Educational CyberPlayGround


How to Teach your child to read
and write in 10 Steps.

You must read so you can show your child that you like it and also do it everyday.

Read to your child every day!

PLAY PLAY PLAY use your hands and chant the playground songs they know. Have fun rhyming! use the whole body! Do them over and over! Have fun!!!

Point out signs on the street and say the for letters when you are outside.

Sound out the word or know it by sight both ways work for children.
Work on letter sounds and manipulating them within words (phonemic awareness)

Encourage your child to sound out short words (consonant, vowel, consonant) or practice memorizing a few sight words each day.

Involve your child by asking questions about what you are are reading before you start - during, and after you finish.Read a variety of books and make a game out of guessing the genre.

Children can't read: How to Teach My Kid to Read

How To Teach Reading and Writing English in Elementary School.

How to write good english.

IEPs & National Statistics.
As part of the “no child left behind” initiative in the 90’s, the federal government mandated that every student who qualified for an Individual Education Plan (“IEP”), had a right by law to receive certain interventions, accommodations, and other individualized services that every county is then required to fund. Parents need to go into their Schools and request that their kid be tested and evaluated. They need to take notes of everything that happens to hold schools accountable for delivering the help their child needs!!!!
Federal guidelines were established for a student to qualify for an IEP, which were further supplemented in each state, with additional state guidelines. Although it varies state by state, the cost for one student in an IEP is about $15,000 per year.

On a national average, 13% of all students are in IEPs, which results in over $100 billion dollars spent annually in the U.S. on IEPs. Of the students who have been approved for IEPs, approximately 75% of them have problems with reading.

It is universally recognized by educators that reading problems are the single largest issue by far that have a negative impact on the process of learning.

One in Four students have a reading problem in the U.S. and Teachers already know who these 1 out of 4 students are.

Vision Affects Learning

Unattended vision issues not only affect the ability to read and comprehend, but also contribute to struggles with math and poor handwriting.

Children struggle with reading because they see words that appear to move on the page when reading, and this as a word movement symptom or word movement issue. A student (or any person at any age) can have 20/20 vision but still struggle with word movement symptoms that a typical eye exam will not address.

15-20% of the U.S. population struggles with word movement issues that negatively impact their ability to read efficiently. This same segment of the population also struggles with the "nagging symptoms" of headaches, nausea, fatigue, and eyestrain, which causes them to avoid reading.

There are eight different ways that words appear to move on the page. Adults and Children who struggle with at least four of the eight word movement symptoms have trouble with
* Reading
* Reading Comprehension
* headaches, nausea, fatigue, eyestrain, and loss of place when reading

More Academic Research on the Topic of Reading

The harsh truth about speed-reading - IT DOESN'T WORK! The FTC isn’t the only group contesting speed-readers’ claims. Researchers have consistently debunked them.


NAEP scores in reading and math have not really improved over 30 years, despite billions of dollars spent in K-12 education. Only 30% of 4th graders are proficient readers, 26% proficient in math, 18% proficient in history, and the USA ranks significantly lower than other nations in science and math achievement. 42 million adults in the US are "functionally literate," meaning that they can't read the front page of the newspaper.

1/29/2014 The Pew Research Center

*reported* last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has **nearly tripled since 1978*
The details of the Pew report are quite interesting and somewhat
counterintuitive. Among American adults, women were more likely to have read at least one book in the last 12 months than men. Blacks were more likely to have read a book than whites or Hispanics. People aged 18-29 were more likely to have read a book than those in any other age group. And there was little difference in readership among urban, suburban and rural population.

Plato warned that reading would be the downfall of the Oral Tradition and memory.



It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing . . . ~ Duke Ellington
"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler". ~ Albert Einstein


The Three Stooges: Moe, Larry, Curly "Swinging the Alphabet" 


2012 Can NAEP Predict College Readiness?
The governing board established a commission in 2002 to decide whether it would be possible to use the 12th grade reading and mathematics NAEP to predict students' academic preparedness for college, careers, and the military. The final report on the research to date was due out this month, but board members voted this summer to delay its release and include a new round of studies based on the 2013 NAEP.
Researchers from WestEd, a San Francisco-based research group working under contract to the governing board, found that the 12th grade reading and math tests cover content very similar to that of the SAT. Moreover, a 2009 study of more than 15,000 12th graders who took both the national assessment and the SAT showed that performing at the proficient level on the math NAEP was associated with an 80 percent chance of earning 500 points out of a possible 800 on the math portion of the SAT, and that the proficient level in reading was associated with a 50-50 chance of scoring 500 on the SAT verbal test.

The SAT has internally pegged a score of 500 to earning at least a B-minus in freshman-level college courses.

"A study at Arizona State University has found that students had lower reading comprehension of scrolling online material than they did of print-like versions."


What Size Community Does it Take to Raise a Child’s Test Scores?
By Alan Haskvitz Ringleader on the Educational CyberPlayGround

This research project was done in my eight grade social studies class a few years ago as part of the service learning requirement. The team was lead by Winston Feng who organized the data and worked with the other students to reach the hypothesis that small and large cities by and large don’t produce the best language arts test scores, especially in districts with larger minority populations. The students’ previous work had clearly shown that all test scores almost always followed the social economic demographics of the area. The higher the education and income level the higher the test scores. However, there has never been a study done about the relationship between community size and test scores. Thus the reason for the project. Of note is the fact that this was limited to California. It would be of interest to see if the same held true in other states. – Al Haskvitz

To see if there is a relationship between the population of a city and student achievement at the middle school level in California.

English scores varied greatly among population centers. In cities with a smaller population, such as 10,000 or 30,000 residents, the scores were noticeably higher than others cities. The same held true to an even greater extent with social studies. We felt that the reason was in the nature of smaller communities. In very small communities a child can survive by going to local establishments and stay within the realm of that language. English, although taught at school, does not get the rigorous use because of the language isolation.
Throughout the course of the compilation of school test scores per city, many tangible patterns were identified. Cities with 30,000 residents tend to score higher than cities with a lower or higher population. Cities with the greatest populations had the worst overall performance. The differences in the scores also were different based on community size with the largest differences in social studies and English and the least differences in math scores.

When a community reaches a population of about 10,000, students more frequently venture into areas where English is the medium of exchange. Thus the student is forced to use English more away from school. This hypothesis appears to be validated by the fact that the top scores in social studies and English were recorded in communities in the 30,000 range. Again, the student must venture even further into the town and use English to communicate on a daily basis.
Finally, the consistent drop off of scores for students in cities from 50,000 upwards confirms the hypothesis again, because in communities of these sizes the student has the ability to have enough people that have the same culture and thus limit the need to go outside the immediate neighborhood. Indeed, in larger cities students are not encouraged to go outside their immediate area while in smaller communities the safety standards are more relaxed.



It is a Human Rights Issue



With so many children in school failing tests we need to suppor and harness their creativity when they have a learning difference which is NOT a disability. The Department of Education and the College needs to provide tools in the classes undergrads take who will graduate be able to teach creatively to harness the talent of kids who don't test well or read well, but who can achieve and get by on their wits.


DYSLEXIA affects Children's Emotional Health and Well Being. Children who can't read will find the achievment gap widening between them and their peers. This gap will never close. Their self esteem plummets. There is a very high likelyhood these kids will drop out of 9th grade. This effects the Economic and Medical Health of the commnity and ultimately every tax payer in America becuase 1 in every 100 persons is in jail!




Dyslexia is a learning disability that impairs an individual's capacity to read and is linked to difficulty in identifying letters, syllables and words -- despite suitable schooling and in the absence of intellectual or sensorial deficiencies. Dyslexia, which often causes writing problems, affects on average one child in every class and 5% of the world's population. Reading can be "torture" for dyslexic children. It takes one year for a dyslexic child to read what a "normal reader" reads in two days.

Wider Letter Spacing Helps Dyslexic Children
Increasing the spacing between characters and words in a text improves the speed and quality of dyslexic children's reading, without prior training. Wider spacing enabled the children to improve their reading both in terms of speed and precision.They read 20% faster on average and make half as many errors.Try using the iPad/iPhone application, "DYS." It allows both parents and children to modify the spacing between letters. On average, they read 20% faster and made half as many errors. This progress could stem from the fact that dyslexic children are particularly sensitive to "perceptual crowding," in other words the visual masking of each individual letter by those surrounding it. The results of this study show that this crowding effect may be reduced by spacing letters apart.

School systems in Hawaii, Indiana and elsewhere across the country, Pitt County Schools in North Carolina will no longer require its students to learn cursive writing. North Carolina is one of 46 states and the District of Columbia to adopt the new Common Core State Standards, a set of national education standards that, among other things, omits cursive but includes keyboard proficiency. According to Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Olmstead, the schools had previously been teaching cursive writing starting in third grade, reports the Daily Reflector. Now, students will transition from finishing learning how to print in second grade, to keyboarding skills in third grade. With teachers having so much other material to cover, they are left with no time for cursive, the district officials say, according to WNCT.

Sound Training Rewires Dyslexic Children's Brains For Reading
The sounds played slowly at first--an easy task for the dyslexic children--but gradually sped up, becoming more challenging. The exercises then repeated with increasingly complex sounds: syllables, words, and finally, sentences. The repetitive exercises appeared to rewire the dyslexic children's brains: after eight weeks of daily sessions--about 60 hours total--their brains responded more like typical readers' when processing fast-changing sounds, and their reading improved. It's unclear, though, whether the improvement lasts beyond a few weeks, since follow-up tests were not done.


Dr. Louisa Moats
Vice President of the International Dyslexia Association.
Teaching Teachers to Teach Reading includes using Big Muscle Movement see Project Read in Baltimore - Reconstructive Language / Phonics
We can screen kindergardeners. Start at four years old to observe language skills, test, diagnose and remediate for these problems which will lessen the severity of dylexia. We can also offer children role models of how well others with this problem were able to achieve in life.
ex: Edison, Churchill, Picass, Einstein, Ali, Schwab, David Bois, Belefonte, Whoopi Goldberg etc.
With so many kids failing tests we need to support and harness the creativity of children who are learning different which is NOT a disability. Teachers need to think creatively to harness the talent and productivity of kids who don't test well. They are achievers who get by on their wits. Dyslexics' brain is wired differently and as a result have special talents like enhanced spatial processing ability good as grasping the big picture when no one else does and thinking outside the box. Perfect for the world of Technology!


It is recommended that you establish the connection and importance between the following:





Readability - Quick Assessment Resources

Reading Research
New language circuit discovered in humans' points out that between 5-7 years of age is when people develop reading and writing skills.

Fry Graph for estimating reading ages (grade level) avg. number of sentences per 100 words. Directions for Use of the Fry Readability Graph are below.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Find Books and Magazines in Braille or Audio:


What I Can Do to Comprehend During Reading


 Reading Chart for your Classroom

TIP Database The Theory Into Practice Database
TIP is a tool intended to make learning and instructional theory more accessible to educators. The database contains brief summaries of 50 major theories of learning and instruction. These theories can also be accessed by learning domains and concepts.




Here are some of the very best resources for both traditional Language Arts and modern communications sites and applications on the web. You will find that they are in a separate class all by themselves and can enrich and even transform your curriculum.

The top 20

  1. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
  2. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  3. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  5. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  6. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  7. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  8. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
  9. Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman
  10. Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
  11. Curious George by Margret and H. A. Rey
  12. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  13. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper and Loren Long
  14. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  15. Dick and Janeby William H. Elson
  16. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
  17. The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope
  18. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  19. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  20. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein





[ ... "Children are generally ready to be introduced to writing -- and have the necessary motor and visual skills -- sometime during kindergarten. ] In fact, not even every kindergartner is prepared to write, say the experts, all of whom advocate waiting until a student is ready and receptive. "It's easier to learn something when everything is in place," says Newman, who is a perceptual motor therapist, runs movement classes for children and thinks kids need to exercise and move to develop good pre-writing skills. Yet many preschools persist in teaching children to write, and even evaluating that writing, before the students have the skills they need.

[...Remember the progression when we were in elementary school? Printing in kindergarten and/or first grade. Cursive in third. Penmanship grades. Most assignments in elementary school were handwritten. Typing didn't come until sometime in middle or high school. Compare that with today's curriculum. Handwriting in preschool, probably in reaction to the tougher kindergarten curriculum. Then, in second grade, sometimes before they have the basics of handwriting down, children are often introduced to typing. Cursive still comes around third grade, but nowadays it's often a rushed program, with some people arguing that one script should suffice, especially since most kids are going to wind up on computers.
IN 2011 SOME SCHOOLS HAVE STOPPED TEACHING CURSIVE SCRIPT! And forget penmanship; kids are lucky if they are taught to sit properly and form their letters efficiently. In fact, according to the experts, not only do most teachers have no training in handwriting instruction, they don't have the time to teach it thoroughly."] -



How to Write with Style (1985) by Kurt Vonnegut

In Sum:
1. Find a subject you care about
2. Do not ramble, though
3. Keep it simple
4. Have guts to cut
5. Sound like yourself
6. Say what you mean
7. Pity the readers

6/27/14 A good proofreading activity for students. Use Google Voice or Speak Pipe to Hear Students Proofreading Their Papers have students call into your Google Voice number to record themselves reading their papers aloud. The intent of this is to have students provide proof that they have read their papers aloud as part of the proofreading process. You don't have to listen to the entire recording because you can view the transcript to make sure that your students have read through the entirety of their papers.


Write in the Middle a workshop for middle school teachers who teach writing, complete with audio files and Best Practices in Teaching Writing.

Writing Tips:
I was once taught that the first sentence of every paragraph should contain the main idea of the paragraph. Then the following sentences should give info about that topic and the last sentence should be the summary of the main idea.
Write about issues you really, really care about like things that frustrate or make you mad. Try to use the simplest-possible language, write like you talk and use personal experience to the maximum. Listen to yourself read it aloud for how it sounds - is it your voice? Is this what you mean to say? Reread and rewrite until it just "sounds right," which seems to have something to do with rhythm and other stuff. Start reading two or three paragraphs before to get a "running start to that will help you shape the next sentence.
Find a way to hook a big idea to something real and immediate and write about whatever is personal to you about that subject. Your life experience - the more the better. My favorite book is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. (If you haven't read the book and he seems to be talking about himself as someone else, that "someone else" is him before he had some sort of mental breakdown.) There's a really good description by Pirsig the main character about how he helped a student get around writer's block.The discussion of "quality writing" starts around page 190 depending on which book you have.

Yale College Writing Center

The Yale College Writing Center "supports writers and writing teachers through the resources on this website" and consequently support an audience far beyond New Haven. First-time visitors should look at the Advice for Students to get started. Here, they will find areas that include "What Good Writers Know" and "Model Papers from the Disciplines.” The first area contains short and succinct advice with detailed explanations while the second area contains thoughtful works from Yale students in fields such as
philosophy, natural science, and literature. Moving along, Writing at Yale includes information about the various writing programs and initiatives at Yale College, along with links to writing award programs from around the country.

Writing Rubrics



Star Teaching / Writing lays out the writing process and also includes K-12 Rubrics and paragraph organizer.

The easiest way to improve writing scores is to use the Fry Formula. The
students must write at grade level. It only takes a few minutes to show the students how to use this formula. Next, you spend an extraordinary amount of time on making sure that the opening sentences don't start with the, a, and, I or any other simple word. They must start with the most important part of the topic sentence by using a phrase.

Directions for Use of the Fry Readability Graph

Essay Writing sites




News literacy programs -- How do you find the truth?

News literacy programs provide some hope at least for a more sophisticated consumer.
The News literacy movement is aimed at teaching young people how to think critically and judge the quality of information.
The kids born since the 1990's have spent a frightening percentage of their lives consuming data in a random world of tweets, blogs and food-fight commentators, for whom fame is a goal and reality a show. Once accustomed to such high-velocity infotainment, how does one develop tolerance for the harder reads and the deeper conversations?


It’s a modest start, but learning to read critically is no less important than reading itself — a simple truth with which even incumbent politicians could agree.

We can know that that extreme partisanship is a function of . . . dumbness?

Is that the fault or the goal of the Department of Education? Yes it is.

Dumbness is also all about our media.

Retiring Democratic Rep. Gary L. Ackerman of New York. Reflecting on his 30 years in Washington, Ackerman was asked to comment on the relative lack of comity on Capitol Hill.

Q: Did it ever exist?

A: Not really, he said, but at least Democrats and Republicans used to be friends.
A: Today, crossing the aisle is tantamount to treason. The problem isn’t only Washington but society as a whole.
A: “I think the people have gotten dumber.”
A:  “I don’t know that I would’ve said that out loud pre-my announcement that I was going to be leaving.”
A: “We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game.”

Two leaders in the movement are the News Literacy Project (NLP), led by Alan Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former Los Angeles Times investigative journalist, and the Center for News Literacy (CNL) at Stony Brook University Dean Miller @NewsLiteracy

The NLP focuses on school programs for middle and high school students. The group’s staff includes 22 news organizations and 200 journalists who donate their time and talents to work with students. Both groups try to answer the question: How do you find the truth?, and the CNL identifies news as “the oxygen of democracy.” Indeed, without a well-informed public, you get . . . what we have: a culture that rewards ignorance and treats discourse as a blood sport. All freedoms depend first on freedom of speech, but not all speech is equivalent, no matter how many hits a Web site boasts or how many viewers ages 25-54 tune in to a given TV show. 

How to Write Good



Listen - Writer William Bourroughs leads a class. "Language is a virus from outer space." and  "Paranoia is just knowing all the facts." ~ Willam S Burroughs, Jr.

Jack Lynch: Guide to Grammar and Style The English Language: A User's Guide. A much-revised and expanded version of this on-line guide, with hundreds of added examples.

English Rules of Thum (sic)

  1. Don't use no double negatives.
  2. Make each pronoun agree with their antecedents.
  3. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
  4. About them sentence fragments.
  5. When dangling, watch your participles.
  6. Verbs has got to agree with their subjects.
  7. Just between you and i, case is important.
  8. Don't write run-on sentences when they are hard to read.
  9. Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
  10. Try to not ever split infinitives.
  11. It is important to use your apostrophe's correctly.
  12. Proofread your writing to see if you any words out.
  13. Correct speling is essential.
  14. A preposition is something you never end a sentence up with.
  15. While a transcendant vocabulary is laudable, one must be eternally careful so that the calculated objective of communication does not become ensconsed in obscurity.
  16. Eschew obfuscation.
  17. "A cat has paws at the end of its claws; a comma has pause at the end of its clause."
  18. "A cat has the paws before the claws, and a comma has the clause before the pause."

Plain Language Humor: How to Write Good
We don't know where this came from, but some is derived from.William Safire's Rules for Writers - a reminder that rules are meant to be broken.

1. Always avoid alliteration.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague--they're old hat.
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. Parenthetical words however must be enclosed in commas.
8. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
9. Contractions aren't necessary.
10. Do not use a foreign word when there is an adequate English quid pro quo.
11. One should never generalize.
12. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
13. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
14. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
15. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
16. Avoid archaeic spellings too.
17. Understatement is always best.
18. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
19. One-word sentences? Eliminate. Always!
20. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
21. The passive voice should not be used.
22. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
23. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
24. Who needs rhetorical questions?
25. Don't use commas, that, are not, necessary.
26. Do not use hyperbole; not one in a million can do it effectively.
27. Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
28. Subject and verb always has to agree.
29. Be more or less specific.
30. Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.
31. Use youre spell chekker to avoid mispeling and to catch typograhpical errers.
32. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
33. Don't be redundant.
34. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
35. Don't never use no double negatives.
36. Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
37. Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
38. Eschew obfuscation.
39. No sentence fragments.
40. Don't indulge in sesquipedalian lexicological constructions.
41. A writer must not shift your point of view.
42. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
43. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
44. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
45. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
46. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
47. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
48. Always pick on the correct idiom.
49. The adverb always follows the verb.
50. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
51. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal
of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
52. And always be sure to finish what

Pronunciation in the English language
The author, Prof. H. L. Chace was a professor of French and wrote these in 1940 to to demonstrate that intonation of spoken English is almost as important to the meaning as the words themselves. He is the originator of ANGUISH LANGUISH, for you, your friends, and your family to half pun wit. Example: Fairy Tales Little Red Riding Hood becomes this title Furry Tells Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.

Welcome to the The Little, Brown Compact Handbook and The Little, Brown Compact Handbook with Exercises by Jane E. Aaron.
Students can find material to enrich their learning experience, including video tutorials, exercises, downloads from the textbook, and links to additional resources on the Web. Instructors can make use of all of the resources for students as well as find other teaching-oriented materials.
About the Book - The Writing Process - Writing In and Out of College - Sentences - Punctuation, Spelling, and Mechanics - Research Writing - Documenting in the Disciplines - Usage Flashcards - Instructor Resources

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