Friday, February 12, 2016

Something I Should've Told You Sooner...

Warning:  this is a  long newsletter, but read till the end.  This info is invaluable!  If you don’t have time to read it now, star it so you can come back.

Let’s play a game.
And since we just celebrated #DisneyReadsDay, let’s make it a Disney themed game ;)

Name the Seven Dwarfs (don’t cheat by looking below)...GO!
How many were you able to come up with?  

Now pick out the Seven Dwarfs from the names below.
Grouchy, Fearful, Sleepy, Smiley, Jumpy, Hopeful, Shy, Droopy, Dopey, Sniffy, Wishful, Puffy, Dumpy, Sneezy, Pop, Grumpy, Bashful, Cheerful, Funshine, Love-A-Lot, Nifty, Happy, Doc, Wheezy, Stubby,

Were you able to name more when given choices?
Did the choices jog your memory?  

The answer: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey (game courtesy of

Now Imagine...
If, when you were having trouble naming the Seven Dwarfs without choices, I said with annoyance, “COME ON!  You KNOW this!  You’ve watched the movie a bazillion times!  How many times do you need to watch it before you get it?  Stop playing games with me.  I KNOW you know this!  UGGG!”

Ok, this might sound silly.
But it happens all.the.time when parents are working with their child.  Maybe you felt this while teaching your preschooler their letters (you know this!  ‘A’ is in your name.  How can you not remember? It’s in. your. name!).  Or when teaching their sight words.

Here is what I should’ve told you sooner...
There are three steps involved when teaching your child their letters, letter sounds, or sight words.  The chart below greatly illustrates these steps (although I would call Step 1: Introduction).
Step 1 Introduction: when you tell your child what something is.
Step 2 Recognition: when your child must identify the target from possible targets.
Step 3 Recall: when your child must retrieve the information from their memory

Repetition is key.
Spend much time in Step 1 (introduction).  When using flashcards, you tell them the words (or letter or letter sound) while quickly flashing the cards in front of them.  Spend more time doing this and less time asking them to name what’s on the card (recalling).  This repetition of introduction is how they learn.

This could also include telling your child a word when they are struggling while reading a book (instead of saying, “sound it out”).

Over time, they will be able to recall.
This does not mean that your child might not occasionally forget and slip back into Step 2 (recognition).  But if this happens, a bit more time spent on steps 1 & 2 will help get them back.

For example: if you ask them what letter you are holding in your hand and they say, “I don’t know.” then say, “Well, is it A, Z or M?”

Be patient.
Remember, this is new information for them.  How are they suppose to recall it after being introduced only a handful of times?  

I suggest checking out our Pinterest page for fun ideas when teaching these new skills!

And if you’re child has already participated in the Preschool Readers Program
or are learning their sight words, our Preschool Readers workbooks are a great resource as most of the activities focus on Step 2 (recognition), like our Bingo and Tic Tac Toe games, which eventually lead to Step 3 (recall)!

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All you have to do is click the link below to purchase the workbook of your choice.  
Be sure to follow the directions.

  1. Upon completion of payment, a screen will immediately pop up to confirm your payment, DO NOT CLOSE IT OUT.

  1. To download your workbook, click on the link located on this popup that says, "Return to Preschool Readers."

For making it through this LONG email
And in honor of Valentine's Day, I would like to offer you a chance to win a FREE Starbucks gift card (coffee is sort of necessary when you have kids ;))

Enter to win HERE.
All entries must be submitted by noon on Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14th.  One winner will be chosen at random.  No purchase necessary to win… so why not enter?


Happy Valentine's Day,
Lisa Vodola
, M.Ed
Preschool Reading Specialist, Consultant & Owner, Preschool Readers

PS  Will you help us donate books to a child in need?  There is NO cost to you…  simply show your support on Social Media by posting #shelfies- a photo with your favorite book or bookshelf and using the hashtag #MagicofStorytelling.  Then for each #shelfie posted using the #MagicofStorytelling, First Book will direct a book donated by Disney to a child in need, up to 500,000 books!  
For each #shelfie posted to Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling, First Book will direct a book donated by Disney to a child in need, up to 500,000 books.
Until March 31st @first book


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