Familiar Word Wall

For the next couple reading posts, I will be sharing pictures from friend’s classrooms that I am hoping will inspire ideas you might use in your home:

Today’s idea is to make a space in your playroom for Environmental Print: 

Title the space to define the purpose.

 Post some French fry cartons, bag cut outs, cereal boxes, candy bag cut outs, and other print from the environment that your child will recognize and be able to read with confidence. 

That way when you ask your child questions about sounds they hear at the beginning of words, you can reference the wall in the playroom.  For example:

If you are eating biscuits for breakfast you might say “Ooh, I’m wondering what letter-sound “biscuit” starts with?  It makes the same beginning sound like in the word Burger King.”  At this point your child will most likely remember seeing the “B” in the word Burger King.  However, be listening carefully to their answer.  You asked what SOUND biscuit started with,  so if your child answers with the letter “B” you might say “That’s great thinking because ‘B’ is the letter at the beginning of biscuit, and it stands for the sound /b/!”


Milet, a Mommy Teacher, shared this picture on the Mommy Teacher Facebook Wall, and shared that “the coolest thing is that the students actually take the initiative to add to our environmental print board and tape/glue their print.” 

Do you have pictures that might inspire?  Send them to me through My Contact Me page 🙂

Spring Forward

The weather is warming up and it is time to get outside with your kiddos!

Definitely allow lots of time for free play, running around outside and playing in the dirt a bit, but today I want to remind you about a GREAT outdoor writing activity. Of course, chalking is a great writing activity, but one that I love equally as much is painting with water.

All you need is a Tupperware (bucket or even an old empty paint can) and a paintbrush!

Kids love to write and watch it disappear. It is also a mini science lesson because they are learning about evaporation! Kids watch the pavement absorb the water and then the heat dry it up.

Talk to your kids during the experiment “What is happening to the letter you wrote?” “Why do you think it is disappearing?”, model different letters and words and see if your child can paint what you paint. Get wild…paint with the water on the brick of your house and remind them that painting with water is the ONLY time they can do this.

This is a great family fun writing activity to enjoy the outdoors 🙂

Phonics Fun!

Games, books, and songs that connect letters to their sounds are all GREAT ways to introduce phonics (the relationships between letters, letter patterns, and their sounds) and are GREAT for memory recall.  Okay, that’s the facts, here’s the fun:

One of my favorite songs for teaching this is Dr. Jean’s “Sing and Sign”

It is to the tune “Where is Thumbkin?”

The lyrics are

“Where is A? (repeat) – With your hands behind your back

Here I am. (repeat) – Show the sign language for the letter

What do you say A? (repeat) Hands up asking a question

/a/ /a/ /a/(repeat) – Show the sign language again

I am NOT a photographer so forgive me for the quality of this picture (Oh, and all my pictures for that matter).  Aside from that, this is a great song to teach children using movement, visual clues, and listening skills. 

Another way to introduce and sing this song is to buy a Sign Language chart from your local school supply store (Ours is called School Aids) or purchase one online and use the chart on display OR buy sign language cards put them in order, punch holes at the top, and use binder rings to hold it together.  It will make a great little flip book so that they can look at it in the car when they need some independent silent reading time.

*Because I know that you are more likely to do this activity if you have the materials on hand, I went ahead and made an Alphabet Sign Chart and Alphabet Sign Cards….You’re welcome 🙂

Meaningful Chore Time!

The following message really inspired me to include some more meaningul chore time ideas and activities….Thanks Casey  🙂  The activity is a great way to practice reading, fine motor skills, and math skills including sorting and number identification through everyday household chores. Who knew including your kids in housework could be so fun?

Casey says:
“I thought of you and your blog today when James and I were doing chores. Chores are such a great time to incorporate learning while getting stuff done! I wrote the names Mom, Dad, Leyson and James on a sheet of paper and James read off each name as I wrote it. Then, I drew lines under each name and James cut the names out to make labels for our laundry baskets. James then went through all of the clothes and sorted them into each person’s basket. He and Leyson also have several matching pairs of pajamas and shirts and he had to look at the tag to decide whose they were. If the tag had a 2 or 3T on it, they were Leysons, if they had a 4 or 5T on it, they belonged to James.
Anyway… just thought I’d share this with you to possibly share with other mommies.”

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