Tag Archives: ebook

Unlock the Teacher is Thrilled to Share a New Teacher Author

"If I Could be a Monster" Written by RoseAnn McHugh~2nd Grade Teacher

“If I Could be a Monster” Written by Rose Ann McHugh~2nd Grade Teacher

 

The Unlock the Teacher team is proud to share If I Could be a Monster a creative eBook written by one of our favorite 2nd grade teachers Rose Ann McHugh.  Rose Ann not only wrote this book, she illustrated it too!  She has been sitting on all these wonderful book ideas for years and one day her and I had a conversation about Mysteries on the Beach and how fun it is to write and publish and eBook… and before I knew it she was sharing this very special book with me; it is sure to delight the minds of many young people.

Please check out Rose Ann McHugh’s first book, “If I Could be a Monster” on sale now at Barnes and Noble.com

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Recommended Sites to Engage the Student Mind …from eScience to the Arts

This was so fun to write, it is a true mystery...kids love it!

This was so fun to write, it is a true mystery…kids love it!

Hello Everyone,

We have been very busy working with a fabulous group of 8th graders in the writing process and publishing some eBooks and well, we are happy to say, life has been busy and fulfilling.  Thank you for all the well wishes as we continue to write and work on our final draft of book I in the Unlock the Teacher series. (who knew that edits are never ending 🙂 Given the time of year, we thought we would share some new and exciting sites we have found and recommend for student or teacher use this holiday season…or throughout the new year.

Wonderopolis is a great site for kids who like to learn a new factoid every day. Might be a great bellwork tool to use int he classroom too 🙂

http://wonderopolis.org/

Discover Harry Potter in a new way at Pottermore! A new interactive site that is all things Harry.

http://www.pottermore.com/

Get into cooking and watch kids cook in the kid-friendly cooking videos.

http://www.spatulatta.com/

The NGA site provides users art adventures and activities from the National Gallery of Art.  Can also be a great classroom resource!

http://www.nga.gov/kids/kids.htm

Monterey Bay Aqauarium…we HIGHLY recommend this site for the young and the old.  “The “E-Quarium” site gives you a look at how one of the newest and most elaborate aquariums in the country works, learn about the effects of El Niño, and see how the sea otter population is being preserved.” Check it out and let us know your thoughts. We think it is sure to amaze!

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

Please note, we are now booking workshops and speaker engagements for April-August 2013.  For more information, please email trisha.vaughn@unlocktheteacherllc.com if you would like us to come to your school to speak on ePublishing, or any of our other academic workshops.

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20,000 Views…we can do it!

Thank you to all of our readers, who have been supporting our work as we have taking the last 1.5 years to write our series of books…stay tuned, work on our academic eBooks and get back int he schools to conduct professional development and student workshops.

Our entire team feels so blessed to be able to do what we do for the betterment of the educational process…for parents, teachers and most importantly for the child(ren).

Please continue to share the good in education, share your favorite learning tool here with our readers and seek to see the good in the life of those children that are placed before you…they are our future!

Together we can do great things!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

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Unlock the Teacher LLC Gives the First Year Donation to Support Literacy Fund to Local Elementary School

“Katie’s Farm Adventures” an academic eBook

We are happy to report that we were able to give a check to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School this past month in support of the Literacy Fund.  Last March, we donated one of our Academic eBooks, “Katie’s Farm Adventures” to support the OLQM Literacy Fund.  In April 2011, we went into the school and conducted one of our “Writing Workshops” with Mrs. McMahon’s amazing 1st grade class.  This group of students through a brain-storming exercise, drafted a book idea, wrote the story as a group, colored the pages and published two eBooks for their school’s literacy fund.

“Katie’s Farm Adventures” an academic eBook

Katie’s Horse Adventure” BN ID: 2940013605886

This twenty page book is written and illustrated by 1st graders. It is the third book in the “Katie’s Farm Adventures” Series. All proceeds go to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School Literacy Fund. The academic focus for this book is sight words. It is a great book for children ages 4-8 that are working on building their cornerstone for reading. It is also a great example of what children can do if only given an opportunity. These students attended a writing workshop from Unlock the Teacher LLC and their teacher Mrs. McMahon learned how to utilize students work to create an eBook and promote literacy throughout their school.

Katie’s Exploring Adventure an academic eBook

Katie’s Exploring Adventure” BN ID: 2940012471550

This 23 page book is written and illustrated by a 1st grade class. “Katie’s Exploring Adventure” is the second book in “Katie’s Farm Adventures” series. In this book, Katie goes on a hike through the woods with her parents and discovers some colorful insects, falls into a huge pile of mud and through it all maintains a great sense of humor and sense of adventure.

All proceeds from these books go towards promoting literacy at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School at http://www.olqmcatholicschool.org For further information about having your class participate in a “Writing ePublishing Workshop” please contact Unlock the Teacher LLC at or visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com.

Given that these books are on sale for $2.99-$3.99 and the school receives 100% of the profits earned from the sale of these academic eBooks (keeping in mind each book profits 65-75% of the value via Barnes and Noble), we are thrilled to be able to continue to see the fruits of our labors as we strive to be the difference in education!

Thank you to all those who support our work in schools, purchase our academic eBooks and share the good in education.

Together we can make a difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Great Writing Website Resources for Writers Young and Old for 2012

The Key to Unlocking your Writing Potential...Dare to Dream~BIG!

Happy New Year! 2012 is sure to be a fabulous year chuck full of amazing new discoveries. If you are thinking of writing, like to write or have a child or classroom of students who like to write, here are some sites we recommend that provide advice on writing, pay for writing and stand as a good educational resource for writers young and old.

If you have a site that you like or follow an agent who is super fabulous and blogs about writing, please share.  It is in this collaboration and sharing of knowledge that we all grow and learn.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Curriculum Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Resources for Writers Young and Old

Recommended Level Books with Some of our Favorite Series for Pre-K to Grade 8

Working in education for many years and being an ELA teacher, I love to read, recommend and talk books with students of all ages.  I have compiled a list of books based on what students say they are reading as we go into schools, and some of my personal favorites that I have utilized in the classroom or read at home.  Unlock the Teacher loves to share the good in education, so we would love to know some of your favorite reads too.

Given that the holidays are just around the corner, please share your favorite books with us and we will post it here as we compile a Christmas Must Have List for Readers of All Ages.  Send us your thoughts here, on our Facebook Page, or on Twitter @unlockteacher.

PreK

“Phonics Friends” eBook by Denise Ball, Trisha Vaughn and Sue Atwell @ Unlock the Teacher

“Mrs. Bindergarten gets Ready for Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate

“Here we go Around the Mulberry Bush” by Will Hillenbrand

The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn

“Dragon’s Alphabet Soup~Learn the ABC’s” an eBook by Rachel and Michael Yu

1st Grade

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” an eBook  by Oceanhouse Media

Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel in paper or eBook format

“Biscuit” Series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

“Katie’s Farm Adventures” an eBook by Denise Ball, Trisha Vaughn, Sue Atwell @ Unlock the Teacher

“Katie’s Exploring Adventure” an eBook written and illustrated by OLQM 1st Graders

“Katie’s Horse Adventure” an eBook written and illustrated by OLQM 1st graders

“Fox and Friends” Series by Edward Marshall

“Frog and Toad” Series  (My daughter loved this series.)

2nd Grade

“Biscuit” Series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

“Little Critter” Series by Mercer Mayer

“Dragon” Series by Dav Pilkey

“Henry and Mudge” Series by Cynthia Rylant

Robert Munsch Books

Keven Henkes Books

“Nate the Great” Series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (My son loved this series.)

3rd/4th Grade

“Horrible Harry” Series by Suzie Kline

“Judy Moody” Series by Megan McDonald

“Cam Jansen” Series by David Adler

“Jigsaw Jones Mystery” Series by James Prellar

“Magic Tree House” Series by Mary Pope Osborn (paperback and eBook form) *Great to enhance imagination

“Junie B. Jones” Series by Barbara Park *Funny and good vocabulary builder

“Stink” Series by Megan McDonald

“Franny K. Stein” Series by Jim Benton

Matt Christopher Books

“Rainbow Magic” Series by Daisey Meadows

“The Adventures of the Beailey School Kids” Books by Debbie Dadey and Mearcia Thorton Jones

“Flat Stanley” Series by Jeff Brown

“Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle” Series by Betty MacDonald

“Pony Pals” Series by Jeanne Betancourt

“My Weird School” and “My Weird Daze” Series by Dan Gutman

“Nancy Drew” and “Clue Crew” by Carolyn Keene

“A to Z Mystery” Series by Ron Roy

“Black Lagoon Adventures” Series by Mike Thaler

“Katie Kazoo Switcheroo” Series by Nancy Krulik

“Amber Brown” Series by Paula Danzinger

“The Time Warp Trio” Series by Jan Scieszka

“Spring into Art and Poetry” an eBook and Poetry Unit by Denise Ball, Trisha Vaughn, Sue Atwell @ Unlock the Teacher

“Geronimo Stilton” Series

“Encyclopedia Brown” Series by Donald Sobol

“Mysteries of the Beach” an eBook by Denise Ball, Trisha Vaughn, Sue Atwell at Unlock the Teacher

“Boxcar Children” Series by Gertrude Warner

“Clementine” Series by Sara Pennypacker

“Animal Ark” Series by Ben Baglio

“Secrets of Droon” Series by Tony Abbott

“Wayside School” Series by Louis Sachar

5th/6th

“The Indian in the Cupboard” Series by Lynn Banks

“Fudge” Series by Judy Blume

E.B.White Books

“Michigan and American Chillers” by Jonathan Rand

Ronald Dahl Books

Beverly Cleary Books

“Little House” Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Eleanor Estes Books

A Series of Unfortunate Events” Series by Lemony Snicket

“Harry Potter” Series by J.K. Rowling in eBook or Paper Format

“The Ranger’s Apprentice” Series *One of my favorite series!

Louis Lowry Books

7th/8th

“Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

“Winning Season” Series by Rich Wallace

The Adventures of Wishbone” Series by Nancy Butcher

“Harry Potter” Series by JK Rowling

“The Ranger’s Apprentice” Series *One of my all time favorite series!

Louis Lowry Books

Here are a few good websites for additional information on leveled readers:

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Two New eBooks Coming Out to Support Literacy at a Local Elementary School~One Written by 8th Grade Students

As our mission statement confirms, our goal is to share the good in education.  Given that our company is not even a year old, we have donated most of our time and talent to giving back and trying to make a difference in some of our local schools.

One of the schools we have taken under our wing to support, is St. Mary Elementary School in Royal Oak, Michigan.  It is a sweet little school with a diverse population striving to meet the needs of all students in a 21st century fashion.  They love to collaborate and every time an idea is given they are open to explore the possibilities.

"All Around our Town" Written by Denise Ball, Trisha Vaughn and Sue Atwell from Unlock the Teacher and all Proceeds Donated to St. Mary School in Royal Oak, Michigan to Promote Literacy

Last March, Unlock the Teacher LLC donated “All Around our Town” to St. Mary’s.   This academic eBook is aligned with K-2 National Social Studies Standards and places emphasis on sight words. Along with coloring pages, this 23 page eBook also includes a Parent/Teacher Resource Section.  All proceeds from this eBook goes towards promoting literacy in St. Mary School.

"Building Blocks of our Nation" written by St. Mary School's 8th Grade Class 2012 in Royal Oak, Michigan

This month, the 8th grade class has been studying the Core Democratic Values.  Their teacher, Mrs. Linda Irwin, utilizing Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory, had students work in groups and create  Lego models representing  researched documents and the Core Democratic Values of our country.

We are excited to announce that both books will be available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon this month.

It is  exciting for us to see students get so excited about their curriculum, that they want to write and share it with others.  This is why we love to go into schools and share with teachers and students the eBooks process. It is a win-win for students, teachers and school; a positive synergistic process!

Stay tuned as we announce more eBooks we have been working on and our plan for book I in our Unlock the Teacher series.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Recommended Books for Avid Readers, Boys Ages 8-12 with Some Great Author Websites

After having a wonderful conversation with a few parents last night, I thought I would put down some thoughts to share.

I think we in education, often forget that we have been given amazing gifts in our collegial studies and in the classroom that many parents would love to have.  Personally, this past week with sixty-two family members in town for a celebration, many with whom I ever see, asked many questions on the “Academic Chart” on the refrigerator and how did I know just what Nathaniel and Claire needed to work on at ages 6 and 9?  How did Unlock the Teacher come up with the ideas for our academic eBooks, why those given topics? Can I send them drafts of our first in the series of books being written with Dr. Lick (Director of Family Medicine at Beaumont Hospital) and Dr. Letscher (UDM Professor) and what languages are we planning on publishing them in?   Does phonics need special attention with young school children etc.

Interestingly enough, these are similar questions I found when conducting the Needs Assessment for our Unlock the Teacher book.  Many of the parents in our focus groups had similar questions…a thirst if I may, for knowledge that would allow them to better help their children, identify their child’s learning styles and begin to provide them tools for life-long learning.  Parents who wanted to become planters of knowledge seeds.

So this week, on the sidelines of the freshman football field, I have had similar conversations as the ones mentioned, but on the topic of books.  If you are a parent or teacher of boys who reads often, then hopefully these book recommendations will help. (Example: my 9-year-old son reads approximately 30 minutes when he wakes and an hour before bed and sometimes for a time during the day to calm his spirit.  He reads through 2-3 300-400 page books a week.  This has been his pattern of behavior since the beginning of 3rd grade and lasted through the school year and has increased this summer.)  Talking to various parents, this is common for a few boys and parents are desperately seeking reading material that will engage their avid readers minds, without filling it with inappropriate images.  This can be tricky, when you have 8-10 year olds reading at a grade 9 and above, where many book written for that given age has some sort of sexual undertones.  A subject undertone that I would rather my 9-year-old not to read about yet.

Given all this, and the wonderful dialogue I had with these parents and seeking out additional recommendations from some of my teacher colleagues, here is a brief list of recommended books sans inappropriate material:

The Rangers Apprentice Series Books 1-10 by John Flannagan (Note: A great website  for young boys with free games etc.)

The Percy Jackson Series and Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Note: A great website for Narnia games online.)

The Youngest Templar Books 1-3 by Michael P. Spradlin

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (My son loved this, a great mystery.)

The 39 Clues Series by Rick Riordan (Note: Great free online games at this site.)

The Mysterious Benedict Society  by Trenton Lee Stewart (Note: Fun website!)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

No Talking by Andrew Clements

Tom Sawyer Companion Library by Samuel Clemens (Note: Many teachable moments when reading this with child.)

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The Hardy Boys Series by Franklin w. Dixon

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

These books are well written and sure to engage the avid reader (boy or girl really).  I have read all these books before my son, so we could discuss and I could utilize them to further his learning.  However, I also had available many if not most of these books in my classroom over the years as well.  I hope this helps, and these books are found to engage and activate the imagination for your young reader.

I would love to hear your suggestions and post them here on our blog…knowledge is meant to be shared no hoarded!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Zondervan…A Great Educational Site for all Stakeholders in the Life of a Child

As educators we are always looking for good material and strategies to share that will help our parents (the first responders) and teachers be more effective in the life of a child.  Each child is special and unique, so we try to find educational tools to address all learning styles.

This morning, I stumbled upon a site/company that I had forgotten about.  I utilized some of Zondervan‘s products in the classroom many moons ago and somehow I forgot how positive some of their products were for students of all ages.

Zondervan has company values that promote positive character development…refreshing! At Unlock the teacher, we are all about promoting the good…good in ourselves and others; we love this list of values that Zondervan promotes.

OUR VALUES

Integrity — We maintain high ethical and moral standards in speech and in personal and professional conduct.

Initiative — We are willing and empowered to proactively contribute to the success of the company, its customers, and other employees.

Excellence — We give our personal best.

Innovation — We seek out new possibilities in every area and embrace ground-breaking change that adds value.

Respect — We have as much consideration for the personal and professional worth and dignity of others as we do for ourselves.

Accountability — We are responsible for our own actions and answerable to others.

At a time where children, parents and teachers are all trying to find words of inspiration, I am thrilled to offer our readers a look at Zondervan.  If you are like me and new them in the early 90’s, I encourage all stakeholders in the life of a child to take a moment and revisit this company. Zondervan offers book for all ages…us adults too 🙂

My Recommendations

Little People age 6 and under

Cecil the Lost Sheep  good message and sure to engage the young learner/emerging reader

Teens

All books by C.S. Lewis…my students loved his work!

Starlighter by Bryan Davis

Girls~ The Katy Lambright Series

Parents

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (I read this and loved it, life changing and quite inspiring!)

Teachers

I just recommend you visit site and explore!  Zonderkids~Inspiring Young Lives

I am a firm believer that as educators we need to speak the language of the 21st century in order to be effective in our craft.  This is a great site to explore eBooks (you know we are huge fans of eBooks here at Unlock the Teacher) and educational apps.  Hope you visit this positive company’s site and comment on what you think of recommendation(s).

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

PS Thank you for such a positive response to our curriculum workshops…over 400 views in three days!

 

 

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1st Grade Authors and Illustrators Third eBook in “Katie’s Farm Adventures” Series Available at Barnes and Noble.com Saturday, July 10th

Katie’s Farm Adventures Series

Book I ~"Katie's Farm Adventure" with Coloring Book and Parent/Teacher Resource

“Katie’s Farm Adventures” is just that, a 32 page children’s literature book that describes all the adventures one can have on a farm through Katie’s eyes. This book is one of four eBooks where all proceeds will go to selected elementary schools to develop literacy funds; the academic focus for this book is sight words. This eBook includes a parent/teacher resource section and 12 coloring pages, the sketches used for the paintings.

Book II~ "Katie's Exploring Adventure" Academic Focus: Sight Words and Includes a Parent/Teacher Resource

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 23 page book is written and illustrated by a 1st grade class.  “Katie’s Exploring Adventure” is the second book in “Katie’s Farm Adventures” series.  In this book, Katie goes on a hike through the woods with her parents and discovers some colorful insects, falls into a huge pile of mud and through it all maintains a great sense of humor and sense of adventure.

All proceeds from these books go towards promoting literacy at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School at http://www.olqmcatholicschool.org For further information about having your class participate in a “Writing ePublishing Workshop” please contact Unlock the Teacher LLC at  or visit our website at http://www.unlocktheteacher.com

Book III~"Katie's Horse Adventure" Academic Focus: Sight Words, Includes a Parent/Teacher Resource

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie’s Horse Adventure is twenty pages of colorful and fun-filled reading.  This book focuses on strengthening sight words and each page identifies sight words to help emerging readers.

We had so much fun working with this first grade class and seeing them get so excited about writing, illustrating and reading their collaborative efforts.  Thank you to all who have already purchased one of these eBooks that promotes literacy.  collectively, this series has sold over 50 books thus far.  All proceeds go directly to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School Literacy Fund.  The principal and teachers can then utilize this money for professional development, new technology and/or new books for library. Unlock the Teacher LLC is just thrilled to be a part of this process.

If your district, school or youth group would like us to come and conduct one of our Writing and ePublishing Workshops, please email us at teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com Additional information on all of our student and teacher workshops can be found at www.unlocktheteacher.com.  We are scheduling events, workshops and conferences now for the 2011/2012 school year.

**We work with schools and youth groups who need financial assistance~together we can make a difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

 

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