Tomorrow, a brand new VeggieTales DVD hits the Christian market called “VeggieTales Live! Sing Yourself Silly” with 18 favorite songs. June 7th is the general release date.
Starring the favorite characters Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato and Junior Asparagus, the characters take the stage in a live show that captivates the preschool crowd.
I received a preview copy of this DVD and my 3-year-old loves it! He dances along with the songs and does the motions. Some of the classic VeggieTales tunes include “His Cheeseburger,” “Love My Lips!” and “The Hairbrush Song” as well as some 80’s hits parents will recognize and enjoy.
The DVD also includes some bonus features including “Larry’s Backstage Pass” which shows behind the scenes of the shooting of the show, a VeggieTales trivia game and a discussion guide.
In approximate 70 minutes of fun, the VeggieTales teach kids about sharing as the story unfolds with the countdown of the all-time favorite songs. Of course, not everyone agrees with the choices.
Archibald Asparagus wants to include songs with lessons. Mr. Lunt suggests singing about food and Jimmy and Jerry love the 80’s songs. See how the VeggieTales make it all work so that everyone can be happy and they still get to sing the favorites.
Some other favorites include “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything,” “I Can Be Your Friend” and “”Dance of the Cucumber.” Parents will find themselves singing along to “Gourds Just Want to Have Fun,” and “Footloose.”
VeggieTales is part of Big Idea Entertainment which is a leading faith-based producer of family programming. For 18 years, VeggieTales have being teaching Bible lessons in a fun, silly way that kids respond to. Please visit www.veggietales.com for more information.
May 1st is the beginning of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
In a new DVD from Scholastic Storybook Treasures called “Tikki Tikki Tembo…And More Stories to Celebrate Asian Heritage,” children can enjoy 6 classic Asian stories to celebrate Asian legends and heritage.
The title story is Tikki Tikki Tembo, a favorite originally published in 1968 that has sold millions of copies. Parents will recall watching film strips in grade school when they watch this story. Remember the “ding” to move the film strip forward?
Tikki Tikki Tembo was written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent. It tells the legend why the Chinese no longer give their first born son a long name to honor them.
The other stories include:
Several stories are narrated by the familiar voices of B. D. Wong from “Law and Order: SVU” and “Oz” and Ming-Na Wen from “E.R.” and “Two and a Half Men.” It also features a read-along capability so children can practice reading the stories while listening.
For more information, please visit www.newkideo.com.]]>
Good Night Moon, Corduroy, Five Little Monkeys – these are favorite stories we know by heart and our children probably do too.
A new series of videos with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation bring these stories to deaf kids who might otherwise never get to know them and also helps expand learning for hearing kids by exposing them to a new language.
Missy Keast and her husband Dave Victorson are bringing the wonders of children’s books to an expanded audience through Scholastic video.
Through their company Signs for Intelligence, they have interpreted 9 stories into video with ASL accompaniment with plans for many more. ASL is the fourth most commonly used language in the United States.
They use the illustrations from the books, with permission – Good Night Moon, Corduroy, Five Little Monkeys and more – and then sign the stories along with the reading and beautiful music. The videos are available through www.newkideo.com as well as their site ASL Inside.
Keast, who is deaf, has loved telling stories her whole life and wanted to bring children’s favorites to video because she said many times hearing parents don’t interpret stories for their deaf kids. This can cause deaf children to fall behind in learning language skills when they don’t have full access to books.
She also points out the impact having an ASL interpreter makes in the video because not only do you get the signing but also the facial expressions, which are so important to the story-telling, and the syntax of ASL, which is different than English.
The videos help improve fine motor skills by learning the signs, can help increase vocabulary by reinforcing words with signs and some believe learning a second language early can increase a child’s IQ.
The videos Keast and Victorson have made so far are focused on children ages 3 to 8 years old. Keast points out the videos are not the typical “baby sign” of basic signs for communicating with the very young. They use ASL signs that make sense for the story.
Her example: A simple sign for “walking” is two hands taking “steps” in the air. When you are talking about a cow walking, you need to use the sign for a four-legged animal walking which involved using 4 fingers to mimic walking. These stories use the correct signs in context instead of using a series of basic signs.
Victorson, who is hearing, does note that the videos are a great way to expand on the basic signing you may have started with your hearing child when they were an infant because they already know some basics of ASL. It could be a first step into truly learning ASL as a second language.
Keast recommends expanding on the baby sign language by bringing in additional signs to help form sentences with your young child. So, instead of simply signing “milk,” she suggests signing “want” and “milk” and then encourage your child to respond with “yes” so it’s a dialog.
Beyond the Scholastic videos, Signs for Intelligence also offers a 7-hour DVD called Your Pregnancy: What to Expect for expectant mothers which includes thorough information for every aspect of being pregnant and having a baby. They also offer basic signing language DVDs for young children, as well as finger spelling DVDs for ASL students. In total they have 24 products they currently offer.
Keast has plans for as many as 50 children’s stories and continues to research the most popular stories to interpret for their next set of videos, so stay tuned! Please read more about Missy and Dave on their website – their personal stories are amazing!]]>
Through catchy songs and easy-to-remember sayings, kids strengthen their reading skills with Rock ‘N Learn Phonics. The songs are toe-tapping and the computer-generated avatars help explain various vocabulary skills such as blending sounds and the long and short vowels. At the end of this post, you can register to win Volume 1 & 2 DVDs.
A lot of ground is covered in the two volumes – 70 minutes for Volume 1 and 78 minutes for Volume 2 – so definitely plan on starting and stopping or watching several times. A tight camera shot of a mouth (known as the “on-screen mouth”) shows viewers the exact pronunciation of every sound or blend, and the videos also present many example sentences, read after a delay to encourage independent practice, using the principles being taught at the time.
The video cover suggests the programs are for ages 6 and up (so roughly first grade onward) and they assume your child is a fairly strong reader in order to read the sentences. You will want to watch with your kids if they are still getting comfortable reading aloud so you can pause for them to read.
If you know someone who is learning English, this would be a great video because of the “on-screen mouth” showing proper pronunciation and the principles they teach.
Rock ‘N Learn is education with a beat—and the ‘rock’ behind the ‘learn’ is meant for much more than foot-tapping. Rock and rap music are both very rhythmic; the steady beat helps encourage memorization. The music and video of Rock ‘N Learn work together to involve all the senses: auditory, visual and even kinesthetic (feeling the beat and moving to rhythm). It is meant to be for self-instruction for kids so busy parents and teachers know their teaching is being reinforced.
Some of the highlights of Volume 1 include:
Highlights of Volume 2 are:
You can also visit www.free-phonics-worksheets.com for fantastic printable resources that go along with the Phonics program, according to the DVD case.
Besides phonics, Rock ‘N Learn (www.rocknlearn.com) offers many other DVD options, including math, foreign language, test-taking skills, science and social studies and much more. A few examples of the Math programs include: word problems, telling time, money & making change and beginning fractions and decimals. The foreign languages they offer include Spanish and French. The Science and Social Studies category offers Human Body, Spiders & Insects, Presidents & U.S. Government and States & Capitals Rap, to name a few.
Over 20 years ago, two brothers Richard and Brad Caudle started Rock ‘N Learn and still run the business with their wives. The company has over 50 products, with the Phonics program being their newest addition.
Brad Caudle writes all the custom original songs and the script is written to make the material fun and compelling. Rock ‘N Learn’s team tries to avoid any educational ‘fads’ or ‘current trends’ and instead focuses on mainstream material that offers broad application to supplement any home or school curriculum.
Rock ‘N Learn then tests its programs in-classroom, and secures critiques from teachers that result in fine-tuning the material. Finally, Brad’s compositions are professionally recorded, animation is produced and actors and singers perform the final script. In all, each DVD program takes about six months to produce.
Major organizations support Rock ‘N Learn such as iParenting, Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice, Parents’ Choice, Dr. Toy, The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval, National Parenting Publication Awards, The Early Childhood News Directors’ Choice Awards, Coalition for Quality Children’s Media Kids First, Moms Best Award and Family Review Center Award, among many others.
Until September 30th, if you enter below , you are eligible to win Phonics Volume 1 and 2 if you are chosen the sole winner. Please sign up now to enter to win!]]>
Her brother escaped the chaos of the event of September 11, 2001 but the thought stayed with Louise Sattler that among the people who needed help that day, many were unable to communicate because they spoke a different language – the 4th most spoken language in our country – sign language.
“I also knew that many deaf individuals resided in NYC and wondered how terrified were they on that fateful and tragic day when communication was minimum at best and fear was at an all time high.” New York native Sattler writes in a recent blog post about her new DVD.
In a completely un-served market, Sattler found a niche for her passion for sign language by creating Sign Language for Emergency Situations, the first DVD devoted solely to educate first responders, health care professionals, and school personnel to help facilitate communication with individuals who use Sign Language or Spanish during an emergency or medical situation, according to the product description on her website SigningFamilies.com.
The DVD includes some of the most commonly used signs during emergency or medical situations such as “Pain?” “Help?” and “Interpreter?” as well as commands such as “Evacuate” and “Go Indoors” and conditions such as “Hurricane” and “Fire.” The DVD is first presented in English and then the same signs are shown with a Spanish interpreter. Sattler intends for viewers to stop the DVD and practice so many signs are presented during the program.
Also included with the DVD is a bonus sign expressions mini-chart. So far, Sattler can’t keep these mini-charts in stock. They are very popular not just with fire and police departments but also educators, medical offices and parents. The chart is tri-lingual, including English, Spanish and Sign Language.
The DVD and mini-chart have scored two important endorsements- Alison Rhodes also known as the Safety Mom and Mackenzie Kelly of NORCAL Ambulance, as well.
This is not Louise’s first product to be recognized by others. Her DVD Baby, Toddler, and Preschool Sign Language was recently awarded Wendy Young’s Kidlutions Preferred Product award. This DVD is meant for parents to teach them the signs that they then teach their children.
Sattler tells Family First the DVD is not an entertainment video for your toddler; it’s instructional. She also notes they tried very hard to make the signs practical. Her example is “clock”, a sign included in many baby sign DVDs, means nothing to a very young child but “Time For” makes sense – “Time for Nap” or “Time for Bath” for example. The signs are developmentally appropriate for young ages.
Sattler has made sure the order of the signs goes along with a child’s development. So, for example, the courtesy and safety signs come first followed by the behavioral signs such as sharing and taking turns, which are difficult concepts for babies and toddlers but appropriate for preschoolers. Sattler suggests teaching your child 5 signs at a time so they are not overwhelmed and begin signing to your child when he is 3-4 months old.
In the DVD, Sattler shows variations of the sign that your child may use. She also shows the progression of signs to use according to your child’s age. For babies, you sign just one sign “bath.” For toddlers, you may sign “time for bath”- two signs. For a preschooler or older child, you might sign “time to go to bath” – three signs. I watched her video with my 2 year old, with whom I’ve signed since he was 7 months, and he signed right along with her, even new signs he hadn’t seen. It was fantastic!
Besides the videos, Sattler also offers seminars all over the country, which she customizes for the specific group. Educators would get a different series than parents. Parents with children with special needs would get a different seminar than parents of children who are developing typically.
She keeps the seminars short – 2 to 3 hours – because many parents are challenged to find a sitter for a long period of time and that’s expensive. She also mentioned two outreach organizations that offer in-home mentors – ProjectNadine.org, which offers links to regional resources and Deaf Family Literacy which is in Florida.
If you are in the first responder industry or know people in it, you should check out Sattler’s cutting-edge DVD. If you have young children, you will find her instructional DVDs and other products very helpful in communicating with your little one. Also, check out her seminar schedule on the website to see if she has one coming to a town near you. Sattler has generously offered readers of Family First a 10% discount if they mention this article when placing their order.
You can also find Signing Families on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter at @louiseasl. You can also listen toon Toginet.
About Louise Sattler
(from Signing Families website) Louise is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist with specializations in linguistics and multi-cultural education. She has been teaching American Sign Language for more than 20 years to families with hearing and non-hearing children, college students, staff at public and private school systems and businesses. Louise resides in Maryland with her husband, Marc and their two children (who started signing as infants!).]]>