Super Hammy’s in Flight!

The Super Hammy – My First Reading Series – has been officially launched!

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I met so many wonderful and interesting teachers, principals, authors, book store owners, and publishers at the Reading for the Love of It Conference 2017 at the Sheraton in Toronto today and yesterday.  I appreciated the feedback I got about my books and came away with some good advice, too, for future endeavours.
I think I can safely say that the consensus is that Super Hammy is very cute!  I did some drawing while I was there!

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Many thanks to Susanne and Leonard of DC Canada Education Publishing.  In addition to the Super Hammy series, DC Canada was showcasing their series called The Charter for Children which is a set of fictional stories describing our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The author is Dustin Milligan.

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Here Comes Super Hammy…

The official book launch for Super Hammy – My First Reading Series…is Thursday, February 23rd, 2017.

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I’ll be attending the Reading for the Love of It Conference which runs February 23 and 24 at the Sheraton in Toronto. If you’ll be attending the conference, stop by booth 702 and I’ll sign some books for you! The official launch is Thursday, Feb. 23rd from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The books can be purchased individually or as a set.

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“The Super Hammy reading series is a collection of 15 books about a mighty little hero Super Hammy who goes on big adventures with his friend Little Mouse. His simple and funny stories are told in small sentences – just right for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grade one.
The stories are carefully written with controlled vocabulary and simple sentence structures. The characters and humorous story lines and illustrations will appeal to children and make learning to read fun. The books are designed to facilitate the teaching of reading for classroom teachers, Reading Recovery teachers, teachers of English Language Learners and students with special needs, and for parents. An audio CD is included in the box set.”  DC Canada Education Publishing
Hope to see you there!

More Ways to Teach Your Child the Alphabet…

You can buy all kinds of hi-tech alphabet toys and computer games to teach your child the alphabet…

But often it’s the simple, homemade things that work best. My kids learned their abc’s with the good, old alphabet fishing game. Nothing hi-tech about it, but it works!

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  • Make some fish. Print the fish-template I’ve provided on card stock. Make 5 copies. You’ll need 52 fish. Or you can cut them out of foam. Print one letter on each fish: a capital ‘A’ on one fish, a small ‘a’ on another fish, and so on. Attach a paper clip to each fish.
  • Make a fishing rod using a small stick (a chopstick, a paint brush, a dowel). Attach a string with a magnet on the end. It will pick up the fish by the paper clip.
  • Make it easy. Put only 3 fish on the floor face down so you can’t see the letter. Your child will “catch” a fish, turn it over, and tell you the name of it. Always include letters your child already knows and add one new one at a time. If your child doesn’t know any letters yet, start with 3 fish, but when your child catches one and turns it over, you name the letter.
  • Variation: Once a few fish have been collected, have your child match the upper case letter with the lower case letter.
  • Variation:  Lay out 5 different fish face up. Ask your child to catch a specific letter. Praise your child.

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How to Teach Your Child the Alphabet…

There are many ways to learn the alphabet.

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Your child can watch any number of wonderful children’s television programs and play educational games on the computer.  But, here, I’ll show you some simple things you can do at home with one of my favourite teaching tools – magnetic letters.

So, do you teach the upper case or capital letters first?

I’d start with the lower case or small letters – a, b, c and so on. Then, add the upper case letters. Why? Take a look at a page of print in a book. What do you see more of? Upper or lower case letters? Right! Your child will need to know both to begin to read most efficiently.

Read alphabet books.

  • Say the name of the letter and say the sound it makes.
  • Ask the children’s librarian at your public library for some ABC books.

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How Books Work – for Slightly Older Kids…

Here are more features about print on a page to show your child. 

Once you’ve introduced the features we talked about in my previous blog – Show Your Child How Books Work, you can point out some more “advanced” items. These would be for a child about 3 and a half to 4 years of age or older.
This is about showing your child how books work. This knowledge will come in really handy once your child begins to read! Teachers call this concepts about print.

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Do this while reading  with your child. Look for the different features in the book you’re reading. Introduce one item at a time. One day you might talk about a period, the next day point out a question mark.
  • Point to a period. Say: “This dot means stop. We stop reading when we come to a period.” And then, demonstrate by reading the sentence and coming to a stop.

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Show Your Child How Books Work…

How a book “works” may be obvious to you, but don’t assume your child knows! 

There are some important features about books or print (words) on a page that you should  point out to your child as you read a book together. Teachers call these features “concepts about print”.

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Focus on one thing at a time. Do it casually, once or twice while reading a book. Do one thing one day, another one, the next day. We want to make reading fun and enjoyable for your child.
The following items might seem obvious to you, but don’t assume they are for your child.

Show. Point. Demonstrate.

The first 4 items can be introduced when your child is a toddler.

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What to do before, during and after reading with your child…

Once your child is at the pre-school or kindergarten stage, you can do a bit more while reading a book together.

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1. What to do before reading a picture book

Read the title. Look at the cover. Talk about what’s on the cover. Ask your child to predict what the story might be about by looking at the picture on the cover. This can take just a few seconds.
Take a picture walk through the book quickly and simply. Don’t read it yet. Just look at what’s happening in the pictures. You can ask your child: “What’s happening here?” You can also name objects in the pictures. “Oh, what a lovely, pink cupcake!” Or, “She’s wearing a crown!”

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2. What to do during reading a picture book

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