Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things I Love: Literacy

I have to start this out by saying that I in no way get any thing from talking about products we love.  No one has ever, ever approached me with talking about their products or offered to give me money, etc.  It would be nice, but has never happened.  I just thought that if any one was contemplating certain products that I would share.  Of course my blog following is very, very low (ok with that) so it may not make a difference but I suppose if I am using this as a scrapbook for the girls it may be nice for them to one day look back and remember some of our favorite things.


We love the Starfall apps and now with the Rover app on the iPad we can have full access to the starfall website.  Audrey is now into Starfall and I love that instead of going onto the PBS kids app to veg on cartoon clips she is playing some of the games and hopefully learning some of the letter sounds. We also have the early reader books.  They are not the cheapest but I purchased them in the hope that they would interest Celia more in reading.  They are actually too easy now for her to read but Audrey loves them.  I think it is neat that they can read them online and then read them in the paper version!

Tumble Books
We go on this free through our library, so check out your own library to see if they have that option.  The girls can listen and look at books read to them.  Many of the books we have or have borrowed from the library and I really love reading the real version and then the digital version.  Some of the books have comprehension questions to go with them.   Audrey is not as into this program but Celia loves it.  A nice alternative to tv.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
I read about this book after I left my full time job as an Autistic Support Teacher.  Our program dropped Project Read and started with an SRA direct instruction reading program.  Honestly I did not love the program for my classroom, it involved a great deal of choral responses and some atypical reading program elements.  I had been using Project Read materials with Celia for a bit and was not overly impressed with the program, I have never been a huge fan of the program (it is highly effective though for many kids and teachers).  So when I did some research online, this book kept coming up.  I checked it out from the library and after 2 weeks I was completely sold.  We have 2 lessons left and Celia is reading at a high first grade reading level, possibly second grade.  The lessons were spelled out and scripted, no questions of how to use it.  I think it would be great for struggling readers as well as for homeschooling.  I could imagine that if your child needs extra review that you would have to supplement but Celia did not.  After you finish the book there is a very long list of trade books you can use and the vocabulary words to teach first.  It also has some suggestions for further advancement.  The price is good and Amazon offers it used.

Kumon books
I like Kumon books, but my biggest complaint is that they are on the pricey side for a work book.  We have the linked reading book for Celia and we use it a few times a month when she is interested, sometimes more.  I love the activities though and the color pictures.  The workbooks are high quality, thick pages and colors.  The activities are great for early readers.  They offer a variety of different books.  We also have a numbers book with dot to dots that Celia does enjoy.  We also have the lets sticker and paste book and the beginning cutting book for Audrey.  Audrey and I really enjoy the cutting book.  With spring open scissors (the dollar store has them!) she is able to cut fairly well.  We enjoy the sticker and paste book but I took a break from it because she wanted to work through it quite quickly and I want it to last.  The products are great, just wish they were cheaper!

American Girl Books
Celia and I have really enjoyed reading the American Girl books.  We get them from the library and she can sit through an entire book, as well as read parts of them.  I enjoy the stories too!  I love the history part at the end.  Sometimes the history part is too advanced for Celia, but she enjoys looking at the pictures.  I have a bit of a hard time explaining things like segregation, etc but for the most part she understands the stories.

Pete the Cat
I love the Pete the Cat books for my students and for Audrey.  I love to use them for teaching colors and for learning about transitions.  I have this book along with Pete the Cat Rocking in My School shoes.  I should get more of these books.  I use them every week with my preschoolers and they ask for the stories frequently!

The library!!  That is one of my favorite resources available and I think that many people forget about it.  I actually do not ask for books for the girls frequently because I know we have this resource.  We are even able to borrow the tag reader and the books from the library.  I use it frequently and if my local library does not have the book I want, I can typically order it and then just pick it up at the front desk in a few days.  They also offer many free digital books I can download to the iPad.

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