Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tweets of the Week

Hey, come and sit down with me in the breakfast nook and share the news of the morning--grab a fresh cup of coffee and a warm muffin; or maybe we can get together after work and catch up on the world's events in front of the cheerful fire at the hearth--and actually we'll be around the world getting together online! The Information and Communication Age! Welcome like-minded friends.

There were several interesting articles I found this week related to child development, literacy, and what kids need to successfully learn. So here are some of my tweets of the week.

MacDonald's in the UK is changing the Happy Meal. To be honest, I would miss the toys. Can we have both?

This relates to Maslov's hierarchy of needs, and would seem obvious.

Grandpa hugs granddaughter after the Haiti earthquake.
T. Berry Brazleton has a new book on the irreducible needs of children.

More insight into ADHD.
Group hug!

Let's go to the library! The younger the better!

Always new books, delightful thought.

What a wonderful idea: a baby shower where everyone gives a child's book!

Little people developing because of relationships.
Night night, Mommy.
Really interesting articles about kids' brain development.

The importance of love and affection, our list ending where we starting with Maslov's hierarchy.

Daddy hugs can't be beat.
This is the best quote I found this week from the writers at Harvard:
"The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation."

Time for a hug!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Teachers Like to Read to Little Kids

Two of my friends from high school also became teachers, and we have reconnected with Facebook.  I recently asked them what books they especially enjoyed reading with their students. 
My high school BFF, Diane Cook Gaske, who has taught Kindergarten for many years, responded with these comments:
I like the Llama Llama series, there is a beautiful book by Eve Bunting called the Butterfly House (which I always read in the spring when we hatch butterflies) and fairy tales with different scenarios. Ex. The Three Little Pigs, then I also read, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, The Three Little Fish and The Big Bad Shark. I also do a Gingerbread Unit where we do different gingerbread stories like The Gingerbread Baby, The Gingerbread Cowboy, The Gingerbread Girl and there's a new one about the Gingerbread Boy going to school. Very Fun!!! This is a hard question because there are so many books and so many favorites!!
Another teaching friend from high school, Lois Taylor-Johnson, ran a preschool. She made these comments:

My 3 and 4 years olds wanted any Dr. Suess Book all of the time. I would read "Good Night Moon" before naptime. They also enjoyed "The very Hungry Caterpillar" :). My favourite's to read to them were "Corduroy" and "Make Way For Ducklings" Those were good times. I also read them for Emma (my daughter) when she was young, and she loved them, especially "Corduroy" as I used the "Corduroy" puppet.

When I was teaching very young children, I also enjoyed Don Freeman's Corduroy and Bearymore. Beatrix Potter was fun, I remember making the screech, screech noise of Farmer MacGregor's hoe while Peter was sneaking around, although those stories are actually rather intense. But the ultimate is Dr. Seuss, with Horton especially, hearing the Who and hatching the egg.

If the Reader loves the book, that is the extra secret ingredient to inspiring the little listener to be a great reader, too. Is there a favorite book you have? Is it age appropriate for your little listener? Read it for a treat, a special reward,  for a bedtime ritual. These characters are truly lifelong friends and we get to introduce the kids to them.

Here are some more resources for early childhood learning.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let's Read! Current Trends in Little Kid Books

Corduroy's friend Bearymore
Kids of all ages, one to ninety-two, enjoy exploring the children's section of the bookstore. Old friends and new friends await us. Recently, I was delighted to greet my old friend Corduroy in the bookstore, although his buddy Bearymore was absent. That troublemaker Curious George was there.You gotta look out for him. I was delayed in the Hundred Acre Wood for quite awhile with my friend of very little brain, Pooh. I like to visit him because, as you know, Christopher Robin left for school. I met with Laura, Ma and Pa, sisters and Jack, and Anne with an 'e' greeted me from the bigger kid section of the all hallowed 'chapter books.' The Pokey Lil Puppy and the Little Engine that Could are also looking for new little friends, even in 2012.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's Read: Little Kids

Little kids love, just absolutely love, to be read to. Eyes latched to the marvel (the book) and cuddled up next to reading friend or family member, a unique comradery envelopes the reader and the listener: they are members of the community of the literate. The experience hits all the targets for great learning, confidence, interest, acceptance and frequent teachable moments.

How to choose what to read?

Baby's face, Daddy's face
The library holds wonders--a magical space for little hands and minds. The local library doesn't have to be elaborate. These are my pictures from my rural Southern California small town library. My own children remember visiting the libraries from their early childhoods rather than the specific books I read to them, but it was always an occasion that compelled their total involvement. My very earliest memories are of a tiny neighborhood library with a garden, and a lovely book with elves, flowers, and poetry.
 Little One can chose some books, and the reader can choose some favorites. Some stories are a rite of passage even for a two-year-old.

Tiny ones begin to recognize facial images, household items, animals. This identifying symbols is the beginning of reading.

Mommy, I'm a Big Girl now!

The library visit is one of the first tasks of the very young child that creates a 'Big Girl' and 'Big Boy.'
Even before a toddler is potty-trained, she can choose library books and carry them to the check-out!

The Reader, whether older child or adult, is the star, the celebrity, the ultimate wizard of words. The Reader transforms from brother, cousin, daddy or grandma into the Storyteller who performs with funny voices, suspenseful pauses, and numberless faces not seen during the daily routine. The reading time can be hilarious, ending in a tickle fest, or peaceful, sweet and drowsy just before dreamland. Reading time can delight the ear with nursery rhymes, or open a door to intellectual questions about the world and how it works. Reading to Little One creates powerful emotional bonds and models important behaviors leading to literacy.

So many favorite books, old and new. Here is the all-time number one suggestion: any book by Dr. Seuss.

Fox in the Sox By Dr. Seuss
The first time my daughter read independently, at age three years, we were browsing the library, and she spotted a Dr. Seuss book and read aloud, 'Hop on Pop!' Momentous.
The last link is a list of Dr. Seuss books.