Shape Up! Lit + Life for the New Year

January, the time of year when we hear “shape up!” everywhere we turn. Well, this year we are joining the chorus – literacy style. When you come right down to it, letters and numbers are shapes. Some shapes cross all boundaries. A circle can be the letter o or a zero or just a circle. Others, like the the letter Y have one distinct recognition. One of the first letter shapes my daughter (3) recognized was an M … as in the golden arches. Not an ideal association, but one that worked because once she recognized the shape. Using that shape recognition, we would play games looking for the M in other places, like road signs and books. Shapes fill our … Read more

An Illiterate Life – What does it look like?

Reading. For many of us it is like breathing – we’re sitting here doing both, thinking about neither one. What would life be like if I didn’t know how to read? I have been giving that question a lot of thought, lately. I don’t mean picking up a book for pleasure, I am talking about everyday reading. An Experiment For several days I tried go about my day, consciously working not to read. It was hard, very hard. My default is to read, in part, because it is a natural part of who I am. Here is what I discovered when I tried “not reading” for a couple of days. I had no idea how many ibuprofen pills to take … Read more

Going to the Clouds – Literacy + Life

With summer (unofficially) behind us, the days ahead will bring beautiful blue skies and lots of wispy clouds! Clouds are the perfect canvas for literacy activities. They’re free to look at any time you want! They put imagination to work. Cloud gazing can inspire stories. It is a family-friendly activity everyone can play. Literacy In the Clouds When you “transform” a cloud into something concrete is a critical thinking skill. You are using your brain to connect the cloud to something your brain already recognizes. Not all that dissimilar to learning letters and putting them into words. Here are three, go-anywhere activities that send your literacy activities to the clouds! I Spy a Cloud … Have you ever looked at … Read more