Getting Preschoolers Ready to Read

Here’s an interesting article written by Kim Jacobs, National Center for Families Learning Project Manager. The article is from a literacy tab produced by the Newspaper Association of America and sponsored by VerizonReads.com.  The article focuses on getting preschoolers ready to read.

 

GETTING PRESCHOOLERS READY TO READ

By Kim Jacobs, NCFL Project Manager

Rhymes? Rhythm? Repetition? That’s kid stuff, isn’t it? A way to keep children occupied and have a little fun, right? In fact, rhymes, rhythm and repetition are important for helping preschool children get ready to read, much like reading aloud does.

Parents and other adults play an important role in supporting young children’s emerging literacy. We know that preschool children need many kinds of experiences with print to help them become good readers. Preschoolers love to have fun with language, and this can be done through play and in everyday routines—like reading the newspaper!
Talking and listening are important skills for all of us. When children listen, they take in sounds and words and learn to understand conversation and speech. So what can parents do to help children build their oral language skills? They can talk—and talk a lot! According to researcher Todd Risley, the average young child should hear 1,250 words or more per hour in every day interactions at home.

That’s a lot of words, but newspapers can help you discover and explore them. Find an interesting article with a photograph in your paper. Read part of the story aloud to your family and show the picture to your preschooler. Ask her what she thinks the picture is about. Respond to what she says and ask more questions to extend your conversation. Talk about how pictures can tell a story just like words you read or say.

SOUNDS, SOUNDS, SOUNDS  - Our lives are full of sounds—speech, songs and the world around us. Help your preschooler pay attention to sounds. Point out things in the newspaper that make sounds or identify the beginning or ending sounds of words. Make connections to things your child understands. “Look Marta, here’s a picture of Manny, the monkey at the zoo! His name starts out like yours. They both start with the letter ‘M.’ Let’s make some rhymes: Manny, Fanny, Danny. Can you say one?”
Bring out the rhyming books and dust off the record player—everything from Mother Goose to Dr. Seuss can help children play with sounds. Once children can hear, identify and play with sounds, they move on to sounding out words.

HOW DO WE USE THE NEWSPAPER?  When children are read to often, they begin to understand how books, magazines and other forms of print work. How does the newspaper work? Watch how your child turns the pages, looks at the print, and notices different features of the text. Ask him/her some questions about the newspaper as you look at it together.

“Am I holding the paper right-side-up or upside down? Should I start at the front and go to the back? How do I follow the words on the page? Yes, from the left to the right.What are these symbols? They are letters. Do the letters make words? Are the pictures important to the story?”

These are concepts of print that children begin to understand when they interact with print. They are essential for helping children get ready to read. As preschoolers get ready to read, it’s important for them to understand that letters are symbols and that words are made up of these symbols. Older preschool children often recognize that these symbols represent sounds. Preschoolers need lots of opportunities to see, handle and use letters in their play.

THE POWER OF A NAME - What’s the most important word to a child? His/Her name! Preschoolers are proud when they can string together the letters in their names. Look through the newspaper headlines with your child and cut out the letters of her name.

Glue them on paper or just move them around on the tabletop to put them in the correct order. Make a game of it. It’s a big deal for young children to see their name in print.

Helping preschoolers get ready to read is kid stuff – and adult stuff, too. It’s up to adults to provide the everyday experiences—talking and listening, songs and plays, exposure to letters and words and books—that help children get ready. Your daily newspaper can be a wonderful tool along the way.

Tips for choosing and using school backpacks

Here are some tips for choosing and using school backpacks from KidsHealth.org.

1. Look for a backpack with two padded straps that go over your shoulders. The wider the straps, the better.

2. Backpacks with multiple compartments can also help distribute the weight more evenly.

3. Use your locker. Try not to load up on the books for a full day’s classes. Make frequent locker trips to drop off heavy books or extra stuff. An added benefit is that you’ll get more exercise going back and forth to your locker.

4. Figure out the nonessentials, too. If you don’t need an item until the afternoon, why carry it around all morning?

5. Plan your homework. Plan ahead and spread your home-work out over the course of the week so you won’t have to tote all your books home on the weekend.

6. Limit your backpack load. Doctors and physical therapists recommend that people carry no more than 10% to 15% of their body weight in their packs. This means that if you weigh 120 pounds, your backpack should weigh no more than 12-18 pounds.

7. Choosing a lightweight backpack can get you off to a good start. Use your bathroom scale to weigh your backpack and get an idea of what the proper weight for you feels like.

8. Pick it up properly. As with any heavy weight, you should bend at the knees when lifting a backpack to your shoulders.

9. Strengthen your core. A great way to prevent back injury is to strengthen the stabilizing muscles of your torso, including your lower back and abdominal muscles. Weight training, pilates, and yoga are all activities that can be effective in strengthening these core muscles.

So what’s the best way to carry a backpack? Learn from the hiking pros and wear both straps over your shoulders it’s the best way to avoid back pain and other symptoms. Keep your load light enough so that you can easily walk or stand upright, and pack your backpack with the heaviest items closest to your back

Information provided by KidsHealth.org from the health experts of Nemours. © The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth

The Five W’s

Have you ever heard of the Five W’s: Who? What? When? Where? and Why? When it comes to the news, these are five important questions that are asked — and answered — so you and other readers can truly know what’s going on.

To download this sheet, click here

Information is from KRP’s NIE Guide, I Know I Read it in the Newspaper.

Awesome Authors’ Book Reviews Week 3

Today’s featured Awesome Authors’ book reviews and illustrations are from Bryanna Barkhouse and Arista Welsh.  These appeared in the Grand Forks Herald on Sunday, August 1.

Book reviews from the Awesome Authors will be published every Sunday in the Herald for the next 5 weeks.


 

Awesome Authors’ Book Reviews Weeks 1 & 2

Awesome Authors is a summer school creative writing class offered, by the Grand Forks Public School District.  Laura Knox teaches the class, for students in Kindergarten through Second Grade.  Class members participate in writing projects, art projects, field trips, and a class blog, which can be found at: www.classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id262314 or by searching Laura Knox Awesome Authors.

Each summer, students in the Awesome Authors class, tour the Grand Forks Herald offices.  They visit with many Herald staff members to learn about their jobs. This year, the Awesome Authors were invited to write reviews of some of the new and/or popular children’s books from their school library.  They were thrilled to have this opportunity to share a writing project and the pictures they drew pictures to accompany their reviews.

Here are the first of their reviews and illustrations which appeared in the Grand Forks Herald on Sundays, July 19 & 27. They will be published every Sunday in the Herald for the next 6 weeks.

Awesome Authors kids’ book reviews are coming

I am excited to tell you the 2014 Awesome Authors will have kids’ book reviews published once again in the Grand Forks Herald.  Beginning this Sunday, July 20 and running the next several Sundays, we’ll feature these local reviews in the Sunday Accent section.

Awesome Authors is a summer school creative writing class offered, by the Grand Forks Public School District.  Laura Knox teaches the class, for students in Kindergarten through Second Grade.  Class members participate in writing projects, art projects, field trips, and a class blog, which can be found at: http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blog_id=1349003&blogger_id=262314 or by searching Laura Knox Awesome Authors.

Each summer, students in the Awesome Authors class, tour the Grand Forks Herald offices.  They visit with many Herald staff members to learn about their jobs. The Awesome Authors were invited again this year to write reviews of new and/or popular children’s books. They were thrilled to have this opportunity to share a writing project and the pictures they drew pictures to accompany their reviews.

Thank you Awesome Authors!  We look forward to seeing your published book reviews in the Grand Forks Herald.

July 4th Word Search, History Quiz and more!

Here are a few activities for you to enjoy this 4th of July holiday. Check out the word search you can download and print. Also be sure to test your knowledge with an American History Quiz from American Profile Magazine.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

Download the word search puzzle by clicking HERE

 

How much do you know about American History? 

Take the quiz from American Profile by clicking here.  

Check out the blog posting called Independence Day By the Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.  It includes infographics with some fun facts to mark the holiday.

Oh Canada!

July 1 is Canada Day. Here are some fun facts from McClatchy Tribune that celebrate all things Canadian. Information was written and illustrated by Laurie McAdam, McClatchy Newspapers.

Did you know?

The name Canada dates back to the year 1535. The word “Kanata”, which is the Huron-Iroquois word for “village” or “settlement,” was used to describe what is now Quebec City. In 1557, French explorer Jacques Cartier, when claiming Kanata for France, simply repeated the word as Canada. The name stuck.

Canada’s birthday: On July 1, 1867, Canada’s provinces, territories and British colonies unified as one nation with a national government and law-making parliament.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada and head of state. The queen’s duties are carried out by the governor general.

The Canada goose has become the most common waterfowl species in North America.

The beaver is Canada’s national symbol and adorns the back of the Canadian nickel. It also is the largest rodent in North America and mates for life unless the mate dies.

A stetson worn by the Mounties is also called a campaign hat, drill sergeant hat, round brown, ranger hat, Scouts hat, Smokey Bear hat and lemon squeezer.

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world, with about 151,600 miles, and is the second-largest country in the world.

The Loonie: When Canada wanted to issue a gold-colored dollar coin, it was designed with an image of fur-trappers on the back. The master dies were lost by the courier before minting, so a new design was necessary to thwart the possibility of counterfeiting. The new design was a common loon, and Canadians embraced it. They affectionately refer to it as “the loonie” just as U.S. bills are nicknamed “greenbacks.”

Lucky Loonie: A Canadian icemaker at the 2002 Olympics froze a loonie at center ice as a mark for the dropped puck. Both the men’s and women’s Canadian hockey teams won gold that year. The coin was recovered from the ice and given to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the legend of the lucky loonie began. Since then, players have gone to hiding the loonie on the opposing team’s nets or freezing the coins into the ice before games. This has led to teams checking the ice for coins before tournaments.

Names of actual places in Canada: Drumheller, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Squamish, Blow Me Down, Saint-Louis-Du-Ha-Ha

Curling is a popular team sport in Canada with similarities to lawn bowling and bocce ball, but is played on ice. With the limitless possibilites of stone placement and shot selection, it is sometimes referred to as “chess on ice.”

Happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors!