Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Epi Kardia Review: First Grade Lesson Plans

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Alyssa and I had the honor of reviewing Epi Kardia's curriculum.  I was super excited!!!  The most difficult part was choosing which grade level to review and with Dana's guidance I believe I made the right choice.  On the other hand, I will always be curious about the kindergarten plans and primary complete curriculum.  We decided to review the first grade daily lessons plans.  I wanted to try a curriculum in which the lessons were already organized and ready to go.

Our Background
     I think that it is important that you know who we are and where we are coming from in order to decide whether this curriculum will meet the needs of your family or not.  I am a Christian wife and mother to a beautiful, four year old daughter named Alyssa ... she will be 4 1/2 in May.  She works at an advance level in most subjects hence the reason why I chose the first grade daily lesson plans.  I should also note that educational activities are never forced upon her in any way. She has a desire and eagerness to learn and begs for school activities.  I taught at a public school for three years.  I have a Masters in Education and I am certified to teach pre-k through 4th grade.
     Epi Kardia is a K-12th grade curriculum based on Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education.  I must say that I am new to Charlotte Mason's methods and have very little experience using her methods.  However, I am a researcher and a quick learner so I have read a great deal about her methods in order to understand the principles that guide this curriculum.  My teaching style differs greatly from the Charlotte Mason methodology but I am always willing to try something new and I am happy that I did.  Having said that, after reviewing this curriculum and researching Charlotte Mason's methods, I have developed a newfound love for this type of learning and teaching. This all started with a simple conversation with a friend that mentioned Charlotte Mason.  I found Epi Kardia by researching Charlotte Mason and her principles and was very intrigued by what they offered.  There are specific aspects of this method that Alyssa and I both enjoy.  That doesn't mean I will abandon my eclectic homeschooling ways.  It just means that I have more options to consider over the years.  I am constantly looking for curriculums that will meet Alyssa's needs and allow her to reach her potential.  I also know that I tend to tweak almost every curriculum I try so please don't let that deter you from trying this curriculum if you think it'll meet your needs.  I also feel the need to state that what works for one family may or may not work for another.  Please use your own judgment based on your family needs.

Epi Kardia's Arrival
Excitement runs high in our house when packages arrive on the front step.  The items were packaged well in a sturdy box with bubble wrap.  Alyssa tore open the package with her cheese spreader - after glancing through the pages she FINALLY let me actually see the books ... she teased me a bit.  She wanted me to say thank you for the curriculum but she sends a special thank you out for the bubble wrap.  She LOVES bubble wrap!  She began jumping on it shortly after we received the package.  The first daily lesson plans curriculum was divided into three books.  This made it easier for me to review in short bursts and wasn't overwhelming to a newbie.  The books were spiral bound with hard, laminate plastic covers as seen in the pictures below.  I prefer spiral bound copies since they lay open flat and are easy to use during lessons.  The company used good quality, thick paper and the font was readable and pleasant to the eye. Alyssa and I were ecstatic about the new learning adventures Epi Kardia would take us on.

Before I review the Daily First Grade Lesson Plans, I want to tell you a little about the curriculum choices and what they offer to the consumer.  The company has provided two curriculum options.  You do not need to buy both types of curriculum.  The authors of Epi Kardia developed different curriculums so that parents could choose the one that meets their family's needs best.  Either curriculum can be adapted or accommodated to meet the specific needs of your family. 
Curriculum Choices
1.) Complete Curriculum (Four Levels Offered: Primary, Intermediate, Preparatory, and Secondary)
An affordable curriculum that can be used with one child or for families that have several children around the same age wanting a curriculum that can be used for up to three years.  The complete curriculum is for individuals that have the time and desire to create their own lessons plans based on book lists and project lists.  The parent is responsible for organizing their own plans for the entire year and for determining the pace.  The curriculum is more flexible or unstructured as some say allowing a parent to extend or shorten their plans as necessary.  Do you think this curriculum is what you want?  Check out the Colonial Sample Booklet.  I did not review this curriculum.  
What's the Cost?
Primary Complete Program (K-2) $95 
The Complete Curricula Programs arrive at your home printed on heavy duty cardstock pages that are pre-punched, spiral bound, and organized in a 3-ring 1" white viewbinder.  
Note: This includes the 100+ page spiral bound K-5 Parent Teaching Manual also printed on cardstock, which contains management tips and additional subject information or support. Please click on the Parent Manual link to see a table of contents. The Tools CD contains customizable forms and charts for parent records and student note-taking.  For information and prices on the intermediate, preparatory, or secondary levels see the link above under curriculum choices.

2.) Daily Lesson Plans - There are 35 weeks of daily lessons created in advance for the parent or teacher.  A teacher guide is at the front of the curriculum explaining the components and layout of the book.  The authors include a lesson plan schedule that shows an overview of what will be covered for the entire school year.  They offer tips on how to modify the curriculum.  The daily lesson plans are sold as individual books or as a set of three.  All three sets will be needed for a complete school year.  Each set lasts about 10-13 weeks consisting and covering a total of nine different historical units. The daily lesson plans are available based on grade levels.  The lessons are numbered and are not based on days of the week to make it more simplified and schedule-friendly.  They have samples available for K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and middle school.  The fifth grade daily lesson plans are a current work in progress and are not available at this time.  Scroll down the page for more information. One important item to mention is that the authors specifically state to use the lesson plans as a GUIDE and that you do NOT have to follow them as written exactly.  This serves as a wonderful reminder to us all that curriculum lessons should guide us not tie us down - we have the option to adjust the pace or lessons at any time.  The parent manual is a separate, optional purchase and is NOT included in the purchase of the daily grade level lesson plans.  
What's the Cost for Individual Sets?
The Daily Lesson Plans can be spiral bound, printed on cardstock or they are purchased on a CD.    
You can purchase each set individually should you choose that route:
Set 1 (Ancients, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation) $95 Spiral Bound Copy
Set 2 (Colonial Life, Revolution, and Westward Expansion) $95 Spiral Bound Copy
Set 3 (Civil War, Immigration, and Modern History) $95 Spiral Bound Copy
or instead of purchasing the spiral bound version
You could buy each set individually on CD for $75 per set.
What's the Cost for ALL Three Sets on CD?
$200 - this means you print out what you need as you need it
$250 - for the printed spiral bound copy received via mail

You can also purchase a 6-Week Ancients Unit Sample, as a linked digital download, from any of the available Daily Grade Level Lesson Plans for $25. Should you decide within 3 months to purchase the entire yearly set of plans (Sets 1, 2, and 3), a credit will be applied to your purchase.

First Grade Lesson Plans Review
We received the first grade daily lessons plans sets 1, 2, and 3 to review.  Here is a link to the scope and sequence for the year and a link to a one week sample of the lesson plans so you can see part of what we are reviewing.  Check out the Booklist for the First Grade Daily Lesson Plans.  There are some great titles with engaging stories and wonderful illustrations!  
Our Likes
  • Literature Based - We read aloud whole, living books.  I was discussing this particular curriculum with a friend of mine and she asked me a good question, "What exactly are living books?" Click on the link to read more about Epi Kardia's view on the characteristics of a living book.  Our family recently had the opportunity to visit The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas to view the Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs Exhibition. As I quietly observed Alyssa, I heard and saw her making interesting connections based on the effective presentation of the living books we read during the Ancient Egypt unit to the literature posted at the museum and to the artifacts seen.  She activated her prior knowledge and revealed that she REALLY comprehended and remembered information from the books we read.        
  • Charlotte Mason methodologies are applied throughout the curriculum.
  • Narration - Much to my surprise, Alyssa has done well with narrating stories back to me after a single reading.  We do verbal narrations of Aesop's Fables written by Milo Winters and with several other recommended books.  Be careful not to do narration with every story or text you read. We read one to five fables a day but did not narrate them all. Narration uses higher order thinking skills and increases oral communication skills which are both of great importance to me.  Her narrations are improving over time.      
  • Short Lessons - The lessons for each subject are quick (straight to the point) and meaningful.  We get more accomplished in less time while still having her attention.
  • Christian-Based - I love the fact that the curriculum incorporates Bible reading into several lessons.  The study of history begins with the book of Genesis and the Bible is read during the study of ancient history. 
  • Chronological History - Nine historical units or time periods are covered chronologically throughout the lessons.  The child will learn about each historical topic or unit every year instead of focusing on just one time period.  This is what they call the layered effect.  Children will be able to make connections better and recall information learned while developing a thorough understanding or knowledge of a time period.  Epi Kardia has made learning and teaching history fun.  History was always a subject I dreaded teaching in the classroom, Epi Kardia brought excitement and intellectual delight to our history lessons.  Several lessons and books overlap throughout the grade levels.       
  • Integration of Subjects - Most subjects are integrated into the lessons plans allowing children to make connections between subjects.  See special notes below on which subjects are not covered. 
  • Copywork - Alyssa works on letter formation while practicing grammar skills and spelling rules. She focuses on doing her best work in a short amount of time and always writes using good handwriting skills. Today in the car, Alyssa was reading one of her books and she found a sentence that she wanted to write and remember.  She told me that, "She was going to write the sentence she wants to learn in her absolute best handwriting so that I could copy it and learn it with her."  She is very persistent with finishing each copywork selection she starts.  I tried to limit copywork time to 1-5 minutes at the most, but ... Alyssa was super dedicated and wouldn't have it. Therefore, copywork time took longer than intended in the lesson plans.  She took mini breaks until copywork was completed.     
  • Book Choices - The authors have evaluated and reviewed each and every book on the list.  The books are well-written and well-illustrated.  The books inspired us to read more. One of Alyssa's favorite books, besides the Bible, was Song of Creation by Paul Goble.  
  • Book, Supply, and Resource Lists - The books listed in the lessons include ISBN numbers to help find the exact book editions used at the time the curriculum was developed. This has been an invaluable aspect of the curriculum.  I also loved having the list of materials needed accessible when I gathered lesson supplies.    
  • Book Availability - The books were readily available and easily checked out at our local library.  There were a few out of print books needed such as Ancient Egypt written by Susan Altman.  We couldn't afford to purchase this book, so we used the Interlibrary Loan System which is free at our local library.
  • Lesson Plan Format - The lessons were well-organized and structured outlining each subject daily.  Goals and objectives were clearly stated for each unit.  The subjects were grouped which made it easier for our schedule.  We would do part of the History and Reading, take a break, and proceed to Science and Memory or Language Arts.  We continued alternating different types of activities.  Please see the sample pages to view the layout.  The lessons were numbered which was a pleasant surprise.  I used a post-it note to track our stopping point so that we could continue where we stopped at a later date.  I didn't have to worry or get confused if a day's lessons were skipped due to sickness or other emergencies because the lessons were not dated Monday through Friday.     
  • Flexibility - You can choose how long to use either curriculum and whether or not you'll incorporate or substitute other curriculums, subjects, or books if necessary.  The daily lesson plans can be modified to meet your needs at ANY time.  You can skip topics or extend them for further study.
  • Customer Service - It was OUTSTANDING!  It was very easy to communicate via e-mail with Dana Wilson.  The questions I asked were answered promptly and completely with thorough explanations.  She was very understanding and very considerate of our situation.  Alyssa was injured and in a cast for quite some time which put the review off longer than we expected.  Dana's advice was helpful and supportive when choosing a curriculum.  
  • Map Work - We were not actively doing a lot of map work until Epi Kardia came into our household.  We finally found a way to incorporate a quick map or globe discussion into our day.  I was motivated to research Charlotte Mason's method of teaching geography with map drills.  I plan on implementing the idea into our school day.  They do not use her map drill in their curriculum as far as I could tell but it could be easily done.   
  • Epi Kardia's Blog - In a recent e-mail Dana refers me to several interesting posts on the blog that give additional support to homeschooling families.  Browse the blog and take a look at the posts discussing picture study, music appreciation, poetry studies, hands-on activities, language arts, gentle grammar lessons, nature study, and narration. The blog is seen as an extension to the curriculum and it's FREE!      
  • The website was user-friendly and navigating around was a breeze in my opinion.  You'll need to familiarize yourself with the set-up at first but afterwards you'll be able to find everything you need.  I just needed the time to search.  
Possible Cons

  • Books are NOT included with the curriculum.  There were also a few books out of print.  This meant that we needed to wait for books to arrive via ILL - in some cases we waited up to two weeks for books.  This could put you behind unless you eliminate or replace the book.  Keep in mind that spelling and vocabulary terms come from the books.  I was able to replace a book and eliminate only a couple vocabulary terms. Epi Kardia also provides links to purchase their books via Amazon.  I purchased a few books we wanted in our personal library.  If you live in smaller towns or cities your library resources may be limited.  I have access to two libraries so this was not an issue for us.      
  • Many frequent trips were made to the library.  This may be a problem for families with limited gas funds or transportation. Gas prices are also high so you might want to consider checking out books for several weeks in advance to save time and money.  Reserve books ahead of time and pick up on one day.  
  • The daily Bible readings covered too many pages and the pace was too fast for our liking.  In the beginning, we fell behind.  Then, I realized that in order to keep her attention and interest I needed to adjust the amount read into shorter time segments throughout the day.  This is odd because Alyssa loves reading the Bible.  We read several history accounts several times a day.  Typically, we read part of the Bible reading section during or after breakfast, after lunch, and before bedtime.  The length of reading may be more appropriate for your first grader but in my experience with children older than Alyssa the reading quantity and amount to be comprehended was still overwhelming for one sitting. Audio Bible recordings are available and a possible alternative throughout the daily routine.          
  • Charlotte Mason - If your child isn't familiar with this style there may be an adjustment period.  The methodologies might not mesh well with your family needs and learning or teaching styles.
  • There weren't enough hands-on activities for us.  However, it may be the "perfect" number of activities for your family. Remember Alyssa is much younger than a first grader so I tend to do a lot more hands-on activities.  Not to mention, lapbooks are a fairly new concept for us ... we tend to make them into notebooks due to lack of time.  There are additional hands-on activities posted on their blog.  Vocabulary terms are basically discussed in the curriculum and a variety of activities or games would compliment the curriculum.  The same would be true for all subjects including spelling, history, geography, and science.             
  • Parent Manual - This manual is NOT included in the Daily Grade Level Lesson Plans and must be purchased separately.  Although, it might be beneficial to some families if it were included in the cost of the Daily Grade Level Lesson Plans as it is with the Complete Curriculum especially since it gives additional organizational tips and information about evaluating and teaching subjects that could be helpful to a new homeschooling family.
  • Math and foreign language are not included in the curriculum.  This wasn't a problem for us but may be for those wanting every subject covered.  Although it would be somewhat easy to create thematic math lessons.    
  • Phonics lessons are also NOT included in the language arts or reading first grade lesson plans.  I taught phonics in a second grade classroom and have seen a variety of first grade curriculum that still cover phonics to reinforce learning and maintain learning.  Phonics is taught thoroughly in Epi Kardia's kindergarten program so if your child needs additional practice with phonics you may purchase the Kindergarten Phonics Program separately for $50 or use a curriculum you already have at home.  They also include phonics information in their parent manual if you purchase the Complete Curriculum.  Even though Alyssa is a very fluent, avid reader I review phonics consistently to reinforce and maintain her learning since she is only 4 years old.
  • This curriculum may be writing intensive for some students. Alyssa loved writing and copywork so we adapted the lessons by including more copywork and writing activities.  However, as I think back to my classroom teaching days ... there were a few students on different levels that came to me already disliking writing. If this is the case with your child, you may find it necessary to adapt several activities by changing them into verbal activities.  
  • Science concepts and discussion topics may need further explanation or student responses in the actual lesson plans for a novice science teacher.  The parent can search the reading text for the information, however, it would take less time if were readily available in the lessons.    
Special Notes
Math is not included or integrated in this curriculum.  Alyssa and I use both Math U See and Right Start Math alternating days in addition to math games, math tub or center activities, and online math programs.

Foreign Languages
Foreign Languages are not covered in this curriculum but it has been my experience that this is the case for most curriculums.  We are currently using Sonrisas Spanish as our main Spanish curriculum. Click on the link to read about our experiences.  We also supplement with other available resources such as Boca Beth.  On alternating days, I teach Alyssa American Sign Language using Signing Time or We Sign.  We hope to add Latin next year.

Alyssa at Work
Alyssa's Epi Kardia projects were kept in a three-ring binder divided into subject sections.  The notebook details are mentioned in the teacher guide at the front of the lesson plans.  I wanted to share a few photos with you.  You will be able to read about several adaptations I made for my daughter.

Reading Literature
Here is a picture of Alyssa independently reading the book, Song of Creation by Paul Goble on several occasions.  The first picture was after breakfast during her free reading time.  The bottom picture is one of my favorites.  The last page of the book reminded her of a prayer because it ended with the word "Amen." Alyssa would always bow her head down to read it and would ask me to close my eyes while she "prayed" or read the page.  Her little hands are folded in preparation.  Adorable!

The Wolf and the Kid from Aesop Fables written by Milo Winters
Narrated by Alyssa - Age 4 ( typed by mom of course)
Once upon a time there was a Little Goat and he thought he was grown-up already ... like me.  His mom called - he didn't hear her.  He kept moving and nibbling sweet grass.  Then, sun goes down.  He saw a Wolf.  The Goat said, "Oh please Mr. Wolf, before you eat me please play me a tune."  The Wolf listened to the Goat ... I mean Kid ... and played the tune before eating him.  Shepherd dogs heard Wolf a mile away.  Dogs knew about to eat Baby Goat.  Ran ahead.  Wolf was chased after by the Shepherd dogs.  The Kid was saved.  The moral is do not turn anything away from your purpose. Keep on doing what you're doing.  

Illustrations - The illustrations or drawings below were not part of Epi Kardia's lesson plans.  I asked Alyssa on several occasions to illustrate one of Aesop's Fables read and narrated for the day.  I hope to record future narrations on tape so that she can listen to them.  We also made paper bag puppets and finger puppets to retell several of Aesop's fables.  The wolf paper bag puppet was found here.  She received a puppet theater for her birthday last year and she uses it to retell the stories.      

Spelling - We started with Scrabble tiles and incorporated a little math in by having her find the total value for each spelling word. Recently, we changed to white tiles that were organized in a container by letter so that she could use both upper and lowercase letters appropriately and find them easily.  I included additional challenge words for most spelling lists.  I found a spelling test paper that I photocopy each week.  She checks and grades her own paper using the flashcards.  All errors would be immediately corrected and written next to the wrong spelling.  So far she hasn't missed any of the spelling words from the actual curriculum and has shocked me by learning most of challenge words I give her each week!  One week she spelled the challenge words Joseph, Nile River, papyrus, mummy, desert, and habitat correctly with capitalization.  She misspelled these challenge words: Africa and Egypt.  She knew Egypt was wrong and wanted to keep her paper until it was correct. She spelled it with an "i" instead of "y."  She also knew how to spell Africa verbally but forgot the "i" when writing it.  The first picture is of her concentrating on her challenge spelling words.  I created word cards with the flashcard maker found at the SEN website.  You could definitely have the children write their spelling words on notecards first and then practice spelling them with the tiles that you have on hand.  The Eureka white letter tiles can be found on Amazon. I bought mine many years ago at Walmart.  The Read Build Write mats are found at Jolanthe's amazing blog. We also used a Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check laminated study flap that I made with a file folder.  I had several of these in my teacher supply storage bins. The word study activity came from a book written by Pinnell and Fountas titled, Word Matters.  Once we move school back downstairs ... I will use my magnetic All About Spelling Letter Tiles to form the spelling words and vocabulary terms for this curriculum.  I love how the tiles are color-coded!  Handwriting for Kids, was originally found under the helpful links on Epi Kardia's website, the handwriting website has a great tool that allows you to create spelling worksheets.  I created copywork sheets at that website for each set of spelling words.  She traces the word and then she writes it 2-4 times on the page.  She would also clap the number of syllables for each spelling word.  I changed up the ways to practice spelling words often for variety.  This is where I adapted the lessons the most to include more hands-on, fun ways to practice spelling (not necessarily Charlotte Mason style but I think she'd approve). The half sheet of paper shows sentences she wrote using her weekly spelling words.       
Writing a rule in her grammar notebook.  
This is the Word Discovery Game from TAG.  The first photo above is what she sees.  The second photo is how I see the spelling words. Alyssa rolls the color cube, flips a tile over, and guesses the word. This game can be used for every subject.  I like to use it with sight words, thematic units, and vocabulary terms.  If a clue is needed, I will often give it in the form of a riddle.  This was a fun way to make learning new vocabulary painless.        

Copywork - Alyssa dated every page for our records and became more aware of calendar concepts.  She was very persistent about finishing any project she started.  Her focus was intense and she did her best work.  We used this time as an opportunity to discuss neat handwriting and its importance.  She has taken it very seriously!  At times copywork would take longer than expected depending on the passage length.  We added in a few breaks or exercising activities to break up the time since she wouldn't stop until it was completed.  I did adjust the passage length when needed due to her age.  I also added in copywork for Aesop's fables.  I had Alyssa write the moral of the fable on copywork paper.  As you can see, I tried several different copywork writing pages until I finally found one I preferred at Simply Charlotte Mason and another at Donna Young.  I needed writing paper that had wide lines for Alyssa.  Worksheet Works is another place to create handwriting sheets.  I tried the free trial for the writing program, Startwrite, but didn't have the funds to purchase it and it wasn't working properly on my computer.  I think I downloaded the wrong one.  We are still searching for an inexpensive table chair set for her to do seat work.  I prefer that she sits with her feet flat on the floor sitting against a backed chair for better posture and handwriting results.  Most of the time she sits on her knees on stools.  Drives me crazy.  

Projects or Lapbook Pages - I came across additional hands-on activities that would compliment and further our studies.  I couldn't find the Big Book of Books written by Dinah Zike at our library, a resource book listed in the curriculum, so I used the lapbook page found here in order to create the lapbooks for our creation unit.  I also found a great Ancient Egypt lapbook at Homeschool Share ... this seems to be a "go to" source for many bloggers studying Ancient Egypt.  The last picture is a Nile River booklet for her Ancient Egypt lapbook.      

First, Alyssa identified capital letters throughout the book as stated in the curriculum.  I decided to photocopy a page from the Song of Creation written by Paul Goble after verbally discussing several pages.  Alyssa highlighted the capital letters on the page.  She also explained the reasoning behind each capitalized letter.  The lesson plans include other activities to review grammar rules.  Charlotte Mason tends to introduce grammar with older children.  However, my observation is that Alyssa has understood and applied the grammar concepts to unrelated school activities.

Map and Globe Work
The lesson plans include geography.  We located several locations on the globe and on various maps including Uncle Josh's CD Outline Map Collection.  Unfortunately, this is the only globe that we own.  We hope to purchase a good set of maps and a decent globe next year.  I added in more activities including puzzles and geography games.  She received a set of Geopuzzles for Christmas so we took advantage of using that gift whenever possible.  Yes, she is dressed as Rapunzel!  She had the wig on earlier ... a gift from Grandma Lois and Papa Kenny.  I also gave Alyssa maps to color in and label during our Ancient Egypt unit.  They came from Uncle Josh's Map Collection.  Additionally, she drew a map of Egypt in Africa on her own as she repeated a memory work sentence over and over again (her choice).

Memory Work: Science Sentences
The curriculum also included memory work for various subjects. Some of the memory work was taken from the science concepts covered during the week.  The curriculum tells the teacher to have the child memorize, recite, and  copy the memory work sentences.  I decided to change things up a bit and did an activity used in the classroom. Alyssa copied the science sentence on a sentence strip. We reviewed capitalization and punctuation rules.  Then, she cut in between each letter.  She told me how many words were in the sentence before cutting.  She mixed up the words and placed them in the correct order to be glued on her paper.  Finally, after gluing the words on the paper, Alyssa illustrated the sentence.  It was then placed in her notebook, in this case, under Science.  The memory work seen below was from the Creation unit.  

Would I recommend it?
Yes! I would absolutely recommend Epi Kardia especially for any family that is interested in well-planned curriculums that are literature-based using a Charlotte Mason approach.  If this curriculum looks like something you might be interested in, please take the time to explore the website.  As a first time user of Charlotte Mason methods and the Epi Kardia curriculum, I was impressed with how comprehensive the Daily Lesson Plans were and our family was not disappointed with the results of using it.  We will continue to use the first grade lesson plans at a much slower pace so that we can extend the learning and enjoy the units more in depth.  I also need to finish up a few other curriculums we purchase prior to starting this one.  I would recommend this curriculum for families looking for a cost effective program that is comparative if not cheaper than the competitors prices.  This curriculum has increased our enthusiasm towards history and geography.

Do you have any questions about the curriculum?  Check out the Frequently Asked Questions or contact the company via e-mail for more information.  I will be happy to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge but more specific questions will be directed to the company.

Are you ready to order?  They currently have a 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee with a Full Refund if you aren't 100% HAPPY.  All major credit cards and Paypal are accepted.  To order curriculum see the online catalog but don't forget to check out the sale this week. Their blog will have more information very soon!!!!

If interested, you can read All About the Authors.  Check out Dana's blog for an amazing sale starting soon!!!  She will be offering special pricing on Daily Lesson Plan CD's with free shipping for one week ONLY. Make sure you visit the blog and sign-up for the newsletter so that you can receive updates on this event. I can't wait to hear about it.

Don't forget to sign-up to receive the newsletter via e-mail and receive two free classic e-book downloads.

I have received this curriculum for free, as a donation, in exchange for an honest, professional opinion based on our experiences with the curriculum. I have not received compensation for this review. The opinions and reflections are my own and were not influenced by any other individual.

P.S. Please visit Tot Play: A Learning Journey in the future.  I hope to post about other hands-on activities, links, and adaptations we used with this curriculum when I have more time.  I found some amazing resources!!!  I didn't want to make this post too long. LOL!

Please feel free to leave comments.  I enjoy hearing from my readers.

God bless,
Tracey M.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dr. Seuss Last Minute Inspirations

As we all know tomorrow is Dr. Seuss's birthday.  I found several last minute resources that may help in preparation for the big celebration.  I printed several activities to do with Alyssa.  I never did find exactly what I was looking for but I am happy with the resources I did find.

Lil' Country Kindergarten has adorable calendar pieces.  Alyssa and I haven't done calendar time in while but I couldn't resist printing out these for the month of March.  The calendar pieces show an ABCD pattern.  She has other Dr. Seuss printables available for sale in her TpT store.  There is another set of Dr. Seuss calendar numbers found at TpT by Jamie Mayas

Lil' Country Kindergarten has also organized a March Math and Literacy Station Linky Party which includes Dr. Seuss, St. Patrick's Day, and Spring themes.  Check out the resources available on her blog.  Click on the link button and a list of resources becomes available.  There's a neat hundreds chart, place value game, sight word stamping, a reader, and fact family work.

Obseussed Link Collection - This is also a linky collection of Dr. Seuss ideas.

Teacher Notebook Resources
Over the Moon Bow Shop has a Dr. Seuss Roll and Graph - roll die color and graph results
Mrs. Johnsons Corner posted a My Favorite Dr. Seuss Book Writing
Natalie Nook posted a poetry connection resource titled About Dr. Seuss Poem
First Class Teacher posted a Make a Cat in the Hat activity
A Teachers Treasure's Dr. Seuss Foldable Fun - a cute way to review figurative language and to summarize books
Activities by Katie Ann posted a Dr. Seuss book graph - can also be used to roll and graph books using large die
Dee Dee Willis posted Sentence Builders for March and Read, Trace, Glue Draw
TwirlyBird Teaching - posted an odd and even activity fish. I believe the cards could also be used for a place value.

Teachers Pay Teachers
Stacy Johnson posted a FREE Seuss Word Chuck Matching Game
Sandra Maddox posted a 5 W's Reading Comprehension Hat
Dr. Seuss ABC Order Activity by Shannon Altieri
Dr. Seuss Write the Room Rhyme by Maggie Tompkins

Grammar Word Sort by Teacher Gone Homeschool
Dr. Seuss Handwriting by Rochelle Harrison
Lorax's Alphabet Match Literacy Center by Teena's Teacher Tidbits
Dr. Seuss Syllables by Megan Nunley
Seussy Synonyms by First Grade Fever - Christie
Seuss Real and Nonsense Word Sort by Kindergarten Lifestyle
Seusstastical Word Sort by Kelly McHaffie

Dr. Seuss Favorite Book Printable by Lindsay Messner

Dr. Seuss Fishbowl Addition by April Larremore

Dr. Seuss Survey and Graph Activity - Alyssa will survey family and friends in person and on telephone
Dr. Seuss Number and Skip Counting Puzzles by Gracehopper
One Fish, two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Math by The Teaching Garden
Make Ten Red Fish Blue Fish by Vickie Plant
Cat in the Hat Ten Frames by Jeniffer Soliz
Tens and Ones Read Across America  by Angela Rubin
Seusstacular Adding Three Numbers Roll and Cover by Mary Lirette
Skip Counting Hats by Ann marie Bishop
What Makes Ten Matching Seuss-Style by Jennifer Knopf
Seussy Patterns by Jennifer Knopf

Other (forms, Science, mixed subjects)
Free Dr. Seuss Mini Unit created by Jodi Southard
Dr. Seuss Math and Science Activities by 1-2-3 Learn Curriculum
Oobleck Recipe from Gladys Madauss
Dr Seuss Snatch Games (Reading and Math)
Dr. Seuss Forms (Plan your own unit!) Wow! Huge download.
Dr. Seuss Math, Writing, and Snack Ideas by Tools for Teachers - Laurah J.
Read and Write the Room with 2D Shapes

Blog Resources and Ideas
Mrs. Shehan's Full Day Kindergarten - there are many ideas here for St. Patrick's day and Dr. Seuss.  I found Dr. Seuss days of the week, months of the year, and calendar pieces using an AB pattern (facing right, facing left).  There was also a tasty Cat in the Hat Snack idea.
Living Montessori Now - amazing resources.  You must check this out!
Chalk Talk-April shared her Dr. Seuss Mini Unit online last year but I think she sells this unit on TpT now
The Princess and the Tot - I love her measuring and creating Dr. Seuss hats with legos activity!
I'm Blog Hopin' has a FREE Dr. Seuss freebie for each day of the week
Meacham's Classroom Snapshots
2 Teaching Mommies posted a Lorax Preschool Unit
Time for Kindergarten posted a March Calendar - would be great to use during calendar time
Bubbly Blonde Teacher posted a time telling activity
KinderBlogger posted a few Dr. Seuss resources
No Twiddle Twaddle posted a list of Dr. Seuss books for Read Across America
Dr. Seuss Math and Science Activities by 1-2-3 Learn Curriculum

Other Websites
Making Learning Fun
Kelly's Kindergarten Dr. Seuss Theme
A to Z Teacher Stuff, their Dr. Seuss Pinterest boardDr. Seuss Printable Activities 
Mrs. Unger's Pinterest Board
Mathwire's Dr. Seuss Math Activities'
Green Bean Kindergarten posted Dr. Seuss links
Preschool Plan It

Membership Website Resources
ABC Teach

Dr. Seuss Items to Purchase
Deanna Jump - Dr. Seuss and Friends Math and Literacy Fun
Kim Adsit - Reading Comprehension Strategies
Deedee Wills - Math Core Stations
Growing Kinders I Can Learn ... Can You Math and Literacy Activities


Enjoy! I need to stop now.  LOL! I get a little carried away.  I am sure there is so much more out there.  If you found something useful please let me know.

I hope to link up at Preschool Corner and 1+1+1=1.

Thank you,
Tracey M.