February 2012 archive

Singing Your Little One’s Name

Today’s video blog is to give you an idea of how you can be purposing transitions throughout the day to teach your little one the letters in their name.

We teach our little ones the ABC’s which makes learning the letters easier, but we seldom think to put the letters of our little one’s name to a tune (which is most likely the first work he/she will write!).

So, get busy and come up with a creative song to your little one’s name, video it, and SHARE it with me ūüôā¬† I will share your video if I think it could help other moms whose little ones have the same number of letters in their name as yours.


Oh I forgot to mention a couple things….my son’s name is “sean patrick” which explains what in the world I am singing haha

Sean Patrick bubble name

And, the song for a four letter name is “The Farmer in the Dell” so ignore the way I say it… “dale” lol

Faux Pas of a Mommy Teacher

Faux pas is pronounced (fŇćh-pah) meaning “false step/mistake” in french.¬† We wouldn’t be mommy teachers without mistakes and learning experiences of our own along the way.¬† Don’t get me wrong,¬†this is NOT a new concept to me, but here is my faux pas that started with great intentions:

Our decorative "Piggy Bank" …. in pieces!

But first,¬†my great intentions….

Every time I post a Mommy Teacher activity I accommodate it for my 21 month old.¬† On President’s Day I was working on¬†building his oral vocabulary of money¬†by¬†simply introducing¬†the penny, encouraging him to put it in his pocket, and¬†tracing a¬†circle around¬†the coin¬†onto paper.¬†¬†

My coin jar, aka Sean Patrick’s savings, was sitting on the baker’s rack in a not-so-long-ago unreachable spot, but I hadn’t assessed the situation in a while because he hadn’t paid any attention to it (pun intended).

My next oversight was allowing him to take notice of me as I took coins out of it for our mini lesson….which only peaked his curiousity in exploring the jar that I took the coins out of.

After the mini penny lesson, Sean Patrick was pulling the coin jar off the shelf before I could tell him to stop so I ran across the kitchen and swooped him up before the coin jar could crash on his feet. 

I spent the next hour picking all the coins and sweeping up the broken jar with strict guidelines for Sean Patrick to stay away so he wouldn’t get hurt….he listened and was consequently bored for some time.¬†

Yes, this is my son, and yes, he needs a haircut….I am a procrastinator and have been saying this needs to get done for about two months….yikes!

You gotta love when your day takes a detour (sarcasm implied). 

Face of the Presidents

Happy President’s Day to you! I like to celebrate Presidents, with little ones, by talking about several well known Presidents like Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, etc. and the current President of COURSE. One great teaching tool for talking about the Presidents is coins. Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, and dollar bills provide a visual of former presidents for children, as well as introduce other significant concepts that may be taught to older little ones.

I like to teach a few facts (about the Presidents AND coins) and then let little ones make their own interpretations by playing with their new ideas….one example is a coin face drawing. Simply put the coins down on drawing paper and allow your little one to draw¬†the body and maybe even add details to their picture.


Complete A Story, Letter, or Poem

When I was little I loved mad libs because creative writing was a favorite past time of mine and madlibs allowed me to play around with silly writing topics and ideas that were fun to read to others.  They were great for learning parts of speech as well.

But today, I want to encourage you to get your little one to “write” stories, letters, or poems by¬†filling in the blanks of incomplete¬†sentences in their own way.

My sister shared the following¬†poem that my brother completed years ago before mad libs even existed.¬† It is different from a mad lib because you don’t choose the words beforehand; you fill in the blanks of incomplete thoughts which is more age appropriate for little ones.

Here are a couple Fun with writing templates for you; made by me:

My Pet

 All about me


AbleNet’s New and Improved Bookworm

I have been waiting and waiting for the chance to write to you about an extremely cool teaching tool for literacy that is one of my new ‚Äúfavorite things!‚ÄĚ

The Bookworm is a switch-adapted device by AbleNet that is used to turn nearly any book into an interactive listening book. It conveniently hooks onto the back cover of any book and is easy to use once it is set up.

 When I first received the Bookworm in the packaging I was intimidated at how high-tech it looked, but after watching the tutorial video, it made all too much sense. It is so practical (and fun!) to record each page while using the corresponding stickers provided with the Bookworm materials.

Sean Patrick listens to mommy singing ABC's in "The GunnyWolf"

Children learn and practice so many skills by spending time alone with a book that has the print recorded. Of course you want to model reading these books first, but then your little one will know how to follow along and can process so much this way. I had a listening center in my classroom and now I have one in my home thanks to the Bookworm! Here’s an idea of SOME of the skills your little one COULD be practicing with a bookworm:

~Demonstrating understanding of book and print concepts
~Following along with print and a story line being read aloud
~Processing information read orally
~Building oral vocabulary
~Developing Reading Comprehension

In addition to the educational aspect I have some ‚Äúhappy mommy‚ÄĚ bonus features:
You can plug in some headphones and occupy your little one at church, in the car, in waiting rooms, and other places when or if you want to ‚Äúkeep the peace.‚ÄĚ I have been recording ABC books, Number books, Color Naming Books, Rhyming Books, and Shape Books because that is the oral vocabulary I am currently working on with my son, but you might want to record books that focus more on reading comprehension‚Ķ.you decide! ūüôā

Grandparents pay tons of money to personalize and record their voices on just one book, but now you can maximize the effect with an instrument that has the memory to record several books.

If you think this device is cool, you have got to check out the AbleNet online store! They have SO many resources that accommodate to so many learning styles. I am glad I found out about AbleNet!

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