Thursday, December 1, 2016

Drs. David & Roger Johnson: He Who Teaches Learns Twice

Notes from Jacquie: This is a part of the on-going series What Works in Education. In this post I will highlight the groundbreaking work of Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Roger Johnson in the area of cooperative learning.

I was honored to receive my training in cooperative learning from the Drs Johnson and later became a trainer of their application of social interaction theory to the classroom.



All of the curriculum I have written is influenced by the Johnson's research and common-sense approach to teaching.

The successful history of cooperative Learning is well documented and is currently "Alive and well." in both the U. S. and around the world. For an update please visit
The Cooperative  Learning Institute


The perception, often times, is that cooperative learning is simply putting students into groups. The reality is that it is much for complex. In  the article What is Cooperative Learning? the Johnson's state:

 How teachers structure student-student interaction patterns has a lot to say about how well students learn, how they feel about school and the teacher, how they feel about each other, and how much self-esteem they have.

Rather than write many pages on how to set up a cooperative classroom, I have included several YouTube videos in which the Johnson's speak for themselves in a way I never could. I also refer you to An Overview of Cooperative Learning by David and Roger Johnson.

In my first book,   Simple Cooperation in the Classroom (Published in 1985 and is now out of print), my co-author and I included the following in the preface:

During the last decade educators have been concerned because we see many of our students graduating from school without the necessary skills to succeed in the world. In many instances students have few, if any marketable skills. In addition, after obtaining employment, many lose their jobs because they are unable to communicate clearly and "get along" with other people.

There are many successful practices, some of which have been highlighted on this blog, yet we hear the above mentioned frustration being voiced by educators today. The solutions being suggested are draft new laws & new rules, add new credential requirements, figure out new ways to evaluate teachers, develop new standards and on and on. 

I often say the obvious escapes me. Looking at our test scores, perhaps those in charge of education should adopt the phrase as their mantra.



He Who Teaches Learns Twice is a phrase often repeated in workshops and interviews conducted by Dr Roger Johnson. It is included in the this
video interview.

Dr. David Johnson adds to the discussion

Selected books written by Drs. David and Roger Johnson are available in the Cooperative Learning Section of  http:/astore.amazon.com/jacsblo09-20         Jacquie's Book Store and Amazon.com



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus

Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus

Note from Jacquie: I have been a FB friend of Miss Lando for several years. During that time I have noticed the positive feedback from her students and her no-nonsense approach to teaching math. Her math lessons, some of which are available on her store sites, are an excellent resource for students. Thank you Miss Lando for sharing the story behind your lessons and the links to your stores.

Miss Lando’s Math Tutoring Study Aids

Over the past couple of decades working with math students from elementary school through college, I’ve often been frustrated by the lack of detail and clarity in math textbooks and workbooks. 

Too often, students have to scan several chapters to find what they’re looking for or the examples given in the text are not at the same level as the homework exercises and tests. 

For these reasons, I began to construct study guides and pod casts that allow students to access major concepts and procedures in as succinct and clear a way as possible. 

If you are a student or if you are helping a student who wants to improve his or her math grade or increase understanding, these study guides and pod casts will definitely help. These are also wonderful supplements for homeschoolers or for students taking online math courses. 

Welcome to my stores! 
Many thanks,
Miss Lando 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Recipes+Dogs+Murder = Page Turning Mysteries

Ernest Hemingway, in his discussions about writing said: 
Unlike the essayist, who E. B. White has argued is necessarily an egotist, the novel writer should write herself out of the story, yet her characters should spring to life from the wholeness of her being.

Dianne Harman's writings exemplify Hemmingway's standard of excellence. Whether a young adult or adult, Dianne Harman's Cozy Mysteries offer great entertainment. Young writers, if choosing the Cozy Mystery genre for a writing assignment, can look to Harman's wide range of  story lines to study and learn from her writing style.


I asked Dianne Harman to please share what in her background led to the  development of her memorable and believable characters. She responded with the following blog post. 

Thank you Dianne  Harman for the post and the kind offer of a free book.

I draw my stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. I owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, left that industry, and opened two yoga centers where I taught and certified yoga instructors. 

I've traveled extensively
throughout the world and love nothing more than cooking, playing backgammon with my husband, Tom, and throwing the ball for their boxer dog, Kelly.

Being a dog lover and having attended numerous cooking schools, I
couldn't resist writing about food and dogs. I'm the author of several
 cozy mystery series: Cedar Bay, Liz Lucas, High Desert, Midwest, and
Jack Trout. Each of these books contains recipes from my  travels. I'm
also the author of the award-winning suspenseful Coyote Series.

A number of books in my cozy mystery series have been designated by
Amazon as All-Stars because of their sales, and I've been named by
Amazon seven times as one of their most popular authors. For the last
two years I've consistently been in the top 100 list of Amazon's most
popular mystery authors. Murder in the Pearl District was chosen by
Amazon to be one of their Mystery book in their October, 2016 homage
of great writing by independent authors!

To get your free books from Dianne, just cut and paste:
http://ow.ly/wgVG304NU9N Enjoy!

Dianne Harman, Author
Amazon: 
http://ow.ly/s6pN5
Web Site 
http://www.DianneHarman.com
Blog: 
http://dianneharman.com/blog/
 Twitter: @DianneDHarman




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Free Finger Puppets and So Much More!

Notes from Jacquie: Bette A Stevens draws from her experience in teaching to develop excellent supplementary materials that support the content of her books.

Whether you are a parent or teacher, you will find Bette's site full of teaching hints and activities. While you are visiting, you might want to take a look at the list of her outstanding, well crafted titles.
 https://4writersandreaders.com/amazing-matilda-finger-puppets-free-download/

Amazing Matilda is an excellent, child-friendly book on the life-cycle of the Monarch Butterfly.

In addition to the finger puppets you will find a wealth of butterfly information on her site. https://4writersandreaders.com/

Following is a sample of the puppets you will discover:












Monday, October 24, 2016

Reading Failure OR Reading Misunderstanding?


When teaching Reading it is important to recognize that students learn in different ways and in synchronization with their own personal growth and development. Reading development, as with all human development, is at an individual’s own pace. 

The stages of reading development can be used as general reference guidelines. In no instance should guidelines become reasons to judge a student’s ability to learn nor should they be a reason to hold a student to curriculum that is no longer challenging. 

As part of the normal growth process, children pass through stages of reading development. Advancement through these stages may differ from child to child. For example, a family may have one child who begins reading at age four while another does not begin to read until age six. Parents may be surprised to notice that both children are reading quite well at age eight. In other words, a slow beginning simply may indicate the child is not yet ready to read and nothing more. 
The quality of reading is not measured by how soon a child begins to read but how well he or she reads when ready. 

Reading development is enhanced when parents, family members, and friends read to children. It also helps if children observe their parents and other important adults reading and discussing the written word. 

Having books of all types around the house tells children that reading is important. It is always a good idea to make sure that each student has a vision and physical examination before beginning instruction. Most doctors have a list of resources on hand to assist parents and caregivers in connecting with community specialists and school agencies if glasses or other support is required. 



Pre-reading: Birth to Kindergarten Children learn to understand the spoken word, enjoy having books read to them, recognize letters, and perhaps write their name. They may also pretend to read books aloud and talk about the pictures. 

Kindergarten and Grade One Children learn the names of the letters and the concept of sound/symbol and symbol/sound relationships. They learn linguistic patterning, the blending of sounds, and recognize certain sight words. 

Grades Two and Three Children enhance and expand decoding skills, learn advanced skills for obtaining meaning from texts, and increase reading fluency. 

Grades Four through Eight Children learn information that goes beyond their life experiences, they increase their basic vocabulary, and they apply that vocabulary to new reading and writing experiences. 

Grades Nine through Twelve Students develop complex language structures, interpret multiple points of view, learn advanced vocabulary, and construct their own meanings through analysis and synthesis. 

Excerpt from How to Use Rhoades to Reading
You are are invited to visit The Reading Company Bookshelf for more information or ask a question or two. For an additional list of publications please visit Jacquie's Author Page

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Phonics, Sight Words, and Student Success


Phonics, Sight Words, and Student Success

Approximately 70 to 85 percent of English words are phonetically regular. With the present emphasis on phonics, students will sometimes struggle in vain to sound out a particular word. As parents and teachers, we need to consider the possibility that the word is not phonetically regular or the student has not mastered the phonetic rule(s) that apply to the particular word. Students can be successful learners if we either teach the word as a sight word (until we have the opportunity to teach the skill), OR grab that teachable moment and teach the skill.
When we eliminate the fear of failure, we increase the joy of reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Is How to Teach Reading a Mystery?

Reading Proficiency in the U.S. 2015

Is How to Teach Reading a Mystery?

Notes from Jacquie: It was my intention to write a post about the state of reading in the U.S. Topics, would of course, include Department of Education requirements and the complex strand of ever-changing jargon, regulations, curriculum, assessments, and funding structures that  lead ultimately to the classroom. In otherwords I was writing myself into a quagmire of detail.

Instead, I will say thank you to the many hard-working teachers who are doing their best to teach  in spite of constraints placed on their efforts. 


Reading Proficiency 2015
The state of reading in the U.S. speaks for itself. The National Report Card tells us the vast majority of our students are not reading at grade level. More detailed information can be found at National Report Card website.



This blog and the Reading Company Bookshelf will continue to highlight successful instruction, the heroes of education,  and books that support reading in a wide-range of curriculum areas.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Process, Content, and Feelings Influence Lesson Success

Process, Content and Feelings are in each lesson: Plan for Success

Every lesson contains three components, each of which has influence on success: process, content, and feeling.

• Process Defines the Method of Teaching. 

Group instruction, often a favorite, is most often successful when students are learning the same standard. To require a student to sit through instruction of material he or she has mastered OR material that is far too difficult, not only defeats the purpose of instruction but causes students to lose interest. The opportunity to learn may be unintentionally eliminated with the selection of ta particular lesson process.

Precision teaching, multi-sensory learning, scaffolding, and cooperative learning are examples of additional structures available. Each strategy can work with any curriculum. A list of process options to consider can be found at the end of this post. Other resources can be found listed on this blog.

• Content Defines What is Taught. 

It is important to sequence each lesson in such a way that students are exposed to both previously learned material and the new content simultaneously.   Each student should have his or her own entry point into the curriculum and move at his or her own pace in order to offer a  frustration free experience.

• Feeling is Perhaps the Most Important Component of each Lesson. 

While the reactions to the learning environment may vary among students, it is important for the instructor to be aware of the feeling tone of the class. Adjusting the content, presentation, adding humor, or additional positive reinforcement goes a long way toward maintaining a warm, inviting environment.

• Feelings are attached to every learning event and have a direct impact on the assimilation and retention of information. For example, if a teacher yells or belittles students when teaching the digraph th, chances are the student will not remember the digraph th, but will remember the teacher. The student may be less receptive to further teaching of the digraph th and, depending on the degree of the negative impact, reading in general.

• When learning is fun and tension free, information is more easily assimilated. If a student demonstrates difficulty learning a concept, and the teacher is allowed to take the time to teach another way, the student no longer fears failure.
Excerpts from Rhoades to Reading  and Simple Cooperation in the Classroom





Thank you Cindy Kreeger for editing this article.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ants in Space


The talents of educator and author. G. J. Griffiths meet once again in the fantasy si-fi children’s book Ants in Space. When playing in the garden Laura and her sister Eva discover the world of alien ants who take them through an exciting space adventure in their miniaturized world. 

The enriched content is filled with an introduction to both scientific concepts and unique ways of meeting the challenges of cultural differences.

The story and reading level is a best fit for ages eight and above. However, the illustrations are geared toward younger children. This inongruence may lessen the enthusiasm of older children.

As a bonus, Mr. Griffiths provides oral reading suggestions to parents and teachers to heighten interest of younger readers.


Five stars for the quality of writing and excellent illustrations.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tribute to Anna Gillingham and Bessie Stillman


Tribute To Anna Gillingham and Bessie Stillman


Anna Gillingham, and her good friend Bessie Stillman,  touched lives. They simply did not give up on children. 

Following is an excerpt from introduction to  the publication Remedial Training for Children with Specific Disability in Reading, Spelling, and Penmanship by Anna Gillingham and Bessie W. Stillman.(1960)

In every school there are children who do not learn to read and spell satisfactorily…..it is too often assumed that any poor reader has a relatively low mentality. When it is discovered that a child of average or high intelligence is not reading, the first reaction is usually reproach—reproach of the child for lack of effort, reproach of the preceding teacher for inefficiency. Thus the college blames the high school for its poor readers, the high school the grammar school, and the last reproach falls back on the unfortunate primary teacher.

Increasingly, however, a conscientious and discerning teachers and anxious parents are realizing that there are intelligent non-readers who try very hard, and that such children present a challenge which customary teachers training does not enable the teacher to meet.

  • Gillingham and Stillman, with the support and active influence of Dr. Samuel Orton, published the first edition of Remedial Training in 1946. The philosophy of reading instruction was altered forever and sections, if not all, of the philosophy they developed is seen today in a variety of programs and basal readers. Gillingham and Stillman are credited with the first integrated program for multisensory visual/auditory, kinesthetic instruction. The key components are:
  • Language-based and simultaneously multisensory
  • Structured
  • Sequential
  • Cumulative (building block thatensure mastery before teaching new material)
  • Cognitive
  • Assessment is based only on material that has been taught
  • Progress constantly observed and recorded
  • All pathways of the brain are activated during instruction


After the death of Bessie Stillman, Anna Gillingham worked closely with Dr. Samuel T. Orton,  for a short period of time, to create the Orton-Gillingham approach. After Dr. Orton's death, continued the work they had begun. 
  For further information on research please refer to the Florida Center for Reading Research.  
        
To view one contemporary approach to Orton-Gillingham in action, please visit Sara Zelenak's  site Think, Ready, Read

Resource: The Riverside School 

Anna Gillingham
Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) was a well-known  Quaker educator.   Her inventory of papers 1849-1962 can be found at    Friends Historical Library at Swathmore College. She was a teacher, psychologist, and Director of Remedial Teaching in the Ethical Cultural School, New York City, and Punahou School, Honolulu. She was also a Research Fellow in Language Disabilities, Neurological Institute, New York and a consultant to teacher training.

Bessie W. Stillman (1871-1947) was a Remedidal Teacher in the Ethical Culture School, New York City and in Punahou school, Honolulu. She was a prolific author. A list of her works can be found at WorldCat.org

 I searched for a verified picture of Bessie Stillman. If any readers know of such a picture, please note a source in the comment section.

Dr. Samuel T. Orton (1879-1948) was a physician who pioneered the study of learning disabilities. It was his hypothesis that children who had not suffered brain injury had not established hemispheric dominance. 

A listing of books available on the Orton-Gillingham method can be found at Amazon





Wednesday, March 23, 2016

And the Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso

 
And the Whippoorwill Sang 
by Micki Peluso

Note from Jacquie: This is a powerful  five star book! Thank you  author Deirdre Tolhurst for allowing me to share this excellent review.


...And the Whippoorwill Sang captured my attention from the very first page and tugged at my heartstrings throughout. Whether it was to laugh or to cry, I found myself so involved with the story that I was anticipating the next chapter with unexpected zeal.

The book quickly drew me in, making me feel as if Micki and I were sitting at her kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. She is relaxed in her writing, which made me feel like I was a part of her large family. Her words are descriptive; so much so that I could see not just the curtains, but through the windows to the streets and neighborhood beyond. I love that about this book, I can visualize what the couch looks like when Micki is recuperating from having a baby. I can see Dante's mischievous face, Michael and Kim talking about leaving home with only the things their grandmother had given them, Kelly learning to talk, and Nicole wrapping her hair around her toes. I see a huge dog that doesn't ride very well in the car!

The book begins in 1959 at Micki's wedding at age 17 to Butch. I loved how she explained the wedding night in a way that would never offend any reader. I couldn't help but laugh and smile and feel good. She brought me back to the way things used to be in the 60s and 70s. The places they lived while their family grew, the decor, the pets, so much to see with your mind's eye to make you feel a part of the story. Things were so much different back then, parents didn't worry so much about their children going out and playing, coming home when the street lights came on. Moms didn't drive, they did the wash and made clothes and did whatever they could to be sure to have enough money for groceries, and dads worked so hard to support the family. Children slept in attics, basements, and laundry rooms; wherever there was enough space to put a bed. And the children never complained. Dinners were whatever moms could throw together from leftovers, and everyone was content.

Most families at the time were large, and each child had their own personality traits which made them unique and separated them from their siblings. There were six children in the Peluso household. Noelle was independent at a very young age, broadly intelligent, and her charm captured your heart. She went through that period of time that every girl does, where hormones cause a shift in personality, but came back to being the darling that her siblings all remember. At the young age of 14, she was killed by a drunk driver while walking to the park. Before she died, her mother promised her that she wouldn't let her life be in vain, that she would let the world know that Noelle had lived.

It is so easy to relate to the stories Micki tells about those years, some of which had me laughing in sheer nostalgic bliss, and others that had me wanting to give her a hug and share her grief. I highly recommend this book. There are so many reasons why. It takes a baby boomer back to life in the 60s, and it is a double bonus if you are from the Northeast. It is a comfortable book, yet one the reader never loses interest in. It can definitely be read in a weekend, and it is one that you will remember. Micki travels in time to the early days of her family, occasionally coming back to the moment at hand, when Noelle's life is hanging in the balance. But she doesn't stay there long, only enough to fill the reader's mind with sympathy for this mother who remains strong despite the pain she is going through. Micki is the glue that is holding the family together, when she is the one who desperately needs to be hugged and loved and reassured that the choices she is making are the right ones. She wrestles with her spirituality, but knows in her heart that God is in charge and will one day remove her grief. It brings to the open the heartache that families go through when a lawless person, not caring about whom they hurt goes out reckless into the world. The devastation that is caused by drunk drivers is brought home to you between the eyes. Noelle was real, for crying out loud, she was a little girl, only 14, and minding her own business when her life was taken in a matter of moments. Is there justice for the family? The man who hit her served time, but Noelle never grew up.

There is a sweet sorrow to Noelle's short life, but even so, her mother's promise was met. I know that Noelle lived, and you will too if you buy this book. It is a 5-star read!

Deirdre Tolhurst, Author, A Christmas I Remember, ISBN 978-1-61346-422-9 and her latest book,
Dear Child of Mine available on Amazon.


     

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Kid in School Word Puzzle

Note from Jacquie: This New Kid in School word puzzle is a vocabulary practice activity found in Workbook D.

New Kid in School is a short story written by Claudine M. Jalajas, a valued contributor to the Rhoades to Reading Program.

Learn more about Workbook D on Amazon OR on the Rhoades to Reading page found on this blog.




























Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Meet Dr. Dawn Menge and Her Grandmother Queen Vernita



Meet Dr. Dawn Menge and Her Grandmother Queen Vernita



Jacquie’s notes: Writing was not Dawn’s first vocational choice. Yet, happenstance, shock of recognition, or just plain fate caused her to move on a new and exciting path. The following is an account of Dawn’s journey into writing and may offer an inspiration to the young writers who follow this blog.


I was assigned to write a book in one of the math classes required to obtain my teaching credential; therefore, writing the “Queen Vernita Educational Series” was purely accidental.  I chose to compose my book on the days of the week, months of the year and the seasons and included those closest to me as characters in my story. I wove the content into an adventure that I truly hoped all would enjoy, both young and old.

I titled the book written for this assignment as Queen Vernita’s Visitors. Queen Vernita is named after my grandmother Vernita, who was an impressive business woman and a world traveler. Her adventures consist of twelve friends, one for each month. The twelve friends are named after the children in my family. I assumed that they wouldn’t mind and couldn’t protest too loudly anyway.

I wanted to promote imagination and being active. Each new visitor to the castle learned something new.


As it turned out, Queen Vernita’s Visitors received first place in the EVVY awards within the first few months of its release date. Additional awards received at later dates are the Scooter Award, an A+ rating from the American Children’s book society, as well as awards from Reader’s Favorites, Readers’ Views, purple Dragonfly,  and a silver in the Mom’s choice Awards.

My Next Book?



I soon began participating in interviews in which I was asked when my next book was coming out. “Next book?” I hadn’t thought about writing another book. However, after receiving so much encouragement from teachers, parents, other authors, family, and the children who read Queen Vernita’s Visitors, I decided to use my travels and experiences of my family, as the basis continue the Queen’s adventures.

When Queen Vernita met Sir Heathy Bean the Astronomer, I drew upon the expertise of my brother, and co-author Heath Rhoades. Heath’s character wears a lab coat and bunny slippers. In real life Heath is an astronomy team leader, at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Wrightwood, California.  He participates in asteroid and comet astrometry. Astrometry is the area of study that focuses on precise measurements of the positions and movements of stars and other celestial bodies, as well as explaining these movements He also conducts research in light curve studies. (I don’t believe he wears bunny slippers at work- at least on most days) Sir Heathy Bean came from the nickname I used to call him when we were growing up. This twelve-month adventure through the solar system has won a USA Best Book, Purple Dragonfly, Readers’ Views, EVVY, and silver Moms’ Choice Awards.
My most recent book, which will be published in the near future, is based on a journey up the Snake and Columbia River in an old fashioned paddle boat.  Queen Vernita saw beautiful waterfalls, rode in a jet boat, learned about jazz music, waterways and the Salmon run.


To view the complete series and to learn about my adventures, travels, and additional awards please visit my  author's page.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Library Journals and Self Publishers

Notes from Jacquie: Thank you Melinda Clayton for sharing this important information on the Indies Unlimited page. This article provides a wealth of information regarding e-book submission to the Library Journal.

Link to Article

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Song for Papa Crow

Song for Papa Crow

By Marit Menzin

Written Especially for Kindergarten--Second Grade Students. However, is enjoyed by children and adults alike.

A bonus of fun facts about birds common, to North America, can be found at the end of the book.

Little Crow loves to sing, and Papa Crow loves his song. 

When Little Crow shares his crow songs with the other birds at the big old tree they laugh and scatter. 

Maybe Mockingbird can teach him to sing songs with the finches, flycatchers, and cardinals and help him make some friends. 

But Little Crow should be careful what he wishes for... Using Mockingbird's tip, Little Crow quickly becomes the most popular bird on the block. 

But, in a moment of danger, he learns that singing someone else's song can have terrible consequences and that his own voice and his father's love is of the greatest value. 

Note from Jacquie: Marit Menzin is an award winning artist well-known for her work in collage.

She applies her artistic talent to her first book, Song for Papa Crow. This outstanding book outlines the journey of Little Crow finding his place in the bird-world. It has been read and re-read by my grandchildren and holds a special place on our book shelf.


A Note from the Author  Marit Menzin Author Page
When I was a baby, my three aunts came for a visit, and each brought with her a gift. One sang me a lullaby and she taught me her songs. The second one showed me a beautiful picture of the world. My third aunt told me a sweet fairy tale and she hugged me with her words.

The moment that I could hold a crayon, I started doodling, and each picture came with a song. In my magical world, I looked for the first flowers that grew after the rain. I observed with wonder my puppies and kittens and other animals and creatures, including the humans around me. When I learned how to read, I couldn’t stop, and even as I grew older, I still looked eagerly for picture books, simply because I had to know exactly what the characters in the book looked like.

Later, I forgot about my aunts’ gifts. My dream was to be. . . an inventor. I studied chemistry and biology, and later computer science.

After my children were born, Curious George reminded me of my childhood curiosity, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and My Mama Had a Dancing Heart brought back my passion for colors and words. Yes, this was when I remembered my gifts and became an inventor of books.

Biography

Marit Menzin's collages have been seen in galleries, magazines, and numerous other publications. Marit's illustrations have won various awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and her picture book Song for Papa Crow won a Mom's Choice Award Gold Honor for distinguished Illustration.



Monday, January 18, 2016

A Slice of History: Dog Bone Soup

Notes from Jacquie: I highly recommend Dog Bone Soup. It is well-written, entertaining, and thought provoking. An excellent read for middle school through adult readers.

Bette A Stevens, author of Dog Bone Soup, tells the fast-paced and compelling story of Shawn Daniels, a young man growing up in the post World War II era. 

With each turn of the page the boy finds ways to manage what could be the helplessness of persistent poverty, abuse, a wife-beating alcoholic father, and the social stigma of being an outcast. 

Shawn and his sometimes lazy brother Willie chop wood, catch fish, milk cows in the neighbor's field under the cover of early morning, and so much more to help their mother and two sisters survive in tough times.
Bette A. Stevens

An important element of the story is the realistic, and seldom-told, life of the poor during the post war era. 

Shawn and his family lived without running water, indoor plumbing and other basic conveniences. While he met the qualifications for college, he did not have the resources to finance his education. 

Shawn's pride, a trait he inherited from his mother, did not allow him to accept help from others. He, as many other young men of the time, asserted his independence and carved his path out of poverty by joining the army. This was at a time when the United States was expanding interest in Vietnam. Hopefully, Bette Stevens will tell us about the next chapter in the life of Shawn Daniels.

Author Page: Bette A. Stevens

This book is available at Jacquie's Store, Bette's Author Page and on Amazon




Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fifteen Second Read


The Fifteen Second Read

Note from Jacquie: I have included this activity in upper elementary through college lesson plans. Students do have fun while they are learning. It is important to clarify the roles of timekeeper and lightswitcher before beginning this activity. The fifteen Second Read is included in the soon-to-be published How to Teach Reading Using Rhoades to Reading Revisited. Wishing you happy teaching.

The Fifteen Second Read can be used for practice with any word list. The process for conducting the read is as follows:

— Select a timekeeper. The timekeeper watches the clock and says, “Please begin” to tell students to begin reading and “Please stop” to tell students to stop reading. He says  “Switch partners” to indicate it is time to switch partners. He should provide five (5) seconds for students to switch partners.

— Select a light switcher. The light switcher turns the lights on and off when the timekeeper gives the signal. The light is on when students read. The light is off when partners are changing the reading role and when students are finding a new partner.

— Provide a word list to each student.

— Have students stand and find a partner. Students may stand in any open space in the room.

— The partner with the first name beginning closest to the letter A (or choose another letter) begins reading
first.

— When the timekeeper and Light Switcher give the signal, reading begins. When they give the signal to stop, reading stops.

— When the timekeeper and light switcher give the signal, the partner who has not read begins reading. When they give the signal to stop, reading stops.

— When the signal is given, each pair of students must find someone he has not worked with during this activity.

The process is repeated.