Posts from the ‘elementary grades’ Category

#FAMILYFUNTIME

Playing with Hidden Treasures: Games and Activities for Children and Teens

Written by Karen Ward-Wilder

This book is a compilation of games and activities that parents can enjoy with children. It employs common household materials like vinegar, paper, pencils, photos, ribbon, paper plates, and water to develop and enhance skills.

The activities involve memory, communication, math skills, listening skills, spatial orientation, music, movement, personal hygiene, and sensory awareness. Here is one example, dancing, and singing to the music of different generations. Each player selects two or three songs and writes the names on paper. Mix up papers on the table. Each player selects dances and/or sings that song, receiving points for being able to do so. Adults and children learn about each other’s music.

Adults and older siblings may need to supervise younger children in some of these activities. This book offers many opportunities for family-sharing while staying inside during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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WHAT IS #AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER

As a special educator, I have worked with preschoolers and elementary school age children diagnosed with reading disabilities and speech language problems. I taught the Wilson Reading Program, which is a phonics based approach to reading. While I found it effective with many of my students, it did not meet the needs of all of them.

A lifelong book-lover, Dr. Karen Holinga’s interest in helping children learn to read began during her six years as a classroom teacher, where she saw how much some children struggled to master the skill. Her desire to solve the puzzle only increased during the twelve years she homeschooled her own children.

Eager to better understand the reading process, Dr. Karen pursued a doctorate in Developmental Reading, Curriculum, and Professional Development from The Ohio State University.

With Happy Cheetah Reading, she has taken all her expertise—years of classroom experience, years homeschooling, her doctoral research, and her extensive clinical practice—and crafted a simple plan. As The Reading Doctor, she has successfully helped over 25,000 children learn to read— many of whose parents had lost hope. She knows how some students struggle, and she knows how to help. 

I am presenting this program as a resource for parents and educators and not as an endorsement or beneficiary of any of its products.

As you might guess from the name, auditory processing relates to sound. But children with poor auditory processing are not usually hearing impaired. Rather, these children’s brains don’t interpret the incoming sounds correctly. 

Is There a Cure?

Auditory processing is a developmental issue. 

This means it’s like losing teeth, which is another developmental milestone. Children who lose their first teeth at age four are not “better” than those who lose their first teeth at age seven. If your five-year-old doesn’t have a loose tooth yet, you don’t get angry, or start Tooth Loosening Therapy. Teeth loss is developmental, and it will happen when it happens.

With auditory processing, it’s the same way. You can’t make it happen, so release yourself from any pressure. There is no appointment for you to make, no official diagnosis that will help. There is no fix for the neurology. 

Most children work through their auditory processing issues and eventually catch up with their peers, when their body is ready.

Symptoms of Poor Auditory Processing

If, as you read through these symptoms, one or two stand out to you, then assume that, yes, your child deals with auditory processing.

1) Poor phonemic awareness. A single sound is called a phoneme (FOE neem), and children who can’t hear the difference between sounds have “poor phonemic awareness.” This means they cannot easily separate or distinguish individual sounds, and have an especially hard time distinguishing between short vowel sounds, such as bet and bit

Children with poor phonemic awareness will probably not be able to determine which of these pairs of words rhyme:  

sock – sell 

rim – slim

sink – drink

tap – shirt 

These children can’t hear the wrong rhymes, and can’t guess the right rhymes. 

This also can show up in very slow letter sound acquisition. It took my son three years of daily work to (mostly) remember the 26 basic letter sounds and their written component.

2) Difficulty with word retrieval. My son would know what he wanted to say, but his brain couldn’t access the specific words. For example, he might say, “Hey, Mom, remember the book about the person who went on a trip?”

And based on the context of whatever we had recently been talking about, I could usually guess, “Do you mean the book about Chris taking the logs down the Mississippi in Swift Rivers?” 

But not always. “Hey, Mom, do you remember when we went to that place and rode on that thing?” could equally apply to the time when our family went to the amusement park and rode the tram, or to the airport and rode on the moving sidewalk, or to the lake and rode on the paddle board. Which sentence is my son trying to communicate? 

When children have difficulty with word retrieval, the specifics of language are missing, those clarifying and important words that differentiate experience. 

3) Unclear or delayed speech. Self-explanatory.

4) Delayed auditory processing. These children’s brains overload really easily, because they can’t process language quickly. 

In fact, some children process information 80% more slowly

Think about trying to do anything if your brain had slowed down 80%. How much less would you comprehend?

4) Poor auditory memory. Children with poor auditory memory don’t remember what they hear, so they miss a lot. 

If a parent says, “Go to your room, get your shoes, and meet me at the door,” the children will show up at the door, but without their shoes. 

This isn’t because they’re deliberately disobeying. They simply cannot remember.

On occasion, my son will have listened to almost all of a chapter book. Then, on page 250 of 300, he’ll ask about a key secondary character, “Now who was that again?” He more-or-less has understood the book, but he clearly doesn’t have specific ideas about the different characters.

5) Difficulty with hearing the number of syllables in a word. You may have heard the trick of clapping syllables, a clap for each syllable. So one clap for cat, two claps for tiger, three claps for beautiful, four claps for hyperactive

My son would guess: “Does computer have one syllable? Does cake have two?” It was astonishing to see all the ways he would contort his speech to make the syllable claps fit the word. 

When children can’t hear syllables, it makes reading programs that focus on syllables almost impossible. 

Does this sound like your child?

If this sounds like your child, I encourage you to keep reading. Some children, like my son, have both auditory processing delays, and the other challenge that we’ll cover tomorrow.

But if this sounds like your child, only one reading program on the market is going to help your child. Every Orton-Gillingham program, supposedly the “gold standard” for struggling readers, focuses on syllable division and rule memorization. For a student who has a hard time hearing and remembering the letters themselves, loading them down with rules is unhelpful at best, and destructive at worst. 

I am thrilled that a program exists that acknowledges and allows struggling readers to move forward, even with delayed auditory processing. 

The Happy Cheetah Reading System is designed to get your child up to speed as quickly as possible.  happycheetah.com

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#Too Tough to Handle

Never ask a Dinosaur: Funny Read-Aloud Story Book for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Kids 3-6) Book 4

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

A little boy decides to bring his pet triceratops to school with him, thinking that they will both have lots of fun. At first, his friends think this is cool. His teachers, principal, cafeteria workers, and staffers don’t agree.

This book contains terrific illustrations that are colorful and expressive. The rhyming text flows well and is fun to read aloud. Children will love the humor and funny antics. The bonus puzzles, matching activities, and games keep the fun rolling along. Book 4 in this series does not disappoint. Preschoolers and primary grade readers can have lots of fun with this series of books.

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#THINKBIGGIVEAWAY BLOG TOUR

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Kat Kronenberg

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Kat Kronenberg’s Think Big and a school visit from the author valued at $650!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A school visit from bestselling and award-winning author Kat Kronenberg*
  • The Live Big trilogy, signed by Kat Kronenberg
    • Think Big
    • Dream Big
    • Love Big
  • A coveted Heart of Star Light-Up Plush Toy
  • All of the downloadable activities and extras from Kat Kronenberg’s website

Two (2) winners receive:

  • The Live Big trilogy, signed by Kat Kronenberg
    • Think Big
    • Dream Big
    • Love Big
  • A coveted Heart of Star Light-Up Plush Toy
  • All of the downloadable activities and extras from Kat Kronenberg’s website

Two (2) winners receive:

  • The Live Big trilogy, signed by Kat Kronenberg
    • Think Big
    • Dream Big
    • Love Big

Giveaway begins April 20, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 20, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

*Date, time, and school for the visit is to be worked out between the winner and author Kat Kronenberg. The school must be within 2 hours driving distance to a major airport. Click here for the giveaway rules.

GIVEAWAY CLICK ON LINK BELOW:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282169/

OFFICIAL LINKS

www.katkronenberg.com: http://www.katkronenberg.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatKronenberg/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatKronenberg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kat.kronenberg/

ABOUT THE BOOK

Think Big

Written by Kat Kronenberg

Publisher’s Synopsis: In the third installment in her Live Big Series, best-selling, award-winning author Kat Kronenberg takes readers back to the wilds of the African savanna where the animals not only still struggle to find food, but now they face life-threatening situations. They must fight to survive and are terrified.

But when our beloved moody Baboon challenges Kudu on what to do, everything begins to change. One by one, Kudu, Giraffe, and Bee are faced with the dilemma of who they want to be. After watching Bee choose to do good, Baboon figures out a new secret: We can light the stars in our hearts, empowering our lives, once we smile big deep within, truly believing in who we are, our ideas, and the importance of caring for others.

The danger continues to mount and Baboon finally gets so scared that he cries out for help. Luckily, some fun animals and Baobab Tree come to the rescue! Will they try the new SHHH secret so their collective ideas not only help all the animals survive but thrive together so that their dreams can come true?

Once again, Kronenberg creates a mythical evolution story of some of nature’s most fascinating characters to teach young readers foundational skills for life in this case, helping them build a loving community that knows the joy of gratitude, giving, and going for the extraordinary. Through playful dialogue and beautiful illustrations, readers learn to take a deep breath when life gets hard, connect their heads to their hearts, and celebrate their best lives as they problem-solve together. As with Dream Big and Love Big, Kronenberg includes hands-on activities at the end of the book and on her website. Her dream is that the whole experience will inspire young readers everywhere to learn to think big together.

Ages 2-8 | Greenleaf Book Group Llc | May 12, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1626347106

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3agKp7w

TOUR SCHEDULE

April 20The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/
April 21Word Spelunkinghttp://wordspelunking.blogspot.com/
April 22Over Coffee Conversationshttps://www.gmarciano.blogspot.com
April 23Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/
April 24icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/
April 27Rosco’s Reading Roomhttps://authorshanagorian.com/
April 28Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/
April 29Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.me
April 30Life Is What It’s Calledlifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.com
May 1Confessions of a Book Addicthttp://www.confessionsofabookaddict.com/
May 15Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.com

#EggandCheese

EGG AND CHEESE

The Cat Detectives in Russia: The Case of the Missing Faberge Egg

Written and illustrated by R.F. Kristi

My first time reading a book in this series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Inca is a Siberian Russian Cat who runs a detective agency consisting of fellow felines, dogs and a hamster. They trek the globe to solve mysteries.

This one begins when Inca’s mom goes abroad promoting her cheese business. Inca and her crew travel to her native land, Russia. Laid out in a diary format, the readers travel abroad and learn a bit of history while becoming embroiled in solving the mystery of a valuable Faberge egg stolen from the museum.

The characters are well developed and engaging personifications of the animals. There are a few illustrations to assist younger readers. I would recommend the book as a chapter reader for elementary and middle-grade students. Readers who enjoy detective stories, animal characters, and travel will particularly enjoy the read.

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LEARNING THE 3 R’S #EARTH DAY

Earth Ninja

Written by Mary Nhin

Illustrated by Jelena Stupar

This book is part of a series that uses a series of Ninja characters to teach children about their world and how to become a valuable member of it.

Earth Ninja wants children to learn how to take responsibility for the earth. Lazy Ninja is careless about throwing away his trash, but one day he goes to the beach with friends. They notice a turtle struggling to get free from plastic trash. Earth Ninja explains how trash in the ocean endangers animals.

Earth Ninja teaches Lazy Ninja about the 3 R’s. We can reduce our carbon footprint, and fertilizer. By reusing paper and plastic, we conserve resources. Finally, we can recycle paper, plastics, and glass. Lazy Ninja is convinced to change his ways.

Nhin includes fasts to help children understand how necessary these steps are and that even one person can make a difference.

This series is highly recommended for preschool and elementary school students.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about friendship

Written by Ira Alice

Illustrations by ElenaTeplove

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabularies are a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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