I can’t believe how long it’s been since I have written a post! I have a ton of posts I want to write. Today, however, I just want to let you all know about the TpT Cyber Sale.
Over the past few months, I have created many new products. The picture above is just a sample of some of the items you can find in my store. So, don’t miss out on the huge savings. Click on the image to get to my store!
Preparing children for kindergarten can seem like a daunting task. Also, it seems that each year, the checklists of the skills your child requires before beginning kindergarten grows longer. For example, there is a brief checklist of the skills a child requires to start kindergarten on the Scholastic website, and then there is an extensive list on the Leapfrog website. How do we know whether we are doing enough? What sort of things can we do so that our children acquire these skills? Deborah Stewart from Teach Preschool has simplified the whole process for us with her new book Ready for Kindergarten. To kick off the book launch, I was given the opportunity with several other bloggers to join in a blog book study of the book.
Full Disclosure: The author of Ready for Kindergarten! provided a review copy of the book. However, all opinions expressed are my own!
This is truly a fantastic book. With the amount of information available at our fingertips, and the inspiration from websites such as Pinterest, I was constantly questioning whether I was doing enough with my children. This book and the ideas within its pages remind me that the best approach is to keep things simple. The ideas are play-based and not at all time consuming to prepare or do. With Deborah’s explanations and examples, preparing our children for Kindergarten becomes easy and not so overwhelming.
For the book study, I am focusing on the chapter Now I Know My ABCs. We all know that the ABCs are the building blocks of our language. Knowing our ABCs is integral to learning to read and developing literacy skills. Deborah outlines three areas related to knowing the ABCs. These are:
Knowing the Alphabet
Below are examples of some simple play-based activities we do in our home to implement these strategies:
The easiest way to learn the alphabet is to sing songs. There are countless music CDs with different alphabet songs available, but the traditional alphabet song sung by you at home throughout the day is still an effective way to teach our children the alphabet.
Not only do children need to know the alphabet, they also need to recognise the letters of the alphabet. We try and teach this skill by using:
an alphabet poster or cards. Our alphabet wall cards double up as our word wall for my older children.
alphabet books. Read these on a regular basis to help your children recognise the letters of the alphabet.
alphabet puzzles. I leave these around the house and, without fail my children attempt to complete them.
alphabet games such as the game fishing for letters
play dough with alphabet cookie cutters
sandpaper letters. My children love the sensory experience of tracing the sandpaper letters. Simultaneously, they are learning the letter names and the strokes for writing the letters.
The Sounds of Letters
Recognising the letter of the alphabet and knowing the sound the letter makes are two different things. Children need to know the sounds a letter makes to be able to learn to read. Our favourite simple play-based method for teaching the sounds of the letters of the alphabet is the game I Spy with my Little Eye something beginning with letter name. Very quickly, children beginning making connections between the letters and the sounds they make through this game. Also, we reinforce this through the Leapfrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set. This is all very easy and it works.
Deborah’s book Ready for Kindergarten has many more play-based ideas for preparing your child for kindergarten. Some of the areas covered include:
Fine motor skills
Large motor skills
Preparing a child for reading
Preparing a child for writing
Counting and number recognition
Be sure to check out the other bloggers that are contributing to this book study to get more ideas on how you can prepare your child for kindergarten.
I love teaching math with manipulatives. Teaching with manipulatives is to teach for understanding rather than just abstract computation or memorisation. When teaching with manipulatives, you don’t have to rely on expensive manipulatives found in educational catalogues. They can be everyday objects found in our immediate environment, or cheap supplies purchased at bargain shops such as the Dollar Store. Also, putting together learning centers with everyday inexpensive objects is simpler and faster than constantly printing, cutting, and laminating printed materials.
To assist Mr. C in learning his addition facts, I have put together the following math center using coloured popsicle sticks.
The objective for this activity is for children to combine groups of coloured popsicle sticks to represent the addition equation on the container. For example, if the equation is 4 + 2, the child should place 4 yellow and 2 blue popsicle sticks in the container.
Popsicle Sticks Math Center
To create this math center you will need the following supplies:
Containers such as plastic cups, cans, or milk cartons with the tops cut off. Ten is a good number for the activity.
Coloured popsicle sticks.
Blank adhesive labels such as address labels.
A marker for writing the equations on the address labels.
1. Decide on the math facts you want your children to practise. For example, we have been working on number bonds up to 10, and I wanted Mr. C to have another hands on way to explore these addition facts.
2. Write down the relevant equations on the blank labels and stick them on to the containers.
3. Provide enough popsicle sticks in two colours so children can put the necessary number of popsicle sticks into each container to represent the equation.
Despite the simplicity of the popsicle stick math center, Mr. C found the activity engaging and fun!
This is just a quick post to let you all know that on the 18th and 19th of August Teachers Pay Teachers is having their Back to School Sale. I’m super excited as this is my first sale on Teachers Pay Teachers!