A View from our Classroom!

A quick snap-shot from our classroom! This is where we work best, and we’ve still got lots of space for newcomers too!




Literacy is Life

A video regarding literacy and community:


Decoda Literacy Solutions shared this series of videos demonstrating  literacy as a strategy for building stronger communities.

Literacy is Life

Check out this awesome video by Decoda Literacy


Social Justice Math

Check out the interesting video below about connecting math lessons to social justice issues. Additional resources can be found here.

Family Math Fun


A great review of this workbook here from Decoda. Try some of the activities by accessing the online pdf or borrowing a copy from the Decoda library!

Family Literacy feature – learn to code!

Check out this neat video from Decoda’s article on learning coding for all ages in the family.

New literacy program comes to Stokes

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is being offered to Stokes County residents through the Stokes Partnership for Children.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is being offered to Stokes County residents through the Stokes Partnership for Children.

Here’s an innovative literacy program aimed at pre-schoolers. In our previous post about pre-school literacy, pediatricians worked with a literacy society to bring books to children. This story is about a literacy program organized by country music star Dolly Parton. One of the most interesting things about this is that Dolly isn’t just shoveling money at the programs. Instead, they seem to be coming up with novel ways of organizing their own fund-raising. What new ways of raising funds could we come up with?

KING — The Stokes Partnership for Children is launching a new program beginning this month. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library will provide a free book every month to all children younger than the age of 6. Once registered, books are mailed directly to the child’s home each month.

The Stokes Partnership for Children, a nonprofit organization based in King, provides programs and services for families and children in Stokes County. One of the partnership’s long-term goals is to improve school readiness leading to improved literacy. Cindy Tuttle, executive director of Stokes Partnership for Children, said, “Forming early literacy skills is vital.”

Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library for children in Tennessee in 1995, and expanded the program to other communities in 2000. Individuals must have a local sponsoring agency in order to sign up for the program. According to Tuttle, the Stokes Partnership for Children has spent six years raising funds to bring this program to Stokes County.

(Read full story by Diane Blakemore)

Teaching literacy a complex mix of methods

Teaching reading is mired in theory, with too little focus on practical skills. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Teaching reading is mired in theory, with too little focus on practical skills. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

A recent report by the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Studies suggests there are significant concerns that teachers are not fully equipped to teach reading.

The report is a result of an audit of teacher education courses with a view to finding out how and in what manner teachers are trained in university courses to teach reading to young children.

Of course, the teaching of reading is central to the role of a primary classroom teacher and for perhaps as long as a century the best way to teach reading has been the subject of research, investigation and analysis.

When a teacher introduces a learner to the intricacies of decoding text, they start with the fundamental principle, the alphabet, the symbols that unlock the puzzle of reading. This is followed by teaching the relationship between sound and symbol.

This is known in education as “teaching grapho-phonic relationships”.

(Read full article in Brisbane Times)

Pre-school Literacy Development

The main focus of most literacy training today has become ESL. There are other valuable areas which also need to be focused on, such as literacy for seniors and adult literacy. Here is an article about a program in the San Joaquin valley that is devoted to developing literacy in children aged six months to five years. It is a collaboration between a literacy society and pediatricians.

The program is implemented during the first five years of life, which offer a critical window for learning with rapid brain development that does not occur at any other time. Many children, especially from low-income families, are not read to from birth. Experts report that children from more affluent households have been exposed to 30 million more words than low-income children, meaning that they arrive at school without basic literacy skills, and often struggle with reading in the early grades.

Reach Out and Read bridges the gap and is a proven intervention backed by 15 independent, published research studies. During the preschool years, children served by the program score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests, preparing them to start school on target. Being ready to begin learning in kindergarten leads to achieving competent reading ability by the end of third grade. Children who don’t read proficiently by the end of third grade fall behind, and many never catch up. In San Joaquin County, according to 2013 statistics, 66 percent, or nearly 7,000 children, left third grade unable to read proficiently. This setback has dire implications for future education and employment opportunities.

(Read full article)

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