All About Reading tip

Favorite Resource This Week002
I took some of those fun games they have in the All About Reading workbook and made them into an envelope game.  For the feed the monster, I glued him on, and cut a slit in the envelope so we can feed him.

Afterwards the pieces just store right in the envelope we fed them into.

I did the same thing for the monkey game, and plan to do the same for all upcoming games.  Now it’s easy to play it over and over again. Update: 1. Sorry for the bad photo, I took a quick picture with my phone in a rather dark room. 2. Since first creating this “game” we have done the monster game almost every day, I’m taking it super slow with Princess and taking about a week a lesson for now.

All About Reading Level 1 comes out today

And I’m super excited because I’ve been waiting for it for a while.  Now to ensure there’s money in the budget for it……..  But, All About Reading Level 1 is on sale right now!

Why am I so excited about All About Reading Level 1?


1.  We love All About Spelling, and this looks to be in the same genre.


2.  I’ve been using the sample of the program with Princess for the past few weeks and I haven’t had any fights recently about reading.


3.  Did I mention I love All About Spelling?


4.  I’ve looked at the samples of the book online and the length of the stories are a good length, as opposed to some of the other early readers I’ve gotten.



5.  Another use for my spelling board………  Which by the way is working marvelously!


Now the only thing I’m debating about, and I’d love your thoughts, should I order the entire kit or just the teacher’s manual and workbooks?


Here’s my dilemma, I’m trying to be a good steward, and I have a lot of readers already.  So, I probably don’t need them, but I want them.


I need opinions fast because IT’S ON SALE RIGHT NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 6!

homemade tools: spelling board

We use All About Spelling and it has 100 or so spelling tiles.  They encourage you to get a magnetic board that is about 2 foot by 3 foot for this.  The problem is I have problems knocking the magnets off and losing them.  Enter my solution:
Supplies: laminated file folder (for durability), All About Spelling letter tiles , velcro (bought at Feiner supply [thanks to Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations for giving me the heads up of where to buy]), scissors
This is fairly self explanatory, but I figure I’d give you the tips I learned in making three of these.

1.  Measure out the space between velcro strips and figure out the right distance.  I figured out it was roughly an inch space.

2.  I figured out it worked best for me not to have all of the multiple letters out at this time.  There might come a day someday when the kids need them, but right now there are no double letters out, and only the 3 digraphs we’ve started on.

3.  I used rubber cement to put on the labels for the different phonemic segments consonant blends, vowel teams, etc).  I had originally used packing tape, but that makes it harder to pull up if I need to rearrange, which I’ve already had to do once.

4.  Figure out roughly how much space you need for each section before gluing down any labels (see above comment on the packing tape).  I figured out the primary alphabet needs 3 rows with some extra space left over.  The vowel teams needs about 2 rows, and the consonant blends needs a row (maybe 2, wasn’t real sure yet), and the other two categories can pretty much split a row).

5.  I’ve got the extra letters and such in ziploc bags right now and squirrelled away, hopefully somewhere I can find them again.

I got this idea from something I saw on pinterest, but I just spent 20 minutes scouring my boards and can’t find the original post.  If you pinned this idea or have seen it, could you let me know the source so I can credit it.  Also, they had a printable to some plain alphabet tiles if you don’t want to buy the AAS ones.

Favorite Resource this week: Education Cubes

Favorite Resource This Week
Ages ago I won the chance to use Education Cubes, and I’ve mentioned it once or twice using them.  Well, we used them again a few weeks ago, and this is a great way to have fun and not totally forget what you learned this year.

1.  Write the material you want to cover all over your sidewalk using chalk.  We are reviewing simple addition and sight words.

2.  Everybody roll a different die (I had to make them change colors, otherwise each kid would review the same six things).  Than try to be the first one to your answer.

Repeat over and over and over again!


Back when I first wrote this post I did it partially to show off the Education cubes, and then I forgot to put in the link to the site for them.  My brain is dead sometimes.

Education Cubes Show & Tell

Writer’s World: making books

Did you know it’s very hard to type when a dog is laying on top of your arm?  I’d make him move but hes so warm and comfy…….

Here’s another great way to make use of your workbooks.

All right, I made him move.  He’s still on my lap, but it was really driving me crazy typing with one hand.  It was taking so LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

Yes, I am working on my patience, and it is much better, thank you.

Back to my point though, this section of our workbook has the kids drawing lines and matching the picture to the sentence.  Well, I knew what would happen if I had my kids do that.
I’d have a very messy page with lots of extra lines, and kids who weren’t happy.

Instead, I cut out the sentences and pictures, and then made a mini-book by cutting copy paper in half and hamburger folding it into a book.  I set it up using a placemat and putting the words on one side and the pictures on the other with a gluestick.

Voila, instant easy reading activity.  Added bonus, they had to decide what order to put the sentences in for it to make sense.

That is the face of a happy little girl, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the giant cup of water she has sitting next to her.

Other added bonus, they happily haul these little books back out to read to their Daddy when he gets home.


Okay, typing around a puppy is getting a little hard, and he ate my queso, which I’m not happy about.  So, I’m off to bed.

Oh, and make sure to check out my post today over at ABC and 123 for a great idea for Groundhog’s Day.  We’re doing it again this year, provided the weather cooperates.

One more phonics game

Okay, that is probably still a lie.  But, I’m going to pretend for now that is this is the last.


short a

I figured out a good way to store these (at least for me) is to hole punch it and put I on one of those bookbinding rings.  It works really well because then I can also throw them in my purse and let them practice these while waiting in line somewhere.


Oh, and my Science Sunday post this week is going to be very amusing……… 


Now head on over to Homeschool Creations to see some more fun preschool and kindergarten posts.

My phonics reading game

Well, there weren’t many suggestions on where to get some quick phonics games, aside from a suggestion of getting Happy Phonics, which I’ve heard is awesome, but I don’t want to buy another curriculum.  I was really looking more for a couple of quick games that were online somewhere that I could print.

And, so I made up our game in a few minutes.  I’m probably going to make a second game for the rest of the short A words they use rather than having my kids do the worksheets, but I’m not going to share that since I’m just going to copy their pictures, and that would be violating copyright…
short vowel game

Supplies needed: printable (click on the picture)
scissors to cut pieces apart

How we played it.  First I cut the pieces apart so the word and picture were still attached to each other.  That let them look at the word and know which picture went with it.  I didn’t want them thinking the picture for mug went with the picture for cup.

Then I finished cutting it apart, and only passed out about half of the cards.

This kept the game at about a 5 minute length, which meant we got to play several rounds during their attention span, rather than just one or two………
This particular time we did it as a Go Fish variation, but it could easily be used for memory, or any of the other little kid card games.

Quick tip for reading

I know, it’s totally one most of you have thought of, but this is really working for us!

Each day for reading the kids are writing their words for the day on an index card.  After they’ve written the word, they turn the card over and illustrate it.

I then bind them into a book, and they tell stories from it.  First they read the word and then flip the card over and expand on the word with a multi-sentence story.  But, they LOVE this!  I mean LOVE!

Finally, I feel like we’re making progress with reading.  Oh, and I’m thinking I’ll be designing a beginning reader game soon, so stay tuned for that.

I’ll probably eventually hook this up to ABC and 123, and maybe Works for Me Wednesday, Writer’s World (over at Giggles and Flowers).

Books about Florida


One of these things is not like the other one, one of these things just doesn’t belong: Widgets


Can you guess which of these books is not about Florida?  If you guessed “The Little Cat Baby” that would be correct.  And it was also the miss of the week.  It was just weird.  Really weird.


But, successes…….


A Country Schoolhouse– the clear cut winner, though it doesn’t take place in Florida I chose it for Florida because Florida has the oldest still standing wooden schoolhouse in St. Augustine.  So, we read this.  It’s a cute story of a grandfather telling his grandson what it was like to grow up in a schoolhouse.  Look for another post on this.


The space books-  I’d totally recommend “Life on a Space Shuttle,” it’s part of the Rookie Reader series that has never failed me.  “Launch Day” is geared for older kids, I’d say 3rd grade with a guess, and was too many words, and it covered much of the other book.  But, the pictures are great in both of them.


Animal books- all of these are from series we’ve gotten before and had great luck with, so nothing really new to say.  Other than “Barbara Manatee…….  You are the one for me…..  You came from up above, and you’re the one I love……”  Yes, yes, thank you very much I did get that stuck in your head.  Mwa ha ha ha ha ha


So, that’s my quick post about what we read this week.  We also reread several Halloween books, but I already wrote about them, and I’m trying to gather them up and hide them from the kids to save for next year…….


Head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns to see what everyone else is reading this week.