Category Archives: Interesting Topics

Being an Agent of Change…Why is it Important

When after working 21 years within the world of education, I pause to reflect and review the amazing opportunities I have had, hopefully making a difference in the lives of students, faculty, staff and school communities I have had the pleasure of developing programs, serving, and training.

I most recently shared with my children (12 & 14) that we will be relocating to the Washington, D.C./Maryland  area. My husband has recently moved to the area with his employer and after twenty-three years of marriage, I know it is important for us to move together as one family unit. To my surprise, both my children without hesitation were excited about the “adventure” and quoted me as often saying, “life is short, let’s embrace a new chapter of life.”

Given the relocation plans, many in my life are surprised by my excitement about the adventure and all the uncertainty that relocating can bring. Many have taken the time to voice their amazement on how well my children are taking to the news and quite honestly surprised by their excitement.

Our family have spent time talking about the responses from family and friends. I have had numerous conversations on the topic of relocating with my educational leadership peers, faculty and staff. Ultimately, I am thrilled to join my husband Michael. I am grateful for the grace of life and having two healthy children.

In education, I have spent years teaching and encouraging students to embrace change as a new concept or topic of learning is being taught. I have spent years developing programs and training and encouraging educational teams to include my own faculty and staff, to change the lens in which they see their classrooms, teams and school environments, and embrace a new idea and or theory all for the betterment of enhancing the learning experience of the students placed in their care. These experiences have all been successful and repeated throughout the world by many.

In education, we are called to be change agents, and yet so often, we have a difficult time stepping out of our silos and changing the lens in which we use to see the world around us. As I embrace this new chapter in my life, I am excited as I  interview within education, various industry leaders and agencies, I am seeing just how small (and global) our world is.  I cannot wait to see which team I will join and grateful for the wonderful years of working within the world of education in Michigan.

I encourage all those who play a role in the life of a child to continue to encourage them to seek out the new, embrace the changes as opportunities and help them see global connections all around them.

I will continue to post blog entries on those topics I find most interesting and educationally worthy. I am grateful for all the feedback and the hundreds of thousands of views this blog has received.

My next blog post will be on Microsoft’s HoloLens. I have recently read a few articles on this product. You can say you read it here first, when I say that this product will change the way in which we teach and learn in the future. As you know, educational changes often move as pond water, and we may not see this product changing education best practices tomorrow or even in the next 5 years but this is an amazing product and it is definitely one to watch when it comes to enhancing education for our leaders of tomorrow.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

 

Denise

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Filed under Change Agents, Healthy Classroom Environments, Inspiration, Interesting Topics, Microsoft HoloLens

Recommended Dolch Phonetic System for Emerging Readers

Example of Teacher-Generated Sound Chart to Help Emerging Readers with Phonics

Dolch Phonetic System Classroom Materials Organization

  1. Use a plastic file cube to store materials.  One hanging folder for each Dolch list will hold all of the game and practice materials. Add a 2nd hanging files for each Dolch list to hold flashcard sheets to give to a student when he/she moves to a new Dolch list.  The student takes this list home for practice. Keep your record binder in the cube too.
  2. It might be helpful to print the materials for each list in a particular color.  This makes it easy to get stray flashcards and other materials back into the correct folder.
  3.  laminate or use clear contact paper on the flashcards.  Laminate or contact the whole sheet before cutting. This helps, because the students love to review with them and they can go home once completed for additional review.
  4. Game boards, bingo cards etc. can be laminated or placed in plastic sleeves. Three hole punched plastic sleeves are very cheap at Costco.  They are actually a much cheaper and a faster way to protect the game boards. (I hole punch the cards to and put on ring sometimes for the students.)
  5. Give each student a practice booklet to keep.  The student brings the booklet to testing sessions.  The teacher can write helpful hints in the booklet for the student and “stamp, star or sticker” completed lists.

 

Record Keeping:Maintain a pocketed binder for student and class records.Store testing lists and or testing flashcards in the pocket of the binder.Maintain  individual records, a class graph, and a status of the class.

Test each student every week or two.  They will “bug” you to test them. As a teacher, you will begin to see their confidence rise.  In a regular classroom setting, teachers can grab a couple of minutes here and there for testing: during SSR, during an art project, while at the computer lab or library etc.  Regular testing does not have to be
built into the schedule.

I prefer to do my own testing, so I can observe errors and help the student by giving little individual mini-lessons.  If you use an aide or volunteer to test, make sure you demonstrate to them how you want your testing done.  You are seeking automatically with the words.  If the student takes more than a count to 5 to read the word, he/she doesn’t know the word well enough.

Dolch List 1


the to and hea I you it ofin was said his thatshe for on they but had

List 2


at him with up all looks her there some out as be have go weak then little down

List 3


do

can

could

when

did

what

so

see

not

were

get

them

like

one

this

my

would

me

will

yes

List 4


big

went

are

come

if

now

long

no

came

ask

very

an

over

your

it

stride

into

just

blue

red

List 5


from

good

any

about

around

want

don’t

how

know

right

put

too

got

take

where

every

pretty

jump

green

four

List 6


away

old

by

their

here

saw

call

after

well

think

let

help

make

going

sleep

ran

brown

yellow

five

six

List 7


walk

two

or

before

eat

again

play

who

been

may

stop

off

never

seven

eight

cold

today

fly

myself

round

List 8


tell

much

keep

give

work

first

try

new

must

start

black

white

ten

does

bring

goes

write

always

drink

once

List 9


soon

made

run

gave

open

has

find

only

us

three

our

better

hold

buy

funny

warm

ate

full

those

done

List 10


use

fast

say

light

pick

hurt

pull

cut

kind

both

sit

which

fall

carry

small

under

read

why

own

found

List 11


wash

show

hot

because

far

live

draw

clean

grow

best

upon

these

sing

together

please

thank

wish

many

shall

laugh

The blends are: bl cl, fl, gl, pl, br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, sk, sl, sp, st, sw, spr, cr, str

The vowels are: a, e, i, o, u,

 

Objective:

The students will read word cards with accuracy.

Materials:

• Word cards with words that contain familiar spelling patterns (or blends, rimes, digraphs, etc.)

Lesson:

Tell the students that they will be reading cards with familiar word patterns. Then,

1. Ask a student to read the first word card. Give the student no more than three seconds to answer.

2. If the student reads the card correctly, place it face down on the table. If the student cannot read
the card, tell him or her what the word is, emphasizing the pattern, and place the unread or misread card in front of the student.

3. Show the following word card to the next student, repeating step 2. Repeat until all word cards have been read or given to students.

4. Have the students who have cards in front of them attempt to read those words again. If they are able to read the card quickly and easily, take it back.

5. If a student misreads any words again, have the student keep the card and ask him or her to practice reading it.

Adaptations:

To check for comprehension, ask students to use each word in a complete sentence.

Instead of using word patterns, use cards with sight words written on them, and have the students use the words in sentences.

This is a great activity for parents to use with their emerging readers at home too.  There are many weeks left to summer, Happy Reading!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 🙂

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Filed under Dolch Phonetic System and Sight Words to use with Emerging Readers, Interesting Topics, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Learning Blogs

NBC’s “Community” Does it Again!

NBC‘c Community does it again, masking real human issues under a blanket of superficial nonsense.  Interestingly enough, life lessons can be learned via television and comedy!

Check out Denise’s latest article  @ Suite101.com

http://www.suite101.com/content/nbcs-community-old-westen-meets-21st-century-paint-balls-a369668

Have a great weekend!

The Unlock the Teacher LLC Team

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Filed under Interesting Topics