Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jan Brett

Jan Brett has been a favorite children's author of mine for a very long time. My kindergarten, first and second grade students were always treated to her books when I was teaching in the classroom and of course my own children grew up listening to her books. I never tire of reading her books and can always find something new in her exquisite details. Not only does she write wonderful books she has an amazing website for children and teachers full of resources.
On Saturday I had the wonderful experience of finally meeting Jan Brett. The first grade teachers and myself went to Wegman's in Dewitt, NY to meet her and have her sign a book. We reserved our tickets and picked them up at the door. What we didn't realize was she was doing a 20 minute presentation before she began the book signing. She showed how she drew Mossy. So, unfortunately we missed that. But it was lovely getting to meet her and chat with her as she signed our books.
Here's a few more pictures of our trip.
Her Amazing Bus

October Technology Links

For Parents and Children:
The Scholastic site has a wealth of information for parents on a wide variety of topics including, book lists of all ages, reading help, homework help, activities, and child development. There is also a great section for children. One part is for children 8-12 and it includes interviews of authors, book suggestions, videos and games. The other section has fun activities for children aged 3-7 with Clifford and the Magic School Bus just to mention a few.
For Children:
ABCya is a fun site for your child to practice math, spelling, reading and keyboarding. It is geared for K-5. There are a variety of activities for each grade level and some activities are just for fun. ABCya also has apps for Apple products. There are some ads on the site but they are appropriate for children. In other words, you aren’t going to see ads for such things as dating sites.

Marcelino’s Letters is a good beginning keyboarding site for kindergarten and first grade students. The site does contain ads.
Halloween Fun:

Grades K-5
Photo Card Make a postcard using preprogrammed photos or your own. Children write their message and then decorate it with a stamp and stickers. An address can be added and the message can even be recorded. Then email the postcard to someone or print it out to mail it to someone. A fun way to practice letter writing skills.

September Tech Links

This year I volunteered to do a tech article for our school's monthly newsletter. It will be a list of suggested webpages and apps for parents and elementary students.
Here's my September suggestions: -->
For Parents:
This is a great resource for parents and teachers. For parents, there is information on reading together, connecting with your child’s teacher, helping a struggling reader, early literacy, children’s books and authors, top 10 phonics apps and much much more.
For Parents and Children:
It’s never too early to begin talking to your child about internet safety. This site has information to help you no matter your child’s age. It explains different topics, how to protect your child, and how to start a discussion with your child. From this site there is a link to which has videos and activities for young children to learn about safety. It would be great to watch the videos and do the activities with your child.
Grades K-5

Children select puppets, props and a background. Then they record their own story using the different characters. The characters and some props are moveable while they are recording. The app changes the child’s voice to match the character. I have not used it with students yet but it looks like fun. Students can work on storytelling-beginning, middle end, retelling a story and creativity! Puppet shows can be saved and you could even share their show via Facebook or YouTube. The app is free and comes with quite a few choices. There is a store where you can purchase more content.
Grades 3-5
This app uses text, videos and photographs to learn about animals, volcanoes, submarines and much more.

Children learn what animals like to eat, watch a video of an animal in its habitat and play games that develop memory, sorting and reasoning skills. The app is free and comes with 5 animals to explore. More habitats/animals are available for purchase.