Posts Tagged 'early literacy'

On October 8, 2009 Celebrate Literacy and Early Education with Millions Around the World

I recently received an email from Jumpstart about the wonderful literacy event above. See what Kisha has to say below and make sure to open a book with your children and the children of others on October 8th (as well as the rest of the year as well)!

To Reading!

Anna

Hey there,

Just from reading your site, I can tell you know the importance of developing
solid reading skills and improving reading comprehension in classrooms and
schools.

Please join Jumpstart’s Read For The Record on October 8th, 2009 and
celebrate the joy of reading with children. I’d truly appreciate you sharing
this message with your readers, by posting this PSA from Weeds’ star
Mary-Louise Parker on your website.

Read for the Record
www.readfortherecord.org

Link to Mary-Louise Parker Jumpstart PSA:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8agDSSiiDAA

Thanks in advance,
Kisha


add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Widgets for the Literacy Enthusiasts

Reading Rockets had a number of very interesting reading widgets for parents and literacy enthusiasts! Check them out here.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Summer Literacy and Technology Roundup

It’s about 100 degrees in Dubai, which means that summer is right around the corner! As you plan for June, July and August, take a look at these literacy and technology tips and resources from around the web!

For the young ones—As always Reading Rockets has a fabulous list of summer learning ideas and activities. For example:

For tweens—The best way to encourage young teens to read is to provide them with books that peak their interest. Take a look at AdLit’s themed booklist for books that hit the spot!

For young adults—Since Facebook and YouTube are most certainly going to factor into your teen’s summer plans, why not encourage him/her to write and direct a short film to post on his/her social networks? Short Film Central is a nice resource for budding directors and/or young adults that are interested in global film developments.

For adults—Summer is a great time to brush up on your technology skills and to build your digital education portfolio. Take a look at Curriki’s latest blog post for links to free professional development opportunities and resources.

From sunny Dubai,

Anna

Twitter: @Bon_Education

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Paid Summer Curricula Writing Opportunity for Teachers @Curriki

The summer is a great time to catch up on books, sleep and the beach. That said, why not pick up a little extra cash this June, July and August while helping educators around the world to boot?!

This summer Curriki is sponsoring its annual Summer of Content initiative:

Paid Summer Lesson Writing Opportunity

Do you have an instructional unit or course you’re proud of that you’d like to publish and get paid for?

Interested in earning money this summer to develop a new unit that will be shared with a global audience?

For our Summer of Content initiative, Curriki is soliciting elementary and middle school content in ELA, math, science, and social studies. Apply by April 15th, 2009. For more details, click here.

About Curriki

Curriki is a social entrepreneurship organization that supports the development and free distribution of open source educational materials to improve education worldwide. The online community gives teachers, students and parents universal access to a wealth of peer-reviewed primary and secondary curricula, and powerful online collaboration tools. Curriki is building a unique web site that offers complete, open courses of instruction and assessment. Founded by Sun Microsystems in 2004, the organization has operated as an independent nonprofit since 2006.

Curriki originated from the idea that technology can play a crucial role in breaking down the barriers of the Education Divide – the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. The initial focus is on primary and secondary curricula in the areas of literacy, mathematics, science, technology, language arts, and foreign languages. The site has already been translated into Spanish, French, German, Hindi and Indonesian Bahasa. Moving forward Curriki aims to become a vital resource of Arabic language reading and curricula materials as well. To learn more about Curriki please visit the site and watch this video.

Hope to see your ELA lessons on Curriki! Regardless, please visit the site to find thousands of free lessons and learning objects. You won’t be disappointed!

Anna

P.S. I am quite enjoying Curriki’s tweets on Twitter. To follow Curriki, click here.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Help your students visualize the stories they read with Google Lit Trips!

Help your students understand the stories they read at a whole new level with Google Lit Trips! The site states, “Using Google Earth, students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place… and so much more!”

Imagine teaching Make Way for Ducklings with a tool that enables your students to visually follow the journey of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard as they look for a safe home for their family. Using Google Earth, students can track the Mallard family as the travel from the Public Garden to Beacon Hill to the State House and more! When students click on each location on the Make Way for Ducklings Google Earth file, they can see real pictures and learn factual background information about every place in the story!

This is an incredible tool for helping students visualize and learn about the places they encounter in stories! To get started on your journey with Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and other characters from famous children’s novels:

  • Download Google Earth (click here to download the program for free)
  • Return to Google Lit Trips
  • Click on one of the grade level links at the top of the page
  • Find a Lit Trip that suits your fancy!
  • Enjoy exploring!

Off to the Public Garden with the Mallards!

Anna

PS Thanks Kate Reavey (Peninsula College) for supplying the YouTube video above!

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Developing Young Readers: A Handout for Parents

Aside from developing technology tools for classrooms, universities and other professional education environments, I sometimes meet with parents and teachers to share tips and technology resources that are helpful for fostering child literacy development.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of working with the parents of Dubai’s very own Knightsbridge Nursery, where I will:

  • Share research on the importance of reading with children during their nursery years
  • Discuss practical tips for developing reading skills and positive reading experiences with young children
  • Present resources on the Internet that parents and nursery teachers can use with young children to develop literacy skills and a love of books

I suspect many other parents are interested in these topics, so I’ve decided to post my presentation handout:

Feel free to print, distribute and share!

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

How the World’s Best Performing School Systems Come out on Top

Recently I reread the 2007 McKinsey report, How the World’s Best Performing School Systems Come out on Top. Between March 2006 and May 2007, a team of McKinsey researchers and consultants did an intense review and analysis of multi-country PISA results and education best-practices literature. In addition, they conducted 100+ interviews with experts, policymakers and practitioners around the world in order to benchmark 2 dozen school systems throughout the Middle East, North America, Asia and Europe. The goal of the research was, “to understand why the world’s top performing school systems perform so much better than most others and why some educational reforms succeed so spectacularly when most others fail” (p. 11).

The report points out that the best school systems:

  • Get the right people to become teachers
  • Develop them into effective instructors
  • Ensure the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for each child

In case you’re curious, school systems that they consider to fall into this category include at the top: Alberta, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ontario, Singapore and South Korea.

Reading this made me wonder… What goes on behind the doors of classrooms in Alberta and Finland that is so spectacular? How do these teachers learn their trade? How do they continue learning and improving their art?

Luckily I recently discovered The Global Education Collaborative–an excellent social network that connects teachers and students interested in global education around the world. Think of the possibilities! How about connecting with a classroom in Jamaica to study the water cycle and literacy? Or, why not have your students do a joint wiki history project with students at an international school in Spain!

The world is our classroom! To learning, collaboration, technology literacy and more!

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Bringing the White House to your Literacy Classroom

With a new president in the Oval Office and lots of attention on Barack Obama’s new agenda in the news, this is an opportune time to bring bits of history and social studies into your literacy block! The new White House home page is a true gem when it comes to user-friendliness and information. The White House 101 page is a particularly good resource for White House history and factoids. For example, did you know that:

  • Before he became president, Lyndon Johnson was a teacher at a small school in South Texas.
  • In 1915, Woodrow Wilson became the first President to attend the World Series, where he and his fiance, Edith Gault, made their first public appearance since announcing their engagement. The President insisted on paying for his own tickets.
  • The Kennedy children had a pony named “Macaroni.”

When your students bring up current events in the classroom, make sure to recommend that they take a look at www.whitehouse.gov.

History, Social Studies, Current Events, Literacy, Technology and more!

Thank you White House technology staff for putting together an excellent classroom resource!

Anna

P.S. Thank you to journalist Chris Riedel and Timothy E. Wirth, Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University, for their kind words about Literacy is Priceless in their recent article, “The Evolution of Education: Empowering Learners to Think, Create, Share, and Do” in T.H.E. Journal.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

It’s a Small World

Recently I visited a number of nursery schools, so I have all things Pre-K on my mind! This post is for nursery teachers around the globe!

Guess the country origin of the following nursery rhyme excerpts:

Excerpt 1:

En la casa de Pinocho
todos cuentan hasta ocho:
Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis , siete, ocho.

Excerpt 2:

satu satu aku sayang ibu
dua dua juga sayang bapak
tiga tiga sayang adik kakak
|satu dua tiga sayang semuanya

Excerpt 3:

Tinga layo!
Come me little donkey, come
Tingalay-o
Come me little donkey, come

If you guessed the answers Spain, Indonesia and Jamaica give yourself a big sticker! Interested in learning more nursery rhymes from across the globe? Check out It’s a Small World. The site’s homepage states:

Here you will find preschool rhymes from around the world for something a little different to the usual mother goose kids rhymes! Imagine life without world music or ethnic food – that’s what a child’s reading life would be like without international kid’s books and poems – so spice up their literary diet and enjoy some armchair travelling for babies, toddlers and the young at heart!

It’s a Small World also encourages users to share their own poems, nursery rhymes and country facts and traditions! So, take a rhyme, leave a rhyme and pass a rhyme along! Thanks to Danielle for sharing this wonderful resource on LIP!

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Speakaboos!

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is go through my delicious bookmarks and review the education sites that various people have recommended to me. Today I explored a real gem called Speakaboos! The site’s about section explains:

Speakaboos brings classic children’s entertainment into a digital world. Beloved characters and treasured stories are given new life through amazing celebrity performances, beautiful illustrations, and original music. At Speakaboos, children develop literacy skills while learning about technology in a safe and fun environment.

Take a look at these Speakaboo video story favorites, fables, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folk tales and lullabies. Each animated story is read by celebrities such as Kevin Bacon and Jeff Donovan and contains illustrations by these fabulous artists. In addition, the text of each tale is displayed on the screen as the story is read making this a great site to keep on hand for computer time and/or center time during your K-1 literacy block.

Curious? Check out this video of Jack and the Beanstalk! In addition to the animated story, the site provides accompanying spelling, illustration and word search activities for young readers and a story guide for teachers and parents including comprehension, discussion and extension questions, as well as research activities and notes on this particular adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk.

In addition to providing dozens of stories, take a look at these literacy activities. Pretty soon the site will enable readers to record and share their own tales! Hopefully the site will add more social bookmarking and sharing tools soon as well!

Bravo Speakaboos! What a great site!

Anna

PS Thanks to my husband and mother-in-law (an ESL curricula and teaching specialist) for introducing me to Speakaboos!

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a very happy holidays and new year from Literacy is Priceless!

Ring in 2009 with these great New Year’s lessons and printables from Teacher Vision! I am particularly fond of the printables that explain how the new year is celebrated in Korea, China, India and more!

Sincerely,

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Resolution Time: Literacy and Health in the New Year!

Given that the new year is right around the corner, I suspect many of you will be making resolutions to exercise more, eat healthily and sleep a full 8 hours each night (is that even possible on a teacher’s schedule?!).

While I am typically good on points one and two, I don’t remember the last time I slept a full 8 hours between spending time with family, working, exercising, reading, etc. Alas, perhaps in 2009 I will get better at setting aside enough time for sufficient “Zzzzz!” Resolutions aside, most people agree that the habits we establish during our childhood are heard to break. So, why not help our students pick up a few healthy habits in the new year, while developing their literacy skills to boot?!

This week I discovered an excellent health education site titled, “KidsHealth in the Classroom.” The site’s about page states:

KidsHealth is pleased to offer teachers, school nurses, coaches, and guidance counselors a new online resource: KidsHealth in the Classroom. The KidsHealth in the Classroom website offers free health curriculum materials for teachers of all grades and subject areas. Each teacher’s guide includes discussion questions, activities, and reproducible handouts and quizzes – all aligned to national health education standards.

But that’s not all. KidsHealth in the Classroom will also offer tips from teachers, information about common childhood health problems, health-related news, and resources to help you improve the health of your students and your school – and even your own health.

I am a big fan of the Healthy Habits for Life Resource Kit on the site. The kit’s “Get Moving” guide is filled with loads of songs, dance activities and games that not only teach young children healthy habits, but key health vocabulary words as well (for a Spanish version of the guide, click here). For example, if you play the Sesame Super Stretch Game, your children will learn words like wiggle, bend and reach! I also like the Energy Dance game where children learn what foods give them energy (i.e., great vocabulary words like whole grain rice, lowfat yogurt, and broccoli) while dancing at various tempos (this is a great activity to incorporate into your day right after lunch when your kids need to burn off some steam!).

Wishing you and your children a happy healthy new year!

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2008

fish

2009 is quickly approaching, along with the holiday shopping season… So, before hitting the bookstore to stock up on gifts for your family, friends, classroom and perhaps self, take a look at the
New York Times‘ Best Illustrated Children’s Books 2008 slide show.

I absolutely adore the illustrations in Wave (by Suzy Lee) given that I currently reside in the middle of a very hot desert! The watercolors in Pale Male (by Janet Schulman, illustrated by Meilo Alfred) are breathtaking as well!

If you are looking for free readers to send home with your students over the holidays, make sure to check out the printable illustrated reading passages on FreeReading. For example, the illustration above comes from the story Fish (by Lisa Webber, illustrated by Cheryl Johnson)–a FreeReading reader that can be used to practice contractions, author’s purpose and identifying details.

To inspiring illustrations and holiday gift ideas!

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Mad Libs!

1) Think of a noun: __________

2) Think of an adjective: __________

3) Think of a person’s name: __________

4) Think of a verb: __________

5) Now, fill in the blanks with your answers above…

My favorite book is titled, (noun). I adore this book because the main character (person’s name) is extremely (adjective). For example, in chapter three while preparing Thanksgiving dinner, he/she decides to (verb) while the turkey is cooking….

Does this exercise bring back any memories?!

One of my favorite elementary school pass times during long car trips to visit family members was playing Mad Libs with my sister and parents while driving on 495. So, when I came across Mad Libs Junior on FunBrain Reading, I had to play a few rounds!

Given that the holiday season means that inevitably your students will be spending time at home playing online games in between family gatherings, why not recommend that they play a few rounds of Mad Libs with family and friends? The game is perfect for practicing parts of speech and reading comprehension!

Happy (insert holiday)!

Anna

PS Thanks to the Literacy Web at UConn for pointing out this resource and many others on the page, “Literacy Websites for Students in Grades 5-6.”

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook

Hats off to Jen Robinson’s Book Page!

There is one person out in the blogosphere that continues to inspire me with her informative posts and beautiful displays of children’s literature and that person is… Jen Robinson! As her blog states in the tag line, Jen Robinson’s Book Page is all about “promoting the love of books by children, and the continued reading of children’s books by adults.”

If you are looking for new titles for your classroom or just want to keep current with the ever expanding world of children’s lit, Jen’s blog is a must read!

For a sample of the types of book reviews Jen writes, check out her recent review of Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris. Jen writes:

Like it’s predecessor, Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris features a brave, clever eleven-year-old heroine, an intriguing, atmospheric setting, interesting historical and archeological tidbits, and a plot that will keep kids turning the pages. Despite the fact that the title character is a girl, I think that this book will absolutely appeal to middle grade boys, too. (Think reanimated mummies walking the night streets of early 20th Century London, should you have any doubts.)…

Moving beyond book reviews… Stay abreast of the latest children’s literacy trends, news and research, by taking a look at Jen’s Children’s Literacy Round-Ups (click here for a sample).

Bravo Jen! Your blog is pure inspiration!

Anna

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : : post to facebook


Blog Stats

  • 255,450 hits

Curriki Global Community Member

Curriki Home Page
Add to Technorati Favorites

Twitter

Cluster Maps


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers