Worried About Your Kids Not Reading This Summer? Join the Dr. Seuss Summer Reading Challenge.

We, and our children, have grown up with the wonderful books written by Dr. Seuss.  Those books taught many of us how to read independently.  What better way to insure that our kids keep their reading skills sharp during the non-school summer months than with a reading challenge.  I heard the groans.  Who wants to have to read TONS of books during the carefree days of summer?

What makes the First Annual DR. SEUSS SUMMER READING CHALLENGE different is the focus: Not how many BOOKS read, but how many WORDS.  The Scripps National Spelling Bee, and the  Carnival Cruise Lines, are teaming up with Dr. Seuss to encourage kids to keep on reading.

To provide readers with extra incentive to read and record their word tallies, Carnival is awarding one registered challenge participant (to be selected at random) with a Caribbean cruise for four and a $1,500 Visa gift card for airfare. Two runners-up will each receive a cache of Dr. Seuss books.

To register or learn more about the challenge visit: http://www.Seussville.com  

The Cat in the Hat (Beginner Books(R))   Oh, the Places You'll Go! (Classic Seuss)Go, Dog. Go! (Beginner Books(R))

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Good at Spelling? Check Out the 91st Spelling Bee.

Thursday, 5-31-2018 is the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals competition.  Students from all over the country will spell their hearts out to try and become the nations best speller for a cash prize of $40,000.000.

You can watch the action on ESPN.

For a printable list of the most frequently misspelled words: https://www.spelling-words-well.com/frequently-misspelled-words.html

The winning word for the 2017 contest was “marocain,” a dress fabric that is made of ribbed silk or rayon and a filling of other yarns. Check out highlights from the contest here: https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/us/national-spelling-bee-finals-winner/index.html

One of the hardest words for me to spell correctly is: diarrhea

Care to share the word that you have the most difficulty spelling?

VIVIAN KIRKFIELD PRESENTS:#50 Precious Words For Kids Contest

A Children’s Book Week Activity:  #50PreciousWordsforKids

Celebrating Diversity in Imagination

A writing contest for kids from all over the world.  Writing a story in 50 words or fewer.  Contest runs from April 30 through May 6, 2018.

 GUIDELINES:

  • Each child, grade K-6, writes a story of 50 words or less.
  • Title not included in word count.
  • Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Happy or sad, silly or serious, true or make-believe.
  • Teachers/students choose one story to submit per class.
  • Homeschooling parents submit one story per child.
  • Please email story to: viviankirkfield@gmail.com by May 7 at 11:59pm EST. This challenge is INTERNATIONAL.
  • Stories post on my blog: viviankirkfield.com on May 11.
  • Teacher receives a certificate to copy and present to each child who wrote a story
  • Giveaway of seven mini-Skype author classroom visits.

Picture 158 B 2

Picture 158 B 2

Here’s the link from last year’s contest: https://viviankirkfield.com/2017/05/11/50preciouswordsforkids-international-writing-challenge-stories-are-here/

Questions? Contact Vivian Kirkfield at:  Viviankirkfield@gmail.com

Heal The Earth Classroom Contest.

After the long winter, kids in your classroom may long to get outside and play or explore.  Why not make it part of the curriculum?  Perfect for Earth Day or Arbor Day, here’s a contest your classroom can participate in to show ways we can help heal the earth. 

http://healtheearthclassroomcontest.pagedemo.co/

The contest is open to classroom teachers and librarians.  Winners will receive a signed copy of Author Julian Lennon’s new book HEAL THE EARTH.

What creative activities and projects can your class come up with that promote a positive message about taking care of Planet Earth?  Check the website for rules and entry forms

All submissions must be received by midnight EST on Monday, April 30.

Summer Olympics Here We Come!

The opening of the Summer Games in Rio are only a few days away.  I am one of those people who normally ignore sporting events and televised games during the regular season.  But there is something about the Olympics that keeps me riveted to the screen.  I think it has to do with the premise of peaceful International competition.  So many countries coming together to share their best athletes with the world.

Sure there is controversy, and rivalry.  But the “bloated egos” of professional sports is absent as athletes work as a team to support, encourage and cheer each other on.  It’s inspiring.

Sunday, 7-24-16 is PARENTS DAY. Why not make this day all about the family and enjoy some Olympic competitions of your own?  Got a pool?  Try some water polo or synchronized swimming.  Practice backstrokes or have raft races.  Who can get the wettest in a splashing contest?  Young children can enjoy water fun as well: Set up the sprinkler.  Or fill up buckets of water and have toddlers “paint” the driveway to their hearts content.  What is more fun than a water balloon throwing competition?

There are lots of ways to enjoy water-free Olympic events as well.  Sack races, three-legged races, wheelbarrow races, crab walk races and log rolling (using your body as the log) are guaranteed to bring on smiles and get everyone moving.  You can also set up games and events using balls, ropes, or other props.

Let you imagination go and enjoy exercising as a family by trying some “Backyard Olympics”.  For more fun ideas visit: http://www.familycircle.com/summervideo

What are some of your favorite outdoor family activities?

Mrs. P’s “Be A Famous Writer Contest” for Kids.

Pets is the theme of the 7th annual   MrsP.com    Be-a-Famous Writer Contest. The contest is for K-4 classrooms and the winning classroom is filled with books in every format from the generous sponsors of the contest.

• ENTRY DATES: SEPTEMBER 1, 2015.
• Contest Closes: November 15, 2015
• Winners Announced January 15, 2016
• For classrooms K – 4th grade
Mrs. P invites classrooms to write a story on the topic of PETS no less than 250 words and not to exceed 1,000 words. It may be fiction or non-fiction. Any classroom from Kindergarten through 4th grade may enter. Just one story per classroom! It can be a collaborative story, or teachers can have their class vote on which child’s story to enter. While the contest is for classrooms only, parents can participate by telling their child’s teacher about it.  Find all the details at my contest website. http://contest.mrsp.com/

Making Reading an Everyday Habit by Suzy Leopold

Suzy Leopold is back to discuss an important topic near and dear to my own heart: The power and importance of reading to children.  Here’s Suzy:

Many of you agree that reading every day is important. Sharing the love of reading is my passion. Sharing the value of reading and encouraging kids to read for pleasure every day provides many benefits.

The first step is to begin with a daily reading routine with young children. There are many benefits of reading board books, cloth books and picture books to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Listening to the rhythm and sounds of language, links the words to meaning for babies by age one. Reading during snuggle time helps babies to grow and develop a healthy brain. The closeness of being with your young children as they drift off to sleep is priceless. Your child will ask you to read a favorite picture book numerous times; just go with it.

Suzy reading to her grandchildren.

Suzy reading to her grandchildren.

Many parents believe kids no longer need to be read to once they learn how to read on their own. Some parents question the idea to read outside of school. Aren’t my kids reading at school? Yes, reading takes place in the classroom.

But, research indicates that kids who read 20 minutes a day at home read 1,800,000 words per year and score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests.

By listening to picture books and chapter books that are read aloud, emergent and developing readers, ages 4 – 6, hear new vocabulary and listen to the pronunciation of new words. Additionally, they gain listening and speaking skills, and improved cognitive development.         IMG_2431

Over time, older readers, ages 7 – 12, will insist on reading independently. Encourage this choice. Additionally, take the time to read aloud to this age group. Consider the genre of nonfiction, that includes informational type texts to read together. A parent can read one chapter aloud and the child can read the next chapter, taking turns. Suggest graphic novels that are silly to serious.

Think about books that you read and enjoyed as a kid. Recommend some favorite classics to your children. Books are called classic because they stand the test of time and continue to engage readers generation after generation.         IMG_2432

Encourage kids to read across all genres of fiction and nonfiction. Kids go through phases of genres they’re passionate about, from girl detective stories to historical fiction to sports biographies. Some kids are curious about animals, castles, or pirates. Encourage the love of reading.

How can a daily routine of reading fit into a family’s already busy schedule, you ask? With the hustle, bustle of daily lives that includes numerous routines and activities at home, in school and work, finding time for what is important can be a challenge. On a daily basis there are family meals and chores, evening homework and after school activities along with so much more. Some days the clock seems to be in a fast forward motion.

IMG_2428There are never enough hours in the day to do what one wants to do and needs to do.

Think about what is important to you and your family. Think about priorities. Establish a routine. Daily reading for children is an investment in future success. There is no acceptable excuse to not make room for reading.

Fitting reading into your family’s routine and lifestyle is a choice. Encourage reading time for independent reading or reading aloud. Set aside time for reading. Read to kids at bedtime or find a few moments to read in the morning at the breakfast table. Perhaps your family prefers afternoon reading time that includes an after school snack. Turn off the TV, phones and the computer that may distract from the pleasure of reading.

While running errands, talk to your children and ask them questions about letters and words seen in environmental print. Include words from road signs and places of business. Take books along while waiting at the doctor’s office, driving through a car wash or standing in a long check out line at the grocery store. Use these few minutes to encourage reading.

Kids need to know there is something worthwhile about books and remember the special times spent reading together with a parent or a grandparent. They will remember the books, too. Parents can influence their kids’ appreciation for books by sharing their love of literature and modeling their love for books. Your kids need to see you reading for pleasure. Keep kids engaged and encourage them to become lifelong readers. Together, take the time to devour book after book. Both you and your kids should always have a book to read.

hand sewn bookmarkSuzy will be happy to give-away one of her lovely hand-sewn bookmarks to one lucky reader of this blog. Just leave a comment if you are interested and I will pull names from the writer’s hat. Contest ends April 10.

Follow Suzy and her writer friends on their group blog: http://groggorg.blogspot.com/p/meet-grog-authors.html
Word Press: http://sleopoldblog.wordpress.com
Twitter: SuzyK5     Facebook: suzy.leopold