Tag Archives: Academia

“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,


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Unlock the Teacher LLC and Academically Focused Children’s Books with Coloring Pages to Come

 Unlock the Teacher LLC, will be launching two new academically focused children’s books with coloring pages and parent and teacher resource section.
The goal of The Many Mysteries of the Beach is to introduce and enhance academic science vocabulary and sight words. This book will also have a resource section for parents, pre-K and elementary educators. The paintings for this book were painted by Mary Sharon, my mother, who while living with my husband and me for the last ten years of her life, would sit out on the back deck and paint.  She lost her battle with Colon-Rectal cancer in 2005. Her passion for life, reading and art are evident in her work, as her paintings tell a story all on their own. 

 The academic focus for The Many Mysteries of the Beach are sight words and science facts.

The goal of Phonics Friends’ Adventure with Ms. Beatrice Bee in Search of a Blueberry Bush, is to promote literacy while enhancing the cornerstone of reading, phonics.
The academic focus for this book are phonics, sight words and science facts.
This book will come with a parent/teacher resource section.
These books will be published and available for all young readers within a few days.  The Many Mysteries of the Beach will be available for $3.99 and Phonics Friends’ Adventure with Ms. Beatrice Bee in Search of a Blueberry Bush will be available soon with a great reasonable price. 
Together, through positive collaboration, we all can make a difference for our children, our future.
May we seek knowledge in all things,
Denise 😉
“acte non verbe”

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Letters of Recommendations

From Associate Superintendent

January 5, 2011

To Whom It May Concern:

Please accept this letter as recommendation of Denise M. Ball.  I have known and worked with Denise for over 15 years and can attest that she will be an asset to any educational program.

Denise is a high energy educator with great knowledge of cutting edge instructional strategies.  She is a remarkable classroom teacher with experience with children of many age levels and socioeconomic backgrounds.  She has taught in both suburban and inner-city schools.  She has also taught in the public sector for the federal government as well as in non-public schools.

I had the pleasure of being Denise’s principal and she is one of the best teachers with whom I have ever worked.  She has the unique gift of being able to engage students, instruct them, and make them know that she respects them.  They, in turn, return that respect to her.

Denise is the consummate teacher-leader.  She collaborates well, and has become a mentor in all her teaching situations.  She is an expert on curriculum development and mapping, as well as curriculum alignment.  Her manner is such that she imbues in her colleagues the same enthusiasm that she projects.  She would be an extremely excellent candidate for a Teaching Ambassador Fellowship.

Should you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me personally.


Susan C. Leslie

Associate Superintendent of Schools

 Letter of Recommendation from Former Parent~Mrs. Rhonda Small

January 4, 2011

To Whom It May Concern,

It is with great honor that I am sending this letter of recommendation for Mrs. Denise Ball.  I have known Mrs. Ball for two years.  As my daughter’s 5th grade homeroom teacher at Gesu Elementary school, she brought confidence, security and wisdom to our academic process.   I say our, because within the two years, my daughter and I both learned so much from her. 

Besides being my daughter’s homeroom teacher, Mrs. Ball also instructed her in 4th grade for language arts.   When her 5th grade year began and I was aware that she would be her homeroom teacher, we knew that it was going to be a wonderful year.  While in 4th grade, she was strongly challenged by Mrs. Ball. She pushed our daughter beyond her expectations and even the expectations of what traditional 4th graders are asked to accomplish.   It was apparent that she was aware of her students’ strengths and weaknesses.  She structured the instruction and assignments to meet the needs of each individual student.  I was clearly made aware of where Nina was and how much she needed to grow academically in order to be successful in her studies.   Through the guidance of Mrs. Ball, our daughter transitioned to 5th and 6th grades well prepared for the next grade and had the confidence and excitement for school to take on bigger and better academic challenges.  What she impartedto our child, the academic and social emotional nurturing, is continuing to help her become a well-rounded student. 

To children that are 9 and 10 years old, the social emotional aspects of life are vital.  Mrs. Ball did an excellent job of bringing the right balance of academics and social emotional nurturing to her students.  I saw children develop into young men and young women under her care.  By giving them the academic tools and having confidence in her students, the students in turn trusted her and eventually trusted in themselves to be the best people that they could be.   The maturity that I witnessed in the students was a testament to her care and concern for the whole student. 

Mrs. Ball was also a teacher of adults.  The lines of communication were always open to the parents.  Parents were encouraged to view her lesson plans and homework assignments on-line.  We were also highly encouraged to meet with her with any concerns we had.  I often found myself in meetings with Mrs. Ball; not always regarding my daughter academic support, but in regards to her giving me sound advice and problem solving strategies.  There were many times when she defused situations, brought insight and clarity when parents felt confused or misled, and promoted positive articulation among all school stakeholders. 

Although it was only for two years, the Gesu Elementary community is a better place having Mrs. Ball as a teacher.  Any institution, especially one that involves students and education, would do itself a great service by having Mrs. Ball become part of it.  I am grateful for her part in our development.

Thank you,

Mrs. Rhonda Small

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