Dr. Connie Hebert helps kids, parents, and teachers by helping them become experts at catching "the teachable minute" anytime, anywhere! My Teachable Minute Blog offers quick tips on how to engage with younger and older kids. Comments, questions, and reflections are always welcome . . . let's catch a million teachable minutes together!

Archive for May, 2012

Catch a Book: Chess is Child’s Play by Laura Sherman & Bill Kilpatrick

Recently a friend gave me a book called Chess Is Child’s Play: Teaching Techniques That Work for parents and educators. It’s a wonderful book for teaching kids how to think!

I love the easy-to-use format. The large diagrams of chess positions make following the lesson plans in this book very clear. I also liked the inclusion of fun stories from parents throughout the book, as well as the beautifully shot photographs heading each chapter.

Chess Is Child’s Play uses a whole bunch of powerful strategies for helping kids learn to play the game of chess. The authors Laura and Bill use a very step-by-step method to teach a parent to teach a young child to play chess. And if the parent doesn’t know how to play, they’ll soon learn!

I am a mother of three excellent thinkers and I could have used this book when my kids were younger. I especially loved the chapter that offers Tips on Teaching, which is packed with great advice. The tips given here transcends chess and applies to many levels of teaching. Children who are both ‘learning to read’ and ‘reading to learn’ can also benefit from many critical thinking opportunities that are presented in this wonderful resource. Chess can really improve a child’s ability to read!

If you’re considering purchasing a book that will teach you how to teach your young child to play chess, pick up a copy of Chess Is Child’s Play: Teaching Techniques That Work. You’ll have hours of fun with these lessons…


Summer Reading for Educators

Check it out…

Summer Reading Pics for Educators http://t.co/npHAuXbw  — Eye On Education

Catch a Tip: Observing What Good Readers Do

We can learn much from actually listening to the way good readers SOUND when they read. Notice how they problem solve new and unfamiliar words. Watch for different strategies and behaviors that they use when they first encounter a book or when they respond to questions. Observe the way they handle different types of books. Take note of what their eyes and fingers do when they encounter challenges as they read. Reflect on different ways that the reader uses different cueing systems to solve different print problems. WHY take the time to do this, you might ask? This knowledge increases your awareness of what struggling readers are NOT doing!

To learn more about what to do to help struggling readers so they CAN read like your competent readers, check out strategy #29 in my book, Catch a Falling Reader (2nd edition). Publisher: Corwin Press.

What do kids need us to do for them?

“Be clear. Be clear. Be clear.”
Give them clear instructions, clear expectations, clear feedback. Clear?!

“Sound It Out”

Watch out for the common verbal prompt, “Sound it out!” Many kids take that literally, sounding out every single letter sound. No matter how many times you make the sounds, “w-o-u-l-d” you’ll never get the word “would”!! Consider this…NONE of us would look at a new word, for example the word, “cardiology” and sound out c-a-r-d-i-o-l-o-g-y. We might go back to the beginning of the line, look for common chunks (car/logy), try combining sounds, and consider the meaning of what we are reading. But we would NOT “sound it out”… be careful of who you use this prompt with. Falling kids get stuck and STAY STUCK by ‘sounding out’ letter sounds. Tell them not to do that and teach them what they can do to decode new and difficult words. More in my book, Catch a Falling Reader.

IRA Chicago 2012

Back from another great IRA conference. My topic: Catching Falling Readers: 20 Minutes Per Day.

Spoke for several hundred teachers and loved it, as always! I meet so many dedicated teachers who genuinely want to catch their falling readers. Felt badly that room monitors turned away approximately 300 due to ‘no room’. If teachers want to learn more about Falling Readers, they should ALL be able to! Next time, I will hold the session in the convention center hallways if we don’t get a bigger room!

For those who came and couldn’t get in, thank you. I am so sorry. For those who came and got in, thank you. I hope I helped you and your kids.

Awesome audience! Here’s to next year…in a bigger room!

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