In order to be a good reader children not only need to be able to read fluently but they must also be able to make sense of what they read. How can we help our children become good readers? How can we encourage them to make connections to what they read?
Reading comprehension and the building of vocabulary is a huge focus in 1st grade. As both a mom and an educator, I know that education begins here at home, with me. Although both Lil Divas are being taught reading strategies at school, I know how important it is to continue to build on what they learning at school, here at home. Of course, after a long day at school the last thing the Lil Divas want to do is sit and work some more. How do I combat this? By making our learning fun. We play games, read books they want to read and work on activities that are both inviting and engaging.
The Lil Divas love to play. They enjoy board games, computer games, apps - well you get the idea. So I am always willing to let them try educational toys such as Hot Dots whose aim is to help children develop various skills such as reading comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, math, science and social studies.
We were recently given the opportunity to review the interactive Talking Hot Dots Pen along with Phonics Flash Cards - Blends & Digraphs, Reading Comprehension Cards - Getting the Main Idea and Laugh It Up Vocabulary Cards - Synonyms by Educational Insights. You know that we have had a relationship with this company for some time and they never disappoint. You can check out some of our previous reviews here.
The Pen works much like our old friend Ace. It is interactive and great for independent learning. A simple press to the card gives an immediate response - a green light and positive answer means you were correct and a red light and "Whoops! Not it", or other such response let you know it was not correct and encourages the child to try again.
The Oldest Diva was able to choose titles that appealed to her and work on reading comprehension - understanding the main idea independently. This was great to have when I was working with the Littlest Diva on homework. It provided us with an activity that was beneficial, she found it fun and she could do it 100% on her own with me listening to the pen to give me an idea of how she was doing.
The synonym cards were more of a challenge. We usually work on these together but I like that they are helping enrich her vocabulary. It gives us an opportunity to talk about new words and I have caught her using a few of them in conversation. Isn't that fabulous?
The Hot Dots Pen & card sets have been a wonderful learning tool in our home. We have not experienced any technical issues with the pen and both girls find it very easy to use. It's been a wonderful independent learning tool for 1st grader and I can see this being an asset in the classroom as well as in the home. This would be great at an independent reading learning center.
Onto the fun stuff - the fabulous people over at Educational Insights are giving away a Hot Dots Pen and 2 card sets (of choice!) to one lucky Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas reader. Yay! Isn't that an awesome giveaway?
Entering the giveaway is easy peasy - just use the rafflecopter form below to enter to win. This one is open to both US & Canada residents and ends on October 11, 2012. See official sweepstakes rules here.
Disclaimer - I received the products mentioned in this post free from Educational Insights in order to facilitate this review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own and based on our personal experiences with the products. Your experience and opinions may differ.