Play! 51 pgs.

• Ages 5-adult, *Drill It and Kill It – Read Music Like a Pro* – a Complete Piano Method for the

Beginner

• Beginner skill level, *How To Play Chords and Improv On the Piano*

• Beginner-Intermediate skill level, *Fake It ‘Til You Make It* – A guide to playing a Fake Book

on the piano

All written and ^{©} Copyright, by Kathi Kerr, www.melodymusicstudios.com

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Assessed by Michael Leppert

Kathi Kerr, owner of Melody Music Studios and author of a complete line of instruction books, brings her wealth of knowledge to anyone interested in learning and developing keyboard skills in a fun and relaxed way. These books are excellent resources for developing any desired level of competence from a living room Lizt to a full-fledged professional.

- The first volume shown above, is the launching pad for little students to become acclimated to the world of the piano and experience the pleasure of accomplishing skill development. As the title states, Kathi incorporates coloring the keys of drawings of white piano keyboards in the book, into the process of becoming familiar with the keyboard. Part of the coloring process is learning the names of the keys being colored.
**(This is a brilliant application of the scientific fact that information taught through play only requires 10-12 repetitions to imprint the brain vs. 400 repetitions by rote.)**Ms. Kerr continues to present more musical information such as rhythm, note and rest values, pitch values and applying these values to playing familiar simple songs. - The second volume addresses, in great detail, development of the all-important skill called sight-reading. This is the ability to sit down to a never-before-seen piece of music and within 5-8 minutes of preparation, being able to play it virtually correctly. Professional recording musicians and orchestral players have to possess as strong a sight-reading ability as text reading to an editor or writer. In my opinion, these two volumes should follow sequentially.
- Third in Ms. Kerr’s line of excellent instruction books, addresses playing chords and improvising on the piano. These two skills follow those developed in the above two books. Chords are like the scaffolding that melodies are hung upon and learning to play them is built upon the initial note-reading skills and expands one’s sight-reading ability. Songwriters and composers know that our Western ears hear chords progress in a certain pleasing or (intentionally) displeasing manner, called “chord progressions”. After some initial discussions of music theory (the facts of music), Kathi teaches the concept of progressions and provides actual examples that are immediately familiar from hearing decades of popular songs use them. Finally, she teaches chord inversions. Space does not allow for a discussion of this part of theory, but a deep knowledge of using inversions is absolutely necessary for the professional or semi-pro musician and to a purely amateur player who wishes to enjoy playing comfortably without anxiety.
- The last volume in Melody Music’s line teaches the ability to use Fake Books, which are typically, very large volumes of just the melodies of popular songs and a chord shorthand allowing pro musicians, such as piano bar pianists, to take requests at large. This edition is invaluable for an aspiring performer who envisions playing weddings, bar mitzvahs and other events that require a fluid knowledge of hundreds of songs, appealing to multiple generations of listeners and dancers.

If your child – or yourself – desires to develop keyboard confidence enough to play for others with joy and ease, possibly even to make a living, please visit Melody Music Studios’ website and see Kathi Kerr’s excellent line of instruction books. MjL

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In mathematics we can’t do much without using language. Even though the mathematician may write a mass of equations, she needs words to explain their meaning. Good math instruction requires careful attention to the terms used. We don’t want students to have to relearn the mathematical meaning of words.

**Number Words**

The first math words we want a child to learn are the names for quantities. For quantities one to ten, the words are arbitrary. Rather than continuing to memorize a growing number of unrelated words, people hundreds of years ago began to think of numbers grouped into manageable chunks.

The Romans grouped into fives, V, as well as tens, X, when recording numbers. They had no symbol for 2 or 3, so they doubled or tripled the symbol for 1. Thus, 2 is written II and 3 is written III. With the tens, 2 tens is written XX and 30 tens XXX. Also 5 tens is L and 6 tens is LX. Although only four different symbols are needed to record numbers from 1 to 99, larger numbers require more symbols, C for 100, D for 500, and M for 1000.

Note that the early Roman numerals represented 4 as IIII and 9 as VIIII. Only later did 4 became IV, meaning one less than five, and 9 became IX, one less than ten. However, the economy gained in writing those numerals turned out to be a major obstacle to performing calculations with the numerals. It is interesting to note that most clocks with Roman numerals use the early four, IIII, but the later nine, IX.

A monumental improvement occurred in recording numbers with the introduction of the familiar Hindu numerals. Each quantity from zero to nine is written with a distinct digit. For numbers larger than ten, the digits are reused, but the place of the digit in the number determines its value, hence the term, place value.

Unfortunately, the words for numbers in the Indo-European languages predated the Hindu numerals and lacked the simplicity and clarity of the written numerals. Children today struggle matching the irregular number words to the corresponding symbols.

Remarkably, the East Asian languages were changed to make their number words consistent with the Hindu numerals. For example, eleven became ten-1; twelve became ten-2; twenty-three, 2-ten 3; and forty-seven, 4-ten 7. Many of the children speaking these languages understand place value before they even start school, giving them a great advantage in learning arithmetic. Happily, English-speaking children can gain the same benefit by using these transparent number words for a short period of time.

**Simply Incorrect Words**

Probably the term that aggravates me the most is “number sentence.” A sentence is a group of words that make a complete thought. How does the **equation** 2 + 3 = 5 fit that definition? Using the term number sentence confuses the learner in both math and language. One third grader when asked to write a number sentence wrote: Two plus three equals five. The term equation means to make equal. This equality is a fundamental principle of mathematics. Fortunately, this ill-advised term of number sentence is disappearing from textbooks and tests.

A close second in annoyance is “take away.” First of all, it is bad English to say “seven take away five.” If this is a declarative sentence, shouldn’t there be an s after take: Seven takes away five. That’s kind of bold of seven. Or, if it’s an imperative sentence, shouldn’t there be a comma after seven: Seven, take away five. Now, seven is kind of brazen. Secondly, in England take way is fast food. Seriously, using take away limits a child’s understanding of subtraction. Often, subtraction is not about taking something away, but comparing, find a missing part, or adding up. Again, I’m happy to report this phrase is disappearing from texts and tests. Oh, what should we say? How about the correct term, *minus*?

The next word to censure is “timesing,” which will never make it into a math dictionary. Timesing, referring to multiplication, is a babyish nonword and yes, nonword is a word. On

the other hand, multiply and multiple are authentic mathematical words. The expression,

3 × 2, is best read as “three multiplied by two” or even “three taken two times.” Saying “three times two” doesn’t really describe the situation. This wording started in the 20th century and may be confusing to some children because time is associated with clocks.

Another word, fairly new to elementary arithmetic vocabulary, is *regroup*. According to the dictionary, regrouping is what a military unit does after a defeat. While adults think of this word as re-group, children learn it as a word to describe a process and not as equality. After all, have you ever witnessed a child regroup their toys and then talk about regrouping them? The old-fashioned words carry and borrow work just fine; they are mathematical words and programmers still use them. The old argument that to borrow implied something needing to be returned isn’t valid: languages borrow from each all the time. However, an even better word is *trade*, which children do understand and it does imply equality.

**Geometrical Words**

Preschool children are often taught non-mathematical words for geometrical shapes. Instead of ellipse, they learn *oval*, but an oval can also be egg-shaped or shaped like a running track. And the mathematical name for a diamond is *rhombus*. They also are taught that rectangles are “long and low,” disallowing squares.

When discussing the area of a rectangle, textbooks usually name the sides as *l *for length and *w* for width. Yet, when discussing triangles, the sides are named *b* for base and *h* for height. If the sides of rectangles and triangles had corresponding names, it would greatly help students see the relationship between the areas of a triangle and a rectangle. I think the best terms are *width*, for the distance from side to side, and *height*, for the perpendicular distance from the width. One day, I casually mentioned to Kim, an honor student in her senior year of high school, that squares are rectangles. She replied, “They are? They have different formulas!” Her textbook used *s* for the sides of a square.

**Some Oddities**

*Diagonal* and *similar* are two words having a mathematical meaning at odds with everyday usage. The common meaning of diagonal is a line that is neither horizontal or vertical, or a road that does not travel north and south or east and west. Contrast that with the mathematical definition: a line in a polygon (a closed figure with straight lines) drawn between any two non-adjacent vertices. Such a line could also be horizontal or vertical. Simply rotate the polygon with its diagonal until the diagonal is horizontal or vertical.

Amazingly, the usual meaning of *similar* is contrary to its mathematical meaning. In everyday use, similar means not exact, but almost the same; in mathematics similar means identical, but either shrunk or enlarged proportionately.

Did you know there are two kinds of mathematical tangents not even remotely related? A line just touching a curve is called a tangent line. And in a right triangle, the tangent of an angle is the ratio of the opposite side to the adjacent side.

You have heard of right angles, but what about left angles? Actually, the original meaning of *right* meant correct or acceptable. As far back as the twelfth century, a right angle was thought as the angle formed by the intersection of horizontal and vertical lines. The word upright also reflects this meaning. Later, the right hand was so named because it was considered the correct, or proper hand. So, no, there are no left angles.

You probably thought a billion was always a billion. Although today it represents one thousand millions; originally, one billion was equal to one million millions. The meaning changed in the U.S. in the 1800s, but Britain officially didn’t change until 1974.

__Sum__**mary**

Yes, the word *summary* is derived from sum. It means we are summing up all our points. Introduce new words when needed. For example, nobody needs the terms numerator and denominator in order to begin learning about fractions. Use examples for new concepts, rather than a definition, especially for younger children. Therefore, watch your language.

Measurement is an application of math that is an important part of everyday life. We measure length, area, volume, mass (weight), temperature, time, angles, and many other attributes. For more than simple comparisons, we need numbers and a basic unit. Sometimes, two or more units are combined. For example, we speak about speed as miles per hour, fuel economy as miles per gallon, pressure as pounds per square inch, and grain yields as bushels per acre.

The very young child is interested in which of two items is bigger. RightStart introduces measuring length in the first year. The child is asked to determine the length of an object by finding how many 1-in. tiles it takes to equal the length. A little later the child is asked to repeat the activity measuring with an edge of a centimeter cube.

Doing this exercise with two different tools highlights a situation unique to U.S. children. They need to become “bimeasural,” that is, proficient in two systems, US customary and metric. It is estimated that half a school year is devoted to making students proficient in both measuring systems. President Thomas Jefferson suggested the fledging nation go metric, but to no avail. Even though science, medicine, and the military have all adopted the metric system, the United States officially still uses the US customary system. However, I like to say, “We are going metric inch by inch.”

Although Canada officially converted to metric in 1975, thirty years later, in 2005, teachers began teaching the rudiments of the US customary to their students to enable them to work in industries that didn’t entirely change over.

**The Basics of the US Customary System**

Length is measured in increasingly larger units. Periods are optional for abbreviations except for in. (inches) where it is needed to avoid confusion with *in *the word. Inches are divided into fractions: halves, quarters, eighths, and so forth. Larger units are shown below.

1 ft (foot) equals 12 in.

1 yd (yard) equals 3 ft

5280 ft (feet) equals 1 mile

Area in the US customary system uses squares formed by the same linear units. Thus, a square inch is a square that is 1 in. on the sides. Also, there are 620 acres in a square mile. Likewise, volume is measured with cubes made from the same linear units.

Capacity is the amount that a container can hold. Gallon is the basic unit, which is divided into half-gallons and quarts. Quart gets its name from quarter of a gallon. Further divisions include pints, cups, fluid ounces, tablespoons, and teaspoons.

Mass, often thought of as weight, measures the quantity of physical matter. Usual units are pounds (lb) and avoirdupois ounces (av oz) with 1 lb equal to 16 oz. Also a ton equals 2000 lb.

Some people find it surprising to learn that there are two types of ounces. To tell them apart, “fl” is often written before the fluid ounces, although the “av” is usually omitted before the ounces measuring weight. Eight fluid ounces of water weigh 8 ounces, but 8 fluid ounces of honey weigh 12 ounces. Ice cream is sold by volume, so the more air whipped into it, the less the carton will weigh.

**The Basics of the Metric System**

About two hundred years ago, French scientists devised a new simpler system of measurements, known as the International System of Units (SI), or the metric system. Multiples and divisions of the basic unit are always based on tens, not fractions, and indicated by appropriate prefixes. For example, the basic linear unit is the meter, which is a little over 3 ft; other linear measurements include:

1 m (meter) equals 100 cm (centimeter)

1 m equals 1000 mm (millimeter)

1 km (kilometer) equals 1000 m

Note that the prefix *centi* means one-hundredth just as one cent is one-hundredth of a dollar. The prefix *milli* is related to the millipede with its somewhat exaggerated thousand feet. A kilometer is about 0.6 of a mile, so 10 km is about 6 miles.

Another basic metric unit is the liter, pronounced *leader*. Its abbreviation L is usually capitalized. A liter is the size of a cube 10 cm on an edge and holds a little more than a quart. Another basic unit is the gram, the unit of mass. A kilogram (kg) is 1000 g and is 2.2 pounds.

**Measurement in the RightStart Math Curriculum**

Measuring in both the US customary and metric system is taught in all levels of RightStart Mathematics. Measurement is an application of math that is concrete rather than abstract; relevant to everyday life; necessary for other subjects, especially science; and leads to more advanced math concepts, such as exponents.

Because of its importance, measurement needs to be incorporated into math instruction at all levels. Occasionally, instruction on telling time and calendar activities is found in social studies texts and instruction on the metric system is found in science texts. They belong in the math class.

One misstep that some older textbooks advocate is having the child learn to measure starting with paper clips. The justification was that the children would come to realize the need for a standard unit. That concept is lost on the primary child. Instead, they need to become very familiar with inches, feet, and centimeters.

Measuring manipulatives used in RightStart for teaching measurements include geared clock, 1-in. tiles, cubic centimeters which weigh 1 g, AL Abacus where each bead is 1 cm in width, 4-in-1 ruler, folding meter stick with a yard on the reverse side, math balance adapted for measuring weight, and goniometer for finding angles.

To be proficient in measurement, you need to know how to convert to other measurements. RightStart teaches changing units within the same system in Level E. Converting between the US customary and the SI systems is taught in Level F. A process called dimensional analysis makes the task straightforward.

Measurement will continue to be part of mathematics, part of a good math curriculum, and an increasing part of everyday life. Ω

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Adirondack Learning Academy provides a positive and flexible learning experience online for homeschoolers in grades K-12. ALA recognizes the individual nature of each child – just as their parents do – and that that individual natures thrives on feeling successful and accomplished. ALA ensures that parents and learning coaches work together to achieve such success for each student.

Adirondack Learning Academy recognizes the fact that each child possesses a variety of learning styles in varying degrees of dominance. One who learns best by hearing or singing the information (aural) also has a secondary style of learning by touch (tactile) or using the body or motions (kinesthetic). ALA incorporates all of the learning styles into their teaching methods, to ensure that each child receives the learning material in the most powerful and appropriate manner possible.

With confidence born of such an experience of success and accomplishment, students can exceed their own expectations and perform well in a demanding curriculum that not only addresses academic skills, but also organization, problem-solving and robust communication skills as well. This occurs in an atmosphere of acceptance and welcoming of a wide range of viewpoints and opinions in order to develop critical thinking skills and reasoning that will last the child’s lifetime.

**Advanced Placement Classes**

ALA provides high school students with Advanced Placement classes in the 4 core subject area. Each one is aimed at developing independent thinking and a thirst for advanced learning. ALA’s learning coaches provide leadership and guidance to each student in this enriched environment. ALA’s counselors and staff develop a custom, individual program taking into account the child’s strengths. ALA also acknowledges academic excellence in their students. Those who meet the following achievements are nominated for membership in the National Honor Society for High School Scholars:

- 1750 SAT score or higher

• 200 PSAT score or higher

• 26+ ACT score or higher

• Score 4 or higher on any AP exam

• Score 5 or higher on any IB exam

• 5 Cumulative GPA (4.0 Scale) or higher (or equivalent GPA)

• Top 10% rank in class**Graduation**

ALA uses the state requirements of each individual student to determine his/her graduation eligibility. Each graduating senior will receive a homeschool diploma from Adirondack Learning Academy and an official transcript stating that the student has completed the requirements for graduation in his/her state.

To see a video demo and complete information on this excellent homeschooling virtual academy, visit Adirondack’s website, http://www.adklearning.com/. *ES*

*Tags:* Please use these tags for the Adirondack Online Learning article on Classroom and Mags and also the Great Reviews article on the Alm. Replace the old article with this one, where it appears.

R&D Instructional Solutions

NE Sandy Blvd. #359

Portland, OR 97232

Phone: 888-488-4854

Email: don@RocketMath.com

By Janet Esposito

For 15 years, homeschoolers and public schools across the country have been using Rocket Math, the highly-successful supplemental practice curriculum. Using paper and pencil, worksheet-based math fact worksheets, students practice learning math facts in pairs or with a parent at home. The scientifically-proven success has been a hit in classrooms nationwide, but now parents can take this educational experience to the next level, using the Rocket Math app for iPhones and iPads. Continue to use your own broader math curricula, while supplementing with Rocket Math “games” that your kids will love. The Rocket Math app is free and the science behind its success is well-documented.

Just like the traditional pencil and paper version, the new Rocket Math app is designed to be effective at teaching math facts until your student can recite them automatically. This is an essential component for building the strong foundation your child needs for understanding abstract math concepts and for developing more complex problem-solving skills. While it is true that we, as parents, want our children to have a rewarding, rich education in all subjects, sometimes old-fashioned memorization is necessary. The Rocket Math app transforms the “chore” of memorizing math facts into “games” that ensure your child will recite their math facts without hesitation. With Rocket Math, kids will learn all single-digit math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The Rocket Math app was designed by the original author of the traditional Rocket Math program. Using small steps in carefully designed sequence, children cannot help but master math facts by playing the games. Like the pencil and paper version, the Rocket Math app ensures success and mastery of all math facts by focusing on just two facts, and their reverses, (such as 6 plus 5 and 5 plus 6) at a time. Students continue to practice only those math facts, using a timer to ensure true memorization. The app is voice-guided, so no adult supervision is required, but parents can keep track of progress and share student achievements online. The games use audible correction procedures and reinforcement to help students master each level.

Begin by selecting either addition and subtraction, or multiplication and division – the app only supports one at a time. And all parents should note that Rocket Math should not be used as a substitute for math curriculum. Students should understand each of the operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) prior to memorizing the math facts associated with each concept. After selecting where your individual student(s) should begin, parents can access the control screen and set up one to three students.

Students begin at Level A and earn their way through to Level Z by answering the math facts quickly and accurately. A picture of a rocket, covered with black, lettered tiles is used throughout the game. Each time your student passes a level, a corresponding tile is exploded to reveal more of the picture hidden underneath. Parents can easily see a summary of their child’s progress by viewing the tiles left uncovered on the Achievements Page. Two new math facts, and their reverses, are introduced in each level. In the level, students work through three phases: “Taken Off,” “Achieved Orbit,” and “Into the Universe.” The last, “universe” phase includes a cumulative review of the facts learned thus far. Any of the math facts they have previously learned may come up in the “universe” phase, ensuring that kids truly learn and memorize all of the math facts. Students must be fast and accurately answer the questions in all three phases to blow up the black lettered tile and pass on to the next level.

No matter which math curriculum you are using, Rocket Math is the perfect supplementary resource to ensure your kids memorize their math facts. Try it for free today – you will be amazed at how quickly your students progress! For more information on Rocket Math and their free app for iPads and iPhones, please visit their website at www.rocketmath.com, or get it directly from the iTunes App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rocket-math-basic-math-facts/id710694074?ls=1&mt=8. *JE*

www.kingdomofoceana.com

Published by Butterhorse Publishing

Paperback, 211 pages

Two Study Guides:

(1) Literature, History and the Humanities, 21 pgs; soft 3-hole binder

This volume discusses the Hero’s Quest as developed by Joseph Campbell, the famous mythologist and allows the reader to follow the journey of Prince Ailani.

Also discussed from the book, are:

• Some history of the South Pacific as it relates to Hawaii and Hawaiian vocabulary

• Social issues, such as income disparity

• Literary devices, such as artistic license

(2) The Science Behind the Story, 41 pgs, soft 3-hole binder

This volume covers such topics as:

• the formation of the Hawaiian Islands

• the isolation of the Islands and how it impacted life there

• the impact of foreigners coming to Hawaii re disease and invasive animals

• the animals and plants that are indigenous to Hawaii

• the climate and how it affects the Life of people and the flora and fauna

• the Pacific Ocean and some of the facts about living on its shores

A portion of all profits are donated to The Oceanic Society — “saving the oceans and deepening connections between people and nature since 1969.”

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By Emerson Sandow

Southern California and Hawaii have many things in common: Surfing and surfers, the Pacific Ocean shaping the consciousness of the people who live in both places and a carefree lifestyle because of the mild weather. What Hawaii alone has, is an exotic and ancient culture that is centuries old and was built around a naturist religion, much like those of the native people of the Americas, with animal spirit guides, human life force connected to the earth’s life force, powerful high priests and legendary kings and queens who ruled the islands of paradise along with great heroes who performed feats of bravery in times of need.

The ocean’s presence and power is one of the main characters of the story and in my estimation, Charles Mitchell has created a wonderfully intelligent and entertaining novel that teaches an overview of the ancient Hawaiian world while weaving a tale of a hero’s Quest a la Joseph Campbell.

The story revolves around two teenage brothers, royal princes, only one of whom can be destined to reign as king someday. They maintain a constant rivalry about virtually everything – racing, swimming, etc. The younger one of them is kind and more thoughtful than the older, who is a person of impulsive action, attracted to power and possessing a bullying mentality. They discover an abandoned and very ancient fortress that holds a magical Tiki mask of power. The older brother, Nahoa, is entranced with the Tiki mask and what its power can afford him. More fearful and thoughtful, the younger brother prefers to avoid the Tiki’s power and he follows a Hero’s Quest throughout the book, with help from his spirit animals and helpful humans, keeping true to his kind nature and refining it as he progresses. The story is simple, but archetypal in itself. You might want to read it aloud to your child so you can gain the pleasure of reading it as well!

The descriptions of the beautiful land of Hawaii are captivating in themselves. If you visit the website, www.kingdomofoceana.com, you will see photos of the places mentioned in the novel and gain insight into Mr. Mitchell’s inspirations in writing the book. If you want to give your child an excellent Unit Study topic, The Kingdom of Oceana is the perfect centerpiece for studying the South Pacific culture, geography, ocean, plants and animals. Aloha! Ω

]]>8008 Cardwell Hill

Corvallis, OR 97330

800-761-0906

E-mail: lyricallearning@proaxis.com

By Emerson Sandow

One of the tried and true methods of committing facts or basic concepts to memory is to sing them to a familiar melody. The alphabet song is the obvious example, but the imagination is the only limiter. A few years ago, Doug Eldon, a former school teacher, (who homeschooled his three children in their early years) imaginatively created a set of earth science and life science books, workbooks and a CD, putting the information to many familiar melodies, to make a complete science curriculum or excellent supplement for your child, age 9-15, called Lyrical Learning. Mr. Eldon has some of his scientist friends help him in an advisory capacity to ensure accuracy and thereafter, he himself, and then his wife, Dorry, wrote the lyrics that provide the information in a musical setting.

Basic concepts or facts are first listened to in the songs, then mentioned and defined in the book and workbook and then the songs are listened to, so that the vocabulary and idea of the subject matter are clear and easy to assimilate. An example is the scientific method. It can seem to be a rather complex subject, so Doug sets it down clearly in the book and then when the song “The Scientific Method” which is given to the student so s/he is already familiar with the concept and can commit its parts to memory with the music. The book then explains the scientific method in more detail using some of Louis Pasteur’s work as an example.

Singing information is successful for a variety of reasons, as Doug points out: It keeps the student’s attention. It stimulates the entire brain – the left side responding to language; the right side responding to music. Repetition is more interesting and fun when one is singing and it takes less time to commit a substantial amount of information to memory. Imagine how easy a test can be if you can sing the subject information to yourself . . . no more test nervousness!

Tunes such as “Dixie”, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” and “Oh, Susanna” have been creatively arranged and recorded by Bobby Horton and the vocal carries the messages that Mr. Eldon has written.

Some examples of the scientific material include: Bacteria to Birds; Mammals, Ecology & Biomes and The Human Body and in the Earth Science category, Geology. Mr. Eldon has also recently provided a free update to the Bacteria to Birds segment, covering more detailed information about how scientists classify living organisms. As a humorous sidenote, Mr. Eldon mentions that a three-year-old girl was singing one of the songs from Lyrical Learning in the supermarket and although she did not understand the words, she certainly caught the attention of nearby adults! We hopefully assume she is in a homeschooling family! E.S.

]]>Alan Delk

info@upwordsreading.com

160 High Bluff Court

Johns Creek, GA 30097

Ph: 678.521.2160

by Valerie Schuetta, M.Ed.

Up-Words® Reading is an excellent program in 3 Levels, for any teacher of grades K-3 or 4, with children having alphabet familiarity. Also, it is an especially perfect tool for any Reading Specialist trying to help students with reading difficulty.

The first thing that is noteworthy is that the sequential Lesson Plans have clear instructions and are easy to use. All of the teachers I know will love that time-saving feature. Each of 3 levels contains everything you need for a literacy-rich program in five components: Teacher’s Manual, Student Workbook, Decodable Reader Series, Resource Kit, and Progress Manual. These are all components of a cutting-edge reading program, teaching phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, sight words, and reading comprehension. I attribute this to the fact that Up-Words was developed by a Speech Pathologist and a Reading Specialist.

Decodable readers are especially important for beginning readers who are just learning to put together sounds to make words. This is why phonemic awareness is so crucial for beginning readers to master. If young readers have the ability to play around with sounds, that is, delete sounds and substitute with new sounds, recognize rhyming words, add sounds to word families, and truly master the ability to recognize the first, middle, and ending sounds, they are well on their way to becoming successful readers. Decodable readers are a very useful tool and can only enhance these skills. They give children that well-deserved pat on the back that says “Yes! I’m a reader!”.

The format reminds me of how I actually prepare my own lesson plans, showing the different activities in easy-to-read columns for Monday through Friday. For example: Phonemic Awareness: 1. Rhyme Time Activity. Phonics: 2. Determine the Letter of the Week 3. Handwriting Practice 4. Auditory Discrimination. 5. Scavenger Hunt 6. Playdough letters Sight Word Work 7. Introduce New Sight Words 8. Literature and at the top of each lesson it tells you what new letters are coming in the lesson. All of the skills are listed vertically, below each day, and the learning activities that correspond to each reading component. It is all in an easy-to-read format that anyone would find easy to understand, including a substitute teacher. The best part about the easy-to-read format is that there is no instructional time lost trying to figure out the lesson. Just looking at the lessons made me feel enthusiastic about actually teaching it!

Each lesson has 8 activities, but all begin with a phonemic awareness lesson, which is a crucial skill for a successful reader to acquire early on – for instance, “Monday, Level 1, Rhyme Time Activity” and when you turn the page, you see the instructions for exactly what that means for the activity. The instructions guide you to page one of the work-book, where you will find the Rhyme Time Activity. The work-book activities are meant to be used as master copies and there might be 5 activities for Phonics. Up-Words® covers all of the learning styles, too. For tactile learners, there are activities using colorful sand and play dough; for auditory learners, the teacher reads a piece from the Literature section and then has the students read themselves. This is a thorough and complete reading program that any teacher will find exciting and useful. VS

]]>“*If we are to obtain results never before achieved, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted*.” (Sir Francis Bacon, b 1561; d 1626)

Read Right^{®} is an innovative and highly effective reading intervention program that transforms struggling readers to excellent readers in a matter of months, not years. It is based on theoretical constructs that challenge mainstream thinking and are compatible with what is known about how the brain learns a process. The focus is on an implicit cognitive strategy of anticipating the author’s intended meaning as the foundation of excellent reading. Extraordinary results with struggling readers, including special education students (dyslexia, autism, ADD, ADHD) and English Language Learners reveal the promise of the new approach.

Because Read Right works so quickly to eliminate reading problems, students are well aware of their improvement, which translates into high student motivation to engage fully in the Read Right process. There has been extensive research and performance evaluation conducted to verify the effectiveness of the intervention model, all of which are available upon request from the company, Read Right Systems. www.readright.com

Read Right has been widely implemented nationally in schools, and it is available privately for struggling readers everywhere because it can be delivered on-line in live, real time tutoring sessions by highly-trained tutors. Check out the unusual money-back guarantee detailed on their website: www.tutoringforreading.com

The satisfied clients below are typical:

*“Just wanted to write and let you know that I appreciate your program. My daughter’s lowest grade today is a ‘B’. My son has only been enrolled in Read Right for about 1 month and I can see improvements already. I’m very impressed. …He is more confident and actually excited about showing us his reading skills.” *-A Parent of Native students, Cusick, Washington

*“My son, Chase, started 4th grade a couple of weeks ago and went through all of the usual reading assessments. His teacher told me he came in third in the class…and first in comprehension! THANK YOU for all that you have done for my son to help him become an excellent reader and a confident student.” *– Megan, mother of Chase, a Read Right graduate

“I love the Read Right program. I think schools would be amazed at how well it works. To see the children be functionally non-readers and move into sixth grade reading by the end of one year, what’s not to believe? What’s not to like about that?” – *Mary Jo Witkowski-Smith, Director of Special Programs, 6-12*

35-minute musical play for grades 2-6

Includes

• Script

• Teacher’s Guide and

• Audio Recording (which contains a vocal and instrumental version of each song)

Simple to do – no music or drama experience needed!

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By Michael Leppert

Bad Wolf Press is an ingenious company that creates original plays for schools, churches, civic groups and homeschool groups to perform. Combining learning or thinking concepts with theatrical presentations is a powerful way to embed the information into a child’s memory, develop public speaking skills and have fun all at the same time!

Now, Bad Wolf Press is offering a Science Curriculum, “Matter and Its Properties.” It provides the following information, to help children become familiar with these concepts:

• What matter is

• Properties of matter

• Composition of objects from particles, which can be combined in different ways to make new objects with potentially

different properties

• States of matter (solid, liquid, gas)

• Arrangement of particles in each state

• Changes in state

• Boiling, melting, freezing points

• Evaporation and condensation

• Reversible and irreversible change

Matter and Its Properties is a great supplement to whatever your curriculum is in physical science. Coupled with the other skills that are developed in rehearsing and performing a play, Matter provides an exceptional learning vehicle for any homeschooler and homeschool group.

Of course, Bad Wolf offers a complete line of appropriate plays (and guidance for parents/teachers) for young actors and actresses, providing the same array of skill development mentioned above – reading, comprehension, memorization, working with a team, public speaking and movement in one central activity that is also entertaining to families and friends! Please visit the website and browse the complete catalog of plays — www.badwolfpress.com. MjL