PHONICS TALK: The Dorbooks Newsletter
Volume 30 ~ December 2007
by Dolores G. Hiskes


CHRISTMAS AND THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

And so now the Holidays are upon us once again! While it's all too easy to get steamrolled by the huge commercial machine of the *Holidaze*, sometimes it's worth stopping, stepping back, and thinking of the meaning behind these special days, and reaching out to others with love, peace, and thanksgiving.

And we have so much to be thankful for! This Season I am truly thankful for all of you who share my interest in literacy. And yes, there are special people I'm particularly grateful to, such as Rebecca Faherty, who has given so much of her time and effort to follow her dream and set up, on her own, the *Kids Read* tutoring program. It was less than two years ago that Becky flew to San Francisco from Maryland to meet with me and find out how to use the program, and now look at her! (Story below.)

This issue also will be comprised of more details about the free teaching aids now available at Dorbooks, a Holiday Special involving a free game giveaway, and information about an upcoming workshop.

************************************************

*KIDS READ* AWARD

FREE DOWNLOADS

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!

UPCOMING WORKSHOP

************************************************

KIDS READ

************************************************

The summer before last Rebecca Faherty and I met in
San Francisco to talk about literacy, and the Kids Read,
Inc. tutoring program was born. And now, less than two
years later, Becky has won the coveted Distinguished
Service to Public Education award from the Montgomery
County, Maryland Board of Education! In a feature article
with photos *The Montgomery Village News* reported
that she is on a mission to enable children who are
struggling readers to read on grade level by the end of
second grade. I will be posting a PDF file on my website
soon, with the complete article and photo of Becky.

This program is enjoying an 85 to 90 percent success
rate, all the more remarkable because most of the
children are ELL and many are deficient even in their
own language. Two of these students are even on the
honor roll and are now taking advanced math!

Becky's tips:

*What thrills me the most is the success of the children
I teach. As I told you this summer, I am in a new school
in the afternoons. Many of the children are ESL, and I am
realizing that if the children are deficient in their own
language, learning English is all the more difficult. So at
South Lake I have a Hispanic assistant. He is well spoken
in both English and Spanish, so for ten minutes each class
he has Spanish conversation with the Hispanic children to
increase their Spanish vocabulary.

*I have not used anything so far but Phonics Pathways and
Reading Pathways. I am doing a lot more with the spelling
and writing of sentences from PP, and I use dry erase boards
for the spelling quizzes. The kids love the quizzes, and it is
very telling what they are getting and where their difficulty is.

*I am also using PP to help my Hispanic assistant to have
better articulation. He is thrilled for the opportunity, and the
kids get a kick out of seeing him being tutored. He is not the
least bit embarrassed, and is a great young man. He was
educated in Puerto Rico and was a science major while there,
and now is transferring to education.*

Congratulations and hugs to Becky and everyone at Kids Read!

************************************************

FREE DOWNLOADS

************************************************

At last all of the certificates are completed for Phonics
Pathways and can be seen, enjoyed, and downloaded from
the Free Downloads page at Dorbooks. They are a set of
beautifully colored certificates that can be printed and
presented to your students as you progress through Phonics
Pathways:

* First Level of Reading Competence:
*BEGINNING EXPLORER*
Page 14 -- Short-Vowel Sounds - Students have learned all
of the short-vowel sounds, and can read Phonics Pathways
through page 14.

* Second Level of Reading Competence:
*EAGER BEAVER*
Page 67 -- Two-Consonant Endings Review - Students can
blend letters into syllables & words, and build words into
simple short-vowel phrases & sentences.

* Third level of Reading Competence:
*SMART COOKY*
Page 112 -- Suffix Review - Students are able to read more
interesting stories with consonant digraph endings, suffixes,
and long-vowel words.

* Fourth Level of Reading Competence:
*COOL READER*
Page 176 -- Vowel Dipthong Review - Students are now able
to read books containing complex multisyllable words,
R-modified vowels, long-vowel digraphs, and vowel diphthongs.

* Fifth Level of Reading Competence:
*READING WIZARD*
End of book -- Graduation! Students are now expert readers
who can read anything in Phonics Pathways or any other book
with ease, fluency, and great enjoyment!

These certificates provide great motivation for students as
they work their way through the book, so take a peek and see
what you think.

***********

Also check out the downloadable Dorbooks Record Keeping
Chart. It has proven invaluable to teachers and parents alike!

1- Staple the Student Achievement Chart to the left-hand
inside cover of a folder, and simply fill in the *Date Begun* and
*Date Completed* sections of each skill listed as you proceed
through the book.

2- Staple the Student Progress Notes to the right-hand
inside cover, and fill in the date and page of the lesson, plus
any special notes you may have about the lesson itself. (If this
folder is used with multi-tutors, also put your initials in the
*Tutor* section.)

Voila! Now you have a simple device to keep an up-to-date
record of your student's progress through Phonics Pathways.
It is especially handy to have on hand at parent-teacher
conferences to show Mom and Dad exactly how their student
is performing in an easy, no-explanations-needed format.
And you yourself will always be able to see at-a-glance exactly
what to teach and what skills need extra help or review.

***********

Those of you using Phonics Pathways for spelling might also
like to take a peek at *Spelling Strategies* - it's a step by
step guide outlining how to use Phonics Pathways for spelling,
and has many useful tips that have proven invaluable to
parents and teachers alike. And yes, it's also a free download.

************************************************

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!

************************************************

This is the Season of Giving, and we would like to thank all of
you for your continuing interest in Dorbooks by making the
following special offer: Everyone purchasing both Phonics
Pathways and Reading Pathway in December will not only get
the discounted price, but a free set of Blendit! games!

This game normally sells for $35, so if any of you were even
thinking of purchasing the books -- now is the time to do so,
to take advantage of this special offer. After the first of
the year Blendit! will be sold thereafter at the usual $35 price.
This is a one-time offer for the Holiday Season only to all of
our loyal readers. Merry Christmas!

************************************************

UPCOMING WORKSHOP

************************************************

In May I will be giving a workshop to the International Reading
Association's conference in Atlanta, and I hope to see some
of you there. I've corresponded with many of you, and I'd
love to meet you in person! The title of my presentation will
be *The Comprehension Dilemma: A Simple Solution,* and
I will be detailing what I consider to be a fourteen-point
checklist for a truly effective phonics reading program.
I'll have more information about this workshop in a later
newsletter.

************************************************

All too soon the New Year will be upon us with many
exciting events that will take place, not the least of which
will be Presidential nominations and election. I cannot recall
a more exciting or tumultuous time than the present, with
all the things that are happening in preparation for this
momentous event whether behind the scenes, up front in
headlines, or hidden away in back alleys.

This is why literacy is so very important! In a democracy
a critical mass of the general population needs to grasp
complex concepts in sufficient detail to make informed
decisions. This presupposes and requires reading fluency.

Together, we can work to make America once again the
literate nation it once was and can be again. We must
increase the literacy rate in ALL countries. We can, and
we must!

Safe, Happy Holidays to all of you with warmest wishes
for a bright New Year for everyone!

With gratitude and thanks,
Dolores PHONICS TALK: The Dorbooks Newsletter
Volume 30 ~ December 2007
by Dolores G. Hiskes

THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS

And so now the Holidays are upon us once again!
While it's all too easy to get steamrolled by the
huge commercial machine of the *Holidaze*,
sometimes it's worth stopping, stepping back,
and thinking of the meaning behind these special
days, and reaching out to others with love, peace,
and thanksgiving.

And we have so much to be thankful for! This
Season I am truly thankful for all of you who share
my interest in literacy. And yes, there are special
people I'm particularly grateful to, such as Rebecca
Faherty, who has given so much of her time and
effort to follow her dream and set up, on her own,
the *Kids Read* tutoring program. It was less than
two years ago that Becky flew to San Francisco
from Maryland to meet with me and find out how
to use the program, and now look at her!
(Story below.)

This issue also will be comprised of more details
about the free teaching aids now available at
http://www.dorbooks.com. a Holiday Special
involving a free game giveaway, and information
about an upcoming workshop.

************************************************

*KIDS READ* AWARD

FREE DOWNLOADS

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!

UPCOMING WORKSHOP

************************************************

KIDS READ

************************************************

The summer before last Rebecca Faherty and I met in
San Francisco to talk about literacy, and the Kids Read,
Inc. tutoring program was born. And now, less than two
years later, Becky has won the coveted Distinguished
Service to Public Education award from the Montgomery
County, Maryland Board of Education! In a feature article
with photos *The Montgomery Village News* reported
that she is on a mission to enable children who are
struggling readers to read on grade level by the end of
second grade. I will be posting a PDF file on my website
soon, with the complete article and photo of Becky.

This program is enjoying an 85 to 90 percent success
rate, all the more remarkable because most of the
children are ELL and many are deficient even in their
own language. Two of these students are even on the
honor roll and are now taking advanced math!

Becky's tips:

*What thrills me the most is the success of the children
I teach. As I told you this summer, I am in a new school
in the afternoons. Many of the children are ESL, and I am
realizing that if the children are deficient in their own
language, learning English is all the more difficult. So at
South Lake I have a Hispanic assistant. He is well spoken
in both English and Spanish, so for ten minutes each class
he has Spanish conversation with the Hispanic children to
increase their Spanish vocabulary.

*I have not used anything so far but Phonics Pathways and
Reading Pathways. I am doing a lot more with the spelling
and writing of sentences from PP, and I use dry erase boards
for the spelling quizzes. The kids love the quizzes, and it is
very telling what they are getting and where their difficulty is.

*I am also using PP to help my Hispanic assistant to have
better articulation. He is thrilled for the opportunity, and the
kids get a kick out of seeing him being tutored. He is not the
least bit embarrassed, and is a great young man. He was
educated in Puerto Rico and was a science major while there,
and now is transferring to education.*

Congratulations and hugs to Becky and everyone at Kids Read!

************************************************

FREE DOWNLOADS

************************************************

At last all of the certificates are completed for Phonics
Pathways and can be seen, enjoyed, and downloaded from
http://www.dorbooks.com/downloads.html They are a set of
beautifully colored certificates that can be printed and
presented to your students as you progress through Phonics
Pathways:

* First Level of Reading Competence:
*BEGINNING EXPLORER*
Page 14 -- Short-Vowel Sounds - Students have learned all
of the short-vowel sounds, and can read Phonics Pathways
through page 14.

* Second Level of Reading Competence:
*EAGER BEAVER*
Page 67 -- Two-Consonant Endings Review - Students can
blend letters into syllables & words, and build words into
simple short-vowel phrases & sentences.

* Third level of Reading Competence:
*SMART COOKY*
Page 112 -- Suffix Review - Students are able to read more
interesting stories with consonant digraph endings, suffixes,
and long-vowel words.

* Fourth Level of Reading Competence:
*COOL READER*
Page 176 -- Vowel Dipthong Review - Students are now able
to read books containing complex multisyllable words,
R-modified vowels, long-vowel digraphs, and vowel diphthongs.

* Fifth Level of Reading Competence:
*READING WIZARD*
End of book -- Graduation! Students are now expert readers
who can read anything in Phonics Pathways or any other book
with ease, fluency, and great enjoyment!

These certificates provide great motivation for students as
they work their way through the book, so take a peek and see
what you think.

***********

Also check out the downloadable Dorbooks Record Keeping
Chart. It has proven invaluable to teachers and parents alike!

1- Staple the Student Achievement Chart to the left-hand
inside cover of a folder, and simply fill in the *Date Begun* and
*Date Completed* sections of each skill listed as you proceed
through the book.

2- Staple the Student Progress Notes to the right-hand
inside cover, and fill in the date and page of the lesson, plus
any special notes you may have about the lesson itself. (If this
folder is used with multi-tutors, also put your initials in the
*Tutor* section.)

Voila! Now you have a simple device to keep an up-to-date
record of your student's progress through Phonics Pathways.
It is especially handy to have on hand at parent-teacher
conferences to show Mom and Dad exactly how their student
is performing in an easy, no-explanations-needed format.
And you yourself will always be able to see at-a-glance exactly
what to teach and what skills need extra help or review.

***********

Those of you using Phonics Pathways for spelling might also
like to take a peek at *Spelling Strategies* - it's a step by
step guide outlining how to use Phonics Pathways for spelling,
and has many useful tips that have proven invaluable to
parents and teachers alike. And yes, it's also a free download.

************************************************

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!

************************************************

This is the Season of Giving, and we would like to thank all of
you for your continuing interest in Dorbooks by making the
following special offer: Everyone purchasing both Phonics
Pathways and Reading Pathway in December will not only get
the discounted price, but a free set of Blendit! games!

This game normally sells for $35, so if any of you were even
thinking of purchasing the books -- now is the time to do so,
to take advantage of this special offer. After the first of
the year Blendit! will be sold thereafter at the usual $35 price.
This is a one-time offer for the Holiday Season only to all of
our loyal readers. Merry Christmas!

************************************************

UPCOMING WORKSHOP

************************************************

In May I will be giving a workshop to the International Reading
Association's conference in Atlanta, and I hope to see some
of you there. I've corresponded with many of you, and I'd
love to meet you in person! The title of my presentation will
be *The Comprehension Dilemma: A Simple Solution,* and
I will be detailing what I consider to be a fourteen-point
checklist for a truly effective phonics reading program.
I'll have more information about this workshop in a later
newsletter.

************************************************

All too soon the New Year will be upon us with many
exciting events that will take place, not the least of which
will be Presidential nominations and election. I cannot recall
a more exciting or tumultuous time than the present, with
all the things that are happening in preparation for this
momentous event whether behind the scenes, up front in
headlines, or hidden away in back alleys.

This is why literacy is so very important! In a democracy
a critical mass of the general population needs to grasp
complex concepts in sufficient detail to make informed
decisions. This presupposes and requires reading fluency.

Together, we can work to make America once again the
literate nation it once was and can be again. We must
increase the literacy rate in ALL countries. We can, and
we must!

Safe, Happy Holidays to all of you with warmest wishes
for a bright New Year for everyone!

With gratitude and thanks,
Dolores

copyright December 2007 Dolores G. Hiskes

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