Everybody is a Genius: Multiple Pathways to Literary Success

April 14, 2017 |

Everybody is a Genius #2

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein is often credited as authoring this clever analogy. While there may be some dispute as to who the original source of the quote is, the quote itself is virtually indisputable (Baskerville, 2013). There is much evidence to support that individuals do not all learn in the same way. In 1938, Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University developed the theory of multiple intelligences. His theory states that everyone is intelligent, but in different ways, and that education systems should take this into account. Dr. Gardner compiled the following list of intelligence types: linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. According to Gardner, our schools and culture place so much focus on the first two strengths, that the rest of the intelligences often go unnoticed (Armstrong). Each type of intelligence holds much potential, if only given the chance to thrive.

This is why multisensory experiences in education – especially early childhood education – are so effective and so critical. Multisensory instruction uses as many senses as possible in the teaching process. Doing so is not only an attempt to reach people with varying strengths, but is also found to enhance the retainment of new information (Morin). A Chinese proverb reads: “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand” (What Is). This statement could not be more true than it is when applied to children’s development through education.

The FUNetic Farm provides a comprehensive program that helps young students develop early literacy skills – using a variety of senses and learning strengths. It provides animal graphics associated with each letter of the alphabet (visual-spatial), includes songs about each animal and the sound of their corresponding letter (linguistic/musical), uses ASL fingerspelling and other actions for each letter (bodily-kinesthetic), incorporates several games and activities as skill-building opportunities (logical-mathematical/interpersonal), and much more! Teachers who have used this program with their students had the following to say about the multisensory aspect of the FUNetic Farm:

“Great for my kinder kids! I like that it includes signing the letters (I use them with my kiddos…one more way to get them thinking about the letters, especially my kinesthetic learners).”

Terri Izatt (TpT Seller), October 22, 2013

“Wow, this is great! Songs, video, wall chart cards. This is a great system. Thanks so much for sharing your products. They make it so easy to teach phonics.”

Anonymous, September 14, 2013

The FUNetic Farm’s techniques have an extensive reach that not only caters to each intelligence type, but also increases students’ ability to recall and build upon the skills they gain, so that everybody really can be a genius!





Armstrong, T. (n.d.). Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from

Baskerville, P. (2013, December 8). What did Albert Einstein mean when he said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” . Retrieved April 12, 2017, from Quora:

Morin, A. (n.d.). Multisensory Instruction: What You Need to Know. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from

What Is Multisensory Learning? (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from

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What is More Important than Reading with Your Child?

March 22, 2017 |

How do parents guide their children along the path toward fluent reading? Over and over again, studies have shown that continual parent involvement immensely affects the successfulness of a child’s efforts toward learning to read. The question is, then, how does a caring parent get involved? The most common answer is to read with your child – as often and as early as possible. This action alone does much to foster a love for reading in a child. It demonstrates an example of frequent reading, shows there is a connection between markings on a page and their meaning, and provides quality time between parent and child.

According to many, this exercise is the most important factor for a child to become competent in reading. The National Institute for Literacy, however, found that when parents help their children learn specific literacy skills, it is six times more effective than when they only read with their children. “Reading together is still strongly encouraged, but the meta-analysis concluded that providing actual instruction in specific literacy-related skills is ultimately the best method for parents to help their child learn to read” (Ciccarelli, 2015).

Knowledge of phonics enables young children to sound out unfamiliar words and eventually become fluent readers. These early literacy skills are crucial to a child’s future educational success. In fact, there is a link between a child’s pre-Kindergarten efforts toward literacy and their reading proficiency in first-grade (Ciccarelli, 2015). But parents don’t have to be left to their own devices to teach these skills. They can seek help from experienced early childhood professionals. The FUNetic Farm provides parents and children with a multisensory, interactive curriculum designed for young students to build a foundation for ultimate reading and writing proficiency.


Ciccarelli, D., et al. (2015, October 09). 3 Ways Parents Can Help Their Child Learn to Read – and Read to Learn. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from

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ABC Wall Chart

December 14, 2016 |

FUNetic Farm Phonics

by Teresa Starr @


Thank you for your interest in FUNetic Farm Phonics!

This ABC wall chart from FUNetic Farm can be used as a stand alone resource, to help your student(s) become familiar with the letter sounds and names.

For even more early literacy success, you can use this chart as a complement to my FUNetic Farm Phonics program. The FUNetic Farm characters help children remember the sounds of the letters (especially when combined with my FUNetic Farm animal songs (one for each letter of the alphabet), instructional song videos, puppets, manipulatives, worksheets, games, ASL fingerspelling, and other engaging FUNetic Farm products, (which are sold separately at
My store on TeachersPayTeachers).

For more teaching materials, classroom lesson ideas and FREEBIES, you can visit my classroom blog at

“Like” Little Starr Learners on Facebook and stay up-to-date
with new products, product updates, and freebies! Click here!

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FREEBIE – ABC Wall Chart from FUNetic Farm

December 14, 2016 |









Hi Friends! My FUNetic Farm products are very popular at my store on Teachers Pay Teachers! They are a super fun way to help your emergent readers learn the sounds of letters and eventually learn how to read.

Because it is such a fun way to teach your students their sounds, I decided to share my FUNetic Farm wall chart as a FREEBIE on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click here to download!

This ABC wall chart from FUNetic Farm can be used alone to help your children become familiar with the alphabet and letter names and sounds. You can also use this chart as a complement to the FUNetic Farm phonics program. The FUNetic Farm characters help children remember the sounds of the letters (especially when combined with the FUNetic Farm animal songs, song videos, ASL fingerspelling, puppets, manipulatives, worksheets, games and other engaging FUNetic Farm products, which are sold separately). You can print up 2 letters per 8 1/2″ x 11″ page (for a total of 13 pages).

For a list of other FUNetic Farm products, please CLICK HERE!

For more details about FUNetic Farm Phonics, please watch the video below.


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Check out My Cyber Monday SALE! 28% off Everything!

November 28, 2016 |

Hi Everyone, for an awesome Cyper Monday SALE and to get 28% of on learning games, FUNetic Farm Phonics and other awesome resources to help your student(s) enjoy learning to read, click here!
740 × 400

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Halloween FREEBIE! Don’t Eat the CREEP!!!

October 1, 2016 |

Who doesn’t love Halloween?  There are so many fun games and activities to do this time of year!

Here’s a link to my Halloween FREEBIE –  “Don’t Eat the Creep!”  Children love this game because it’s based on an old favorite, “Don’t Eat Pete” (only with a Halloween twist).   Complete playing instructions and a playing card are all included with the game.  ENJOY!  And please remember, “DON’T EAT THE CREEP!”  The pictures on the sample below are not as bright as on the real thing (something happened when I converted it to a jpeg).

Don't Eat Creep

 Last year I posted my Halloween Bingo with Sound Effects.

Halloween Bingo with Sound Effects

You can see last year’s Halloween Bingo Blog Post by clicking HERE!

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Get 28% Discount on Teaching Resources @ Teachers Pay Teachers

August 21, 2016 |


That says it all! You can save a bundle at Teachers Pay Teachers – one day only!!! Check out the sale HERE!

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New “OUR CLASS RULES” Posters.

August 20, 2016 |

You can purchase OUR CLASS RULES Posters on Teachers Pay Teachers. CLICK HERE!

I’ve created “Our Class Rules” using pictures of real kids. Students always learn better with visuals and these posters make it possible for them to see exactly what each rules looks like.

There are 16 Class Rules Posters with Photographs of real kids. (Each rule poster is 8.5 x 11. Also includes half-size versions of each rule).

This resource also includes information about the researched benefits of establishing class rules, plus ideas for teaching class rules to your students in a meaningful way.

*This product is also available with different backgrounds (white, teal, yellow, wooden desktop, and notebook paper). These other colors haven’t yet been posted on Teachers Pay Teachers but if you’re interested, just send me a facebook message and I’ll post them ASAP. Here’s my FB page link: school year is upon us and it’s always such an exciting time! Establishing clear classroom rules and expectations is essential for the success, confidence and wellbeing of each student as well as your classroom community at large.

To learn more about OUR CLASS RULES, just click HERE!

New Product - class rules



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Gratitude Turkey Headbands

November 11, 2015 |

Turkey Headbands

My students love making these Gratitude Turkey Headbands! They wear them for our “Thanksgiving Feast.” On the backs of each feather is a word telling something they’re thankful for.

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Joie De Vivre!

November 11, 2015 |

joie de vivreWhat do I LOVE about teaching little learners?  I love their innate “Joie de vivre!”  This is a French expression (pronounced “zhwah duh veve”) which describes a quality of “joy in living” that seems to come effortlessly to children. Joie de vivre is about experiencing enthusiasm for the simple things in life.  Many adults possess this quality, however, if we’re not careful, we can sometimes allow ourselves to become over burdened by the daily pressures of life. Because children are usually unencumbered with life’s daily grind, they know how to mindfully enjoy the moment.  Children are carefree, and spontaneous, and somehow know instinctively how to savor the simplest pleasures of life.  As adults, we may not have the luxury of recapturing those carefree childhood days, however I believe it’s important to make an effort to recapture a little joie de vivre–even if it’s only for a few moments each day.  Children can teach us how.

This past week, during recess, my vibrant preschool students taught me that life is full of excitement – and that there’s pleasure to be found all around.  One day, they found great amusement in the large gooey worms that had gathered in great numbers on the sport court.  The freshly fallen rain had invited the worms and the children were thrilled by these new playground pals!  One extra fat worm specifically caught their attention.  Bubbling over with pure joie de vivre, the children were jumping and twirling and laughing out loud.  “Let’s make a tunnel for the worm!” Soon nearly a dozen pre-kinder kids were lined up, feet spread apart, squealing with joy as their slimy new friend slithered its way through.  One little girl even created a “leaf blanket” for the worm, “to help him stay warm!”

That day at recess, I too experienced sheer “joie de vivre!”  I’ll be honest, my joy didn’t come from the slimy creature crawling on the concrete (that’s just not my thing–even though I sometimes pretend it is, in order not to squelch the joy of my students).  That day the deep down joy in my soul was about my kids, their enthusiasm for life, their cheery pink-cheeked grins, their giddiness, their glee-filled giggles and their total thrill at the wonders of nature.  For that moment all daily cares dissolved as I found myself enthralled and enamored by cute little clapping hands, tiny dancing feet and ever present, easily ignitable joie de vivre!

What do your students teach you about “joie de vivre?”  Please share your stories and experiences of how children have taught you to find joy in the simple pleasures of life!



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