Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More Things to Do With "100 Easy Lessons"

My oldest daughter is starting down the road to reading and is part way through the wonderful Distar teaching reading book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons".  It's right when I get in the middle of teaching this great program again, that I remember how helpful it is to mix things up.

It was when my son required extra materials that I dug out my old supplements from teaching in order to create our Phonics supplements.  Many of you who follow along here on our blog, are aware that we already offer supplements for the first 50 lessons of the book with our Bundle seen here:

And our newly released second bundle, "After Fifty-Five Through After One Hundred", which is now available in our store. 

 But, I forget sometimes, to mention the other "tricks of the trade" that are helpful when you're trying to razzle-dazzle a kiddo who might need a little bit of something extra in order to help keep the interest up and perking.  So, let's talk about those.

Let's Make That Sound with Your Body!

We just introduced the sound "n" here from Lesson 23.  We thought it would be loads of fun to make that letter:  and here it is!  "Teach Your Child to Read is all about cozying up on the couch with Mom or Dad, but when cozying up loses its novelty, finding a way to make it all physical with body movement is a delight!

Fancy it Up

We also have gel coloring pens in this wooden box.  These pencils are artist pencils and they are used on special occasions.  So, when we get to use them, that makes it extra special.  She is working on one of the little books from our Phonics supplements here.  The story is goofy and silly, like most beginning reading stuff.  And the pictures are silly, too.  But getting to color them in with Mom's special colored pencils makes us go very careful and...

...feel super proud of our work when it is all done.  She kept this little book of hers and she still has it.  It is a book she can read and she is pleased with her coloring job here.  This one's not getting thrown away which means she will go back to it and reread it.  That's the goal!

Make Your Own Silly Sentences

I often have people ask me, "Can I purchase that font you use somewhere?  The one that goes so well with 100 Easy Lessons?"

The font is called Gautami and how about I just give you the link to where you can download Gautami for free?  The font does look very similar to the font in the book.  Download it and make your OWN silly sentences for your kids to illustrate.  You certainly can't do any worse than this one I made up in the photo above!

Use the BOB books!

These wonderful books, tie in very closely with the "Teach Your Child to Read" program.  The first book in Set 1 (Seen Above), covers the sounds S, A, M and T, which are in the first 5 sounds introduced.  By the end of Lesson 10, this book was able to be read out loud by my daughter.  And it is very helpful for children to encounter the same sounds that they are covering in their daily practice in other materials.

Now since I am talking about our favorite reading program in this post, let's take a quick look at our latest bundle. 

I've tried to keep things similar to what our fans are familiar with, so everything is in the packets that you have grown used to.  We've given the covers a fresh look, but the crafts, the writing practice, the flash cards and the additional stories are all there to help you with those daily supplements

In addition, we begin to give practice with our familiar favorites, using letters in standard fonts...

Kids will have the chance to see the words they read in that the font that they are used to in the program, and match that to words they can read which are in more standard fonts. 

And if your student is ready to begin reading Easy Reader Level One books, be sure to download our FREE Reading Log.  

Let us know in the comments, which of these fun reading log pages is YOUR young reader's favorite! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

An Eggshell Chick and Other Fun Spring Crafts

Sometimes you just need an extra craft for the last 15 minutes on a spring afternoon.  And, you need it to be low to no prep.  And you need easily accessible materials.  AND it would be nice if it was pretty much just print and go.

This is the kind of ideal kind of printable crafts we had in mind with our Arts and Crafts packet.

And this blog post is intended to highlight one of our favorites: the Eggshell Chick!

I think one reason this is a favorite craft of children, no matter whether they are 2 years old or 6 years old, is because of the joy of crunching up eggshells.

This is the best part of the whole craft right here!  If you've never crunched an eggshell, you should set aside one after breakfast and let it dry for a day or so.  Wait until that moment when you need a little stress relief.  And then, pull that shell out and crunch away.  Kiddos love this.

Now, once your eggshells are all crunched how you want them (some kids crunch them into tiny, tiny pieces, and some keep a few big pieces handy), you're ready for the gluing.

I recommend actual runny Glue rather than a glue-stick for this part.  But, basically, you cover the egg shell on our printable Craft sheet (which prints out two chicks per page) with Elmer's or Tacky glue.   And then, you have the very nice fine motor practice of adding your shells to the egg.

The finished product looks SO cute!  And what a great craft for Spring!

But I also wanted to mention some of the other springtime crafts included in this packet.

We have a bird nest craft...

A vase of spring flowers...

The always needed Caterpillar craft...

And the very spring themed Dandelion Craft (which is a lot of fun to do, but does require a Styrofoam ball per student).

Check it all out in a little more detail here.  Hopefully, we have done all the work so you don't have to anything much more than print these out and gather the few extra materials required.
Happy Spring, friends!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Freebie

It's just an extra little printable craft for today!  A cute little Leprechaun Hat.  Print it, cut it out, color it, tape it up and you're ready to go! 

Happy Saint Patrick's to all!  Even if you're arriving late at the party, here's a last-minute craft for your classroom, your Sunday School get-together or Library program.

Available in my store.      Happy Saint Paddy's!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Easy Printable Spring Crafts Bundle

It's that time of year when cute little bunnies and birds nests and other spring things pop up all over Pinterest and Facebook.

Our Printable Rabbit craft requires a toilet paper roll, googly eyes and a cotton ball as additional materials.

I love the creativity on all those craft idea boards and if I can ONLY remember to NOT to throw away the lids of my kids' applesauce squeeze packs, I will be ready for that next dragonfly craft attempt!

Our bird's nest craft requires googly eyes, shredded wheat and pom poms as extra materials.

Or, wait.  I never remember to keep those things!  Aaargh.  Maybe I won't be ready.  That was the dilemma I was trying to fix by creating this huge printable craft packet for my own kiddos.

  I wanted crafts that were print and go.  As much as possible, anyway.

Finally, I started even making printable eyes to cut out the need for googly eyes.

I mean, as you can see from the photos, there are still some extra materials required on some crafts.  But most of the items I am using are things that moms with kids do have stashed away somewhere in their crafts supplies, and teachers definitely keep these things in stock.

The only thing this chick craft needed was an empty eggshell.  Kids have SO MUCH FUN crushing the shells!
But all in all, the idea behind this craft packet was to take the prep time down.  For instance, let's take a look at one of these craft pages.

Our Koi Kite Craft
This is our Koi Fish Kite Craft.  It is showcased with my daughter in the photo heading this post.  We include the already colored version and a black and white colorable page in our Printable Craft packet.  As you can see, we have a list on the page that details additional materials needed.  Personally, I don't think the ribbons on the back end of the kite are needed, but they do add a lot to the fun.  And there are many items that could be used for the same purpose:  I mention a plastic orange tablecloth (like the kind Walmart or Dollar Tree sell) because I am envisioning a teacher in a classroom trying to create crafts for as little extra pocket money as possible.  But you could also use curly ribbon, yarn, string, or various flexible plastic recyclables.

There is also an instruction list on each craft page, detailing basic directions.

Our dandelion craft requires more:  a styrofoam ball and Q-tips.
 I use Q-tips a lot.  Usually, a Q-tip is my go-to paintbrush for small children.  A Q-tip is easy for them to control, can be thrown away after being used, without requiring washing up and is really, really cheap.

Owl Craft from a toilet paper tube, glue and printable owl pieces.

I also use a lot of toilet paper tubes.  Again, nice to recycle these, and you can stockpile them easily.

Our Quail Craft is entirely printable: made from one sheet of paper plus glue.
I also include a couple of entirely printable crafts.  These usually require a bit of fancy cutting on the part of your students, but a little hand eye coordination like that is rarely amiss.

Snake Craft: requiring tape and cutting only.  Or, you could print out the version that kids color themselves.
The snake craft I picture here, was a big favorite with my kids because it wraps around their finger when complete.  Most children love to act things out with their creations...and just think about the possibilities with the book "Mouse Count"!  Don't worry, we have a Mouse Craft, too.

My daughter kept her little paper mouse around for days.
I created these crafts to include in our Letter of the Week program, but finally bundled them together (just 52 of them, two for each letter) into a complete packet for teachers looking for some cute little throw-together activity that ties in with a unit on spring or...something else being studied that week.

Aaarrgh!  This underground ant craft was made for small, withered raisins, not plump juicy ones!
A couple of crafts utilize photos of the child creating the craft.  But remember, you can always have children draw themselves, if photos aren't readily available.   

If you'd like to check out this packet in more detail or you are just ready to purchase right now, it is available as a downloadable Arts and Crafts Packet in our store.

Thanks for reading and happy crafting!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Ships of Ancient Greece

Let's talk about an excellent activity to go along with your read-through of Chapter 24 in Story of the World.  This chapter covers the Wars of the Greeks, particularly Greece and Persia.  And it seems a good time to look in more detail at ancient Greek Ships. 

While there is an amazing wood hobby kit for a Greek Trireme available online, that price was a tad steep.  But I found a great 3D activity kit for you that is a much better price option. 

Now, I have some neat 3D activities in my Teachers Store.  I have "Ashurbanipal's Siege Tower", which looks like this:

And I have a pretty cool looking representation of "Babylon's Hanging Gardens", which looks like this:

Today's post, however, is a recommendation for an outside product, which has nothing to do with my Store (I wish it was mine!).  It is simply a REALLY neat product and a REALLY neat activity to add to your study of Ancient Greece or Rome.  I'm talking about this 3D puzzle available for sale by Cubic Fun.

Now, you'll notice (if you look closely) that this package offers 4 3D puzzles of ships and the one we are focusing on is the one called a Roman Warship.  Because in all honesty, it's pretty much what a Greek Warship would have looked like, too.  Just check out this explanation of Greek ships.

I absolutely love these 3D puzzles by Cubic Fun and we get them when we can, because the learning is taken up a notch or two when a child can play with whatever they happen to be learning about.  This barely arrived in our mail before our kiddo was ripping open the package to get to it. 

The foam core is easy to bend and not too tricky for a six year old who is comfortable with Legos.  He put this together completely on his own.  And then took it apart and put it back together several times over the next few weeks. 

If you need another engaging activity for children in the age range of 5 to 10, I'd definitely recommend this great option!  Please feel free to share in the comments, any other ideas you might have to better explore the ships of Ancient Greece. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Introducing the Myth of the Golden Apple

I'm excited to introduce the newest item in our store, yet another Paper People packet!  I'm so glad I was able to finish this one because I'd been waiting to introduce the Greek myth of the Golden Apple to my own kids, until I had completed it.

We had reached Chapter 23 in Story of the World, and that meant a rough introduction to the Greek Gods.  They are a complicated crew for the best of us.  So, when explaining them to kids, visuals are helpful.  I printed them out and began reading the story.

Now, I included paper dolls (we prefer calling them Paper People) for the main characters in the story.  So, this means that Zeus, the three goddesses, Eris, Paris, and Helen are all represented.  Here's what is included:

We also include a retelling of the Golden Apple myth.  I made Paris and Helen smaller in form than the Greek gods, to differentiate. 

My son listened intently to the story as I read it, and he manipulated his paper characters around to assist in the telling.  But at looked at me with disgust when he heard the choice of Paris. 

"He chose her?  Why would he do that?  He should have chosen Hera and then he could have been king of the whole world!  Or, if he chose Athena, he could have won every battle.  Then, he could have married whoever he liked!" 

Spoken like a kid with good sense.  I always thought Paris was a bit of a ding dong myself.  That's probably why I designed his character with an almost goofy grin. 

If you'd like to check out this excellent visual for sharing the ancient Greek myth, head over to our store at Glimmercat Education for more details.