Friday, December 12, 2014

It's the Simple Things

Just wanted to share a wonderful variation to my Christmas idea from last year.  I got THIS beautiful picture today from a mom that had fun with her 2 year old.

She used things she had around the house!  {imagine that!}  Little hand print, spraying glitter on paper and help in placing precut shapes...looks like a perfect activity!

Thanks for sharing!

PS...have you noticed my eBooks available in my STORE....Yippee!  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Using Manipulitives & Other Teaching Tools

Using math manipulitives to aid in teaching numbers and number values can help you teach in a creative and interactive way.  Today I want to share how I teach Number 5 in detail using  one of my favorite manipulitives...pattern blocks.

A child is first introduced to Number 5 in the Number Neighborhood flip chart.  In the story we hear about Number 5's grandpa showing him how to gather honey from the beehive.  After sharing the story and learning the corresponding 'action' I then use the Number Neighborhood Activity to enhance the child's learning.  

In the early stages of discovery, educators and teachers should use manipulatives to teach math concepts in a engaging hands-on way.  For example, in number 5's activity I provide you with a beehive template where the child can practice counting as they cover each bee with wooden pattern blocks or other marker.  

This activity also helps you explore number 5 with a finger play.   I am a firm believer in using finger plays while teaching the early learner.

Finger plays are a FANTASTIC way to introduce children to new words and increase their vocabulary.  They help children connect vocabulary to words they hear in stories and in every day conversation.  They also help children learn sentence structure and practice speaking in complete sentences. 

In my number 5 activity the finger play does a few things...

It Teaches:
1.  Counting
2.  Subtraction
3.  Number Order

When we use rhymes with poems or finger plays we also teach the child how to follow directions in a fun way.  I have mentioned a number 5 finger play HERE in a prior blog post.  Today I wanted to share my little poem that helps children follow directions as we get all the bees in the beehive.

Five little bees
buzzing in a hive.
It was time to make honey,
so one flew inside...

We continue saying this little poem counting backward until ALL the bees are safely covered inside.

NOW, I saved the best for last...The way we make the bees in the activity uses the child's fine motor skills and creative juices! Your child will love making their little beehive and using their thumbprint as the bee!  {Don't worry, all the details are right here in Number 5's Activity instructions}

Some of my ALL TIME favorite teaching math manipulatives for hands-on learning are:

FOOD: Pretzels, Cereal, Marshmallows.  Make snack time fun!  

{pic via Playdough to Plato}

LINKING CUBES: Great for adding or subtraction or length or mass or building or...It's just a MUST have in the classroom!

BUTTONS:  Sorting, pattering, adding, playing...all that fun stuff!

 {pic via Hands On As We Grow}

What are some ways you use math manipulitives to teach your little ones?  Do share!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Giveaway at Gift of Curiosity!

Have you heard the news?  Katie over at Gift of Curiosity did a FABULOUS review on my Number Neighborhood Activity Book.  Today she has a free book to giveaway...

Check it out HERE!

I have been personally following Katie and I find her teaching style very similar to my own.  In fact she says this about my Amazing Action Alphabet books & my Number Neighborhood books...

"They truly are the backbone of my letter learning and number learning curriculums, and have been extremely effective in helping my daughter learn her letters and numbers."

I LOVE when people use my teaching tools and find SUCCESS in teaching their little ones!  

Katie says on her blog...

"What I enjoyed about the Number Neighborhood Activities book is that all of the activities are quite different, so kids don’t get bored by them. All of the activities focus on different math skills such as comparing sizes, graphing, measuring, counting, adding, and more. Plus, each activity is related to the fun and simple story for that number in the Number Neighborhood flip book."

I'm thinking Katie knows what she is talking about when it comes to teaching.  She has a Ph.D in child development, her masters degree in education, and most importantly a mother and teacher of her two little ones .  I love how she is sharing her wealth of knowledge with all of us through her great blog!

I'd encourage you to follow her like I have and see what you think.  With all her free printables and great teaching ideas... she will NOT disappoint you!  

Thanks Katie at Gift of Curiosity.  Keep on sharing!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BEWARE of the Spooky Vowels...

In my Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart the letter I is really itching to tell you his sound...

The /i/ /i/ /i/ sound can be a hard for some children.

MANY children mix up the vowels E, U, and I.  

A fun way for a child to remember the /i/ sound is by dressing up letter I in a simple witches hat.  Don't forget lower case i, he doesn't want to be left out!

I found it easy to practice this sound when pretending you're a witch. Exaggerate and cackle the /i/ sound!  Crinkle up your noes and do the letter I action by pretending to scratch your itch like I does in the insect story .  Now, in your witchiest voice say... 

/i/ /i/ /i/

Dressing up letters can be fun for the holidays.  I talk about more letter dress up ideas HERE.

Hope you're ready for the sugar high this Friday.  I know my kids are counting down the hours!  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Number 13 Likes Halloween!

In the Number Neighborhood Flip Chart book, Number 3 joins together with a "teen" and together they become number 13. {Notice how cute they are dressed up for Halloween?}   

A fun Halloween activity for number 13 is located in the Number Neighborhood Activity Book. Place the jack-o-lantern, with numbered teeth, in a sheet protector. Have the child roll one or two dice.  Today I made paper dice for my child to use so I could make sure ALL the numbers were picked quickly.

Have the children count the number on the dice, and color the total number on the jack-o-lantern's tooth with a dry erase marker. OR... place a candy corn on the tooth. 

Okay, so I always pick candy corn over dry erase marker...but you can decide what works best for YOU! ;)

When all the teeth are shaded or covered, the child has finished. This activity is perfect for counting and identifying numbers 1-13!

You can simplify the game shading in numbers 6-12. Instead of using 2 dice have the child use one dice and locate numbers 1-6. You could also ask the child a number and if they can identify the number they can cover the number.

So many ideas for Halloween!  One that I want to try is this one from 1 + 1 + 1= 1...

and this one from Kids Activity Blog looks awesome!

Have a great one friends!  ...Now I'm off finding the finishing touches for my little pumpkins' Halloween costumes! ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reading In COLOR!

Many of you are teaching your little ones to read!  What an exciting time in a child's life.  When letters start forming words.  Today I wanted to share with you a little trick I use when teaching using my Beginning Reader Mini Books.  

As many of you know there are stages to reading.  There are 3 basic levels to read.

1.  The first stage is when the child sounds out all the words.  b-a-t, bat. c-a-t, cat. r-a-t, rat!
2,  The next stage is when they start blending sounds they have become familiar with.  b-at,      
      bat. c-at, cat.  r-at, rat!
3.  The last stage for a child is when they start reading the word as a whole.  bat, cat, or rat!

My favorite way to help a visual learner remember words in a story, and help them 
advance quicker to reading words as a WHOLE
is with the use of a stop sign.  

{image via Spotonlists}

Starting with lesson 4 in the Beginning Reader Mini Books I talk about a stop sign.  I ask the child, 

"When you come to a stop sign what do you do?"
You STOP!  

Just like the stop sign, there are STOP WORDS.  These words don't sound out --you stop and just say it!  You can simply tell the child these stop words. (often called sight words or gel words)

In the book 4 of the mini reader I introduce the word 'the'.  THE is a STOP WORD.  Ask the child how many times they can find the word 'THE' in the story.  Color all the 'the' words RED!  Just like the stop sign.


Next I talk about the name in the story.  In story lesson 4 the name we talk about is SAM.  Read the word Sam.  I then would ask the child, "Do you know anyone named Sam?"  (trying to help the child find BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE helps the child to remember a word better)

Today we are going to color all the words SAM Yellow!  Yellow is the color that makes you slow down and think.


Next we talk about the green light.  Green means Go!  Green words you know!  You've learned them before, and you've sounded them out many times.  Go ahead and just say the word.  In lesson 4 the word 'at' is a word they have seen before and know.


I know I've talked about this concept with using colors to read HERE, but today I wanted to go step by step with you...just so I know you feel confident with the idea!  

Here is an example of the story lesson 4 in the Beginning Reader Mini Book.

As you continue reading the stories in the Mini Reader with your preschooler feel free to use different colors for the names.  For example in story lesson number 10 you may choose PINK for Pam and BLUE for Sam because the child thinks those characters would like those colors.  BUT, I don't change the STOP WORD color.  Always keep the sight words RED to remind the child to just say the word.

Hope that helps y'all today!  ---Did any of you know I was born in Georgia?  Yep!  That's me your neighborhood Georgia Peach!  
Till next time friends.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Comparing My Alphabet Book to My Number Book...Help Me Understand.

Recently I had a great question from one of you...

          "I absolutely love the Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart!  Help me 
understand how it compares to the Number Neighborhood Flip chart.
                                                   Thanks ~Lisa"

This is a great question, and I think others might benefit from my explanation.

Lucy!  You've Got some 'Splaining to Do!"

First, let me explain these two books in a little more detail.

I wrote the Number Neighborhood Flip Chart in the same format as the Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart. The story is on the back, the action is written after the story, and they perform the action in the story. 

I want to show you some examples.  Today I am using number 6 and letter K.  You know my saying, 
Seeing + Hearing + Doing = Learning

Well, let's talk about just that.

The Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart has animals in shapes of letters.  Below, we have K the kangaroo.  The Number Neighborhood Flip Chart has people in the shapes of letters.  In our example we can see Six in the shape of number 6.


The Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart has a short story on the back.  AND,  the Number Neighborhood Flip Chart also has a story on the back.

In the Amazing Action Alphabet the letters are called by their ACTUAL NAME.  This letter name is connected to the action that the letter makes.  In our K example K the kangaroo kicks.

In the Number Neighborhood book, I have given a rhyme to help the child remember the name.  For example...Six rubs Sticks.

Pretty cool right?!

The Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart gives an action the child preforms in the story. In our example you can see my nephew kicking like K the kangaroo.  In the Number Neighborhood book I also give an action for the child to do.  In our example I show number 6's action is like two sticks rubbing together...six rubs sticks!  

Additionally, the child is asked to count the number of objects the number represents.   For example on number 6, the child is asked to count  six sticks.  

This Number Neighborhood Flip Chart book is written to help the child remember the number's name and the value of the number by seeing it in the shape of a character, hearing a story and hearing the name of the number in rhyme, doing an action for the number and actually counting the value of the number. 

With ALL that said, click on the Number Neighborhood Flip Chart icon on my web store {HERE} and it will let you see some sample pages of each book.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  I hope that this makes things a little easier for you to understand.  

 Till next time friends!