“Healthy Stuff, Scrubbing, and Peanuts” Week 7 First Grade
Good for You (Fiction, Level A-J, Stage 2) by Joy Cowley
The Scrubbing Machine (Fiction, Level D) by Joy Cowley
George Washington Carver (Non-fiction, Level D) by Lynea Bowdish
From Peanuts to Peanut Butter (Non-fiction, Level D) by Melvin Berger
“Hey, that’s Mrs. Wishy Washy!” said my first grader with a big smile on his face when he saw the cover of The Scrubbing Machine by Joy Cowley. That was the start to our wonderful school week with these AlphaSkills books and guided lessons, which reminded me to share something with the readers of this blog. My family is not perfect, and my sons are not automatically great at every single thing. There have definitely been difficult days and weeks, but one thing helps us keep going with this work when everything else looks crummy. That one thing is encouragement. No, there is no specific encouragement section in the AlphaSkills curriculum, but confidence building and positive character traits seem to be built in to the learning concepts and the books that are chosen, and that is something that absolutely must not be overlooked in the effectiveness of this program. Every single time my first grader sees a book in the AlphaSkills kit that he thinks is interesting, funny, or has a familiar character, he starts the lesson with a smile, and I automatically smile back. Those smiles go a long way to building a confident reader, no matter the skill level.
The activity I want to highlight this week is the Pre-Reading Comprehension. In this section for Good for You by Joy Cowley, I was prompted with these words: “Look at the front. This is a story about a little boy. What is the title? What are some things that are good for you? What about some of the words from your vocabulary cards? Let’s read this book and look for some words that tell us things and some other words that are quotes with quotation marks. Also, let’s look for a character we’ve read about before.” These conversations are provided for every book with the Read with Sarah model, and I can see how much it helps Malachi connect to the content of the book before he reads it silently. Then he is much more likely to be able to comprehend the concepts and answer questions afterwards, which not only helps him progress in his skill level, but in his confidence as well.
For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction