A Couple Apps for the New Year

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!   I have been soooo busy soaking up time with my little ones as a working mom that I haven’t made time for posts.   But I assure you, I have TONS in the “Posts Drafts” Section of my website that I my new year’s resolution is to share 😉

Here is a quick share for you…

My sister showed me this Montessori Crosswords App that her TWO YEAR OLD was playing and I immediately wanted it on my phone for my little one.   It amazes me how many tools there are in the tech world these days and I love learning about them.







This App is a letter-sound matching tool that sounds out the first, middle, and ending sound of each word one letter-sound at a time.  A child matches the letter to its sound by dragging and dropping the letter in the correct space.   If a child isn’t sure what letter matches the sound, he/she can click on the question mark at the top to show the way the word should look.  Then, the skill changes to a letter recognition skill.

I was amazed that my niece was using deductive reasoning to figure out the right letter that makes the matching sound.   She was either trying different letters until she found the correct one or she was using the self-correct options to check the right letter.

See what I mean here:

This App is great for ages 2-7  in my opinion.  It is a great pre-requisite for phonetic spelling.

My two year old has known all of his upper case for almost a year, but this is a great tool to help him with lower case letter recognition by changing the letter case option to lower.

I don’t like to buy apps but this is one that I caved in and forked out the $2.99 because I know what a reading benefit this kind of tool can be.   Check it out and let me know what you think.

The Montessori Numbers App from the same group is pretty great too! It covers Numbers, Quantities, Numerals, Numerals from quantities, and tracing.  Awesome skills to build on!







Leave a comment with other Apps you like….I love to check them out and see what’s out there 🙂

“My Baby Can Read” – Mommy Teacher Review

I may get some hate mail for this “review” but it is long overdue.  I have been asked by several people over the last couple years “What do you think about the ‘My Baby Can Read’ program?”  For the longest time I couldn’t give a straight answer because I didn’t know much about it.







But, not too long ago, my sister asked me if I wanted it because she was going to get rid of it and I took it so that I could review it for everyone who has asked me what I think.  And here goes nothing….

The Program Summary: “My Baby Can Read” is a video series that introduces oral vocabulary with the corresponding print on the television screen.  So, for example, there might be an elephant and then the word “elephant” right after the image of the elephant appears. The same number of words will be repeated a few times throughout the video.

The founder of this program has a “manual” that suggests that children nearly master the words in the first video before moving on to the next.  He claims that children can “read” based on these videos.

What I believe: To build strong, efficient, and strategic readers children should have the opportunities to learn along the reading continuum that I demonstrate in a reading ladder in fun and meaningful ways.

Once children have mastered each tier of the reading ladder and have the ability to understand all of the print concepts and listening skills, then they are on the road to reading success.  THEN words can be memorized to help children FLUENTLY read words that they already know how to decode.

Would I use “My Baby Can Read?”  :  I am not opposed to allowing my little one to watch the videos every now and then to promote ORAL VOCABULARY….basically, to reinforce his first language that he is developing to date as a two year old.  BUT I would NOT use this as reading instruction by any stretch of the imagination….that is my personal opinion.   And I would not buy the program just to aid in reinforcing vocabulary, but I am as frugal as they come.  Hope this is informative for you!

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 “favorite things!”





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 “happy mommy” 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 “keep the peace.” 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….you decide! 🙂

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!

My Quiet Book Review and Giveaway!







I couldn’t be more excited to share one of my latest discoveries and favorite products out there for kiddos.  My fingers were itching to start writing about all the things I love about my new “Quiet Book” from Pacific Kid.

Look inside and then just nod in agreement as I rave about all the things I love about it:

  1. I love how practical it is as an on-the-go, time filler for independent reading… like road trips, waiting rooms, sporting events, etc.
  2. I love that it is an interactive book with so many skills to practice and talk about.






  3. I love that it incorporates numbers, telling time, colors, and matching shapes through hands-on learning.
  4. I love that it is one of the greatest books for fine motor development (get those little hands ready for everyday skills like buttoning pants and writing).
  5. I love that it incorporates sensory development like touch and feel because it provides a great framework for building vocabulary.
  6. I love that it is so well made.  The quality is just beautiful!
  7. I love that you can zip the book closed and cart it around with a carry-along handle because it is so travel-friendly!
  8. I love that I couldn’t give one away without owning one first 🙂

I’ve already spread the word to friends, teachers, and pediatric therapists because I really believe that every little one would benefit from and ENJOY owning this incredibly interactive book.

So, here are some ways that you can enter to win this fabulous book:


Enter by Midnight on Friday, November 4th so that I can announce the winner on Saturday 🙂







Pacific Kid has a lot of fabulous products like calendars, story boards, play walls, and puzzle blocks that are 3-dimensional stuffed pieces of art sewn by hand, and for a limited time you can use a promotional code just for being a mommy teacher. From November 1st to December 15th you will receive 10% off your orders placed through Pacifickid.net by entering the promo code “Mommy10”!

Take advantage of this deal in perfect timing for holiday shopping!

Organizing Tote Sale







You may remember my recent giveaway of the Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty-One Gifts…I LOVE mine and I know our winners do too!

Well, for a few more days this bag is ON SALE for just $7.00 with every $31 you spend.  Sooo…..if you are interested in doing a little pre-Christmas shopping and purchasing a tote for yourself, while entering a giveaway all at once, then go to the link for my party:

CLICK HERE and place an organizing tote in your cart along with something that is of $31 value or greater.

If you make a purchase of ANY amount through my party link, and leave a comment telling me what you have ordered, I am going to enter your name to win a $25 Gift Certificate to spend on Thirty-One products!!!

My consultant Katie Leach is “closing the party” this Saturday, the 29th, at midnight so HURRY HURRY and fill that online cart if you are interested. Winner(s) will be announced Sunday!

For shopping ideas…. I am obsessed with the 





“About Town Blanket” which is waterproof on one side and soft and furry on the other, perfect for picnics, “field trips,” and you name it. 





 I also LOVE  the fold and go organizer which is perfect for storing a planner, a nook if you have one, or colored pencils to provide the perfect carry-on for your little one to color on the notepad inside. 





And I am definitely buying the home organizer as well so I know it will be hard for you to decide with so many great Christmas gift ideas (like the thermal tote!) Check out all the options and patterns by searching the catalog.





Good luck and Happy Shopping!



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