Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Coloring Page

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my followers a very Happy New Year. 2013 will bring some new and exciting additions to the blog. I'm working on a subsciption portion of the blog that will include animated books for early readers. I'm very excited about these "Listen and Read" books and hope to get them online soon.
 
Meanwhile, here's a coloring page to help celebrate the new year with your children. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy 2013!
 

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sammy Snowman

Here's another "Create and Color" activity sheet. Help Sammy Snowman by coloring his picture. Be sure to ask your children questions about what they think is in the box. (Is it for a boy or girl? Is it light or heavy? Does it make noise or play music?) Encourage your children to add background to the picture, like houses, trees, cars, clouds or people. 
 
To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Color Santa's Present

Here's a "Create and Color" activity sheet for your little ones. After they color the picture, have them guess what's in the box. This activity will encourage your children to use their imagination.
 
To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Santa's Christmas Train

Help Santa's Christmas train as is moves down the track. Then name the things that Santa is carrying on his train. Can you think of anything else Santa could carry on his train?
 
To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Connect the Dots Christmas Tree

Here's a fun Activity Sheet that reinforces the letters of the alphabet. After connecting the dots, encourage your child to get creative and add some decorations to their tree.

To Print: Double click on the picture to open it, then right click and choose Print Picture.
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Find the Objects on the Tree

This was one of the most requested Holiday Activity Sheets from last year. Have your child find the listed objects on the tree. Then see how many other objects your child can identify on the tree.
 
To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Something New in 2013

Nonna and Me is currently working on something special for our early readers. We are developing a series of "Listen and Read" books that will be a part of a subscription-based addition to our blog. "Hooray, Hooray! It's a Sunny Day" is the first book that we are working on. We're not quite finished with the final version (still tweeking visuals and sounds), but I wanted to post it on the blog today to give you a sample of what we hope to start offering in 2013.

As usual, I would love to hear from you about this, or any other of our educational products. Enjoy!

video

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alphabet Cards: Y and Z

Here are the last two alphabet cards to complete the set. I hope you've found them useful in reinforcing letter recognition and letter sounds with your early readers.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Alphabet Cards: V, W and X

Almost to the end of the alphabet. Here are the next three letter cards. Reminder: The letter X makes 3 sounds. It can say its own name like in the word x-ray. It can make the sound of 'ks' like at the end of the word fox. Or it can make the sound of 'z' like in the word xylophone.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.


 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Alphabet Cards: S, T and U

This week I'll be posting the remaining Alphabet Cards. Today I'll start with S, T and U.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Poem For Children

Thanksgiving Observance

by Author Unknown
 
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean
 
 
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Enjoy the feast with family and friends... and football.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

If you're family is like mine, you're children or grandchildren are already talking about what they want to find under the tree on Christmas morning. At Nonna and Me we have created products for Pre-K and Kindergarten age children that are fun and educational. These are great gifts that will continue to entertain your children while preparing them to read.

Please take a few minutes to view this short video about our products. For more information about Nonna and Me visit our website by clicking here:   Nonna and Me Website

Remember... Literacy begins with the ABCs.

video

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alphabet Cards: P, Q and R

Are you ready for the next three letters? Here they are! I'll have the remaining letter of the alphabet on before Thanksgiving.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alphabet Cards: M, N and O

Here are three more letters to add to your child's alphabet collection. I would love to get your feedback on this series of Alphabet Cards, or any of the other activity sheets I've posted in the past.  

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Alphabet Cards: J, K and L

Hope you are finding these Alphabet Cards useful in teaching your little ones about the ABCs.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Alphabet Cards: G, H and I

Now that Halloween is over, we'll get back to posting the Alphabet Cards. Today's letters are G, H and I. 

To print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Fill in the Faces" for Halloween

Happy Halloween! Have a spooky day and have fun filling in the faces on the cat and pumpkin.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Find and Color" Halloween Activity

Here's a fun Halloween activity for your early learners. Read each word and find that object in the picture. Ask questions along the way. Here are some sample questions:
  • "What letter does the word begin with?"
  • "What sound does that letter make?"
  • "Have you ever seen a bat?"
  • "What sound does a dog make?"
  • "What do you think the boy has in his bag?"
  • "Do you think the boy will share his candy with his dog?"
  • "Does the pumpkin look happy or sad?"

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. then right click and choose Print Picture.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Alphabet Cards: D, E and F

Here are the next three Alphabet Cards for you to print out for your little ones. Be sure to point out the lowercase letter that appear inside all of the uppercase letters.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

 
 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alphabet Cards: A, B and C

You can print these out on regular paper, or better yet, on cardstock. Start an Alphabet Book or post them on the wall or refrigerator. These sheets serve as a great visual aid in helping your child learn their letters and sounds.

The next three letters will be posted soon...
 
To print: Double click on the sheet to open it. then right click and choose Print Picture.
  






 







Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back to Basics: u through z

Our next "Back to Basics" alphabet activity sheet takes your child from u to z. When looking for words that contain the letter 'x' remember this... 'x' can say it's own name (like in x-ray) and 'x' at the beginning of a word makes the sound of 'z' (like in xylophone), and 'x' at the end of a word makes the sound of 'ks' (like in the word fox).

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to Basics: p through t

Our fourth "Back to Basics" activity sheet takes your child from p to t. Want to take this activity one step further? You and your child can search around the house for things that begin with these letters and then write the word on a post-it note to label the objects as they are identified.

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to Basics: k through o

Ready for the third "Back to Basics" activity sheet?  This one takes your child from k to o.  It's hard to believe that the first month of school is almost over! 


To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right Click and choose Print Picture.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to Basics: f through j


Here's the second "Back to Basics" activity sheet that takes you from f to j.  Remember to work along with your child.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to Basics: a through e

I'm sure the majority of you put your children on the bus this morning for the first day of school. We started a few weeks ago here in Arizona. So now that everyone is back to school, I'm going to spend a few weeks going Back to Basics.

I have a series of activity sheets that start with the ABCs and will end with simple word recognition. They will include many skills such as rhyming, classifying, letter recognition, letter sounds, and phonics.

As always, I stress the importance of working along with your child. Ask questions and discuss the answers. I hope your children have a happy and successful school year!

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Seven Days a Week

Let's do a worksheet that combines reading and math. The sheet below combines the days of the week with the numbers 1 through 7. Here is a little poem that accompanies the activity.

                                   Seven Days a Week
         
                                   My teacher's name is Mrs. Dunn.
                                   She's smart and wears big glasses.
                                   She taught me about the number 7
                                   In this week's arithmetic classes.

                                             She said day 1 is Sunday,
                                             And Monday is day 2, for sure.
                                             Day 3 is called Tuesday.
                                             And Wednesday is day number 4.

                                                       She said day 5 is Thursday.
                                                       And Friday is day 6, I bet.
                                                       And Saturday makes 7 days.
                                                       My teacher says that's all we get.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School

I've put together an activity sheet with a "back to school" theme. Have your child look at the four pictures in each row. Ask them to find the picture that is different than the other three. Ask them what makes it different.

The last grouping of children at the bus stop is a little more difficult because all four pictures are different. This row puts their classification skills to the test. There can be several different answers to this one. Correct answers can include: One boy is standing in snow. One boy is not wearing a hat. One boy has his face covered. One boy is wearing shorts.

To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Not Your Grandmother's Kindergarten

This was one of my original posts. Since the start of the school year is quickly approaching (or has started in some parts of the country), I've had several requests to post it again. So here it is...

Nonna shares:
When I went to a parochial school kindergarten in the early 1950’s, the only prerequisite was age. Kindergarten was a half-day session filled with coloring, singing, snacking, napping, making stuff out of clay, finger plays, and lots of playtime in general. In the 50’s, kindergarten’s emphasis was socialization and following directions, not academics.
Preschool-productsFollowing directions… I don’t think that was one of my strong points, because one of my most vivid memories of kindergarten was the time I colored the hearts on my mother’s Valentine’s Day card orange. My teacher, Mrs. Hannon, made such a fuss about hearts being red, not orange, that I cried when I gave it to my mother (those were the days when no one cared about making children feel bad about themselves!).

When I became a teacher in the early 1970’s, kindergarten was still pretty much about socialization and following directions. The kindergarten teacher in my school was a wonderful, fun-loving woman with a child-like personality. Her classroom seemed to be a little more academically structured than the one I remembered from the 50’s, but gauging from what my first graders knew, academics was not anywhere near a priority. I remember the first day of school, when I told my first grade class to line up single file in the back of the room. Not only did most of the children not know where the “back” of the room was, I threw in the words “single file”. Tears, tears everywhere… How was I to know that “single file” (a commonly used requirement for lining up in a parochial school) would be a foreign concept to these little public school children (Oh no! I had become Mrs. Hannon!).

Mémé shares:
In the years that I taught preschool, which was before there was Sesame Street, our mornings were spent in play. We told parents that “play” was their child’s “work” and through play they would learn shapes, colors, large and fine motor skills. Ha! That is what babies are doing now in their cribs.

Nonna shares:
Let’s jump ahead to the new millennium… As kindergarten becomes more and more academic, children are required to do more and know more. In addition, many kindergartens are moving from a half-day to a full-day schedule. The requirements and expectations for kindergarteners go far past the month they turn 5. They are expected to enter kindergarten knowing the basics and be relatively adjusted to a classroom situation.

I’ve been on numerous websites finding lists of what incoming kindergarten students should be able to do in the 2000’s. Here are some examples. (OK, I’m in trouble. My husband says that there are several of these that I still can’t do. Please don’t tell Mrs. Hannon!)

• Listen to stories without interrupting
• Recognize rhyming sounds
• Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
• Understand actions have both causes and effects
• Show understanding of general times of day
• Cut with scissors
• Trace basic shapes
• Begin to share with others
• Start to follow rules
• Be able to recognize authority
• Manage bathroom needs
• Button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers
• Begin to control oneself
• Separate from parents without being upset
• Speak understandably
• Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
• Look at pictures and then tell stories
• Identify rhyming words
• Identify the beginning sound of some words
• Identify some alphabet letters
• Recognize some common sight words like "stop"
• Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
• Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
• Count to ten
• Bounce a ball

Source: Family Education

The bottom line here, as I see it, is that early childhood education will make a huge difference in a child’s success in school. And while some parents feel they can prepare their children for kindergarten at home, what they can’t provide is the classroom experience. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the parents’ role in preparing their children for school is vital. I created Nonna and Me products to help them do just that. But we can’t underplay the importance of a formal preschool setting. I believe that a child will benefit greatly from a combination of both. I’ve seen that combination do wonders for my own grandchildren.

That being said, I think it’s important to also address homeschooling. I applaud those parents who are educating their children at home. It takes a dedicated, structured person to take on this responsibility. I do believe that if a parent is diligent, knowledgeable, and focused on what a preschool child needs to accomplish academically, and can combine this with regular social activities such as play groups and activities at church or in the community, it can produce the same results.

Mémé shares:
Like many of us Baby Boomers who thought retirement was on the horizon - only to realize our ship was sinking and we wouldn’t make it to the horizon - I am still teaching and grateful to be doing so. That puts me in a position to observe on a daily basis what the expectations are for this next generation (yet to be named). Nonna is spot-on when she says that what happens in kindergarten doesn’t stay in kindergarten and never started there in the first place. If a child is not in pre-school (or being taught effectively at home) by age 3, that child will be far behind his peers in the learning process, which is now curriculum based rather than socialization oriented.

This is definitely not your grandmother’s (or mother's) kindergarten!


About Nonna and Mémé

Sandi Zobrest, B.A., M.Ed. (Nonna) is the founder and creator of Nonna and Me educational preschool DVDs, CDs, and books. Nonna and Me was originally created for Sandi's first grandchild. This bright and happy little girl was born prematurely and was experiencing some developmental delays in language. The “Nonna and Me ABCs” DVD and books helped her in the development of language skills. Sandi received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Mercyhust College in Erie, PA and her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Edinboro University in Edinboro, PA. Sandi is a retired teacher currently living in Arizona with her husband, two children, and three grandchildren.
Mémé and Nonna

Nonna and Me is truly a family affair, dedicated to assisting parents by providing them with quality educational materials. I am confident that you will find Nonna and Me products to be a great tool for the 21st century preschooler.”

Mary C. Prus, B.A., MATL. (Mémé) taught and administered Early Childhood Developmental Programs in Erie, PA. for 20 years, including the Maura Smith Child Learning Center on the campus of Mercyhurst College, where she had received her Bachelor’s Degree (many years earlier). Which only proves - what goes around, comes around! Currently she is teaching sixth grade Middle School in Memphis, TN. She is a long distance grandmother to three grandchildren.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grandpa Went to the City

Here's short story sheet #5. This one tells a story about going to the big city. After you and your child read this story, remember to ask questions. Here's some examples:

  • How do you think Grandpa got to the city?
  • What do you think Grandpa packed in his suitcase?
  • What do you think Grandpa saw at the park?
  • What is a taxi?
  • What are some things you would see in the city?
  • What are some things you would see in the country?

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to School Special

Go to the Nonna and Me website for this tremendous Buy One Get One FREE Special.  Until August 31st, Nonna and Me will double your order (at no extra cost) when you purchase an ABC Combo Pack. You save $35.99!

Combo Packs include: 
    • 1 ABCs DVD
    • 1 ABCs CD
    • 1 ABC Book
    • 1 ABCs Coloring Book
Go to our website and check out our products.    NONNA AND ME WEBSITE

Give your child the gift of learning.



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

See How My Garden Grows

Today's post is short story number four. Here's some discussion questions for you to ask after your child reads the story.

  • What kind of things can you grow in a garden?
  • Would you need a large area outside to plant a garden?
  • Can you grow things inside too?
  • What things would you need to plant a garden?
  • What things does a plant need to grow?
  • How long do you think it would take for a tree to grow very tall?

HINT: Combine this reading activity with a science activity. Buy some seeds and help your child plant them outside in their own special garden (it doesn't have to be a large area) or in small pots in the house. Give them the responsibility of caring for the plants. 

To Print:  Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

Here's the third in my series of short story sheets. Here are some discussion questions to ask as your child reads the story.

  • What color are your favorite flowers? 
  • What are wildflowers?
  • What do you think the girl's Mommy did with the flowers she picked for her?
  • What do you think Bob did with his flowers?
  • What might happen if you touch a flower with the bee in it? 
  • Why do bees like flowers?   
To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Boat Can Float

Here's another short story sheet for you to share with your child. I hope you will print and save this one along with all that will follow.


To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nat the Cat

I'm in the process of developing a series of "Listen and Learn" online books for beginning readers. These books, along with other reading and math readiness materials, will be available through this blog by subscription. My goal is to have this site up and running by the end of the year.


In the meantime, I'll be posting some short story sheets like "Nat the Cat" below. I'd like to suggest that you save these short stories in a folder, or post them on the refrigerator or bulletin board, so your child will have easy access to them. Children take great pride in their ability to read to you, instead of the other way around. Having these stories readily available will help them do just that.


Note:  I am leaving out quotation marks in these stories so as not to distract the early reader. I'll be adding quotation marks to stories as I develop ones for more advanced readers.


To Print: Double click on the sheet to open it. Then right click and choose Print Picture.