Empowering Parents To Teach- eeboo give away

eeboo Tell Me A Story Cards- Give Away


This contest is now closed. The winner has been contacted and the prize was mailed.


As a thank you for being such a wonderful part of the Empowering Parents to Teach community, I’m giving away one package of these adorable story telling cards made by eeboo to one lucky winner.


The illustrations on these cards are perfect for children of many ages. Your child can tell you a story orally or create a written tale based on the pictures.  You can even use these with toddlers describing what you see in the illustrations!  I love open ended materials like this.  As an added bonus, they are not a bug, bulky toy adding clutter to your toy room!  They are small enough to put in a purse or bag, perfect for times when you need something handy, like in a restaurant, waiting in a doctor’s office, going on an airplane, or entertaining a little one at a sibling’s soccer practice!


How to enter:

There are two ways to enter:

1. Visit Empowering Parents to Teach on Facebook.   “Like” the Give Away status with the picture of the cards and leave a comment saying, “Just entered to win.”  You must leave a comment, or I can’t tag you to let you know if you’ve won!

2. Follow us on Twitter and tweet the phrase, “@EmpoweringPTT, Enter me to win!”  You must use include @EmpoweringPTT in your tweet or I won’t see your message!


These social media outlets are not in any way responsible for or in endorsement of this contest.



The contest begins on Wednesday, Feb.18, 2015 at 7am PST/4am EST and ends at 8pm PST/11pm EST on the same day.  A winner will be chosen at random and notified via Facebook, Twitter, or email. The winner must respond to this notification within 48 hours. If the winner does not respond within this time frame, the prize is forfeited and a new winner be will chosen at a random. Open to United States residents only.


Good luck and thank you again for being so awesome :)



Empowering Parents To Teach- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue FIsh

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Number Activity


Inspired by the book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish  by Dr. Suess, this fun activity helps your child practice counting and one to one correspondence, all while strengthening his or her fingers opening and closing clothespins. You can also adapt this activity for different learning levels or use the free printable materials any way you want. Details on how to do that can be found at the end of this post.



Fish (page 1 has fish with numbers, page 2 has fish without numbers) print

Bowl or pail

String or yarn


10 Paperclips

10 Clothespins


Set up:

  • Print the fish.
  • Hang a piece of string between two objects.
  • Using the paperclips, attach the fish in order from 1 to 10.


Empowering Parents To TEach- Red Fish Blue Fish One Fish Two Fish


  • Write dots on the clothespins with the number quantities from 1 to 10. Place the clothespins in a pail, bowl or any container you have.





1. Have your child pick a clothespin out of the pail or bowl.

2. Count the number of dots.




3. Find the fish that has the corresponding number.

4. Use the clothespin to grab the fish off of the line.




This is a simple activity with so much learning going on!  Encourage your child to only count each dot once.  If s/he counts too fast, too slow, or skip dots work together with your child to show him or her how to count the dots correctly.


But wait, there’s more!


You can adapt this for different levels or different subjects

Make it easier:

  • Write  numbers on the clothespins and have your child match the numbers.

Make it more advanced:

  • Change the clothespins to addition of subtraction facts.



  • Change the clothespins to tally marks. Match the tally marks to the corresponding number.


  • You can even get rid of the yarn and have your child order the numbers from 1 to 10.

Empowering Parents To TEach- Red Fish Blue Fish One Fish Two Fish


Make it a different subject:

First, print the fish without the numbers. You can make this activity into anything with them!


Foreign language

  • Write the number in a different language on the clothespin–  Spanish, French, Russian, etc.


Empowering Parents To TEach- Red Fish Blue Fish One Fish Two Fish



ABC/Reading (Use the blank fish)

  • Write words on the fish: Match the words to the same word on the clothespin (sight word practice).   Match the word to a rhyming word on the clothespin (phonemic awareness).


  • Write letters on the fish: Match the letters to the same the letter on the clothespin (letter recognition). Match the letters to a word on the clothespins that begins with that letter (phonemic awareness).


Grammar (Use the blank fish)

  • Write words on the fish and label clothespins with the parts of speech. Match the word to its part of speech.


Vocabulary (Use the blank fish)

  • Write a definition on each fish and the vocabulary word on the clothespin. Match the word to its definition.


The possibilities are endless! Share your ideas here or on our Facebook page.


To purchase the book, click here:

*Amazon affiliate link. If you make a purchase I receive a very small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you! Thank you so much for your support.

Empowering Parents To Teach- Greek and Latin

Greek & Latin Roots and Affixes

With over sixty percent of English words stemming from Greek or Latin, one can see why familiarity with these roots and affixes can be valuable to students.  


Many prefixes, roots, and suffixes come from Greek and Latin.  These roots and affixes can be directly taught and studied or learned as the words are found in reading and writing activities.  For example, when we studied ecosystems in our homeschool, the words “biotic” and “abiotic” came up in our reading. This gave us the perfect opportunity to learn that “bio” means life and it comes from the Greek language. The suffix -ic, comes from Latin and means characterized by, or pertaining to.  Knowing this, it could help my son remember that the word biotic means the living things in an ecosystem. It can also help him in the future to solve an unknown word with “bio” or “ic” in it.


We also learned that the prefix “a” can mean not. With this knowledge, he can remember that abiotic refers to the non-living things in the ecosystem.  “A” means not and “bio” means life and “ic” means characterized by or pertaining to. By knowing these roots the definition is spelled out for him. Once again, these roots and affixes show up in many words, so by knowing them he is adding to a knowledge base that can help him determine the meaning of an unknown word.


To keep this knowledge, it’s helpful to record the roots and affixes that are learned.  I created a simple table to help your child record and organize the roots and affixes that arise in his or her studies. In our homeschool, I have my son record new roots and affixes that we learn along the way. He can then use the table as a reference in figuring out the meaning of new words that he encounters.  With enough recording and referencing, these roots and affixes can be memorized.


Making a chart is simple; You can easily create a chart to meet your child’s needs. To make things even easier, you can click on the link below for a free printable table to use:

Greek and Latin Roots Printable Table


For a great reference to look up the meaning unknown roots and affixes to include on your list click here.






Empowering Parents To Teach- Learning_CH_Sound

Learning The Sound “CH” With Lunch

Helping your young reader learn what sound the letters “ch” make when they are together in a word can be as simple as serving lunch or chinner.


You are about to serve a very special lunch or dinner, but first, start with a book.  We found the book Chilly Charlie by Dana Meachen Rau at our local library.  I decided to use this story to teach my little one the sound that “ch” makes and you can too!  There are many other books that you can use, such as:


Please Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Meaning, if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you.  



Show your child the book and read the title.  Point out the “ch” in the word(s) and tell him or her that when “c” and “h” are together they make a new sound, “ch”.  Have your child say the sound a few times.  Say it with them, being funny usually helps! Whenever you come to a word in the story that has “ch”, exaggerate the sound a little bit to draw attention to it.  Sometimes, I would even say, “Look, that word had “ch” in it. Did you hear it?”.  Continue reading the story together and listening for the “ch” sound.


Now for the really fun part!  Later in the day or night, serve them a fabulous lunch or dinner featuring the “ch” sound.


Empowering Parents To Teach- CH_Sound


Notice the Chicken nuggets (meatless for us), Cherries, and Cheese?


Purposefully fill the plate with “ch” foods.  You can even have chips or chocolate milk!  When you present the meal to your child tell him or her that the meal is very special.  Say the name of each food out loud. First, see if s/he notices that they all start with the “ch” sound.  If s/he doesn’t notice, tell your child that you have prepared them a “ch” (say the sound) lunch or dinner!!  I did this at dinner time but I told my son that it was actually “ch”inner not dinner.  He thought that was pretty funny and the dinner started off on a positive note.


As you eat, talk about the “ch” words that your child is consuming.  You may ask, “How are those cherries?”, accenting the “ch” sound when you speak.  I had to tell my child to stay in his ch-ch-chair.  He hid his food in his ch-ch-cheeks! This made us wonder what other body parts start with “ch” like cheeks. Chin, of course!  My little one pointed to his nose and called it his “chose” to be funny.  Eureka, he gets it!


You could even look for things on the table and figure out if they have “ch” in the word.  How about, “salt”, “napkin”, or “chipmunk”?  Why you have a chipmunk on the table, I do not know.  But I don’t judge.


The secret is— HAVE FUN!! The more fun you have together playing with the “ch” sound, the more memorable the time spent will be.  Your ch-ch-child will remember the “ch” sound as well as the fun bonding time with you. What could be better? :)


Looking for more fun learning activities? Try:

Empowering Parents To Teach- Word Family Hearts




Valentine’s Day Word Family Hearts (with FREE printable)


Empowering Parents to Teach- Parcheesi




My Secret Weapon To Teach Early Math Skills


Empowering Parents To Teach- Charlotte's Web




Charlotte’s Web Activities


Empowering Parents To Teach- Word Family Hearts

Special Delivery: Valentine’s Day Word Family Hearts

Once your child has mastered the individual letter sounds, word families can be the next step in your child’s phonological awareness. Word family is a term that refers to words that have the same ending letter pattern and corresponding sound.  For example, cat, bat, rat, all end with -at, therefore, they are all in the -at family.  I talk more about word families in the post, Learning to Read: Word Families. If you would like more information on what word families are and why they are helpful for young readers, take a minute to visit that post before doing this activity.



  • Word Family Hearts (print here: Color version or B&W version)
  • Word Family Label (I made these by cutting index cards)
  • Tray with at least four compartments or small boxes, or small mailboxes (use what you have available)
  • Small Paper Bag
  • Markers or Crayons

Here’s what our set up looked like:


Empowering Parents To Teach- Word Family Hearts

The materials set up


Before the Activity:

1. Print and cut out the hearts. Laminate them if possible.

2. Decorate the small paper bag to use as the Mail Bag.  You could also have your child do the decorating!

3. Fill the mail bag with the small hearts.

4. Attach the word family labels to your boxes, tray, or mailboxes.




1. Inform your child that today s/he is going to deliver hearts, just like people deliver valentines to their friends on Valentine’s Day.

2. Show your child the mail bag and let him or her know that inside the bag are hearts.  Each heart has a word on it.  His or her job is to deliver the heart to its right place.

3. Next, show your child the tray (or mailboxes) with the word family labels.  Tell your child that s/he is going to put the word with its family.  Look at each word family label and have your child read the rime*. Help your child if needed.  Remind your child that any word that ends with -at, goes with the -at family. Do this for each family. Just like family members all have the same last name, word families have the same last sound. You want to explain this in a way that makes sense to your child.


*Rime refers to the part of a word that follows the initial consonant or group of consonants.  For further information about onsets and rimes, click here.


Empowering Parents To Teach- Word Family Hearts


4. Have your child take out the first word.  For the first word, you will want to walk through the activity with your child.  Have your child read the word out loud.  Ask your child what sound they hear at the end, is it -at, -un, -it, or -all?  I would say each one aloud while pointing to the word family label.  Say the word again if necessary.  Your child should be able to hear the end sound (the rime) and match it to the correct family.


Empowering Parents To Teach- Word Family Hearts


5. If your child struggled, do the next one together. Model your thinking out loud.  For example, if you take out the word “sun”, read the word and verbalize your thought process. You may say, “I will look at the word families and say each one out loud to what matches.” “At, sun, hmm, they don’t sound the same at the end so they don’t rhyme. Un, sun, they sound they same at the end! They rhyme! The word ‘sun’ goes here with the -un family.”


6. Let your child do the rest by himself (or herself), providing support when needed.  If your child places one in the incorrect spot, take the word out and help him or her figure out the correct place.


7. Keep playing until all the hearts are delivered!

Empowering Parents To Teach- Word Family Hearts


As always, keep it fun! Your child is learning so much from you!



More reading activities:

empoweringparentstoteach an wordfamilyman





 Learning to Read: Word Families


Empowering Parents to Teach- Sight Word Hide and Seek


Sight Word Hide and Seek


Empowering Parents To Teach- Sentence Making





Sentence Making


This post is linked to Montessori Monday. Click on the link below to see more fun learning activities!

Montessori Monday