Saturday, April 30, 2011

1965 Alabama Literacy Test

Illiteracy in the United States 1965

Literacy or Illiteracy in the United States? Would you be able to pass the Alabama Literacy Test in 1965? Many states used literacy test to disqualify almost any minority that they saw as unfit to vote. Leaving only the white and wealthy able participate in their version of democracy.

Please take the literacy test and see if you would be eligible to vote in Alabama in 1965.

1965 Alabama Literacy Test

1. Which of the following is a right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?
_____Public Education
_____Trial by Jury

2. The federal census of population is taken every five years.
_____True  _____False

3. If a person is indicted for a crime, name two rights which he has.
 ________________________ ______________________

4. A U.S. senator elected at the general election in
November takes office the following year on what date?

5. A President elected at the general election in November takes
office the following year on what date?

6. Which definition applies to the word “amendment?”
_____Proposed change, as in a Constitution
_____Make of peace between nationals at war
_____A part of the government

7. A person appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court is appointed for a term of
8. When the Constitution was approved by the original colonies,
how many states had to ratify it in order for it to be in effect? _________________________________________

9. Does enumeration affect the income tax levied on citizens in various states?
___________________________________ __________
10. Person opposed to swearing in an oath may say, instead:
(solemnly) ____________________________________________

11. To serve as President of the United States, a person must have attained:
_____25 years of age
_____35 years of age
_____40 years of age
_____45 years of age

12. What words are required by law to be on all coins and paper currency of the U.S.?

13. The Supreme Court is the chief lawmaking body of the state.
 _____True _____False

14. If a law passed by a state is contrary to provisions of the U.S.
Constitution, which law prevails?

15. If a vacancy occurs in the U.S. Senate, the state must hold an
election, but meanwhile the place may be filled by a temporary
appointment made by _________________________________\

16. A U.S. senator is elected for a term of _____ years.

17. Appropriation of money for the armed services can be only for a period
limited to _____ years.

18. The chief executive and the administrative offices make up the
___________________branch of government.

19. Who passes laws dealing with piracy?______________________________

20. The number of representatives which a state is entitled to have in the House of
Representatives is based on _______________________________________

21. The Constitution protects an individual against punishments which are
_______________ and _______________________.

22. When a jury has heard and rendered a verdict in a case, and the
judgment on the verdict has become final, the defendant cannot again be
brought to trial for the same cause.
_____True _____False

23. Name two levels of government which can levy taxes: _____________

24. Communisn was the type of government in:

25. Cases tried before a court of law are two types, civil and __________.

26. By a majority vote of the members of Congress, the Congress
can change provisions of the Constitution of the U.S.
_____True _____False

27. For security, each state has a right to form a ______________________.

28. The electoral vote for President is counted in the presence of two bodies.
Name them:_________________________________________________

29. If no candidate for President receives a majority of the electoral vote,
who decides who will become President?_________________________

30. Of the original 13 states, the one with the largest representation in the
first Congress was .__________________________________

31. Of which branch of government is the Speaker of the House a part?

32. Capital punishment is the giving of a death sentence.
 _____True _____False

33. In case the President is unable to perform the duties of his office,
who assumes them?________________________________________

34. “Involuntary servitude” is permitted in the U.S. upon conviction of a crime.
_____True _____False

35. If a state is a party to a case, the Constitution provides that original
jurisdiction shall be in______________________________________

36. Congress passes laws regulating cases which are included in those
 over which the U.S. Supreme Court has _____________ jurisdiction.

37. Which of the following is a right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights
of the U.S. Constitution.
_____Public Housing
_____Trial by Jury

38. The Legislatures of the states decide how presidential
electors may be chosen.
 _____True _____False

39. If it were proposed to join Alabama and Mississippi to form one state,
what groups would have to vote approval in order for this to be done?______________________________________________________

40. The Vice President presides over ___________________________.

41. The Constitution limits the size of the District of Columbia to ________________________________________

42. The only laws which can be passed to apply to an area in a federal
arsenal are those passed by ______________ provided consent for the
purchase of the land is given by the ___________________________.

43. In which document or writing is the “Bill of Rights” found?_______.

44. Of which branch of government is a Supreme Court justice a part?

45. If no person receives a majority of the electoral votes, the
Vice President is chosen by the Senate.
 _____True _____False

46. Name two things which the states are forbidden to do by the
U.S. Constitution._____________________________

47. If election of the President becomes the duty of the U.S. House
of Representatives and it fails to act, who becomes President and when? ___________________________________________________________

48. How many votes must a person receive in order to become President
if the election is decided by the U.S. House of Representatives? _____

49. How many states were required to approve the original Constitution in
order for it to be in effect? ___________________________________

50. Check the offenses which, if you are convicted of them,
disqualify you for voting:
_____Issuing worthless checks
_____Petty larceny
_____Manufacturing whiskey

51. The Congress decides in what manner states elect presidential electors.
 _____True _____False

52. Name two of the purposes of the U.S. Constitution. _________________________________________________

53. Congress is composed of __________________________________.

54. All legislative powers granted in the U.S.
Constitution may legally be used only by

55. The population census is required to be made very _____ years.

56. Impeachments of U.S. officials are tried by ___________________.

57. If an effort to impeach the President of the U.S. is made,
who presides at the trial?________________________________

58. On the impeachment of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the
U.S., who tries the case? __________________________________

59. Money is coined by order of:
 _____U.S. Congress
_____The President’s Cabinet
_____State Legislatures

60. Persons elected to case a state’s vote for U.S. President and
Vice President are called presidential ______________________.

61. Name one power which is exclusively legislative and is
mentioned in one of the parts of the U.S. Constitution above ______.

62. If a person flees from justice into another state,
who has authority to ask for his return?_______________________

63. Whose duty is it to keep Congress informed of the state of the union? ________________________________________________________

64. If the two houses of Congress cannot agree on adjournment,
who sets the time?__________________________________________

65. When presidential electors meet to case ballots for President,
must all electors in a state vote for the same person for President or
can they vote for different persons if they so choose? ___________________________________________________
66. After the presidential electors have voted, to whom do they send the
count of their votes?_________________________________________

67. The power to declare war is vested in ____________________________.

68. Any power and rights not given to the U.S. or prohibited to
the states by the U.S. Constitution are specified as belonging to whom? ______________________________


Answers to Alabama Literacy Test

1. Trial by Jury only
2. False (every 10 years)
3. Habeas Corpus (immediate presentation of charges); lawyer; speedy trial.
4. January 3
5. January 20
6. Proposed change, as in a Constitution
7. Life (with good behavior)
8. Nine
9. Yes
10. Affirm
11. 35
12. In God We Trust
13. False
14. U.S. Constitution
15. The governor
16. Six
17. Two
18. Executive
19. Congress
20. Population (as determined by census) less untaxed Indians
21. Cruel and unusual
22. True
23. State and local
24. Russia
25. Criminal
26. False
27. Militia
28. House of Representatives, Senate
29. House of Representatives
30. Virginia
31. Legislative
32. True
33. The Vice President
34. True
35. The Supreme Court
36. Co-appellate
37. Trial by Jury
38. True
39. Congress and the legislatures of both states
40. The Senate
41. 10 miles square
42. Congress; state legislatures
43. Constitution
44. Judicial
45. True
46. Coin money; make treaties
47. The Vice President, until the House acts
48. 26
49. 9
50. Murder
51. False
52. (Preamble statements) “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the
blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
53. House of Representatives and Senate
54. Congress
55. 10
56. The Senate
57. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
58. The Senate
59. The U.S. Congress
60. Electors
61. Pass laws, coin money, declare war
62. The Governor
63. The President
64. The President
65. They can vote for different people
66. Vice President (President of the Senate)
67. Congress
68. The states; the people

literacy test, in the context of United States political history, refers to the government practice of testing the literacy of potential citizens at the federal level, and potential voters at the state level. The federal government first employed literacy tests as part of the immigration process in 1917. Southern state legislatures employed literacy tests as part of the voter registration process as early as the late nineteenth century.
Literacy tests, along with poll taxes and extra-legal intimidation,[1], were used to deny suffrage to African-Americans in a number of southern states, while allowing many illiterate whites to vote. This was accomplished by making the test inordinately difficult and allowing test-givers to choose who had to take the test and who did not. Most African-Americans in the south were effectively disenfranchised from the 1890s until the 1960s.
Southern states abandoned the literacy test only when forced to do so by federal legislation in the 1960s. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided that literacy tests used as a qualification for voting in federal elections be administered wholly in writing and only to persons who had not completed six years of formal education. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 suspended the use of literacy tests in all states or political subdivisions in which less than 50 percent of voting-age residents were registered as of 1 November 1964 or had voted in the 1964 presidential election. In a series of cases, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the legislation and restricted the use of literacy tests for non-English-speaking citizens. Since the passage of this legislation, black registration in the South has increased dramatically.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Top Ten Reading Websites For Kids!

Top Ten Reading Websites For Students!

Great Educational Websites For Kids 2014-15!

1. opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Our systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.

Looking for fun activities and games you can do with your kids throughout the day to help them learn to read and write? You'll find them here, along with recommended books and tips to get your kids wild about books and reading.

Since 1997, kids, teachers, librarians, and parents have enthusiastically turned to Funbrain for its free educational games, online books, and comics. Funbrain, created for kids age preschool through grade 8, offers more than 100 fun, interactive games that develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Plus, kids can read a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amelia Writes Again, and Brewster Rocket.


National Geographic Explorer For Kids is a online version of the award wining magazine. 
Wikipedia Free Online Encyclopedia 
Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practices, development, and refinement.

JumpStart World of Learning is a revolutionary educational software solution that transforms math, reading and critical thinking lessons into adventures! In each of the 4 grade-based programs, students are invited to embark on a journey through JumpStart World – a personalized 3D environment that evolves as a student progresses. Along the way, students master dozens of skills based on state and national educational standards. Designed by educators and built with cutting edge interactive technology, JumpStart World of Learning is a powerful supplemental learning program that every early elementary classroom needs.

Discovery Education offers free student resources that bring learning to life both inside and outside the classroom. We invite you to take a look at our interactive games, videos, contests, virtual labs and activities designed to help you dive deeper into a topic —and have fun too!

Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. Book Adventure was created by and is maintained by Sylvan Learning.

Clifford The Big Red Dog: Interactive Storybooks! Phonics fun, games, and stories for early readers.

Storynory has published a new audio story every week since November 2005.

Honorable Mention

Highlights Online the Highlights kids magazine in a online website form with stories, jokes, kids news, current events, and reading and language arts games.  

Funology is the best place on the Web to find things to do. Not just while you're sitting at the computer, but anywhere. Things to do by yourself or with your friends, your parents, your pets, anyone. We'll teach you a million and one ways to make things, explore the world, and discover skills you never knew you had. You'll use words, numbers, facts, ideas, and objects you find around the house. It's one place where you'll never be bored!

Story Time For Me provides a unique and fun learning experience for toddlers all the way up through 2nd grade school aged children. We want kids to see that reading can be just as fun (if not more!) than watching TV and playing video games. We believe that by providing superior stories with award winning illustrations, unique animation, and professional narration enhanced with music and sound effects, Story Time For Me will bring back the magic in reading.
he Exploratorium isn’t just a museum, it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception—a vast collection of online interactives, web features, activities, programs and events that feed your curiosity.
Zula USA, LLC is a leading provider of educational products designed to provide and promote science and math education as well as reading literacy for children in PreK through 3rd grade - a group for whom early exposure and intervention has proven most effective. Zula's comprehensive program addresses the national call for science, math and reading literacy education among PreK and early elementary students, provides a critical foundation in understanding core concepts and content and promotes the development of critical thinking skills. website for kids! Hundreds of free kids games, puzzles, activities, coloring pages, clip art & more for children, families, parents, teachers... Kids of all ages are invited to play! We also have free online games, puzzles and kids printables in the kids games & activities sections! New educational and fun games, activities and printables added on a regular basis for kids, schools and family fun.
MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids, is a dynamic, interactive site, which encourages individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide. Through these video pod casts we hope to create a community of children, who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video.

Free, research-based K-6 reading comprehension lesson plans and non-fiction reading passages & question sets. The lessons consist of:
  • More than 1,200 carefully selected vocabulary words, from ReadWorks’ authentic non-fiction and literary reading passages
  • Multiple sentence and paragraph examples from other texts, of how the vocabulary word is used in different contexts
  • Spanish cognates
  • Student practice/formative assessment template
  • Basic and advanced definitions for 2nd-12th, with syllables 
Reading Bear is a fun way to learn to read. We teach over 1,200 vocabulary items. Our 50 presentations cover all the main phonics rules. All free and nonprofit!

The Best Language Arts Websites for Teachers and Kids

Harcourt Brace  K-6 Grade Level ELA and Reading Glossaries

Harcourt Brace Spelling Grad level Spelling Practice and Word Work

BBC Skillwise is a complete resource for teachers, parents, and students wanting to increase British English reading, writing and speaking skills.

Writing Fix Sharing Quality Writing Lessons techniques strategically designed to "fix" reluctant writers and writing teachers  is a collection of online ELA, reading, writing, read aloud's, and spelling practice for the k-12 grades.

Scholastic News Paper Maker thsi website helps students creat and edit a fun kid friendly newspaper

Jumble Kids Online Interactive word jumble and crossword game

Word Girl Fun ELA Games based on the Word Girl characters

Primary Games this website has one of the biggest collections of Reading Games for all ages and levels. Word Hunt, Word Tetris Game, and many more SMARTboard ready games

Wild About Woods   a simple but fun way to create poetry

Read Write Think is a high quality collection of games, lessons, printable, and resources for parents, teachers, and students

ABCYa is a leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children's educational computer activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. All educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.

VocabAhead Study Room   is an collection of animated videos of tier 2 and tier 2 vocabulary words. Words, pictures, animation, and repetition helps speed and reinforce vocabulary study
Academic Skill Builders this website features free educational games, math games, language arts games, and much more for students and teachers.

A Dog's Life Story Builder this scholastic story builder is a great SMARTBoard site to teach story structures and literary elements and a fun student centered activity

PBS Kids WORD Girl this is a wonderful site for preschool and primary students to have fun with words and stories

Funschool is a educational game arcade with quality Reading and ELA games Funschool / Wild Word West

Free Rice This is a vocabulary matching game that helps hungry people all over the word when you play the game

Top Science Websites for Kids and Teachers

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Harry Potter Reading Activities

Harry Potter Reading Activities For Teachers!

Have your students stand up, or sit on their desk so they are facing the teacher. Start at either end of room and give a random Harry Potter trivia question to a student (Reading Comprehension question). If they answer correctly they stay standing until all students have a chance to answer a question. The game can be played as a lightning round with just one quick round or many rounds until you have two kids standing for a few Harry Potter HOT (Higher Order Thinking) questions. When students cannot give an answer to a question they have to say “GOBSMACKED” (Brit slang for dumbfounded) and must sit down. Students that answer correctly get a Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean if you are playing the lighting round, if playing for a Gobsmacked champion the game continues until you have a winner.  The student that wins usually gets Harry Potter popcorn. Extensions: Students can ask for a challenge question that relates to a literary element, HOT questions, or a Tier 3 academic word that relates to HP, and every child that answers a hard vocabulary question correctly gets a nice small sample of jelly beans or pretzels, stamp, or a sticker. Anytime students’ answers any question correctly all students including those that are out have to buddy buzz with a partner the question and the answer. Students love this activity and it's a great review (Formative Test) of Harry Potter and a great opportunity to teach complex literary concepts. We start with a mix of easy and hard questions to get the kids excited and motivated to keep the Harry Potter reading fresh and exciting. I ask my students if they want a hard, medium or easy question to give every child a real chance at answering correctly! Background information: We read all Harry Potter chapters twice before jumping into games like Gobsmacked.   Sean Taylor 

Harry Potter Reading Party!

Chocoadia Del Hermione

  • Butterbeer
  • Hogwarts Popcorn
  • Halloween Feast
  • Harry Potter Trivia Sparkle
  • Rubeus Hagrid Scottish Tea Party
  • Design a Harry Potter Board Game
  • Create Your Own Spells Using Latin Word Roots
  • Interview Harry Potter
  • Reading by candlelight
  • your ideas...

We explore Harry Potter books for magic spells, charms,and incantations to teach prefixes, suffixes and introduce Latin root words. Students use a basic Latin glossary to decode the spells from Harry Potter and make their own. 

A sample of my students invented spells using Latin Roots

Harry Potter Latin Root Words / Spells 
  • Comphotoposhous  It blinds your opponent for 10 minutes.
  • Donamorbrev  To make someone fall in love for a short time.
  • Liverphill  It gives a person free love.
  • Creadecadem  To create 10 clones of yourself.
  • Cosmdokeineiv  To teach people to be wise.
  • Viviodeca  It makes people live for 10 more years.
  • Chronacide  It kills very slowly.
  • Creacosmatic  You can make your own world.
  • Filaendo  Gives someone faith-belief.
  • Dynamgen  It makes you more powerful.
  • Anthropamor  Makes you fall in love with the first person you see.
  • Domindynam Gives power over all you command.
  • Pathymor  Suffer death instantly.
  • Zodynam A spell that can give animal power.

Why I Use Harry Potter!

  I use great literature like Harry Potter as the cornerstone of my literacy program to build a love of reading also to teach the ins and outs of literary elements in a kid friendly way. WHY Harry Potter! Students that need to make the greatest gains in reading have a limited reading vocabulary, and they are under exposed to quality literature like Harry Potter.  Using Harry Potter for core literacy planning and book clubs gives my students access to challenging books, but also the great movie clips and inspirational theme music that can assist with lessons. The HP characters have a special appeal for kids that face daily adversity if taught in an enriching way. In short Harry Potter helps to make reading fun! I tell my kids, “If the don't like reading Harry Potter, you are doing it wrong.”

Students will understand settings, characters, plot, theme, mood, antagonist, and protagonist faster when you have a movie clip, or theme music to tie in or build background knowledge and understanding of literary elements. Sean Taylor M.Ed

Students always have a stronger auditory or spoken vocabulary due in part to exposure to media. Using the student’s strengths to build connections to literary elements, in a format kids love, watching movies clips and listening to music makes building background knowledge fast, easy and fun for students. Using auditory knowledge to develop areas of vocabulary weakness is one method that helps my students become fluent, excited, erudite readers. Students will quickly transition from the cinematic elements to the literary elements  using Harry Potter. Sean Taylor M.Ed

Create Your Own Adventure, Start a Harry Potter Book Club Today

Please submit your Ideas!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

iPad Books: Best Books For Kids

iPads Children's Books: Actionboox
The Future of Children's Literature! ACTIONBOOX

Actionboox will transform readers of any age into giddy kids, transporting them to a time of wonderment and pure escapism. Actionboox uses the highest quality children's literature brought to life with rich animation and narration. "Atmospheric sounds draw the reader into the exceptional ambiance of the story, which is supported by an appropriate and professional narrator's voice, if required. Last but not least, various hotspots invite to interact with the App" 

     The future of children's literature may come in the form of an iPad app. The German iPad app publisher is a fresh player to the children's book market, they have the right blend to make a large impact! My hope is the content will be available to all children via the internet like Starfall
The future of children's literacy may be delivered on an iPad or e-reader yet one constant will remain, great literature will always win out over gimmickry. 


The very unusual, loopy story oft he little fat dog is great fun for all animal lovers as well as all small and tall explorers. The witfully written story of a dog’s life contains dynamic film like animations, a vivid voice over and a great attention to detail. In the additional game small and tall users are dared to prove their ‚good nose’.

German version included!


A small leak will sink a great ship! Anything can happen if someone drops a banana peel in the middle of a small town street – and this new app will show you what “anything” can mean. Lilli L’Arronge’s successful book “Chaos in Bad Berleburg” (originally published by Jacoby and Stuart) now reaches for the iPad and at the end of the story the whole city of Bad Berleburg will burst with sounds and noises. Help to spread the chaos and turn the city upside down. It’s a blast!


The actionbook "The Castle" hits the spot for small and big friends of the Middle Ages. The user blazes his trail through a vast variety of information on a continuous screen. A vivid panorama unfolds before his eyes, which is accompanied by lots of sounds, a readers mode and suiting illustrations and images creating a small piece of art.
Plenty of in‒depth information playfully transferred and true‒to‒detail ‒ this is what we call actionbook. "The Castle" is knowledge everyone strives to acquire.


Professor Bumble is celebrating Christmas ‒ and the accompanying actionbook is just the right App to go with it, for everyone with a sense of humor who wants something to chuckle over in the holiday season. Amusing animations with illustrative sounds, a seasonal puzzle and playful details make "Professor Bumble" the perfect Christmas present for children, small and large. Available only for a short period from your iTunes store!

"What is Professor Bumble doing in the holiday season? Celebrating Christmas of course! With his friends, Beluga and Badger, he is on his way to find the most beautiful tree in the whole forest. But Farmer Giles wants to celebrate Christmas as well ‒ and snatches their tree from right under their noses. A fine state of affairs! But Professor Bumble and his friends won't give up that easily."


Professor Bumble is celebrating Christmas ‒ and the accompanying actionbook is just the right App to go with it, for everyone with a sense of humor who wants something to chuckle over in the holiday season. Amusing animations with illustrative sounds, a seasonal puzzle and playful details make "Professor Bumble" the perfect Christmas present for children, small and large. Available only for a short period from your iTunes store!

"What is Professor Bumble doing in the holiday season? Celebrating Christmas of course! With his friends, Beluga and Badger, he is on his way to find the most beautiful tree in the whole forest. But Farmer Giles wants to celebrate Christmas as well ‒ and snatches their tree from right under their noses. A fine state of affairs! But Professor Bumble and his friends won't give up that easily."


Grimm's Rapunzel - 3D Interactive Pop-up Book

Ideal Binary has taken the Grimm Brothers classic and updated it with modern language, a host of dazzling, fully interactive pop-up scenes, wonderful music, narration and humorous sound effects.

Building on the PopIris™ eBook engine, Grimm’s Rapunzel pushes the envelope further. Watch and interact as each pop-up scene brings the story to life by presenting simple tasks to perform, effectively weaving the reader into the fabric of the story. Carefully designed to keep young readers entertained, Grimm’s Rapunzel is sure to delight!

• Fully narrated in each language by professional actors.
• Full 3D experience - It’s just like a real book
• 30 beautifully presented pages of text
• 9 double-page interactive 3D pop-up scenes with simple tasks to perform
• Wonderfully illustrated, with beautiful, colorful imagery
• Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Autoplay modes
• Orient the book by dragging to see the 3D pop-up scenes in all their glory
• Touch or drag interactive elements and perform tasks in the 3D pop-up scenes
• Open and close the book on the reading desk
• Features a beautiful musical score and lots of amazing sound effects
• Highly optimized for smooth, seamless execution on all devices
• Language Support for English, French and German

Grimm’s Rapunzel is powered by PopIris™ from Ideal Binary. This brand new technology enables compelling and interactive 3D pop-up scenes to be created on the pages of our 3D eBooks. The first eBook to use PopIris™, Grimm's Rumpelstiltskin, was chosen by Apple as iPad App of the Week in twenty countries around the world. Grimm’s Rapunzel sees the PopIris™ technology advance even further.

Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin - 3D Interactive Pop-up Book

Introducing Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin, the world’s first fully 3D interactive pop-up book!
Ideal Binary has created a magical experience based on the wonderful children’s short story of Rumpelstiltskin by the Brother’s Grimm. Immerse yourself in an amazing new world with numerous pop-up scenes, characters and a beautiful musical score.
Watch as each pop-up scene brings the story to life. Carefully designed to keep young readers entertained, Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin is the perfect bedtime story!

• Fully narrated in each language by professional actors
• Full 3D experience - It’s just like a real book
• 30 beautifully presented pages of text
• 11 double-page interactive 3D pop-up scenes that complement the story
• Wonderfully illustrated, with beautiful, colorful imagery
• Orient the book by dragging to see the 3D pop-up scenes in all their glory
• Tap each pop-up character to see what they’re thinking
• Touch or drag interactive elements in the 3D pop-up scenes
• Open and close the book on the reading desk
• Features a beautiful musical score
• Presents the original, classic English translation from 1823 by Edgar Taylor and Marian Edwardes

Grimm’s Rumpelstiltskin is powered by PopIris™ from Ideal Binary. This brand new technology enables compelling and interactive 3D pop-up scenes to be created on the pages of our 3D eBooks.

Treasure Kai invites you to travel through history and time…to the far ends of the earth…for challenges, excitement, daring and TREASURE! Start with Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island and join Kai on his treasure hunt adventures. Watch the trailers below to learn more!

Always more to come!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Buddy Reading: Reading Strategies

Buddy Reading: Building Fluency Strategies

"And when we’re practicing our fluency, We sit in cop cars. You know how cops talk to each other like one is facing north or east and the other south or west? Yup! That’s how we sit! Mr. Taylor calls it “buddy buzz” at times. The reason why We sit in cop cars is to listen to the reader better and see the text better." Sabrina

All student use a simple buddy reading method, that I call "Cop Cars Reading".

Students sit facing the opposite direction like cops that park front to back to talk.  Students sit "Cop Cars" to monitor word tracking, word for word tracking with their finger and listening. This seated positioned enables the reading partners to better listen and assist with fluency. Students also do a modified standing Cop Cars to make quick transitions between vocabulary practice, singing songs, and fluency drills. Students use "Cop Cars" for buddy reading, choral reading,

The Reason Buddy Reading Is Successful!

1. Language and reading is a function of auditory learning, students learn 6 times faster when listening, reading orally, and speaking. Language and vocabulary are mastered with repetition and modeling. When a reading teacher relies too heavily on silent reading and silent writing activities, the speed of auditory learning is lost. By finding creative and effective ways to provide more listening, oral reading, and speaking activities during buddy reading, you can give all learners in your reading class an accelerated chance to develop their literacy skills. During buddy reading the students are ether reading text or listening to text being modeled the entire day. The repetition of seeing, hearing, and speaking daily builds pathways exponentially the further you get into the program the greater the automaticity.

2. Students as teachers, using buddy reading/cooperative partners for 90% of the activities builds accountability for the teams, partners, and personal learning. Students are trained to work as teachers with the ability to run all buddy reading activities with little assistance from the teacher. Students know all expected learning outcomes and work to meet individual goals and team goals. Students as teachers multiplies the effectiveness of on task behavior and helps student monitor individual progress and partners progress (Force Multiplier).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Education Blogs For Teachers

READING.SAGE.BLOGSPOT.COM Education Blog For Teachers

Teachers Blogs! Special Education blogs! Reading intervention blogs!
Remedial reading blogs! Learning disabilities blogs!
Dyslexia blogs! Top 100 Education Blogs? Welcome to!

Welcome to a blog dedicated to growing literacy!

My education/teaching philosophy.

I encourage students to read like Barbary pirates; looking for treasure in every
passage, adventure in every chapter, and Spanish doubloons in every vocabulary
word. Students must attack and pillage as they read, leaving nothing behind, taking
no prisoners. Dead questions tell no tales! Hold fast! Keeping the ship sailing in the
typhoon (the first few weeks of school), means each crew member must be
knowing the ropes, mate, to survive the storm. Pirate captains must inspire, point
the canons at their own hull, sinking the ship to put a fire in the bellies of their
reading buccaneers. Creating desire and passion comes from the captains’
example, but students must hunt for the deeper meaning of the literary journey
by attacking and attacking. Students discover that treasure found with great
effort is more precious than swag easily given over. Students who parley or
surrender when they read will be defeated and captured. Don’t let students
wait to be motivated by a book; shoot the cannons at the deck; hit them in the
head with great literature and forcethem to seek the treasure therein. Teach
students to use the questions devised by brilliant detectives like Holmes,
Watson and Drew: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? 'Why' takes
the most time to discern and the deepest understanding, but such questions
probe the highest levels of reading and writing. These qualities can easily be
explored in the greatest literature by the most enlightened authors. Teach students
to dive into every story, book, or poem with curiosity, anticipation, generosity,
and open-mindedness. Never decide in advance that a book is boring, or
student attention reading is a waste of time, or you will negate the possibility of
a wonderful and new experience. Books come in a million flavors. Students
will not like every story they read. Yet, they must be taught to be willing
to bring a curiosity and limitless desire to the actual learning. Encourage
students to let their minds actively anticipate in the wonderment, magic,
miracles, and beauty that authors create. Students 'hear,' but are they
truly 'listening.' Not listening is the most horrendous deficit most students
exhibit, and this deficit insures defeated readers. Students must learn how
to defeat this jabberwocky (unyielding intimidating dragon; Alice
in Wonderland) very quickly and learn self-monitoring. When
drifts, strays or fades, they must read and reread passages to gain meaning.
Reading thoroughly and rereading for enhanced, deeper understanding trains
the mind's focus. Students must read actively. This can't be stressed strongly
enough. If you skate through a museum you won't see the art. Creating active
listeners takes repeated practice through dictation and recitation. The fastest
and easiest way to teach active listening is to turn on a popular song and ask
the class to write down the lyrics to the song.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Academic Vocabulary Games

Free Vocabulary Games: Academic Vocabulary Games 

Rules of play

Academic Vocabulary Parcheesi is played with one deck of academic vocabulary cards (25-30) cards and the goal of the game is to move each of one's pieces home to the center space.

Each player selects four pieces of the same color and places them in their "nest," or starting area. The game board should be positioned so that each player's nest is to his right. Pieces enter play onto the darkened space to the left of the nest and continue counter-clockwise around the board to the home path directly in front of the player. 


Science Vocabulary Cards 
Science 4th and 5th Grade

Each player draws a vocabulary game cards; the highest card goes first, and subsequent play continues to the left. On each turn, players draw one vocabulary card and must give a phrase or definition to the term on the card, if correct the players uses the values shown on the card to move their pieces around the board. If an amount on card cannot be moved, that amount is forfeited.

Entering pawns

A player may enter a piece only by answering the vocabulary question correct.


Any piece that is not on a safe space or a part of a blockade can be captured by an opposing pawn. A player is awarded 20 bonus spaces for capturing an opposing piece. The 20 spaces may be divided between pieces and must be moved, if possible. The captured pawn is returned to the opposing player's nest.


When two pieces occupy the same space, they prevent any pieces behind the two from advancing past the blockade. This includes blocking pieces from leaving their nest. Two pieces that form a blockade may not be moved forward together to form a new blockade on the same roll.

Safe spaces

The dark spaces are safe spaces. A piece may not be captured as long as it sits on one of these spaces. The only exception is if a piece sits on the safe space where another player enters the board from his nest. Those spaces are safe from all other players, but the piece can be taken if the player whose nest it is has a piece in his nest and draws a 5 or 6 (as long as it isn't a blockade).

Two pieces that form a blockade are also safe.

Smiley Face

Go again.


The center home space can only be entered by exact count. When a piece enters the center space by exact count, that player is awarded ten movement points that may be moved with any one piece still in play at the end of their turn. If the bonus movement amount cannot be used, it is forfeit.

Each player has his own home path and may not enter another's home. So, when a piece is on its home path, it can no longer be captured. Once a piece has been moved into his home path, it can no longer be moved except to move all the way to home.
Winning the game

The first player to get all four pieces home wins. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

High School Dropout Prevention

High School Dropout Prevention: Is it a Lost Battle in Today's Accountability and Reform Mindset?

High school dropout prevention needs to start before high school.

Raison d'etre is French for "reason for being," and students who
can’t read, write, calculate, converse cogently, understand complex ideas, learn new skills, problem solve, reason or desire to cope with the never-ending high stakes test prep, those students feel they have no reason for being in school. Students will start thinking school is a prison and will behave and act institutionalized towards teachers, peers, and academics. Students get more cynical when the gold stars lose their luster, and teachers' mendacity about their performance start showing through the insight of their poor thinking skills and inability to perform academic tasks. It’s a small death suffered every day by these students, as they see their dreams crashed on the rocks of reality. We ask students to come to school daily and give 100% to what they believe is an intolerable humiliation, and we get angry when they don’t smile and take school more seriously. We scratch our heads, wondering what we can do when half of our kids drop out of school. If students can’t read and reason everything else is moot.

Why Students Drop Out of School!
Characteristics of high school dropouts: Key factors in high drop-out rates in high school.

Top Ten Reasons Why At-risk Teens Drop Out of High School.
  • Low academic ability and poor study skills "Austerity = Bigger classes and less enrichment"
  • Poor student engagement and attendance "stress" 
  • Social and emotional problems "depression"
  • Emotionally detached from school and learning "over-testing"
  • Choosing low performing and troubled friends "tribe mindset"
  • History of failure and retention "failure mindset"
  • Social alienation or bullies "fear"
  • Finding and keeping a job "paying bills"
  • Feckless academic institution "public school daycare" 
  • Please share your tenth reason why students drop out!
Students don't drop out of high school at the age of 16 because they feel socially or academically lost... Students start dropping out of school in the first and second grade, just pretending they are students when they can't read or write. Students pick up a litany of bad habits (coping mechanisms) from peers as a way to deal with the stress, fear, humiliation, and embarrassment of being a "Loser, Stupid, or Dumb". Students act institutionalized after twelve years of forced school participation (Failure). Always having to be on the defensive is a sure-fire way to get burned out to drop out.

Many parents that have not taught their child to read before they enter kindergartner have sealed the fate of their child to 12 years of playing ketchup!

I spent most of my time in public school feeling dumb, embarrassed, scared, humiliated, lost, and stupid because of my severe dyslexia and dysgraphia! Sean Taylor

Reading Boot Camp or Reasoning Boot Camp is not a twenty-day miracle; it’s a way of being a teacher. My raison d’erte is to never let a student pass through my class without teaching them to read and learn to reason period. 

The 20-day transformation starts with your students finding their own path to philosophy. “love of wisdom and learning.” Twenty days may not do the job; you may need forty or eighty to get the inspiration started. The inception of Socratic Thinkers that thrive academically is a true anagnorisis a change from ignorance to knowledge. 

We can and do use the One Starfish parable too often in education, and that sacrifices too many students to a devastating future. Students are not going to change unless we devise an effective way to change their outlook. We are teaching things that have no heart, soul, meaning, relevance or we teach in ways that kill curiosity and desire. The idea of focusing on reading and reasoning in class for twenty days may appear bizarre, ludicrous, like child abuse, impossible, or asinine; yet, it works for my kids. Students see it as perfectly logical and 'buy in' almost immediately when they see their reading and reasoning progress accelerate or realize they can actually read and understand the world with fresh curious eyes.

Give a child the most complex computer video game and they will go without food, sleep, bathing, and talking to learn and master the first level. They will spend the next day, week, and month with the singular preoccupation to win and master the game.

Children in the third-world with access to computers, sky Tablets or XO laptops will teach themselves to read and write without a teacher because of their incredible desire to learn. I just focus that same incredible intrinsic drive and perseverance into Reading Boot Camp. 

Motivating Students!

The Secret To Building Reading Comprehension Fast
  • Learn the 1000-2000 most used words or characters using sight/auditory methods.
  • Learn the 200 most used sayings, metaphors, expressions, cognates, and phrases.
  • Learn the words and phrase by sight, sound, and articulation through repetition.

Reading Boot Camp is used during the first 20 days of school to teach the basics of English literacy and oracy. We spend 120 hours reading, singing, articulating, writing, and focusing on building the foundations of word and phrase knowledge.

The Program is fast, rigorous, challenging, and fun.

Reading Comprehension Results: 20 Days!

Students growth, 31% POINTS in reading NWEA MAP), Boot Camp ran longer than normal, twenty-five days because I had more students on IEPs and English Language Learners than last year and the behavior was far from ready for instruction. The class is now 74% at or above the mean in reading in all domains, and 87% of students are reading at grade level in the domain on reading comprehension (NWEA MAP)! 

Reading Boot Camp Overview

1) Launch students into the rigorous and intensive reading and writing program that is taught throughout the year:

2) Accelerate the closure of the academic achievement gap in lowest quartile students; and 

3) Teach the student's school etiquette, classroom manners, discipline, responsibility and a foundation in classic children’s literature...

4) Close the language and word gap

The 20 Day Intervention Is Fast, Rigorous, Enriching, and Fun.

Quick Look
Vocabulary Games
Reading Vocabulary Word Walls
Academic Vocabulary Word Walls
Poetry Reading
Buddy Reading
Music and Lyrics
Chapter Books
Whiteboard E-books and Librivox Audio Books
Fluency Drills
Comprehension Building Games
American Juku
Peer Tutoring
Fireside Book Club
Reading Master By Grade Competition
Reading Journals

Expecting A World Class Education!

Students and parents may not expect much from public school these
days, my class is the exception, students receive a world class
college preparatory experience from the rigorous demanding
curriculum to the high expectations of meticulous manners and