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Primary Classroom

Classroom Content Montessori Extras Parenting

6 tips on finding a Montessori preschool for your child

By Anitra

 

Are you interested in finding a quality Montessori preschool for your child?  There are many things to consider when searching for a Montessori school for your child.  It is not an easy feat to entrust your child and their safety & well being to others.  It is important for you as a parent to feel comfortable, confident, and trust in the place where you will leave your child.  It is also equally important for your child to feel safe, be happy, and feel welcomed to a place where they will spend a good amount of their time.

 

 

With that being said, please know that not all preschools, schools or child care centers are created equal.  Things to consider are school philosophy, program type, extracurricular activities offered, location and price.  There are also other things to look into as well; considering each Montessori school is privately owned and operated.  The Montessori name, method, philosophy, teachings and materials are not trademarked.  Each Montessori school owner has the right to interpret the Montessori method and philosophy as they see fit.  Which means that two Montessori schools right down the street from one another can have many similarities, and just as many differences.  For more information on what makes Montessori unique, please check out my post What’s so special about Montessori…? EVERYTHING!.  If you would like more information in the work and materials in a Montessori classroom, please check out my post What is all the hype about? A detailed look inside a traditional Montessori classroom.

 

When you are ready to begin looking at schools to choose, first start with an internet search of local Montessori schools in your area.  Narrow it down to no more than 5 schools.  Look through their websites, check out any online reviews they may have, and call the school for additional information on their enrollment process.  Once these things are complete, you are ready to incorporate the tips below in selecting a school for your child.  I have included a free checklist at the bottom of the post as well!

 

These 6 tips will help you select the right Montessori school for your child

 

Tip #1

Visit and tour the school(s) you are interested in

It is important for you to go to the school and tour the facility.  During the tour, the school administrators should walk you around the entire school and the playground as well.  Take special note of the cleanliness of the school overall and the condition of the playground & equipment.  The school should look appealing to the eye, and the playground should have safe, child appropriate equipment & toys.  If anything catches your attention or stands out, be sure to ask the administrator about it.

 

 

 

Tip #2

Ask about the schools philosophy

Of course the main philosophy of the school will be the Montessori method.  But each school has a separate school philosophy on how they view early childhood education.  It is important to ask about how they deal with behavior problems, if they are religiously based, and most importantly, their take on how children learn and develop.  See if they follow authentic Montessori practices such as the 3 year age span, allowing children to be independent, and providing a child based environment.  Make sure that their school views are similar to your own personal views on what you expect for your child.

 

 

 

Tip #3

Ask to observe a classroom in action

While on the tour of the schools, most administrators will show you a classroom in action.  Seeing a classroom in full swing will give you a small idea of how the children move throughout the environment, if they seem comfortable in the classroom, and how the teacher(s) interact with the children.  Look for any clues of children being excluded,take notice of the teacher’s tone of voice, and watch to see how they children interact with each other.  In a true Montessori classroom, the children move about freely & confidently and seem engaged in their work with a buzz of conversation happening around them.  The teacher(s) are engaging and interacting with the children in a positive, respectful manner.

 

 

 

Tip #4

Ask administration about teacher turnover rates

In the child care industry, Teacher turnover rate can be common and can be higher than in other professions.  This occurs for a number of reasons, but when a school can retain their teachers for more than two years, that is a positive sign.  If teachers stay for extended time at a particular school, it may be due to the school being supportive of their staff and their needs.  When schools value their teachers, and the teachers feel needed & important, they tend to stay at a school for a longer period of time.  Ask the school administrator how long their teachers have been at the school.

Tip #5

Ask neighbors, friends and co-workers about the school

The best way to get an accurate review or opinion on a school you’re interested in is to ask around.  Ask your neighbors where they send their children, ask friends and co-workers if they have had any positive or negative experiences with a school you may want to tour.  Let’s face it; if you’re interested in trying a new restaurant, you reach out to others to get their opinions about the restaurant.  So why not do the same for a school you may be interested in sending your child too?  You can never be too safe when it comes to your child.

 

Tip #6

Check to make sure the school is licensed with the state

Every child care center, preschool, or day care center providing care to children in a business capacity should be licensed in some form or another by the state they are conducting business in.  Here in California, EVERY child care center, preschool, day care center or home day care MUST be licensed by the state in order to operate.  Each child care facility goes through a rigorous checklist of standards BEFORE they are licensed.  They are also subject to frequent inspections from the state at any time.  California has an online database of all licensed care providers that are licensed in the state.  By simply going to the state website, you can enter in the name of the child care facility you are interested in, and get detailed information about that facility.  Such things as licensing date, licensee name, any violation of state standards they have received, and the amount of children they are allowed to have at the facility.  This information is public knowledge, and available at all times.

 

 

Following these tips can definitely help in finding the right Montessori school for you and your child!  I always say that I don’t just have the child in my classroom, but the entire family as well.  It is important for you as a parent to be able to interact, communicate, and mesh well with the school and the teacher.  You must feel welcomed and part of the overall school community in order for you and your child to have a great experience!

 

 

Interested in getting the FREE checklist for Selecting a Montessori Preschool for Your Child?

It’s yours, just click below for your FREE download!

 

Classroom Content Montessori Extras

30 Holiday Books to add to your collection TODAY!

By Anitra

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

Who doesn’t LOVE a good book?!  Books are the gate to literature, reading, and language.  Exposing children to books early on in their lives aids in their language development.  Something as simple reading to your child will open up a whole world of learning for them!

Are you looking for books to add to your classroom library or for your children at home for this holiday season?  Well this Ultimate List of Holiday Books has you covered!  The list consists of 30 books with everything from Winter, snow, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.  There are many classics on the list, as well as some new ones or some that may be unfamiliar to you as well.  I wanted to have a good mix of books on the list to add some variety to the list.  I hope you are able to get a hold of some of these great selections this holiday season!

 

The Ultimate List of Holiday Books

1.

by Ezra Jack Keats Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
2.
3.
 
by Juwanda G. Ford Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
 4.

There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!

by Lucille Colandro Illustrated by Jared D. Lee

 5.
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
 6.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mark Teague

 

 7.
by Cecily Kaiser Illustrated by Brian Schatell
 8.
by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mark Teague
 9.
by Caryn Yacowitz Illustrated by David Slonim
 10.
 
by Chris Van Allsburg Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
 11.
by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Stephen Savage
12.
by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Jon J Muth
13.
by Nick Cannon Illustrated by AG Ford
14.
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
15.
by Lisa McCourt Illustrated by Cyd Moore
16.

Can You See What I See?

by Walter Wick Illustrated by Walter Wick

 

17.

Clifford’s Christmas 

By Norman Bridwell , illustrated by Norman Bridwell

 

18.

Christmas Morning

By Cheryl Ryan Harshman , illustrated by Jenny Mattheson

 

19.

Christmas Tree!

By Wendell Minor , illustrated by Wendell Minor

 

 

20.

Snow

By Marion Dane Bauer , illustrated by John Wallace

 

21.

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah

By Susan L. Roth , illustrated by Susan L. Roth

 

 

22.

Snow! Snow! Snow!

By Lee Harper , illustrated by Lee Harper

 

 

23.

Hoppy Hanukkah!

By Linda Glaser , illustrated by Daniel Howarth

 

 

24.

Winter

By Janie Carr

 

 

25.

It’s Winter Another Season Book

By Jimmy Pickerin

 

 

26.

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

By Angela Shelf Medearis

 

 

27.

Mooseltoe

By Margie Palatini , illustrated by Henry Cole

 

 

28.

The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens

By Joe Troiano , illustrated by Lydia Halverson

 

29.

Santa’s Reindeer Games

By Samantha Berger , illustrated by John Manders

 

30.

The Littlest Reindeer

By Brandi Dougherty , illustrated by Michelle Todd

 

 

 

I hope that some of these books bring back great memories and that some of them become new favorites and you make new memories with them!  Books are always great to have, no matter the time of year!

 

Happy Reading!

 

Anitra

 

Classroom Content Math Montessori Extras Practical Life Themed Activities

13 December Practical Life Activities for home or school

By Anitra

 

With November slowly coming to an end, it is time to shake up the shelves and add some December themed activities to them.  Changing out the activities frequently; but not too frequently, keep the children engaged, interested, and excited about working in the Practical Life area.  For those unfamiliar with the Practical Life area in a Montessori classroom or homeschool, it is the area that has many components to it that make it the most important area of a Montessori classroom.  They learn many practical, self help & care skills; hence where the name Practical Life stemmed from.  Since children learn basic working, concentration, and eye-hand coordination skills, it is the prerequisite to all of the other areas in a Montessori classroom.  Activities could include spooning, using a ladle, pouring, scooping, and cutting.  This is by far the busiest area of a Montessori classroom.

 

As Maria Montessori stated,“Activities here build on the child’s natural interest and help him develop good work habits, concentration, eye-hand coordination, a lengthened attention span and control of his body.”-Maria Montessori The Sense of Childhood, pg. 1.

 

Pictures of my classroom Practical Life shelves

 

 

If you would like more information about the Montessori Primary (preschool) classroom and all the areas of the environment, please click here to read my post where I describe in detail the Montessori environment.

 

I like to keep the work on the shelves fun and if possible, theme related.  For December, my themes are snow, Antarctica, Winter, Hanukkah, and Christmas.  The 15 December themed activities are actual activities that I use in my classroom.  I have tweeked, added to, and taken away various activities over the years, but this is my set up for this December.  I hope you enjoy them!

 

13 December Themed Practical Life Activities for home or school

 

 

1. Using tongs to transfer large jingle bells

Children love transferring objects.  This work is great for that!

 

 

2. Stringing large bells on pipe cleaners

This is a more complicated work.  It takes patience to string the bells on the pipe cleaners.  Some challenges are good for them!

 

 

3. Spooning “snow”

This spoon is wide and flat.  It is good to have a variety of different sized and shaped spoons for transferring works.

 

 

4. Using a ladle to scoop Christmas peppermint erasers

Using a ladle is another way to add variety to your activities.  The children LOVE the themed erasers as well!

 

 

5. Using a small spoon to transfer snowflake erasers

It may seem repetitious, but having the varying sized spoons adds a different element.

 

 

6. Using a medium spoon to transfer one to many with snowman erasers

Transferring one to many adds another element to a an activity.  It adds an option that wasn’t previously used in the other works.

 

 

7. Using tweezers to transfer small jingle bells

Tweezers are great for transferring objects.  They are a little more challenging than using tongs.

 

 

8. Using a tea infuser to transfer snowman erasers

A tea infuser is a very unique tool to use for transferring.  It allows the child to use their “squeezing” capabilities.  It is a favorite!

 

 

9. Building a snowman

Make and put out the pieces to build a snowman.  A top hat, a large circle, a medium circle, a small circle with eyes & a nose, and add a few buttons.  Children have everything they need to build a snowman!  This is another favorite in my classroom!

 

 

10. Art sponge-painted polar bears

White paint, a small sponge, a polar bear stencil, and blue construction paper make for a fun polar bear!  I have them “dab” the sponge up and down to give the textured look of fur or snow.  These are FUN to make!

 

 

11. Making a snowman

Make a snowman with a snowman and hat template.  On the tray there is a pencil and crayons, so after the children trace the snowman and the hat, they can decorate their snowman as they like!

 

 

12. Hanging felt snowflakes with clothespins

Using clothespins, children will pin the felt snowflakes around the outside of a rectangular basket.  This is another favorite, and has been proven to be difficult at first, but they end up getting the hang of it!

 

 

13. Pin-poking a snowman

Using giant sized push pins, (after receiving a lesson on the safety of the push pins), children can poke around the outside lining of the snowman.  If they take their time, follow along the black line, and place their poking close together, it is easy for the snowman design to be punched out.  They then can take it home!  Pin-poking is a favorite by EVERYONE in my class!

 

 

BONUS!!!!! A couple of Math December Themed activities!!

14. Snowman counting with buttons

Children can practice their counting skills with these snowman labeled zero to ten.  The children can count and place the corresponding number of buttons under each snowman.  This is another favorite!

 

 

15. Mitten counting with felt snowflakes

Similar to the snowman counting, children practice their counting skills with the mittens labeled one to ten.  The children count and place the correct number of snowflakes under each mitten.

 

There are so many other amazing ideas that I incorporate into my classroom during the month of December.  So many that I am probably going to put together a “Part II” of the December Themed Activities for home or school, and include more of the math and language themed activities.  Be on the lookout for that in a week or so!

 

If you noticed, I use very simple, easy to find materials that I get from either the Dollar Tree or the 99 cent store to put together my activities.  There are two main reasons for that: One, they are cheap, and if something gets broken; no big deal, I’ll just replace it since it only cost a dollar!  The second reason is that you can put together a shelf full of activities for around $20.00!!  Is that not amazing?!

 

I hope that I was able to inspire you and encourage your creative juices to go out and get some materials and put together some of your own amazing activities for December!  Now get out to those dollar stores and get to finding some great stuff!! Happy Hunting!

 

Anitra

 

Product Reviews

BOB Books: Reading Kit 1 for Beginning Readers

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided to facilitate a review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

It just doesn’t get any better than this!  My favorite books to teach young children to read have really outdone themselves with their newest products; BOB Books Reading Kits!! If you know me and you follow my blog, you know that BOB Books have been an important part of and a necessity to my classroom.  I have used BOB Books in my classroom for over 17 years, and I feel no curriculum is complete without them.   I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review and use the reading kit in my classroom!

 

The BOB Books Reading Kit is for beginning readers and is available for sale at Costco.  The main characters of the BOB Books; Mat, Sam, and Dot are also available to enhance the reading experience for the children!  Mat, Sam, and Dot are celebrities!  Haha!!!

 

 

 

 

The BOB Books Reading Kit 1 comes in a self contained, easy to carry box.  It’s contents of the box includes an 8 page Parent Guide, an 80 page child’s workbook with stickers, a beginning set of 12 Bob Books, 2 full length storybooks, 40 flashcards…this kit is full of everything you need to ensure your child is successful in reading!

The contents of Reading Kit 1:

-The Parent Guide: Comes with tips and lessons that you can do with your child at home or at school.  It comes with hints for teaching a child to read, additional resources and an achievement log.

-The Workbook: Comes with 6 workbook pages for each of the BOB Books, stickers, a checklist, and a certificate of completion.

-Beginning set of 12 BOB Books: Comes with 12 books; Mat, Sam, Dot, Mac, Dot and Mit, Dot and the Dog,Jig and Mag, Muff and Ruff, 10 Cut-Ups, Peg and Ted, Lad and the Fat Cat, and The Vet

-2 full length storybooks: Comes with 2, Level1 Readers that are geared towards sight words, words to sound out, and simple sentences.They are Grade 1 readers, appealing to Pre-k to 1st graders.

-40 flashcards: Comes with 40 double-sided flashcards with a picture from the books on one side, and the word on the other.

 

 

In order to be able to reuse the workbook pages for multiple children, I decided to make a photocopy of the pages of the workbook that correspond to the first BOB Book, Mat.  After a child in my class read the book, she then began on the workbook pages.  She really enjoyed being able to reference the book while completing her workbook pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The workbook and the characters were a HUGE hit!! I had multiple children in my class asking to do this work and excited to be able to explore the reading kit!  I love that each book has its own set of workbook pages, and that it is fun and inviting for the children.  This Reading Kit is ideal for any homeschool curriculum or classroom curriculum where you have beginning readers.  The kit is complete with everything you need to teach reading to your young child.

 

 

I can only hope that BOB Book keeps making these amazing Reading Kits, and the wonderful character dolls we have all grown to love and adore! Bravo, BOB Books, well done with the Reading Kits!

 

Interested in learning more about how I introduce reading into my classroom with BOB Books? Click here.

Interested in reading about the BOB Books Sight Words Boxed sets? Click here.

 

Anitra

 

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Product Reviews

Book Review: Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided to facilitate a review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

 

I’m here with another great book review!! I’m so excited about being able to review books from authors that I am not so familiar with, and that write amazing and interesting children’s books that have great content and story lines younger kids can relate to.  With that being said, this leads me to my next review of Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash.  It is written by entrepreneur and philanthropist Alan C. Fox.  Alan C. Fox is a successful New York Times bestselling author of numerous relationship books.  Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash is his first children’s book, and is based on a true story; his true story of how he grew a gigantic banana squash when he was younger!  Alan C. Fox is also the editor of a poetry journal called Rattle, and each year they publish a book of poems written by children.  For more information about Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash and Alan C. Fox, please click here.

 

Benji & The 24 Pound Squash

 

Benji & The 24 Pound Squash is about a boy that has been patiently ,(rather impatiently) waiting for the time to be right for him to plant his banana squash seeds.  When the time is finally right, Benji, with the help of his mom, go out and plant the seeds, water them, and cover them with dirt.  Poor Benji impatiently watches and waits for the seeds to sprout for weeks.  He goes to visit his garden daily until he sees a sprout, and in no time his seeds have grown into a giant banana squash…a 24 POUND squash!

 

 

 

 

I read this book to my class of preschoolers who range in age from three years old to six years old.  I read the book right before we talked about and carved our pumpkin.  After reading the book and then carving our pumpkin to examine and learn about the parts of the pumpkin, we discussed the seeds, and the process of growing a squash and a pumpkin.  This book tied in nicely with learning about pumpkins and the pumpkin life cycle theme we are doing!  It would also be great to tie in with spring time planting and growing of plants and vegetable as well.  I particularly enjoyed the ending of the book, where Benji and his family decided to cook and eat his giant banana squash.  The book does a great job tying in the concept of garden-to table.

 

       Here is our pumpkin and a small squash from my classroom.

 

Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash has bright, colorful illustrations and an overall great story.  I will definitely use this book in the future as part of many of my curriculum themes.  This book teaches children about the importance of care, patience, love, and perseverance!

 

I hope you enjoy this book as much as my class and I did!

Enjoy!

 

Anitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Reviews

Book Review: His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided to facilitate a review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

 

Books, books, and more books!!! I just can’t get enough of them!  Books are such a great way to start discussions about all types of everyday happenings.  This one is a great one to add to my collection. This particular book has a unique and hilarious story line and great illustrations.  His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story is written by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  Sally Lloyd-Jones is a British writer who now lives in the United States.  She has written many children’s book, including the Platinum Book Award winning, “The Jesus Storybook Bible” and the Christian Book of the Year “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing”.  For more information about His Royal Highness King Baby and Sally Lloyd-Jones, please click here.

 

 

His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story

 

His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story is about a little girl who, in her mind, is a princess.  She happily lives in her kingdom with her mom, dad, and pet gerbil.  Everything is fine, until one terrible day, behold, a new ruler is born…King Baby, his royal highness (her baby brother).  She exaggerates the impact that King Baby has on her life, and negatively describes how terrible life is now that he is the new ruler.  In the end, the princess finds that having a new ruler around is not as bad as she thinks!  The illustrations and silly, over the top descriptions of the text make this a cute and funny book perfect for a child who will be a sibling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read His Royal Highness King Baby to my classroom and they absolutely loved it!  They enjoyed the silly story and hilarious pictures.  Many of the children are the oldest sibling, so we talked about how they felt when their baby brothers or sisters were born.  This book was a great way for us to discuss family and accepting changes.

 

The children and I really enjoyed this book and are excited to read other books from Sally Lloyd-Jones.  This book will definitely become one of our favorites!  I hope that it becomes one of your child’s favorites as well!

 

Enjoy!

 

Anitra

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Themed Activities

Top 20 Halloween Books for Young Children

By Anitra

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

The theme in my classroom for the next two weeks will be everything pumpkin and Halloween related.  We will cover the pumpkin life cycle, the parts of a pumpkin, discuss Halloween, and do many art projects related to the theme.  I have so much information, art projects, and books to share with them that I feel that spreading it out over two weeks is a great way to cover it all.  I really enjoy teaching themes that are two weeks in length, because I know that I have some great information to present to them!!!  If you’re interested and intrigued to see more about our two week Pumpkins and Halloween theme, please check out daily updates on Instagram and Twitter.

 

With such an extensive theme with a lot to talk about and cover, I thought that it would be great if I shared a list of my Top 20 Halloween Books for Young Children.  A theme wouldn’t be complete without a great collection of books.  If you know me or if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I am an avid collector of books!  I personally own and have read each book on the list and a few have actually become my favorites over the years!  I chose books that are humorous, silly, and have great stories and illustrations.  This collection of books is great for any classroom, homeschool, or your child’s home library!

 

Top 20 Halloween Books for Young Children

 

 

1.

If You’re Spooky and You Know It

If You’re Spooky and You Know It is a Halloween-themed twist on a classic.  It has witches, skeletons, werewolves,mummies vampires, and Frankenstein clapping their hands, nodding their heads,stomping their feet, jumping up and down, honking their nose and dancing all around!

 

2. Five Little Pumpkins

Five Little Pumpkins is an interactive finger play song/riddle where children can join along and count with each pumpkin.  It is fun, engaging, and has easy to remember text.

 

3. Ghost in the House

Ghost in the House is about a ghost in a house that creeps along and meets other friends.  This book includes counting and repetitive text, with a fun and exciting ending!

 

4. Happy Halloween, Stinky Face

Happy Halloween Stinky Face is about a boy who is curious and filled with questions about Trick or Treating.  His Mama has all the right answers for his questions, and reassures him he will have a fun night!

 

5. The Night Before Halloween

The Night Before Halloween is a Halloween twist on another classic.  This book talks about the preparations of the haunted house before Halloween night, and discusses the fun the children have on Halloween night!

 

6. Even Monsters Need Haircuts

Even Monsters Need Haircuts is about a boy who after hours, cuts the hair of the monsters and ghouls in his father’s barbershop.  It’s a normal night of cutting hair until an unexpected visitor comes to the shop.

7. This is the House That Monsters Built

This is the House That Monsters Built is a remake on the classic, The House that Jack Built; with a vampire, a ghost, a mummy, a witch, a black cat, a black widow, bats, and Frankenstein.

 

8. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is about a little old lady who takes a walk through the forest and encounters some interesting ‘characters” along the way and declares that she is not afraid of anything.

 

9. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is about two mice who grow a pumpkin for the town pumpkin contest.  They are quite surprised when it is one of the biggest pumpkins the town people have ever seen!

 

10. Pumpkin Eye

Pumpkin Eye describes the sights and sounds on the streets on Halloween night.  It has fun, rhyming text, that captures your attention.

 

11. Crankenstein

Crankenstein is about a boy who is cranky, irritated, or angry but just not on Halloween, but always!  A very fun, silly book that will surely make you laugh!

 

12. Five Little Ghosts

Five Little Ghosts go on an adventure to find somewhere to play and have tons of fun.  It has great, rhyming text and a fun story.

 

13. Skeleton Meets the Mummy

Skeleton Meets the Mummy follows Sammy the Skeleton on a trip through the dark woods before he goes trick or treating.  He finds that someone, or something is following him!

 

14. Pumpkin Party

 Pumpkin Party is a fun, rhyming book about the fun of a pumpkin party!

 

15. The Littlest Mummy

The Littlest Mummy is about a family of mummies.  Mae, the youngest and littlest mummy was too little to be scary, wear srappings, or dance at the bash.  But, she was not too little to make a friend!

 

16. The Haunted Ghoul Bus

A boy accidentally boards The Haunted Ghoul Bus one day, and had no idea of what his time on the ghoul bus would bring!

 

17. The Ghosts Go Haunting

The Ghouls Go Haunting is a great Halloween twist on the classic, The Ants Go Marching.  It is fun, spooky, and a silly Halloween story!

 

18. The 13 Nights of Halloween

The 13 Nights of Halloween is a twist on another classic, The 12 Days of Christmas.  It is equally as catchy, fun, and easy to sing along with!

 

19. 10 Busy Brooms

10 Busy Brooms is a great witch counting book with fun, silly text and great illustrations!

 

20. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!

The old lady is back at it again!  But this time with a Halloween theme.  There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat is just as silly, hilarious, and crazy as all the other books in this series!

 

I hope you enjoyed my list of Halloween books.  I’m sure that many of them will become your favorites for many Halloweens to come!

 

Anitra

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Product Reviews

Book Review: Thank You Bees

By Anitra

 

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided to facilitate a review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

 

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE books! I am always on the lookout for new books that have a great story, are humorous, and that hopefully have a good lesson in the end.  I have found that with this new book, so I jumped at the chance to review it. Thank You Bees is written and illustrated by Toni Yuly.  Toni Yuly is an author and illustrator of many children’s picture books.  After many years of being a librarian, Toni Yuly now dedicates her time to painting, designing, and writing books.  For more information about Thank You Bees and Toni Yuly, please click here.

 

 

Thank You Bees

 

Thank You Bees is a book that shows us what our world around us gives us, and that we should be thankful and grateful for what our world gives us.  When I read this to my class, they joined along in saying thank you on every page.  Thank you to the sun, clouds, and dirt are just a few of things that are celebrated in the book.  The children in my classroom really enjoyed being able to join in being thankful, and afterwards, we talked about and discussed the many things that we should be thankful for.  The illustrations in Thank You Bees are absolutely amazing; they are colorful, engaging, and vibrant.

 

 

 

 

I read Thank You Bees to my classroom of children who range in age from three to six years old.  They loved it so much, I read it twice!  We talked about many different aspects of the book; what comes from things on Earth, how we can take care of our world, and other things that we can be thankful for.  We used Thank You Bees as a stepping stone to talk about and discuss so many different things; it inspired them to use their critical thinking skills!

 

The children and I really enjoyed this book and are excited to read other books from Toni Yuly.  This book easily has become a favorite!  I hope that it becomes one of your favorites as well!

 

Enjoy!

Anitra

 

 

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Product Reviews

BOB Books: Sight Words Boxed Sets

By Anitra

One or more of the products mentioned in this post were provided to facilitate a review.  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

 

If you know me, you know that I am a strong supporter of BOB Books for young readers.  BOB Books Sets one to five are the normal go to books I use in my classroom for all children when introducing reading.  They are great stories, increase gradually in difficulty, and provide just enough of a challenge for beginning readers.

 

I faithfully use the first five sets of BOB Books, and am excited that there are even more BOB Books for them to read! For more information on how to first introduce your child to BOB Books, please check out that post here. BOB Books are readers that provide beginning readers to successfully sound out words phonetically, be introduced to and learn sight words, and practice blends, vowel pairs, long vowels, and other complex spelling and reading rules.

 

There are three Stages of BOB Books, as well as a Reading Readiness set of books.  The first stage, Stage 1:Starting to Read is the beginnings of a child’s reading adventure.  It contains three sets of books, one of which being Sight Words Kindergarten.  It can be used as support with the other books in Stage 1.  The great thing about the Sight Words Kindergarten books and the Sight Words First Grade books is that both sets come with sight word cards that have sight words on one side and a sentence using the sight word on the other side!  Score!

 

Sight Words Kindergarten Boxed Set

 

 

Here is one of the children in my class reading Book 1 of the Sight Words Kindergarten books.

 

 

 

The Sight Words First Grade books go with Stage 2.  Stage 2 also contains three book sets, and also supports the other books in the stage and allows children to practice reading, learn more sight words, and continue practicing the rules of reading.

Sight Words First Grade Boxed Set

 

 

Here is another child in my class reading Book 1 from the Sight Words First Grade books.

 

BOB Books simply are great readers for young children beginning their reading journey.  The books have great stories, cute pictures, and easy to love characters!  BOB Books are a necessity in your classroom or homeschool as a part of your language and reading area.  One of the most important things to consider when introducing a child to reading for the first time is that you follow the lead of the child.  Making sure the foundation is set before introducing reading will ensure the child a great start for reading. Follow the development of the child, do not rush or push their process.  Doing so may lead a child to not be successful and confident in their reading journey.

 

If you are unfamiliar with BOB Books, you can see what they offer young readers here.

 

Anitra

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Sensorial

Fun & easy to make Flubber!

By Anitra

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

Young children benefit greatly from sensory experiences.  They use their senses to explore and discover the world around them.  Exposing children to tactile activities helps with the growth in physcial abilities, cognitive and language skills, and social and emotional development as well.  Tactile experiences are sometimes overlooked when educators prepare early childhood environments, but the importance of sensory/tactile experiences is something that should not be left out of a young child’s everyday learning activities.

There are many ways to add sensory/tactile experiences to your curriculum; playdough, water tables, sand tables, and shaving cream are just a few.  There are endless everyday items that can be used as sensory experiences for young children.

 

Looking for a fun and easy activity to add a tactile activity to your homeschool or classroom curriculum?  Make Flubber!

Flubber. Slime. Putty. Whatever you’d like to call it, it’s fun, ooey, gooey and is super easy to make!  There’s just one rule to making flubber…get your hands in it! Smush it, mush, squish it with your hands so that you can make sure it gets mixed well.  All you need is  three simple items, and you can make flubber in no time.  You will definitely be a hit with your own children or children in your classroom.

 

I have made this particular flubber for many, many years.  It is always a favorite in my classroom.  You can use cookie cutters with it, cut it, roll it, or spread it out…whatever you’d like!  It adds a little different element to tactile learning than playdough, and it is just as fun!  Below are the simple and easy steps to making your own flubber.

 

Making Flubber

 

Materials needed:

Purex Sta-Flo Liquid Starch

Elmer’s School Glue

Colorations Washable Tempera Paint (any color)

Bowl

1 cup measuring spoon

1 teaspooon measuring spoon

Silicone spatula (optional)

 

                      

 

 

STEP ONE:

Measure out 1 cup of Purex Sta-Flo Liquid Starch into the measuring spoon.  Pour into the bowl.

 

                           

 

STEP TWO:

Measure 1 cup of Elmer’s School Glue into the measuring spoon.  Pour into bowl with liquid starch.

 

 

STEP THREE:

Measure 2 teaspoons of Colorations Washable Tempera Paint into the mixture in the bowl.  (I chose orange to go with the Fall theme).

 

                    

 

 

 

STEP FOUR:

Using spatula and or your hand, mix everything together.  Keep mixing until all of the liquid starch, glue, and paint are blended well.

               

 

 

 

STEP FIVE:

Next, take the flubber mixture and place it into a ziploc bag.  It is normal for it to be very wet and stringy, so don’t worry.  Once it is in the bag, you can mix it a little more by squishing it and mushing it.

 

 

The flubber will need time to sit and form.  You will need to let it sit for at least a few hours, maybe longer.  You want it to not be super wet, and for all of the liquid starch and glue to be as one.  If it is still stringy and really wet, let it sit for awhile longer.  Keep the flubber stored in the ziploc bag in between uses.  Flubber lasts anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on how often it is used.  Use your discretion on if you feel the flubber should be thrown out.

 

Flubber is an easy, fun, and simple way that you can add a great tactile element to your curriculum.  It’s awesome for adults too!!

 

Enjoy!

Anitra

 

 

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