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Product Reviews Reading

Book Review: The Sorry Sticks: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided for free to facilitate a review

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I am so excited to be able to do a review of book two of the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure series!  The children in my class loved book one, and were equally as excited when I told them about book two!  If you recall from the review of the first book, author Bryony Supper is an actress and comedian from England, who has now used her humor to write books for children.  Her book series is quite unique and fun!

 

 

The Sorry Sticks: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

 

 

Book two in the twelve book Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure series did not disappoint.  The Sorry Sticks is just as entertaining, fun, and silly as the first book!  In this book, Pasta Kid Victor Vermicelli and Val the Vermicelli snake have been speeding and receive a ticket.  Their friend Lola Lasagne tries helping them by calling for The Sorry Sticks and the Pasta Petz.  This book shows how important it is to say sorry and apologize if you’ve done something wrong.

 

 

The Sorry Sticks provides colorful characters, an engaging story, and a great life lesson!  The kids really enjoyed this book as well!!

 

A look at the characters of the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure Series…

The characters and their pets are cleverly created using different types of pasta!!

 

Pasta Kidz

 

 

Pasta Petz

 

 

 

For more information about the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventures and author Bryony Supper, please click here.

A big THANK YOU to Bryony Supper for providing me a copy of the book, I really appreciate it and enjoyed sharing her work with my classroom!

 

Anitra

 

 

 

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Product Reviews Reading

Book Review: The Inventing Tubes: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided for free to facilitate a review.

It is no secret…I LOVE BOOKS!!!  So when I was presented the opportunity to review a book, I jumped on the chance!  The book comes all the way from England, my dream place to visit!  It is written by Bryony Supper, who is the creator of Pasta Kidz & Petz.  Bryony is an actress and comedian, who has used her humor to write books for children.  For more information about Pasta Kidz & Petz and Bryony Supper, please click here.

 

The Inventing Tubes: A Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure

 

The first book in the twelve book series of the Pasta Kidz & Petz Adventure series is The Inventing Tubes.  The book feature a few of the various Pasta Kidz and Petz characters.  Marc Macaroni and Sarah Spaghetti want to use the Inventing Tubes to invent a pastaball to use in the Pasta United soccer game.  Sarah gets impatient and doesn’t read the instructions.  Instead of a great pasta ball, she instead invents a CRAZY BALL!!!

 

Pasta Kidz

 

 

Pasta Petz

 

 

The crazy ball couldn’t be caught, so Marc and Sarah enlist in the Pasta Petz; Spud and Mumbo to help catch the crazy ball.  The Petz arrive in their amazing Pastamobile and get rid of the crazy pasta ball.  Sarah learns a valuable lesson; be patient when doing things and follow instructions!

 

I read this book to my class of children 3 to 6 years old.  They absolutely LOVED it!! They really liked the silly characters; they enjoyed the pasta hair that they have.  The characters are easy for young children to relate to and fall in love with.  A favorite part of the book was when Spud and Mumbo showed up in the Pastamobile!  It was hilarious!

 

Pasta Petz Pastamobile

 

I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to see more of the titles!  A big thank you to Bryony Supper for the signed copy of the book, I really appreciate it!

Enjoy!

Anitra

Back 2 School Montessori Extras

10 back to school or homeschool activities to give your child a leg up on learning

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Whether your child is going back to public school, preschool, or it is time to get back to your homeschooling routine, it means that it is time for your child to buckle down and get back to the academics.  In most cases, the time your child spends at school or preschool is not enough for them to them to master, learn, and even practice many skills necessary for their academic success. Phonetic letter sound recognition, number recognition, the ability to communicate effectively & use problem solving skills, and fine motor skills are all important aspects that are customary for children to know and master.

 

 

 

 

 

I have parents all the time asking me if there is something that they could be working with at home with their child.  I normally tell them to have their child read (if they are a reader), and advise them of a few resources for them to possibly purchase and/or add to their home.  As a teacher, I do not have just one academic area that I find is important over another one.  In my opinion, they are all equally important, and play an important part in the development of the whole child.  It is important to incorporate all aspects of a child’s development, as well as finding ways to promote fine motor, cognitive skills, and critical thinking skills.  Trust me, no teacher would be disappointed to have a class of well rounded students!!

 

The activities I chose for the list are ones that can be used in a variety of ways and incorporated for use at home as extra support, for your homeschool, or in a classroom to enhance your curriculum.  I have direct knowledge and have used many of these items from the list in various ways either in my classroom or as an addition to my curriculum.

 

 

10 Activities that can used as extra support for your child’s academic learning

 

Add & Subtract Abacus

The Add & Subtract Abacus is for three to six year olds.  It comes with a wooden base and the double-sided wooden boards.  The colorful beads make it easy to distinguish between each of the numbers.  This work is a way to explore numbers, colors, patterns, addition, and subtraction!  It is very multi-functional.

     Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzles

The Self-Correcting Alphabet Puzzles are for four to six year olds.  The wooden puzzle pieces have a colorful object for the corresponding letter sound on one side, and letters from A to Z on the other side.  The interlocking pieces make it easy for young children to self correct and promotes independence and success!

Alphabet Puzzle Cards

The Alphabet Puzzle Cards are for four to six year olds.  The interlocking alphabet cards come in a great wooden box for easy storage.  The self correcting interlocking pieces insures that the puzzles are solved and matched correctly!  These puzzle cards promote independence and

Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets

The Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets are for three to six year olds.  There are fifty two magnetic upper and lower case letters, that can be used for spelling, stenciling, matching upper and lower case, and for building words!  These letter magnets are great for all kinds of language ideas!

Self-Correcting Number Puzzles

The Self-Correcting Number Puzzles are for four to six year olds.  The wooden puzzle pieces have colorful, objects on one side, and numbers from one to twenty on the other side.  The interlocking pieces make it easy for young children to self correct and promotes independence and success!
World Map Floor Puzzle – 33 Pieces

The World Map Floor Puzzle is for six plus years old.  Although, we a little assistance, I don’t see why a four or a five year old couldn’t be successful with this puzzle.  The puzzle pieces are made with an easy, clean surface.  This puzzle map is perfect for introducing and learning about the continents of the world.

Turn & Tell Wooden Clock

The Turn & Tell Wooden Clock is for four to seven year olds.  The wooden base and large numbers make it easy for your child to be introduced to and practice telling time.  It has clickable hands to help mark off the minutes, it details hour, minute, half past, and quarter past.  There are also 13 double-sided time cards for practice as well!  This all-in-one clock is perfect for learning to tell time.

U.S.A. (United States) Map Floor Puzzle – 51 Pieces

The U.S.A. Map Floor Puzzle is also for six plus years old.  I believe that with a bit of assistance, a four or five year old would be able to do this puzzle in its entirety.  The extra thick puzzle pieces make this puzzle durable. This puzzle is great for introducing, learning, and studying all 50 States!

Magnetic Wooden Numbers

The Magnetic Wooden Numbers are for three to five year olds.  It comes with enough numbers to count from zero to twenty, and it includes five number signs as well!  These magnetic numbers can be used to introduce counting, number recognition, and simple addition & subtraction!

See & Spell Learning Toy

The See & Spell is for children four to six years old.  You can use the letters to spell the three and four letter puzzle words, spell other words, or use the letters as a stencil.  The cardboard puzzle boards and pieces are built for long lasting durability.  This is a spelling and fine motor activity wrapped into one!

 

 

Adding one or many of these activities to your child’s daily teachings will put your child on the right path to mastering many of the necessary skills needed for their future learning.  The activities are adaptable and allow for use in a classroom or homeschool environment, or just as a supplement at home for your child.

 

Anitra

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Favorite Book Friday's

Edward the Emu

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #4

 

Favorite Book Fridays is becoming one of my favorite topics to write about!  I am having a great time sharing my favorite books with everyone, and I am getting great feedback on the books that have been featured on the weekly series.  This weeks choice is a good one as well; it will not disappoint!  I read this book earlier this week in my classroom as a part of our study of Australasia (the continent of Australia, the island of New Zealand, and Papau New Guinea).  We learned about the animals of Australasia.

 

A change in your regularly scheduled programming…

This weeks Favorite Book Friday will feature two books!  That’s right, every once in awhile I will feature two books on Favorite Book Fridays!  The two books featured are books that have a part 2 or a “to be continued” book that follows the first book.  I am excited to share with you the first of the two book features.  I hope you enjoy them both as much as I do!

 

Title: Edward the Emu

Author: Sheena Knowles

Illustrator: Rod Clement

 

I first stumbled upon this book back when I first started teaching, over 17 years ago.  The story itself is about accepting who you are, and being comfortable who you are.  I especially enjoy the clever, rhyming text that is catchy and fun.  The pictures are some of the favorites in all of the hundreds of books I own.  They are drawn with such character, details, and with vivid colors.

Edward the Emu

Edward is an Emu that lives in a zoo.  He gets bored being an emu, so he decides to go and be other animals in the zoo.  He becomes a seal for a day, a lion for a day, and a snake for a day.  Then he finds that the emus are what most people come to the zoo to see, and decides that he should be an emu again.  But, when he gets back to his den he notices that he’s been replaced…by another emu!  Edward the Emu has a good life lesson on confidence and self esteem, and reminds you to love yourself, just the way we are!

 

But wait…there’s more!

 

And if Edward the Emu wasn’t great enough…there is Edwina the Emu!!!  Edwina is the emu that was brought in to take Edward’s place once he went missing in the zoo. The story is just as well written as Edward the Emu, with the same rhyming, catchy text and the amazing illustrations.  I think that the illustrations in both books are magnificent!

 

Title: Edwina the Emu

Author: Sheena Knowles

Illustrator: Rod Clement

 

 

Edwina the Emu

 

Edwina and Edward enjoy the zoo, and one day Edwina announces that she has laid ten eggs!  They decide that Edward will stay home and sit on the eggs while Edwina goes out to find a job.  She tries being a ballerina, a chimney sweeper, and a waitress, but to no avail.  After not being good at any of the jobs, sh then she figures out what her job should be…a mother!

 

Both of these books will surely have you wanting more.  They both are great additions to any classroom, teacher, home school, or child library!  I hope that you enjoy them both as much as I do.

 

Until next week, Happy Reading!

Anitra

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Favorite Book Friday's

The Napping House

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #3

 

It’s that time again for Favorite Book Fridays!  Looking for a new favorite book to introduce to your child or the children in your classroom or home school?  I created this weekly series to share with you some of my all time favorite children’s books.  I love books!  I have over one hundred books in my personal collection, and I still add to my collection as often as I can.  Here is post 3 of the weekly series, Favorite Book Fridays.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Title: The Napping House

Author: Audrey Wood

Illustrator: Don Wood

 

This book has actually been one of my favorites for awhile.  I have read other books by this husband and wife duo, and frankly, they put out amazing content and products!  They are also author and illustrators to another one of my favorite children’s books; The Big Hungry BearThe Napping House has a repetitious story line that is fun and silly, and keeps young children intrigued from beginning to end.  The amazing, colorful, and beautiful illustrations are an added bonus that compliments the story very well.

 

The Napping House

The Napping House is a story that tells the tale of a Granny sleeping on a rainy night.  Gradually, many members of the family pile on top of the napping Granny and get cozy.  A child, a dog, a cat, and a mouse are just a few of the characters that pile on top of the napping Granny.  Eventually, the pile of characters gets a tiny character that wakes one member of the family, and sends off a chain reaction!  They then become too much for the bed to handle, and down they all go!  Children love watching the bed get heavier and heavier, as the members of the family keep piling on.  They laugh with delight as they get woken up in such a silly manner.  When morning comes, no one in the house is sleeping anymore.

 

This is a favorite of mine because of the silly nature of it.  “Silly” is a common trait I look for when selecting a book to purchase and add to my children’s book collection.  I look for books that have a good story line, that are silly in nature, and that are not too long.  I also tend to steer clear of children’s books that have a lot of words on each page and those that don’t have a lot of pictures.  The pictures, along with a decent amount of words on each page, is what will keep young children engaged in the book.

I hope that this book becomes one of your favorites too!  Although this book doesn’t have a catchy tune or song to go along with it, the story and the pictures are sure to capture children’s attention, and become a classic that is read time and time again!

 

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

 

Anitra

 

 

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Classroom Content Montessori Extras

Why child made mini books are important-Montessori Extras

By Anitra

Making mini books is an activity I learned in my training.  Not all training programs discuss or touch on mini book making.  I am very fortunate that my training did cover it, because it is something that I use on a regular basis.  Before I get into what mini book making is, I should give you a little insight about where the mini book originates from.

 

Mini books come from Nomenclature cards.  Nomenclature cards; or 3 part cards as they are frequently referred to in a Montessori classroom, are cards that come in 3 parts; hence the name!  The word “nomenclature” comes from the Latin word “nomenclatura“, which means to give or assign names to things.  The first card in the nomenclature set is the label card, which is a picture and a word associated with the picture.  The second card in the nomenclature set is the picture card, which is just the picture.  The third card in the nomenclature set is the word card.

 

Nomenclature cards; 3 part cards Butterfly Life Cycle

 

Nomenclature cards are the basis for mini books.  I try to use mini books often in my monthly curriculum.  Mini books are child made books that represent the parts of ____, the life cycle of ______, or the can be the inhabitants of _____.  Child made mini books have benefits to child’s overall development.  Mini books are a good way for older children to begin to associate pictures with words and their meanings.

 

Mini Books are blank copied mini pages of a given parts of ____, life cycle of ____, or inhabitants of ____.  The teacher provides a “Master Mini Book” that has either been handmade or commercially copied (with permission).  I tend to use a combination of both handmade and commercially copied.

 

The Master Mini Book is colored or copied by the teacher.  I normally copy my masters onto white card stock for durability.  Once I have each of the pieces of the master book colored and cut out, I then glue it onto another piece of card stock.  I normally chose a color that compliments the colors of the mini book.  I use various ways of completing the label part of the Master Mini Book.  I use writing, printed words, or a label maker to make the label for each part.  It just depends on your personal preference.  After this, I laminate all of the Master Mini Book pages.  I ALWAYS laminate EVERYTHING that the children will handle on a regular basis.  It provides more durability, and a longer shelf life for the work I create.  SIDE NOTE: *If you don’t have access to a laminator, you can use a roll of clear contact paper*.  After I laminate each page of the Master Mini Book, I use a single whole punch and punch a whole in the top left corner.  I then attach a medium sized book ring, so that it is easy for the children to flip through the book to get to each page.  And that’s it…easy instructions on making a Master Mini Book!

 

Along with the Master Mini Book, I also provide the necessary coloring tools to complete the book, and a pencil for labeling the book.  I tend to put all of my materials for mini book making on a tray, so that it makes it easier to present it to the children.  It also makes it easier for use for the time we are studying a certain subject.

 

Parts of a leaf mini book

 Parts of a butterfly mini book

 

As I stated earlier, mini books have benefits to a child’s development in many areas.  Mini books nurture a child’s language development; such as their communication, literacy, and interest. Mini books also contribute to their cognitive development; such as inquiry, curiosity, and knowledge.  They also help with fine motor skills, while having to color within the lines, a certain part or area, and use of pencil writing skills.

 

Ways that mini books benefit a child’s language development

1.They foster and build vocabulary

Mini books foster and build a child’s vocabulary.  When a child colors and labels each part of a mini book, they are learning new vocabulary words.

2. They help with identifying part of a whole

When children make mini books, it teaches them the various parts of a whole or characteristics of a given subject

3.They help with recall(memorization)

When children make mini books, they are able to take them home, and hopefully will share about each part of their mini book, which helps with recall skills.

 

Animals of South America mini book

 

Not only do mini books provide a child with enhanced vocabulary, knowledge, fine motor skill development, and memorization; they also are a fun and interesting way to introduce new topics.  Making learning interesting is the best way to ensure that children will openly and willingly want to learn and become the natural learners that are.

 

Anitra

 

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Favorite Book Friday's

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Favorite Book Fridays Series Post #2

 

Looking for a favorite book to introduce to the children in your classroom or to your own children?  I created this weekly series to share and summarize my favorite children’s books.  I love books! I have over a hundred books in my personal collection, and I am still adding to my collection as often as I can (as long as my hubby doesn’t find out!)  Without further ado, here is the week 2 favorite book!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Title: Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Author: Eric Litwin

Illustrator: James Dean

 

I actually just recently found out about this series of books.  I know, crazy right?!  At the school I work at, we have a collection of Scholastic Books that we purchased from the proceeds we raised from having a school book fair.  We got ton of books, and many books with cds as well.  Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes was one of those books. One day during circle time, I was going through the basket of books, and all the kids were begging for me to choose Pete the Cat.  I had no idea what it was, but decided it looked pretty silly and funny; and the kids were super excited to hear the story.  Now I know why!  Pete the Cat is a bit of a character, and his facial expressions are hilarious!  Pete the Cat instantly became one of my favorites.  The best part of the book is the CD and the hip, funky music that plays along.  It is a great book all around.  Your kids will be singing along in no time!

 

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

 

Pete the Cat is a series of book about a cat ironically enough! The books follow Pete the Cat on all his many adventures from going to school, to going to the beach, to his magic sunglasses; and everything in between!  Pete the Cat is quite an adventurous, cool, and hip cat.  Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes is follows Pete the Cat as he takes a walk through the neighborhood in his white shoes.  He steps in a few messes along the way, and his white shoes change colors as he goes along.  Each time he steps in a new mess, the book asks if Pete the Cat frets or gets sad or gets angry, and each time the answer is the same…”Goodness No!”   At the end of the story, once Pete’s shoes are white again, there is a great moral.  The moral discusses how when things happen, don’t lose your cool and just keep keeping on!

I hope that this book instantly becomes one of your favorites that you use in your classroom, home school or as a special book for you and your child.  This book has a catchy, tune and song, and you won’t be able to not sing along!

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

Anitra

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Language

Why I think that D’Nealian is superior to classic print

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

When I first started my Montessori training, I was trained using print.  This was at least 17 years ago, and I believe that most companies that sold Montessori materials only had the option of either print for the Primary and maybe cursive for the Elementary.  For most of my early years of teaching, I used print and was fine using it.  But I noticed early on that many children had difficulty in distinguishing between the “b, p,and d.  Depending on the manufacturer, the “q” sometimes was printed with a slight “tail” on the end, and sometimes it was not.  They basically were the same letter, just positioned differently.  As I kept teaching, I learned that it was becoming more common that the children in my class struggled with differentiating between those particular letters.

 

I was introduced to the D’Nealian style when my oldest daughter entered into the public school system for first grade.  It was interesting at first; I wasn’t sure how I felt about it; especially since I was only accustomed to using print.  I quickly found out the reasoning for using D’Nealian…it was a precursor to cursive.  It was still years later before I actually decided to take the chance and change from using print and switch to D’Nealian.

It was actually not until about six years ago did I make the full switch to using D’Nealian.  I was working at a small school, and the classroom language materials were all D’Nealian.  The sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, and the font on the nomenclature (3 part cards) were all D’Nealian.  I figured that there was no better time than then to give D’Nealian a try.   I absolutely LOVED it!!!!  I noticed right away how easily the children confidently noticed the differences between the “b, p, d, and q”.  They no longer struggled on deciphering between those letters; and yes, it truly makes teaching cursive easier.

 

Shockingly, public schools NO LONGER teach cursive!!! I found this out when my youngest daughter was in public school.  My oldest daughter learned how to write in cursive at school, but my youngest did not.  It is really weird…how are our children supposed to learn how to sign their name if they are not taught how to write in cursive? I took that as a sign that I definitely needed to incorporate D’Nealian style into my classoom.   And I did…and the rest is history…

I use print sandpaper letters as a “first” lesson to learning the sounds.  I have created Sound Boxes; small boxes that have five sounds in each box with two pictures for each sound; using D’Nealian.  I also use the D’Nealian sandpaper letters once they have had lessons on at least four to six sounds.  Sometimes, it is easier for a younger child to recognize print than D’Nealian, so I use them in the very beginning stages of teaching sounds.  I also use the D’Nealian Moveable Alphabet.  This initial introduction makes the transition into teaching cursive a fairly easy one, considering the D’Nealian letters already have a slight slant to them, and many have the “tail” i was talking about earlier.  So yes, from my experience,  D’Nealian is superior to classic print.

 

Anitra

 

 

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