The kids are going to love these two books! I can't wait to show them to my students and kids in the reading corners.
Muddypaws: This is a story about the friendship and the adventures a boy and his dog get up to.
Ben gets a new puppy and knows he needs to give the puppy a name, but he has no idea what to call it. He decides that he will take the puppy on different adventures to see if he can come up with a name. However, no matter where Ben and the puppy end up, the puppy always ends up getting into mud or dirt leaving him with muddy paw prints.
Muddypaws New Friends: Ben is Muddypaws best friend, but when Ben goes to school, Muddypaws has to stay at home. Then one day, Ben takes Muddypaws to school, too puppy school! Puppies having fun times at school - how could we resist.
Ideal for ages 3-8, Muddypaws makes a great read for the whole family.
This morning my friend Liz and I were busy baking cupcakes. Well to be honest I was watching Liz and doing the tasting duties - Liz is a baking MACHINE! So Canine Comprehension will be ready for August and to fulfill our pledge - WE WILL BE SELLING CUPCAKES EVERY SATURDAY IN AUGUST!
I love cooking, but I have never really been baker. Today I discovered roll out icing and it made my day. How did I not know this stuff existed? It's like play dough but with sugar - brilliant!! I'm really looking forward to bring creative with this sweet sweet stuff. (and hey, if I stuff it up I have a choice - roll it up and start again, or eat it.)
The official date for Cupcake Day is Monday 17th August 2015, but we will be selling cupcakes throughout August at our Puppy Schools and to our Literacy students.
Every cupcake you purchase has the power to change lives.
Our fundraising efforts through Cupcake Day will give mistreated animals a second chance at a better life.
The money you raise will support our work to fight animal cruelty:
So please donate to our site - click on the sign below or I'll see you at Eltham training and you can buy a cupcake.
And as Albert Einstein put it:
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life's coming attractions.”
Therefore we should encourage a child’s imagination. I am passionate about getting kids to dream big and articulate those dreams. I am always looking for ways to help parents nurture the development of their child’s imagination. One way of exercising children's imagination muscles is for parents to sit with their child and draft a fairy story.
It will depend on your child’s abilities and their age as to how much autonomy they have in this process - but even children as young as five can help their parents create a wicked fairy tale that is a product of both child and parent. Something they have created together. Something to be proud of.
These steps below should assist you in creating the first draft of a fairy story. These steps may take weeks, or even months. It is something that should be chipped away at. No masterpiece was created in one sitting.
Now you have a plan for your fairy tale what should you do next?
Well that’s totally up to you and your child. You may want to:
Take some time out, once a week with your child to write your first draft.
Hand the project over to your child completely and get them to make their first draft.
For the visual learners - encourage your child to create artworks depicting the ideas in your plan.
For the auditory learning - let them talk it out. Use your phone recording function and let your child tell the story as a pod cast.
Imagination is important it as fuels our dreams and desires. Imagination allows us to think of inventive solutions to problems, it enables us to aim for goals others would not have even considered and it gives us hope in time of struggle. Imagination is developed, it’s nurtured and prioritised. Activities like ‘Build your own Fairy Tale’ allows that development to be something that child and parent nurture together.
Have fun creating.
Reading comprehension requires motivation, mental frameworks for holding ideas, concentration and good study techniques.
Here are helpful tips:
Part of this Blog has been taken from Teaching Treasures™ Four Methods to Teach Reading - you can read more abut their fantastic ideas here.
Should teaching literacy be prescriptive, following a detailed step by step process? This view of literacy instruction is almost ‘teacher proof’, which means that no matter who bad the teacher is, they cannot mess it up.
Is this best?
In situations where there are competent, well-trained teachers, this approach denies them important opportunities to exercise their professional ability and judgment in responding to the individual needs of students.
This blog is about trusting well trained teachers ability to use their professional judgement when it comes to various methods of teaching literacy.
I am often asked ‘what method do you use’ when it comes to teaching literacy skills to students.
Methods such as:
These are fantastic ways to encourage and support readers. However, I often feel as though parents want me to pick just one. Although it would be easier for me to label myself as a ‘phonics teacher’ - by doing so parents know exactly where I stand in a - “choose me and I’ll teach your kid to read by phonics” kind of way - I do believe I would not be doing their child justice, nor my skills as a teacher.
It is the same when discussing general teaching philosophies.
The constructivist philosophy of learning in which children are viewed as inherently active, self-regulating learners who construct knowledge for themselves, with little or no explicit decoding instruction works for some of my students. This focus urges the student to become empowered with the reading process. For them to celebrate their wins and bring that confidence with them into the next lesson. Sometimes I feel that as a tutor I am more of a facilitator, guiding learning, rather than driving it.
So am I a constructivist? Sometimes.
On the other hand, direct instruction approaches focus on explicit teaching of the structure and function of written and oral language in ways that allow children to reflect on and consciously manipulate the language. This involves an awareness of phonemes, syllables and morphology. I am aware that some students really need language broken down for them piece by piece, and for those students this approach would work best.
So when you ask me: Do I support phonics? Will I be working with flash cards? Do I support a direct instruction approach - my answer is yes, maybe, sometimes, it depends on the lesson, your child and the ‘mind space’ they find themselves in when we begin the lesson.
The point is that all of these methods and philosophies do not exist in order for teachers to neatly pick one and package it up as a learning program. They exist to remind teachers of the rich and varied ways we can go about teaching literacy - and the really good teachers are mindful of these ideas and adapt them accordingly depending on the learning needs of the student in front of them.
And you want those teachers to be supporting your child’s literacy development.
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