My Three Readers – How to Teach Beginning Readers, Encouragement and Tools for Struggling Readers

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Teaching a child to read can be fun and challenging! My Three Readers provides tools (free printables, reviews, information & much more) for parents and teacher of beginning readers, plus help for struggling readers.

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Popular Posts:

Beginning Readers with ADHD

Does your child have ADHD and struggle with reading? Check out these resources to get some ideas on how to begin to help your student.

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Expert Advice for Parents of Struggling Readers

25 known Reading & Literacy experts give thier best advice for parents and teachers of struggling readers.

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Help with Reading Fluency

One of the main goals for a beginning reader is to increase their fluency. To be a fluent reader, you can read words quickly, smoothly, and with proper expression.

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Spelling for Active Learners

Spelling word activities & practice for your ACTIVE kinesthetic learners.. Find 20 ways for spelling word practice indoors for bad weather. Great ADHD strategies for kids who need to move a lot!

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Struggling Readers

Being the parent of a struggling reader can be very difficult and stressful. I totally get that 100% and know how it feels! Here are some ways to boost your child to become the great reader they have the potential to be!

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Causes of Reading Problems

Check out 7 causes & types of reading difficulties if you are working with a struggling reader. Common reading problems and solutions that will help your child learn to read!

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Reading Reward Charts

Reading Reward Charts for kids - FREE for this month & 12 more for each month of the year! Super cute reading incentive chart for kids to motivate beginning readers.

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Recent Posts:

Decodable Books / Decodable Readers for Beginners
Decodable Books / Decodable Readers for BeginnersDecodable books – What makes decodable readers different than other books? What is a decodable book? A decodable book or passage is different from other books in that it follows a progression of learned phonics concepts. Decodable books are used by beginning readers to well-establish learned reading concepts, and sequentially build one phonics concept upon another. For instance, a child who has only learned words with short letter “a” would practice a book having words like “cat”, “sat”, or “mat”. She would not yet be expected to read books containing words with other concepts like digraphs (“she” “chat”, or “what”). Only after the concept of digraphs has been specifically taught would a book with those words be introduced. There is another term for beginning readers used by many schools called “leveled books”, and these are books based on a standard leveling system ordering books by grade, and level of difficulty. This can be based upon vocabulary, subject matter, sentence structure, etc. There has long been a question of whether or not children should learn to read from “leveled” books, or “decodable” books. Although it is not harmful to have leveled books in your library for engagement, and read alouds, decodable books should definitely be in your plan if you are teaching a beginner.  The truth is – readers who understand how to decode words using phonics concepts become better, stronger readers. Some children can move forward quickly into leveled readers for more engaging and fun material, but ALL kids need to solidify phonemic awareness, and phonics skills to advance in a well-grounded way. I like to think of it like this. Some kids catch on to math very quickly, and can even understand broad algebraic concepts at a young age. But – that doesn’t mean they don’t need to understand the basic building blocks of math in order to progress further. At some point, you always need to understand the basics of what you are learning in order to advance.  And so, decodables are a great way to go when teaching your child to read. In addition to using decodables, teachers and parents should read aloud higher level books of all kinds to develop and foster a rich vocabulary and a love for reading. How do you read decodable books? As mentioned above, these books go in a certain order of phonics concepts. So – you would choose books that only cover concepts that your child has already learned, in progression. Or, you can use the books as a guide to know what to teach next. Many reading curriculums have their own set of decodable books, like Reading Horizons, or All About Reading. And you can find lots of other sets of decodables out there too – for any age. (See list below). Are Bob books decodable? They are! Bob books are very popular, and are easy to purchase on Amazon. You can either purchase the entire set, or you can get just one set at a time. I did take a quick look at the reviews for Bob books on Amazon. I read any bad reviews I saw, and the thing I see repeated is that some find these books “boring” for kids to read. Perhaps these reviewers might be missing the point of the books. The point is not to entertain the student or enrich the vocabulary. That can be done with exciting read alouds, or audiobooks. These are the books the KIDS would be reading. And not by pictures or word clues, but in order to learn to DECODE words. They are tools for learning to read.  Best decodable readers – What to look for.. The best decodable readers will be the ones that coincide with your phonics program. This way, as you go through a set of decodables, you’ll be introducing new concepts as you go. If you don’t have a specific reading program, you can always purchase a set of decodable books, and teach your child according to the order of the books. You may want to consider the type of illustrations in the set of books you purchase. You don’t necessarily want your reader to guess words based on pictures, but you do want the illustrations to coincidence and “spice up” the text. Are decodable readers boring (or controversial?) They can be controversial to some – because some reading programs only call for using leveled readers alongside a phonics program, instead of using any kind of decodable books. Teachers who prefer leveled books say that that “Cat sat on mat” or similar is way too boring. On the other hand, many reading teachers feel like a beginning reader needs that “decodable” practice alongside phonics instruction for reinforcement. I have found that reading specialists and those who work explicitly with reading instructions by far prefer decodables for teaching young readers. Simply handing a child a book at their general perceived level and expecting them to be able to read it because of context and picture clues is just not sufficient. The leveled books themselves aren’t necessarily bad, but they may include words that could frustrate a child and cause him to end up “pretending” to read, which can cause problems later. As to whether or not they are boring – that’s up to the teacher! A good teacher can always make learning fun. These are not books with a plot that will have you hanging on. They are books with a purpose – to teach reading. And, there are great decodable choices out there that have beautiful illustrations that don’t “give the text away” and do a great job of spicing up the material. Really, there should be decodables for reading practice in your child’s library at the very earliest stages of reading, but also more advanced books for kids to look through on thier own time, (and for more mature readers to read aloud to them).  As an affiliate for Reading Horizons, I was given a set to look over and review for you. I received them well-packaged in the mail.  The Kindergarten box set has 20 decodable books. They each focus on a different phonetic skill, with a few high frequency words. They are meant to correspond with the Reading Horizons curriculum, but could also be used tailored to your own preferred curriculum. These are actually engaging little books! Cute illustrations are on each page, and another bonus is the short list of comprehension questions at the back, as well as a place to focus on specific skill words, high frequency words, and challenge words. Click here if you’d like to check these out on the Reading Horizson website! I also received the Grades 1-3 decodable readers. These include 74 color-illustrated books that continue to develop phonetic concepts, from digraphs to r controlled words, to multisyllabic words and vowel team practice. I like that some of these little books are fiction, and some are non-fiction. Comprehension questions at the back and the addition of high frequency words in each book help to encourage fluency. I also like that each book includes specific Lexile codes so you can look up and find additional reading. Click here if you would like more info on these. Decodable Book Sets to Consider for Your Library Reading Horizons Discovery Kindergarten More info here. These books follow the Reading Horizons Discovery curriculum, but can also be purchased separately (a great deal!) I was sent by the company a set of these books to review, and you can see my thoughts on the Reading Horizons decodables above. Reading Horizons Discovery 1-3 More info here. The next level up from the Kindergarten set, these are a great option for your decodable library. These are also included in my review above. Dog on a Log Books More info here for the prereaders, and here for the first step of decodables (there are more in the series to check as well.) BOB books More info here. (Individual sets can be purchased as well). Alphabet Series Readers More info here. (This is a link to the first volume only.) Dr. Maggie’s More info here. (3 volumes available) Primary Phonics Readers More info here. I See Sam books More info here. Geode Books More info here. Flyleaf Emergent More info here. Half Pint Readers More info here. High Noon Dandelion More info here. Junior Learning More info here. Miss Rhonda’s Readers More info here. Sonday System Books More info here. (Note – you don’t have to buy the whole system – the pieces can be purchased individually toward the bottom of the page, including the readers.) Voyager Supris More info here. Voyager Supris Supercharged More info here. Simple Words Decodable Chapter Books More info here. High Noon books More info here.  Reading Horizons Decodables See my review below, and get more info here. Flyleaf More info here. Go Phonics More info here. S.P.I.R.E. Readers More info here. Slant More info here. Superbooks More info here. Saddleback More info here.  TAP Library (Teens & Adults) More info here.  Want to grab a fabulous deal on 80+ printable decodables?   Should you build a decodable library for your class or home? Absolutely. You should have decodable books if you are teaching beginning reader(s), whether in a classroom setting, or in your home. I hope this has helped you make a decision about decodables for your student. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.               [...] Read more...
Letter I Worksheets for Kindergarten
Letter I Worksheets for KindergartenLetter I Worksheets for Kindergarten with Crafts, Songs, Show and Tell and More for Teaching the Letter I It’s tIme for Letter I with Letter I worksheets for Kindergarten and Preschool, crafts, and all kinds of activities! Getting a little bit closer to the middle of the alphabet, letter I is an important letter. Being one of the vowels, letter I is used frequently when we read and write.  So it’s an important letter to teach! Long and short, teaching the letter I with all kinds of interactive play, using gross and fine motor skills for writing and learning with different sensory input will be fun at home or in the class. Plus, teaching the letter I is a fabulous excuse for going out for a nice big bowl of ice cream. Let’s dig in, and enjoy the letter I! Letter I Songs Make sure that you incorporate songs when teaching any subject, but especially the letters of the alphabet!  Songs and music have been found to prime the brain to perform better in many cognitive abilities. So putting music to learning in any subject you can is always a terrific idea. To get you started, check out these fun songs for the incredible letter I.     Letter I worksheets Even though worksheets are necessarily the best way to introduce the letters of the alphabet (think multisensory for best practices), they are great for review, and for letting kids practice and learn how to write. Here’s a letter I worksheet for free that you can download for practice (see form above). When you sign up to receive these worksheets, you’ll also have the whole alphabet available. Enjoy! 🙂   Letter I coloring pages In a pinch, stick some coloring pages in your bag so that you have something to do in those in-between waiting times. And if you can make the coloring pages educational, that’s great!  Here are some alphabet coloring pages you can check out: Letter I videos for preschoolers Videos are always a fun idea for teaching new educational concepts! Abcmouse always has cute letter videos. I’ll post it below for you to check out. And you can always google for so many more Letter I videos that you won’t run out of ideas. Letter I Crafts Crafting is always a great way to introduce concepts and letters to your student. Just a few ideas for Letter I crafts that you might consider: Cut out and paste an Ice Cream Cone from construction paper Glue cottonballs onto a piece of construction paper into the shape of an igloo. Create an island in a washtub with some sand. Make an iguana hat out of a paper plate and some green paint. Make an inchworm out of a cut-out egg crate. Tracing Letter I When your child is ready to practice tracing the Letter I, you can use activities like shaving cream on a baking sheet, bath paints, or even pretend sky-writing the letter I. Beyond that (and when my child is ready), I will use sheets like this one to start practice.  Here is a super-cute video from the Singing Walrus to start talking about the correct way to trace and write the Letter I. Show and Tell Letter I Show and Tell is one of my favorite memories from my elementary school days. I hope you are able to incorporate it into your classroom activities. Here are a few ideas to give your kids for what they might bring to Show and Tell for Letter I week: Ice cream Insects Iguana (musical) Instrument Index Cards Inches on a ruler Infant (maybe a new baby sister or brother) Ice Skates Letter I games You and your child can always play “I Spy” when learning the letter I! Or really for any letter, you can play I Spy, and just look around for things that start with that letter. Or, if you are in the market to purchase some board games, check out these games that have the letter I: Letter I Activities for Preschoolers I have already mentioned songs, video, crafts and more that you can do with your preschooler to learn the letters of the alphabet. But there are so many other activities you can do, too! I think my favorite activity to do for the letter I would be to set up an ice cream station and let my kids put on their own toppings, or make it really fun in some way. Another Letter I activity to consider would be to really focus on recognizing the letter within a word. Strong phonemic awareness is a cornerstone for strong future readers. You can use digital sound flashcards like these free ones to practice learning sounds of letters.   Letter I in cursive When you are teaching letters in cursive, be sure to put up a poster showing the letters of the alphabet in cursive. Here are a few from Amazon you can choose from: Letter I Worksheets for Kindergarten & Preschool, and All the Tools You Need to Teach Letter I Enjoy teaching the Letter I to your kids! There are lots of ways to bring in multisensory activities to teach this wonderful vowel. Don’t forget to show your kids that “O” can make a couple of different sounds. And don’t forget to grab that Letter I Worksheet, free from me!               > [...] Read more...
Reading IQ App Reviews
Reading IQ App ReviewsBy Amy Brotherman Updated May 2020 Reading IQ App Review – What is it, and is it a good fit for your family? I’m taking a deep dive into this program to give you a Reading IQ app review that will tell you everything you need to know to decide whether or not this app (and desktop also!) is where you want to put your dollars for your child’s reading program. To start, in case you have never heard of this app before, Reading IQ is a program made by the same people who created ABCmouse.com, and it’s basically a huge online book library. I’ll add a bunch of pics below from my own use of the app with my family, and also let you know what I’ve found from other parents and teachers who have been using this online book library have to say in general. As you read, you may want to go ahead and download the app so you can get a look at what I’m talking about. You are welcome to use this link >> Reading IQ 1 Month Free << (Use THAT link to get the first month free!) Or, if you are ready to move forward with getting ReadingIQ, I’ll post current deals I see here, too.. in the picture: A look inside the Level One portion of the complete kit.   Reading IQ App Reviews If you are like me, I ALWAYS check out any online reviews I can find, and I go straight to the bad reviews to know if there is anything to be on the lookout for. I go check out Amazon, Common Sense, and any Moms group boards I’m a part of on Facebook. Here is what I found regarding the Reading IQ app for each:      -Reading IQ.com Reviews on Amazon: The app is a free download through Amazon that I found here. There were about 18 reviews from 2019 on Amazon, so not too many to go from. People seem to be pleased with the app, but that is balanced out with negative reviews from people who wanted it to be compatible with the Amazon Kid’s Fire device, which it apparently is not. If you would like to see the full page of Amazon reviews for ABCmouse, you can check that out here.      -Reading IQ App Reviews from Common Sense Media I saw one review on Common Sense Media from a fellow teacher, and she gave Reading IQ 4 stars, saying that this app is a great tool to use in the classroom. One of her points mentioned, (which I can agree with), is that it’s very simple to use. Open it, pick a book, and read! Teachers really like that they can assign books from the app to their students by book level. I’ll explain more about the levels below.      -ReadingIQ App Reviews from other web sites.. I think Reading IQ is not as well known of a program, like ABCmouse or Adventure Academy. So, I found a few sources of other mom reviews, but not too many. From the small handful of reviews that I could find online, parents had positive reviews for ReadingIQ. In general, it’s a nice little library of books for your kiddo online.  Reading IQ video To give you a little more insight, check out this Reading IQ Video from the creators:       What is in Reading IQ? I’ll put below a screenshot of the home screen when you open the Reading IQ dashboard. Your child will be able to see all kinds of book titles first thing when he opens the program. I love this, because it is very easy to use! Just pick a book, click on it, and voila! Read to your heart’s content.     You can see from the home screen that there are multiple categories to choose from for books. As you scroll down the page, you’ll see more categories (and I’ll post a pic of all the categories below). You can move from right to left in a category to see more book choices.     Once you choose a book, you just click on the book and the cover of the book will open in the screen, along with options for reading the book, having the book read to your child, or having the book read to your child, but pausing between pages. Not all books have audio available, but many of them do.     And then of course, you just click to open the page to begin reading! It’s fairly straightforward, which is something I love – because it’s easy for my child to read and listen to books even when I’m not available.     Reading IQ for Teachers Reading IQ is FREE for teachers! Teachers can get a free account with Reading IQ, and set up a class for instruction, entering students and appropriate book levels for each student to access. Teachers and parents can choose “Accelerated Reader” levels, “Guided Reading” levels, and “Lexile” levels, depending on your school or homeschool choices. Parents at home, you will probably just be able to browse and suggest good books that you know your child will like!     Reading IQ FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)   What is Reading IQ? Reading IQ is an online library of over 7,000 books for kids ages 2-12 for at home or in the classroom. Many of the books have audio, and teachers can create an account for students. Can Reading IQ be used on multiple devices? Yes, the Reading IQ app can be used with desktops, tablets and phones. What ages are appropriate for children to use Reading IQ? Children recommended for the books in Reading IQ are usually ages 2 to 12. How much does Reading IQ cost?  The app is free to download, but to use it and have access to the books you need to create an account. You can get the first month free here. Or, you can go ahead and sign up for a plan which is $7.99 a month. You can find “deals” frequently like this >> $29.99 for a full year, or >>> 2 months for $5. Does Reading IQ help teach your child to read? Reading IQ is not a curriculum to teach children to read (you need a system of phonics to do that well). It’s an online library of books.  Part of any good reading curriculum plan is to read aloud to your kids, and give them the space and books they need to read on their own time. You’ll definitely need a library of books in the hand and on a device (if your child uses a device) to really encourage a lifetime of reading.  Is Reading IQ free for teachers? Yes, it is! Teachers can create an account free, and then register students under the class. Teachers can create challenges for the kids, and keep up with reading time and assessments for each student. So should you buy Reading IQ? I think you should give it a go, even if just for the 30 day free trial. You can always cancel, and meanwhile you can get a great idea of all the books that are available to you and your children. It’s a great app for getting kids to read at home, or anywhere on a screen. A great way to fill your tablet or phone with something that is educational and fun too. Here are also two programs from the same company (Age of Learning) in case you are curious to try them out. ABCmouse is the most well-known, and also Adventure Academy (great for older kids!). Shown: Adventure Academy from the makers of ABCmouse. Great for kids who have outgrown ABCmouse and need a move up & tons of FUN!   ABCmouse: More than 850 Lessons Across 10 Levels ABCmouse.com curriculum is a program of more than 850 lessons over ten levels. As your child completes a lesson, he or she is guided to the next activity, earning tickets and rewards to use in the game.   in the picture: A look inside ABCmouse and 30 Free Days.   After you do that, hop on over to this page to access your free alphabet printables, beginning sounds flashcards and other beginning reader freebies. (See a pic below of a sample of what you’ll get.) Happy reading!     Other Free Educational Websites for Kindergarteners and Up.. More reading curriculum and app reviews you might be interested in! 👇 [...] Read more...
13 Best Children’s Books About Inclusion, Diversity and Kindness
13 Best Children’s Books About Inclusion, Diversity and Kindness13 Best Children’s Books About Inclusion, Diversity, and Kindness to Include in Your Library One of many challenges for teachers is to come prepared to the classroom ready to celebrate the differences and diverse backgrounds of all their precious students. And, the same holds true at home. As we build our libraries, as parents we should be intentional about including different races and cultural backgrounds than our own. Teaching our children more about the world what the world might look like through the eyes of other people who look and live differently than they do is a gift that excellent teachers and parents can provide. One of the very best ways we can do this is to read books that teach all about different cultures and walks of life, thereby exposing our kids to appreciate the wonder of the unique and diverse life all around us! Of course there are so many different types of cultures/ families/ lifestyles that they could not all be included in the list below. You might consider your own classroom or home as you make your book choices, to help celebrate the diversity your children already see all around them, and to help educate them to not be afraid of or look down on others because of differences, but instead to appreciate beautiful differences. Although the sky is the limit when it comes to culturally diverse books or books that teach that we are different in general (a good thing!), here are 13 books that are a good start for any teacher’s classroom library: Abuela, by Arthur Dorros With bright and beautiful illustrations, Abuela is an excellent choice for young readers. Sprinkled with Spanish phrases throughout, a young girl and her abuela go on adventures through the city. Rich with family and relationship between a girl and grandmother, this book is a sweet look into an hispanic culture and an adventure to boot. Abuela, the winner of several prestigious awards, would be a great addition to your classroom library to begin an exposure to Latin culture. The Family Under the Bridge, by Natalie Savage Carlson My family read The Family Under the Bridge during our Christmas holiday this year. We found it to be a heart-warming story that can open a child’s eyes to see those who are homeless or poor to be just like we are: possible friends and family. One of the main characters, Armand, is a Parisian who is delightful and brings a French flair to the story. Take out your globe or atlas and show your students where Paris is in relation to where you live! The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi Unhei is a new student at school from Korea, and she wants to change her name to be something more similar to her new friends. But as the story progresses, the children learn what her real name is and as they learn to pronounce it correctly, Unhei begins to see the beauty in her own name and take pride in who she is. A sweet book with a bit of learning about Korea, and a great way to introduce children to different-sounding words and names than they may be used to. Firebird, by Misty Copeland Stunning and inspiring, this book is about an overcoming African-American ballerina who struggles with self-doubt and must deal with subtle or covert discrimination and does so with optimism and meets with success. Firebird is the winner of several awards, including the the 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. A wonderful way to awaken children to how they treat others, particularly with people of color, and how to deal with covert discrimination in their own lives. Just Because, by Rebecca Elliot An introduction to those with disabilities, as described through the relationship between a young boy and his older sister. As the story progresses through the narration of the boy he describes his love for her and all her amazing qualities. Parents of special needs children abound with 5 star reviews for this book. What a great way to teach to all kinds of differences between people with all kinds of abilities. I’m Not Just a Scribble, by Diane Alber No matter the child, most kids worry about their own differences. It’s in a child’s nature, and perhaps especially so for a student surrounded by peers, to want to “fit in” and be just like the rest in the class. They don’t want to highlight the things about themselves that are different than everyone else. This book is a great way to encourage a child to be proud of their own strengths (even when unusual), and stand tall in the crowd. Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman This wonderful (true) story is about four amazing black women who helped NASA launch men into space. Because of their incredible aptitude for math, they were able to provide calculations that would aid in the launch. Overcoming racial and gender discriminatory obstacles, they pushed through to make their place in a STEM career. Gershon’s Monster, by Eric A. Kimmel and John J. Muth A story for the Jewish New Year, Gershon’s Monster is a retelling of a Jewish fable. Gershon, a Jewish baker, is the main character exemplifying a story of atonement during the time of Rosh Hashana. A lovely way to introduce some of the facets of Jewish lifestyle and tradition in the form of a well-illustrated book. Strictly No Elephants, by Lisa Mantchev A story of inclusiveness and acceptance. Banned from an existing pet club because elephants are not allowed, a boy decides to start his own club when he meets boys and girls – just like himself – who have unusual pets too. This gentle and endearing story is a great way to teach children to reach out and include others of every shape and size. Last Stop On Market Street, by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson This one is a New York Times Bestseller, and winner of many awards. A great way to encourage compassion for others in your readers, the story gives a glimpse into a multicultural city scene of a bus ride toward a soup kitchen, written with a person of color as protagonist. I loved this book for my family because of the colorful and beautiful illustrations. I also love reading a story in the vernacular. Another great choice read! Nabeel’s New Pants: An Eid Tale, by Fawzia Gilani-Williams A charming tale set after the time of Ramadan and in preparation for Eid, this enjoyable story is a wonderful glimpse into a family’s life with Muslim traditions and with exposure to Arabic phrases throughout. Nabeel the shoemaker goes out to buy gifts for his family and pants for himself. Students will see what life is like before Eid, with traditional food, clothing, and cultural preparations the evening before celebrations begin. I Lived On Butterfly Hill, by Marjorie Agosin and Lee White Celeste, an 11 year-old girl from the (then) politically tumultuous Chile, is sent into exile to the state of Maine in the U.S. Her telling will transport your students into a magical remembrance of her experiences in Valparaiso, Chile and of her experiences in Maine as she adjusts to a new life. Several different cultural and ethnic characters are introduced to weave a tale of hope amidst political turmoil and displacement. Night Sky Dragons, by Elspeth Graham A boy who wishes to gain the approval of his stern father, Yazul uses his kite-making skills with his grandfather to save his people in a tight predicament. This book has beautiful illustrations, and richly describes the relationships of a boy in his Chinese culture.  I hope you have the opportunity to pick up one or two (or all!) of these books to read to your students or your children at home. You’ll need to look over them individually to recognize what age group would be appropriate for each. Always be sure to preview books before you read them to your class or home to make sure they are a good fit. I also like to go straight to the lowest ratings on Amazon when I buy a book to see if there are any good or valid reasons why I should not introduce a book to my kids. We want them to only be exposed to the best! And good luck on your reading travels as you explore the world from the point of view of other cultures or someone else’s experience of life in the beautiful format of a good book! More Books & Bookish Articles You Might Like! Sled Dog Books About Wolves & Huskies Children’s Book Display Ideas Leading a Book Club for Kids Kid’s Book Subscription Boxes How Does Audible Work How to be a Great Storyteller for Your Kids [...] Read more...
Learning Dynamics Review (Four Weeks to Read)
Learning Dynamics Review (Four Weeks to Read)Learning Dynamics Review from a Teacher/Mom. Is 4 Weeks to Read for Your Family? 4 Weeks to Read – Can that truly happen? Many parents are turning to this program to teach their beginning reader, so I thought I’d take an in-depth look. This Learning Dynamics review will cover a recap of everything I can find online for you – including a summary of other reviews, product details, and background on the program. As an affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases from links you click in this article. You can learn more about that here.  Learning Dynamics: 4 Weeks to Read A look at everything you purchase in the 4 Weeks to Read package: Over 50 books – Your child is meant to build their library, book by book, as they increase in reading skills. Each book is leveled to different places in the learning process. Teaching manual – The manual also includes short one page lessons, for every couple of days that your child is learning and reading. Additional activities and workbooks Digital music corresponding to the lessons Free app for additional learning and fun in the picture: 4 Weeks to Read reading program from Learning Dynamics Get more info: Learning Dynamics 4 Weeks to Read What is the Learning Dynamics Reading Program? The 4 Weeks to Read Learning Dynamics program is a reading curriculum meant for beginning readers, best for ages 4 to 7.  Included in the set is a teaching manual, books, a parent’s app, full color books and flashcards. The teaching manual has 55 little 15 minute lessons, with a song and reward included. You’ll receive 53 color books, each to reflect the 15 minute lesson in the parent workbook. These books are very simple, and only a few pages – so they are perfect for the beginning reader and won’t be overwhelming. The parent’s app is a great tool that contains each lesson, plus the song that goes with the lesson. This is great, because you can do the lessons away from home or even in the car! And there is a functionality that allows for you to receive reminders for your lessons. Also, you’ll receive accompanying flashcards, which are used specifically with different lessons to reinforce and teach the letters and sounds being learned in the lesson. Learning Dynamics Video Here is a video from 4 Weeks to Read you can check out that’s kinda funny and cute about “mom guilt” and teaching our kids to read:   Learning Dynamics Reading System Reviews Here’s what I could find as far as reviews for the Learning Dynamics program: From Reading Specialists – I didn’t see a whole lot of information from reading specialists, which was interesting. I’m the member of several reading specialist groups on Facebook that I’m very active in, and there just wasn’t a ton of info.  Reading teachers don’t necessarily use this program, from what I can see. It’s a better program for parents teaching very young kids at home. The few comments that I did see where that teachers didn’t see any flaws in the program, and that it can be beneficial at home for most readers. Readers who struggle may need more phonemic awareness instruction and more systematic phonics instruction with an Orton-Gillingham approach. From Amazon customers: Of all the 145 reviews I read at the time I was researching info for this program, most parents really appreciate and found success with this program. Customers at the time gave it a 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Mostly it seemed like a simple, easy and straightforward program for parents and kids at home.   CLICK HERE to check out the Learning Dynamics 4 Weeks to Read on Amazon. The Learning Dynamics Songs 4 Weeks to Read Music 4 Weeks to Read has a letter song to go with each lesson. Here is a sample of a video/song that illustrates the Letter M: Learning Dynamics Letter Order Letters are taught in the order that teaches kids to put together words quickly. The letters m, a, p, s, and t are introduced first, and then more letters as the child goes through the program. You can spell and read several small words with these letters In general, many parents teach the alphabet in order to their children. And this may work for many kids. But, the reading specialists I know will introduce letters out of order, but in a purposeful way for best practices. One good sequence of letters is: child’s first name s, a, t, i, p, n c, k, e, h, e m,d,g,o l,f,b,q,u j,z,w v,y,x Learning Dynamics vs Bob Books There are some similarities between the two – Both are “decodable” type readers – short and to the point, only including letters and words as your child learns them. (Some people don’t like these type of books because they are “boring”. And indeed – they aren’t good for an interesting plot, or entertainment. They are meant for introducing and reinforcing phonetic skills – the building blocks of reading. You should definitely allow your kiddos to have access to books above their level, and to read aloud often, but don’t skip over sold phonics skills, using decodable books where needed for practice.) The complete set of Bob books are around $139 on Amazon, and the Learning Dynamics full set on Amazon is $99. But, you can purchase the Bob books separately for each level at around $13 each. Learning Dynamics includes an app, which is nice – and a song for each lesson. If you are choosing between the two, I’d go for the 4 Weeks to Read simply for this – Kids really learn well when you integrate multi-sensory ways of learning. And the flashcards help with this, too. Learning Dynamics vs Hooked on Phonics The entire Hooked on Phonics set in $199 on Amazon. This includes a whole curriculum for ages 3-8. The nice thing about Hooked on Phonics is that you know your child will be getting a good strong core in a foundation of Phonics. And while Learning Dynamics has an app for the lessons and the songs for each lesson, Hooked on Phonics has an amazing app filled with games and activities that would be a great addition to the curriculum, as well. The Learning Dynamics App The parent’s app comes free with the program. It contains 34 letter songs, the individual lessons, plus a reminder for the lessons. The 4 Weeks to Read is available for iOS and Android.   My thoughts on the Learning Dynamics 4 Weeks to Read Program I think this is probably as good a choice as any if the price fits your budget and you want a simple program for your child to learn to read. Learning to read in 4 weeks may or may not read though – be careful not to put your child’s reading skills into an expectation of time like that. The program may be able to be completed in 4 weeks for some, but for other kids more repetition will probably be needed.   Feel free to also look into other reading program reviews on this site, such as the Hooked on Phonics, or the Reading Horizons program, plus more. More Reviews for Beginning Readers: All About Reading  Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons Reading Horizons ABCmouse Samsung Kids+ Subscription Adventure Academy Hooked on Phonics [...] Read more...
17 Best Online Summer Reading Challenge Ideas for Kids
17 Best Online Summer Reading Challenge Ideas for Kids17 Summer Reading Challenge Ideas & Summer Reading Programs for Kids Ah, the dog days of summer. Memories of long, luxurious days in the warm sunshine with the pool sparkling and ready. I’m ready for popsicles, watermelon, and a beach vacation. Are you? The nice thing about a day at the beach, by the pool, or inside with the air conditioner blasting is – they all go very well with a good book, and a summer reading challenge for our kids! Here are some great ideas for summer reading programs – I hope one or all of them will work for you and your family as they have mine. Enjoy! Do summer reading programs work? The dreaded summer reading slide is a big deal and yes – it’s a real thing. When kids are not exposed to reading and learning over long breaks of school, such as over the summer months, they can backslide. But the great thing about the summer months is the amazing amount of great learning opportunity all around you! When you are on vacation, learn about the places around you. Search for facts about places you haven’t been, even in your own hometown. And of course – READ! Make sure your child’s summer is full of reading and great books. This will give your child such a boost in their growth and education. Here is a video I found on YouTube about a great mom who is not letting her kiddos take a vacation from learning, even though they are on vacation from school! Planning a summer reading program  Start in May or earlier to really have a great, solid reading plan in place to make your child’s summer reading more successful. But of course, if you are reading this in June or July, just start today! There are so many options for getting creative with summer reading challenges. You really only have to pick the program (or programs you want to do, print out whatever information is need, and go for it!) If there are several programs you and your child choose to do, you can either do them at the same time and have books count for the same reading challenges, or plan to work the programs consecutively. You can’t go wrong either way! Don’t forget your local public library for the reading programs they will put on, and you can always join or create a Kid’s Reading Club too, for some added fun!   Get your Reading Summer Challenge here, plus all kinds of bookish freebies, like Popsicle bookmarks and Fourth of July bookmarks! Online summer reading programs I did a little research looking for online programs to get kids reading. Here is a list of options for choosing reading programs, although I’m sure you can find more! Lots of companies host reading programs as an incentive for customers and also to boost communities.  Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program The Barnes and Noble Summer Program is a great option to earn a free book! You can fill out this form to earn your book, and then take it into a Barnes and Noble store to redeem. This is a great way to get your child reading this summer!     Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program from Half Price Books. Half Price Books has a great 15-minutes-a-day reading program to get kids and teens reading through the summer. Available are reading logs, online storytimes, weekly social giveaways, and free coloring sheets.     Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Here’s a great way to keep kids engaged in summer reading – The Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza! Kids are encouraged to track their reading in a free online Scholastic-provided resource with books, games and events. As kids reach tracking goals, they receive rewards and unlock book donations for others. Double win!     Chuck E Cheese Rewards Calendar This one works for summer, but year-round too! Check out the link below for the Chuck E Cheese Rewards Calendar, and you’ll find 20 calendars and 6 reward charts for all kinds of things to celebrate as we raise our kids – like reading (of course), potty training, clean rooms, table manners, and even quitting.. nose picking? (LOL!) So fun. Go take a look! If your child meets the goals on the calendar/reward, you get points for activities at Chuck-E-Cheese. Just take it in to redeem.   Coaching for Literacy Summer Reading Program Not only does this one get your kiddo reading, but you are making an impact to increase literacy rates. Coaching for Literacy exists to raise awareness about the problem of illiteracy and funds for literacy programs serving students in grades K-3. They are connectors bringing individuals closer to the issue of illiteracy, with a core belief that literacy is a fundamental right of every individual. Here are the points to know about their summer reading program.. This summer, Coaching for Literacy is challenging readers – young, old and in-between – to push their reading habits by committing to read as many books as they can having started May 31st – September 7th. Readers are invited to ask friends and family to support them by pledging per book read or by making a donation. This campaign is free and fundraising is optional. Everyone who signs up to challenge their reading habits automatically gets entered into a drawing for a Barnes & Noble gift card. PLUS, every 2 books a reader completes throughout the summer, their name automatically gets re-entered into the drawing! Every donation made will be matched 3x up to $5,000! Readers can join at any time and do not have to commit to the entire summer.     Join the Ultimate Book Adventure Want your child to be independently reading? Then sign him up for this Ultimate Book Adventure – virtual delights await with this fun, free program. Sort of a fun “gaming system” where kids who read at home log their reading, take little quizzes and make their way further into the game. A great positive reinforcement platform for encouraging kids to read. I particularly like the “virtual reading pet”. Looks fun!     Broncos Bookworms Summer Reading Program Calling all football fans! The Denver Broncos have a fun summer reading program where kids get to log 10 books they read over the summer in their playbook. Rewards include a certificate, bookmark, attendance at an event at Empower Field, plus other prize possibilities, presented by IHOP!     Read Your Way to Fenway Or.. maybe you are a Boston Red Sox fan? If you live in the area, or are traveling to the Boston area this summer, check out this deal for kids to read books and earn the chance to be entered into a drawing to win tickets to a baseball game! This is a golden opportunity for baseball fans. Details look to be released in June.   Books A Million Summer Reading Adventures You know those funny Dog Man and Captain Underpants books that kids love? Well, last year the author Dave Pilkey teamed up with Books A Million to get kids reading in summertime. It will be interesting to see what they come up with in the summer of 2021~     HEBuddy Summer Reading Club I think you can do this one, even if you aren’t from the great state of Texas!  Use the available reading log on their website to record 10 books that your child reads, mail it in and get an awesome t-shirt!     SYNC Summer Audiobooks for Teens For teens ages 13+, this fun program gets teens reading with one free audiobook a week. That is a GREAT deal!     Showcase Cinema Bookworm Wednesdays If you live near or will be by a Showcase Cinema, check out their Bookworm Wednesdays! Kids can show up with a written book report on Wednesdays to get a free movie ticket. Movie lovers, this one is perfect for you!     Free Online Outschool Summer Camps Consider these amazing virtual (and free!) summer camps for your kids. There are just a ton to look over, and find out which one would fit your child. This is a great way to keep learning over the summer, and to have fun doing it.      Lifeway Summer Reading Program Get a free Bible and a free book with this summer reading program!  Check out the page to find out when they update information for 2021.     DOGObooks Summer Reading Adventure This fun website is all about kids reading books and giving kid’s book reviews. Join in on the fun by reading books, and giving as many book reviews as you can to be eligible to receive prizes.     Reading Horizons Summer Reading Check out the Reading Horizons summer reading program! Perfect for not only beginning readers, but older readers. Also great for anyone who struggles with reading to learn how or focus on strengthening skills. Information for 2021 yet to be posted, but keep this page bookmarked for info soon!     The Pizza Hut Book It Program This program has been around for many years – I can even remember working on getting my pizza coupon as a kid back in the 80’s! So you know it’s a good program – and let’s face it – pizza will never go out of style. I’m calling this one a bonus because it’s actually a Spring and Fall program. They also have a “Give Me 20” program for early readers to look into.     Braums Book Buddy Reading Program Not a summer program, but a school-year program, like the Pizza Hut Book-It, the Braums Book Buddy Program is a great idea to keep kids reading, providing wonderful goal incentives to get lots of reading in, and being proud of book-reading accomplishments. A great way to read good books, and enjoy up to 6 ice cream treats while doing it!     Local summer reading programs Want to find a local summer reading challenge idea or program? Head over to your local public library to see what is available (or look for them online), or you can even Google it. I can almost guarantee that your local library is going to have something fun planned for the summer, even if it is digital only! Summer reading challenge ideas Come up with your own incentives at home to make up your own reading challenges, and/or try some of the local or online reading programs that you can find! Summer reading challenge printable Come up with a challenge for your kiddo that is tailored to what she might like. Put up a reading chart or some kind of incentive to have a goal for reading a certain number of books or amounts of time. The Great Summer Reading Challenge that I put together is sort of an “all the places you can read” challenge. It’s free! Just print it out, tweak it, and use it to motivate your reader. That link signs you up for all sorts of free bookish goodies for your kids. I also found a few other fun printable reading challenges for you! Check out: As you can see there are lots of options that you can use for your own to create a reading program for your child. You can make one up at home, tape it onto the fridge and go for it, you can join online programs that help kids make great reading progress, or you can join local programs in your own community! Whatever you choose for your summer reading challenges, be sure to MAKE IT FUN! Let me know what your summer reading goals are in the comments and remember to download your Great Summer Reading Challenge printable for FREE!               [...] Read more...
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