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Mrs. Ben (Bendixsen)


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Monday, June 30, 2014

Round is a Mooncake

Round is a Mooncake
Written by Roseanne Thong and Illustrated by Grace Lin
Chronicle Books, 2000

A book about finding shapes in the world around you. This little girl with a Chinese Heritage finds them in her round mooncake, square name chop, rectangle abacus and the round lanterns around her. 

Take a shape hunting walk around the house, the backyard, at grandma's house or somewhere else fun like the playground. How many can you find? How are they the same or different including colors, sizes, dimensions? You could even cut out paper shapes and write the names on each one, using them to 'match' shapes for kids that might not yet distinguish between each of the shapes. Want to make it challenging? Don't forget the more difficult shapes from rectangles and ovals to maybe even trapezoids

As you read the story, talk about what might be culturally significant to this girl and her family. What are some traditions and items you have in your home that might be different or unique to someone else?

Monday, June 23, 2014

It Looked Like Spilt Milk

It Looked Like Spilt Milk
Written and Illustrated by Charles Shaw.
Scholastic, 1988

A great book for vocabulary and discussion. The simple pictures show an object on each page making the reader think about whether or not it's just 'spilt milk'.

Activity: Spill some milk. Give your child(ren) a straw and see if he or she can blow it into different shapes and guess what they make. This can also be done to make a permanent picture with thinned (water-downed) white paint on dark paper. Blowing with the straw is also great for oral-motor development.

Do some sky-gazing. Lay outside under the clouds and guess what each of the shapes could be. If your child has an active imagination, encourage stories to evolve with these new characters.

Monday, June 16, 2014

One Duck Stuck

One Duck Stuck
Written by Phyllis Root, Illustrated by Jane Chapman
Candlewick Press, 1998

"Five Frogs plop to the Duck. No luck, still stuck".

It's time to get dirty. Start with a tub of mud. If you don't want to get too dirty or for a little more fun, a tub of chocolate pudding works great.
Start by reading the book together and then 'making' your own mud, measuring out the ingredients (whether it be dirt and water or pudding mix and milk). Mix together. Use toys from the house to re-enact the story. "Two fish, tails going swish, swim to the duck. No luck, duck stays stuck, deep in the muck, down by the fishy, squishy marsh."

Encourage using the phrases "Help, help, who can help?"

Through out the week, when you need help (like cleaning up toys) you can encourage them to help but saying, "Help, help, who can help?"

Summer Time

I've been putting together some of our summer reading program posts. I really wanted to share this book and I couldn't decide what activities would go along well with it. Mostly I just want to say, go on a picnic! Talk about the things you like to do in the summer. Plan out an activity to do as a family that's best in the summer. So there it is.

It also made me think of this article posted on KSL. It might be worth a read. We live in a culture with high exceptions and it's good to keep a realistic perspective in mind. So, that being said, enjoy the article and most of all, enjoy spending time with your kids: A Realistic Summer Bucket List (Link)

Written by Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, Paintings by Mike Wimmer
Aladdin, 1999

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky

But till that morning
There's a'nothing can harm you
With daddy and mamma standing by

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mouse Paint

Mouse Paint
Written by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Harcourt, 1995

Mouse Paint is a very simply written story about 3 white mice who come upon 3 containers of primary colored paints. Upon experimenting, each mouse becomes different colors. It's a great book for learning what primary colors make which secondary colors. It's also great for encouraging children to do some experimenting for themselves.

Color Mixing: Try one the activities starting with the primary colors, red, yellow and blue.

Softest Playdough~ 1 part hair conditioner, 2 parts cornstarch 
Edible Playdough~ 1 Tub Whip Topping, 1/2 Box of cornstarch, 2 Tbl of Olive Oil

Shaving Cream: Shaving Cream, Elmer's Glue and Paint (avoid the mess? Put on paper plates and then in gallon-sized ziplock baggies. Seal and finger-paint through the plastic).

Ice Cubes: Color different tray sections with each of the primary colors (food coloring and water) and then freeze. Take them out and stick them in glass cups, trying different colors together to see what they become when melted.

You can also do this activity we did as a class: Star Shooters

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

100 Days of Play: The Importance of PLAY for Speech and Language Development

Checkout this great post on this highly recommended website:

The Importance of PLAY for Speech and Language Development {With Tips}

It's a lot of stuff we do with the younger kids in our class and easy for you to do at home.