Showing posts with label products. Show all posts
Showing posts with label products. Show all posts

Friday, June 10, 2011

Today's Reading Tip: Activities For Your LeapFrog TAG Reading System

Do you own a LeapFrog TAG Reading System?  If not, I highly recommend it! This system comes with a "pen" that when placed on top of words or markers in TAG specific books will read the word or story aloud to a child.  I love both of the TAG systems: The TAG (which allows the child to read a whole page/portion of text, or will read word by word), and the TAG Jr. (which has simpler features for a younger child).

I also like that I can incorporate activities to go along with our TAG system, such as:
  • I will put a sticky note on the page with the number of the words "the" on the page and have LoLo find them.  I will do this same activity for every sight word we have previously worked on.  Then, I just leave the notes in the book so he can play again later.
  • I will say a word to LoLo and have him use the TAG word to find it.  Since he is a very early reader, I choose an easy consonant-vowel-consonant word like 'cat' and have him find it with his eyes and check his answer with his TAG pen.
  • I will ask him questions about the story and have him find the answer with his TAG pen.  This works best for one-word answers that are specific in the text.  An example would be "who found the bone?" and he points the TAG pen to the word Scooby.
If you do not yet have a TAG pen and books, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Make Any Wall Your Whiteboard!

I have been thinking about making a magnetic whiteboard on one of the walls in my kid's room for a long time.  After reading reviews of other people who have done this I think I am going to go with the following products. 
First I will apply the magnetic primer:

Then I will apply the whiteboard paint:

I can't wait to try it out and use all the magnetic letters I have from my classroom to help LoLo work on creating CVC words.  I will also take photos of family members and glue them on to magnetic sheets you can buy at Walmart. Then you just cut around the person (or object) and have a personalized magnet to play with. 

I will update when I get a chance to put it up.

Have other suggestions?
Want to try your own?
Have you done this before; how did it work out?
Leave me a comment and let me know.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Making CVC Words On Your Word Wall

Last post I talked about introducing your child to sight words with the use of your word wall.  In addition to teaching sight words, you should also be introducing a few new CVC words every few days. Remember that CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant.

If you really want to keep the cost down you could write the letters you need on index cards for each word; however, I really like the ease and style of font found in this card set of letters.  You also have multiples of letters, vowels printed in different colors, and digraphs, blends, and vowel pairs for later more advanced lessons.  This product can be found at by clicking HERE.

When you are picking CVC words to put up on the wall, remember that they should be spelled with the short vowel sound (ie. CAT, SIP, TAN, PAT).  These words are most appropriate for early readers because they can be sounded out letter-by-letter, as opposed to having to know advanced skills that make vowels sound long.  Remember long vowels are those that "say their name," such as in the word BAY (the letter a says /ay/).

If you are still not sure what words to use, I really like the lists on  They have a few CVC lists which are divided up by medial sound (vowel sound in the middle).  Scroll down to the middle of this link to find the lists by clicking HERE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sight Word Cards For Your Word Wall

Now that your Word Wall is set up, you will need to start introducing some sight words along with your CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.  This card set by Smethport is a good one with the words printed on colored cards that are easy to read in ball-and-stick font which is used in most public schools today (Denelian font used to be used-otherwise known as fancy font).

I suggest introducing only 2 sight words at a time, then when those are mastered move on to two more.  Make sure that you always review the words you have taught before.  

*Remember sight words are words you recognize by SIGHT. They are not to be sounded out.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Setting Up Your Word Wall

I have a little center set up in my son's room that we call his 'word wall.' Each night we spend about 15 minutes reviewing his words from our previous lessons, and learning a new one (which I add about every 3rd night). In order to start your own word wall, you will need to find some wide open wall space that is about eye level to your child.  Then set up a pocket chart.  I really like this one:

Note that it does NOT come with the pocket addition at the bottom.  I suggest you get this add on pocket to keep your letter cards in when teaching. Here it is:
The next thing you will need is to get a letter set that has all the consonants, vowels, digraphs, etc. that you will be teaching.  It is best (and easiest) to buy a set so that you have multiples of letters you will use most often, as well as to make sure you cover every phonetic skill.  Here is my favorite set from Lakeshore Learning:
I love how this set covers every phonics skill, and has each one in a different color.  Even if you don't point out that the vowels are red, and the digraphs are green, your child will still notice the differences and recognize them more as chunks which will help when blending.

Stay tuned for Part #2 in which I will tell you how to teach beginning reading skills to your child using your word wall.

*Thanks Norine for suggesting this post!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Super Why Game Is Super Cute!

If you are like me and like to have your kids watching educational TV shows, you probably watch Super Why! I just love the graphics, the characters, and the different reading skills it teaches (and correctly as well-unlike other shows out there).  So when I was picking out toys for LoLo's 4th birthday I just knew that this game would be a hit. 

I really like how it is simple enough for young players to play (around 4 years and up), and does not have too many rules.  You simply roll the dice, move to the appropriate spot, then pick a card that matches the character you are on.  I would read the card to LoLo and he would do the appropriate action. 

For example:
Alpha Pig with Alphabet Power: Players point to the uppercase letter on the board that matches the lowercase letter on the card.

Wonder Red with Word Power: Players read the words or look at the pictures on the card and say another word or words that rhyme.

Princess Presto with Spelling Power: Players say the word pictured on the card, then point to the first letter or fist two letters of that word on the center of the board.

Super Why with the Power to Read: Players point to the word on the board that should replace the underlined word on the card to make the silly sentence make sense. 

The first player to reach the finish with all 4 different character cards is the winner.

*Makes a great birthday gift!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lakeshore Products I Am Using Right Now For My Early Reader

This first product from Lakeshore Learning is the Word Detective Slider.  These cards are fantastic because they have 3-letter consonant-vowel-consonant words that can be sounded out by your reader on his/her own.  It also helps with the various colors to distinguish between the beginning sound, vowel sound in the middle, and ending sound.  It comes with a sheet of directions, and is easy enough for your reader to do on their own.
The second product I am using is the Phonics Word Builder Card Library and a pocket chart.  I really like this particular card library for many reasons:
  • It contains every consonant, vowel, blend and digraph in English
  • It has multiples of every letter so you can make most words
  • It has a different color for every skill (vowels are red, etc)
  • The letters are printed in ball-and-stick which is used now in most schools
  • They are on sturdy card stock and just the right size for a pocket chart
These letter are really good for building your own words, or for teaching your child to read if you are not sure where to start.  I suggest starting with teaching CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words that have the short vowel sound in the middle (like cat, sip, cup, etc.).  Once those skills are mastered you can move on.  I suggest reading my post on My Kid Knows Phonics, Now What? for ideas of what skills to teach next.