Archive for the ‘For Parents’ Category

Story Starters Now Available!

I would like to dive into a kelp forest! I believe I would see . . . 

And so begins one of the Story Starters we’re providing so the children you love, care for, and teach will have an opportunity to write about their impressions of the kelp forest.

At Bright World eBooks we love to foster writing opportunities. They give children a chance to demonstrate what they have understood, in this case, about the kelp forests depicted in our app, Ocean Forests.

We have provided three Story Starters, each with a “word bank” to help with hard-to-spell words like “octopus” or “garibaldi.” Kids can color in the fronds of kelp that surround the periphery of the writing space and/or embellish their writing with drawings, stickers, or whatever their hearts’ desire to further personalize their stories.

If children are not yet writing independently, have them dictate their stories to you. Once you have written down, precisely, what they have dictated, ask them to read their stories to you.

We will continue, for the next two weeks, to provide materials—for free—to help children acquire the new vocabulary presented in our app, Ocean Forests. Keep checking back here for award certificates, coloring pages, and more! And in the interim we hope some imaginative stories about the kelp forest will be generated in your home or classroom!

Download Story Starters for Free Here.

App Store

Coloring Book Now Available!

Who among us hasn’t had a moment where we just wanted to relax? Everyone of us working at Bright World eBooks would have to admit there are times when a little artwork simply makes everything feel all better.

Today we’re offering a coloring book for free download based on our app, Ocean Forests. Just because. Kids like to color and many adults will admit to finding coloring books very therapeutic, so let’s all grab some crayons!

Some coloring pages will spur young artists to draw and color backgrounds behind the illustrations of animals living in the kelp forest. Other coloring pages are more detailed and are likely to involve long stretches of attention to complete the nuanced scenes.

Kids can cut individual coloring pages out, paste them on construction paper, and staple a few together to form a book. Individual pages can be displayed on the family refrigerator.

Whether children color one or many of our kelp forest-themed coloring pages, we hope they will thoroughly enjoy themselves!

Download Color Book Here.

App Store

 

Ocean Forests Shape Books Now Available

Shape books are a fun way to provide a writing opportunity for children—a chance to create their “own book”! At Bright World eBooks we want to encourage kids to have fun while writing, and so we are providing patterns for shape books that can accompany kids’ use of Ocean Forests.

Have children write – or dictate to you – a story about a day in the life of, say, a garibaldi living in the kelp forest. Or, ask children to write about what a garibaldi might eat during the day or to write a fanciful story about what garibaldis think of scuba divers. You may want to create a “Word Bank” on a piece of scrap paper, the chalk or white board to encourage the use of specific vocabulary words, or not. There is no correct way to use shape books with children; we just want to foster a writing opportunity.

We have provided several shapes from which to choose for the writing projects you wish your children/students to undertake. Enjoy!

Download Patterns for Ocean Forests Shape Books Here

App Store

10 Ways To Develop Your Child’s Vocabulary

In order to develop a child’s vocabulary, it is essential to pair word-building with word-using. As parents and as your children’s first and most influential teacher, it is vital to be proactive in the quest to help children develop strong vocabularies early on in life. Vocabulary is the gateway to both communication and success.

Here are 10 tips to help you develop your child’s vocabulary on a daily basis —

1 Use grown-up words in normal conversation. First things first, nix the baby talk. While it may seem like something cute to do, baby talk does nothing for your child’s vocabulary. Nancy Niemi, Ph.D., of the University of New Haven says, “Young children understand so much more than they can initially repeat. So don’t talk down to them.” Even if your child is not repeating and using the same words, your grown-up conversation is developing his or her vocabulary.

2 Converse regularly. Talk to your child on a regular basis. In our modern world, it’s easy to let technology do the entertaining. However, children can learn and absorb a lot of information through conversation. Challenge yourself to strike up more conversations with your child.

3 Play word games. Make games a part of your family tradition. Incorporate word games like Scrabble, Spin and Spell, Spelling Puzzles, or others into your family nights. Allow yourself to be creative, think outside of the box, and make up your own games to play with your children.

4 Pay more attention to the words your children are using. As your children grow, they will innately become more curious. When they ask what a word means, strive to give a correct definition and pronunciation of the word. For example, if they ask what the word “massive” means, do not settle for the quick definition. Take time to explain how and when they can use the word “massive,” correctly, in a sentence.

5 Correct mistakes with care. It’s natural for kids to mispronounce and misuse words as they are developing their vocabularies. Pay attention to how your child is pronouncing words and using them. If and when you notice a mistake, take time to correct him/her with care. The next time your child uses the word correctly, be sure to applaud him/her— children love feeling as if they have accomplished something. It will encourage your child to continue to develop his/her vocabulary.

6 See it, say it, write it. One of the most effective ways for your child to expand his/her vocabulary is to see it, say it, and write it. If your child comes across a new word in conversation or in reading, explain what the words means. Then, have your child repeat the word back to you and encourage him/her to use it in a sentence. Finally, solidify the learning process by having your child write the word down, perhaps in a letter to grandma or on a chart of New Words hanging on the refrigerator.

7 Read daily. Encourage your child to read on a regular basis. The more a child reads, particularly nonfiction, the more opportunities he/she will have to expand his/her vocabulary. And don’t overlook the fact that you’re your child’s first teacher. If you read, and your child sees you reading, your child will be inclined to read, too.

8 Make it an adventure. Show your child that learning can be fun and adventurous. Take your child on a day trip to the zoo, museum, or art gallery, exposing him or her to new ideas and words as you talk together about what you see. Or, allow learning adventures to happen in your daily routine by taking walks, going to the post office, or the grocery store together in order to learn new words. The key is to strike up intentional conversation during these learning excursions.

9 Give them the play-by-play. Live your life out loud with your child by narrating your actions. Nancy Niemi, Ph.D., states that children “want to be connected to their parents, and they’re wired to learn phrases and words related to what their parents are doing. It gives them a whole new vocabulary that they wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to.” So when you’re grocery shopping say out loud, “Now we need to shop for vegetables,” and continue the conversation while shopping for vegetables, describing the merits and nutritional qualities of every vegetable you and your child encounter.

10 Let them tell the story. Instead of reading a story at night, give your children the opportunity to use their imaginations and exercise their vocabularies by telling a story. You can help them by giving them a setting and a problem their character needs to overcome. For instance, the setting can be on a submarine in the middle of the ocean and the character is a scuba diver looking for hidden treasure.

While your child is telling the story, be sure to ask questions. For instance, if your child says, “The scuba diver passed a really big fish,” respond by asking, “What kind of fish was it?” Asking questions will force your child to articulate his/her ideas better and in turn, expand his/her vocabulary.

How will you incorporate these ideas into your daily routine with your child? Or what other methods have you experimented with in order to help develop your child’s vocabulary?

Leave a comment below — we’d love to hear!

7 Reasons Why eBooks Are Better For Your Children

There is no denying it. In our modern world, technology surrounds us. Wherever we go, there it is. The fact is, today’s generation of children are being raised by technology. They’ll never remember the time when there were only paper books, but instead children will remember the days when their iPads ran slowly on the 3G network. As educators and parents, it is easy to want our kids to put technology down and pick up a paperback book. After all, that’s how we were raised.

But what if… What if the technology children are using is actually serving a greater purpose and expanding their learning opportunities?

We think it is.

In fact, we’re certain it is.

Our point is simple: e-books > traditional paper books.

Shocked? It’s okay. We’ll explain. We promise there’s a science, explanation, and 7 reasons why e-books are best for curious young minds.

1. Children learn early reading skills from quality e-books. In recent studies, Jeremy Scott Brueck of the Center for Literacy, found that animation and audio in e-books seemed to help young children identify printed words. Studies show that children are extremely engaged while reading e-books, and that can help promote better results.

2. Children and parents spend more time together when reading e-books in comparison to traditional paper books. [A]

3. E-books are convenient and accessible. Whether you are running errands or on a long road trip across country, you never have to pick and choose which books you want to bring when you use e-books. You can have all of them at the touch of a button on your tablet.

4. Children can enjoy e-books independently. E-books frequently offer a narration feature in which a story reader reads the text aloud for children who are not yet able to read on their own. This facilitates re-reading and independence, both of which children enjoy and which incline them to pick up e-books rather than traditional books.

5. E-books are more interactive. E-books often provide children with, say, an option of choosing an ending to a story. Or they may provide “hotspots” that, when tapped, offer sounds or animations that children weren’t expecting. These interactive features motivate children to stay engaged with the e-book.

6. E-books are more rewarding. When children see an e-book light up or highlight words, they are motivated and enthusiastic. Kim Floyd, a kindergarten teacher in Napa Valley, has been integrating e-books into her classroom for the last three years and has seen a tremendous increase in her students’ literacy development. When it comes down to it, children love using technology and become motivated students when provided with technology options.

7. E-books help children with developmental delays. Research has shown that children who are experiencing developmental delays do well with e-books. Studies prove that e-books have expanded children’s vocabularies and their understanding of words. [B]

Technology definitely has its place in the world of learning. The key is finding quality e-books that will engage your children’s curiosity and encourage them to explore the world around them. You can read more about the features that make Bright World eBooks unique and at the top of the list of best apps for kids, here.

Do you read e-books with your children? If so, we’d love to hear about the role e-books have played in your child’s reading experience. Leave a comment below.

______

Resources

A. Moody, A. K., Justice, L. M. & Cabell, S. Q. (2010). Electronic versus traditional storybooks: Relative influence on preschool children’s engagement and communication. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 10(3), 294-313.

B. Shamir, A., Korat, O. & Fellah, R. (2012). Promoting vocabulary, phonological awareness and concept about print among children at risk for learning disability: can e-books help? Reading and Writing, 25: 45- 69.

Why Building Your Child’s Vocabulary Is Important

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or an avid radio listener you have more than likely been exposed to the conversation of closing the “vocabulary gap” between the rich and the poor and expanding children’s vocabularies.

In the event you haven’t caught wind of the conversation, let us catch you up to speed with the cold, hard facts:

In a typical hour, a child on welfare will hear 616 words, whereas a child from a professional family will hear 2,153 words. In one week, a child on welfare will hear 62,000 words and a child in a professional family will hear 215,000. And in a matter of 4 years, children on welfare will hear 13 million words and professional children will hear 45 million words [Hart & Risley, 1995].

The amount of words children hear has a direct impact on the amount of words they understand and can use – their functional vocabulary.

While “vocabulary” may not be at the forefront of your mind, it has a direct impact on the course of one’s life. And the truth is, this all starts at an early age.

According to research, the vocabulary of a child entering first grade predicts not only their reading ability at the end of first grade, but at the end of 11th grade as well. In addition, the reading ability of a child in third grade is predictive of high school graduation and college attendance. Essentially, literacy represents a key factor of economic success.

A strong vocabulary can be the difference between becoming a cashier or an accountant, a hostess at a restaurant or a business owner, or a dishwasher vs. a politician.

So what does this mean?

If we truly want to give our children the best opportunity to succeed in this world, we must invest in expanding their vocabularies. With technology on our side, we no longer have to depend on expensive resources only attainable by those with money. Technology has given us the opportunity to provide children from all socioeconomic backgrounds with tools that will expose them to more words, broaden their vocabularies, and equal the playing field for advancement into society.

For example, mobile devices like tablets have opened the door for resources such as Bright World eBooks to be easily accessible to everyone. While traditional learning tools cost hundreds of dollars, Bright World eBooks cost less than $3 and are accessible at the touch of a button. The apps feature unique qualities that broaden children’s vocabularies through nonfiction stories, interactive 3D exploration, and games.

As parents, educators, and child care professionals it’s vital that we are proactive in helping children develop broader vocabularies. Here are 3 tips from Dr. Dana Suskind, Founder and Director of Thirty Million Words, you can use alongside Bright World eBooks to help develop your child’s vocabulary:

1. Tune in by paying attention to what your child is focused on or communicating with you.

2. Talk more with your child using a lot of descriptive words to build your child’s vocabulary.

3. Take turns with your child by engaging him or her in conversation; conversation is not a one-way activity. It’s participatory by both parties.

Our mission at 3D Learning Group is to create resources for parents and teachers alike that can be used to expand and develop children’s vocabularies. Be sure to check out the unique features of our Bright World eBooks app coming out this June!

What are some things you do at home or in the classroom to help develop children’s vocabularies? We’d love to hear. Leave a comment below.

_______

Cited Sources: Hart, B., & Risley, R. T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

error: Content is protected !!