." He could earn them for: using his best handwriting, reading his very best, and overall always doing his best. We then set goals: when he earned 15 stickers he could go get a special treat and when he earned those stickers we set another goal. Positive reinforcement is SO important when helping a child learn and be successful.

Charlie and I had so much fun working together and hopefully some of these activities/tips will help you at home or in the classroom!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Improving Your Toddler's Comprehension


LOVED this article taken from The Baby Center website. Comprehension is such an important skill to have and will improve your child's reading skills starting at an early age. This is a great idea that is easy and quick and doesn't require anything store bought....just a blanket!

Improving comprehension, memory games

"Your toddler has begun to realize that every toy, every animal, every person, every thing, has a name. And she relies on you for labels. She constantly points at pictures in books and asks, "What's that?" Or she just points repeatedly at the picture until you name it for her. She comprehends many more words than she can say easily and is filing the information away for later.

Sometime between 18 and 24 months, toddlers begin to be able to think about things that aren't present. She knows that her shoes are in her closet and will go fetch them if you ask her to. Or she stands in front of the pantry and asks for a cracker, which she knows is there even though she can't see it. If you want to test her on this ability, play a very basic version of the game Concentration. Hide a favorite toy under two or three blankets. She won't be foiled when she removes the first layer and the toy isn't visible — she'll keep searching. In fact, she'll have fun looking for things that you hide."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby Nurseries

Well it has been WAY TOO LONG since I have posted! I am so sorry to all of our wonderful, dedicated readers. But we still love you so much and I can't wait to get back on the wagon and get to blogging again. But I DO have a great excuse....I am expecting again! Owen gets a new little sibling and we are so thrilled. :) So back to the lack of blogging....I have been SO SICK and TIRED and so therefore super super LAZY. But I am finally getting some energy back; I just hope that the sickness will leave soon. 

So since babies are on my mind....I just had to share some of these ideas for nursery decor. It's not very educational but it's definitely FUN. :)

{images taken from HERE}

I am thinking that I need to spruce up Owen's room since it will now be home to TWO lovely babes. 
(I know that Owen will be 2 when this babe is born but he is still my baby).

We can't wait!