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December 30, 2010

"The Write Start" Review and Giveaway

This Giveaway is now closed.

I couldn't put down my copy of "The Write Start" by Jennifery Hallissy. This book is perfect for parents who are trying to encourage and develop their young readers and writers.  Jennifer Hallissy believes that if you give children a solid foundation of writing basics, they will develop a love of writing that lasts a lifetime (which leads to benefits in other academic areas too).

In this book, she shares the secrets for supporting young writers, from the smallest of scribblers to middle-schoolers mastering script.  Jennifer gives you tips and techniques to support each level of writing and she also gives 52 activities that are easily implemented at home, adapted to your child's level. It is easy to read and refer to. I found myself highlighting and bending corners that I knew I'd want to look at again.

I really enjoyed the chapter that gave different suggestions on how to help your child build their motor skills to get them ready to write.  I also appreciated specific examples she gave about how parents can model writing and thinking about writing in simple and effective ways.

The part that impacted me the most was when Jennifer said, "Believe it or not, there is a direct link between being able to access the ideas tucked away in your mind and being able to access your writing tools and materials." So true! I grab pads of paper all day long to jot down lists and other ideas but I don't make B's tools as accessible. Her list of a "writer's pantry" inspired me to upgrade B's writing box to a new, special writing area for where he can keep his different writing tools.  Since, then he's been writing non-stop! 

Overall, I think this book is an awesome resource for parents. I have been very encouraged and inspired by it and know you will be too.  You can pick up your own copy of "The Write Start" here.

Do you want to win your own copy of

How to Enter:
Leave a comment and let me know how you'd use this book.
That's it! One comment and you are entered to win.  

*This giveaway is open to US residents only.

**I will select a winner using Make sure your email is enabled in blogger or leave it in your comment so I can contact you.

The contest starts now and ENDS Wednesday, January 5th at midnight. The winner will be announced here and emailed (your email must be enabled in Blogger or in your comments). The winner must reply to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

I was sent a copy of "The Write Start" to review. However, these views and opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way.

December 20, 2010

Target Read with Me and IPAD GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway is now closed.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Target, particularly the Dollar Spot! Now I have one billion other reasons to love them because Target believes every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, in addition to graduating high school. They feel so strongly about this commitment that they are planning to donate more than $500 million to support education by the end of 2015, which would bring the company’s total to-date education-related donations to more than $1 billion.

A significant chunk of this money is going toward programs that will help more U.S. children reach one of the most critical milestones on the path to graduation: reading proficiently by the end of third grade. In fact, research shows that at the end of third grade, school curriculum shifts from learning to read to reading to learn, and that students who can’t read at grade level by this time have trouble keeping up, and often fall behind. It is more difficult to close the gap after third grade, which is why there is an urgency to do everything we can to get and keep kids reading on grade levell!

Target is encouraging this focus on reading movement to start right at home! Just by reading on a regular basis we can encourage and instill a life long love of reading in our children! Target challenges you and I to set up a regular reading schedule with our kids.

When do you read with your children? Our routine is to read a book before nap and at bed time. I love that special time of snuggling up and reading! More than that I love when B refers back to a story we've read, pretends he is a part of the story, or find similarities in books we've read. I can't get enough of that! So much can come from enjoying books with our children!
Product Image Apple® 16GB iPad™ with Wi-Fi (MB292LL/A)
Target is giving one lucky Activity Mom reader a 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPad and a selection of children’s books, a prize package valued up to $599.
This will definitely make it easier to get into a reading routine!

To Enter:
Leave one comment and tell us what your favorite children’s book is and/or your favorite time and place to read with your kids.

Good Luck!

This sweepstakes is only open to U.S. residents 18 years or older. A winning commenter will be drawn at random, using, after the sweepstakes closes on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 12:00am EST. The winner will receive a 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPad and a selection of children’s books, a prize package valued up to $599. After the winner is notified, he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address, phone number and ages of their children, so that Target can ship the prize and select books appropriate for their children. If the winner does not reply in that time frame, he or she forfeits the prize and another winner will be drawn at random. Please note that we cannot ship product to a P.O. Box.

Per the FTC’s guidelines on endorsements (, I must clearly and conspicuously disclose that I am working with Target, and am receiving compensation from Target for running this sweepstakes and Target is providing a prize for one of my readers.