Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reading Comprehension (5 ideas)

Welcome Pinterest friends!
This is one of my hottest posts and has 17,000+ pins!  I hope you enjoy these tips for helping your child or student develop better reading comprehension!

As an update to the original post, my son is now in 3rd grade and doing FANTASTIC with reading.  My number one tip?  Provide lots and lots of praise and lots and lots of books!

reading comprehension ideas, teaching reading, ways to teach reading, bloom's taxonomy, bookworm reading incentive, reading incentives, reading without work sheets, story map, story map with sticky notes, post it note story map, teaching with post-its
*Links may be affiliate links.  See full disclosure here.

In honor of my going back to school, let's do an education related post!

I've been looking for ways to help my 2nd grader develop better reading comprehension. Thank goodness for the internet, Pinterest, and teacher blogs!

1. ReallyGoodStuff has this Book Mission Kit for sale (about ten bucks on Amazon). You could make your own though if you wanted. Having a "mission" seems like an enticing way to engage my son in some discussion about what he's read.

2.Don't you love this story map board? I found it on Pinterest and immediately added it to my Learning Time board. Originally it is from mrsrojasteaches.blogspot.com
I love that it is reusable! Just use sticky notes to fill in the blanks after reading a book. When you read a new book and want to map it, pull off the sticky notes and start over!

3.This cool spinner game was made by Mrs. Williamson.
You can head over to her site and download it. Love that it is a game and not a work sheet!

4. Bloom's cards. I will be printing them and keeping them in the car. My son will read to me while we go places and then pick one of each color to answer. 

2015 UPDATE: Unfortunately the blog with the Bloom's cards is no longer online.
You can download a Google Doc of the cards here. There is also a similar free download 
on TeachersPayTeachers here.
The cards cover:

  • Evaluation (Was the character in the story good or bad? Support your opinion with words from the text.)
  • Synthesis (What changes would you make to the story?)
  • Analysis (What part of the story was the funniest and why?
  • Application (What part of the story could not happen in real life?)
  • Comprehension (What was the main idea of the story? Retell it in your own words.)
  • Knowledge (When and Where does the story take place?)
5. Finally, I saw a genius idea on another blog. A bookworm incentive chart! GoodGirlGoneGlad made this for her kids.
book worm chart, reading comprehension, reading tracker, reading incentives

I am copycatting her and making one for my son. Each time he finishes reading a book he can add a link to the bookworm! Ours will be 20 links long. When he gets to the 5 mark, he will get a prize.
There will be another prize at about the 12 mark. 
Finally, when all 20 bookworm segments are done, he will get an extra $5 to spend at the school's book fair.

1200+ more teaching ideas on my Pinterest board here:

Linking at Teach Preschool's A to Z linky list. You can easily use the above ideas for the preschool crowd instead of grade school. :)  Also sharing at: A Little Knick Knack, Show and Share, Serenity Now

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gardening Fail

Aren't tomatoes like the one plant that is over-achieving? People usually have way too many tomatoes than the know what to do with. Us included.

This year my husband planted the tomato plants and we waited.

I told a friend at church, "It must be the weather. We haven't had any tomatoes!"

Came home the other day and the mystery was solved.
Yes, the large creature pictured above (we call her a "dog") is to blame. She was picking the tomatoes off the plant and eating them.

I have heard of rabbits or dear being a garden problem. Never a dog.
And oh yeah, she'd like to ask you to please send corn. She loves corn but was only able to sneak this one ear away while we were outside shucking.

Joining these great linky parties:
Serenity Now
A Little Knick Knack

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Oldest Kid in the Class

Is me.


I'm going back to school. My husband finally finished school in 09, we then had our next 2 kids in 2 years, and now it is my turn to finish a degree (or two).

It will be me in classes with a bunch of young whippersnappers who never even knew the joy of this:

from pinterest (where else?!)

Punky Brewster! As a kid, I insisted on mismatching my socks sometimes so I could be like her. Mom occasionally let me mismatch shoes too when we were going somewhere. She's a cool mom.

I digress.

Because of my classes, I'm going to have to actually spend time, you know, studying. So no more weeks with 4 days of blogging. I'm cutting down to Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It will still be FUN.

You can count on an array of funnies, crafts, home decor projects, my misadventures in quilting, and teaching/home school ideas.

Wish me luck, if all goes as planned, this will be in my near future:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Donate to charity, get a sponsor spot!

Remember the starfish post? Our world has so many needs. I often see that and get paralyzed by the fact I can not FIX all of them. So I sit and do nothing. Yeah. Lotta good that does.

We have to be like the man throwing starfish back in the ocean. Can't save them all, but we can make a difference in the life of that one.
Thus my plan for how I could use my little blog and abilities to do a little drop of good in the world. Sponsor spots (or ads) on my blog are available for $5 a month. But we're going to try something different this time.

For September, there will be FIVE sponsor spots available.
The spots on my blog are free, if you make a donation to the designated charity of the month.

This month's charity is March of Dimes. March of Dimes funds research, promotes healthy pregnancies, and offers support to moms and babies facing a stay in the NICU.

Want to claim one of the FIVE (only five!) sponsor spots available for this month? Here's how:

  • Email me *before* making the donation. zucchinisummer at gmail dot com
  • Once you've received confirmation back from me that you are one of the first five, then you will go ahead and make your donation to March of Dimes. $5 is my suggested amount and the minimum to get a blog sponsor spot here. Of course should you feel like giving more to this charity, go ahead.
  • March of Dimes sends email receipts almost immediately for donations. Forward the receipt to me along with your html code for the ad. Presto! You'll be on the sponsor role for all of September!

--A few boring details--

ANYONE can go donate to March of Dimes, that would be wonderful. But only if you have received confirmation from me first will you get an ad on here.

In order to have your ad on this blog, it must be clean/family-friendly. I reserve the right to restrict ads that I deem inappropriate or in contrast with my values. This has never been a problem here, but if you aren't quite sure, you can always ask ahead of time!

I am in no way affiliated with, sponsored by, or compensated by the March of Dimes. It is simply a charity near to our hearts.

A different charity will be chosen next month. If you don't get in this month's, be on the watch in mid-September for the info on the new charity and how to get a sponsor spot!

This month we could raise $25 or more for the March of Dimes!
Open NOW, go ahead and email me to join in! zucchinisummer at gmail dot com

You can make a difference!

linking this post up at Serenity Now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Simple Minded

I like pictures of stuff.

If a blog post shows up in my reader and there is no picture, I usually won't bother clicking over to read the rest. It is the curse of my entertain-me-now-i-have-a-simple-mind personality.

What about you? Do you click to blogs even if there isn't a picture? Or are you one like me that has to have something to look at?

Because I don't like being a hypocrite, here is a picture of a random door. Enjoy.

from realsimple.com pinned here

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Did I do that?

After a long day a few weeks ago, I took myself for a drive. Found a beautiful neighborhood. One of those "hahaha sucker you can never afford to live here" neighborhoods.

I was gawking at one of the houses for sale. Then *BAM*. I hit their mailbox. Had to go ring their doorbell at 9:30 at night and have them come check for damage. Luckily
there wasn't any...except to my pride.

Then I said to myself, "Self, you've done enough damage for the night, time to go home!" And I did. And THAT was the end of my Friday night.

None of these are the house in question, but they are some beauties I found and pinned on pinterest. I should stick to this kind of gawking, where mailboxes are safe from my destructo-vehicle.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School

Tis the season!
Do you have kids?
If they are school-aged, they are probably heading back to the classroom soon.
Let's celebrate! Here are some of my favorite school finds from pinterest.

You've seen diaper cakes? This is a school supply cake for the staff! I love this idea! Maybe a PTO group could put one together for it's school staff?

Now if you want an activity to do at home with your kids, this is genius from Room Mom 101! Easter egg number matching game. Who doesn't have extra Eggs laying around? Of course you could do this as a spring activity, but I think it looks fun for year-round too!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Corn. Seriously this is my life.

Our lives should be a reality show. My husband and I had a rather heated discussion in the car the other day for 30 minutes about CORN. (The growing of, harvesting times, and difference between field corn and, as I call it, "people corn.")

image and product from a super cute shop called yummypancake

At one point he accused it of being over my head. Enter silent treatment.