Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TrDL (Montessori writing work)

TrDL is my favorite example of developmental spelling from this list by J, but LAdEEBug is terrific too. 

Problem Solver: Dedicated Read-Aloud Tray

Thank goodness I had this tray in the garage. I have an ongoing problem where I completely lose our current big read-aloud. (If you see our copy of The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, please let me know. ) 

We read all over the house and at all times of day, so the current book would often vanish into couch cushions or be mindlessly placed out of the way in some later unfindable place. 

But since I've cleared off the boys' bureau and added this dedicated tray, our read-aloud go smoothly, because the circulating "active" books have an inbox/outbox. As the old saying goes, "A place for everything and everything in its place."

What goes here: The "active reading" holds longer multipart novels and story collections that we are currently dipping into on a regular basis. 

What doesn't go here: To keep things simple and neat, this space is not for picture books, which come on and off shelves with regularity, but won't necessarily be consulted tomorrow. 

Materials: Tray or basket should ideally be out of reach of any "borrowers" in your house, namely disorganized children or other mammals (ferrets, dogs) with hoarding tendencies. 

What's in your family's reading basket right now?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Montessori Kid at Work

Montessori hundred board work
Last year, we got a Montessori hundred board for home--I think on the recommendation of HomeschoolDad--and we are still using it with great pleasure. This particular instance was totally instigated by J, and he did the entire thing himself, which takes quite a bit of concentration. Well, not the whole thing--we've lost tile 59 (aaagh!)--but 99 percent, and it's so fun to see him growing with it.

If you're looking for a math-y "toy" for your home, and you don't mind the inevitable 100 tiny tiles scattered all over your kitchen table, this is a terrific object to have on hand.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Living with Learning

Jackson, 4.5yo, sorting through our box of dollar-store plastic animals: "Mom, I took out all the ocean animals. Is a frog an ocean animal? Oh, and the stegosaurus is just pretending to be an ocean animal."

Jason, 1.5yo, browsing some number books before dinner. This is the Met's Museum Numbers book. 

The Learning Tower was 75 percent off (plus I had store credit) at our local children's resale shop. Jackson is already using it for many activities, including chopping Brussels sprouts for dinner. 

Bonus post from this morning:

First words I heard from kiddo this morning were an obviously dad-prompted apology: "Mom, I'm sorry I wrote on the couch in the garage." Me, groggy: "OK, thank you for taking responsibility but why would you do that?" J: "I wanted to practice my writing!" (I am totally secretly proud of this but will never tell him.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Random House Easy-to-Read Science Library

The Random House Easy-to-Read Science Library

Physical Science and Mathematics

Your Wonderful World of Science by Mae and Ira Freeman
Simple Machines and How They Work by Elizabeth N. Sharp
The Story of the Atom by Mae and Ira Freeman
The Story of Electricity by Mae and Ira Freeman
The Story of Chemistry by Mae and Ira Freeman
The Story of Numbers by Patricia Lauber

Space and Astronomy

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Mae and Ira Freeman
The Earth in Space by John and Cathleen Polgreen
Rockets into Space by Alexander L. Crosby and Nancy Larrick
Satellites in Outer Space by Isaac Asimov

Earth and Weather

Rocks All Around Us by Anne Terry White
In the Days of the Dinosaurs by Roy Chapman Andrews
Danger! Icebergs Ahead! by Lynn and Gray Poole
Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards by Kathryn Hitte

Life Science

Your Body and How It Works by Patricia Lauber
Mammals and How They Live by Robert M. McClung
The Friendly Dolphins by Patricia Lauber

Illustrated throughout in two colors. $1.95 each
RANDOM HOUSE, INC., 457 Madison Avenue, New York 22, N.Y.

"A welcome series, packed with basic information, with a fine synthesis of illustrations and text. Outstanding quality." Child Study
"This series for young readers lives up to the fine standards that Random House has set for its science publications." Harry Milgrom, Supervisor of Science, New York City Elementary Schools

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Recommendations for Young Readers from "First Choice: A basic book list for children" (London, 1968)

First Choice: A basic book list for children

Edited by
Eileen Colwell, M.B.E., F.L.A.
L. Esmé Green, A.L.AH
F. Phyllis Parrott, F.L.A.
 for the Youth Libraries Group of
 the Library Association
The Library Association


Atwater, Richard and Florence, Mr. Popper's Penguins, 1938.
"An amusing, original story about a family of penguins kept as pets by a middle-aged, small-town American."

Baumann, Hans, The Bear and His Brothers, 1961.
"This story of a bear's subjection to man and consequent rejection of his brothers, has the qualities of a folk tale in its simplicity and wisdom."

Bond, Michael, The Adventures of Paddington, 1958.
"Humorous adventures of a bear from 'Darkest Peru' found on Paddington Station by a London family; a story from the 'Pooh' tradition."

Boston, Lucy Maria, The Castle of Yew, 1965.
"Two boys suddenly become small enough to climb into a yew tree cut into the shape of a castle. Life in miniature proves to be both dangerous and pleasant. Imaginative power makes this a memorable story for younger readers."

Brand, Christianna, Nurse Matilda, 1964.
"Humorous fantasy concerning a family of innumerable naughty children cured by the magic powers of a mysterious nurse."

Carlson, Nancy Savage, The Happy Orpheline, 1957.
"The twenty little girls in an orphanage near Paris are so happy they don't want to be adopted. This and other books by this author are gay and appealing but not sentimental."

Chekov, Anton, Kashtanka, 1959. Ill. William Stobbs, trans. Charles Dowsett.
"The story of a lost dog trained for the circus and her joyful return to her disreputable master. Kate Greenaway Medal winner, 1959."

Clark, Margery, The Poppy-Seed Cakes, 1924.
"Eight little stories, a blend of reality and fantasy, about two real children, Andrewshek and Erminka. Their humour and simplicity will appeal to children of pre-school age."

Faralla, Dana, Swanhilda-of-the-Swans, 1964.
"Two Danish children and their grandparents rescue a pair of swans trapped in a frozen lake. Set in a snow-covered countryside, the story often has a magical beauty."

Farjeon, Eleanor, The Glass Slipper, 1955.
"Around the traditional theme Eleanor Farjeon, with consummate skill, has woven this new tale, which like all good fairy stories has a depth that even the youngest may appreciate."

Fisher, Margery (compiler), Open the Door, 1965.
"An inviting introduction to the work of a number of modern and a few older writers for children. Each story is prefaced by a brief note about the author and followed by suggestions to 'open the door' to further reading."

Fry, Rosalie Kingsmill, The Mountain Door, 1960.
"An Irish fantasy of a changeling girl who chooses between the fairy hill and the human world."

Godden, Rumer, The Doll's House, 1947.
"The life of a family of dolls, a miniature of real life, is told with sympathy and understanding."

Godden, Rumer, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, 1961.
"A lonely child finds happiness through two tiny Japanese dolls for which she and her cousins build a house. The skilful simplicity with which it is written makes this an ideal book to read aloud."

Grahame, Kenneth, The Reluctant Dragon, 1898.
"An amusing short story, extracted from Dream Days, about a compromise effected by a boy between St. George and a good dragon."

Hewitt, Anita, A Hat for a Rhinoceros, 1959.
"Short, fanciful and amusing stories about jungle animals."

Hope-Simpson, Jacynth, The Ice Fair, 1963.
"An interesting historical story for quite young readers. The Great Fire (Hamish Hamilton, 9/6) is also recommended."

Hunter, Mollie, Patrick Kentigern Kennan, 1963.
"The misadventure of an Irishman who thought he could get the better of the fairies."

Kaye, Geraldine, Kofi and the Eagle, 1963.
"In this simply told story with its convincing background, an African boy learns that birds have rights which must be respected. The Boy Who Wanted to Go Fishing (Methuen, 11/6) is set in Malaya."

Kipling, Rudyard, The Just So Stories, 1902.
"A humorous classic for younger readers, distinguished by the author's obvious delight in language."

Lindgren, Astrid, Pippi Longstocking, 1945.
"Pippi has supernatural strength, is rude and unconventional, but her adventures fascinate many children."

Maitland, Anthony, The Secret of the Shed, 1962.
"The 'Dabchick' can travel on land, in the air and under the sea. An amusing tale well told and illustrated with perception."

Milne, A.A., Winnie-the-Pooh, 1926.
"A humorous account of the highly imaginative adventures of a little boy and his toys."

Mrs. Molesworth, The Cuckoo Clock, 1954.
"A charming fairy classic about a cuckoo of a character who takes a little girl to magic lands and instructs her in good behaviour. Recommended for reading aloud."

Norton, Mary, Bedknob and Broomstick, 1957.
"The adventures of three children who meet an apprentice witch and travel about the world and into the past on a magic bed."

Pearce, Philippa, Mrs. Cockle's Cat, 1961.
"An old London balloon seller, pining for her lost cat, finds her pet and a new home. An original story, well told with unrestricted vocabulary."

Prøysen, Alf, Little Old Mrs. Pepperpot and Other Stories, 1959.
"The hilarious adventures of a woman who becomes as small as a pepperpot at unexpected moments."

Roland, Betty, The Forbidden Bridge, 1961.
"A story for young readers about an Australian boy who lives on a sheep farm and how he learns from his experiences there."

Rongen, Bjørn, Anna of the Bears, 1965.
"A simply told story, well translated, of an event in Norway many years ago. A bear cub is captured and a child disappears, but there is a happy and strange ending."

Schmidt, Annie M., Wiplala, 1957.
"The complications which a little elf introduces into the lives of a Dutch family make an interesting story for young children."

Sharp, Margery, The Rescuers, 1959.
"The author's first book for children and the first of a series in which an association of mice is formed to help prisoners. The satirical slant is not obvious to children who enjoy the humour of the dramatic adventures of Miss Bianca and Bernard."

Spyri, Johanna, Heidi, 1879.
"Heidi goes to live with her grandfather in his Swiss mountain hut and delights in her new surroundings and the visits to the high pastures with Peter and the goats. Her story is continued in Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children by Charles Tritten (Collins, 7/6)."

Todd, Barbara Euphony, Worzel Gummidge, or, the Scarecrow of Scatterbrook, 1936. 
"A modern classic about a very individual scarecrow and his friends, human and otherwise."

Travers, P.L., Mary Poppins, 1934. 
"The adventures of two young children with an unusual, magic-performing nurse, told with astringent humor and imagination."

Uttley, Alison, Adventures of No Ordinary Rabbit, 1937.
"The adventures of Tim Rabbit, a blend of reality and fantasy which appeals to children of five upwards."

Uttley, Alison, Magic in My Pocket, 1957.
"Twenty-three tales from seventeen of Alison Uttley's books. Her lightness of touch, and her keen observation of country things, give her stories a special charm."

Uttley, Alison, The Sam Pig Storybook, 1965.
"Thirty-five of the stories from the 'Sam Pig' books. The little pig is gay and lovable and his adventures are set against a backdrop of country and farm life and have a spice of magic that appeals to younger children."

Williams, Ursula Moray, Adventures of the Little Horse, 1938.
"A charming tale for younger readers about a toy horse's search for a fortune for his old master."