VideoYou are our Champions! 
Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion
Keep Up the Good Work Teachers! 
....and we hope this makes you smile a little. 
Teacher Appreciation!  The month of May starts out with Teacher Appreciation Day, and so we would just like to take a moment and say: 
 Whether it is what you do as part of your Raising A Reader program--- organizing bags, handing out surveys, coordinating parents nights---or all of the other hard work necessary to create a classroom where children are excited to learn, you are making a difference in the lives of parents and children.  We applaud you! 
Wrapping Up Raising A Reader  WrappingUp

For those of you who are not year-round programs, we are in the wrapping up phase of Raising A Reader.  A few reminders of what is coming up: 

1. We still have a few Parent Nights on the books.   Please try to over-remind parents to attend.  It is a busy time of year, but the topic of SCREENTIME is so important.
2. Collect, Evaluate and Wash your materials!  We will be getting you blue reminder slips for lost books soon if you don't have them already.  Start evaluating now which ones are on the loose so that we have as much time as possible to get them back before summer begins.
3.  Parent Surveys---- the post surveys are important to us not only because we can evaluate our programs but it gives us the data that we need to raise funds to keep the program going.  Please help us in distributing AND collecting these surveys!   If you don't have enough surveys or a parent says they have lost theirs, the surveys are posted online at under FORMS & HANDOUTS: Pre School--  Post Survey EnglishPost Survey Spanish.  Kindergarten-- Post Survey English & Spanish
4. Teacher Survey---- The teacher survey helps us to know what we are doing right and how we can make the program better.   We hope you will take the time to give us your honest feedback.   Survey
RESEARCH: Using Engagement Strategies to Facilitate Children's Learning and Success
Beyond the Journal * Young Children on the Web * March 2006
By: Judy R. Jablon and Michael Wilkinson

Spring fever may have found its way into your classroom and teaching amidst that energy can be challenging.  This article has some useful information that might help harness that energy with Engagement Strategies in the classroom.
From the article: 

"In his book Shaking Up the School House, Schlechty captures the difference between being engaged and being on task: Engagement is active. It requires that students be attentive as well as in attendance; it requires the student to be committed to the task and find some inherent value in what he or she is being asked to do. The engaged student not only does the task assigned but also does it with enthusiasm and diligence. "

"The use of engagement strategies is a powerful teaching tool critical in promoting children's achievement because it * focuses children on learning; * supports learning specific skills and concepts; and * provides children positive associations with learning."

"The engagement strategies you choose depend on your purpose, teaching style, and the children in your classroom. Regardless of the strategies selected, effective facilitation is a key to making them work. By facilitation we mean the techniques used to execute a strategy.
* a clearly stated purpose-[teacher] lets children know the overall purpose of the task and why they are being asked to do it: they are researchers finding out about how to use a powerful tool. 
* explicit directions-.[teacher] provides directions about the what and how of the task at each step, both verbally and in writing. 
* needed materials-Children have dictionaries, chart paper, and baskets with pencils, markers, and sticky notes. 
* guidance-[teacher] circulates among groups, asking and answering questions as well as giving feedback."


Below is a short segment that you could easily add to any newsletter you might send to parents.  We are really trying to connect with parents this year and help you connect with them through Raising A Reader.   Use it if you would like!  

The weather is getting nicer every day and that means that we are headed outdoors and sometimes on the road.   The great news?  Books travel well!   Some easy bring-along ideas: 
1. Put a book in your backpack to read during a break on a hike. 
2. Fill the backseat on a car trip with books or listen to a book on tape instead of a video or music. 
3. Have a picture book picnic where you read a book at the beginning of the meal and the end. 
4. Build a "reading fort" outside and visit it often with favorite books. 
5. There will be some rainy days.... so visit the local library and find some new favorites! 
Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute | P.O. Box 2533, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602 | 970-230-9117 | |