Archive for the ‘Tool Time Rewind’ Category

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox

April 28, 2011

April was not as busy as March was at Literacy Toolbox.  I took a little time off this month to spend Spring Break with my kids.  We had an enjoyable week, but we still had some time to get some literacy learning in this month!

Lit World: A Global Poem for Change

April was National Poetry Month, so we began by sharing the month long Global Poem for change that Lit World is creating.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do so today!  You are invited to submit a line of poetry to the growing poem at the Lit World website.

Paint Me A Poem: Poems Inspired by Masterpieces of Art by Justine Rowden

This post provided a brief look at one of my favorite poetry books.  I also provided a fun little activity you can do related to the book.

Building Readers, One Word at a Time

This is a sponsored post by WordWorld.  WordWorld is a fantastic educational cartoon on PBS.  It teaches children letters, phonics, and phonemic awareness.  My daughter loves it and in this post I’ve shared some activities you can begin to do with your pre-reader.

Literacy Toolbox Review: The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale Retold by Lucine Kasbarian

This is a great picture book to teach children a little about folktales, greed, and selfishness.  There are several teachable moments in this book and I share them at this post.

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of April.  Coming up next month, you’ll find a review of a resource for finding books for boys as well as a Q&A with the author!  Additionally, I’m going to announce a challenge I’m cooking up!  Come back in May and see what we have in store for you!

©2011 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review on Literacy Toolbox

March 31, 2011

March was a busy, busy month at Literacy Toolbox.  It was packed full of various literacy celebrations and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A Preview of Share a Story: The Gift of Reading

I had the honor of hosting a day for the annual Share a Story, Shape a Future blog tour this year.  I took a day to preview the awesome bloggers that shared in “the gift of reading” with me!

Read All About It: Literacy Lava 8 is Out!

On the same day, Literacy Lava 8 came out!  If you aren’t familiar with Literacy Lava, you must become familiar with it!  Literacy Lava is a free pdf magazine lovingly edited by Susan Stephenson, known to most of us as The Book Chook.  Four times a year, she puts out this awesome magazine that is filled with tons of literacy tips and tools for parents!  In this eighth edition, you’ll find suggestions for developing plot in Writing Tips for Kids, storytelling as a way to bring literacy front and centre in kids’ lives, how to get kids reading, how different aged siblings share read-aloud time, great tips for a toddler book club, ideas for encouraging creative thinking in children, and how to help kids collect words.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ birthday (Theodor Geisel), and so every year on his birthday, the US celebrates “Read Across America” Day!  I didn’t write an official post, but shared a picture of my daughter to show how we celebrated “Read Across America” Day.

Story Tellers: Telling Stories Around the House

Have you ever wondered how you could take every day items from around your home and encourage and increase literacy among your children?  A piece I originally wrote for the current issue of Literacy Lava, check out a few of my ideas to help you get started!

Share a Story, Shape a Future Literacy Blog Tour: The Gift of Reading

During the second week in March, Terry Doherty of the Reading Tub provides readers across the blogosphere with a feast for the literary eyes!  Pulling together bloggers passionate in literacy, she creates a blog tour that seems to get bigger and better every year!  This year’s theme was “Unwrapping the Gift of Literacy.” Check out this post to find links to all of the awesome bloggers who shared their “gifts of reading.”

What Would You Miss Most if You Could Not Read or Write?  Celebrating World Read Aloud Day!

World Read Aloud Day took place on March 9th, 2011.  This global literacy event was started by Lit World, a non-profit literacy organization.  Guided by the all important question, “What would you miss most if you could not read or write?” millions of people took part in this event around the world!

Story Tellers: Creative Writing Through Innovative Activities

I had the pleasure of presenting a parent workshop in Woburn, MA in early March.  During this workshop, I shared ways that families could integrate writing into their everyday activities.  Parents Learn to Help Their Children with Writing was also written about the evening.

Preschool Family Reading Night: Pajama Jam with Dr. Seuss

For the past three years, I have had the pleasure of designing and hosting Family Reading Nights at my daughter’s preschool.  She is moving on to kindergarten next year, and so a bit bittersweetly, I say this was my last one.  We went out in style of course, celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday a bit late with all sorts of Dr. Seuss arts and crafts, snacks, and of course READING!

“We-View” Wednesday: Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

One Wednesday a month, I write up a “we-view.” My son and I review a book together and both write our own reviews of the book.  This month we “we-viewed” Flat Stanley because we were reading it together for our Flat Stanley Adventure Exchange we were participating in!

Chris Singer of Book Dads: Every Story is a Teacher

I had the pleasure of hosting my friend, Chris Singer, as a guest.  He wrote a very personal, true story of how books saved him from abuse in his childhood.  This is a fantastic post and a must read!

Our Flat Stanley Adventure Exchange

As previously stated, my son and I participated in a Flat Stanley Adventure Exchange, hosted by Trina of Book Loving Boys.  We hosted a Flat Stanley for several weeks and quickly integrated him into our lives.  He read books with us, played video games with us, and even played football.  This is a brief journal of our adventures.

Teach Your Child Individuality with Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford

I completed two book reviews at the end of March.  This was one of them!  Big Bouffant is a great story that teaches children to be themselves.  I loved reading this, especially with my (almost) five year old daughter!  It provides a great message!

Shoes for Me! by Sue Fliess

Our final review of the month was of Shoes for Me! by Sue Fliess.  This is a cute, rhyming story that led to encouraging my daughter to pick out the correct rhyming word to finish a sentence (a great activity to promote phonemic awareness!).

Whew!  And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of March.  March was a long month filled with literacy fun.  I can’t wait to see what April brings us!

Don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books you read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!

©2011 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review

February 24, 2011

I reviewed several books and apps on Literacy Toolbox in February.  I’m going to try to do more reviews this year and hopefully, continue with a mix of reviews between books and iPad/iPhone apps.

Spotlight on Literacy Organizations: First Book

February began with a spotlight on another amazing literacy organization: First Book.  Since 1992, First Book has distributed over 80 million new books to children who might not have the opportunity to own their own books.

Use One by Kathryn Otoshi to Discuss Respect with Your Child

I had the opportunity to read aloud One to my daughter’s preschool class.  It’s a great book that uses colors to put bullying and respect in perspective for younger children.

Use 13 Words by Lemony Snicket to Model Vocabulary through Context

Using only thirteen words, this master author wove a story that engages children. I wondered how it was possible to create something engaging with only thirteen words. Lemony Snicket did it.

Reading App Review: Bob Books App

Technically, Bob Books isn’t a book – well, they do have books, but my children have never read them.  However, when I saw they had app for the iPad, I had to download it. This app is great for your beginning readers!

iPad App Review: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

This book app for the iPad is one of the best I’ve seen by far.  Essentially it brings the picture book, How Rocket Learned to Read, to life.

We-View” Wednesday: The Flat Stanley Adventure Exchange

Trina from Book Loving Boys created this online adventure that began yesterday.  My son and I are excited to participate.

iPad App Review: Wild About Books by Judy Sierra

What happens when Ms. McGrew drives her bookmobile into the zoo?  Why the animals learn to read of course – and love to read, too!  Another great interactive app from Random House Children’s Books.

What are You Reading? Literacy Resolutions February Update

An update on the literacy resolutions I created for myself for 2011.  Which ones have I met so far?  Which ones have I broken?  What books do you recommend for me?

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of February.

And don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books you read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox

January 27, 2011

Most people look at January as a time for new beginnings.  I’m not big on making resolutions for the New Year, but as 2010 came to a close, I began to analyze my reading life and decided I needed a few literacy resolutions to jumpstart 2011!

Literacy Resolution #1: Read Every Day!

Inspired by Donalyn Miller’s, The Book Whisperer, I decided there was no time like the present to read every day.  I try to read for me every day, not just to my kids.

Literacy Resolution #2: Keep a Reader’s Notebook

I want to be able to track how much reading I do this year and I want to have a record in later years of what I read.  Keeping a Reader’s Notebook will help me with this goal.  I’m keeping my personal reading and professional reading separate and I’ve helped my kids start their own reading notebooks as well.

Literacy Resolution #3: Read Outside My Comfort Zone

Stated simply: read books I wouldn’t normally read.  I have a few in my TBR pile already.  The last couple of years have found me reading picture books to my children and adult books for myself.  Through my Twitter friends, I have found a great deal of MG and YA books that I would like to read.  My goal is to read widely this year.

Literacy Resolution #4: Read More MG and YA

My environment the last eight years has not necessarily afforded me the opportunity to read MG and YA, as my children are under 8 years old.  However, my son is moving into middle grade chapter books now and I want to be able to discuss them with him.  Plus, I kind of miss reading these genres!

Literacy Resolution #5: Read Professional Literature in a Timely Manner

I have subscriptions to two professional journals that I just can’t seem to read regularly.  I really need to.  And want to.  So, my goal is to sit down and read an article or two when they arrive in the mail.  There are also a number of professional books that I would like to read!

Literacy Resolution #6: Take Time to Write More

My first book was published in 2010.  I really have so much more to say!  I need to get to it! A little writing time each day is in order for 2011!

Literacy Resolution #7: Become Part of a Reading Community

A reading community is so important in the life of a reader.  I’m lucky to have found several communities to join this year. 

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of January.

And don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books you read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!

Best of 2010: A Year in Review on Literacy Toolbox

December 30, 2010

I’ve never written a best of post before.  As my readership has increased over the year, I feel that I certainly have something important to share with parents and educators out there.  So, I decided to go through the year at Literacy Toolbox and pick out my best posts.  This is completely subjective. . . these are posts that were important to me in some way.

Ten Tips for Reading Aloud with Your Preschooler

Read Alouds are so important!  Read how to read aloud with your preschooler.

Interactive Informational Read Alouds with Preschoolers

Nonfiction is an often neglected genre when it comes to reading with preschoolers.  Read how I used an interactive informational read aloud with my preschooler.

Give Your Family the Write Start

Read for tips for incorporating writing into the fabric of your family.

Setting Up a Home Library

Research has shown how important it is for children to have access to books.  Read how to set up a home library for your young child.

Book Buddies: Pairing Fiction and Informational Text to Motivate Readers

One way to motivate readers – match fiction and informational texts on the same topic.

Five Ways to Motivate Readers

Read for additional ways to motivate readers

Creating Bookworms: Connecting to Your Childhood

Read one of my favorite posts, using books from my childhood to connect with my son.

Tips for Starting a Father/Son Book Club

Research has shown that boys need male role models in reading.  Here are some tips for starting a father/son book club.

Spotlight On: Literacy Organizations

I’m so excited to share three literacy organizations on my blog during the month of December.  Read about them here!

And that is The Best of 2010.  I hope to make 2011 even better!  I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!  May you have health, happiness, and success in 2011!

Happy Reading,

Dawn

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox

December 28, 2010

December tends to be a month of giving.  So, I thought it appropriate to spotlight literacy organizations that are in the habit of giving.

The Reading Tub

The Reading Tub is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting reading and literacy.  They provide book reviews, author showcases, and literacy links for families.  Read how The Reading Tub got started from the Executive Director, herself, Terry Doherty.

Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

According to their website, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. They prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most.  They inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice.  Read more about their work from the CEO, herself, Carol Rasco.

“We-View” Wednesday: Nate the Great

My son and I read Nate the Great and the Big Sniff by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and reviewed it for our monthly “We-View” Wednesday link up.  I’m still working on the link-up part and hope to have others join us as soon as I become familiar and comfortable with linky options.  In the meantime, check out what my son’s thoughts were on this great book!

Everybody Wins!

Their mission:  “Everybody Wins! is a national children’s literacy and mentoring nonprofit proven to build the skills and love of reading among low-income elementary students. By bringing volunteer mentors into schools for weekly one-on-one reading experiences, everybody wins! – children, schools, volunteers, their companies and ultimately, society.”  Read how Rich Greif, the National Executive Director of Everybody Wins!, first became involved with the organization and how they help low-income students.

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of December.

And don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books you read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox

November 30, 2010

November was Family Literacy Month.  I began Literacy Toolbox last year (yep, totally missed my blog birthday!) with a month of posts about family literacy in honor of Family Literacy Month.  I figured why not do the same this year?

Tips to Increase Family Literacy

What can families do together to promote literacy?  Here are six tips.  Read aloud together is the number one thing to do in my opinion!

Fun Ways to Encourage Literacy as a Family

Two “real-world” ways to encourage literacy in your house: label, label, label and Supermarket Scavenger Hunt.

My Go-To Online Literacy Resources

Do you go online to find literacy resources to help your children at home?  Here are four of my go-to online resources I use to encourage literacy at home.

“We-View” Wednesday: The Butt Book

My son and I read The Butt Book by Artie Bennett and reviewed it for our monthly “We-View” Wednesday link up.  I’m still working on the link-up part and hope to have others join us as soon as I become familiar and comfortable with linky options.  In the meantime, check out what my son’s thoughts were on this very funny book about butts!

In the Pages of a Book: Celebrating Your Family by Terry Doherty

This is a wonderful guest post from my friend Terry from The Reading Tub.  She shares her thoughts on finding your family in books.  Families come in all shapes and sizes.  Is yours represented in a book?

Family Literacy: “Fall Fun” Family Reading Night

I hosted my daughter’s preschool’s 4th Family Reading Night.  I’m happy to say it was another success!  We read to perform a task and students and their families created fall themed crafts, heard the director read aloud, ate a few snacks, and went home with a free book!

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of November.

As we become firmly ensconced in the holiday season, I wanted to take some time next month to spotlight literacy organizations that work to help get books into the hands of children that need them!

And don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books you read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox

November 4, 2010

I began this new monthly post, Tool Time Rewind in September, and then completely forgot to recap October’s posts!  So, a few days into November, here is October’s Tool Time Rewind.  I will be back next week with posts related to family literacy!

Boys and Reading: Tips for Making Reading “Boy-Friendly”

The media has put such an emphasis on the differences between boys and girls lately and really, whether there is a discrepancy between the ways boys and girls learn.  Find research based tips to make reading “boy-friendly” in this post.

“How to Raise Boys to Read:” An Educator and Parent Responds

In September, Thomas Spence wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal about boys and books.  In this piece he indicated that boys will become barbaric morons if we allow them to read gross humor books.  This is my response.

Getting Started with a Father/Son Book Club

Did you know that boys need male role models in reading?  Fathers have a great influence over their child’s education and how well they perform.  If a male role model values reading, boys will learn to value reading as well.  With this in mind, consider starting a Father/Son Book Club.

Is There Really a Significant Difference Between Boys and Girls Reading Scores?

Over the last several years media coverage has touched upon boys and reading.  According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an assessment given to random students nationally every two years, fourth grade girls continue to outscore boys in reading; however, if you look at the data provided by The Nation’s Report Card, the difference is minimal.

Using Technology to Entice Boys to Read

Historically, science and math have always interested boys.  Now we have technology which is a newer form of science and math is used to create it.  Hmm.  Sounds right up a boy’s alley if you ask me.  So how can we harness technology and use it in a way that entices our boys to read instead of stopping them from reading altogether?  Consider video games and digital storytelling as two options.

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of October.

This month’s theme is “Family Literacy.”  Next week, you’ll find real world and online resources to encourage and increase family literacy.

And don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books you read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!

Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox

September 30, 2010

For most people, a new year begins on January 1st.  For some, it begins July 1st – typically the start of a fiscal year.  For me, and as long as I can remember, a new year begins in September.  I was a student for most of my life, then I was a teacher, and now I’m a mother of school age children.  My life has always revolved around school and so my schedule naturally falls around the school year.  I find that I always look to September as a new beginning.  So, for the month of September I looked for ways that we could recommit to our children as readers and learners.  So, for today, this last day of September, I have created a recap of the ways we can create bookworms.

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month:

Kids are never too young to have a library card.  I believe my own children were two or younger when I got them their first cards.  It’s never too late to get your child a library card!  Don’t forget that many booksellers offer Story Times for young children as well.  Check their websites for dates and times.

Building a Home Library

One very important way to create a bookworm is access!  If we want to create bookworms, we must provide our children with plenty of reading materials.  One way to do this is to provide them with their own “library” at home.

Making a Comfortable Reading Nook

When reading with our children or providing independent reading time, environment is just as important as what we read.  Children are more likely to want to read if they are provided a comfortable reading spot.  I asked readers to share photos of their reading nooks, but alas no one shared.  But, that is ok.  I rearranged my children’s reading nook and here is the latest look:

I’ve noticed that both of my children enjoy sitting in their chairs at various times of the day and with a basket of books in between (I rotate books from our home library to the basket), they enjoy picking up a book and reading more.

The Read Aloud

Twenty-five years ago in Becoming a Nation of Readers (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985) reading aloud was called “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading” (p. 23).  I still believe this holds true.  I have yet to read any research that disputes that reading aloud to our children regularly is good for them.  If there is one thing that I have done for and with my children since the day they were born (and even before), it’s read aloud to them.

Connecting to Your Childhood

Sharing with our children that we were children once too, helps them to connect to us in a deeper way.  It’s hard for young children to reconcile that the adults in their lives were once children just like them.  One way I try to connect with my children and share my childhood with my children is through the books I loved as a kid.  My son and I have enjoyed reading classic Beverly Cleary books together.  And through this bonding experience, my son gets to know me a little better, the child in me.

Book Fairs for Our Youngest Readers

Book fairs are fun.  Period.  Who doesn’t enjoy going into a room full of books and having hundreds of choices of quality books at great prices?  Typically book fairs are reserved for children who are actually reading.  But, what about our preschoolers?  They may not be reading yet, but if we interest children in books at a young age, we are more likely to create children who want to read.  A book fair is a fantastic way to interest our smallest readers.

And that is Tool Time Rewind for the month of September.

Next month’s theme is “Reading with Boys.”

And don’t forget: ”We-View” Wednesday is back! The third Wednesday of every month is reserved for reviews of books read with your children.  Share yours and your child’s thoughts on the book!  To participate, please email me [dlittle [at] linkstoliteracy [dot] com] your review by the Sunday prior.  I hope you will join us!