Literacy

Key Words: Sylvia Ashton Warner's Delicious Way of Teaching Beginning Reading
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Key Words: Sylvia Ashton Warner’s Delicious Way
of Teaching Beginning Reading

For people working with children beginning to read

This workshop helps teachers to focus on making reading meaningful and desirable to young children by helping them see the power of the written word.  Young children are very involved with solving major problems in their lives and understanding, and they need powerful tools to help them.  Sylvia Ashton-Warner invented one that helps and heals.

There is videotape of children reading to me and getting new words.

Workshop participants will learn some techniques for effective talking with a child to evoke the words that name the pictures in his or her heart, and what to do with the other children while the lesson is going on.

They can prepare for the workshop by reading my chapter on this process in The Sun’s Not Broken, A Cloud’s Just in the Way: On Child-Centered Teaching, pages 66-76,
my book, Pay Attention to the Children; Lessons for Teachers and Parents from Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Katie Johnson’s book, Doing Words,  or Sylvia Ashton-Warner’s book,Teacher.

Storyplaying: Vivian Paley's Language Development Technique
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Storyplaying: Vivian Paley’s Language Development Technique

For people who work with children ages 4-9

This workshop is about a process in which stories dictated by a child to the teacher come alive through dramatization by and for young children.  Developed by University of Chicago Laboratory School teacher and MacArthur “genius” prize winner, Vivian Gussin Paley, author of White Teacher, Wally’s Stories, Molly is Three, Bad Guys Don’t Have Birthdays, The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter, You Can’t Say You Can’t Play, Kwanzaa and Me, A Child’s Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play, In Mrs. Tully’s Room : A Childcare Portrait [all from Harvard University Press or University of Chicago Press]

Storyplaying is a no-cost, straightforward, classroom-contained empowering experience for children and teachers.  I have a half-hour video of the process as I attempted to replicate it in Pasadena, California, in 1989.  The workshop will help teachers think about appropriate pre-literacy activities, and appropriate supports for children just becoming literate.

Children's Literature: The Enchanted Child in the Real World
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Children’s Literature: The Enchanted Child in the Real World

I will bring about 150 books with me, and help teachers strengthen their abilities to:

  • choose appropriate books to meet children’s many needs (including dealing with stresses of divorce, death, new siblings etc.)
  • critically examine books to recognize bias
  • help children learn to recognize biased ideas (isn’t this book silly to have only men working as police officers?)
  • read aloud
  • lead book discussions with children and colleagues

(Where applicable, I’ll ask you to pay air freight for books.)

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