Posts tagged ‘learn to read’

July 18, 2012

words + numbers = 1derful wumbers

One of the first words the Wizard of Why learned to read was “no”. This meant that everywhere
we went he had to ask what the “no” signs said. “No what?” he would constantly ask
from the backseat of the car, the jump seat on the double stroller, or just his spot walking
next to me on the sidewalk. Thus we spent a lot of his third–and so far all of his fourth–
year, reading things like “no parking”, “no smoking”, “no loitering”.

This book came along at just the right time. We are not quite learning how to read, but we are definitely recognizing a few words and intrigued by the idea that one day we might be able to read. This is a great book for that age. (And a lot of other ages, as I mention below.)

Title: Wumbers
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrator: Tom Lichtenfeld (of Sharks vs. Trains and Duck! Rabbit! fame)
Genre: Picture Book, Numbers
Ages: 3 – 7

Book Review and How to use this book with kids: This is a fun, whimsical book. It’s almost like a comic book–each page is a beautiful picture. Then each picture has a caption written in “wumbers”, a mix of words and numbers. For example: one picture shows two kids in the kitchen below a cookie jar. One kid says “Here’s the plan. I’ll climb to the s2l and go st8 to the cookie jar. You be on the lookout 4 mom.” The other one chimes in, “Okay, but I’m frigh10d“.

While the nonsensical spelling might be seem to be overwhelming to a young reader, I think it’s the opposite. It shows them how to look at each word for each sound on the page. It shows them that each word is made up of sounds and that some of those sounds may be familiar in other ways.

You could make a great game of this. How many words can your child think of that use the sound “8” or “2”? At my house, that would keep the kids in their seats at the dinner table for a few extra minutes at least.

Older children will like the book, too, and it will throw them off their reading game in a healthy way, making them stop to think about the words and the sounds. They will also likely laugh at the illustrations and the captions. You can go further with your challenges to older kids…how is the sound “8” spelled in different words? What about straight? trait? fate? weight?

If you are a teacher, or a babysitter on a rainy day, or the parent of kids who enjoy pen and paper work, you could easily have fun making up your own pictures and captains and before you know it you might have a sequel.

Remember, you don’t have to stop when you’ve read the book. You can play with it, talk about it, interact with it. Let me know if you try any of these ideas at home and if you liked them or didn’t or if you have ideas of your own to add! I love to read comments!

February 10, 2012

learn to spell and read, happily

The Wizard of Why is loving the reading right now. It’s so cute. He gets so excited when he sees a word on the street that he knows. He loves asking me “why does that say —-” and then getting my crazy reaction of “WHAT!? You can read that?!” He’s a long way from reading his own books, but the process is so amazingly fun to watch. And just thinking about the whole world that opens up when you start to be able to read…I’m just so excited for him!

Title: Happy Endings: A Story About Suffixes
Author: Robin Pulver
Illustrator: Lynn Rowe Reed
Genre: Picture Book
Ages: 4 – 8

I found this book at the library recently and we loved it. It’s definitely for a slightly older crowd (I believe it was written with spelling, not reading in mind), but since he’s into looking at words right now it was perfect for him. It emphasizes suffixes, word endings, which you wouldn’t think made for a fun book, but it does. The story is fun: a class of kids are about to go for summer vacation but first they need to complete the last lesson of the year on suffixes. This proves more difficult when the suffixes hear the teacher say the class is going to “tackle” them after lunch and they go into hiding.

The illustrations are bright and fun and the whole book is written with the suffixes bolded and colored:

He pointed at the board The he stared. “Good grief,” he said. “This is the craziest year of my teaching life! No summer vacation until the words endings are found! Seriously!”

I highly recommend this book for kids learning to read and older kids learning to spell!