April Monthly Activity Calendar

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Letter Knowledge: ABCs

Parents and caregivers make the difference by just modeling the importance of reading, surrounding children with books, and engaging in the learning process. By doing these simple things, children have a better chance at succeeding in school and throughout each aspect of their lives. Today, we wrap up our series on the six literacy skills and strategies you can use to practice each skill at home with your family.

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Our final topic is LETTER KNOWLEDGE, or knowing the ABCs:

  • Make finding letters and sounds fun.
  • Play spelling games.
  • Use materials like magnetic letters, sand and glue, stamps, flashcards and stickers to practice spelling.
  • Explain what is the “same” and “different” between objects.
  • Read alphabet books with clear letters and pictures.

As children begin to learn the letters of the alphabet, it is also important they learn to identify shapes, colors, and numbers. Our letters are made up of many different shapes–the capital A has a triangle, the lower case d has a circle, the s looks like a snake. Many of our letters have similarities, but they also have big differences. When children learn these concepts, it makes identifying letters easier. Remember, you can use almost any book to teach letter knowledge. It doesn’t have to be a book strictly about the ABCs.

Here are some great books your child will love reading:

Sue MacDonald Had a Book by Jim Tobin
If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
A You’re Adorable by Martha Alexander
Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming

Phonological Awareness: Sounds

Parents and caregivers make the difference by just modeling the importance of reading, surrounding children with books, and engaging in the learning process. By doing these simple things, children have a better chance at succeeding in school and throughout each aspect of their lives. For the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the six literacy skills and strategies you can use to practice each skill at home with your family.

Teaching Phonological Awareness

Today’s topic is PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS, or the ability to recognize the sounds that make up words:

  • Say silly tongue twisters.
  • Sing songs, read poetry and picture books, and make up silly rhymes together.
  • Point out the link between letters and sounds.
  • Play word games such as “What sounds like ran?”.

Being able to identify and recognize letter sounds is very important. Children are more likely to understand and identify words in print when they already know that letters are simply symbols that stand for a specific sound and when you put those sounds together they make up words. Making up silly, nonsense words is okay at a young age because you are helping your child determine sounds letters make. As your children get older, reading and saying tongue twisters over and over again also helps with fluency–or the ability to read easily and accurately.

Here are some great books your child will love reading:

Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes by Brian P. Cleary
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrdhart
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein
Tanka Tanka Skunk! by Steve Webb

Narrative Skills: Storytelling

Parents and caregivers make the difference by just modeling the importance of reading, surrounding children with books, and engaging in the learning process. By doing these simple things, children have a better chance at succeeding in school and throughout each aspect of their lives. For the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the six literacy skills and strategies you can use to practice each skill at home with your family.

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Today’s topic is NARRATIVE SKILLS, or the ability to tell stories:

  • Tell your child stories, real or make-believe, written in a book or not.
  • Read favorite books again and again and again.
  • Encourage interaction by asking “What” or “Why” questions and create real life connections to the story.
  • Ask your child to tell you something that happened today–and don’t settle for “nothing.”

Storytelling is a very important skill. It helps with imagination and creativity. It can help your child remember a lesson from social studies or science. Learning about the Constitution or Declaration of Independence? Create a story using the events that happened in the time periods to help remember the information better. Learning about the water cycle? Make up a story or song about a cloud and a water droplet. This is also an important skill to learn for sequencing–something children struggle with throughout early childhood.

Cooking/baking, making playdough, and doing other tasks together with your child can help them learn to sequence because these things need to be done in a specific order.

Here are some great books your child will love reading:

Little Red Hen by Byron Barton
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton

Vocabulary: Word Knowledge

Parents and caregivers make the difference by just modeling the importance of reading, surrounding children with books, and engaging in the learning process. By doing these simple things, children have a better chance at succeeding in school and throughout each aspect of their lives. For the next couple of weeks, we will be posting the six literacy skills and strategies you can use to practice each skill at home with your family.

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We will begin with VOCABULARY, or simply put, words:

  • Talk with your child about what is going on around you.
  • Talk about unknown and interesting words. Create a word of the day challenge.
  • Read together, discussing the story and pictures.
  • Point out words that have similar meanings.

Don’t be afraid of using “bigger, fancier” words. Let your child hear unusual words to help expand their word knowledge. Use a dictionary often.

To help develop word knowledge and vocabulary, the most important thing you can do with your child is READ. Here are some great books for children Kindergarten through Grade 3:

Previously by Allan Ahlberg
Big, Bigger, Biggest by Nancy Coffelt
Mom and Dad Are Palindromes by Mark Shulman
The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter
The Case of the Incapacitated Capitals by Robin Pulver