Otto-Eldred
School District

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Make Reading Fun

Getting children to read can prove to be a difficult task, but there are many researchable tips and strategies to promote reading. A very popular strategy that has helped promote children to read is by letting them read a book that has been adapted into a movie. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist, has an excellent tip on her website. Michele Borba suggests that children become movie critics through reading.

How can a child become a movie critic? A child can watch the movie and then read the book or read the book and then watch the movie. Once a child has completed reading the book and watching the movie or vice versa, he/she can compare and contrast the two. Did your child like the movie or the book better? What were the differences between the two?

The great thing about books adapted into movies is that no ages or genres are ignored. Parents can find a list of movies that have been adapted from books on this Wikipedia page. Interested in what movies will be released based on books? Check out this website. Four of the movies listed in the website that will be sure to get kids excited are:

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians; The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • City of Bones; Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Hunger Games; Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • the second installment of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Reading a book that has or will be adapted into a movie is a great way to get your child excited about books. Make sure that the books and movies are age appropriate.

The Importance (and Fun) of Learning through Song

What was the first song you ever learned? I’m willing to wager that the “Alphabet Song” is right up there at the top of the list. Let’s not forget “Fingers and Toes,” and the songs about washing your hands and buckling up for safety.

Moms, dads, and teachers all over America have been instructing through song for generations. Why? Because attaching information to a simple melody is one of the quickest and most fun modes of information transfer. While they are important teaching tools, a child can quickly tire of nothing but flashcards and worksheets. Not to mention, these methods can be limited to your child’s age, reading, and writing ability.

Song, however, is something that we often hear escaping the lips of even the smallest child.
In addition, children are able to learn wonderful facts and there is the added bonus of improving your child’s vocabulary. How many children, of any age, do you know who can recite the presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama, or know that you find a metacarpal bone in your hand? Singin’ Smart is one resource that teaches these facts, and more, accompanied by catchy melodies.

Knowledge isn’t the only benefit of incorporating song into learning. Children learning through this method are widening their vocabularies, experiencing rhythm, and feeling the beat as they sing along. 

There have been studies showing that beyond teaching simple facts, music can improve a wide range of learning in the classroom setting. Don’t take my word for it though. Chris Boyd Brewer has done extensive research on how incorporating music into a learning atmosphere improves attitude, memory, and so much more!

Whether you’re a working mom looking for a way to add more teaching opportunities to your home-life, a home-schooler, or a third-grade teacher, learning through song can be an important tool in your teaching arsenal. So, if you’re on your way to the grocery store with the kids, or in a home-school or classroom setting, pop in a CD and teach your children about the wonderful world they live in through the joy of song!