Posts Tagged ‘presentations’

Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read, Week Three

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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 opposites using words that indicate position (high, low, in front, behind, over, under).

Sharing information about our Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read program, week threeThe 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

Otis at

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 a lot 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 lineup, 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

Leaf Man at

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

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).

Week two of our community centre programsOur 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

Honk!: The Story of a Prima Swanerina at

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. A free printable for home and preschool.

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

Once Upon a Bathtime at

Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read, Week One

Posted on September 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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.

Getting Ready to Read and Beginning to Read are community centre early literacy programs. Read about week 1In 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

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type at

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

Olivia Saves the Circus at

Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough – Eco-Friendly Fun!

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

How to Make Coffee Ground Playdough! Use our Recipe to Recycle Coffee Grounds!

How to Make Coffee Ground Playdough

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.

How to Use 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!

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