We all want to see our kids grow to enjoy reading, to master their math facts, to develop a love of learning, and to carry a natural curiosity about the world around them.
But it’s not always easy. Every child is different, and every parent comes equipped with his or her own unique skill set. While math comes naturally to my husband, it’s always been a struggle for me. Where I love reading and writing, he’d rather have a conversation than do either any day.
- So how are parents supposed to help their children meet with success in school if they aren’t ‘experts’ themselves?
- How are they to know exactly what to do in order to build a strong foundation for their kiddos early in the game?
- Where can they find a step-by-step guide supporting them in how to be involved, when to be involved, and what their children should know each step of the way?
This New For Us Friday, I’m sharing a resource that’s totally new to me, and it’s something that may provide answers to the difficult questions I asked above. And four super-cool teach mama readers will have the opportunity to score one of these resources themselves.
Here’s the skinny:
- Newmark Learning Early Reading Kit: Newmark Learning is a company that loooooves education. (Which makes me looooove them.)
And they adore teachers. (Even more reason to love them.)
Cora re-colors ‘purple’ in her Reading Journal.
Newmark Learning totally and completely looooves parents and values parents’ roles as integral players in their children’s education so much Newmark Learning has created Parent Involvement Kits. These are kits that bridge the home-school connection and include both books for kids and parent guides to encourage parent involvement in literacy development at home! Woot! Oh, happy day!
I had the fab opportunity to take a first-hand look at a handful of Newmark Learning’s Sight Word Readers, their Whiteboard Resources, and the Fiction Parent Involvement Kit. It was a blast (kind of like Christmas for me!), and I was highly impressed.
Each Parent Involvement Kit includes 8 Leveled Books, a Parent Guide, and a Reading Journal. We have the Fiction Kit, which includes Nursery Rhyme books; the other kits have a Math, Science, or Social Studies focus.
The leveled books each begin with a ‘Skills You Can Teach‘ inside the cover with lists of Sight Words, Story Words, Phonics topics, and Comprehension focus areas, and I found the suggestions very helpful. There’s also a ‘How to Read This Book With Children’ list inside each cover–8 steps for parents to follow in order to make the most of the read-aloud time.
The back cover of the book offers ways to Build Language and Comprehension with a Talk About. . . prompt, a Make Connections prompt, and a Draw and Write activity that children can complete in their Reading Journal. Though I don’t believe that every time a parent and child sit down to read, the child needs to complete each and every activity, I do appreciate the ideas being there–for parents and teachers to use when the time is right.
Cora reads How Many Fruits?, a level A from the Math Kit
Like many kids, these rhymes are most likely familiar to children, so they feel proud ‘reciting’ as Mom or Dad reads. And soon, with practice, they’ll be able to point as they recite, making letter-sound associations and picking up words. Each fiction piece that follows the nursery rhyme expands or explains the nursery rhyme, and the stories are sometimes–most times–silly.
I’ll take silly if it gets kids reading, and I personally love the activating schema thing going on!
I found that Cora really wanted to work in her Reading Journal, especially during homework time. She wanted to grab a book and read with me. She wanted to learn more words and practice. She did tend to balk at the questions at the end of each story, and I think it was because she was more interested in grabbing another book and trying to read it.
Like most things we do around here, next week may be different.
I do love that these resources are inviting for kids, though; my children, at least, wanted to pick up a book and flip through it–and not every leveled reader has that effect on kiddos.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Newmark Learning.
. . . and we watch and listen to the What Can a Bird See? Whiteboard Resource.
- the Parent’s Guide is super — it’s thorough but a quick read and easy for all parents to understand, no matter their background;
- the Parent’s Guide includes Literacy Milestones and suggested areas of focus for each age range (2-4/4-6/ 5-7/ 6-8);
- that there were no evaluations, tests, quizzes, or assessments involved — simple reading together with easy extensions takes off the pressure;
- the quality — these are sturdy books with super graphics, fonts, and colors which really grab kids’ attention without overdoing it;
- that the text was clear, not obstructed by photos or illustrations, and was at the top of each page;
- the Kit includes 8 leveled books ranging from pre-K (level AA) to grade 1 (I) — so parents can walk their kids through each early literacy stages;
- the inside cover and back of each book contains tons of useful information right at your fingertips;
- the font!– I seriously love the font used in all of the Newmark Learning books I received! — the font is simple, something like Century Gothic (which I always use!) because I prefer the standard, ‘single-story’ ‘g’ and ‘a’ for emerging readers and writers . . . yay!;
- that it all comes in one handy-dandy kit so all parts can stick together (moms love everything to have a home!).
- that there was a way to include mixed genres in the Parent Involvement Kit because we loved the Fiction books, but the Math and Science and Social Studies books were also really, really great. . .maybe we need to buy them all?
- there was a Whiteboard Resource included in the Parent Involvement Kit–we LOVED the Whiteboard Resource, and I secretly wished there was one for each of the books in our kit. A girl can dream, right?
- that I had one of these kits for every parent who wanted one–they’re that cool, and every parent deserves to know how to support their child’s learning.
GIVEAWAY: FOUR Newmark Learning Parent Involvement Kits — winners’ choices! [Contest closed! check Newmark Learning Facebook Page for winners!]
Do you want to win a Newmark Learning Parent Involvement Kit?
- All you have to do is leave a comment here (with email address!) explaining which Parent Involvement Kit you want to win. (You’ll need to visit the Newmark Learning site to see the kits and the options!).
For extra entries:
- Tweet this: Get involved in your child’s #learning with @NewmarkLearning #literacy resources! http://wp.me/p1NAxy-19V #giveaway #weteach
- Share this post on your Facebook page–very easy!— and consider saying something like:
I totally dig the Early Literacy Resources @teachmama is giving away on her blog! Check it out: http://wp.me/p1NAxy-19V
- Share this post with a friend, MOMS group, school group, or church group (just tell me who you shared it with!)
Here’s the cool part:
- Newmark Learning will announce the four winners of this giveaway on the Newmark Learning Facebook Page, so if you want to stay ‘in the know’ and find out if YOU are a winner, consider heading over and giving them a ‘like’ so their news shows up in your Facebook newsfeed!
This contest ends on Friday, September 30, 2011 at midnight ET. Winners will be chosen by a random.org.
Good luck and happy reading!!
fyi: Newmark Learning provided me with the resources mentioned above–a Fiction Parent Involvement Kit, a Whiteboard Resource, and several leveled books. Newmark Learning is also providing FOUR readers with a Parent Involvement Kit of their choice. Though this is a sponsored post, I only choose to work with companies whose products I honestly feel are quality, worthwhile, and relevant to my readers. My opinions here are all my own, influenced only by my three little readers.