Monday, June 28, 2010

Recap Week 3 & Intro to Week 4

Week 3 went really well and we’re kind of on autopilot as far as how we go about learning the words. He mastered all the words for the week and now we’re upon week 4.  I’ve decided to shake things up a bit this week, though.  Tonight I will introduce the words and do the usual Monday routine, but in the middle of the week as a review of the previous weeks I will incorporate all of the words into our flashcard game.  Then we will make sentences using at least two words per sentence from weeks 1-4. 

Week 4 Words:


Week 4 is the last week for pre-K (pre-Primer) sight words.  So, next week I will be introducing the Kindergarten (Primer) sight words.  There are 52 words, so we will increase our words to 13 a week, for four weeks.  Here is the new list of sight words with the pre-K & Kindergarten words.

Avie Designs Sale

I absolutely love this shop and I just wanted to share with you all the fact that they're having a summer sale.  I have bought website cards, address labels, and stationary from Avie and she is always so pleasant and even sends personal notes.  Don't miss out on this great sale!  I can't wait to see what new designs she offers on her new website!

This post was not paid for or sponsored in any way; I am a fan!

Friday, June 25, 2010

And the color is...

I have decided on a new color for the dining/living room and kitchen.  First I’ve decided to use the same color for all of the rooms because it’s an open concept living area.  Secondly, I’ve decided to use a lighter color because of the amount of light that we get in those areas (very little).  Lastly, it is still in my favorite color family, the blue-greens.  And the color is Glidden’s Gentle Tide!!!   

I first fell in love with this color in John & Sherry from YLH’s kitchen.  Then of course I had to Google images of it and found some really gorgeous rooms using this color!  I can’t wait to see how it looks in my home and the effect that it has.  Well, until my house is in shape for painting, feast your eyes on the images I found:

Courtesy of House*Tweaking

Won't it look great with this pennytile for the kitchen backsplash!

courtesy of 

How do you get your kids to embrace summer reading?

Summer is here and school is out (or pre-school) if you’re a mom to a 3 year old like me, but you don’t want the learning to stop just because the weather’s hot.  So, how do you get your kids to embrace summer reading?  Well, if you’ve been reading my blog this month, you’d know that my strategy is to teach my son the pre-primer to first grade Dolch sight words over the summer. 

I’ve tried to make this as fun as possible for my son because he is a very active fun loving boy, so just sitting still and watching a video isn’t going to cut it for him.  He loves games so we have incorporated the flash cards as a game, he receives points for every word he can correctly identify and no matter how many points he gets, the reward is usually the same…CHOCOLATE!  I’ve also used the sight words for Bingo, which is a favorite game of his, mostly because he gets to use the bingo dabber and make a bit of a mess.  To get his creative juices flowing I let him create sentences out of the words he’s learning.  The sentences can be long, short, or silly as long as he uses the word in the right context.  If he’s stuck on a word I tell him the word and ask him what type of picture should we draw to help him remember the word.  He comes up with the greatest ideas, for the word make he said I should draw a picture of a baker with a cake, because bakers make cakes!  It’s a good thing I can draw.

Another fun activity that we’re doing is using the words we’re learning to read stories.  When I read to him, I ask him what words he sees that he knows and he points out the words he’s learned to read so far.  I also read to him and stop at the words that I know he can read so that he can read that portion of the story.  It will be so exciting when he can finally read an entire story all by himself.  As an avid reader and writer, teaching my son to read is a very rewarding experience.  I cannot wait for the day when not only is he reading to me, but when I can pass along to him some of the books that have shaped my life and the way in which I view the world and hopefully they will do the same for him!


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gorgy Stuff!

Do you know about Pinterest?  Well, it’s just about the greatest thing in town and by town I mean internet!  Pinterest is a free service to share collections of things you love -- whether that's food, art, clothing, or books.  Here are some of my pins:



Dolch Sight Words Summer Weeks 2 & 3

Hi all sorry for the delay in posting.  I’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind, since I’ve become recently employed and then whisked off to California my first three days on the job.  Even with all the jumble of life, I have been diligently plugging along with the Dolch Sight words. 

We are currently on week 3, but I’d like to do a recap of weeks 1 & 2 before I move on to this week.

Week 1: The week went really well, there were only 4 words he did not already know on sight.  Then there were 3 words he continued to get stuck on, even on day 2.  In order to help him associate the spelling of the word with the word, I drew a picture on the card to help jog his memory.  Those words were and, away, & down.  At the end of the week I created a sight word bingo card using the words from week 1 & week 2 (as a preview).  I was quite surprised that many of week 2’s words he could already identify!  After seeing how he preferred to learn the words I modified week 1’s lesson plan for week 2.

Week 2: I modified week one’s lesson plan and did the following:
  • Monday - Introduction to the sight words of the week.  First we will view the sight words & see if there are any that he can already identify.  For the words he cannot readily identify I say the word and then have him use it in a sentence.   I then him associate the spelling of the words he finds difficult with a picture by drawing directly on that word card. 
  • Tuesday - Spelling the word.  We repeat the steps for Monday, but after that I then show him the words and tell him to spell it to me.  I then proceed to write the word as he spells it in a notebook.  I then show him what I wrote and ask him, “Is this right?”  Then I ask him what word it is.
  • Wednesday - Review.  Show all the sight words for the week.  See which words the child can identify.  Any words that cannot be readily identified, re-do Mon & Tues activity for those words.
  • Thursday - Story time.  Create a story using the words for the week.  Read the story and then have your child try and identify the words they know in the story.
  • Friday - More Review.  Create a sight words bingo card using the current week and the next week’s word.  Play sight word bingo covering all the words.

Week 2 Words: 



Week 3 I plan on using the above lesson plan.  This week’s words were harder to identify for him and on day 1 he could only identify 3 out of the 10 on his own. 

Week 3 Words:


How is your sight words summer going?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 1: Summer Reading with Sight Words

Here  is the game plan for the week.

  • Monday - Introduction to the sight words of the week.  First we will view the sight words & see if there are any that he can already identify.  Next,  I will say the word on the flash card.  Lastly, I will use the word in the sentence and then repeat the word on it's own.  
  • Tuesday - Spelling the word.  Show the word; Say: This is the word /if/ --Ask: What letter is at the beginning of this word? --Ask: Does this word have a smaller word inside it? --Try to point out something characteristic about the word--This word begins with the same letter as your name; or This word only has 3 letters, just like the word /cat/ you learned yesterday. --Say: Now I want you to say each letter in the word as I spell it aloud, and you write it in the sand (or using another kinesthetic method like shaving cream on a cookie sheet, chalk on the sidewalk, magnetic letters, cereal letters, etc) --Then have the child spell the word aloud while you print it in his Word Book(a small notebook having all this week's words on one page)
  • Wednesday - Review.  Show all the sight words for the week.  See which words the child can identify.  Any words that cannot be readily identified, re-do Tuesday's activity for those words.
  • Thursday - Story time.  Create a story using the words for the week.  Read the story and then have your child try and identify the words they know in the story.
  • Friday - More Review.  Show all the sight words for the week.  See which words the child can identify.  Any words that cannot be readily identified, re-do Tuesday's activity for those words.
Week 1 Sight Words:
a   and   away   big   blue   can   come   down   find  

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sight Words Summer Prep

Next week is the beginning of our Sight Words Summer, but before we begin we will need to do a little preparation for the upcoming week.  Here is some prep work before we start:
  1. Create Dolch Sight Words flash cards - I will be using 3x5 index cards to create my sight words.  You may use this spreadsheet to download the Sight Words, it is broken down by the week it will be taught in.
  2. Print out the Dolch Sight Word story - This story uses all 220 sight words.  I will be reading this story every week and asking my son which words he recognizes or can read.  
  3. Set up a designated time & space for your lessons - This will signal to your child when it's reading time and create excitement and wonder about the process.
Sunday I will be posting the lesson plan for next week, have a good weekend preparing for READING!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons...

As I said earlier, my house is in TERRIBLE disarray, but instead of being bummed, I'm kind of psyched because I'm able to COMPLETELY re-do my living room, dining room, and kitchen.  Now, I've never had an insurance claim on my homeowner's insurance so I'm not sure how "crazy" I can get with all of this, but I'm ready to redecorate.

I hope to have pictures of the mess soon, but essentially all of my kitchen cabinets have been ripped out, my living room walls, and one dining room wall has been taken down to the studs.  All of my carpet has been ripped up in the living & dining room, as well as on the steps leading to our upstairs.  Now, I'm not sure if I can do all that I'd like to do, but I have a lot of ideas swimming in my head!

So far, here are my Kitchen Ideas:

I'm loving Ikea's Adel Medium Brown cabinets.

And I'm really feeling a penny tile back splash, especially since it seems like everyone & their momma is doing mosaic glass tiles.

More ideas to come...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution

Elizabeth Pantley, the author of such great parenting books as The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The No-Cry Discipline Solution, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution, and The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers, has a new book out on Separation Anxiety.  As a mother with a 7 mth. old who has never been in daycare or out of my sight for very long, this is a book I desperately need.  I'll be going back to work soon and it's going to be tough for both of us, my child and I, to leave each other for 9 hours a day.  It hurt just typing that!

According to Pantley's new book, The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution:

Separation anxiety is a titanic ordeal for many families and can create a cloud of stress over an otherwise happy family life. I have learned that information, knowledge, and a few new ideas can be a lifesaver for parents and children suffering separation anxiety. These tips can allow you to stay connected, and at the same time support your child’s growing independence.

Separation anxiety seeps into children’s lives for many reasons, and for separations both brief and extended. Infants cry when a parent hands them over to a loving relative. Many babies sit on the floor outside a bathroom door while a desperate Mommy tries to take a very quick shower. Toddlers weep at the daycare center every morning while loving parents attempt to pry them off, while desperately promoting the many wonders that await the reluctant child. There are children crying beside a babysitter as Mommy or Daddy goes off to work, and children adjusting to their parents’ divorce – which means they must always leave someone behind. There are many children suffering through the feelings of missing a parent who is deployed, in the hospital, or away on a business trip. In addition, children must often leave their parent’s behind as they go off, which causes a different kind of separation anxiety: children who must stay alone at the hospital, go away to camp, or stay behind when Mommy goes off to have a new baby. And then there are those nightly battles that occur the world over as parents try to convince anxious children to sleep alone all night, in their very own beds in their very own bedrooms.

This is the book I wish I had from the beginning of my parenting career to use for all the times my four children suffered from separation anxiety, and to help me with my separation anxiety as I dealt with my own feelings of separation with each of my children’s milestones. I am very happy to be able to present many gentle, effective No-Cry separation anxiety solutions to you.

Separation anxiety is normal and unavoidable. Yet, it’s hard to find comfort in that fact when you are faced with the frustration, sadness and helplessness that it creates. This book will provide you with many specific solutions and instructions for helping your child overcome separation anxiety, so that you both can part ways with a good-bye, a happy wave, and a smile. 

For more information on this book or other No Cry Solution books, please visit: The Elizabeth Pantley website.

* This post was written also as a submission to the following contest.

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