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Book of the Week

Hairy Maclary’s Rumpus at the Vet!

March 10, 2016

Hairy Maclary books are a lot of fun. Carter loves the characters and the rhyme aspect of the book means that he is able to join in and predict what word is coming next (or in his case, we’ve read them so many times he has now memorized what word is coming next!)

This book’s illustrations in particular are fantastic and we’ve been able to draw on the mathematical concept of counting using the pictures of the animals at the vet. Carter enjoys counting how many birds fly out of Grandmother Goff’s cage and I’ve been helping him use his finger to do this which encourages one to one correspondence. Mastering this skill helps a child in their early years of schooling as they learn to count a collection of objects. It takes a lot of repetition but this book with its engaging illustrations makes it a fun way to practice this skill.

Dr Seuss’ ABC

March 4, 2016
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A great book for so many reasons!

Rhyme is a fantastic way to build vocabulary as it encourages children to learn word families where words have the same ending but different beginnings. Children also get involved in the story and are able to predict what word is coming up next.

I also love this story because the alphabet is written in large font and the repetition of introducing each letter is catchy and engaging for children.

For older children there’s so many follow up activities you could do with this book afterwards. You could make a bumblebee for the letter b, bake some of Jerry Jordan’s jam, create a word list for one of the letters, a poster with cut out pictures/drawings of things that start with a particular letter…the list goes on!

Carter’s alphabet book.

February 23, 2016

We created this book yesterday (Carter’s 2 years and 3 months old) and already I’ve been surprised at how quickly it’s prompted Carter to ask ‘what does …. start with’ long after we’ve put the book away.

All you’ll need for this one is a scrapbook, some magazines and textas and away you go.

I’ve written an upper and lowercase letter on each page and we have been cutting and pasting pictures that start with that letter on all the pages. I always write the name of the picture underneath it, making specific reference to the initial letter being the same as letter on the page and the sound it makes. E.g: ‘So flowers start with f. F for flowers. ffffff’. It’s really important to not only focus on identifying the letter but also ensuring your child knows what sound it makes-without that knowledge they won’t be able to make the connection when hearing it in words.

At the moment I’m telling Carter what a lot of the pictures start with, but as his knowledge of letter sounds build hopefully he will soon be telling me what the initial sound is. We also find the letter page together, again reinforcing letter identification as part of the activity. This one’s a great one to read together each night as well.

What time is it Peter Rabbit?

February 20, 2016

Telling the time is a difficult concept to teach, often one of the hardest in the early years of schooling, so the sooner your child is familiar with clocks and telling the time, the better!

We introduced Carter to our wall clock when he was one, he loved watching the hands and looking at the numbers. We taught him that it was called a clock and over time we have revisited it and extended the teaching.

We are Peter Rabbit obsessed in this house so this book is a favourite.

When reading this book we focus on the ‘big hand on the 12 meaning o’clock’ and the ‘little hand pointing to the number to tell us which o’clock it is’.  Repetition is the key and giving your child ownership over the activity. Let them try to move the little hand to the number or ask them to give you an o’clock time to make and as you make it verbalize your actions.

This book is a great one because it attaches a story to the learning and also provides children with a visual of the time they need to make. Plus it’s got a clock for the children to use-hands on learning is always best!



We all went on safari…

December 7, 2015


What a great pick up from the local library!


So many teaching points with this one…

  1. Rhyme: Kids love rhyme, after a few pages they are able to start predicting the last word, using rhyme and picture cues to assist them.
  2. Counting: Each page has a number on it, so not only can your child identify the number but they can also count the number of animals and relate the number to it.
  3. Identifying animals: Big, colourful pictures in this story allow the children to easily identify the animals, their colours, skin type etc.
  4. African safari: Depending on the age of your child, you could introduce the concept of different countries, cultures and animals found in particular countries. Carter loves the safari bus at Werribee Zoo so he was able to connect the word ‘safari’ to his experience at the zoo and the types of animals he sees there.

It’s always more beneficial to a child’s learning if they can relate the concept to their own personal experiences, it helps them to own the learning and make connections. 

Carter’s Family Book.

November 23, 2015

Introducing reading a text to gather information is an important skill, so to do this, I created a family book for Carter.

Each page had a photo of his family members with their names written underneath.

Not only was it a great way to reinforce his oral language skills by teaching him the names of the people closest to him, but he was also introduced to basic reading concepts.

Turning pages, pictures accompanied by print and reading to inform were all part of the learning process.

He also loved being able to say hello to his family using their names when he saw them! We introduced the book to Carter when he was 10 months old and he enjoyed ‘reading’ it each day.


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