Archive for the ‘Carolyn Hart’s Presentations’ Category

Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Four

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

In today’s Getting Ready to Read Class, the letter of the day was ‘D’ and our theme was “Dinosaurs.”

The children knew some words that begin with /d/: dog, duck, doghouse, diamond, Dad (and Daddy), dig, doll, dragon and more.

We played “Simon Says.” Most of the children understood that “Simon Says” is a listening game. The key with “Simon Says” is to listen carefully. If the leader says, “Simon says do this,” then you do go ahead and do the same thing. If the leader just says, “Do that,” then you should not copy the leader. You should stand still until the leader again says, “Simon says do this.”

We also played around with opposites. Almost all of the children know that hot is the opposite of cold and up is the opposite of down. In today’s Getting Ready to Read class we tried some trickier opposites: cool (warm), early (late), tall (short), ending (beginning).

Today we also explored rhyming words: fish, wish and dish, fan, man and pan. Learning about rhyming words helps your child to develop “phonemic awareness.” You can find more information about phonemic awareness here.

Today’s Getting Ready to Read story was good fun. We read: Brontorina by James Howe, illustrated by Randy Cecil

This lovely story is about Brontorina Apatasaurus. She is just as large as you might expect but nonetheless dreams of becoming a ballerina. Unfortunately, Brontorina does not fit into Madame Lucille’s dance studio and she does not have ballet slippers. Undeterred, Brontorina attempts to join in the class. She follows all of Madame Lucille’s instructions and even pops her head through the dance studio ceiling. Fortunately, small challenges are not enough to deter our heroine and, with a little bit of problem solving and creativity, Madame Lucille finds a way to accomodate her.

Brontorina at Amazon.com

Brontorina at Amazon.ca


Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Two

Posted on July 10th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Today was our second session of Getting Ready to Read Plus. Today’s theme was “Boats Afloat” and the letter of the day was “B.” The children were able to come up with all sorts of words that begin with the /b/ sound – bumblebee, bear, brown, blue, black, boat, boy, baby and more.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Rowboat

Boating theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Letter B - pictures and words

Our story today was The Deep Cold River Story, written by Tabatha Southey and illustrated by Sue Savor. This is a very good read aloud for four and five year olds. I like using it with the “boats afloat” theme because there are several rowboats in the illustrations.

The Deep Cold River Story written by Tabatha Southey and illustrated by Sue Savor

Imagine a deep, cold river running through a small town. One day, for no apparent reason, the river overflows its banks and floods the entire community. Many possible solutions to the unrelenting flooding are proposed but it takes a little girl to solve the problem and save the town. The Deep Cold River Story features a positive message about bedtime stories and offers a great opportunity for children to propose their own creative solutions to the problem.

A charming story featuring a young heroine and appealing illustrations, The Deep Cold River Story is 28 pages and will be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 6.

The Deep Cold River Story at Amazon.com

The Deep Cold River Story at Amazon.ca

Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day One

Posted on July 9th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Today was our first session of Getting Ready to Read Plus. The program consists of five sessions, each class is ninety minutes. We share wonderful picture books, felt board stories, rhymes and songs. The children participate in a variety of pre-reading activities and learning games. All sessions will help children to recognize letters and to notice the sounds in words. We play with words, listen for beginning sounds, identify words that begin with the same sound and match up rhyming words. We will also talk about opposites.

Today’s theme was “Pigs” and the letter of the day was “P.” The children were able to come up with all sorts of words that begin with the /p/ sound – puffins, penguins, popcorn, pass, pen, pencil, purple, and more.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pig

Pig theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Letter P - pictures and words

Our story today was If You Give a Pig a Pancake, written by Laura Numeroff. This is a great read aloud for four year olds. A group of children can easily sit, enjoy the story and make some predications about what will happen next. I like using it with a /p/ theme because it includes words like pancake, pig, picture, and piano. Felicia Bond’s visiting pig oozes with personality and moves from one place to another, creating mess after mess.

Harper Collins printables for If You Give a Pig a Pancake

Harper Collins colouring page for If You Give a Pig a Pancake

If You Give a Pig a Pancake at Amazon.com

If You Give A Pig A Pancake at Amazon.ca

Beginning to Read – Day 4

Posted on August 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

In today’s Beginning to Read class, we spent some time exploring rhyming. Some of the children have a good concept of rhyming while others are just beginning to understand. We began with eight pictures (king, ring, tree, bee, house, mouse, etc.). The children looked at the pictures and matched the rhymes. We later played an active game and they listened in order to determine whether two words rhymed.

image of rhyming wordsHearing rhyming and developing phonemic awareness is a key to reading success. If you would like to print some pictures of rhyming words, follow this link to Storytime Standouts’ free printable rhyming words. For additional information about rhyming and phonemic awareness, click here to check out our Phonemic Awareness page.

image of words in the at word familyWe also played a fun game that served as a review of this week’s word families. The children were given three or four cards, each a different colour (red, green, etc.). Then, each of the children with a red card stood at the front of the group. The children held the cards up and we ‘read’ the words. Occasionally the children positioned themselve correctly and the three letters formed a word. More often, the children had to rearrange themselves in order to spell a word. In some cases, the letters could be used to spell more than one word (tip, pit / rat, art). The children had lots of laughs with this activity because they ‘read’ silly words before finding the correct word. “TPA” became “PTA” and perhaps “APT” before “PAT” was revealed.

This activity was a review of each of the word families we studied this week. If you would like to print out some word family resources, follow this link to Storytime Standouts’ free word family printables .

Today’s story was The Gaggle Sisters’ River Tour written and illustrated by Chris Jackson. This was a challenging story for some of the children because it includes some relatively difficult vocabulary (hauled, sobbed) and there is a considerable amount of text. I am happy to say that all three groups remained engaged and interested throughout the story.

The Gaggle Sisters River Tour at Amazon.ca

The Gaggle Sisters River Tour at Amazon.com


Beginning to Read – Day 3

Posted on August 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

The children who attended Beginning to Read today thoroughly enjoyed today’s story by William Steig, Pete’s a Pizza

When a sudden rainstorm spoil’s Pete’s plans, he is grumpy and sad. His dad decides that he ought to be made into a pizza! He kneeds Pete and stretches him, covers him with oil and adds tomatoes and cheese. Before long, the pizza is hot and ready to be sliced.

During today’s Beginning to Read class we talked quite alot about opposites. We began with ‘easy’ opposites (hot/cold, wet/dry/ big/small, happy/sad, inside/outside), moved onto slightly more challenging opposites (push/pull, empty/full, night/day, tall/short, true/false) and, finally, tried some ‘difficult’ opposites (warm/cool, always/never, man/woman).

Today’s Word Family was “ed” (Ed, Bed, fed, led, red, Ted). The tricky words were fled, newlywed and shred. We have many word family printables on this website, follow the link for more information.

We also looked for some easy Sight Words. Sight Words are also known as “Instant Word” and sometimes referred to as “Dolch Words.” They are high frequency words that beginning readers are encouraged to memorize (we, my, see, go, and, etc.) For the children who are already reading sight words, this was a reading activity. For the children who are not yet reading sight words, it was a matching activity. If you are interested, you can download sight word lists from our download page.

We played a mixed up alphabet game . Each child had two, three or four cards. Each card read, “I have ___. Who has ___?” The child with “I have A. Who has L?” started us off. The child with “I have L. Who has U?” read his/her card next. Basically, the children were listening for the letter names, checking to see if they had the letter and reading aloud when it was their turn. Very good fun – many of the children would like to play the game again.

Finally, we used Elkonin boxes. The children listened to words and decided whether a letter sound was at the beginning, middle or end of a word. As an example, I asked the children to listen for the /S/ sound. When I said, “Snake,” they should have identified that the /S/ sound was at the beginning of the word. When I said, “Pigs,” they should have noticed that the /S/ sound was at the end of the word. When I said, “Icicle,” they should have noticed that the /S/ sound was in the middle of the word. Note: this is a listening activity – whether the /S/ is made by a “S” or a “C” is unimportant. Children will normally hear the beginning sounds most easily, the middle sounds are the most difficult to hear. Children who learn to hear the sounds and notice when they occur will use this skill when spelling, writing and reading. This is a skill you can work on anytime, anywhere.

Beginning to Read – Day 1

Posted on August 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

In our first Beginning to Read class for this week, our theme was ‘the beach.’ We read a story by Marie-Louise Gay titled, Stella Star of the Sea. We talked about Stella and her little brother, Sam. We noticed that Sam is afraid and that Stella is not. We also talked about the fact that Sam asks many, many questions. Sometimes Stella’s answers are correct and sometimes her answers are not. Most of the children were able to make connections between this story and experiences they have had. Many talked about going to the beach and seeing shells or sea stars, some talked about being on boats and seeing killer whales. I think Sam’s hesitance to dive into the water is something we can all relate to.

You might be interested to hear some of the children’s responses to my question, “Why might it be noisy at the beach?” I thought they would answer, “The sound of the waves is loud.” Actually, they mentioned that crabs make quite a bit of noise, sperm whales are also loud. Others mentioned sea gulls. With some prompting, some of the children thought that the waves (caused by boats) are loud.

By the way, we love it when children make connections with the books they read! Whenever possible, try to match books to your child’s experiences; starting school, travelling, going to the dentist, planting a garden, visiting a fire hall.

Also, just a gentle reminder, reading aloud to children continues to be important – even when they begin reading independently. When your child begins to read, make sure that you continue to read books that s/he is not yet able to manage. You will motivate your child to become a better reader!

In today’s class we talked about vowels (A, E, I, O, U, Y). The children learned a little song about vowels. We will use one vowel each day and today’s vowel was “a.” We combined “a” with “t” to make the work “at.” Once we had read “at,” we added b, c, f, h, m, p, r, and s to make words. We also tried some “tough” words: flat, that and splat.

In the 2:15 class and the 4:00 class, we played a game that reinforced today’s word family. The children threw ‘seaweed’ at ‘shark fins’ and then we read the words on the shark fins. The shark fin words were ‘at’, ‘bat’, ‘cat’, ‘fat’, ‘hat’, ‘mat’, ‘pat’, ‘rat’, and ‘sat.’

I will write again tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Also, just a quick note to say that none of our classes are full this week. There are places available at 12:30, 2:15 and 4:00. If you have a friend who is interested, please have them call the Registration Call Centre or stop by Steveston to register. It would be my pleasure to see the last few spaces filled.

Downloads from Marie-Louise Gay’s website
Click here for Stella and Sam stickers, colouring sheets, posters, bookmarks and more

Downloads from this Website

image of PDF icon  The "At" Word Family

Free -at word family printable for young readers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.com

Stella, Star of the Sea at Amazon.ca

Supporting Social Responsibility with Great Read Alouds

Posted on June 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Last evening I had fun at a workshop for Richmond Child Care Resource and Referral. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic and committed educators.

Supporting Social Responsibility with Great Read-Alouds is my newest workshop and a great opportunity to rediscover some terrific picture books. Over the last month, I’ve enjoyed identifying some special titles that encourage children to be active, contributing members of our society and help them learn to take responsibility for themselves, for others and for the environment.

Last evening, I shared a variety of wonderful picture books that support and encourage social responsibility. As well, we talked about ways to enhance the read-aloud experience with songs, games and activities. Workshop attendees received an extensive book list featuring cover art, title, author/illustrator, ISBN codes and tags.

image of PDF icon  Sample Booklist for Supporting Social Responsibility

Thanks so much Richmond Child Care Resource and Referral!

You may be interested in our page of quotes about social responsibility.

What are your favourites titles that encourage children to contribute to their community, solve problems peacefully and respect and value diversity?

Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough Fun

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Recycled Coffee Ground Playdough Recipe

Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough FunWhen presenting my workshops for teaching professionals, I often include using Fimo Clay and rubber stamps to make paperweights with special messages. While presenting Growing and Learning Green for the Early Childhood Educators of BC on Saturday, the idea of using (used) coffee grounds to make a play-dough-like modelling clay was talked about.



Earlier today, I stopped by Starbucks and easily obtained a large bag of used coffee grounds for free. Thank you Starbucks!

Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough in the mixing bowlThis evening I mixed together equal parts coffee and flour. I added 1/2 part salt and made sure the mixture was blended thoroughly. Once I was happy with the mix, I stirred in 1/2 part water.

If you were doing this, you might use the following:
3 C slightly damp coffee grounds
3 C All Purpose flour
1 1/2 C Table Salt
1 1/2 C Water

I did most of the mixing in a bowl and then kneaded it on some parchment paper. The consistency was great and the dough was relatively easy to manage. I rolled it out between two sheets of parchment paper and was able to use a small-ish cookie cutter and a larger biscuit cutter to cut out shapes.

Homemade Coffee Ground PlaydoughI was not successful when I tried to press a rubber stamp into the mix – bits of coffee seemed to cling to the stamp.

I have left two pieces of dough out to air dry and will check them in the morning. I froze the rest of the dough so that I can share it at my next Growing and Learning Green workshop.

Air-dried Coffee ground playdough
This is a picture of the playdough after air drying for three days. It feels quite solid and is not crumbly. The surface looks almost dusty.
If you have ideas about ways to reuse coffee grounds – I would love to hear from you!

Richmond Child Care Resource and Referral – Social Responsibility Workshop Tuesday May 31, 2011

Posted on March 21st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Upcoming Social Responsibility Workshop for Richmond CCRR

Supporting Social Responsibility with Great Read-Alouds

In this professional development workshop we will look at a variety of new picture books that support and encourage social responsibility. As well, we will explore ways to enhance the read-aloud experience with songs, games and activities. Workshop attendees receive a multi-page summary of all important content and an extensive book list featuring cover art, title, author/illustrator, ISBN codes and tags.

Register with Volunteer Richmond

Follow this link for Social Responsibility quotes.

Follow this link for a sample list of books that highlight social responsibility

More News

Learning the Alphabet

Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

Awake Beautiful Child written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia ...

Classic Picture Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr. and ...

Alphabet Recognition Game for Preschool

[caption id="attachment_16404" align="alignleft" width="300"] Diecuts With A View Alphabet Scrapbook ...

Phonemic Awareness

Storytime Standouts Tips for Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Storytime Standouts Tips for Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Some of the keys to learning to read are noticing ...

Developing Phonemic Awareness: How’s Your Nose, Rose?

You won't regret using wordplay to support your child's phonemic ...

Phonemic Awareness – Questions for Your Child (2)

The focus of our last few posts has been phonemic ...

Rhymes, Songs & Fingerplays

Songs for a Summertime Storytime

This summer I presented two different early literacy programs for ...

Father’s Day Wordsearch Printable

Here is one of our many free PDF printables for ...

Kindergarten Springtime Fun – Writing prompts, printables and more

Celebrate warmer days with some kindergarten springtime funHere are some ...

Translate »