Itchy's Alphabet What' New includes/rss/xml.rss Itchy's Alphabet en-us (c) 2020 Itchy's Alphabet 2020-01-21T14:49:45+01:00 Itchy's Alphabet Great Ideas for Organizing Date: August 6, 2014

These are great, even if you aren't a teacher! I'm going to start working on #1! ]]>
the Importance of Drill and Practice Date: July 22, 2014

Chidren need drill and practice - keep it fun and keep it interactive, but keep doing it!]]>
Doctors Prescribing Reading Date: June 29, 2014

Thanks to Annie Murphy Paul for sharing this in her "The Brilliant Report" blog: MDs prescribing booksEarlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that story time with mom and dad start in infancy: parents should be reading to their children, the group says, from the first days of their lives. Research shows that one-third of American children start kindergarten lacking the basic language skills they will need in order to learn to read, a deficit that can ripple through all the years of schooling to follow. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to build such skills, but surveys find that only about half of low-income parents in the U.S. are reading to their children every day. Scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that better-educated people live longer and have a lower risk of disease than their less-educated counterparts. It makes perfect sense, then, that many pediatricians are adding a new tool to their doctors’ kits: books. There are hurdles, however, in the way of many parents taking this advice: they may not themselves be literate, for example. A study released earlier this month by the Stanford University School of Medicine reported that immigrant parents and parents with low education levels or low household incomes were less likely to read to their children. In addition, poor families may not have access to books. One study found that in low-income neighborhoods, only one book was available for every 300 children, while in middle-income neighborhoods the ratio was 13 books for each individual child. And many parents may know that they should be reading to their children each day, but find that work schedules and other household activities get in the way. Pediatricians make ideal conduits for the message that reading is important. Ninety-six percent of children under five years old see their doctor at least once a year, and the opinion of a physician often carries more weight with parents than that of a teacher or counselor. Taking advantage of this privileged position, a growing number of pediatricians are “prescribing” books to their young patients at each visit (some of them even write out the directive to read on a prescribing pad). Many are doing so under the auspices of an organization called Reach Out and Read, which was founded in 1989 by a group of doctors at Boston City Hospital (now called Boston Medical Center). Over the past 25 years, Reach Out and Read has trained thousands of primary care providers to speak with patients about the benefits of reading. They have distributed millions of books through these medical partners. Each enrolled child gets a new, age-appropriate book at every well-child visit, from six months to five years of age. That means they’ll start kindergarten with a home library of as many as 10 books—and these are often the only children’s books they own. When working with parents who are unable to read themselves, doctors in the Reach Out and Read program demonstrate how they can page through a picture book with their children, making up their own stories as they go. And when counseling parents who say they’re too busy or too tired to engage in story time at the end of the day, some physicians read aloud a book to their young patients right in the consulting room, to demonstrate to parents how quickly book reading can be accomplished and how much their children enjoy it. In another literacy-promoting program, developmental specialists at the Langone Medical Center at New York University actually videotape parents reading to and playing with their children; then the parents and the specialist watch the video together, a practice that encourages parental self-reflection and self-improvement.   Researchers who have evaluated the effects of Reach Out and Read report that participating parents are up to four times more likely to read to their young children, and that their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. Interestingly, families who participate in Reach Out and Read are also more likely to show up for their doctors’ appointments: yet another way that health and learning can work together. (This article originally appeared on the website of Time magazine.)]]>
For Kids Who Need to Move Date: May 27, 2014

Thanks to Ellen Arnold at SDE for sharing these ideas!  Let us know if you have any other great ideas for this problem.]]>
Research supports the teaching of Synthetic Phonic Date: May 11, 2014

Lots of information:]]>
The Value of Decodable Books Date: May 2, 2014

What are decodable books? Decodable books are reading exercises.  They offer children an opportunity to practice the phonic knowledge and skills they have learned within a controlled text.  Like when children are taught maths, they need to practise what they have been taught, in order to internalise the new learning and to develop automaticity. This is what decodable books do.  They do not compete with wonderful children’s literature.  They are not created for the same purpose. Detractors of decodable books confuse the purpose of these books. They are used for only a short time to help children develop good decoding skills. Once these are in place, children move on to reading wonderful rich and varied children’s literature.  Decodable books facilitate successful reading of children’s literature. Decodable books are books that children can read independently, once they have been taught the target phonemes and spellings in that book. Decodable books  focus on a target phoneme (sound) or grapheme (spelling) that the children practice when  reading.  The first books in the scheme will have simple words but as the children progress, the words will get more complex and will look similar to other reading books. The difference is that they are learning a specific part of the phonic code. Why is this important? - decodable books encourage children to ‘blend’ and not guess unfamiliar words - they develop a self reliant approach to reading in the beginner reader - the  reader experiences immediate success  and develops confidence and enthusiasm for reading - they practice  the phonics taught in the classroom within the context of a story - they make sense of phonics: we learn phonics in order to read fun books - children start reading from the very beginning. They need to learn a  just a  few sounds and how to blend them and they will be able to experience reading independently! To see our range of decodable books visit: Tami ]]>
Tablets in the Classroom Date: March 3, 2013

With more and more students having access to tablets, this  article is a great resource for teachers:]]>
Students use stability balls Date: February 20, 2013

An interesting idea - I might try one at my desk!!]]>
Daily Feedback for ADHD Students Date: June 26, 2012

Almost every classroom has at least one ADHD student.  This article suggests a daily report card is helpful in managing behavior:]]>
Update on Dyslexia Basics Date: June 21, 2012

I found this a great little review/reminder for understanding the term 'dyslexia'.]]>