Archive | September 2011

Bookmark Monday: Rhyming and repetition

This week, we’re into rhyming and repetition – two very useful techniques to encourage confidence in early readers.

I love the smile on their faces when they recognize a word that sounds like or looks similar to another word used previously in the same sentence, and catch on to the phonic patterns. And from there, we watch their enthusiasm to finish the story reading together with us, fire up like nothing we can ourselves hope to inspire on our own efforts.

Two books we have been enjoying from our local library this week:-

My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes – written by Eve Sutton and illustrated by Lynley Dodd

A very popular New Zealand children’s book first published in 1974.  Consisting of incremental lines describing cats from other countries and what they do, and then always followed by the phrase, “But my cat likes to hide in boxes.”, the text is humorous and provides lots of laughs while serving double duty in training the eye and ear to rhyme and repetition.  Below is an excerpt as a sampler…

The cat from Norway, got stuck in the doorway

The cat from Spain, flew an aeroplane

The cat from France,  liked to sing and dance

But my cat likes to hide in boxes.

Moose on the Loose – written by Kathy Jo-Wargin and illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello

What would you do with a moose on the loose?

Would you chase him, or race him, or stand up to face him?

What would you do with a moose on the loose?

What would you do with a moose in your yard? Or in your house? How about in your room? Or in your tub?

Would you give him two boats? Would you see if he floats?

If you have some cardboard or index cards on hand, write out each of the rhyming words on a card and have your child read them as you follow the adventures of this cheeky moose on the loose, and pin them up on a word wall. Makes a fantastic way of visually identifying the rhyming patterns in the text of the story.

Enjoy! 😀


In my world: Tractor-tippin’

You’d have to had watched the tractor-tippin’ scene in Cars: The Movie to appreciate the humour…

I found this arranged by DS when I came home from work the other night.

Here’s the youtube link to the particular movie clip below if you haven’t.   (Side question: Does anyone know how to make the youtube images not so big?)


Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.

Preschooler Art: Well, technically not…

…because the pictures are preprinted and not our own creation. 😉
We had some fun pasting up some dinosaur wall decals given by the same friend who gifted the horse wall decals to DD.

DS enjoyed deciding the positioning of each of the dinosaurs.

Thanks again, Aunty Ruth! 🙂

Wordcraft: Copywork short and sweet

Still riding on the coloured marker bandwagon…
Every letter of copywork goes easier for the child incentivised by freedom to use coloured markers. 🙂

I found a short article that provided me a number of useful tips around designing copywork for preschoolers and the benefits to be gained from this activity.

The full article can be found here, but below were my personal takeaways and thoughts (as a mom of a preschooler) after reading it:-

  1. Keep it interesting. Decide the theme and focus based on what’s the latest topic or in our case, art media, of interest for that week. This helps add fun and depth to the activity.
  2. Keep it short. Setting small and achievable goals at the start and measurable timeframes help maintain focus on the task.
  3. Provide information to copy from a variety of sources. For ourselves, Sunday School take-home activity sheets with the Bible memory verse for the week are a great source and help with the memorisation as well.
  4. Assigning copywork should be at the parent’s discretion. Only a parent knows their child’s likes and dislikes; what works for someone else may not necessarily work for us and I shouldn’t beat myself up over it (as with most things related to parenting, but hey, I need to be constantly reminded!).


Do you assign copywork to your kids at home?  What are your common sources of copywork material?

What do you find are your biggest challenges in encouraging meaningful and effective work output?  What are some of the successes that you’ve celebrated or the benefits that you’ve personally experienced together with your child? 

Bookmark Monday: Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency

Honestly…I borrowed this book more for me than the kids. Because it totally cracked me up and I loved the ending!

And because I wish an Emily Brown would come rescue me from the daily great grey busy-ness of mundane emergencies that aren’t really emergencies, so I can go do more fun stuff like searching for the source of the Nile in the jungles of Africa too. 😉

Click on the youtube link below for an entertaining CBeebies reading by David Tennant of “Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency”.

Preschooler Craft: Playdoh World

DD has been experimenting with mixing playdoh colours, and coming up with some very interesting results…

This is “The World”.