Thursday, March 24, 2011

Harley The Dog's Birthday

Our newly weds Cait & James have adopted a dog from animal rescue. Harley is 'visually impaired' but very cute. Yesterday he turned 2. Now I'm not a warm and fuzzy animal lover but both my older girls are. They refer to them as the 'kids' and I am grandma. Next week they are having portrait photos taken of these dogs. Ummmm, well each to their own and if that makes you happy girls I'm happy.
Well yesterday I whipped up a coat for Harley's birthday and have to say I'm not sure why they cost so much in the shop. It took less than an hour and i used old fabric. I had bought the woolly stuff during a sale a few weeks ago so this jacket would cost less then $2.

Well Caitlin was happy and James just sat there scratching his head going along with the whole birthday thing. Trying not to show Harley his presents in the bag because even though Harley had seen his new collar, he didn't know mummy had bought it. I would say she needs more medication but the dog park is full of people saying the same sort of thing???

Anyway Happy birthday Harley! We sure enjoyed having dinner at your place last night. Back to the sewing machine for me as I am making a few more for the staffies Missy & Vader.

Attention All Children Book Lovers!

I was having a look through one of my favorite blogs MADE and they had a link over to this blog No Big Dill who's theme this month is Once Upon A Thread. You will just die when you see what these women do with books. Amazing!! I absolutely don't have the energy for such things, but I sure loved looking at it all.
They make kids clothing all inspired by childrens books. It really is incredible. I'm not sure if its the clothing I love or just looking at the beautiful books. Women are just so amazing aren't they! Take a minute to have a look.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recreating The 'Up' Movie

We came across this yesterday on our local newspaper website. The kids loved it and it sure looked like fun. I'm not sure I would have actually hopped in it , but each to their own.

Checkout This Give Away I Found!

Over a MADE they're having a book giveaway. Have you ever seen felt like this! I think I will just have to get a copy of this book anyway because my kids would love this stuff.

The competition ends on the 10th so get a wriggle on. If you don't win one of the books you might win this seriously gorgeous office set.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I See Sam Review

When this huge box arrived in the mail the kids and I were very excited. Fast forward a few months and that excitement is still in the air. Maddie (8) has struggled finding her feet with reading, but the I See Sam Reader System has delivered. This program has done what many other approaches I have tried couldn't do. Maddie can read!

When she made it through the first level and received her certificate, I couldn't even tell you how excited she was. We're still on level 3, but Maddie is reading much more fluently and has really had fantastic success.
So what is I See Sam. Their catch phrase is "Academic Success For All", now I thought that was a pretty bold statement but now I can see that it's actually right on the money.

The Reading for All Learners “Little Books” program is a sequence of 141 color coded books. There are 8 sets of books from Kindergarten to 3.6 reading level. Each set contains up to 27 books.

We received the first 4 sets with corresponding coloured flash cards. We followed the program as specified by the instruction manual though I didn't do the placement test as I wanted to start from scratch with it.

Inside the front cover of the each book you find the pronunciation guide, sound practice & new sounds that you will find in the book. The thing that I liked the most was how it maximized the repetition but not at the expense of the story line. When I say story line I mean it in the most simplistic way you can for a beginner reader program. You also find word practice & new words that will b e need to read fluently.

Throughout the book you find comprehension & praise prompts in small print for the parent or teacher to ask questions about the ongoing storyline to ensure the kids are getting the story. The program covers so many critical bases but delivers it in a very user friendly package.

The assessment tools are optional. Because I 'm only working with Lucy & Maddie, I didn't go all out with that side. I had a good idea how they were progressing myself but the tools included are great. You give the students the corresponding "looking back' pages on the bottom of the page it tells you how many mistakes are allowed in order to have passed.

Click here for a close look at the book. It's simplistic and the books are not glossy and elaborate which to me contributed to the value for money product. Maddie was always distracted by busy illustrations or when Jessica was at this stage , she would heavily rely on the picture's for clues which I know has it's place, but this is simplistic fun story about the adventures of Sam, Mit, Ann and the gang. The story teaches new words in each book but brings all the old ones along with it which for Maddie worked magically to absolutely cement them into her word base.

For grammar we use First Language Lesson's of the Well Trained Mind. We were able to use the two programs side by side as we explored why Sam begins with a capital letter. Once Maddie was familiar with the book she could then break down the common nouns, proper nouns. Even the flash cards for a particular book may have see & See. We would talk about why the same word would begin with a capital letter. So the The Reading for All Learners Program could lend itself perfectly to extension activities.

Over all I would have to give this product a huge thumbs up. It's value for money and I found an overall great product. Click here to look at the prices for yourself. Now that I'm at the end of the review period for this product and love it, I'm going to purchase the spelling program. I'm also tempted to add the Math Facts and Applications For All Learners to it as well, just as a companion to the program I'm using now.

Each product has downloadable materials for you to wander through yourself. Well worth the look I think

Before you go, checkout who else loves Read to Success and by purchasing one of the gift sets for yourself you help put educational opportunities into the hands of these little people.