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Preventing the Summer Slide


The “Summer Slide” has become a familiar term to those who work in education as well as parents. What is the Summer Slide? Essentially, it’s the academic loss that children  experience over the summer holidays. I’ve often been asked by parents at the library how to prevent their children from experiencing the feared “Summer Slide”

My advice is simple- “Kids who read succeed!”  

But how do you incorporate reading into a daily activity in the summer without it seeming like school? I’ve had this dream of creating a book club for my son and his friends. With visions of them reading a book each week and then meeting to discuss our thoughts and feelings over a pitcher of lemonade and cookies. When I proposed this to my son, the horrified look on his face said it all. He also reminded me that Greg Heffley’s mom from Diary of a Wimpy Kid also tried to create a book club for Greg and his friends.(This is just going to prove his point that I am very much like Susan Heffley)

Summer Reading

Source-http://diary-of-a-wimpy-kid.wikia.com/wiki/Reading_Is_Fun

Summer Reading

maybe not Little Women…

It would be wonderful to walk past your childs bedroom and see them curled up with a book each night. Or even see them turn off the TV and curl up on the couch. Truth is, this doesn’t always happen. Reading incentives work. Summer Reading Programs around North America are created on this premise and they are successful because of it. So, in addition to visiting a library and having your child sign up and participate in one of these fantastic programs, why not also provide a reading incentive at home. Here’s my example:

Reading Incentive-Preventing the Summer Slide.

Using stickers, or stamps, have your child mark the different places he or she has read for at least 20 minutes. The only rules are that only one square can be marked each day, and the reading should be a book at their level (no board books for a 12 yearold for example)  for at least 20 minutes. Once the “bingo card” is full, have your child choose a fun family activity that you can do  together as the “reward”. You can create more cards to get you through the summer holidays by coming up with ideas for new places together.

Click here for a printable of the bingo card above

**Take it a step further and create a visual reading log. You or your child (depending on their age) can take pictures of all the places they read this summer, and the books they read while there.**

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about preventing the “Summer Slide” in the comments.

Happy Reading!!!!





What Pet to Get?


WhatPetToGet

I adore books by Emma Dodd.  They have such broad age appeal and work well for my two’s group as well my preschoolers.  What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd is the featured book in this program.

 In this story time we discuss what we think would make the best pet? Is it a Dinosaur? A Bear? What about a T-Rex or a Rock? The majority of the books above all deal with unusual animals as pets, I especially love Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown and Silly Doggy! by Adam Stower which has a great twist in the end.

Of course you could sing the traditional songs: Bingo, How much is that Doggy in the Window, I have a dog and his name is Rags. But I love this unusual one below….

Albuquerque the Turkey (click title for source)

Albuquerque is a turkey,
And he’s feathered and he’s fine.
And he wobbles, and he gobbles,
And he’s absolutely mine.

He’s the best pet that you can get,
Better than a dog or cat.
Albuquerque, he’s my turkey,
And I’m awfully glad of that.

Albuquerque, he’s my turkey,
He’s so cozy in his bed,
Because for our Thanksgiving dinner,
We had scrambled eggs instead.

It always makes the kids and their parents smile.

I’ve done a wide array of craft activities with this program, but I think the overall favourite was when we created Pet Rocks. The children decorated them, made a home for their pet out of egg cartons and gave their pet a name. I heard about their “pet rocks” for weeks after this program

What’s your favourite story to tell about Pets?





Storytime Program: Bear Feels Sick


 

Bear Feels Sick

I love using this story time program with my preschool groups. The featured book is Karma Wilson’s Bear Feel’s Sick and I use the other books to support the concept of  how we can care for others as well as keeping those pesky germs to ourselves.

After reading Bear Feels Sick, we re-enact the story together. I bring out a teddy bear who has the sniffles and lay out the props from the story-all things to help bear feel better. I ask the children if they remember what the animals did in the story to help bear feel better? I invite them to come up, choose and item (i.e. Tissue) and use it on bear. They love caring for bear and it’s also a great opportunity to see if they recall the order in the story and how the items were used.

Song:  Aside from my traditional Opening/closing song routine, in this program we share:

*John Brown’s Baby (tune of Glory Glory Hallelujah) 

John Brown’s baby had a cold upon his chest (achoo) -(Rock arms like your rocking a baby)

John Brown’s baby had a cold upon his chest (achoo)-(Rock arms like your rocking a baby)

John Brown’s baby had a cold upon his chest (achoo)-(Rock arms like your rocking a baby)

So he rubbed it with camphorated oil which is just like Vicks. -(Rub Chest)*

Start song slowly and then speed up faster and faster as you go.

Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo by E.S. Redmond is the story of a sick little girl who has the flu, sneezes and coughs in her hands and then proceeds to touch everything in her path, spreading the germs and a sticky green goo everywhere she goes. (yuck)

After this story we talk about the importance of hand washing and why we should always cover our mouths and nose when we sneeze with our arms or a tissue.

To illustrate this I bring out a spray bottle with water. I ask the children to imagine that I am about to sneeze and I do not  cover my nose or mouth-I then spray all the kids in front of me (usually it’s met with squeals of delight) We chat about how if it was a real sneeze or cough I’d be spraying them with germs not water. I pretend to sneeze again but this time cover the spray spout with my arm.

-after this activity they often ask me to spray them again:)

I’m not a huge fan of offering crafts every program but we have made Get-Well Cards as a closing activity as well.

Love to hear your comments!