Favorite Characters at MIW

Through the month of October classrooms had the opportunity to vote for their favorite characters.  Choices included Frog & Toad, Fly Guy, Henry and Mudge, Elephant & Piggie, and Mercy Watson to name a few.  As votes came in, Mrs. Robbins & Mrs. Folley, the Literacy Teacher Leaders, added totals to the bulletin board outside of the Book Nook.  

The results are in...Elephant and Piggie are the favorite with 67 votes!

We are noticing a pig theme with Mercy Watson coming in second place with 41 votes!

Fly Guy came in third place with 37 votes.

Here are some ways to get to know characters when reading at home with your child:

  • Notice what characters say and do.
  • Notice patterns in the character’s behavior.
  • Make predictions about what the character will do next.
  • How does the character react to problems?
  • What lesson does the character learn in the story?
  • When reading aloud, make your voice match the character’s feelings.

Phonological Awareness

Have you ever wondered, “What is Phonological Awareness?”  Phonological awareness is the ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language. This includes recognizing words that rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, and separating words into their individual sounds.  It is an important skill in the process of learning to read.

It can be a lot of fun to work on these skills at home.  Here are some ideas:

  • Sing Rhyming Songs such as Down By the Bay
  • Read nursery rhymes, books with rhyme, or rhyming poems
  • Which Doesn’t Match?: Give your child three words, two that rhyme and one that doesn’t, ask your child to identify which word does not rhyme.
  • Find Me a Word:  In the car ask your child to, “Find me a word that begins the same as….bear for example, then they might list other words that start with the /b/ sound.  Once that is easy for your child, you could try, “Find me a word that ends the same as…”
  • Put it Together!: Give students clues to figure out the mystery word.
It starts with a /b/ and it ends with /ug/, put it together and it says _______!
It starts with /sh/ and it ends with /ip/, put it together and it says________!  
Here are some endings to help you out:
-ack      -ake      -all       -ame      -an      -ank       -at       -ate      -ay     -eat          
-ice       -ick       -ide      -ill         -in        -ing     -op      -or        -est     -ell   
  • I Spy: Have your child identify your “spied” object by listening to phoneme clues, for example: I spy an object with three sounds in its name.  I spy an object and the beginning sound is /b/.  I spy an object and the beginning sound is /b/, the ending sound is /k/, and it rhymes with look.
  • Check out websites and/or learning apps, here are some suggestions:    
http://www.starfall.com      Letter School ABC Phonics Phonics Read
Tic Tac Toe Phonics Super Why Rhyming Words ABC Phonics
http://www.abcya.com         Cat in the Hat Starfall Learning Learning A-Z

I hope you enjoy these activities!

Ways to Help Your Child Grow as a Writer

  • Tell family stories and tales about when you were a kid.  Storytelling is a great way to help students internalize story structure.
  • Encourage reading and love of words! Most writers claim to be avid readers and say that reading widely helped them to become skilled writers.
  • If something interesting or funny happens, encourage your child to write about it.
  • Play word games like Scrabble, Scrabble Jr., Boggle, Bananagrams, or Pairs in Pears and show interest in learning new words, too.
  • Have lots of writing tools available- pencils, pens, colored pencils, and markers.
  • Show interest in your child’s writing.  Be positive!

Alyssa's Book A Day Challenge (so far...)

This summer, I decided to challenge myself to read 75 books. Reading a wide variety of books helps me to recommend books to students and teachers AND is kind of a fun thing to do in the summer. 75 books works out to be about a book a day--the Book a Day Challenge! Many of the books are children's literature. However, I've read a few for adults and some teacher professional development books. I've read about 30 books so far. Here's my top ten to date (click on the title to read a description on Amazon):

If you like to follow my Book a Day challenge and get (almost daily) books recommendations, you can find me at:

Twitter: @alyssar207

Happy Reading,

Keep Learning Going All Summer Long

Research confirms that readers make significant progress when they are reading lots of “just right” books. Here are some resources we've gathered aimed at stopping the “summer slide”. We are hoping this will allow students to begin a new school year with confidence.

Leveled Book List

Reading Tips for Kindergarten

Reading Tips for First Graders

Reading Tips for Second Graders

Reading Tips for Third Graders

Literacy Apps and Websites

Spring Into Summer Night

One June 2, We hosted a "Spring Into Summer Night" and shared ideas with parents on ways to keep learning going all summer long. Please see the above post for links that were shared with families.

Make your own journal station

Literacy Games

iPad Games and apps

Math Games

New Book Suggestions

Award Winners

Poetry Month at MIW

MIW was a fun place to be during Poetry Month! Teachers and students read poetry during our lunch “Poetry Jam”. Third grade students recited poems each Wednesday during the morning announcements. Many poems were displayed throughout the building for staff and students to enjoy. Thursday, April 30 was “Keep a Poem in Your Pocket Day”. Teachers and students chose poems to keep in their pockets to share with others throughout the day. Lots of poetry reading, writing, and celebrating happened in the month of April.
From the book Dear Hot Dog by Mordicai Gerstein