Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Learning Something New

Hi All,

I have been busy learning something new and I am so excited to share it with you!

I shared a resource with you in the "Summer Reading Is All Around Us" post called CAST's Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Book Builder. You can use this site to create, read, and share engaging digital books.

So, I decided to use our son and one of our "flashlight episodes" called "The I'm Sorry Truck" to create a book with pictures for our listeners. Here is how we did it:

*First, my son and I planned out each page together by breaking up the story into pages.

*Next, we took pictures to match what was happening on each page using his trucks and our digital camera.

* Then, we went to CAST's Book Builder and signed up for a free account.

*We chose a format for the pages of our story and then put our pictures and story in. If you are really tech savvy, you can do your own audio, or you can choose from one of the three coaches to tell the story for you. We chose one of the three coaches, named him Tucker, and had him read the story for us.

*Once you are happy with the story you have created, you can publish it to the library. You can also download it to your computer so that you can print it out and have an actual book to share with a sibling, a friend, a grandparent, or anyone!

You can check out "The I'm Sorry Truck" on Book Builder by going to http://bookbuilder.cast.org/ and clicking on the Explore Shared Books Library tab. You do not need an account to look at other shared books. Once you are in there just search by TITLE and type in The I'm Sorry Truck.

We would love to share any titles you have created in there. Leave a comment on the blog if you have created something in Book Builder, or let us know what you think about the book we created. We hope you are having a wonderfully creative summer!

As always, I look forward to watching the glow grow brighter with the many stories we can share together.

Friday, June 12, 2009

EPISODE 10: The Watermelon Seed

Click here to listen to: The Watermelon Seed

Hi All,

We are hoping you are enjoying the start of your summer! In our last post we listed a few reading programs we found helpful and illuminating to keep you reading all summer long. Here is one more program from Scholastic Books that we just discovered!

What did you say? A word of the day! That is right! In our story there are
many juicy words that are fun to learn and say!

astute: smart, quick, perceptive

awry: away from the expected or proper direction; amiss; wrong
protruding: to thrust forward
sweltering: oppressively hot and humid
viable: able to live and grow


Try these activities to keep your imagination glowing after hearing the story.

1. Write a letter to someone you love about what you plan to do this summer. Don't forget the FIVE parts of a letter: Heading, Greeting, Body, Closing, and Your Signature.

2. Make your own observations. Save a seed from any kind of fruit you eat, such as a watermelon, an apple or a pear. Give it a few days to dry. Plant the seed in a cup of soil. Place it in the sun and water it daily. What changes do you see happening? Write them down or draw them out.

After listening to the story, can you recall the details to answer these questions?

1. What did the boy first notice was changing in his mom?

2. Why did the boy think the mom was growing a watermelon in her belly?

3. List 3 observations the boy made about his Momma's belly that he wrote his Grandma about?

We want to send out bright birthday wishes to:

John D of Valencia, Spain
Kerry W of Cambridge, MA
Sue H of East Amherst, NY
Samantha R of Bedford, MA

We hope your day SPARKLED!

If you know someone who has a birthday coming up and you'd like to send them a Night Light Birthday wish, send us an email at nightlightstories@gmail.com.

Please send us your loved one's first name and the first initial of their last name only and we'll pass along the birthday wish. There are no age limits!

We hope you have some wonderful summer time plans, whether it is playing in your yard or traveling to the beach, we'd love to hear about them.
Feel free to post fun summer time activities on the blog.

As always, I look forward to watching the glow grow brighter with the many
stories we can share together.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Reading is All Around Us

Hi All,

Summer is upon us! It is a time to relax, regroup, and re-energize. One great way to do that is by reading! Click here to read an article with some great tips on how to keep kids reading from the first day of summer vacation all they way through the first day of the new school year.

There are many valuable resources on the web that encourage reading and comprehension. One of our favorites at Night Light Stories is CAST's Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Book Builder! Use this site to create, read, and share engaging digital books that build reading skills for students.

There are also reading programs running all summer long that are free and plentiful. Below, I have listed just a few that I found that have some valuable resources. Check your local library for any such events happening in your area. Feel free to post them on the blog to share with others. Summer reading is important to keep every imagination illuminated. Happy reading and listening!

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Kids can earn a free book when they read 8 books this summer. Simply visit the site, download the reading journal and earn your way to a free book by reading. Eligible to children in grade levels 1-6. They also have a wonderful list of children's books to check out this summer.

New York State Summer Reading Program

New York State has a creative summer reading program to keep kids reading all summer long.

Loudoun County Library Reading Program

Loudoun County Public Library in Loudoun County, Virginia also has a fantastic reading program. There are many imaginative activities and useful resources for all ages.
(The image above is used with permission from Loudoun County's Public Library.)

Jefferson County Library Reading Program

The website for the summer reading program in Jefferson County, MO has interactive websites for kids and summer reading suggestions for all ages.

As always, keep the glow growing brigher with the many stories we can share together.

Monday, June 1, 2009



Congratulations! We hope you enjoy the Automoblox Pick-up Truck

Also, thank you for the glowing entries from:

As a special thanks for your entries, everyone is winner! Send us your address at nightlightstories.gmail.com so that we can
send you a complimentary
book from Hatchette Books! Great job everyone!

As always, I look forward to watching the glow grow brighter with the many stories we can share together.