Reading with the Family by Jacqui

Hello Families!

Here are some wonderful resources you might find interesting or helpful during your time at home with your children. It can be difficult to juggle life and make sure your children are staying engaged and keeping up with their routine. Consistency and fun, interesting activities will keep everyone on their toes!

https://www.storylineonline.net/ This is an excellent resource for story time! A variety of actors come together on one website to read different children’s books)
https://www.getepic.com/ Instantly access 35,000 of the best books, learning videos, quizzes & more.The first 30 days is free and it’s $7.99/month if you subscribe. It’s free for educators!

Here are some more resources I have found that could be useful at home!

This resource is a preschool/kindergarten teacher who started her own “Kindergarten Camp”) She will be doing a circle time with music, activities, weather, calendar and focusing on a few letters a day each day of the week starting at 10am. She will be using Facebook Live.

And the Cincinnati Zoo will have a live Facebook event every day at 3pm featuring an animal and an activity that kids can do at home.

It is so important to find time throughout the day to read books with your children. Reading interactively with your children can be beneficial for language and literacy skills. Parents should:

  • Read slowly, take your time, together to read each page and let the story unfold. 
  • Encourage their children to talk about the pictures: What do you see?  
  • Describe what they see: How does the little boy feel? 
  • Predict what they think will happen next in the story: What is going to happen next? 

You can also discuss the characters and ask your child what they would do in their situation.

When choosing a story for your child here a few things to think about:

  • Consider your child’s two or three favorite books. Compare other books by this standard. Feel free to pick up a few that are slightly easier and slightly harder than their favorite titles. 
  • Determine whether the subject matter is appropriate for your child’s age and/or maturity level. 
  • Choose books that will keep your child’s interest. Are they bored by trucks and fascinated by dinosaurs? Try to choose materials that will make your child excited to read!

You can continue language and literacy even on your walks outside. Talk about whatever catches your child’s attention. Have them name the object and describe it to you. Ask them what they think about the object. “I see you found a flower. It is a beautiful flower. What color is the flower? How do you think it got there? Do you think it has a smell to it? What does it feel like? Soft or rough?”

Here are some read aloud chapter books from Abigail for the whole family – you’re never too young to listen

Babbitt, Natalie. Jack Plank Tells Tales

         “Yes, Jack Plank started out to be a pirate. His shipmates all liked him, and their ship, the Avarice, was certainly very beautiful. But after a while it was clear that he wasn’t much good at plundering. He just didn’t have the knack for it. So what to do? Jack did the only thing he could do—he went ashore to look for another line of work. The town was called Saltwash, on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, and he had a lot of helpful advice from the people in Mrs. DelFresno’s boardinghouse. Somehow, though, each career he looked into seemed to have something wrong with it. And every night at dinner in the boardinghouse, he tried to explain why. For who would want to work where there might be a troll or the danger of getting a crab caught in your beard? Or what about a music-loving crocodile? There were other things, too, that ran against every suggestion and took the wind out of his sails. At last, Jack sadly decided he wouldn’t be good at anything onshore and would have to go back to sea, pirate or not. But sometimes, as you probably know already, things work out very nicely when you least expect it.”

Birney, Betty G. The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

            “Eben McAllister longs to see the world outside of his small farming community. He might get a chance IF he meets Pa’s challenge to find Seven Wonders right there in Sassafras Springs. With his faithful dog, Sal, at his side, Eben begins his quest full of doubts. Little does he know that the Wonders he’ll discover among his neighbors, friends and family will give him the adventure of a lifetime … without his ever leaving home.”

Birney, Betty G. The World According to Humphrey

            “You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That’s what Humphrey was told when he was first brought to Room 26. And boy is it true! There are always adventures in the classroom and each weekend he gets to sleep over with different students. Humphrey learns to read, write, shoot rubber bands (only in self-defense, of course), turn off TVs, teach English as a second language, and more. With a lock-that-doesn’t-lock and an adventurous spirit, what more could a mischievous hamster want? “

Blume, Judy. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

            “Fourth grader Peter Hatcher has a terrible problem – his little brother Fudge! The first in a very funny five book series.”

Brown, Jeff. Flat Stanley

            “Meet Stanley Lambchop. He’s an ordinary boy with an extraordinary problem. He’s four feet tall, about a foot wide . . . oh, and half an inch thick. At first being flat is fine. It’s fun going in and out of rooms simply by sliding under the door. And it’s exciting being mailed to your friends in California for a visit. But it’s not always easy being different, and soon Stanley wishes he could be just like everybody else. Will he ever be normal again?”

Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle

            “Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall – right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcycle … almost anything can happen!”

Dahl, Roald. Fantastic Mr. Fox

         “Mr. Fox is surrounded, and he’s going to have to come up with a truly fantastic plan to dig himself out of trouble this time.”

DiCamillo, Kate. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

         “Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost.
           Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.”

DiCamillo, Kate. The Tale of Despereaux

            “Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.”

DiCamillo, Kate. Mercy Watson series.  

            “Pig hero. Porcine wonder. Fan of toast with a great deal of butter on it. Mercy Watson’s disarming personality and hilarious hijinks are captivating early chapter-book readers everywhere.”

DiTerlizzi, Tony & Holly Black. The Spiderwick Chronicles series

         “It all started with a mysterious letter left at a tiny bookstore for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Its closing lines: “We just want people to know about this. The stuff that has happened to us could happen to anyone.” Little could they imagine the remarkable adventure that awaited them as they followed Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace and a strange old book into a world filled with elves, goblins, dwarves, trolls, and a fantastical menagerie of other creatures. The oddest part is in entering that world, they didn’t leave this one!”

Estes, Eleanor. The Moffats

         “Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house…sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble. Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun. Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.

Gifford, Peggy. Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little

            “It wasn’t as if Moxy Maxwell hadn’t tried to do her summer reading. She and Stuart Little had been inseparable all summer, like best friends. If Stuart Little wasn’t in her backpack, it was in her lap. . or holding up the coffee table . . . or getting splashed when Moxy went swimming. But now it’s the end of August—the day before fourth grade. And if Moxy doesn’t read all of Stuart Little immediately, there are going to be “consequences.”
           It may look like Moxy is doing nothing, but actually she is very busy with a zillion highly crucial things like cleaning up her room (sort of) and training her dog and taking a much-needed rest in the hammock. Just look at the pictures her twin brother Mark takes to document it all—they’re scattered throughout—and you’ll see why it’s so difficult to make time for a book about a mouse.”

Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu, Brave and True

            “Most days the best thing about being Ruby is everything. Like when she’s the star of her own backyard magic show. Or when she gives a talk at the school safety assembly on the benefits of reflective tape. Or when she rides the No. 3 bus all the way to Chinatown to visit GungGung and PohPoh.

And then there are the days when it’s very hard to be Ruby. Like when her mom suggests Chinese school on Saturdays. Or when her little brother, Oscar, spills all of Ruby’s best magician secrets. Or when her parents don’t think she’s old enough to drive!”

Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything

            “When Ruby’s cousin Flying Duck emigrates from China to live with her, Ruby decides the best thing about Flying Duck is that she is a great new friend. BUT the worst thing about Flying Duck is that now, no one speaks English at home. Plus, there’s strange food on the table every night and only chopsticks to eat it with. And Flying Duck is deaf, and Ruby doesn’t know any Chinese Sign Language.

As if that weren’t enough, this summer proves to be even more perilous as Ruby faces the dangers of swimming lessons, the joys of summer school, the difficulty of staying with a twelve-step program, the miracle needed to keep a beautiful stray dog that wanders into her life, and much more. Is it all too much for anyone — even the Empress of Everything — to handle?”

Look, Lenore. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things

         “ALVIN HO IS an Asian American second grader who is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.”

Lowry, Lois. Gooney Bird Greene

            “There’s never been anyone like Gooney Bird Greene at Watertower Elementary School. What other new kid comes to school wearing pajamas and cowboy boots one day and a polka-dot t-shirt and tutu on another? Gooney Bird has to sit right smack in the middle of the class because she likes to be in the middle of everything. She is the star of story time and keeps her teacher and classmates on the edge of their seats with her “absolutely true” stories. But what about her classmates? Do they have stories good enough to share?”

Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys

            “Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good old-fashioned children. Following the models set in lauded tales from A Christmas Carol to Mary Poppins, the four Willoughbys hope to attain their proscribed happy ending too, or at least a satisfyingly maudlin one. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and decidedly old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children’s literature.”

McCloskey, Robert. Homer Price

         “Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.”

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody series

         “Judy Moody doesn’t have high hopes for third grade. But she does have an abundance of individuality and attitude, and when Mr. Todd assigns the class a special Me Project, she really gets a chance to express herself! Megan McDonald’s spirited text and Peter Reynolds’s wry illustrations will delight any kid who’s known a bad mood or a bad day – and managed to laugh anyway.”

McDonald, Megan Stink series

         “Every morning, Judy Moody measures Stink and it’s always the same: three feet, eight inches tall. Stink feels like even the class newt is growing faster than he is. Then, one day, the ruler reads — can it be? — three feet, seven and three quarters inches! Is Stink shrinking? He tries everything to look like he’s growing, but wearing up-and-down stripes and spiking his hair aren’t fooling anyone into thinking he’s taller. If only he could ask James Madison — Stink’s hero, and the shortest person ever to serve as President of the United States.”

Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine series.

            “Clementine is having not so good of a week.

On Monday she’s sent to the principal’s office for cutting off Margaret’s hair.

Tuesday, Margaret’s mother is mad at her.

Wednesday, she’s sent to the principal. Again.

Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.

Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.

And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.

 Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.”

Jacqui P., Lead Teacher, Sharon Cooperative School