Posts Tagged ‘Getting Ready to Read’

Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Four

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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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

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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

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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

Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read, Week Three

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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In this week’s Getting Ready to Read class we talked about letter B and some of the words that begin with b – bumblebee, blue, black, brown, baby, big, bag, bread, book, balloon, basket. We played a guessing game, the answers were items in my brown bag (a basket, a banana, a balloon, etc.)

We also played a game about opposities using words that indicate position (high, low, in front, behind, over, under).

The story for this week was one of my favourites, Otis by Loren Long

Otis is the story of a small tractor who loves life on the farm. When a calf arrives in the stall next to Otis, he befriends the young cow. It is not long before they discover ways to play together in and around Mud Pond.

All is well until a shiny new tractor arrives to work on the farm. Sadly, Otis is parked behind the barn and the new, larger tractor goes to work.

When the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond, the farmer frantically looks for some way to rescue her. Thankfully, Otis responds when everything else fails and, with hard work and determination, Otis rescues his friend.

Fans of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel will thoroughly enjoy this gentle story about friendship.

Otis at Amazon.com

Otis at Amazon.ca

In this week’s Beginning to Read class we played an alphabet recognition game, I call Boom. It is a fun way to review letter names quickly.

We also spent quite alot of time, talking about rhyming. Learning about rhyming and recognizing rhyming words enhances your child’s phonemic awareness. We played, making silly rhymes with our names and talking about rhyming words.

Our word family today was the “-all” family. We began with the /all/ sound and added different sounds to it, in order to make words. We made ball, call, fall, hall, mall, tall, wall. Once we had finished playing with sounds, we used letters (b, c, f, h, m, t, w) to change “all” into ball, call, fall, etc.

Having opportunities to blend sounds together and make words will assist your child. When you are in the car or waiting in a line up, ask your child to blend the /S/ sound with /AT/. Help your child, /S/…… /AT/. If your child can’t figure out the word, bring the sounds closer together /S/…./AT/, and closer… /S/ /AT/ – until your child realizes the word is “SAT.”

Our story today was Lois’ Ehlert’s beautiful tribute to fall leaves, Leaf Man. This is a wonderful story to share at this time of year. The beautiful die cut illustrations are a wonderful inspiration for young artists.

Leaf Man at Amazon.com

Leaf Man at Amazon.ca

Teach Preschool’s teaching ideas for The Leaf Man

Harcourt Book’s teacher guide for The Leaf Man


Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read, Week Two

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Week Two of Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read at Steveston Community Centre, Fall 2011

In Getting Ready to Read this week, we talked about letter “G”. As adults, we know that “G” can make two different sounds. The sound we hear in garden, gate, go, green, gloves, glue is referred to as the hard “G” sound. This is the “G” sound we talked about in class.

As the children move ahead with reading, they will learn that “G” also makes the sound we hear in gym, giraffe, gem, giant. This sound is referred to as the soft “G” sound. We are not going to confuse the children by introducing the soft “G” sound at this stage. When they are ready to learn about the soft “G” sound, you will want to know that “G” usually makes the hard sound when it is followed by “A” (gate), “O” (go), “U” (gum) or a consonant (great). It usually makes the soft “G” sound when followed by “E” (gem), “I” (giant) or “Y” (gym).

Our story this week was Honk! – The Story of a Prima Swanerina written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrated by Henry Cole.

Honk!: The Story of a Prima Swanerina at Amazon.com

Honk!: The Story of a Prima Swanerina at Amazon.ca





In Beginning to Read this week we talked about the “et” word family (bet, get, jet, let, met, net, pet, set, wet). Our tricky word was “quiet.”

Our theme was Bathtime and we played a fishing game – fishing for rubber ducks (each had one of our word family words on it). Our story was Once Upon a Bathtime by Vi Hughes and illustrated by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin.

For more bathtime fun, check out our free downloads

image of PDF icon  Bathtime Chants

Add actions to these fun chants for bathtime

I love using word families with beginning readers. If you wish, you can download and print off more word family materials for your child here.

Once Upon A Bathtime at Amazon.com

Once Upon a Bathtime at Amazon.ca


Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read, Week One

Posted on September 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Welcome to Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read at Steveston Community Centre, Fall 2011

I am delighted to have your children in my programs.

In Getting Ready to Read (Tuesday at 4 p.m.), we began by talking about letter F, our theme was Down on the Farm.

The children knew some words that begin with the /f/ sound. I had some items for them to guess: frog, fire truck, flag, fish, fire

We enjoyed one of my favourite picture books – Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

I chose Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type because it is a fun story that does a great job of introducing print awareness. The story draws the reader’s attention to letters and words and one way of conveying messages. As well, Farmer Brown’s body language is great to watch. The illustrations in the story encourage children to “read between the lines.”

If your child would like to do some homework for our next session, please have him/her bring pictures of things that begin with letter F. He/she can draw the pictures or cut them out of an old magazine.

Please note, if your child enjoyed this story, Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin have teamed up for more wonderful books about Farmer Brown and his animals. Look for Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type and other great books at the library.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type at Amazon.com

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type at Amazon.ca

Beginning to Read (Thursday at 4 p.m.), we began by talking about vowels (A,E,I,O,U,Y) and the ug word family, our theme was Down on the Farm.

The “ug” word family -

image of PDF icon  The "Ug" Word Family

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

We also talked about rhyming words and played with the following rhymes:
name/game, red/head, yellow/fellow, blue/you, good/could, day/say, park/dark, brown/clown

Learning about rhyming is an important prereading skill. You may be interested to visit my page about phonemic awareness. If your child is interested to do homework over the course of the program, I would love to have him/her draw or find pictures of rhyming words.

This week’s story was Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer. Many of the children were familiar with Olivia’s show on television

Olivia has her own website, with lots of fun activities for youngsters.

Olivia Saves the Circus at Amazon.com

Olivia Saves the Circus at Amazon.ca


Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Five

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Our story today was one of my favourite alphabet books. Alphabet Adventure written by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Bruce Wood

Alphabet Adventure is the story of Charley’s alphabet. The little letters are getting ready for Charley’s first day of school when Little I stumbles and falls. Although not immedicately noticed, Little I’s dot is missing. All the little letters scour Alphabet Island as they try to find the missing dot. An excellent choice for children who will soon be attending kindergarten, Alphabet Adventure’s bright, bold illustrations are great in a group setting but the hidden dot makes the book equally special for sharing one on one.

Once you’ve enjoyed Alphabet Adventure, be sure to look for the equally engaging Alphabet Mystery and Alphabet Rescue.

Alphabet Adventure at Amazon.com

Alphabet Adventure at Amazon.ca

Our final Getting Ready to Read class featured many different letters. The children personalized Alphabet Tic Tac Toe games (made using True Type 3000 Fonts)

This week our featured songs were

image of PDF icon  The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Add actions when you sing this song

image of PDF icon  Over in the Meadow

Can be adapted for a felt board story


Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Three

Posted on July 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Today’s letter was ‘F’ and the theme was “Fun in the Forest.” In addition to talking about letter ‘F,’ I used characters made of felt to tell the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. After I began the story, some of the children recognized it – I was so pleased. We want young children to become familiar with traditional fables such as this one.

At the end of today’s class, we played an active game that involved “delivering mail” to Rabbit, Bear, Deer and Squirrel. It was essentially a matching activity but it drew the children’s attention to how words are alike and different and it gave them a chance to move around the room.

Today’s story was a favourite of mine:Stella, Fairy of the Forest – written & illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Marie-Louise Gay’s books about Sam and Stella are marvelous. This, their third adventure, Stella, Fairy of the Forest begins when Sam asks Stella about fairies. Stella knows just where to find some. She leads Sam through meadows, across a stream and into a magical forest.

This story is truly lovely especially in its treatment of the siblings’ relationship. Ms. Gay’s illustrations have a luminous quality particularly her depictions of the delightful red-head, Stella. Don’t miss it!

32 pages, Ages 2 to 5

Marie Louise Gay’s website includes printable stickers, colouring sheets, posters and bookmarks

Stella, Fairy of the Forest at Amazon.com

Stella, Fairy of the Forest at Amazon.ca


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