Archive for the 'CVP Guests' Category

Jan 28 2010

Playing with Sounds and Patterns/Engaged Interactive Read Alouds from Guest Blogger Cathy P. Miller

Today I was so excited to talk with my friend and colleague, Stacey Kannenberg on her radio show “The Ready to Learn Mom”.  As you can see from the title of this blog, our topic was again for parents of younger readers.  Although the focus will be on preschool – 1st grade, many of the ideas discussed can be used with children throughout elementary school.

As usual, we had a great time sharing ideas with parents and others loving and interacting with children.  If you didn’t hear the show live, you can listen to the podcast (we’ll make a link live here as soon as possible).  If you were able to join us, there are many resources listed here that we referred to in the show.

Playing with sounds and patterns of sound in our language is especially important for children as they are learning how to spell and how to decode words.  Besides, it’s fun.  Think about silly rhymes and rhyming songs you love (I was listening to country music this morning before the show and heard lots of rhymes).  Don’t forget tongue-twisters.  When writing my new book Anytime Reading Readiness, I collected a tongue-twister for every letter of the alphabet and listed them.  Here’s the one for X:

The excited experts explained that the extra X-rays were excellent (remember that we’re playing with sound, not letters so the fact that many of these words start with -ex but are the “cksssss” sound you get when you say the letter “x” is OK).

Dr. Seuss always played with silly animals and names in his books so anytime you pick up one of his titles (like Cat in the Hat or Hop on Pop) you are playing with those sounds integral to our language.

Here’s a list of five other books with terrific rhymes and beginning sound emphasis.  Stop from time to time as you read and point out the sounds that are same and different within the words you are reading.  Talking about words gives your child a new level of awareness.

A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes by Liz Scanlon
Jazz Baby by Liz Wheeler
Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Bear Hugs:  Romatically Ridiculous Animal Rhymes by Karma Wilson
My First Action Rhymes by Lynne Cravath (complete with actions – you and your child don’t have to sit still when you read!)

The Library Lady shares practical ways to play as well on her website in an article about how young children learn.  Scholastic points out that playing with poetry is another good way to pay attention to those patterns.
Check out Anytime Reading Readiness (for parents of 3-6 year olds) and Before They Read (for teachers) for even more ideas!

A Primer for Engaged Interactive Read Aloud

Introduce the book with a prediction (try to figure out by the title and the illustrations on the cover what the book will be about – don’t just guess, put some thought and exploration into it).  HINT: Predictions don’t have to be correct to be a good one.

  • Interruptions by the reader or the listener are always allowed!
  • Changing your voice, pausing, being intense and slowing down all add to the drama of the story (after all, we’re competing with TV and videos)
  • Thinking, wondering and pondering with your child as you read
  • Posing “how” and “why” questions at times.
  • Enjoying the text together.

For more on all of these topics, visit TLA’s website and check out Anytime Reading Readiness (for parents) and Before They Read (for educators)- two brand new titles from Maupin House for partnering between families and educators of children ages 3-6.  They’ve even combined these two titles into a Home/School Literacy Partnership Set of 2 teacher books and 20 parent books for classroom collaborations.

Have fun!

Cathy P. Miller
TLA, Inc.
Home of the Literacy Ambassador®
13001 Monte Vedra Road, SE
Huntsville AL 35803
FAX 256-882-9933
Twitter/Facebook @litambassador,
Linked in at

12 responses so far

Nov 09 2009

It is Never too Early to Get Ready For Kindergarten from Cool Moms Cool Tips

As a new mom, relying on other mom’s advice and tips has been invaluable.Kids are back to school, and with that, more learning for new moms.

Kinder is not what it used to be, and with advanced curriculums, it means that children have to start kinder with several lessons in their pocket like the alphabet, and how to spell their name.

A mom, turned author, Stacey Kannenberg at Ceday Valley Publishing, found a great way to put together the alphabet, numbers and shapes for parents and teachers in order to allow them to empower kids entering kindergarten and the first grade. Ms. Kannenberg offers a wonderful set of books: Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten and Let’s Get Ready for First Grade. These books were made to be used in homes, preschools, head start programs, libraries and schools. Stacey’s books have impacted education and she is becoming a favorite presenter at early learning and educational conferences. Sales of over 60,000 copies, and knowing that the books are in over 400 school districts nationwide is not just a measure of how successful Stacey’s books are, but reassurance if you use them, that you are definitively putting your child in the right path.

So, to prepare for Kinder arm yourself with these durable books that includes guides, tips and motivation building hints throughout the book. Mrs. Good leads the teaching way with the help of the Cedar Valley Kids. This book is really for all types of backgrounds.

Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten covers the 7 items that children need to know for kindergarten testing:

  • Know the uppercase alphabet and name the letters out of sequence or mixed up.
  • Know the numbers to 10 and identify the numbers out of sequence.
  • Identify basic colors.
  • Identify basic shapes.
  • Identify basic American coins.
  • Count objects to 10.
  • Show how far they can count toward 100.

Not limited to the list above, the book also talks about seasons, opposites, has a tap phone to teach kids to dial their home number and more.  The laminated pages of the book allow you to use erasable markers to trace and re-trace numbers and letters, making it easy for little ones.

The Kindergarten book is also available in a English/Spanish version, and truth be told, the Spanish in this book is incredibly good. Formal, with perfect spelling and grammatically correct, the book delivers the right bases to start working on Spanish too. This means that the knowledge of a second language can be given with confidence, and in the proper way with Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten / A Prepararse para el Kindergarten!

In order to make that first year a success, and to give your child the self-confidence and tool to thrive, don’t think twice about these wonderful set of books by a parent for kids, parents, and teachers. As an added value to helping your kids, help others as 10% of profits are donated to literacy programs and back to schools.

This would be the perfect Christmas gift for parents with little ones. Can’t wait to start the Kinder preparations? You can purchase your Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten and First Grade books at  Cedar Valley Publishing. To get a special 20% discount for Cool Moms Cool Tips readers, just enter the code CEDAR (all in caps) at check out.

Cool Mom Cool Tips is Running a CONTEST for Our Books!  Click Here to Learn More!

354 responses so far

Sep 04 2009

Success 101 by Stacey Kannenberg from


How to build a successful business and brand on a shoestring budget is something all mom entrepreneurs wish they could figure out. Stacey Kannenberg was able to accomplish just that.

She left corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom with the idea of starting her own home business. After being inspired by the Oprah Show, Kannenberg said he had her ‘aha moment.’ She has now sold 60,000 copies of her self-published book line, broke into the school market and garnered over 700 mom blog reviews.

As an author, publisher, consultant, blogger, speaker, motivator, keynote, spokesmom and Mom CEO, Kannenberg now runs four companies from home, while balancing her family schedule as well. Her books include: Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!, The Spanish/English Edition iA Prepararse Para Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade! They are used inside homes, preschools, head start programs, libraries and inside over 400 school districts, nationwide.

In addition to being an author and presenter, Kannenberg also blogs. She has created a national platform “Get Ready To Learn Mom” and her blog features “Let’s Get Ready” topics on education, parenting, product and book reviews, publishing and Mom Entrepreneurship.

She also does consulting work on the side to help support her publishing business.

Kannenberg definitely suggests social networking as a key marketing tool. She is active on more than 40 networking sites. She has been on hundreds of radio shows, featured in over 30 magazines, 25 newspapers and over 30 television segments.

Her books can be found here, and her blogs can be found here and here.

Should you, or someone you know, be featured in Success 101? E-mail Dawn at to find out how. Be sure to include Success 101 in the subject line.

202 responses so far

Jun 25 2009

Let’s Get Ready For a 9 year-old Movie Critic!

bentracyPerry Chen, a nine-year-old prodigy movie critic in third grade at the Torrey Hills elementary school in Carmel Valley, San Diego, became an instant hit on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. His feature story became the 2nd most viewed story on on May 31, 2009, the night of the broadcast.

Perry is a columnist/movie critic for family movies for “We Chinese in America” weekly newspaper, where he reviews G and PG rated movies on a scale of 1 to 5 Starfish, 5 being the best. 

Perry’s sophisticated and insightful movie reviews have caught the attention of producers from “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”, who produced a special feature to introduce Perry as one of the youngest  film critics in the country that aired on the show on May 31, 2008. 

Perry also appeared on Fox 5 San Diego on May 25 for an interview and review of Pixar/Disney’s new movie “Up,” the first animated feature that opened the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  The San Diego Asia Film Festival also invited Perry to interview filmmakers and become a guest columnist during the festival, October 15-29, 2009.

Renowned filmmakers took notice and have invited Perry to private interview sessions, including Pixar “Up” director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera whom Perry interviewed on May 4 during their San Diego press tour.  Perry was also invited to meet the acclaimed French director Michel Ocelot in San Francisco on March 4 whose movie “Azur & Asmar” Perry reviewed and gave five starfish rating in his first published review on “We Chinese in America” newspaper on February 20, 2009.

Perry’s movie reviews have also been featured on La Jolla Light, Carmel Valley Leader, Del Mar Times, Solana Beach Sun, and Rancho Santa Fe Record.  His movie reviews has generated significant media following, including features on San Diego News Network, San Diego Magazine, La Jolla Light’s five newspapers, Del Mar Village Voice, Carmel Valley News, The China Press, and We Chinese in America. 

Perry was born in 2000 in California after his parents Drs. Changyou Chen and Zhu Shen came to America to study biochemistry and molecular biology at graduate schools in 1988 from Beijing, China.

In October 2008, at the Parent-Teacher Conference, Perry’s 3rd grade teacher Ms. Joli Harris, told his mom Dr. Zhu Shen that he was already decoding words at high school level. At home, Perry enjoys reading Time Magazine that his mom subscribed. With encouragement from his mom and Ms. Harris, he has have been writing movie reviews ever since, and enjoy it very much! 

Perry’s hobbies are drawing, reading, folding origami, gardening, writing poems (In English and Chinese), and watching movies. Perry hopes that a lot of parents will watch many wonderful movies with their children and talk to them about the movies after reading his reviews, which can be found at his website, together with all of his published reviews, media coverage, and upcoming events:

18 responses so far

Jun 10 2009

Let’s Get Ready To Celebrate Sam!

Sam is the real life inspiration of Let’s Get Ready For First Grade! He is one of the characters in the First Grade book and has a dedication on the back cover.  His family galvanized our community to raise over $450,000 to build Possibility Playground in Port Washington, WI.  Cedar Valley Publishing and the Kannenberg family were proud to be part of Sam’s Dream Team. 

This past weekend was the Run, Walk & Roll that raised an additional $8,000 funds for expansion.  According to Sue Meyer, Sam’s amazing mom, “Sam participated in the 5K walk…more of a roll since he spent most of the time in his wagon.  He also helped pull his friend Patrick Schmit in his wheelchair during a portion of the walk.  But in the last 20 yards, he ran to the finish line just like all the other runners and Bill Schanen (publisher of the Ozaukee Press) captured his victory!!”

Okay, so if you liked Sam’s first picture from the Run, Walk and Roll for Possibility Playground.  You’re going to love this one too!!!

Way to go Sam!!! You continue to inspire us all!

Another way to help Sam is to visit The National Association for Child Development.

186 responses so far

May 18 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Another CVP Giveaway from Root & Sprout by Lis Garrett

Even though summer is quickly approaching and an extended break from school is on the horizon, learning doesn’t have to fall by the wayside. Stacey Kannenberg, author and publisher, has, with the help of parents, educators, and kids, penned a successful series of preparatory books entitled, Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!.

The books are unlike traditional, paper-constructed workbooks. In fact, the Let’s Get Ready series is bound using sturdy, yet flexible pages on which children can mark with dry-erase pens. They are colorful and completely age appropriate in text and illustrations, and each book introduces concepts and ideas suitable to grade level in a fun and friendly way. Your child does not have to be a pre-kindergartener or upcoming first-grader to enjoy the Let’s Get Ready series. Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! is appropriate for children aged 2 to 6, and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade! can be enjoyed by children aged 5 to 8.

To enter this giveaway, please read about Stacey and comment here with one interesting fact about her.

This giveaway contest is open to everyone now through May 24th. One winner will be chosen randomly and notified on May 25th.   To enter, please visit

204 responses so far

Sep 05 2008

Guest Post from Joe Bruzzese, M.A., Leading Parent Coach for the Middle School Years

Published by under CVP Guests

Drifting through Dinner

As I sat the dinner table with my family I found myself drifting. Physically, I was present. Mentally, though I was a thousand miles away. Thoughts of tomorrow’s schedule and what was yet to come kept me from being mentally present. The realization of my distance became apparent when my daughter asked, “Can we have ice cream, brownies and sprinkles for dessert” and after a slight pause I answered, “uh huh.” My wife looks across the table (more present than I apparently was) and asked, “Did you hear what she just asked you?”

Does this sound familiar?

Being present takes practice for most adults. Kids live in the present, absorbing life through each of their five senses in a way that most adults envy. While I am in favor of planning for the future I discourage worrying about the future or the possibility of what might happen if…

Eckhart Tolle’s new book, A New Earth, looks at the power of being present and the negative effects of drifting to the future or dwelling in the past. Teaching kids, to plan for the future while being present in the moment is a challenge worth pursuing.

The next dinner your family spends together may be a wonderful opportunity to model being present. Experiment with the ideas below.

  • Acknowledge. Choose someone at the table who you would like to either thank or share an appreciation with. Simple statements like, “Thank you for helping me with dinner” or, “I appreciated your kind words this morning” keep everyone focused on the person sharing the statement as well as bringing a positive mood to the table.
  • Beware the downward spiral. If you hear someone start to dwell on the past or drift too far into the future as they begin to talk about the negativity in their life, create a spiral motion with your hand. The overt gesture is a quick reminder to the speaker that he or she has started to drift away from the present.
  • Use your senses. Everyone takes a turn in sharing something they observe about the present moment while using one of their five senses. The meal, room or table centerpiece have attributes worth describing. The smell of fresh vegetables (even frozen, which is more often the case at my home) often go unnoticed when the focus of your conversation drifts. Another way to engage in this activity is to see if everyone can share a unique comment about something they smell before moving on a new sense.

Given the small amount of time families share together do we really want to keep the focus on what happened while we are apart? Enjoy the time you spend together by keeping the focus on the present moment.

Joe Bruzzese, M.A.
Leading Parent Coach for the Middle School Years
Author of A Parent’s Guide to the Middle School Years, to be published spring 2009 with Ten Speed Press

featured articles:
phone: 805-889-2142

2 responses so far