Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 (and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!)

If you have never read Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 by Bill Martin Jr., then you must! What a great children's story. Isaac reads this book probably ten times a day right now. At this moment, it's his absolute favorite book. Today he read it to me completely by himself. It was one of those times I wish I had the camera ready because it was seriously adorable. He did not miss one word and read it fluently with correct intonation. (Granted, his reading right now is more accurately called memorizing,!) He is my "information lover" child, soaking up words, language, numbers, letters, sounds, details, etc. He is a natural communicator, and this book is wonderful for engaging his mind during this stage of his life. Here are a few things I appreciate about this book and how you might use it to teach your child and interact with him or her throughout the day:

* It's sequential - the numbers begin with zero and go up to one hundred.
* The pictures are bright and cheery.
* Zero doesn't have a place and is sad. He doesn't "fit in". We can talk to our kids about how this makes them feel and what they can do to show love and kindness to everyone. It's no fun to feel left out. (Isaac covers Zero b/c he says he doesn't like that he's sad! Then, he gives Zero a kiss - melts my heart!)
* Zero finds his place at the end of the book!
* Combing literacy and math stimulates both sides of the brain.
* You can ask deeper level questions as your child's comprehension grows. I'm sure the possibilities are endless!
* The cadence and rhyming patterns help children develop strong fluency skills, not only in reading but also in verbal communication.
* The numerals, zero to one hundred, are located in the back of the book for reinforcement. As children learn to count and read them, they gain confidence in their new abilities. The "light bulb moment" happens, which makes them feel good about themselves. (And it makes us, moms, smile!)
* You can talk about the numbers throughout the day, what problems occured, and how they resolved them.
* As a craft idea, you can make an apple tree (all of the numbers climb the apple tree) and have your child post the numbers and apples onto it.

The sister book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!, is also exceptional. It parallels this book with the alphabet. Isaac equally enjoys this one, but we didn't check it out from the library this time. Yesterday he spotted it in Barnes and Noble, and we read through it twice. This book is great for developing phonemic awareness. The full alphabet, both upper and lower case, is in the back of the book as well.

If you're familiar with these books, please share how you use them to teach your children. I think they are just too cute! Do you have any favorite children's number/letter type books?

Also, our local library has a database called Bookflix where you can read these books online while watching a video of the illustrations. They have all sorts of genres and plenty of selections. If you want the link, email me, and I'll help you get there! Happy reading!!!!

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