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Entering 1st Grade 2017

  1. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    What are you guys using for lunch bags for the kids? I need something that can accommodate a small foogo thermos, a water bottle and a few other small items.

    Also, what do you do for snacks? We have a separate snack time and I need to pack that separately so he's not rummaging through the lunch bag.

  2. Pancakes

    nectarine / 2177 posts

    @looch: DD has a PBK lunch box that can hold all of that. We also have a PackIt freezable lunch bag that we use sometimes, and may hold slightly more than the PBK lunch box. For snack, I usually pack something dry that doesn't need to be refrigerated and she keeps it in the small pocket of her backpack so she can easily access it.

  3. Mamaof2

    squash / 13085 posts

    @looch: Drink and snack go in the side pockets of her backpack

    As for a lunch bag we just grabbed one from Target - she also uses a small thermos and a few other things and it all fits

  4. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @Pancakes: I hadn't thought about using the small pocket for snack, I currently keep a pair of socks and a hat in there, is that weird, lol?

    @Mamaof2: that's a good idea, I am going to check and see if the backpack has two side pockets.

    I also need to order my son's winter coat. It's early, but I want my MIL to knit my son his winter hat and I need to order the yarn!

  5. Mamaof2

    squash / 13085 posts

    @looch: its not early! I just ordered winter coats for both kids!

  6. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11544 posts

    @looch: We have one we got last year from Target. The shape is similar to this one - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ANGN548/ref=psdc_2287321011_t1_B01ANL1446

    It fits her Planetbox Shuttle (and allows it to sit flat, which is important to me), her Foogos, and still has room for snacks and ice packs.

    For snacks, I usually do individual sized bags of Pirate's Booty, Lunchables, or Ritz handi-snacks.

  7. 808love

    pomelo / 5743 posts

    @looch: PBK retro lunch bag so it is tall. Also we put snack and water bottle in side pockets.
    LO has a great new rain jacket but we forgot to pack it the other day when it rained. I think I will keep in my car.

  8. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12344 posts

    Last year we only had to provide a snack. Usually it was a granola bar and I just put it in the small front pocket of the backpack. I don't know if we have to provide a snack this year because school lets out so much earlier.

  9. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24100 posts

    Does anyone have suggestions for the daily reading log?

    We both work full time, get home around 5:30-5:45, have to have early dinner for the baby by 6:15 and start bedtime by 7 (for the younger ones). Obviously we will do our best to fit 20 minutes of reading in, but sometimes thats us reading to her because she is too tired. Some days it may have to be in the car in the morning on the way to school.

    On top of finding time to read, the bigger pain seems to be finding the folder out of her back pack just so I can initial the stupid day on the calendar. I dont want to pre-fill because life happens and I dont want to cheat it. Also I would love a way for her to have some visibility and responsibility to this (in a positive way).

  10. 808love

    pomelo / 5743 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: You could have DD bring the log to the dinner table as a dinner ticket. Keep a pen to sign with the log or near the table. Have her reading at the table as you are preparing dinner. Family time after dinner. I always pair habits together. Like in the morning, she has to put on her shoes before breakfast.

  11. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @Mamaof2: hahaha! I put two in my amazon cart for my son to choose from. I might as well get it now since it's not going to decrease in price and I will only end up getting caught by surprise.

  12. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: What are your mornings like, are they even worse than the afternoons? If she's going to aftercare, is there any way they could incorporate it into the time she spends there?

  13. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24100 posts

    @looch: She does go to aftercare. I am going to talk to her because she's been stressing about how much homework she will have and not having enough time to play with her brother and sister and friends after school. I would like to see if she would be willing to do some of her homework in after care so that it would be done by the time she got home. My other thought is homework is assigned monday, due the following monday. We may just save it for Saturday/Sunday as a morning thing she has to do before she can go play.

    Weekday mornings are even more hectic. DH and her leave the house at 7:15 but they do have about 10 minutes in the car drop off line that I would like them to use for spelling words, or maybe reading.

    @808love: Dinner with 3 kids doesn't really allow the focus she needs to really practice reading.

  14. 808love

    pomelo / 5743 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: I like your weekend idea because it is a weekly, not a daily log. Much more time to relax with a book!

  15. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: Oh, if it is due the following Monday, I would for sure do it on the weekend. Ours was due on Friday, so we typically did it in the mornings.

  16. DisneyBee

    apricot / 339 posts

    @lamariniere: So sorry for the late response....been busy at work this week. The Japanese school is on Saturdays for 4 hours, and it goes from K to 12th grade. In the end, they can take a credit test to test out of foreign language in high school and even college. We'll see how long it'll last since I know there will be more extracurriculars in the future. That is so cool that your kids are trilingual, and soon may quatrilingual (is there even a word?) Lol.

    @T.H.O.U.: I feel so bad that your little one feels stressed with having enough time for friends, siblings and homework. I would ask aftercare to help out with the reading log, and also plan to do most of it on weekends.

  17. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24100 posts

    @DisneyBee: thanks. She's sad that her brother sister and I get lots of time together and I don't see her much. So sending her away to read or do homework in her room makes her feel more excluded. Tonight's going well. We've been getting about 10 min in plus a book I read to her.

  18. MamaG

    pomelo / 5264 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: what about reading to her younger siblings for at least some of her reading time?

    We only have two so we tend to divide and conquer and typically reading log is at the very end of our day. It can be a struggle because of being tired.

  19. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: Apologies for the cross-thread comment (although I've got a 1st grader now too, so hi everyone!), but is that what she's reading to you for the reading log? You mentioned possible issues with comprehension due to slow sounding-out, so if that's the case, I'd pick something a tad easier. I'm not familiar with that particular book, but that page has one long sentence on it, a list separated by commas, and multiple two-syllable words with digraphs and vowel pairs. If she's having trouble sounding out the words, the sentence structure there seems likely to trip her up and that could be causing the comprehension difficulties.

    Just my two cents, but I'd be looking to back up a smidge if the pictured book is what she's trying to read and she's having difficulty with it. Maybe type that book's title into a search engine like Scholastic's book wizard to figure out the level it's aimed at and pick some books a level or two below it. Scan them first--I'd be looking for books that mostly have one sentence per line and a few sentences per page, only occasional complex punctuation (commas, etc.), and probably a higher degree of word repetition on each page.

  20. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24100 posts

    @honeybear: Thank you!

    I guess my problem is its so hard to pick them out. These are Level 1 readers. Some are SUPER simple (and boring) and some are way more complex. She does do pretty well with these (and is improving quickly). I love that with some of the more complex pages, she will use the pictures to try to infer what the text says.

    This is the book she was reading. I think she does better with books more in the level of 1-1.5 so this one is rated a bit higher.

  21. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @T.H.O.U.: Yes, it sure is hard to find books! Would she be interested in something like Lego Friends? I know there are Lego early readers that are leveled 1, 2, 3, and 4, and I'm pretty sure that I've seen the Friends series at the library. They start at the really easy end of the spectrum, so I'd pick some easy ones first and keep moving up until they start being a challenge.

    Also, the back cover of one of the other Disney Fairies books says that series' level 1 books are meant to be "read together." So I would guess that level 2 might actually be easier since those are intended for children to read out loud? All the various levels publishers use are super confusing and don't necessarily correlate across series/books, so I've found that going to something like a DRA number is slightly more helpful (although not perfect).

    My son isn't into fairies, so I'm not much help on that score, but he read the Little Bear (Else Homelund Minarik) books without complaint (and there's a little girl in Little Bear's Friend). Maybe Bink and Gollie or Cowgirl Kate? And some of the Cynthia Rylant books would probably be good, too.

  22. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @honeybear: Yes, it's super confusing with the levels as a 2 in some is actually a 3 in others!

    I tried to order a bunch of books on Amazon, but I have better luck at the library, where I can scan the text.

    Also, do you have access to RAZ kids? It has a wide variety of extremely age appropriate books. I think they're great to build confidence and also have the appropriate repetition without being too boring.

  23. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @looch: We use the library pretty much exclusively for easy readers/practice-type books for this reason. He blows through them fast and they're not really the type of book that you want to read more than once. We don't have access to RAZ.

    I've had good success with finding an author or series he likes (or at least is okay with reading!) and then just letting him have at all or nearly all of them. That buys me a few days to a week or more before I have to find new stuff. He's on the cusp of jumping out of the early/leveled reader section, and I've got a better idea of what titles to turn to after that. It's the books at that stage of almost-but-not-quite fluent that are such a challenge.

  24. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @honeybear: I found the leveled readers section of the library to be great, but as I expected, my son wasn't interested in most of them.

    He's drawn to the traditional children's books that are quite difficult for him to read...one poster above mentioned The Day the Crayons Came Home (or maybe it was the day they quit, lol) and that's actually quite a difficult book for my son, but exactly the kind of book he wants to look at. Then some are super easy and not challenging at all. It's much more difficult than I thought it would be.

    It's hard, because I don't want him to get frustrated, but he kind of rebelled against series like Fly Guy, Biscuit and other familiar faves.

  25. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @looch: *I* can barely read The Day the Crayons books! The font is really distracting, as it is in many Jeffers books. That's one thing I definitely steer clear of for my son, because he's only used to print and my handwriting, and I write like a third grade teacher when I'm writing for him!

    He sort of has to read the books I pick (without complaint!), because it's technically part of the "school" day as far as he's concerned. I pick out a bunch of books that I think he might like that meet my requirements and then he gets to pick what he wants to read every day from that selection. That has worked well so far, but it means hauling a lot of books back and forth to the library regularly. Free "reading" (mostly browsing with some reading) time is different. He gets to pick then!

  26. 808love

    pomelo / 5743 posts

    For us, every other week trips to the library are everything. We get tons of books when we go. I choose half and DD chooses the other half. LO really likes to read the Crayons book and the sequel.

  27. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    I ordered my son's winter coat today, on probably the most humid day we're going to have all summer, lol!

    @honeybear: I am going to try that approach a bit more formally in picking out some books for him. Do you mind elaborating on what you've been choosing? I would love some titles.

  28. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @looch: Some of the ones he (and I, since I had to listen to them!) liked were: the Frog and Toad books (and Owl and the other Arnold Lobel early reader books), Mr. Putter and Tabby, and Billy and Blaze (these are fairly old school and have b/w illustrations, but they're still accessible and a step up from Mr. Putter in terms of length and complexity). I've got the Golly Sisters and Amelia Bedelia and a few single-book titles on deck. He likes historical fiction, so I'm going to head in that direction for the next set of holds.

    Is your son into Legos? The early reader versions aren't my favorite by a long shot (they very nearly didn't make the cut for my "pick from these" selections because they are super fluffy and aren't always very well written), BUT my son was motivated to read them because he loves to browse the Lego Ideas-type books, so I would occasionally toss one of them into the mix.

  29. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24100 posts

    She read this book last night. She did surprisingly well with only minimal help. It think it helped obviously we had read it a few times.

    Anyways, if you haven't started school yet, this is super cute to read!

  30. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @honeybear: Thank you!

    We tried Frog and Toad, and he wasn't a fan, but I will try the other ones. We have one of the Lego readers, I am honestly not sure which one at this point. We've also done readers from movies, like the Secret Life of Pets and Cars 3, which he did well with and read in a sitting.

    I tried Magic Treehouse because everyone raves about it, but my son wouldn't even open it. I think he wasn't too keen on the topic (it was the one with mummies) but didn't want to say it.

    @T.H.O.U.: that looks great!

  31. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @looch: I think there's kind of a large-ish jump between Frog and Toad and Magic Treehouse, so maybe that was part of it? There's a lot more text per page in MT and fewer visual clues. (I'm not much of a MT fan. I read a few because it's impossible to escape the hype and...I think they're kind of marginal. I quite like some of Mary Pope Osborne's other books, but if he never reads MT, I won't feel like I'm cheating my son of anything.)

  32. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @honeybear: There is, I was hoping to use it as a book that I could read aloud to him now, and then that he'd pick up on his own later.

  33. Pancakes

    nectarine / 2177 posts

    @honeybear: @looch: @T.H.O.U.: I just want to throw in a recommendation for Tales of Oliver Pig by Jean Van Leeuwen. I think it's a level 2 book, so maybe something to keep in mind for later this year. Both of my girls adore the original, although there are other Oliver and Amanda Pig books as well.

  34. honeybear

    nectarine / 2054 posts

    @looch: My strategy for read-alouds (when I read to him) is to pick things I like that also hold some interest for him, so we generally end up doing things that are pretty far above his current reading level. I have a strict policy of not reading aloud books I intend for him to read to me in the relatively near future, because I want to be sure that he's comprehending what he's reading and I can't do that if he already knows the story.

    @Pancakes: Thanks! Those look about on par with Frog and Toad, and good for practice!

  35. 808love

    pomelo / 5743 posts

    So I just read a professional article that says it is completely fine to expose them to books above and below their level -shoot for what they are interested in. Reading levels are hotly contested and conflicting so it is more like a range than a set number. Also there are lots of kid non fiction options to explore as well. So remember that section has interesting choices. That was my favorite when I was a kid.

  36. looch

    wonderful pear / 26014 posts

    @808love: Yes, the non fiction section is my son's favorite. I also prefer non fiction these days!

  37. 808love

    pomelo / 5743 posts

    If you are looking for level 1 or 2 fiction readers, I recommend Green Light Readers found at most library and you can easily identify them on the spine.

  38. Mamaof2

    squash / 13085 posts

  39. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11544 posts

    Now I really want to go to the library and explore all these wonderful books ya'll are recommending.

    Right now DD enjoys reading to me those I Can Read Level 1 books - Fancy Nancy, Berenstain Bears, Pinkalicious, Biscuit, and Amelia Bedelia. I find them boring and repetitive, but I see the benefit because it builds DD's confidence every time she is able to figure out a challenging word on her own or finish a book from start to finish. I also found Magic Treehouse to be really hyped, but my kids love them!

    I have been reading Roald Dahl books to my kids. We started with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then watched the movie. Now we're reading James and the Giant Peach, and I promised them we could watch the movie afterwards too. They have been loving it, and we have some good discussions about character too from reading these books.

  40. MamaG

    pomelo / 5264 posts

    Magic Tree House started our nightmares this summer. They are now strictly for daytime reading. Not close to bedtime.

    Are any of you friends with teachers at your school or administrators? I found myself in an interesting situation today and I'm not sure what to think about these relationships.

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