Review of Dr. Jean's Reading Recipes Book

     What fun!  If you haven’t seen Dr. Jean’s Reading Recipes by Dr. Jean and Carolyn Kisloski (SDE, 2015), you’re in for a real treat.  This full-color volume is full of exciting, hands-on ideas for making PreK-1st literacy work come to life.  Dr. Jean and Kisloski focus one photograph-filled chapter on each of the following:  Speaking and Listening, the Sounds of Speech, Print Connections, Fun Phonics, Lifetime Words (sight words), Vocabulary Builders, I’m Reading, and Writing.  There are so many delightful new twists on old ideas like giving students Bugles corn snacks to wear on their index fingers while tracking print (rather than the ‘witchy fingers’) (EAT when you’re done reading!) or having students place Cheerios as spacers between words as  they write (rather than just using a finger).  Not all of the ideas involve food, but hey, I’m all for sneaking in as many snacks as possible!   There are also many new teaching ideas like ‘High Five:’ Teachers cut out two hand prints and write one word on each that they’d like their students to master reading by the end of the week.  The words are introduced on Monday, then taped next to the classroom door.  When students go out, they ‘high five’ the hands and read the words aloud.  Or… ‘Sign In With Sight Words:’  When students arrive in the morning, they sign in next to their name by writing the sight word shown at the top of the page. 
     When I first picked up this book at ILA in St. Louis this summer, I was immediately taken by its appealing format and its plethora of engaging ideas.  What a great volume to have on the shelf—pull it out and immediately get an easy-to-implement suggestion for teaching or reinforcing preK-1st grade skills that is sure to be loved by students!

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