Thursday, June 27, 2013 Children's Books: 2013 Summer Reading List for Students Entering Grades K-6

Ever wondered where the best place in the world is to find ideas on children's reading.  My all time favorite spot is Children's Books.  Just "google" this title in and you are there.
My second favorite place to go for reading info is  I honestly don't think they have missed anything on this site having to do with reading in any form.  :)

2013 Summer Reading List for Students Entering Grades K-6
The list, which is organized by grade level, includes cover art, a brief summary, the copyright date and the genre/themes of recommended books for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. This 2013 summer reading list comes from the Parkway School District in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

4th of July Paper Lanterns Kid's Craft in Red, White and Blue

Stories to share:
Hurray for the Fourth of July by Wendy Watson
Mouse's Birthday by Jane Yolen
Phoebe's Parade by Claudia Mills

Songs: "Way up in the Sky" sung to Row, Row, Row your Boat
Wave, wave, wave the flag.
Hold it very high.
Watch the colors gently wave, Way up in the sky.
March, march, march around,
Hold the flag up high, Wave, wave, wave the flag.
Way up in the sky.
(from Perry Public Library Story time)

Yankee Doodle

Thanks Jamie, from  These are adorable and perfect for my Pre-K class this week!

{Paper Lantern Kid’s Craft***4th of July Style}
by Jamie on June 26, 2011
Here is a fun Kid’s Craft for your upcoming 4th of July Festivities-Summer Paper Lanterns, 4th of July Style.

Supplies You will need to make the Paper Lanterns:
-Cardstock in Red, White and Blue
-A ruler
-Star punch or Star Stickers
-A pencil
-Glue Sticks
-Festive Ribbon
Step One:
Fold your cardstock in Half Lengthwise.  Then take your ruler and draw lines from the fold, leaving an inch from the end of your line and the edge.  Leave about .75 inch on each side. Step 2: Have the kids cut on the line, stopping when the line ends, not through to the edge:)  (This is great cutting practice)
*Little brother had to join…this photo is so funny because he has been wearing that monster hat (we have a green and pink one) for days…he refuses to take it off, even during nap time!
Step 3:  Unfold your paper and then with the folded bumps on the outside, tun inward and attach at the top and bottom.  Then staple both the top and bottom a couple of times. You should now have a paper lantern to decorate!  I was thinking you could make these look Hawaiian by using bright colors and adding flowers, or if you are throwing a birthday party you could easily match these lanterns to your theme. We added stars by using punched out star shapes in red, white, blue, and silver.  The kids just glued on the stars with gluesticks, but you could even purchase some star stickers.
We also added some festive ribbon on the top and bottom with a stapler and attached a 1 inch strip of cardstock for the handle.
And there you have it, a very easy kid’s craft for the summer…that you can even display in your home:)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Story Time at Ready-Set-Grow Preschool and Child Care

My husband and I have owned a wonderful child care center for almost 10 years in Bountiful, Utah.  I've spent many, many hours there teaching preschool at the beginning when we first owned it, and this summer I am taking a couple of hours a week to do story time, music and an art project.  I thought some of you preschool/Pre-K would benefit from what I have been up to.  So here goes:

At the beginning of the summer we just oriented the kids to the summer "way of doing things".

June 17th was Transportation Week:  Here is what I did.

Stories:  "Freight Train" by Donald Crew, "The Wheels on the Bus" by Raffi and "Trucks" by Donald Crew

Songs:  "Down by the Station Early in the Morning", "The Wheels on the Bus", (we moved the chairs so the kids felt like they were sitting on a bus), "Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck".  (Just google any of these titles and I'm sure a you tube video will pop up to teach you how to sing them."  I played the guitar on some of then and gave a triangle, the instrument, to a student for the ding, ding, ding, ding, ding part of the last song.  Next time I'll give one to all the kids.  We used a spoon to hit the triangle with.

The lyrics to the first song go like this:
Down by the station early in the morning
See the little pufferbellies all in a row.
See the station master turn the little handle.
Puff, puff, toot, toot, off we go.

AIR, LAND, OR SEA:  Then I gave a different vehicle to each child and drew on a while board 3 simple lines to divide the air, land and sea from each other.  Each child came up and named their vehicle and put it in the correct place.

Art:  Last of all we made trains using squares, rectangles and triangles cut from construction paper.  We used cotton for the clouds, straight pretzel sticks for the "Logs" each car was hauling and uncooked "wagon wheel" pasta for the wheels.  They turned out darling.

June 24th:  Today, the theme was "On the Farm"

Stories:  "Pigs" by Robert Munsch; "Ruby in Her Own Time" by Jonathan Emmett; and "To Market, To Market" by Anne Miranda

 I chose 2 to read and then we sang these songs:
Songs:  "Old McDonald" and "Down by Grandpa's Farm".
I changed the words to Down by Grandpa's Farm to say:

Down by grandpa's farm there is a big fat pig, (repeat)
The pig, he spells his name like this: P-I-G  (repeat)
Oh, we're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to grandpa's farm. 
We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Grandpa's farm. 
(We practiced spelling the words and I had this paper up.)

The kids were able to read it, sing it and follow my modeling.  This is a great literacy activity.  As you can see, we also graphed everyone's favorite farm animal, which is a great math visual.  The kids could clearly see which animal won the highest number of votes. 
Craft Activity:  We make clothes pin horses using a body of a horse, without the legs, copied onto cardstock.  The legs are the clothes pins, which make the horse stand up.  Go to to get a copy of the horse. 
The kids colored the horses, cut them out, added the legs and yarn for the mane and tail.  They turned out really cute and the kids loved them.  Sorry, no finished copy to show you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Picture Books

Summer Picture Books

Here is a great list of summer books from Pam at PBS.  Click on the link above.

I have been "doing librarian" at a charter school in North Salt Lake all year, but for the summer will switch gears a bit.  Since my husband and I own a child care center, Ready-Set-Grow, I will spend a few hours each week working with the kindergarteners on different themes, mostly having fun.  I needed a great list of summer books to fill in the gaps.  My all time favorite summer book is "The Relatives Came".  It perfectly describes what it feels like as a child to be on a long road trip, leaving early in the morning, car packed to the brim and driving for hours, or days to finally arrive at the relatives.  When you get there, all kinds of festivities happen and there is plenty of love and hugs to go around for everyone.  It is a MUST OWN book!
The author and illustrator are a perfect match!


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