Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Education Blog Award

Ready. Set. Read, blog award, free printables

I am so excited to receive this educational blog award from the "mystery blogger". This was awarded to Ready. Set. Read! by a blog reviewer and designer who does so many good deeds online! I am honored to be recognized by such a wonderful educational blogger. This award is not passed from one blog to another but is awarded secretly to education blogs.
I know that Ready. Set. Read 2 Me! would not be successful without every reader who reads, shares ideas, and engages with me and other readers both here on the blog and on my facebook page. I have met so many wonderful people through my blogging journey. I have been inspired and I have grown as a mom and as a professional. I would love to be able to shower awards on all of you!
As a little way to say thank you, here are a few freebies and also a few chance to win giveaways on Ready. Set. Read 2 me. Enjoy!
zoo preschool theme, free pdf, free printables, book activity

Zoo Preschool Theme Unit
Name Activities, free pdf, free printables

Name Activities Free PDF for the book Chrysanthemum
Ready. Set. Read, free pdf, free printables

Creating Classroom Expectations: Class book template Free PDF

Win a copy of Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (ends today)
Win a Family Subscription to Samson's Classroom 

Thank you all for being awesome readers! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Activity: David Goes to School

Free PDF, book activities, David Shannon,

When my son was a younger preschooler, "No David" by David Shannon was one of his favorite books. He loved to watch David do bad things and he loved to "read along" as he chimed in with  mom's familiar refrain, "NO David!" Since Logan is now a big stuff preschooler headed off to PreK, I thought it would be fun to introduce David goes to School.

In David Goes to School by David Shannon, the mischevious character all kids love is all grown up and headed to school. Of course, even as a school-aged child he has not grown out of his trouble making ways. This time, he's causing trouble in all the traditional ways. He's goofing around at the blackboard, chewing gum in class, drawing on his desk, and starting food fights.
This book was a fun way to talk about what NOT to do at school. For our book activity, we took a postivite twist. We created a "Yes, Logan!" book.
We also read the book, "No David" and looked at how the author used a repetitive phrase on each page. We practiced finding the words "no" and "David".
Then I printed off some pages that I had created for creating a book of classroom expectations.On the cover, he wrote his name in the title and signed his name as the author. (When I explained that he was the author of the book, he picked up David Shannon's book, gave a shrug and then said, "Oh, yeah! I did write this book." I laughed and then pointed to his book and had to explain that it was a book too. Next lesson, plagerisim??)
free pdf, book activity, writing classroom rules, writing a class book

 On each page, he wrote his name and drew a picture of something positive he could do at school.
Logan can hold mom's hand in the parking lot at school.
Free PDF, book activities, David Shannon

Logan can wait his turn in line.
Free PDF, Classroom rules, book activities, David Shannon

Logan was able to write the text in the book himself just by writing his name on the lines. He also drew some of the pictures. We did some interactive drawing and we shared the pen. It was a great opportunity to show him how to draw some of the things he will want to include in future stories that he writes (draws).  Older students will probably be able to create the book independently.
This book activity could be used at home to prepare a child for going back to school. It could also be used in the classroom during the first weeks of school. Each student could add a page or a few pages to a class book or they could make individual books.
I have a free printable with teachers guide for this writing activity. Just click the picture below to get this as a free google doc.
Ready. Set. Read., Free PDF, book activities, David Shannon

We are celebrating this week with a Back to School Bash. I have several free back to school printables and a book giveaway. Come back on Friday to see our final BIG giveaway from Samson's Classroom.
Back to School Giveaways, Back to school ideas, Back to school activities, back to school free PDF

Make sure you check these out.
Free Printable Name Activity and Teacher's Guide for the book Chrysanthemum.
Win a free copy of the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. (One winner will be selected, contest ends August 28th).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Activity: Chrysanthemum

AugustSummerVirtualBookClub, back to school ideas, name activities, book activity

The beginning of a school year is the perfect time to brush up on name writing abilities. Whether practicing at home before sending a child off to school or helping an entire class brush up on this skill, back to school is  a great time for name activities. One of my favorite books to accompany name activities in the classroom or the home is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. When the Summer Virtual Book Club team decided on Kevin Henkes as our August author, I knew I had to choose this classic story for the beginning of the school year.
Read down to find out how you can be a part of the summer virtual book club and come back tomorrow to enter to win a copy of Chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemum is a small mouse who loves her beautifully unique name... until she starts Kindergarten. In kindergarten, she is bullied for her name. Each day, her parents try to make it better, but the bullying gets worse. Finally, a special teacher, Ms. Twinkle,  is able to reach out to Chrysanthemum. She admits to also being named after a flower, Delphinium, and helps the bullies to understand the beauty of a unique name.

My son, Logan, needs a lot of practice with fine motor skills and he's not always interested in sitting and writing  Through a lot of trial and error, we've come up with a few name activities that are FUN!

Writing/ tracing: We use the Handwriting without Tears curriculum to teach handwriting. HWT advocates teaching your child to write his name in all caps first. I completely agree with HWT, however, Logan's preschool (who also uses handwriting without tears) skips this step. They want students to write their name in the correct uppercase/ lower case combination. So, we've started practicing it "their way." It's still tricky for Logan. If it's tricky for your kid, just have them trace his/her name at first. I usually use a gray crayon or a highlighter to write his name and then he traces it. This mimics the gray tracing lines that HWT uses.
Name activities, book activities, Chrysanthemum, free pdf, letter tracing activity, photo

Rainbow Writing: Sometimes tracing the same thing over and over is boring. So, we've come up with a fun way to practice tracing. We have been "rainbow writing" our name, tracing over our name in every color of the rainbow.

Stamping: Stamping is a fun way to practice the order of letters in your name. It also helps your child to see the orientation of the letters. We can talk about each letter individually as stamping slows down the learning and forces the child to really look at the print. We can talk about letters that have lines, curves, etc.The goal is for this knowledge to transfer to the writing of the child's name.

Counting: After we write our name, we like to count the letters in our name. We like to talk about the length of different names. This helps Logan learn the early learning concept that words are different lengths. He notices that "is" is a short word, while "Chrysanthemum" is a long word!
Name activities, book activities, Chrysanthemum, free pdf

I've created a free printable name activity to be used along with the book Chrysanthemum. Each of the  ways we practice writing our names are included on this freebie. There is a place for your child to write his/her name. There is a place to rainbow write your child's name. And there is a spot to stamp your child's name. In celebration of Chrysanthemum and her 13 letter name, there is also a place for your child to count and record the number of letters in his/her name. There is also a teacher's guide for the activity. Click on the image below to get this free printable as a google doc.

Name activities, book activities, Chrysanthemum, free pdf

There are a ton of wonderful Kevin Henke's books that we enjoy. Several bloggers are participating in a blog hop to share book activities to accompany Henke's books. Many of the participating bloggers will be giving away a Kevin Henke's book. Ready. Set. Read 2 Me will be hosting a giveaway of the book Chrysanthemum. (thanks, HarperCollins for the giveaway book).  The giveaway opens tomorrow right here at Ready. Set. Read 2 Me.
If you have a book activity related to a Kevin Henke's book, you are welcome to link up here.
Here are a few things to consider before linking up:

  1. Link up only posts inspired by Kevin Henkes that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club to your post if you'd like.

* By linking to this blog hop you are giving the blog hop participants permission to pin images from your post onto Pinterest.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School Activities at Ready. Set. Read!

Back to School activities, Back to School Ideas, Back to School books

Some of our favorite books
to take back-to-school

back to school ideas, back to school activities, photo

14 Ways to Explore the Letters in Your Child's Name

Back to School Crafts, photo, Follow the Line to School, Collage, back to school activities

Back to School Supply Collage 
to accompany the book:
"Follow the Line to School"
Back to School Activities, Back to School Ideas

Follow the Line to School
Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids

Welcome back Summer Virtual Book Club members! This summer 20+ kid bloggers have formed an online book club. Our book club is studying a different author each month.  Read on to find out how you can join! We are linking up our ideas for the books which creates a great resource for an author study! 
So far we have featured Mo Willems and Audrey and Don Woods. This month, we are featuring books and activities by Kevin Henkes!
You can view the June Summer Virtual Book Club for kids with over 50 Mo Willems themed book club activities here
You can also find the July Summer Virtual Book Club featuring books and activities by Audrey Wood here.

Everyone is welcome to join the book club, even if you didn't participate last month. Just choose a book by the author of the month, do an activity, and come share it on one of the hosts' blogs on August 20. I'll have the linky right here at Ready. Set. Read 2 me for you to share ideas and read TONS of great ideas. 
The author for this month is Kevin Henkes. We love so many of his books and can't wait to see what everyone has to share.
I hope to see you at the book club on August 20th. Let me know with a comment if you plan to join our virtual book club.
Come back August 20th for the Kevin Henkes book activity blog hop.

The Virtual Book Club for Kids will be continuing past the summer. Follow on facebook so you don't miss any of the great books and activities we'll be sharing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Books That Help Preschoolers Enjoy Reading

I'm over at This Reading Mama today sharing a post on Books That Help Preschoolers Enjoy Reading. If you have a kid that just "doesn't like books" or if you the one getting bored during story time, hop on over to see some favorite types of books for preschoolers!

 This Reading Mama is a great early literacy blog. She has fantastic printables. One of my favorite resources she offers is called, "Phonics by the Book". It is an early reading program that is based on Bible stories and it is FREE! She also has tons of free resources in her Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
If you are stopping by from This Reading Mama and you are new to Ready. Set. Read 2 Me, I'd like to invite you to get acquainted with my blog. Here is a post that will help you learn your way around. Hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Crafts and Olympic Coloring Pages

Olympic crafts, Olympic games for kids, Salt Dough Medals, Olympics 2012

Olympic fever is spreading fast through kid's activity blogs and we are super excited to participate in the Kid Bloggers Go Olympics. We have been watching the London Olympics 2012 and we are excited to root for Team USA. We even have a girl from my hometown competing in the London Olympics.
We are also participating in Kid Bloggers Go Olympics and we are excited to receive the torch from Jamie at Hands on as We Grow who wrote a great post on winning and losing yesterday!
We are teaming up with Reading Confetti to cover Olympic medals today. My kids actually have a good handle on medals. They attended a sports camp last week and were awarded with a medal for participation. My four year old has told me a million times, "I EARNED this medal at sports camp." We decided to have some fun with Olympic medals and also work on earning medals in our family.
Olympic Medal Craft:
To introduce the idea of gold, silver, and bronze medals, we made salt dough medals. Our recipe for salt dough is just 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, and 1 cup lukewarm water.
Salt Dough Medals, Olympic Crafts, Olympics 2012

 I divided it into 6 small balls.I also set out 3 small cups of glitter (gold, silver, and multi-color-- I didn't have bronze!).  Then we smashed the salt dough balls into the glitter cups, turned out, and they made nicely shaped medals.
Olympic Crafts, Olympic games for kids, salt dough medals

I poked a straw into each one to make a hole for threading string. It's crazy hot here, so we just set them outside to dry! I wasn't sure about baking the glitter.
Olympic Crafts, Olympic games for kids, salt dough medals, gold medal craft
They were dry after about 10 hours in the sun. The glitter is flaking off a little so I am going to look for a clear coat to paint over the glitter. I don't enjoy glitter all over my house.

Earning medals for kindness:
After we made our medals, we talked about the hard work it takes to EARN a medal. Olympians have to set goals and work hard to be their best..
We used a hundreds chart to record the kind things we are saying to our family. Each time we hear someone say a kind word, we mark that person's hundred chart. The first week, we are awarding bronze medals. The next week, we are going to set a goal to say MORE kind words. As long as the boys make progress, we will award with silver and bronze medals. I made a simple hundreds chart you can print for free. (Click on the image to download).
Free PDF, hundreds chart, free printable

The salt dough medals were a fun Olympic craft, but it was a messy craft. I also created these free printable olympics medals. You can use them in your home for rewards or just print out as a free printable coloring sheet.
Olympic Coloring Sheets, Printable Olympic Medals, Olympics 2012, Olympic Games for Kids

Don't forget to stop by Reading Confetti today for her medals post. We are passing the torch to Inspiration Laboratories who will have a post on Respect tomorrow! I can't wait to see what she has to share and how I can incorporate it into our earning medals activity.

Kid Bloggers Go Olympics will run until August 12th. There are 75+ activities that have been linked up to the blog hop.Feel free to link your Olympic themed posts or to check out more fun Olympic ideas below.