Friday, May 26, 2017

You may not agree with me on this 🙊

I’m frequently asked for book recommendations for beginning readers.
And I’m happy to help!  After teaching kindergarten for so long, I definitely have my favorites.

However, after I give my list of choices, I’m usually met with the following question, “What do you think about the Bob Books?”
My response?  I don’t like them. 🙊 At All. 🙈

I mean, they’re not bad.  
Maybe you’ve used them or are currently using them (so many parents are told to buy them, that they are the best) and that’s fine!

But they’re definitely not the series I recommend, ever.  Let me explain...
Preschool Readers provides a systematic approach to sight word instruction.  Sight words account for a large percentage (over 75%) of the words used in print.  Preschool Readers was developed with the 80/20 principle in mind.  At it’s simplest, the 80/20 rule means that you get 80% of the results from 20% of the work.

When we apply this to beginning reading, it means that knowing how to fluently read sight words (20% of the work) means a child will be able to read almost all of the words in text  (80% of the results).

Bob Books are often filled with CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant).
Their stories include words like POP, DIG, and BAT… words children can sound out (unlike sight words) so why spend so much time on them?  Plus, a sentence with so many CVC words makes it difficult for the child to read quickly and correctly… it’s like the sentence is a tongue twister (which can be frustrating)!  Children also pretty much never encounter text with sentences like these in everyday print… they are just silly!
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Their stories are not the easiest when it comes to making text-to-self connections.

Text-to-self connections are highly personal connections that a reader makes between a piece of reading material and the reader's own experiences or life. An example of a text-to-self connection might be, "This story reminds me of a vacation we took to my grandfather's farm." -Resource
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So, what books do I suggest?

I prefer colorful little readers filled with sight words and relatable stories.  Books where the child can apply their reading strategies -strategies used to solve and decode unknown words.  
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Here’s my recommend book list:
Happy reading,
Lisa Vodola, Preschool Readers

PS.  It's not too late to register for Splash Into Reading summer sessions.  Click to learn more.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Is your Child Happy?

I recently read an article on Oprah.com entitled, The One Thing Every Parent Wants.
The article mentions a research study conducted in 67 countries where parents from diverse cultures, faiths and income levels were interviewed about what they most wished for their children.

The number one answer, happiness. 
Additionally, Oprah herself asked parents participating in her Be Happy E-Course what they wish for their children and found that 100 percent of parents chose happiness over wealth; 95 percent chose happiness over academic excellence; 95 percent chose happiness over fame, and 90 percent chose happiness over success.

I present this question to you because studies show a correlation between a child's level of happiness and their academic success.
An article posted from the Harvard Graduate School Of Education found that from elementary school to high school, happiness is positively correlated with motivation and academic achievement.

Most interesting to me was the research showing school happiness is positively associated with intrinsic motivation (a personal drive to learn) for all students, yet extrinsic motivation (outside sources like rewards, praise, or avoiding punishment) was specific to students in grades K–3.

So what can we do to ensure our children are happy?
According to Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist, and author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, we must help children develop a set of inner tools they can rely on throughout life.  The following are my suggestions when it comes to developing that inner set of tools.
My number one suggestion?  
Model happiness by being happy yourself :)

Happy reading,
Lisa Vodola, Preschool Readers
🍏 UPCOMING EVENTS:

PRINCETON, NJ & TAMPA, FL

Summer sessions are filling up quickly!  Connect with us today and your child could be reading one grade level higher by the time they start school in the fall!

TAMPA, FL
Preschool Readers Presents Free Storytime in the Park With Snow White!Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10:30 AM @ Kate Jackson Park. Meet at our Little Free Library. Dress up in your favorite prince or princess costume and join us for a story, meet & greet and photos with princess Snow White!

A BIG THANK YOU to South Tampa, FL Hulafrog for including our event in this week's HulaFrog Save The Date Newsletter!  Hulafrog is the must-read email for in-the-know parents around town. Sign up for their South Tampa newsletter {it’s free} and as a bonus, you’ll be entered to win their latest giveaway!

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER
TO GET YOUR PRESCHOOLER STARTED ON THE ROAD TO READING SUCCESS!
LEARN MORE
SCHEDULE AN ASSESSMENT
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