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Reading Corner for July 3, 2008

July 3, 2008 · Filed Under Parents' Corner, Reading, Teachers' Corner, Tutors' Corner · Comment 

Keep your young child motivated to read more books this summer!  Teachers know that the more practice a child has with books, the better he or she is likely to read.  Here’s a quick idea to keep the kids excited about reading.

Use construction paper or other colorful paper and make a lot of circles to cut out.  4″ works nicely, but you can make them any size you like.  Make one larger circle and decorate as an insect head.  Hang the head on the wall or bulletin board.  Now, each time your child reads a book (or you read a book together), put the title onto one of the small circles and line it up behind the head to make a caterpillar-like critter.  The more reading that gets done, the longer the creature grows.  Children will be fascinated, and you may end up with a ‘pillar that goes clear around the room! 

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© 2008 Sandra Fleming

Celebrate July 2

Guess what!  It’s I Forgot Day!  Make a list of the best excuses for forgetting things.  Write a story about a time that you forgot something important. 

More importantly, it’s Freedom from Fear of Public Speaking Day.  That means it’s a perfect day to hold a talent show!  Gather up as many kids and adults as you can, and let everyone prepare a short act to do.  You might even want to have everyone share a spoken piece, whether it’s a short joke, a poem, or a long soliloquy.  Try some story-telling or reading out loud, too.

Have fun, and keep on learning!

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Celebrate July 1!

Looking for a reason to celebrate today?  It’s more than just frivolity; it’s EDUCATION!  You can use international, little-known, and absolutely bizarre holidays to teach all sorts of things. 

And today is a great day to start-it’s Second Half of the Year Day!  Try these activities to have fun and promote learning:  Put the year in perspective.  Write a summary of what you’ve been doing the past six months.  What’s been good and what’s been not-so-good?  How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions?  Maybe it’s time for some renewed vigor in that direction, or even a time to make a few new mid-year resolutions.

It’s also Canada Day.  Do a little research to find out what our neighbors to the north are celebrating today.  How is the holiday celebrated?  Uncover facts and info about Canada.

Try this one for some cool fun today: July 1 is Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day.  What unique and delightful flavor can your child come up with?  You can actually try this one out, or try for the most bizarre suggestion on paper.  Turn it into an experiment, a survey (with graphing), or a writing exercise.

And it’s Build a Scarecrow Day.  Try it out, either by building a real scarecrow with old clothes, broomsticks and straw, or with an art project.  How about a Scarecrow Contest?

Finally, July 1st is Zip Code Day.  What can you do with Zip Codes?  Try checking your junk mail and making math problems out of them.  Which are larger or smaller and by how much?  How many pieces of mail did you get from the same Zip Code?  If you multiply that Zip code by the number of pieces of mail that you got containing it, what’s the answer?  Try this one, too: tell or write a story where the Zip code is actually a secret code for something besides moving mail efficiently.  What’s the code for and who is using it?  What happens?

Whatever you choose to do, have a wonderful July 1.  And don’t forget to visit http://sandyfleming.info again for more holiday fun!

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Readiness Corner for June 30, 2008

June 30, 2008 · Filed Under Parents' Corner, Readiness · Comment 

Welcome to the first feature at the Learning Nook!  The Readiness Corner is a series of ideas to use with your young child as you share stories and learn together.  Watch for fun ways to help your little one grow and learn and get ready for school in the next year or two. 

Reading aloud is more than simply saying the words, you know.  For your child to get the most possible benefit, you BOTH need to be actively engaged.  As the reading adult, you need to be excited and into the story.  Your child needs to be attending and interacting with the book.  It’s not enough just to repeat the words and hope your child is absorbing them.  Here are suggestions:

Be sure to read the words exactly as printed!  No fair shortening the story because you’re in a hurry or because you’re a bit bored.  The repetition of the same words that match the print will help your child understand that print is a permanent way of communicating.  If you change things around, this vital concept will take longer to develop and your child will be at a distinct disadvantage in school.

Stop and ask questions along the way.  Ask what will happen next or recall what already happened in the story.  Ask about the pictures and ask about the characters.  When you involve your child like this, you will be boosting listening comprehension and you will be laying the foundation for understanding printed material in the future.

Play with the words a bit.  Stop at the end of a rhyming line and see if your child can fill in the correct word or any word that rhymes.  Ask him or her to find words that start with B or end with M on a page.  Let your child say the repeated part of the book when you pause at the appropriate point.  When sharing a familiar book, sneak a totally nonsensical word into the end and then the middle of a line, like “Mary had a little HAM” or “Little Boy RED, come blow your horn”.  See if your child notices the change, and laugh about it together.

Above all, keep reading fun and light-hearted.  If your youngster isn’t in the mood to listen or play with you right then, don’t push.  Also remember that some children, especially active ones, may want to listen while they do other things, such as play with blocks.  Just pause occasionally to check to see if they are attending from across the room.  HAVE FUN!

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Tutoring Services for Summer

June 26, 2008 · Filed Under Parents' Corner, Services · Comment 

Amazing as it sounds, I offer online tutoring services!  It’s actually a great way to get your child’s skills up to snuff for fall, or a wonderful way to occupy a kid who needs a bit of enrichment.  If you are interested in online tutorial services, please drop me a note and I’ll update you about rates and terms.  It’s all very reasonable, starting at $5.00 US.  Hope to hear from you soon!

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The Learning Nook Forum is Up and Running!

June 25, 2008 · Filed Under Miscellania, Parents' Corner, Teachers' Corner, Tutors' Corner · Comment 

I’ve always wanted to do this!  I’ve finally got a forum going where parents, teachers, literacy workers, homeschoolers, and anyone else who is interested in education or has questions can gather and chat.  I hope you’ll visit soon!  I’m putting a link in the sidebar, but here’s one for now: The Learning Nook Forum.

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