ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Itty Bitty Bookworm Review & Giveaway

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Itty Bitty Bookworm Review & Giveaway

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I've had a link on my personal blog to the Itty Bitty Bookworm since I first started blogging, because they have great free resources with printable booklets, thematic writing paper, classroom management forms, coloring pages. They are also working on adding monthly links to other online resources that enhance their curriculum.

So I already thought it was a great resource, and THEN we were contacted by Tara, the founder of Itty Bitty Bookworm and asked if we wanted to do a review of their literature based curriculum for preschoolers AND host a giveaway! We jumped at the chance!

The Itty Bitty Bookworm is a literature based program, with each week in Bo's or every two weeks in the Bailey curriculum centered on a particular book. There are two levels to the curriculum Bailey's is for 18-36 months and Bo's is for 3-5 year olds. We had the pleasure of reviewing the Year 1 April units for both levels and split them up according to the ages of our own children.

Bailey's Curriculum Review

This is Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot, my daughter is two and a half, so we've been having fun using the Bailey Curriculum for 18-36 month olds. I am so thankful to Tara for letting us have the opportunity to share it with you!

You get a very detailed and complete unit, that comes with a lot of theory behind child development. You won't just get ideas, you'll learn the why and how to teach your child. The long term goals of the program laid out in developmental stages will be of particular interest.

There are scheduling suggestions, including how to incorporate a picture schedule and suggestions for songs to start your day with. Learning centers are discussed at length with many examples and suggestions given. Motor skills, both fine and gross are also covered.

As a former teacher, I especially appreciated the forms already created to help record student progress, especially the writing portfolio milestones sheet, and the parent handouts detailing the program and for each two week period. How nice to be able to just copy and send home, a real time saver!

Speaking of time savers, if I had one suggestion, it would be that the animal cards for the sounds and felt board activities be provided in both color, so that you don't have to color them in before using them with your students, and black and white, so you still have a version for the kids to color in and use for your own extension activities.

The program is centered around storybooks, with shared reading a big component. I was happy to see that there is an in depth daily break down to the implementation schedule. It is very clearly written and easy to follow. It is the foundation for using the program. Every day there is a detailed shared reading, group activity, and creative arts activity.

For this month the focus books were:
~What Will You Wear, Jesse Bear?
~Clap Your Hands

Some of the shared reading activities were:
~Discussing the parts of the book
~Asking her what she remembers
~Chorally rereading the book
~Discuss favorite parts of the book
~Sing and practice a poem of the week
~Act out parts of the book
~Reread for fun

Each day there are also book related activities that also incorporate learning the color and shape of the month.

Some Activity Highlights Were:

~Making a character puppet, she enjoyed this so much we had to make more than one.

~Acting out the book and taking pictures, here she is clapping her hands and stomping her feet.

~Playing with her paper plate tambourine and water bottle maracas

~Getting to be the leader, when playing follow the leader
~Talking about feelings and making silly faces
~Singing an animals sounds song and doing a coordinating felt board activity
~Making animal sounds and finding the corresponding picture card, she made some of the cards and was proud of herself. Those are her favorites and when we play, she always chooses to make those animal sounds first.

~Yellow Handprint Flowers, I didn't make ours as directed but it's similar to the described activity and one of the things I liked about the program is how you can change things and make it work for you.

I found the activities easily adaptable to use items you have on hand. For instance, we did not make craft stick picture frames. We decorated inexpenisve frames I already had. I really liked using the program, it takes all the guess work out of planning and the books it uses are readily available, in fact we own fifteen of them already. I also would like to add that I agree with the other Katie, and many of the points she uses to describe the Bailey curriculum below, would also apply to the Bo curriculum.

I'd love to have the whole program, and I know you would to! Keep reading to find out how you can WIN it!

Bo Curriculum Review

I, the list making Katie, had the privilege of reviewing Itty Bitty Bookworm’s Bo Curriculum for children ages 3-5 (Year 1).

What a fantastic, comprehensive program for use in ANY school setting.

In typically list maker fashion, I’d love to share some of the many highlights of Itty Bitty Bookworm in general & specifically the Bo Curriculum.

Itty Bitty Bookworm
~ Lessons & activities foster the natural curiosity evident in all preschoolers.
~ Easy to implement
~ Very organized & detailed lay out
~ Creative thematic units
~ Helpful printables provided for easy management: daily reports, daily schedules, graphics, song posters, parent communication, and observation/record keeping forms.

Bo Curriculum
~The layout & format is incredibly “friendly” for busy moms and teachers.
~The curriculum includes a detailed daily schedule, weekly format, and monthly theme suggestion.
~Center activities are provided with set up explanations.
~The curriculum includes many opportunities for authentic assessment to monitor children’s progress as they move through the themes.
~Each theme includes a detailed supply list
~Each month’s skill objectives are clearly stated

Interesting Fact for Educators & Parents
Throughout the monthly themes the letters of the ABC are taught in order of printing complexity.

My kids & I specifically explored the unit “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!”

We read the following buggy books:
~Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
~The Very Hungry Caterpillar
~The Grouchy Ladybug
~Miss Spider’s Tea Party

Some of the projects we enjoyed included:
~Ants on a Stump cooking project
~The Counting Bug Book math project
~Shared Reading & Response
~Fingerprint Bugs art project
~Play dough Bugs
~Bug “Guess Who”

Excited about giving the Itty Bitty Bookworm a try? Here are some options.
~Check out their site now for great ideas, lesson previews, and free printables.
~Purchase pieces of either the Bailey or Bo Curriculum that will be useful for your child’s specific needs.
~WIN an entire year of Itty Bitty Bookworm curriculum (a $300 value)!!!
To Be Entered in the Giveaway Drawing:

~Visit the Itty Bitty Bookworm. Take a look at the Bailey and Bo curriculum. When you come back comment on which curriculum you would prefer to win & which theme you are most excited to try! (This must be done to be entered)

Additional Entries may be Earned by Doing Any (or all) of the Following:
Leave a separate comment letting us know about each thing you have done.

~Twitter about this giveaway and leave a link to your tweet
~Follow ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative
~Purchase & download any piece of the curriculum and let us know
~Add our button to your sidebar
~Add our link to your link list
~Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back

Good Luck! We will be choosing a winner one week from today, on May 7th!

Head back over to the Give it Away Now! Blog Giveaway Carnival at Mom Most Traveled for more great giveaways!


  1. that looks so great - i will have a deeper browse but i liked what i saw for March including The wind blew and it's associated activities. this is a prize i could really use as i have a 4yr old and a 5yr old!

  2. That does look like a really great program. I would want the Bo year 1. It all looked great but I would love to see all the Napping house activities.. that is one of our favorite books!

  3. You are already on my blog roll/list..

  4. How cool - I had no idea about this! We would love the Bo's 3-5. Perfect for Abby & Emma. Too cute!

  5. do i get extra points for getting on my knees? i would LOVE to try out bailey's curriculum. i am a former school teacher who is looking for a structured program to teach my little 18 month old daughter. i like the assessments, the art projects, the literature-based projects.... it just looks super amazing and i would love to try it out!!!!! :)

  6. i added your site to my link list! :)

  7. i added your button to my sidebar!!! :)

  8. i am now following your site!!

  9. This would be wonderful! I've been wanting something for my youngest when I start homeschooling my oldest in the fall. Now she can have a program and her older sisters can help her! I would want the Bo year 1.

  10. I added your button to my site!

  11. I'd be interested in the Bo curriculum. I know my son would be exceited about the Bugs Bugs theme.

  12. This is so neat, I have never heard of it before. I would really enjoy the Bo curriculum, year 1, especially the theme Seeds, seeds, seeds. All three kids have planted various seeds this spring and they love seeing the daily progress their buds are making. I am not putting Lilly in to preschool next year and this will be great for me to help her along and be ready for preschool the following year. Thanks for a fun giveaway!

  13. I have your button on my blog!

  14. This would be a great curriculum to use with my two 4 year old girls! It is layed out with plenty of fun activities to use to keep those little hands busy while learning! My favorite would have to the the entire June plans of Year One of Bo.

  15. I follow ABC/123! You guys are G R E A T !!!!!!

  16. I would LOVE the Bo curriculum since it is for 3-5 year olds.

  17. Oops, sorry I sent it before I finished! :)

    I love the April "Bug" theme from the Bo series.

    My girls have been scared of bugs lately, and I think learning more about them might help! :)

  18. I like the Bailey program since that is what I would use next year...and the year after my baby, too.

    I couldn't figure out how to find the list of subjects covered, but I did look at the sample cd...good stuff! Even just distinguishing between baby and big kids is a great idea! Bye-bye pacifier!

  19. I have your link on my sidebar. :)

  20. This looks like a great resource for both of my girls. I would probably prefer the Bo curriculum because I have a 3 year old. I am really excited about the ocean unit in June.

  21. Twitter link is

  22. I would love the Bo curriculum - thanks!

  23. I also have your link on my sidebar.

  24. Thank you for this giveaway! I would love to win year 1 of the Bo curriculum. It looks fantastic and like lots of fun!

  25. I am following your blog now! Thank you.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. I would love the Bo's Curriculum! It looks likes so much for moms and kids, too! I loved the dental unit! I was a dental assistant once upon a time and thought the unit was great!

  28. blogged about ya...

  29. I would love to win the Bo curriculum. I love the May books about seeds and berries. So cute.

    maxandellie {at} gmail {dot} com

  30. I would love to win the Bo curriculum for my 3 year old daughter. She would adore the themes, and we'd have such fun sharing them together!

  31. I would love to get the Bo curriculum. I have been using another company and have been looking to change up companys for next year, and this just may be it.

  32. I got your button on my left sidebar.

  33. I tweeted:

  34. I am in love with the Itty Bitty Bookworm samples I have seen! I would LOVE to have my own copy of the curriculum!! I am a new preschool teacher and would love to use the Bo curriculum in my classroom. The December themes look great!

  35. I posted about the giveaway:

  36. What a great program! If I won I would love the Bo program. I like the September Theme of Friends and Friendship. I also like the free resources and printables available.

  37. I am a loyal follower of ABC and 123!

  38. Your button is on my side bar!

    Boy, I hope I am lucky! Thanks for an amazing giveaway!

  39. I am a homeschool mom that is always looking for great ideas for school. This looks awesome. I plan on starting preschool with my 4 year old this fall, the Bo curriculum would be perfect. April looks fun with all the bug books!

  40. I added your button to my side bar.

  41. I posted about your giveaway-

  42. I loved the Bo curriculum and I think my 4 yo old would to. The books for April are great. We love bugs and enjoy reading stories about them!!

  43. I am following your blog through bloglines.

  44. This looks like a great program. The Bo curriculum would be best for my girls. I like the September theme of friendship.

  45. I think these curriculums are some of the best out there. I think the activities are not only fun but extremely appropriate for the ages. Great review too!

  46. I'm posting for my friend because she really wants this. She likes: "the Itty Bitty Bookworm samples I have seen! I would LOVE to have my own copy of the curriculum!! I am a new preschool teacher and would love to use the Bo curriculum in my classroom. The December themes look great!"

  47. I would love the Bo curriculum, year 1 July, with Dinosaur Train. Mhy son is a big Dinosaur fan.

  48. You are already linked on my sidebar.

  49. I would love the Bailey curriculum, year 1, August with the alphabet theme. My son is totally into the alphabet right now!

  50. Although I subscribe already through google reader, I also just joined your follower list!

  51. Itty Bitty Bookworms looks great! I would like to try the Bo curriculum. My daughter loves Caps for Sale so that is the week I am most excited to try.

  52. I love Tara's stuff!!! I'd pick Bo.


  53. I would like the Bo curriculum. I love that it is literature based. We are huge booklovers over here and I love ideas to take the books to the next level. I like the January theme because it contains some of my all time favorite books.

  54. Wow! I am so super impressed. This is awsome. I went to the itty bitty bookworm site and looked at the Bailey and Bo cirriculum. Awsome! Coordinating the love of reading with a book theme and lots of varied therapeutic learning fun. I just might piddle in my pants if I win! Under November, the Goodnight Moon theme... I would pick this one of most interest b/c I have most interesting bedtime routine with this book that I do every night with my 3 year old girl.

    This is how to reach me! :)

  55. I would love the Bo curriculum. I looked at May's since we are in the month of May and loved what I saw. They all look fabulous.

  56. I am a follower-I have you on google reader.

  57. I just found you and am excited to learn more for my preschool grandson.

  58. I love this site and all of the great ideas. The Bo Curriculum of the Itty Bitty Bookworm sounds perfect for my twins. I'm very interested in finding something to help me teach them when my 5 year old goes to Kindergarten this fall. I'm especially looking forward to the theme on seeds and berries.

    Thanks for being such a wonderful resource!

  59. I found your site while looking for ideas for my 3 year old. The Bailey curriculum offers curriculum that would be appropriate for her developmental stage and more importantly it looks like SO MUCH FUN for both of us. I can't wait to get started! The Baby Danced the Polka sounded really cute because my daughter LOVES babies. Thanks!

  60. You knew this would be a big one! Tara's curriculums are the best. I have enjoyed reviewing the two months she sent me. I would love having Bo's curriculum for our school. Tara has spent so much time putting together a most wonderful program and thought of everything! THANKS TARA and the Katie's for hosting this great give away.

  61. Thank you for posting the review andfor hosting a giveaway. I am interested in the BO curriculum for ages 3 to 5.

  62. This would be great...for my son. I loved the Bible curriculum, but think that I would find all of them really neat!

  63. I would love the Bailey curriculum for 18-36 months. I love the alphabet curriculum under August. We are just starting with out 17 month old. Thanks for such a wonderful opportunity!

  64. I did a post on my blog. The link is

  65. Already seen some of it and would love more for my almost three year old.

  66. I'd love to try the Bailey curriculum- and the best theme is the February 2008 which includes "is your mama a llama". I've heard great things about that book!

  67. I would like the Bailey Curriculum for 18-36 month olds, and I like the Year 1 August unit about Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
    That is a favorite at our house!

    onlycancan ta hotmail tod com

  68. I'd love to try the Bailey curriculum and the May Year 1 has a rhino book, which is a nickname for DS.