Monday, November 29, 2010

Some FUN Stuff

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
A poem by Dr.  Seuss

I can read in red. I can read in blue.
I can read in pickle color too.
I can read in bed, and in purple. and in brown.
I can read in a circle and upside down!
I can read with my left eye. I can read with my right.
I can read Mississippi with my eyes shut tight!

There are so many things you can learn about.
But…you'll miss the best things
If you keep your eyes shut.
The more that you read, the more things you will know
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

A poem by Grandpa Tucker
There are some words so hard to read.
Some confuse like bead and seed.
Do you know of go and dough?
There's sew and sow, then there's so!

Sometimes a word is hard to spell.
But it's important for show and tell.
So work real hard to spell and read 'em.
'Cause all your life you'll really need 'em.

A mother's love, a sunny day,
A frisky puppy hard at play.
Words can chase the clouds away.
Without our words, what would we say?

If you read with your eyes shut you're likely to find
That the place where you're going is far, far behind
SO…that's why I tell you to keep your eyes wide.
Keep them wide open…at least on one side.

Independent Strategies
A poem by Jill Marie Warner

When I get stuck on a word in a book,
There are lots of things I can do.
I can do them all, please, by myself;
I don't need help from you.
I can look at the picture to get a hint.
Or think what the story's about.
I can "get my mouth ready" to say the first letter.
A kind of "sounding out".
I can chop up the words into smaller parts,
Like on or ing or ly,
Or find smaller words in compound words
Like raincoat and bumblebee.
I can think of a word that makes sense in that place,
Guess or say "blank" and read on
Until the sentence has reached its end,
Then go back and try these on:
"Does it make sense?"
"Can we say it that way?"
"Does it look right to me?"
Chances are the right word will pop out like the sun
In my own mind, can't you see?
If I've thought of and tried out most of these things
And I still do not know what to do,
Then I may turn around and ask
For some help to get me through.

A Teacher's Poem

I came across this post on my friend's facebook page.  I think it is incredibly inspiring.
Enjoy, =)


"I mean, you're a teacher, Taylor" he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"
And I wish he hadn't done that...
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).
Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

Literacy Center Education Network - Play & Learn English

The Literacy Center Education Network is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to deliver free, professionally-designed, education material to preschool-age children. Utilizing the power of the Internet, we distribute education material directly to children in their homes, libraries, and schools.
In 2009, the LiteracyCenter.Net had more than 30 million page views from children in 220 countries.
Going Green
Having a centralized repository for education material is not only the most cost-effective solution, it is also better for the planet. We have discovered that printing books in one country, and then flying them around the globe for use in other countries, burns through natural resources. We believe there must be a better way.

It is thier vision that every young child will have free and equal access to culturally appropriate education material. Their goal is to see the world through the eyes of the children we serve and to build educational games, simulations, and visualizations that are not only fun but also effective. Ultimately, they dream of a world where every child is able to read.

One hundred years ago, children learned to read with one book. Today, they are exposed to a dizzying array of objects, toys, and games that purport to be educational. The only thing these products have in common is that they are confusing. They have made simple task of learning more difficult for children.

At the LiteracyCenter.Net, they believe that learning to read in a first language should be as natural as learning to speak. All research at the Literacy Center begins with parents and teachers because no one knows better what children need than those who love them and teach them.

The usability experts collect feedback and work with our design team in the implementation of every online lesson. The system offers alphabets, numbers, and words in clear and concise formats. We limit the learning environment so children can clearly see what it is that they are expected to learn. Our lessons allow children to have fun, concentrate, and remember.

They suggest that parents and teachers teach first language skills, first. Then, using precisely the same method, introduce a second or other language. This unique methodology helps children learn second or other languages even as they are learning to read.

For more information about this organization, please visit

A List of Inspirational Quotes

Unfortunately, the elimination of incentives such as parole, good time credits and funding for college courses, means that fewer inmates participate in and excel in literacy, education, treatment and other development programs.

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.

The connection between reading speed and comprehension; a film is made up of still images flashed in rapid succession to simulate movement. Slow down the film, and the movement and meaning slows and the film's impact is diminished. Viewers won't learn as much about the film as if it were shown at normal speed. With reading the same thing can happen. When a person reads word by word, like frame by frame, they are not reading on the level of ideas. You need to read on some level that's more conversational and allows things to coalesce into ideas themselves.

Is it possible that literacy standards are falling because young Australians are growing up in a culture in which they can be entertained and informed, and in which they can communicate effectively, without having to master any but the most rudimentary literacy skills?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Disney and Reading

                            Disney is another multimillion dollar cooperation in which strongly encourages the success of literacy among our nation.  As everyone knows, Disney strongly represents family, friendship, and happiness.  It almost seems expected that Disney would jump on the bandwagon and positively promote the success of literacy among our nation. 

Disney recently started a program called Disney Hand, Reading Together.  Reading Together is an initiative of The Walt Disney Company aimed at helping parents and caregivers learn more about reading to children in ways that are both fun and engaging. The program launched this summer in conjunction with the nonprofit First Book National Book Bank.

Disney's partner in this determination is First Book, which is a national nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. As part of its commitment to First Book, The Walt Disney Company will be donating one million books this year to the First Book National Book Bank, to be distributed to children in need.
Disney is also making a positive difference through their reading program across the globe.

  In Hong Kong,  The "DisneyHand Storytelling Session," jointly organized by DisneyHand and Hong Kong Public Libraries, encourages young children to discover the joy of reading through fun-filled games and interactive Disney stories. Over 400 children ages 4-6 have shared in this experience with Disney VoluntEAR storytellers. Michelle Kwan, an official spokesperson of The Walt Disney Company, attended one of the sessions as a special guest VoluntEAR. While there she read classic Disney stories and played games with the children attending the session.

                In England, Fabrice Senac, finance analyst for the Walt Disney Internet Group Europe Middle East and Africa, tutors to a young pupil at St. Paul's Primary School. During lunchtime, once a week and throughout the school year, 25 Disney VoluntEARS tutor reading at St. Paul's and Flora Gardens Primary Schools in Hammersmith, London.

At the heart of the Reading Together program is the belief that reading together can be one of the great joys of family life and can also help a child learn and grow. Setting aside quiet time for reading together gives parents, caregivers and their children a chance to connect. Reading together gives children exposure to stimulating new ideas, encourages their curiosity and imagination, and supports children as they learn to read and to write.
For more information about the Disney Hand, Reading Together Project, please visit the website provided below:

World Book Day

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. The origins of the day we now celebrate in the UK and Ireland come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George’s Day – a tradition started over 90 years ago. For international information about World Book Day, please visit the website provided at the
World Book Day 2011 in the UK and Ireland will take place on Thursday 3rd March. Please note that this date applies to the UK and Ireland only. The initiative is so well established in schools here that we want to make sure that the Day happens in term time to really make the most of this opportunity to celebrate books and reading. Most other countries hold World Book Day on 23rd April every year.
World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all.
A main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. To support this aim, a Schools’ Pack full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day will be mailed to schools (including those secondary schools that have specially registered to participate) from mid-January 2011. Most of the traditional pack material will migrate online in 2011 – please register to access the new World Book Day Portal, (link) which will be ready for use in January 2011. Registered pre-schools will also receive material around the same time. In the Events section you can see the range of activities and events organised by thousands of people around the country, many of which you can attend. Over the years our activity has been extended to cover both avid and emergent adult readers. Quick reads are great stories from great writers and are great entertainment.

                            Thanks to the generosity  of The National Book Tokens Ltd and numerous participating booksellers, school children are entitled to receive a World Book Day Pound Book Token (or equivalent €1.50 Book Token in Ireland). The Book Token can be exchanged for one of the six specially published World Book Day £1 Books (where stocked and while stocks last), or is redeemable against any book or audiobook of their choice at a participating bookshop or book club (terms and conditions apply).
                            For more information about World Book Day please visit the website provided below:

Book Clubs for Nickelodeon

                While being 20 years old, and still watching nickelodeon, I stumbled upon something very interesting.  The channel nickelodeon encourages reading and the promotion of literacy by encouraging and motivating its viewers to become actively engaged in reading.  One of the ways that kids can become actively involved in reading is by starting a book club.  This type of book club is promoted and geared mostly towards middle school students as well as high school students.  Nick also encouraged exercising, and they have a worldwide day of play, a couple times a year.   Aside from that, nickelodeon heavily encourages that promotion of reading in schools.
                Their technique is very clever in their approach to encourage reading groups among our youth society.  In a way, their approach is similar to marketing, and what advertisers do in order to sell a product.  Nickelodeon’s product, however, is the encouragement of reading.  They have the most popular actress on the channel of nickelodeon as a spokesperson, encouraging reading and literacy among our youth.  This way, if kids think she’s doing it, they’ll want to do it too.  Maybe reading will be viewed as being “cool” because even celebrities are into reading groups and book clubs at their high schools.  This way might not be the most honest way, but if it works, and is not harmful, it proves itself to be a great alternative!
                As I further explored their website, it’s very interactive and engaging for teens to participate in.  It states that “you are in control of your education” and “it’s up to you to make a difference” this is a part of Nickelodeon’s BIG HELP.  Its small steps determined to change the outcome of our society, one small step at a time. 
                On this website you can find interactive avatars, games, prizes, ways to get involved, ways to contact your school in hopes of getting involved, and also what you could win when you succeed in your book club.  There are beneficial incentives for teens to strive for, as well as the lingering message that the book club can ultimately lead to the success of their own education. 
                            For more information on this great and engaging activity, please visit

No Color Lines Global

No Color Lines Global
Over the summer, I volunteered at an organization called No Color Lines Global, or NCLG.  This organization is a great way to actively engage kids in the neighborhood with extracurricular activities as well as teach them marketable and practical skills about life.  The mission of No Color Lines Global is to serve the needs of the community, by applying basic and fundamental strategies, in which emphasize the importance of education, promoting cultural diversity, and teaching marketable skills.  The purpose of this organization is to teach pre-teens and teenagers to have positive attitudes and self-worthiness which will motivate him/her to be a part of building stronger communities while making contributions to their families, schools, government, and religious-institutions.
Over the summer, I volunteered with the kids, and was able to assist in any way possible.  I had the opportunity to watch the play that these kids thought of, wrote, and produced.  It was amazing to see the work and accomplishments that these kids made, especially because the kids range from 12-18.  That is a considerably young age, to me, and for them to accomplish this success was truly remarkable to see. 
The play was called “They Came to Dance” and it was about a timeline of generations, set back in the early 50’s.  The play was considerably intellectual and was a great play.  Seeing actions like this is proof that children value education and literacy, and more programs such as this program needs to be enforced to improve our children’s education.
No Color Lines Global is a non-profit organization that works with teens and pre-teens to help them establish practical life skills, a sense of self-worth, confidence, and a positive outlook on life.   To do that, we meet them where they are, and help to take them where they want to go in life. By incorporating dynamic programs in education, mentoring, tutoring, business skills, social intelligence, and emotional maturity, NCLG will create stronger communities and, in turn, help society as a whole by creating youths who can be productive contributors and leaders in society. No Color Lines Global offer and create supplemental opportunities in communities, schools, or churches where programs already exist.  No Color Lines Global’s philosophy is that the key ingredients of effective programs include fostering emotional skills, identifying, assessing, and managing feelings, teaching humility, a positive attitude toward life, self-awareness, and accountability of personal decision making. By selecting people of high character to assemble and facilitate the programs with the above components, No Color Lines Global feels that our youth will model this paradigm and build their character.

For more information, please visit: