PHONICS TALK: The Dorbooks Newsletter
Volume 59 ~ August 2012
by Dolores G. Hiskes


BITS 'N PIECES

This newsletter is comprised of a variety of offerings, most of which are totally unrelated but nevertheless may be of great interest. As always, also check out my blog, which is often enhanced with interactive graphics to demonstrate the lessons, which cannot be done in a newsletter: Read the Phonics Blog!

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ILLITERACY AND OUTSOURCING
(See www.dorbooks.com/phonicsblog for the complete article)

EDUCATING THE WHOLE CHILD

FREE DECODABLE READERS (YES, FREE!)

TWO HEARTWARMING BEDTIME STORIES

"THE TRUST MOLECULE"

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ILLITERACY AND OUTSOURCING
(www.dorbooks.com/phonicsblog)

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The fact that America outsources many of its jobs is
not new information -- even the outfits worn by
American athletes in the Olympics were outsourced
to China.

Less well known is the reason why this is so. It is
not because wages overseas are less, as the components
Apple's Chinese contractors assemble, for example,
come from places with wages as high if not higher
than in the United States. And 17% of what we pay for
an iPhone goes to Germany, whose manufacturers pay
wages higher than those paid to American workers
because German workers are more highly skilled.
American jobs are outsourced because of illiteracy.

According to a recent article by Robert Reich
(http://robertreigh.org July 18, 2012) America isn't
educating enough of our people well enough to do the
job here. He states our K-12 school system isn't nearly
up to what it should be, and that American students
continue to do poorly in math and science relative to
students in other advanced countries.

(Read the rest of this article at www.dorbooks.com/phonicsblog
and Reich's original article at http://robertreigh.org for
July 18, 2012.)

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EDUCATING THE WHOLE CHILD

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A recent study on the impact of Catholic schools in the
lives of economically disadvantaged children found that
98% of a group of low income students attending Catholic
schools in Los Angeles not only graduated from high school,
but nearly 98% of them went on to pursue some sort of
postsecondary education, as reported in the October 4, 2011
online issue of *Education Week*.

In this article Philip Robey reports that when Catholic
schools say they teach the whole child, they mean it.
Moral choices and character values are just as strongly
emphasized as educational performance. This sometimes gets
forgotten in public and charter schools, where success has
come to be almost totally defined by numbers.

I'm proud to say that Dewey D. System, Bookwurmus Giganticus,
has done his fair share of educating the whole child by
providing such a wealth of proverbs and good advice packed
throughout *Phonics Pathways!* Here are a few:

*When you help someone up a hill you're a little nearer
the top yourself!*

*When you meet with an obstacle do like the wind does:
whistle and go around it!*

*Beware the tongue…it's very wet, and likely to slip!*

*People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges!*

*A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight!*

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FREE DECODABLE READERS (YES, FREE!)

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The *FUN PHONICS: Children, Today's Joy* set of
decodable readers has always been on my suggested
list of beginning readers for many years. These
engaging little books interweave geography, shapes,
numbers and music into the books to stimulate the
creative potential in your student's drawing, writing,
and thinking.

Author and publisher Trish Mylett is no longer selling
these books but allowing users to download them free,
provided you give the copyright holders credit, that
no modifications are made, and it is not for commercial
use. Yes, they are now FREE!

Our then-tiny young granddaughter (three years old) was
motivated to read each booklet, as Grandfather would
then have to sing the song on the back of the book.
She couldn't wait for him to sing, as he sang with a
(deliberately) terrible voice which would get her rolling
on the floor in laughter.

They would be a wonderful adjunct to any other reader
you may be using. Take a peek and see what you think:
http://www.funphonics.com/

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TWO HEARTWARMING BEDTIME STORIES

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(1) One customer wrote (regarding the *Math-Reading Connection*
article on my blog):

*I used your material for a small class of second-language
Asian children because I knew one Taiwanese boy who *hated*
reading and I couldn't stand it! To his parents' amazement
all his second-grade school subjects improved dramatically,
especially arithmetic. He has won school math awards every
year since then. They connect it to his learning to read.*

(2) And another customer e-mailed me the following note:

*Your Phonics Pathways book is really helping my son with his
reading! He started reading very early and learned almost on his own.
As he progressed, he moved to guessing as his first attempt at an
unknown word and wouldn't pause to sound out the words. Trying to
teach 'sounding out' while reading a book wasn't working. I tried
Hooked on Phonics only to learn it's a word family approach - not the
best fit for him. He was able to guess during the practice lessons, but
when it came time to read other books, he still didn't know how to
easily decode words he didn't already know.

*I looked in our local library for some other reading books and was
excited to find your book. It was exactly what he needed. It is helping
him to learn the ways to actually decode a word. He's more likely to
attempt decoding on his own now. Plus his fluency has improved.

*I referred your book to a friend and now all 5 of our children are
using it. We thank you for writing such a wonderful resource for
teaching reading. Your book has empowered us to teach our children
how to read and ensure that we're giving them a solid foundation to
grow their reading and spelling skills. I pre-read the entire book,
and you taught me a considerable amount as well (like when to use
a /c/ vs a /k/!).*

Small wonder that I'm so passionate about what I do and love it so much!

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"THE TRUST MOLECULE"

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In the April 28-29th weekend edition of *The Wall Street Journal*
Paul J. Zak wrote an intriguing article called *The Trust Molecule*
that may answer why some of us are caring and others cruel, some
generous and some greedy. The new science of morality suggests
that the chemical messenger oxytocin might be the elixir that creates
bonds of trust not just in our intimate relationships but also in our
business dealings, in politics, and in society at large.

Since 2001 Paul Zak and his colleagues have conducted a number
of experiments showing that when someone's level of oxcytocin
goes up he or she responds more generously and caringly, even
with complete strangers. Even more strikingly, they found
that all you have to do is give someone a sign of trust to trigger
this *moral molecule* oxcytocin. It's a loop: the feeling of
being trusted makes a person more trustworthy which, over time,
makes other people more inclined to trust, which in turn. . .
you get the idea. Evidently it doesn't even take a hug!

Of course there must be some line drawn between trust and
wariness, generosity and self protection, and more information
can be found in the new book *The Moral Molecule,* by Paul J. Zak.

Anything that might encourage us to be more civil in our actions,
resulting in a more virtuous society and possibly preventing some
of the murderous and vicious attacks we've seen recently, sounds
incredibly exciting to me!

Best regards (and with many hearty hugs!) until next time,
Dolores

Copyright Dolores G. Hiskes 2012

 

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