I am a preschool teacher/music teacher who loves to take photos and write stories in her spare time. My dream is to become a published author. Follow my journey as I work towards turning my dream into a reality.
Since I have a newfound appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month of a book I loved. So January’s book is right here: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi.
There is something about walking through the woods that goes along with stories. Like tea and crumpets, cookies and milk or peanut butter and jam. Anyway, this gentle story has a few unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages turning. The book can be enjoyed for its delightful surprises and re-read for its kid appeal. Who wouldn’t want to attend a tea party in the woods?
Kikko, a likeable main character, wants to deliver a pie to her grandmother’s house. It’s a simple idea, but when her father leaves in advance, all she has to go on are some footprints in the snow and a figure in the distance. The story has a dreamlike quality with an appreciation of bravery and independence. The black and white illustrations with splashes of colour are delightful and different. Reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood, it is full of fun, friendship, encouragement and whimsy. A sure hit with little people and their significant adults! I’m happy to add this one to my library.
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Welcome to my Raise a Reader series with weekly tips for encouraging early literacy!
Tip #10: Make a book of favourite words with your child. Choose one word each day. Write it on a piece of card stock. Punch a hole in the corner and add a new word each day. Keep them on a ring so that you can easily add more words. Draw a picture or paste a photo beside each word to help your child identify the word.
Welcome to my Raise a Reader series where I share weekly tips for encouraging early literacy!
Tip #9: Help your child to make connections between stories and real life. Choose books that are relatable for your child. Talk about parts of the story that connect with your child’s life. Listen to your child’s ideas about the story. Questions to ask, “Did that story remind you of anything?” “What did that story make you think about?”
Welcome to my Raise a Reader series with tips for encouraging early literacy.
Tip #8: When reading to your child, stop occasionally in the middle of the story and ask your child to predict what might happen next. This keeps your child engaged in the story and excited to continue reading!
Hey! Would you like a free recipe card? I’ve created these cute recipe cards with an image out of my picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker! Send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to send you one 🙂
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Welcome to my “Raise a Reader” series where I share tips for encouraging early literacy.
Tip #7: Try writing some dictated stories for your preschooler. After all the daily stories you’ve been reading, your child may have a story of his/her own. It does not need to be a full story. Just write down their ideas for them and read it back to them. Then pass their story on to other people who can read it to them.
If your child doesn’t have story ideas, try writing dictated lists or letters. Help them get the idea that writing and reading is all about communication. If they have an idea they want to communicate, write it down. For example: “This is my lego castle. Please keep it together so I can show it to Grandma this weekend.” Look for opportunities to help your child communicate in writing and see the benefits of written communication.
Welcome to my “Raise a Reader” series where I share tips on encouraging early literacy. Check back weekly for a new tip.
Tip #6: Always keep writing materials easily accessible to your children. Pens, pencils and paper should be stored attractively. Make it look inviting to write and draw. If children have practiced drawing, then it will be easy for them to print. If the materials are inviting and easy to get, they will use them! Practice makes perfect.
Tip #5: Get some magnetic letters from the dollar store. A set of lower case and capital letters would be best. Then without saying anything to the kids, spell a word on the fridge and leave it there for them to see. Once they figure out the word, put up a new one. Start with really common short words like yes, no, cat, dog, run, play, mom, dad, and so on. Make it a game. Reading ought to be fun!
Tip #4: As you go about your daily life, read signs and labels to your child. Just incorporate that into the things you talk about each day. For example, when you’re in the grocery store you can ask your child to find their favourite cereal. Sure, at first they are using a combination of pictures and words to find the right cereal box but eventually they will start to recognize the consistent pattern of letters in words that are familiar.