Category Archives: Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

“The Many Mysteries of the Beach” with an Academic Focus to Hit Barnes & Noble this Week

An Academically Enriched Children’s Literature Book

A “mysterious” narrator takes the reader on many mysteries to be learned at the beach.  Learn about the many animals that live on the beach while enhancing sight words and scientific knowledge.  This book is includes a parent and teacher resource section.  For parents or any caregiver, this is a great tool for exploring the teacher within and creating wonderful teaching moments for the learner in your life.

Book is anticipated to be able to review and purchase by Tuesday this coming week.  The Many Mysteries of the Beach can be downloaded right to your PC or MAC.  If you do not have the application required, Barnes and Noble provides free downloads of their apps to your preferred computer system.

The Many Mysteries of the Beach is  a great tool to have on iPod, iPod Phone or iPad to name a few, while driving in the car or waiting in line at the grocery store.  Have you ever been at the doctor’s office when it was busy, with nothing to occupy your little person’s time?  EBooks are a great tool to engage your reader, strengthen phonetics, sight words and academic vocabulary.  These books takes minimal effort, reduces the need for excess bags, and allows the learner many additional opportunities to read.

Reading is the cornerstone of all learning.  Regardless if the book is hand held and made of paper, or if it is stored on an electronic device, the words open the door to the imagination, not the physical object.

If we are to teach and be effective in the 21st century, then we need to know its language and understand its abilities as a learning tool.  However, with this said, at Unlock the Teacher, LLC we still enjoy curling up and reading a physical book too 😉  One does not have to negate the other, but both methods speak to varied learning styles that might make difference for one reader…and for us, that it worth it alone.   As educators, we were forced out of our comfort zone, which can be a good thing. (This causes our dendrites to fire ;-)…hopefully!) We reviewed many statistics on the integration of technology and learning, and decided to try to meet the needs of all learners in publishing our first few book through ePub.

Technology is here and it is not going away, in fact, it is changing by the minute.  Our goal is to embrace the good aspect of incorporating technology into the learning platform.  We will continually look for ways to help make the learning process authentic and valid for both the teacher and the student.

We appreciate all the support expressed thus far, and hope that within the next few weeks many will check out this book and the others we will be publishing in March.  All proceeds from the books launched in March, National Reading Month, will be donated to individual schools and their literacy funds.

Stay tuned for more information as we launch our website next week 😉  provide a calendar of events for the multiple community workshops we will be teaching, readings and so much more.  We have even been asked, if we would be open to hosting book readings via Skype for home school groups, and the answer is…yes, we would love to 😉 If interested in having us stream in, please email us at denise@unlocktheteacher.com

We have had many schools contact us in regards to the one extra book we would like to donate.  This book is on the many regions and has a social studies and sight words academic focus.  We might even jump on a plane, and come visit one of these schools in Virginia…more information soon.

Please contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  We like to hear from you.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Educational Apps for Supervisors, Educational Free Webinars, Educational Websites that are FREE, Grants and Funding Resources, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

“Katie’s Farm” to “Katie’s Farm Adventures” Promoting Literacy Campaign

All Proceeds Dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Literacy Fund

My mother named this series of paintings, Katie’s Farm.  Her birth name was Catherine and when she visited her grandparent’s farm, they would call her Katie.  However, given that there is a fabulous story already in print titled Katie’s Farm, we will be modifying title. 

We found this to be fitting, given all the amazing adventures Katie enjoys on the farm with her cousins, friends and her favorite horse Sarah.
 
Thank you again for all the amazing support via email, Facebook and Twitter.  We will keep you posted on details and hope that you will begin the thought process of supporting this literacy campaign, through purchase of books to enhance literacy across the curriculum for all these schools.
 
Reading is the foundation that supports all learning!
 
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
 
~Denise
 

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Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Grants and Funding Resources, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

“Veggie Tales” and My Little People

While watching The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything this past weekend, I was reminded how these videos are so uplifting for all viewers.  As I sat on the floor with my little people, (though 6 and 8 is not  that little anymore ;-)) singing along to the great tunes, I watched as both my son and daughter were engaged with the movie’s message.

All the Veggie Tale movies I have seen have incorporated wonderful songs.  However, the most important contribution that each movie offers is the strong moral message.  The moral or character attributes being promoted in each movie, is so creatively intertwined into the story line.

For more information on parent and teacher resources, incorporating the use of the many Veggie Tale lessons, check out the following article at Suite 101.

Veggie Tales Provides Moral Stories We Can All Learn From

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things!

~Denise

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Filed under Educational Websites that are FREE, Favorite Sites, Holiday Online Children Games, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

“Google Science Fair” Super Idea to Ignite the Imagination of our Youth

It is that time of year that reminds us just how cool science is.  I researched some great sites on various science projects ideas and global science project contests.  Most of the sites listed have teacher/parent resources and blogs for dialogue about science…how cool is that?  If your child or student has created a wonderful science fair project, Jennifer and I would love to post it and share.
 
Knowledge is meant to be shared and collaboration will become a necessity if we are going to raise our level of education for all and compete with a stronger foot hold in global arenas.
 
Check out article on Science Fair Projects @
http://www.suite101.com/content/science-fair-projects-and-competitions-to-ignite-the-imagination-a331534
To submit pics and explanations of your child/student science projects, please email us at unlocktheteacher@gmail.com
We look forward to hearing from you and may your Wednesday be backwards today!
Denise 😉
*Shout out to “birddroppings” for subscribing to our blog…thanks and we look forward to the collaboration!

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Filed under Educational Websites that are FREE, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities, Science

Favorite Tweets of the Week and the Great Combination of Twitter and Education

Twitter Singing PicHere is a review of my favorite tweets this past week.  Topics range from free webinars and podcasts, to informative information in the world of education, writing and publishing.  EdReformer, StudentsFrist, Topedtweets and Writer’s Digest are all great tweeters to seek out if inquiring about the stated topics.

As an ELA teacher, those who know me find it funny that I am now a “huge” promoter of twitter.  Before I began tweeting (that still sounds funny in my head), I assumed that twitter was full of slang and fragments, meant for young people.  However, though twitter  most definitely speaks the language of our youth, it is a diverse arena where one can enter into a global debate and/or conversation on any given topic.

The lexicon can be challenging at first, but there are many who gladly lend advice (shout out to @topedtweets) and offer support.  Though I am still a novice, there are many areas in which twitter can be utilized in language arts classrooms: electronic chats between classrooms around the world, teachers sharing best practices with one another and so much more.  As educators, Jen and I are always looking for things that stretch our abilities and force us out of our comfort zone…isn’t that what we ask our students to do when teaching them a new concept?

If you are a parent, a teacher or anyone who feels that social technology has no place in education, I encourage you to jump out of the box with me and explore the new language of the furture…dare to dream!

Have a great weekend!

 Denise 🙂

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Filed under Favorite Tweets of the Day, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities