Sunday, November 30, 2008
The "ABC" section is great for helping early learners with letter names and sounds. Maya loves it. She just points to where she wants me to click. All of the letters have fun little sounds and animations that the kids really like. By the time they are 4 or 5, they can "follow the sparkles" in the letter section which give them a clue as to where to click next. Kindergarteners love this section. There are various interactive letter name and letter sound activities at the end if you keep clicking the sparkles.
For kids that are a little older, starfall has a "Learn to Read"section that helps them chunk and sound out words. It has stories that help reinforce vowel sounds and common digraphs such as sh, ch and th.
For kids that are a little further along, there is an "It's Fun to Read" and "I'm Reading" sections. Here they can choose interactive stories to read. They have fiction and non-fiction.
Overall, this site is easy to navigate, even for pre-readers. You really need to have audio for this website to be effective. It is a good one to check out if your kids are this age.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Well, you both went out with the blue balloon, and you took your gun with you, just in case, as you always did, and Winnie-the-Pooh went to a very muddy place that he knew of, and rolled and rolled till he was black all over; and then, when the balloon was blown up as big as big, and you and Pooh were both holding on to the string, you let go suddenly, and Pooh Bear floated gracefully up into the sky, and stayed there-level with the top of the tree and about twenty feet away from it.
"Hooray!" you shouted.
"Isn't that fine?" shouted Winnie-the-Pooh down to you. "What do I look like?"
"You look like a Bear holding on to a balloon," you said.
"Not-"said Pooh anxiously,"-not like a small, black cloud in a blue sky?"
"Not very much."
"Ah, well, perhaps from up here it looks different. And, as I say, you never can tell with bees."
From Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, Chapter One: In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh, and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1. The family I grew up in- My parents and brothers and sister were a great family to be born into. We had so many interesting experiences and had and continue to have so many good times together.
2. My family I have now- I am thankful to have a husband who I still laugh with on a regular basis who loves me for who I am and kids who bring a smile to my face (and a lot of other expressions...) every day.
3. Free public education- I got a long way with not much money through free public education and very reasonably priced college and graduate school (Go Sundevils!) I am a huge believer in free public education and resonable college and university tuition.
4. My job- I always said that I wanted to have the kind of job where I wasn't watching the clock all day and I was there to accomplish something rather than watch the hours tick by. That is definitely true of teaching. Also, it is fairly secure, which is important in times like these.
5. My house and my 30 year fixed motgage- When so many people are at risk of loosing their homes, I am very grateful to know what my house payment will be for the next 23 years. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost or may loose their homes. Hopefully more regulation of the mortgage industry is on its way.
6. Good health-Mine and the people I care about.
Of course there are many, many other things. Those are just a few. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
As many of you know, Maya is a natural in the water, more at home there than anywhere else. Anyway, since it has gotten colder, she has really missed going swimming every day. Here in Arizona, we can swim from April to mid-October. Since we stopped going for the year, she "swims" in the bathtub any chance she can get. The other day, it was about 70 degrees outside and the grass had been over-watered, so she took the opportunity to put on her bathing suit and go "swimming". Once that first spring day at the pool rolls around, she'll be one happy girl!