Summer Reading Book Haul

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Some of My Favorite Books Right Now

Sew Fab Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas:
Author: Lesley Ware

ISBN-10: 178067404X
ISBN-13: 978-1780674049

Sew Fab is a great book about sewing, style, and designing. There are guides to help you pick your own style tribe, accessorize, and also how to choose your color palette. I love this book because I am really into fashion and clothes. One day I want to be able to use a sewing machine like my mom does to create pretty dresses and skirts to wear. There are also some really cool projects in the book, my favorite one is the After School Tote.

Another thing I love about the book is the illustrations. The pictures look like they are painted with watercolors and all of the girls in the book have on really cute outfits!  The colors are bright and pretty The girl on the cover has on Chuck’s and those are my favorite shoes. I sometimes use the book when my mom lets me pick my own outfits.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fashion or wants to learn more about sewing. It has helped me out a lot!

Jem and the Holograms comics :
Author: Kelly Thompson and Sophia Campbell

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I love comic books!

I just  started reading the Jem and the Holograms comics a few weeks ago. I read all 4 comics in one day and have read My favorite part of comics are the illustrations because I want to be an author/illustrator one day. I have seen the Jem cartoon that my mom used to watch when she was a kid and I loved it!

In the comics the main character is Jerrica Benton but her secret identity is Jem. Jem has a girl band called Jem and the Holograms and they give concerts and help out kids with the Starlight Foundation. Jem has a computer named Synergy that helps her and her band transform and it is super cool! I like the Jem cartoons and comics because all of the stories have a lesson and a moral that I can learn.

I would recommend these comic books to anyone who likes music, brightly colored graphics, and comics. There are 11 books in the series plus a holiday special.

The Witches:
Author: Roald Dahl

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ISBN-10: 0590032496
ISBN-13: 978-0142410110

My teacher read this book to our class and I loved it so much, I had to read it myself. I want to read all of Roald Dahl’s books because the stories I have seen in movies were great, and I am sure the books are too!
The story is about 2 boys, the narrator and a boy named Bruno Jenkins, who meet some witches and get turned into mice. With the help of the narrators grandmother, they try to find away to turn back into boys and get back at the witches.
I like this book because it is very funny and creative. The funniest part of the book to me, was when the witches were at their meeting and The Grand High Witch told them all that they could remove their wigs, gloves, and shoes.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes funny stories.

The Jigsaw Jones Mystery Books :
Author: James Preller

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I like these stories because they are funny and there are real mysteries to be solved. I like to watch NCIS, Sherlock,  and other mystery stories with my mom, but I don’t always understand what is going on. The Jigsaw Jones books are very kid friendly and easy to understand. Another thing I like, is that I can read the books easily in one day and still remember details.

The main character is Jigsaw Jones. He loves drinking grape juice and he has a dog named Rags. The story is written like Jigsaw is an actual detective and I like that a lot. It’s not just a kid trying to solve mysteries, he actually is really good at it. The book reminds me of Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery stories.

The ABCs of Improved Reading

Summer 2014 Reading Programs

Excerpt from National Summer Learning Association

Access to books. It’s critical that kids have access to a wide variety of books over the summer months, but we know that access alone doesn’t make a strong impact.

Books that match readers’ ability levels and interests. For young people’s reading skills to improve, they need to read books that align with their own reading levels. Reading books that are too easy or too hard won’t help!

Comprehension, as monitored and guided by an adult, teacher or parent. The most important piece to making summer reading effective is the help of an adult who can ask questions and guide kids to better understand what they are reading.

The Summer Slide Costs Money…and Time

More than just money, summer learning loss costs time. Precious time. Not only time to the teachers, but time to the parents who oftentimes work and have other children, but most importantly it takes away from our children learning something new. This is where the old phrase, “time is money” makes the most sense.

Though it doesn’t seem like much, the $18,000 or more that the education system spends just on the summer slide equates into almost 1 year of post secondary education. That is a lot of money spent on being counter productive, right?

According to The Summer Learning Association, most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).

2 months is a significant amount of time, especially when the school year is generally only about 10 months. That is why I think as parents we need to step up and do more to help our children, our teachers, and our school systems. because despite what some may have you to believe, it really does take a village.

Here are some helpful ways that we as parents can help to combat that learning loss and keep our children engaged:

1. Review your school district’s curriculum maps or standards for your child’s upcoming year and find fun activities online that coincide with the subject matter. In our school district there are not only curriculum maps, but learning objectives, and practice material.

2. Positively reinforce what they have already learned by reviewing this completed school years’ subject matter to show them just how much they have learned. At the end of the school year, my daughter gets  to bring home all of her assessments and journals. We go over those together so that she can see the progress that she made from the beginning to the ending of the school year.

3. Everyday have an “unplugged” time where neither you or your child(ren) is/are connected to any electronic devices. Use this time for fun math and spelling drills, reading above grade level books (with your help), free writing, drawing, painting, etc. Right now, my daughter and I are reading the Harry Potter books together and everyday, even on weekend, we do quick math fact drills to keep her sharp.

4. Before the school year is out, make a list of attainable learning goals for your child to learn by the end of summer break and STICK WITH THE PLAN! Make a big deal when goals are accomplished so that your child can get more excited and motivated to learn. So far, she is on goal for learning all of her multiplication facts. We only have 4 more weeks to go and I’m pretty confident that she will learn them all before the time is up.

5. If there is subject matter that your child struggled with throughout the regular school year, now would be a perfect time to hone in on that to see what you can do to help them to comprehend better or feel more confident about the subject.I asked my daughter what she felt she needed to work on, and I made lesson plans based around that and material for the upcoming school year.

6. If you are sending your child to camp, if at all possible, try to enroll them into programs that will challenge them to learn and to be creative. It’s never too late to research good programs, if not for now but next summer break. Most public schools and public libraries will be happy to give you information and suggestions about camps in your area. Some of the camps may also offer scholarships or tuition assistance.

7. Enlist the help of your child’s school. Ask what you can do to help your child over the summer. Your child’s teacher, counselor, or principal should be able to tell you specifically what subjects if not specific material to review to give your child a head start for the upcoming school year.

8. GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!!!! Throughout the summer there are so many different programs that most libraries have to keep children learning and engaged. The most popular is typically the summer reading program. Make sure both you and your child have up to date library cards so you can take advantage of all the great reading material and also have access to the computers.

9. Find television shows/programs and movies that are entertaining and educational. If your child watches tv/movies then you have to find a way to use those media sources to your advantage. In the age of Netflix, Hulu, and many other online streaming resources it’s almost impossible not to find a couple of things that kids enjoy that is also engaging.  Some of our favorite things to watch are Beakman’s World, Magic School Bus, and Bill Nye.

10. Research and educate yourself on things your child is interested in to find the educational or brain stimulating qualities.Does it stimulate their imagination? Does it help them to become deeper thinkers? Does it challenge their comprehension?  Don’t be afraid as a parent to put restrictions, especially through the summer, on things that serve no purpose. I still am unable to find the advantage of letting my daughter watch Disney Channel.

These are just some of my methods that I use to help combat the summer slide for my child. What are some things you do? I would love to hear your suggestions and comments!

Summer Learning


School has officially been out 3 full weeks and Rahni has been hitting it hard and I could not be more impressed with her! For the last 2 weeks we have been refreshing addition facts and working on the multiplication facts that she has not memorized (4, 6,7,8,9). So far we had to review multiplication facts of 3 for a full week and we just finished with 4’s so next week we will put factors of 6 into the mix. She is doing pretty good, I must say, and I think that her understanding that multiplication is just addition over and over (arrays)  makes things a lot easier. That is one thing that I am thankful for with Common Core. Just that one thing so far though. 🙂

As far as reading goes she dove head first into comics and graphic novels a couple years ago and has not looked back since! We recently made a trip to a couple of local comic book stores, The Book and Music Exchange and also The Great Escape and Rahni racked up! She seems to be pretty pschyed about The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, a new comic from Marvel that came out December 2014. She got the lastest copy #6 and now wants to get all of them, of course. Also, she got a few Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers which were pretty expensive considering how old and not so great they looked. I assume that these will only go up in value over the years so I feel pretty confident that the price was justified. Another favorite from her haul is Archie Comics Sabrina The Teenage Witch. From what I have researched the comics for this particular series originated in around 1971. We so far have been able to procure about 30 comics but there are several out there because there seems to be at least 3 different series she appears in not including the Little Archie series. Luckily, we were able to find a lot of the volumes available for digital download on the Archie Comic website for her to read, but our goal is to obtain more paper copies for her collection.

Although it’s been hard to tear her away from her comics she has also been making time for at least a chapter a day of Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone (book 1). She is just now taking it seriously after us purchasing it about a year ago. I think she got discouraged because the words were complicated and some of the concepts were still foreign to her. What a difference a year makes! At my suggestion that she start the book over with new eyes, she started re reading it last week and has 2 chapters to go before she’s finished. Since she is swearing that she has never seen the movie Sorcere’s Stone, (which I know isn’t true because we own all the movies and I have watched them a million times)  I told her that if she finished the book and did the questions from this absolutely awesome guide that I found online, (which you can access here) that she and I would make a night of watching the movie and comparing it to what she’s read. I must confess, I am a bit more excited than she is.

I must say  that I had forgotten how great the books were! When I read them as an adult and it literally took me days to read each one because I was so enthralled with the story. While I did allow my imagination to do most of the work in Sorcer’s Stone, I will also admit that reading them became much easier after having character voices and faces along with landcsapes and visual refernces to use from the movies. Now, seeing it through her eyes and hearing her feedback, it’s almost like a new experience. I will definitely be reading book 2 with her. It’s funny because she says to me the other day, “it’s weird that Snape is a teacher because he seems like a bad guy or Harry Potter’s enemy.” I couldn’t say much for fear of ruining everything. Also, I want to hear and see her reaction once she puts everything together in the Deathly Hallows and see if she has more resolve not to cry like a blubbering idiot like myself and so many others did. Since she is my child, the chances of her not are pretty slim lol!

We don’t have much by the way of a reading list because our focus this summer is to read for comprehension and finding a deeper understanding and meaning in texts. Though she will always have free reading forever and always, her required reading this summer is just 2 books, Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. I think that the relationships and scenarios are so complex in the Harry Potter books that we could literally spend endless amounts of time analyzing and discussing them. Also, the fact that she is really getting into them and is wanting to duscuss these things makes it that much more of a great opportunity now.

Even though we don’t have a summer reading list we would still LOVE to hear from you guys about what you’re reading and suggestions. Please email us or comment to let us know!

We’ll be posting soon about Read Aloud so stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Rahni’s Minecraft Corner

Hi!!!

Have you missed us?

Due to technical issues we haven’t been able to upload a new episode in a while, but once again WE ARE BACK!

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Rahni Reads Green Eggs and Ham


To kick off National Reading Awareness Month by ReadAloud.org and Dr Seuss’ birthday, Rahni reads one of her favorites, Green Eggs and Ham.I think she did a great job and she is super excited to do another video:)

This is perfect to show your little ones for their bed time story tonight!

Enjoy♥