R.I.C. Review | Rio Olympics, Reading & Fine Motor Skills

Hello, teacher friends!

I’m very excited to be able to share a review of some books from R.I.C. Publications. Full disclosure – these books were sent to me for review, and if you’ve read any of my previous reviews for R.I.C. you’ll know that I share honest and fair reviews of these products.

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There are three books in this review – The Games: Destination Rio, Reading For Success Book 2, and Fine Motor Skills.

The Games: Destination Rio

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I was contacted by R.I.C. to see if I would be interested in reviewing this particular resource book as it is an Olympic Games year. This year the Games will be held in August (and there’s a great Competition Schedule included in this book with sports dates!) and for us, in Australia, that’s Term 3.

What I love about this resource book is it’s broken down into sections:

– Olympic Games Heritage
– 2016 Olympic Games in Rio
– South America, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro
– Sports and Sportsmanship
– Olympic Games Around the World

That means, no matter which aspect/s of the Games you’re interested in pursuing with your students, there’s pretty much something for everyone.

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As with all R.I.C. resource books there is comprehensive information provided for the teacher – it’s like a one-stop shop for your basic knowledge needs. They also have fantastic lesson ideas including background information, curriculum links (for the Australian Curriculum) and cross-curricular activities. They also have suggested introductory activities and it has links to activities within the book that support these activities.

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They also have their usual student activity pages that can be copied for students. As this book is designed for 5-7 year olds, some of these independent activities would be a little bit difficult for the younger students, but they would be perfect for small group work where students are being supported by a teacher, aid or parent helper. The suggested activities included as part of the lessons are perfect for students of all ages to help them immerse themselves in this big sporting event!

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If you’d like more information about this resource book, click here to visit the R.I.C. website.

Reading for Success (Book 2)

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As a Foundation/Prep teacher, building and developing strong reading skills is paramount for my students. They are all beginning readers – often at very different levels – and it’s important to have a range of resources and activities on hand to support those differentiated learning needs.

The Reading for Success resource book is aimed at 4-7 year olds and covers the following concepts:

– Phonemic Awareness
– Phonics
– Fluency
– Vocabulary
– Comprehension

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Each section of this book contains detailed explanations (for teachers) as well as activities and games that can be reproduced and prepared for the classroom and student use. There is a great range of independent activities and small group games that would be perfect for use with aids or parent helpers to support students.

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If you’re a teacher who’s been teaching in the early years for a while, you probably do or have a lot of similar activities, but if you’re a beginning teacher or someone who doesn’t have access to a wide range of reading support materials then this is a fabulous resource for you.

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I particularly love the detailed explanations for teachers about each section. There are a lot of very practical, hands-on activities suggested and included that are easy to implement.

If you’re interested in more information regarding this resource book, click here to find it on the R.I.C. website.

Fine Motor Skills

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Fine Motor Skills is a topic very close to my heart as a Foundation teacher. It is such a foundational skill that some students do not have a lot of practise with prior to beginning skill. When I saw this in my pack for review I was really excited because every teacher needs a great bank of fine motor activities stored away for those students who just need a bit of extra practise.

As with all the R.I.C. books there is a lot of background information for teachers and educators on fine motor skills, early childhood development and how to get started. There are even some fabulous fine motor skills checklists that can help you assess where your students are when you beginning teaching fine motor skills.

After the background information pages, the book is broken down into the following sections:

– Shoulder and wrist activities
– Wrist and hand activities
– Hand and finger activities
– Scissor activities
– Drawing and writing activities
– Printing practise- Appendix

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Each section provides ideas for hands-on activities and follow up independent recording activities that promote the development of fine motor skills in young students. The book is suggested for 4-6 year old students, and the activities really do match the age group with simple instructions and clear illustrations. There are lots of ideas for squeezing, pouring, play dough and stamping and many, many more.

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I was particularly thrilled to see a section on finger plays. I love to sing songs, read poems and do finger plays with my students because they love music and engaging interactions and encouraging them to participate in finger plays gets them involved. R.I.C. has included a range of traditional and thematic (animals, foods, holidays, etc) plays so there’s something for all occasions. (And yes, they include the actions!)

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I also really like the cutting practise pages for scissor skills, because so many of my students this year have difficultly holding and using scissors correctly – and it’s frustrating for them. The included activities are simple, clear and have a range of shapes that help students learn to hold and cut their pages correctly.

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I really liked the printing practise section, but the drawback for me here is that it is in print font rather than Vic Modern Cursive (which is what my school uses), so unfortunately I probably won’t be using that. However, there are plenty of great activities in here that I will copy and laminate to be used over and over as my students develop their fine motor skills this year.

If you would like more information on this resource, check out this link to the R.I.C. website!

I would like to thank R.I.C. for sending me these books for review. I am always impressed by the quality and the activities included in these resources. I can’t wait to implement some of them in my classroom this year and I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on what I do!

 

Have a wonderful week!

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