Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seuss Story Time

We frequently attend a free storytime in South St. Louis County at The Teacher's Lounge Bookstore. This bookstore holds a fantastic  story time every Monday at 10:30 am. The story time leader is a former preschool teacher and parent educator with Parents as Teachers. She does a great job!
The story time always begins with a coloring sheet for the kids. This week was a celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday and so the kids got to color printable Dr. Seuss books.
The leader begins the story time by drawing the kids to the carpeted area with a song. My boys love to sing the songs with the other kids. They don't attend a formal preschool program so this is a time when they get to participate in a large group activity. It's so fun to watch them interacting with the other kids.

On Monday, the boys got to hear two Dr. Seuss stories. They read "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Fox in Socks". Then the kids got to make these super cute socks!

They also got a Cat in the Hat hat to take home with them and make.

The Teacher's Lounge is located at near I-55 and Lindbergh Blvd at 4121 Elm Park Dr. St. Louis, MO  63128. . It's a beautiful store that stocks supplies for teachers, parents, and homeschoolers. Not only can you shop in store, if you don't live in the area, you can shop online as well. They even have shipping options for international orders!
The store hosts weekly story times as a community outreach. You just need to call the store ((314) 894-7000) or register on the website for story time. The store also holds professional development workshops for teachers and has a blog of wonderful teaching resources. It's definitely worth checking out.
I'm proud to say that Ready. Set. Read! has partnered with The Teacher's Lounge for a special story time on March 7 at 10:30 am.  We will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day in the store. Not only will the normal crafts and stories be available, there will be book giveaways as well! This is going to be a fun event. If you are local, you are not going to want to miss this. Call the store ((314) 894-7000) to register! Leave a comment if you'll be celebrating World Read Aloud Day on March 7th. If you'll be at the St. Louis event, let me know. I'd love to meet up!
I'm linking this up on my own Seuss Linky Party! There are already over 100 Seuss ideas linked up. Several bloggers have collaborated on this project so your link will be shared on many blogs. Come check them out and link up your own!
I'm also sharing here:

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Shibley Smiles

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Permission to Pin

This is where I give you the fine print of Ready. Set. Read! With the wave of pinterest-crazed people, I am one of them, bloggers have been searching out the boundaries on copyright laws when pinning images from other's blogs. Laura Candler at Corkboard Connections has written a great post on this issue and has come up with a solution. She has created to Permission to Pin linky. Those blogs that are "pin friendly" will have a button on their sidebar that grants permission for images to be pinned to Pinterest.

You have permission to pin any image from Ready. Set. Read! to Pinterest. You also have my permission to repin to any boards. Please consider following me on Pinterest-- and leave your Pinterest url here so I can follow you back. For a list of pin friendly blogs, visit Corkboard Connections.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Practicing Patterns with Cat in the Hat & Seuss Linky Party

Can you believe March is right around the corner? And with the beginning of March comes lion-like weather AND Dr. Seuss' birthday! The Cat in the Hat is one of more famous Seuss Characters in our house. He rose to stardom with his TV show, "The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about That" on PBS. That is one of Logan's favorite shows lately.
Last week, we decided to become the Cat in the Hat. We began by looking in books at pictures of Cat in the Hat. We took notice of his tall hat and we also took notice of a certain pattern on the Cat's hat.
After figuring out the AB pattern, we decided to create our own patterned hats. The boys got to pick any color they wanted and Logan even cut his own strips. We glued them onto a oatmeal box.
The Cat in his hat.

Talking about patterns is a perfect early math activity. Research has shown that kids who understand patterns look for things to make sense, they work with flexiblity and they are able to transfer knowledge. In the Mathematics Their Way Newsletter (which is archived here), early childhood author Mary Baratta- Lorton explained that a child who is trained to look for patterns, looks for things to make sense. She explains this concept by giving the example of a child who is asked to write the numbers 1-100. A child who looks for patterns has a way of completing the task and self-checking. A child who does not look for patterns sees the task as 100 different steps. He is frequently confused.
Interestingly, many researchers who have studied early readers have found proficient readers also look and check for things to make sense.
If you think about it, there are patterns in much of early literacy. Books such as Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? follow a repetative pattern. We share poems and nursery rhymes with children that follow a rhyming pattern. We introduce word families to help children solve unknown words by using a known pattern.
What kinds of links have you made between patterns in math and patterns in early literacy? Do you have a favorite rhyming poem or story that follows a pattern?

Dr. Seuss is the KING of patterns stories and rhyming verse! In his birthday honor, I am joining up with several other bloggers to host a Dr. Seuss birthday linky.  Feel free to link up anything Dr. Seuss related on this shared linky.

Your link will be shared on all of these blogs. The linky is open until March 9th. All of these bloggers will have lots of fun Seuss events, so go check them out!
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas 

Ready. Set. Read!

Reading Confetti 

Montessori Tidbits

Make, Do & Friend 

Putti Prapancha 

Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Living at the Whitehead's Zoo 

Mama Mia's Heart2Heart

Living Montessori Now

Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents

Toddler Approved 

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Hosting a Book Swap

I am volunteering as a World Read Aloud Day Advocate for this spring. Not only do I have a super fun event planned for the St. Louis area on March 7th, but I also wanted to do something to raise money for LitWorld. I decided to ask my friends and family (and fellow literature lovers) to help me to raise funds. I planned a book swap party. The idea behind the party was that friends could swap a book, instead of paying to buy a new book, and the money that they "saved" could be donated to LitWorld. Everyone brought a book to trade and a donation for LitWorld.
This person was getting ready to be #2 in the book swap!

I wanted to make the evening fun . Since St. Patrick's Day is around the corner, I used the theme of luck. I made these fun scratch off cards for each person. (I found the tutorial to make the scratch offs on Teach Mama).
Paint contact paper with equal parts metallic paint and dish soap.

Most of the cards said,

But 4 of the cards were "winner" cards. These people got to choose a book from my stash of review copies.
They also got the privileged of sharing some interesting facts about global literacy. There are 4 winner cards in the free printable below, but here are two examples:

I made a printable copy of these scratch offs. The first set includes all of the facts about global literacy. Feel free to use them at your own World Read Aloud Day event.

The second set is just a set of blank St. Patrick Day scratch offs. I thought they would be fun for the classroom or the home!

After we did our scratch off cards, I shared a little bit of information about LitWorld and the World Read Aloud Day Event I am hosting in St. Louis.

Then party attendees got to test their lucky by drawing out a chocolate coin. We did a book swap following the rules of a white elephant gift exchange. Each of the chocolate coins had a number. The first person got to choose a book from the stash. The next person could choose a book or steal a book until all the books had found a new home!

It was a lucky night for me because I got to spend the evening with some super sweet friends!
My little party man kept trying to sneak into the party!

LitWorld is an awesome organization and I am proud to promote their cause here on my blog. I am just a couple of dollars short of reaching my fundraising goal of $100!! Thank you to all of my friends who contributed last night! If you would consider giving a donation to LitWorld, you can make a paypal donation on their blog. Here are some interesting facts I found on about how some of the donated funds are used.

$10 Supplies a LitClub with Writer's Notebooks
$50 Supports World Read Aloud Day Events Around the Globe
$100 Equips a LitClub with Solar Lanterns
$500 Brings Technology & Connectivity to a LitClub
$1,000 Provides Books to a LitWorld Library
$5,000 Launches a New LitClub

Are you attending a World Read Aloud Day event in your area on March 7th?

Here's where I am sharing:

Shibley Smiles

Classified: Mom

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Math and Literacy Activities

Today is Mathematically Speaking Monday at Ready. Set. Read! Each Monday I try to share ways to integrate math into your literacy learning. Last week, I shared our Valentine's Day Activities.  Two of the math activities received a lot of love on Pinterest.

Today I thought I'd show you how to modify these games into literacy learning. Same game. Different way to play.

Our card game number match game has been played a lot lately. You can make this with playing cards if you want the extra scaffold of the numbers on the cards. You can make these with index cards and stickers if you'd like for them to not have the numbers on the cards. We've been playing with the playing cards for about a week, so I think I'm going to change our center up soon!

You could make this into a literacy game. I traded the numbers for capital and lowercase letters. You could also do letters and picture cards to match beginning letter sounds.

We also love conversation heart candy math! I'm having to ration the number of hearts my boys can consume each day. I'm pretty sure they would have polished off the bag in one day!
We did the color sorting, graphing, counting math game with our conversation hearts last week.

This week, I decided to turn this into literacy learning. We created a counting book.  Each page featured a different color. We wrote a sentence for each page and glued on the correct number of color hearts. (You could simplify this with stickers).

I used Logan's language to write this book. Yes, I know "I got" is incorrect. I tried to correct this to "I have..." but when he reread, he was changing it back to his language. If the focus of this lesson had been correct grammar, I would have insisted on changing his language. However, when trying to teach young learners to connect oral language to written symbols, it is best to go with their language. This gives him power to read back in his own language.
I do think it is ok to repeat it back correctly and see if they change to the correct form.
Child: I got 6 pink.
Me: Oh, that's a great story. "I have 6 pink." What do you want me to write down?
If they change back to "I got 6 pink"-- I'd write it down just as the child said it.

And that, my friends,  is our conversation (about) hearts!

You might also like these mathematically speaking posts:
Talking about math concepts while setting the table
100th Day of School Recipe 
Snowman Name Graph

Here's Where I am sharing:
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Love Notes

This week is all about the LOVE on Ready. Set. Read! I'd love it if you could head over to Best Life 4 Moms today. I shared a love note that I wrote to my boys. Paula, at Best Life 4 Moms has rounded up a bunch of moms to share notes to their kids. It's a really sweet series. Best Life 4 Moms is a great new resource. There are  helpful tips and awesome recipes from a seasoned mom!
bestlifemom6 with lettering3

What are you doing for your kids for Valentine's Day? 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

World Read Aloud Day: 2012 St. Louis Events

I am so excited to volunteer for LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day on March 7, 2012. The St. Louis, MO area will have two events that are open to the public and free to attend! I've partnered with LitWorld as a World Read Aloud Advocate to promote these events. I shared my passion for this event in a recent interview on the LitWorld blog. Basically, I chose to participate in World Read Aloud Day because I was given so much support as a young child to bring me to the place to be a book lover. However, there are 793 MILLION People worldwide who are still illiterate. I feel like I need to give back to those who were not given the same support that I was given. LitWorld is an organization founded by author and literacy advocate Pam Allyn. The mission of the organization is to end global illiteracy.
You can be a part of bringing awareness to literacy. On March 7th, 2012, read with someone you love. If you live in the St. Louis area and would like to participate in an event, you can hold your own event or you can join one of these events.

The Teacher's Lounge Bookstore
4121 Elm Park Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63128

Free Story Time
10:30 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012
They will be sharing Jan Brett books in the store. They will have coloring activities and crafts for the kids. I'll be attending this event with my two boys. We'd love to see our friends there and meet some new friends too!

Jefferson County Library- Windsor Branch
7479 Metropolitan Boulevard
Barnhart, MO 63012
Phone: (636) 461-1914

Free Story Time
10:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012
This library holds a free story time each Wednesday morning. They will hold their story time in honor of World Read Aloud Day on March 7. Check it out! You may want to go back every Wednesday!

Create Your Own Event
You can create your own World Read Aloud Day event for your classroom or home. You can register your event at You can download a PDF file of activities, coloring sheets, and awards. There is a suggested book list too.
Skype with an Author
If you would like for your classroom to skype with an author, you can sign up at LitWorld for a free author skype chat. I'm super excited to see blogger and newly published author Kate Hayes, author of All About Poop on the list. (yes, she wrote a book about the most talked about topic in preschool!!) She is a great friend of mine and her first book will be released soon.

World Read Aloud Day 2012 is going to be an amazing event! There are 100 WRADvocates around the country. Join us in celebrating literacy and bringing awareness to a great cause!

Will you be celebrating World Read Aloud day this year?

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day Activities for Preschoolers

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the boys and I explored a few Valentine's Day learning actitvities during preschool time with my 2 year old and 3 year old.
In our Valentine Themed preschool time last week, we read some Valentine books and did some literacy related activities.

My Heart is Like a Zoo. This book was suggested from Reading Confetti. In this book, author/illustrator Michael Hall uses hearts to create many different animals. Check out this book trailer to see!

We created the caterpillar. Logan really liked looking at the one from Reading Confetti and trying to copy it. It was much easier than trying to copy the ones from the book. Of course, older kids would be able to come up with their own animals too.
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We also read one of my favorite Valentine books EVER, The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by Jan Brett. In this sweet story, Mr. Bear and Mrs. Bear set their alarm to interrupt their hibernation on Februrary 14th so they can exchange Valentines. Now, that's love!

This is a perfect book to use to talk about ways to show love or to talk about making or writing Valentine Cards.
We made a few cards but we also did an activity with envelopes. I found this at Hubbard's Cupboard.
valentine day activities for preschoolers, valentines activities for kids, valentines day activities for kids, ready set read,
I printed free Alphabet Stickers from Carl's Corner. This is a great FREE resource! You can print these pictures onto sticker labels-- or just use paper and then cut and glue. There are several pretty clear pictures for each letter. I glued a picture to the front of each envelope (apple for a, banana for b, car for c, etc). I controlled the activity by only providing the first 5 letters. You could also just pick the letters you child knows. I also provided letter stamps. Logan chose an envelope, looked at the picture, and chose the correct letter stamp. For example, "I see a frog. Frog starts with the letter F". The stamped the f in the corner. After he stamped all of the envelopes, he filled the envelopes by sorting all of the other pictures into the corresponding envelope! You could probably split this into two activities.

We also did some math games.
This was a cute game I found on pinterest. I used playing cards which provides an extra scaffold of the number on the card. Mine was more of a matching game. If you don't want the numbers on the card, just use card sized paper and heart stickers (or draw the hearts).
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We also did some sorting of Conversation Hearts by color and graphing/ counting with the hearts.
valentine day activities for preschoolers, valentines activities for kids, ready set read,, image
Tyson mostly liked dumping the hearts into containers.
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valentine day activities for preschoolers, valentines activities for kids, ready set read,, image

My boys love art.
We were able to find some great ideas in the Heart Project ebook.
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"From the bottom of my heart... to the tips of my toes, I Love You!" 

One that was did was this handprint and footprint craft.