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Story Time: Uncle Rocky, Fireman-Sparky’s Rescue

Story Time: Rocky Hill, Fireman-Sparky's Rescue includes free printables and tutorials for dalmatian activities and crafts

Y’all, I’m having so much fun introducing you to James Burd Brewster’s wonderful Glad to Do It! Series.  This month, I’m featuring Uncle Rocky the Fireman again, only this time he’s looking for a firehouse dog.  And you know what that means…

Dalmatians!

I was already in love with this series, but now that I’ve gotten my hands on this one I’m feeling a little obsessed.  Sparky’s Rescue is not only super informative about dalmatians, it’s an homage to adopting pets who need good homes.  Every time I read one of Mr. Brewster’s books I am completely floored by how much information he can pack into a fun picture book.  These stories not only entertain, they teach.

That, my friends, is the stuff.  So let’s hop right to some fun activities that will help your kiddos learn even more.  Because yeah yeah.

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Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

Watch the leaves turn while doing fun math, science, language and craft activities to supplement Carole Berger's picture book Leaf Jumpers

With simple vocabulary and lush illustrations, Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber will have your littles pumped about autumn.  Maybe even as excited as I am.

Maybe not.  But it could happen.

I can’t help that all my favorite-ist things happen in autumn.  The world turns a billion shades of red and gold.  Leaves fall en masse (my favorite is when I’m driving and they fall in front of my car).  Pumpkins ripen.  Indian corn abounds.  Apple cider is available.  Pumpkin Pie or Homemade Maple Cream coffee creamer (I only take creamer in autumn.  The rest of the year I drink my coffee black).   Also, you probably need my recipe for that yummy Maple Creamer, so scroll down and I’ll add it in here.

I’m cool like that.

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Because of Winn-Dixie Activities for Learning

Activities for Learning has more than 75 activities for reading comprehension and fun for Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is one of the best books ever.  Isn’t it?

A quick, easy read that manages to be full of heart, this tale of a dog helping a family find their way is one of my all-time favorites.  Being a dog lover helps, but this story is also about childhood and loss and healing.  Even if you’re kiddos are cat people, they will love this book.
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Chucking the Reading Level

Chucking the reading level can help your child learn to love to read organically

I’ve often said I’m not about reading levels for kids.  I think too much stress is put on reading levels in public schools, and it spills over into other types of schooling.  I’ve seen it it kill any love for books kids might develop.  Reading is such a personal act, and learning it should be as organic as it can be.

When my boys were little, we could often be found curled up with a stack of picture books on  the floor, reading through them one at a time and exclaiming over the pictures, studying the letters, discussing the sentence structure.  But at bedtime, even when they were toddlers, I snuggled up with them and read them a chapter from a chapter book.  Harry Potter The Key to RondoThe Narnia seriesThe Guardians of Ga’HooleA Series of Unfortunate Events.

Why?  Because stories expand our minds, and I wanted my boys to learn early how to let that happen without pictures.  Even I was surprised by how quietly they settled down and focused on the chapter each night, closing their eyes and letting my voice lull them.  I wasn’t at all surprised by the vocabulary they picked up, the way their imaginations swelled to include new knowledge, or their high-level ability to understand complex situations at an early age.  That’s what reading above your ‘reading level’ does for you.
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