Tag Archives: Reading

Suggested Summer Reading for Teachers and those who Play a Role in the Life of a Child

Having written my thesis on phonics, I found this book a good and reflective read. I am still a believer in the importance of phonics in the classroom and at home but I am and feel we as educators must be, open to others views and opinions. I learned a lot from this book and highly recommend it for your summer “must read” list.

“The Great Reading Disaster: Reclaiming Our Educational Birthright” by Mona McNee and Alice Coleman

Amazon’s Book Description:

 

“By the late 1980s half the nation’s children were receiving eleven years of progressivism schooling that failed to give them even the elementary basis of education that was completed by the age of seven in earlier days. This great reading disaster was caused by the ?look?say? method of teaching, which presented whole words not individual letters. This book explains the causes and provides the solution to this problem. In 2006, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has ordered schools to use the phonic method but there seems little evidence that its implications are properly understood or that any serious re-training program for teachers is being put in place. The authors believe their explanations and recommendations in this book are thus needed just as much as ever.”

 

 

The next book is an excellent read and has sat in my office on my book shelve for a couple of years now. I have lent it out many times now in hopes that it might inspire those who read it to refuse to give into the easy path and CHOOSE to be the difference in the life of our children…our future! Our Unlock the Teacher team has talked on this before on how we feel ALL children are capable of learning. I know many have heard me tell the story of when I taught in the city and I was told that my students could not or would never understand Shakespeare, so I should not waste my time. Well, not only did my 8th grade English/Literature students learn all about Shakespeare, The Tempest became one of their favorite reads that year. Much of how our students respond in our classrooms or buildings depends most on how we choose to approach our environment and communicate learning expectations. I highly recommend this book for all educational staff and parents too!

 

 

“Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can’t Read, Write, or Add”

 

Amazon’s Book Description:

 

Dumbing Down Our Kids is a searing indictment of America’s secondary schools one that every parent and teacher should read.
Dumbing Down Our Kids offers a full-scale investigation of the new educational fad, sometimes called “Outcome Based Education” the latest in a long series of “reforms” that has eroded our schools.
-Why our kids rank to, or at the bottom of international tests in math and science

-Why “self-esteem” has supplanted grades and genuine achievements

-How the educational establishment lowers standards and quality in our schools-while continuing to raise their budgets and our school taxes

-The dumbing down of the curriculum so everyone can pass-but no one excel

-How parents, students, and teachers can evaluate schools and restore quality learning.

 

If you have a good book to recommend or your staff has chosen a book to read as a team, please share and together we can learn from each other. It is in the collaborative process that we will make a difference for our children of today and the future of tomorrow.

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

 

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

 

 

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Workshop with Teens Produces a Great Insight into What They are Reading This Summer…Grisham, Patterson, Zusak, Riordan and Horowitz Were the Top Author Contenders

I met with a group of teens a few weeks back and asked them if they would like to share with all of our readers, the books they are currently reading and will read this summer.  The following is a list of books they provided.  I enjoyed teaching middle school and it is always refreshing to meet with young people and actually l-i-s-t-e-n to what they have to say or share.  This group of teens were articulate about their futures, the future of our country and the role they see themselves in helping make our world better.

So this is a shout out to that group of young people (that worked with Mrs. Ball ;-)), with whom I have no doubt will be amazing leaders of tomorrow. Acte non verbe!

Workshop Reveals What Teens are Reading

"Wolf Brother" by Michelle Paver was one of the group's favorites!

Grisham and Patterson were hot favorites for girls and boys.

"The Book Thief" by Zusak is an amazing read...highly recommend for literature teachers everywhere! Denise 😉

The whole team at Unlock the Teacher LLC is looking forward to an exciting teaching year with schools around the United States (and possibly abroad)…stay tuned as we will continually share what our children, our future is reading.  What we allow into our minds plays an important role of what and who we become, regardless of age!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 😉

 

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Book from Teens for Teens, Recommended Books to Read, to Learn, to Inspire, Student Workshops

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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“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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Reading/Literacy Grant Sources Part II…Our Recommendation=Have a Grant Writing Party Once a Month

  1. A.     Target

Early Childhood Reading Grants

Reading is essential to a child’s learning process. That’s why Target awards grants to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations to support programs such as after-school reading events and weekend book clubs. Together we’re fostering a love of reading and encouraging children, preschool through third grade, to read together with their families.

Early childhood reading grants are $2,000. Grant applications are typically accepted between March 1 and April 30 each year, with grant notifications delivered in September.  Submit application online: www.target.com/grants    

  1. B.     AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award

This award recognizes and hopes to encourage collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and teachers in meeting educational goals outlined in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning through joint planning of a program, unit, or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources. www.ala.org

  1. C.    AASL Innovative Reading Grant

Established in 2006, the $2,500 AASL Innovative Reading Grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children which motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers. www.ala.org

  1. D.    Adopt-A-Classroom Grants

Teachers who register at the Adopt-a-Classroom web site can be adopted by an individual, a business, or a foundation. Once adopted, teachers will receive $500 worth of credit to purchase items that enrich the learning environment, including classroom technology. Teachers help solicit their own sponsors by downloading and distributing fliers within their community or by sending out a personalized, pre-written email from the Adopt-a-Classroom web site. Every donor receives information about the classroom it has adopted, including an itemized list of what teachers bought so donors can see the impact of their donation. (This sounds SO cool!) www.adoptaclassroom.org

  1. E.     Braitmayer Foundation Grants

The Braitmayer Foundation supports programs that enhance the education of K-12 students through curricular and school reform initiatives, professional development for teachers, and local community efforts. Its grants, which range in size up to $35,000, are to be used as seed money, challenge grants, or to match other grants to the recipient organization. www.braitmayerfoundation.org

  1. F.     Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards

To honor innovative individuals who have made major contributions to transform K-12 learning in and out of the classroom, the cable industry\’s education foundation has launched the Cable\’s Leaders in Learning Awards. The competition is open to any individual working in U.S. communities who can demonstrate innovative practices or policies that have had an impact on K-12 education. Twelve winners will be selected in four categories. The nomination period opens Oct. 1. 2011  www.leadersinlearningawards.org (This organization is on break for 2010, but their site is a good resource to pick from when writing other grants.)

  1. G.    Computers for Learning

Through its Computers for Learning program, the federal government has placed hundreds of thousands of surplus computers in schools across the country on a needs-first basis. Schools register and request equipment on the Computers for Learning web site, and federal agencies match their surplus equipment to schools with those needs. Most, but not all, of the available computers are Windows-based PCs rather than computers made by Apple. Most of the donated machines are older models, but as the government continues to upgrade its computer systems, the number of surplus Pentium computers will sharply increase. www.computersforlearning.gov

Thank you for all you do in the life of a child!

Unlock the Teacher LLC

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Grants that Promote Literacy…All it Takes is Effort to Apply

As an ELA teacher, I look for all avenues to promote reading.  If a child shows little interest in reading, then I want to offer one ray of hope, it only takes “one” book to hook a child on reading.  I have seen it over and over in the classroom.  However, the only catch is, it has to be the “right” book.  Ask your child questions, talk and find out what they like. One tool a parent or teacher can use is the Internet.  Utilize Google or another search engine, to find the favorite books for boys at age ten and so on.  It is truly amazing the sheer amount of information one can glean from utilizing a search engine.  There are many blogs solely dedicated to promoting literacy and posting favorite reads.

The following is a list of grants aimed at promoting literacy.  If you need any help or more suggestions for specific grants, ask and we will do our best to find the resources needed.

Read to a child today!

 

Grants for Reading…Promoting Literacy

Reading Companies who accept grants from non-profit organizations in regards to literacy:

  The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

The goal of the national grant program is to develop and expand family literacy efforts nationwide, and to support the development of literacy programs that build families of readers. A total of approximately $650,000 is awarded each year; no grant exceeds $65,000.

Family Literacy programs funded through the Foundation’s National Grant Program must include reading instruction for parents or primary caregivers, (pre-GED/GED/ESL etc.), literacy or pre-literacy instruction for children, intergenerational activities where the parents/primary caregivers and children come together to learn and to read. www.barbarabushfoundation.com

The International Reading Association

The Internal Reading Association, an organization dedicated to promoting literacy and improving the quality of reading instruction, provides nearly 40 awards and grants for literacy, children’s literature, research, and professional development projects.  www.greatsource.com

The Energy Charitable Foundation

The Energy Charitable Foundation is dedicated to creating and sustaining thriving communities where energy employees live and work. To do this, energy funds programs that aim to eliminate illiteracy by providing reading and writing skills. The Foundation staff reviews and evaluates funding requests before they are presented to the Board of Directors.

Generally, the Board evaluates applications three times per year. Applications must be postmarked by the following deadlines: Feb. 1, May 1, and Aug. 1.  Contact: (877) 285-2006

Verizon Foundation

The philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications is soliciting proposals that help address literacy, programs supporting English as a second language, and basic computer literacy skills in the communities the company serves. To qualify for funding, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a valid Internal Revenue Service tax ID.

School grant requests must benefit after-school programs and have a current National Center for Education Statistics school and district registration number to qualify. Proposals between $25,000 and $50,000 may be submitted through the Verizon Foundation website by May 5.

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Read to A Child Today…Find Out Why it is Important!

Educational websites and apps for parents, caregivers or early childhood teachers…make a difference in the life of a child…READ to them!

www.suite101.com

It is the responsibility of us all to invest in our future. To prosper as a nation, the literacy gap needs to be looked at as just that, an investment.

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