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!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Samson's Classroom Giveaway

Ready set read, giveaways, back to school, online games for kids, giveaway

I am so excited to share a fabulous back to school resource for the classroom or the home. I was recently introduced to the online reading sight, Samson's classroom. Today, I have one subscription to give away to one of my lucky readers!
Samson's classroom is an online reading software that teaches sight words, provides spelling practice, and offers reading comprehension practice.

Here are a few things I liked about Samson's classroom:

I enjoyed that the program was primarily focused on teaching students in a direct way without too many distracting games or graphics, yet it seemed fun for kids. Many of the educational games my children play are primarily fun. They think of them as video games. They get annoyed when they have to stop to learn something! Samson's classroom does have fun games but it also has sections where students are learning in a very clear and direct manner.
Cool online games for kids, online reading games

Sight Words with Samson:
As a reading specialist, I liked the way sight words were taught. Have you ever watched a kid's show where they build sight words and realized they are often NOT building them left to right! Instead they often have "cool" graphics flying in from every direction? Samson's classroom always builds their sight words from left to right in a very clear and consistant manner.

Spelling with Samson:
The teacher (or parent) is able to make customized spelling lists for children. This means teachers can actually manage individualized spelling programs, something that was always a struggle for me as a teacher. It even provides a printable list with sample sentence. This would be such a timesaver for teachers. The spelling portion has very cute games that incorporate computer skills like using arrow keys, moving a mouse, clicking a mouse, and typing.
online spelling game, cool online games for kids

Reading with Samson:
In reading with Samson, students read passages and answer comprehension questions about the passages. While this does not provide for the most engaging reading experience, it gives students tons of practice with the types of reading they will do on standardized test. The best part of this section, in my opinion, is that it helps students attend to the text. If the child misses a question, the computer gives them a "hint" by underline the section of the text where the answer can be found. As a teacher, I was always driving home the idea of going back to the text to find the answer to the question. So many students do not return to the text, they just make up answers. This program also allows students to have immediate feedback. I do wish there were some lower level reading comprehension passages since the sight words and spelling programs can be used with lower level students. It seemed that the easiest passage was a second or third grade level.
online spelling games, cool online games for kids

Included on the sight are printable resources and games. You can print  sight word flashcards, sight word baseball, sight word bingo, and sight word knockout. There are also printable worksheets like lasso letters or capital clues.

Samson's classroom seems like an affordable way for students to practice sight words, spelling, and reading comprehension. This programs allows teachers or parents to track students progress and individualize for the child. Even if you're not that tech savvy, there is nothing to install and it  updates automatically because it is all online.You can try Samson's Classroom before you buy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is the last day of our Back to School Bash but many of my giveaways and freebies are still available. 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).
Free Printable Book Activity for David Goes to School.
Free Subscription to Samson's Classroom (One winner will be selected, contest ends August 31).

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).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Giveaway: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

We are celebrating back to school here at Ready. Set. Read! My oldest is headed off to preschool soon and we want you to party with us as we look forward to this major milestone. Today I have a book giveaway which is perfect for back to school.
 Book Giveaway Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes, Book Activities, reading, ready set read

We are  participating in the Summer Virtual Book Club and we are celebrating the books of Kevin Henke's this month. Check this post to find out how you can join the Summer Virtual Book Club for August.

August Summer Virtual Book Club, early literacy, reading, book club

Yesterday I shared a great book by Kevin Henkes, Chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum is the perfect book for back to school. It deals with bullying, making new friends, and being unique. You can read my entire review of the book here. It is also the perfect book to use when helping your child to practice the letters in his name. You can see some of our name activities as well as score a free printable name activity.

Today I have the privilege of hosting a giveaway for Kevin Henke's book Chrysanthemum. This book was generously donated by HarperCollins.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway details:
Open to US residents only.
This giveaway is open for entry from Tuesday, August 21st to Tuesday, August 28th at 11:59pm (CST).
The winner will be notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Harper Collins. I was not compensated for this post

Here are some other bloggers who are giving away a book by author, Kevin Henkes.

Sheila Rae the Brave- Juggling with Kids
Lily's Purple Plastic Purse- Mommy and Me Book Club
Chrysanthemum- Teach Preschool
Old Bear- No Twiddle Twaddle
My Garden- Crafty Moms Share
Chester's Way- Toddler Approved
A Good Day- Adventures in Reading
Old Bear- Reading Confetti
Wemberly Worried - The Eductors' Spin On It
Penny and Her Song - Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Jessica - Crayon Freckles
Owen - Royal Baloo

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.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School Bash

Back to School Bash,Back to School ideas, Back to School Activities,

Summer is drawing to a close and all the kids around here have already started back to school. I have a kid headed off to school this year for the first time! Logan is headed to preschool!! He doesn't start until September so we're still preparing for back to school. We've finished our back to school shopping. We are reading books about school and we're having lots of lengthy conversations about back to school. Did you know four year olds can ask a ton of questions?!? It's big time celebrating over here, and we want you to join in our celebration this week. I"ll be sharing some book activities based on some favorite back to school books. In fact, I have one of my most favorite back to school books as a giveaway. Giveaway starts Monday, August 20th. I am also going to have two new freebie printables for all of you! These will be book activities that you can use in your home or classroom. Finally, I have a super awesome giveaway from Samson's Classroom!

I hope you can stop by Ready. Set. Read 2 Me for our back to school bash!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ebooks for kids

Ebooks arehot, hot, hot right now! Even my non-techy mom has an ereader. But as much as my mom loves her ereader, it's not mom who is clamoring for every tablet, ereader, or handheld device. It's my kids. I bet your kids are too! Ebooks seem to be a great way to engage kids with books. I'd love for my kids to have balanced exposure to both ebooks and print books. But, I had difficulty finding books that were a good fit when looking for a developmentally appropriate ebooks for my kids. I've had friends also tell me they had difficulty finding ebooks for kids in the app store. So, I figured, why not figure out how to make my own?
I've been making early reader books for students for years and I've made them for my kids too. Sometimes it's easier to just make an early reader book that fits the level of the child than to search all over for the perfect book. I knew I had to find a way to get the printed books I had made onto the screen.  I was so excited when I finally figured out that I could make the books as a PDF and that all PDFs can be opened in ibooks on the iPad or iPhone. Super simple ebooks for kids were born!
So far, I have turned my At the Zoo early reader book into an ebook for kids. This book was orignially included in my free Zoo Preschool Theme.
This  ebook is formatted for iPad and iPhone. It can be viewed on other devices, but the
formatting will work best in the iPad or iPhone. You will need to make sure you have ibooks installed on your device. It is a free app in the app store.
You can download this book and send it to ibooks in just two easy steps!
1. While on your iPad/iPhone click here to go to google docs.
ebooks for kids, literacy, reading

2. When the file downloads, a button will pop up that says “open in ibooks”. Click on that to view your pdf as an ibook. (If you can’t see the button, tap the screen and it will return.)
How to open a pdf in ibooks

Your file will open as an ebook.
ebooks for kids, how to open a pdf in ibooks

See? Easy Peasy! You can also download At the Zoo for FREE in my Teacher's Pay Teachers Store! If you download it here, I'd LOVE if you could leave a rating in my store.

I would recommend downloading the Free ebook, At the Zoo, to make sure it works on your device. If you are interested in more ebooks, though, there are more in my store. If you have an additional tech questions about these ebooks, here's a free PDF to walk you through it, but they really are simple to use!

I also have these titles for sale in my Teacher's pay Teachers Store for $1.50 per book. You have permisson to share this file with the guardians of your students which would enable you to send home age-appropriate ebooks with any student who requests that. As a parent, I can tell you, I would be thrilled to receive an ebook for iPad/iPhone.
ebooks for kids, reading, literacy

ebooks for kids, literacy, reading

ebooks for kids, reading, literacy

ebooks for kids, literacy, reading

ebooks for kids, early readers, literacy,

These have been great for my boys. We went on a vacation last weekend and they really kept them entertained in the car! Coming soon, ebooks based on Dolch sight words!

If you'd prefer these nursery rhyme little books in print, I also have all five of these titles in a Nursery Rhyme Early Readers pack. These print two books to a page and are in black and white.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back to School Sale!

Tpt sale, Back to School sale at Tpt, Teachers Pay Teachers Sale, photo

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a back to school sale August 12-13. You can get 10% off using code BTS12 . Also, I am having a Back to School sale in my Tpt store. Everything is already marked down 10% off! In celebration of Back to School and to help you save on great resources, I've added several new items to my store and I'm SUPER excited!
ebooks for early readers, kids books for iPad, ibooks, back to school sale, Tpt

The boys are loving my newest product, Ebooks for iPad/iPhone. These download as a PDF and you can open them as an ebook on your iPad/iPhone. They are super easy to use, they open in just two easy steps. But I did put together a FREE tutorial if you need help with the Ebooks. Also, try this zoo themed ebook for FREE!
ebook for early readers for iPad, back to school sale

These ebooks are only $1.50 per book and the file can be shared with the parents of all the students in one class. How awesome would it be to send home books by email rather than printing out books to send home with the students?

If you don't have the capabilities for ebooks in your classroom yet, I have a set of printable nursery rhyme early reader books. I fell in love with the adorable illustrations and I knew I had to use them to make some books for my boys. All 5 of my ebook nursery rhymes are included in this packet. These are in black and white and students can color the pages.

See?  I've been busy... staying up WAY too late.. making these! They are so fun. I also made one more item to kick off my store and to kick off the back to school sales. This is a big pack of word work centers for fall.

There are five centers. There are teacher's guides, activity sheets, game pieces, recording sheets, assessments. These are based off my work as a reading specialist with first graders but I changed the activities around to make them fall themed.  Here is a peek at the journal cover and one of the centers.

So head over to Tpt and SHOP this weekend. You don't have to just shop my store. There will be deals EVERYWHERE! In fact, I'm already shopping and saving items on my wish list. Sunday and Monday, I'll be ready to buy!!
Here are two of my favorite stores:

This Reading Mama
This store has wonderful early literacy activities and tons and tons and tons of freebies. In fact, she just kicked off a new preschool curriculum called, "Reading the Alphabet" and it is FREE! The first lesson, Letter T is available today! This looks so cute and since it's FREE you don't even have to wait for the Sunday sale. You can read more about it on her blog.

Wise Owl Factory
I'll be shopping Wise Owl Factory. She has tons of freebies that I don't even have wait on the sale to buy. The resources are high quality and were made by a teacher with tons of classroom teaching experience. When I go back to teaching, I'm going to buy her ENTIRE store and I'll be set. (Plus, nearly all of the resources here are FREE, so I won't have to spend much!!)

Have fun with your back to school shopping. I hope that it helps you get ready for a new year!

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