Monthly Archives

January 2017

Education, Language Arts

The DOs & DON’Ts of Reading Aloud

Read Aloud (1)

DO read aloud early and often. Start from infancy, and read aloud every day – even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes!

DON’T stop reading aloud just because your kids are growing up!

DO choose books that you love to share with your children. Your love of reading and of the story will be contagious!

DON’T be afraid to admit it if you made a poor choice of reading material. Give the book a chance, but if you can’t get into it, set it aside. Reading aloud is supposed to be fun, not miserable!

DON’T rush! Read slowly and carefully so that your child has time to process the story and enjoy the pictures.

DO pause to enjoy the pictures with your child. Point out words and show them how they relate to the images!

DO read with expression! Change your tone and inflection for different characters.

DON’T be afraid to be silly. Your character voices and sound effects don’t have to be perfect!

DON’T be afraid to pause and explain challenging vocabulary or complicated situations.

DO admit it if you don’t understand a word or concept. Look it up with your child!

DON’T wait to stop reading until your children are tired and bored.

DO leave them wanting more… try to find a stopping place with a cliffhanger. They will be excited for your next read aloud session!

DON’T leave home without a book!

DO read to your kids everywhere – at a restaurant, in a waiting room, while stuck in a traffic jam, while they eat lunch, etc.

DON’T feel the need to tie everything back to the curriculum. Sometimes reading is just for fun!

DO discuss what you read! Ask your child what they liked about the story and what they disliked. This will help you pick books that pique their interest.

Lapbooking 101, The Basics

Lapbooking 101: Why Use Lapbooks

Copy of Lapbooking 101 - Square

Lapbooks have been around for nearly a decade, and have continued to gain popularity over the years. What originated in homeschooling communities across the country has grown and spread – even into traditional classrooms around the world.

Why have lapbooks continued to gain popularity instead of fizzling out as most educational trends do? There are many reasons! Here are some of the best:

  1. Lapbooking helps both visual and kinesthetic learners pick up and retain information. Lapbooks are visually stimulating. They involve not only text and images, but also a variety of shapes and colors. These elements are not only helpful to visual learners, but kinesthetic learners as well, as creating them involves cutting, gluing, drawing, and writing!
  2. Lapbooking allows seamless integration of various subjects during a unit study. Regardless of your original topic, you can almost always incorporate language arts, science, social studies, and even math into your lapbook! In a recent elementary literature class, we read Pippi Longstocking and Cricket in Times Square. Our lapbooks for these novels included maps, fun facts about insects, flippable books about counting money, and more!
  3. Lapbooking is an inexpensive way to record student learning and create a keepsake for years to come. Lapbooks can be created with supplies that you may already have on hand. All you really need are file folders, paper, scissors, glue, and colored pencils! (We will discuss supplies in further detail in a later post.)Lapbooking 101 - Pinterest
  4. Lapbooking is an easy way to capitalize on your child’s creativity. Lapbooks can be created very simply, or very intricately! There are no limits to lapbooking! If your child is very creative, you can investigate the hundreds of different foldable pieces and mini-books, and incorporate all sorts of fun paper, stickers, and scrapbook supplies.
  5. Lapbooking is more than another boring worksheet or report! While there is a time and place for formal reports and worksheets, variety is the spice of life (and education)!

Do you have any of your own reasons for creating lapbooks? Join the conversation and share your ideas in the comments!

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