Tag Archive for: reading

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It

Word Sliders

This is a fun, quick and easy way to make a hands-on game for reading practice. This concentrates on reinforcing, decoding and blending skills using word families. These words have a common sound, pattern and letter combination.
Learning & Loving It Word Slider


Paper plate, markers, paper/card stock, and scissors; optional: this reference sheet for word families if you’d like to use it
Learning & Loving It Word Slider Supplies

Creating your slider

1. Cut your paper into vertical strips about 1 or 1.5 inches thick.
2. Choose a paper plate (any size; smaller plates easier for smaller hands).
3. Pencil in two lines on plate in this fashion: = and cut slots with pointed scissors. This is where the strip will go.
4. Choose your word family, and write the common ending letters on the plate.
5. Prepare the strips with initial consonants and/or blends, leaving space between each one. (Parents can pencil in guidelines if these will be written by the student).
*Note: when working on blending sounds, even nonsense words can be used
6. Thread your strip through the slot. You’re ready to play!
Students can track how many words they can say on each strip for points and/or time themselves to beat their score.
The ultimate goal is to increase speed and fluency.
These manipulatives are inexpensive and easy to make. They’re also fun for children to play with! They can be used at home, in the car, at a restaurant or even at the beach.
Check to see the video demonstration on Facebook.
Click for additional Learning & Loving It activities!

Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It

Magical Learning with Puppets


Supplies: Paper, pen/markers/crayons/paint, scissors, glue/tape/stapler, popsicle stick/tongue depressor/paint stirrer, book of choice


    1. Choose a book to read together.
    2. Draw or print the characters from the story on the blank sheets of paper. The child may decorate the characters with markers, crayons, paint, etc. if they wish.
    3. Cut the characters out.
    4. Staple, tape or glue the character to a wooden popsicle stick (or tongue depressor, paint stirrer, etc.).
    5. Repeat this step for each character that you have creating a stick puppet for each.


Using your puppets

    Share a favorite read aloud with your child and follow up with a discussion about the characters in the story. (We’re using Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle). Can the child name all of the characters in the story?
    Explain to the child that he or she will use crayons (or markers or paint) and paper to create a special character that will be made into a stick puppet.
    Provide the materials. Assist the child in cutting out the finished characters. (“Scissors Snip”). Tape or glue or staple the stick onto the back of their characters to make the stick puppet.
    Encourage your child to use their stick puppets to act out the story or to tell their own stories. Stick puppets can even sing and dance—like in “This Old Man (he played one)” or “I Know an Old Lady (who swallowed a fly).”
    You may even want to create a puppet theater to use with the stick puppets. Let the child decorate and old white sheet with markers to use as a curtain or backdrop. Encourage the child to create scenes on the sheet from the story that he or she is about to tell with the stick puppets. Props can be made from tiny boxes, empty thread spools, small fabric scraps, or tiny doll pillows for beds.


About Puppets for learning

    Today, puppets can be used to teach a variety of things. Let’s take a look at some of those things.
    Puppets are simple effective tools for delivering information. When puppets are incorporated with play-based learning, children retain knowledge more effectively and efficiently. The puppets then become tools for sharing or retelling what they have learned or observed. Puppets are a delightful way to encourage children to exercise their language skills. Use a puppet to introduce a story. When the story is finished the puppet can discuss it with the children. The puppet might ask, “can you help me make up a new ending for my story?”
    Children can benefit from puppets through oral and language skills development. When a puppet speaks, children can listen, identify, and understand different words and phrases. The act of speaking out loud is much different than thinking the thoughts in your head. So, when children are required to answer questions, the puppet can act as support—when the puppet speaks all attention is on the puppet not on the child. This gradually nurtures confidence.
    Middle School
    Puppets can be used to analyze characterization in a short story or novel, as well as act out a historical event. Another benefit of puppets with this age group revolves around the developing the child’s social skills. They begin learning how to interact with the different personalities of their peers. By exploring different communication techniques using puppets, students can apply the same strategies to regular conversations.
    Higher grades
    Students in higher grades can use puppets in a more profound way. Using a puppet “transforms getting caught in the headlight into shining in the spotlight.” They can aid in acting out Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, debating a complex issue, or showing a difficult process, such as a science experiment.
    Puppets can break down barriers and encourage students to discuss very difficult issues when found in literature or in everyday life—such as bullying, abuse, drugs, and cultural and physical differences. Many students are very uncomfortable with deeply personal topics, and puppets can be that “mask” to advance ideas or express issues without feeling vulnerable.
    Over the centuries, puppets have remained a powerful form of communication between people. For students, puppets are a gateway to opening up the mind and inviting knowledge in. Kids’ imaginations can run wild, and without knowing it, they are developing essential skills needed for everyday life, just as they did thousands of years ago.

Click here to see the video demonstration and reading on Facebook.
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Learning & Loving It is a series featuring simple, yet fun educational activities for home learning and virtual, interactive tutoring.

LRC Learning and Loving It

Rainbow Retelling Bracelet

This colorful bracelet will help a child retell the story they just listened to or read and can be used by tutors, teachers and parents. (Adapted from Growing Book by Book)

Supplies: String or plastic lacing, 6 stringing beads (red, orange, yellow green, blue, purple would work best)  
optional- a strip of paper and crayons to color a rainbow if you do not have beads/string

LRC retelling bracelet

Putting it together

    1. Measure the string or lacing for the correct size to fit the child’s wrist.
    2. String the bead by placing the colors in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
    3. Tie the string together with a knot.
    If you don’t have string or beads, you may make a bracelet with paper and crayons, colored pencils or markers. Just cut the strip to fit their wrist, and color lines across the width to match the colors of the rainbow. (See image above)


Retelling the story

    Slide one bead over at a time, or put a finger on one colored line, beginning with red. Use prompts to ask questions with each bead.



    R= Ready to hear a retelling of the story? The characters in the story are…
    O= On to where the story took place (setting)
    Y= You have to hear the problem… (something that happens that needs to be fixed)
    G= Get ready for a few more details… (major events)
    B= Better start bringing it to a close and telling you how the problem was solved…
    P= Picking my favorite part is easy. It was when…

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The Learning Resource Center has added a new elementary program to its summer lineup.

Camp Rockin’ READ! is designed to help students who have completed grades 1, 2 or 3 enhance their reading, writing and spelling skills using the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach as well as the Barton Reading & Spelling System.

The Orton-Gillingham Approach:

The Orton-Gillingham Approach is multisensory, language-based, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, flexible and individualized instruction.
Multisensory focuses on visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning, engaging sight, sound, touch and motion within the same lesson.

The Barton Reading & Spelling System uses the Orton-Gillingham Approach and also focuses on multisensory learning, aiding students in making connections between sounds and words.
Students who attend Camp Rockin’ READ! will:

  • Enjoy hands-on activities to improve reading, writing and spelling skills
  • Engage all the senses in the learning process– visual, auditory, and kinesthetic
  • Experience increased independence, success, self-esteem, and confidence in the classroom
  • Effectively learn to decode words independently using the Barton Reading & Spelling System
  • Start the school year with increased skills

Camp will begin Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Learning Resource Center in Lakeland (1628 S. Florida Ave.) and continue for three weeks, ending on Friday, July 13, 2018. The program will take place Monday through Friday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. during that period. There will be no class on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
The cost of camp is $420. LRC does offer a sliding fee scale based on the family’s gross annual income, so the fee may vary.
The camp size is small, so be sure to enroll your child today. You may register students online by clicking Camp Rockin’ READ!, in person at LRC or by phone at 863-688-9477.

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Kindergarten-Readiness Camp for students entering or repeating Grade K in the fall