Listening To Books

cathykinneyRemember this face??? Can you hear the voice in your head???

Good for you!!

Now for the really good news —- This is Katherine Kinney (yes, I know, you’ll always think of her as Mimi) and she’s created a wonderful website for children.

Students can listen to stories, watch videos, and play interactive literacy games.  This is fun stuff.

Here’s what the website has to say about itself:  (always good to let someone introduce themselves, don’t you think?)

FREE – is a free, safe and secure site for children, with no ads or subscription fees.


– Ideal for beginning readers, ESL and even home-schooling.

KIDS VIDEOS – New children’s stories are always being added to the video library.
INTERACTIVE FUN – Animated kid games and great kid activities.
Mrs. P doesn’t look like Mimi (Amazing what happens when you re-do the hair and the makeup —- this is one for the makeover shows!!)  Now, she looks like this:   Wow!!
The music on the site is kind of cool —- I loved it….. the library is slow loading, but that’s to be expected with large sound and video files….. All in all, another great resource for kids  who like to read along with a narrator.  Give it a try —- Mimi said so!!

Good Fit Books

weightliftingshoesThis is not the time of year that most of you are teaching the “good fit books” lesson —- but it may be the time of year for a quick little review with your kiddos.

The Sisters gave us that terrific demo lesson with the shoes that so many of you love doing with the students in the fall.  (For those of you who don’t remember, we do have the DVD — come to the reading room and check it out)  Well, one very smart, efficient teacher out there turned the lesson into a snappy powerpoint presentation — I love it.

This is a chance to do a quick review (especially with younger students) using the same lesson, the same images, but a different presentation style.  It would be nifty on the SmartBoard too.

The graphics in this are terrific.  There are a couple of very interactive parts of the slideshow where you’ll want to talk with the students before moving on.  You certainly can tell that this was put together by a teacher!! I would upgrade the sound if I were going to use it in my classroom —- there ARE sound effects, but they’re somewhat sparse — it feels like a whole lot of silence —- If you’re talking through this presentation with students, that might be okay —- I’m viewing it from a computer, all by myself.

Check it out here and see what you think…..

Poetry Month: Prompts

One fun teaching blog, Bud the Teacher, has found a great way to get all of us involved in celebrating National Poetry Month. He’s inviting readers to write some poems and publish them on blogs, his site, etc. If you’re like I am, this is is easier said than done.  Apparently, Bud thought so too.  He’s providing prompts for us to get us started….His first prompt along with his poem can be found here. Its an interesting photograph to jog the sleepy brain and get it moving and playing with language.  I found myself wondering what might happen if we presented a photo like this to our students — didnt’ talk it to death — just let them write.

This might be an amazing activity in a classroom.  I’m thinking this might be a perfect lesson to utilize the SmartBoard —- just upload Bud’s photo onto the SmartBoard and off you go!!!  Hmmmmm —- anybody want to join me in trying this one out???

I’m hoping Bud is going to provide us with more photo prompts to keep us all writing through the month.

Trivia for Kiddie Lit

I’m not a huge fan of trivia questions as a part of reading instruction or assessment — but as part of fun —- count me in.  Trivia can be a huge source of fun and a way of playing games and working cooperatively on a subject.  It can also be a way of documenting surface knowledge — or monitoring that reading actually occurred.

Personally, I take the Crickler News Puzzle quiz at least a few times a week.  It keeps me honest about how well I’m keeping up with the major news stories in the world.   I know in a quick snapshot if I’m falling behind in my reading of the news.

In thinking about trivia questions in that light, I came across a fun kiddie lit trivia site.  They have many, many categories and titles of children’s books — and a trivia quiz for each of them. Click here to take a look at it.

To try it out, I took the quiz on the  Little House on the Prairie series.  This was a huge favorite of mine as a child (I devoured them, along with the silly television series of the day).  I wondered how much I’d still remember from the reading all those years ago.  I only answered the first 30 questions — the rest were from some other added on Little House books (the Martha and Caroline books??? — I’d never read them and had absolutely no idea.  The first 30 questions were about the original Little House books and about Laura Ingalls Wilder herself.  I did okay…… I answered 22/30 correctly.  Not bad for 30 years later.