20 Best Tips
Teaching Textbooks

Our Current Read-Alouds ~ The Underland Chronicles

For the past few weeks the kids and I have been reading together a lot. A LOT. There have been some stretches where we will read a few hours. Or we’ll grab a short snippet of time here and there ~ where ever we can!

A series that has had us all captivated is The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins {moms with older kids may recognize her name from the Hunger Games book}. We borrowed the first book from the library and after 1/3 of the book I went ahead and purchased all of the books to keep on our shelf {Amazon had a lovely 4-for-3 deal!}.

Gregor and the Prophecy of the Bane

Currently we’re reading Gregor and the Prophecy of the Bane. Two of the kids have been sneaking the book off to read ahead. We’re just about ready to wrap it up and I’ll be honest and tell you that even I am enjoying it. Even though there are rats and cockroaches and bats. Big, giant creatures that live under our world {shudder}.

A little over a week ago we lost power for the evening and we all snuggled up under blankets in the living room with a lantern and read together. That night {and the fun} is burned in my mind and just makes me smile when I remember the kids all laughing at what was happening in the story and their cries to start the next book immediately as we finished the story.

I love that the kids are so excited to be read to, want to race ahead to read the next book, and are SITTING STILL and really listening!! Typically, I have a hard time staying awake {even when I am the reader}, but this has infused some caffeine into me as well. I’m having fun using different voices for characters, helping the kids catch the subtle humor when a line is delivered correctly ~ so many little things!

What have been some of your favorite books to read along as a family? We’re going to need more when we finish up these books! :)

 

 

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Visit these great companies!

 

How to Read Kindle Books without a Kindle Device

Many days I post any free Kindle books I’ve found on my Facebookkindle page. Frequently though, readers comment that they wish they could read the books ~ but they don’t own a Kindle.

Guess what? You do NOT need to own a Kindle to download the free Kindle books or to read them! How wonderful is that news?

Reading Apps for the Kindle

While I LOVE my Kindle e-reader that was purchased a little over a year ago, Amazon offers several other options for reading the books without owning a Kindle device. Here are a few:

~ Kindle app for your iPad, iTouch or Droid
~ Kindle for your PC or Mac
~ Kindle Cloud Reader 

Why I Love My Kindle

Aside from the convenient size of my Kindle {it fits in my purse with room to spare}, the biggest plus for me is the lack of backlighting. I have a hard time falling asleep after too much ‘screen time’ and the fact that it is much like an actual book page helps me out so much. In the summer, the text also shows up great in bright sunlight. 

Looking for a Kindle E-Reader?

If you are in the market for a Kindle there are several different options available for you to choose from, ranging in price from $79 to $189 with free s/h {I’d recommend the ones on the low end!!}. Although I have a Kindle without the special offers, I actually added them to my Kindle because they occasionally have some great deals.

~ Kindle e-reader w/ Special Offers {$79} or Kindle w/ wifi only {$109}

~ Kindle Touch w/ Special Offers {$99} or Kindle Touch w/ wifi only {$139}

~ Kindle Keyboard 3G w/ Special Offers {$139} and Kindle Keyboard w/ wifi and 3G {$189}.

~ Kindle Fire with backlighting {$199}

Note: There are other options for the Kindle as well, these are just a few of them.

Looking for Free Books for the Kindle?

On my blog No Ordinary Moments, I have a widget with the latest free Christian books for Kindle to release as freebies.

Photobucket

 

Although I check daily and pull books off when they are no longer free, please be sure to check the price before you add it to your cart.  New books are updated daily on my Facebook page, but you may want to visit my blog at least once a week since I will be update it several times a week!

Note: Many of the Kindle freebies are also available as free downloads from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers also. I just typically spend most of my time on Amazon {ahem}.

 

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Visit these great companies!

All About Reading Program Level 1 Review

We received this product at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.
You all ~ the wait for All About Reading Level 1 program has been so amazingly worth it.  We loved the All About Reading Level Pre-1 program and this is a wonderful next step in the reading process with Kaleb!

All About Reading Level 1 Kit     Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit
 

Program Basics

All About Reading Level 1 is a program for beginning readers. It picks up where the Pre-1 reading program ends ~ when children know their uppercase and lowercase letters as well as letter sounds and are ready to put the sounds together to make words. If you aren’t sure where to start your child, you can use the Reading Readiness Checklist to help you decide.

All About Reading focuses on phonological awareness, decoding skills, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and lots and lots of reading practice. Similar to the other programs from All About Learning Press, the Teacher’s Manual includes step-by-step directions, so there is no guesswork in what you need for each lesson or how to teach the concepts covered.

Each of the 49 lessons include hands-on practice using letter tiles, word cards, fun games, and activity sheets to go along with the day’s lesson. Lessons can be tailored to meet the needs of your child ~ review concepts as often as you need to in order to know that they are being retained.

All About Reading Review-1    All About Reading Review-2

{playing letter sound bingo}

Each lesson takes about 20 minutes to work through and then another 20 minutes of reading to your child is recommended. We usually divide up our time and read at different points during the day, instead of doing it all in one block of time.

All About Reading Review-4

Sight words are incorporated in to the program {so far Kaleb has learned ‘the’ and ‘a’}. They are treated as ‘Rule Breakers’ and given special treatment. :) Kaleb has loved this part of the program, to the point that he came running into my bedroom early one morning and woke me up when he found ‘the’ on something that he was playing with ~ ‘It’s a rule breaker!!!’

All About Reading Review-6

And the moment you want to do a happy dance {and actually do??}. When your child picks up a book, sits down with you and reads a real, honest-to-goodness story to you for the very first time. It just makes a mommy’s heart happy and there is much rejoicing to do!

All About Reading Review-5

I have also been using the reading program with Zachary {2nd grade} to help increase his reading fluency. Reading has never been a favorite part of his day, but his fluency has already greatly improved in the weeks that we’ve used it and it’s also built up his confidence in his reading abilities. He’s on the ‘fast track’ through the program, but part of his motivation has been seeing his younger brother start doing things that he was more recently complaining about {grins}.

Quick tip: Not sure if you should start out with All About Reading or All About Spelling? While the two programs go hand-in-hand, children generally move ahead more quickly in reading, so I recommend starting with All About Reading first.

 
The All About Reading Level 1 Kit comes with the following items: {Regularly $107.70, currently on sale now for $99.95}

  • All About Reading Level 1 KitTeacher’s Manual
  • Student Packet {includes word cards and an Activity Book}
  • Run, Bug, Run! reader
  • The Runt Pig reader
  • Cobweb the Cat reader

imageYou will also need a Reading Interactive Kit to complete the program. Choose between the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit {$48.95} or the Basic Reading Interactive Kit {$28.95} ~ or buy the pieces individually. The reading kits are a one-time purchase and will be used in all levels of the program.

Quick Tip: If you currently use any of the All About Spelling programs, the letter tiles are the same, so you may only need a few additional components to complete the kit.

A Few More Thoughts…

One thing that we all look at is the initial price of this children’s reading program, and while it is a bit more, it truly is worth it. Here are a few of my thoughts on it:

  • The bulk of the components are non-consumable {only the Activity Book and the smiling star stickers cannot be used again}. This means that you can use the program with children coming up through the ranks or eventually re-sell it to another mom.
  • The program is completely laid out and lessons are scripted, so you can just relax and not worry about planning!
  • Minimal prep-work. The word cards are perforated, but need to be torn apart and the letter tiles need to be assembled with magnets. Once that is done, you can grab your manual and go.
  • The Go Ahead and Use It One-Year Guarantee’. You and your child have a full year to try out the program! If you find that the curriculum does not meet your needs, simply return the materials at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price.

I can honestly tell you all that we have all of the products from All About Reading and All About Spelling, use them daily, and love them tremendously. Their curriculum is one of the first that really got me excited about teaching and I KNOW that they are getting solid teaching using the programs!

New Vocabulary Cards for Read! Build! Write!

Read, Build, Write collage

In case you’ve missed them, I’ve slowly {but surely} added more vocabulary cards to the Read! Build! Write! vocabulary mats on my website. Whenever I put together a set of Early Learning Printables, I also put together a coordinating set of vocabulary cards for the mats.

Since I introduced them back in August, here are just a few of the fun themes and books that were added to the page:

  • Before Five in a Row books {so far there are 9 sets for this series, including Ask Mr. Bear, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Caps for Sale and more…
  • Colors, fruits, and vegetables
  • Fun themes: apples, fall, a second police set and more!

Check out the Read! Build! Write! webpage to find vocabulary cards to go along with all of the Early Learning Printables that I’ve put together so far, along with some other fun themes and books!

 

All About Reading Level Pre-1 Deluxe Giveaway ~ a $120 value!

The new All About Reading site has been launched and to celebrate, All About Learning Press is offering one of my readers an amazing giveaway ~  the All About Reading Level Pre-1 Deluxe Package, a $119.95 value!!

You are going to LOVE this!!

image

All About Reading Level Pre-1 was designed for children in preschool and kindergarten to prepare children for reading. It focuses on the Big 5 Skills {the five fundamental pre-reading skills}: letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print awareness, listening comprehension, and motivation to read. It includes reading activities, cds, crafts, and SO much more!

Read my in-depth review of All About Reading Level Pre-1 here.

{We love Ziggy, yes we do!}

20110810-IMG_1218

Here’s how you can win…

To enter all you have to do is tell me ONE of the three extra components that is in the All About Reading Level Pre-1 Deluxe Reading Package. That’s it! If you already own it, enter anyway ~ you can bless a friend if you win! :)

If you’ve been wanting to buy it, but worried you might win it ~ buy it!! If you win, I’ll refund your money!!

Want to earn a few extra entries? Give yourself an extra entry for each of the following:

Enter to win a Deluxe All About Reading Level Pre1 Package from @marierippel & @jolantheerb ~ details here: http://bit.ly/q5yKsu

  • Click on the banner below and grab the free activity book to see JUST how cute Ziggy is {if you’ve already downloaded it, give yourself an entry}.

Additional Information

The giveaway will be open until 8pm EST Sunday, August 28th, 2011. Winner will be announced by Thursday, September 1, 2011. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Read! Build! Write! Vocabulary Mats ~ Free Printables

Read, Build, Write Vocabulary Mats


What are Read, Build, and Write Vocabulary mats? Basically, they are a fun way for you to squeeze in a little extra learning with your child! Print off one of the mats to use with your child {or in your classroom}. There are multiple colors of vocabulary mats to choose from ~ since I couldn’t decide on just one. :)

Here’s a summary of how to use them:

Read: Place one of the vocabulary cards in the top box and read the word together.

Build: Use letter tiles or magnets to build the word in the second box.

Write: Finally, practice writing the word in the bottom box.

Print the mats onto cardstock and then laminate them so that you can use Vis-à-vis markers or dry erase markers on the mats.

Initially, I put a set of these in for one of my Preschool Packs and then thought these would be a FUN addition to the many themes and books we read throughout the year.

Read, Build, Write cards

Check out the Read! Build! Write! webpage to find vocabulary cards to go along with all of the Preschool Packs that I’ve put together so far, along with some other fun themes and books {I’ll be doing some to go along with our Before Five in a Row studies too!}.

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button