by Dr. Cindy Cupp
Dear Educators and Parents,
Wow! September was a great month. Over 60,000 folks read our Online Newsletter! I hope the suggestions we made in the September Newsletter helped your students improve in reading.
In the first section of this month’s newsletter, I am pleased to provide you with an update from Congressman Johnny Isakson. In Johnny’s update section, you will find information about on-grade-level testing of Special Education students as currently mandated through federal legislation under No Child Left Behind. A free “toolkit” is also described for educators.
As I traveled and worked with teachers this month, I found that most students in Dr. Cupp Readers® are having great success. However, a few students in kindergarten are not quite ready to begin learning letters, sounds, and words. In the second section of this newsletter, I will provide you with ideas for games you can use to help these students get ready to read.
The PayDay Update was tremendous for September! In section three, you will find the results from seventeen elementary schools and 2,560 students - see section three’s notes for details.
Please make a copy of this newsletter and keep it in a notebook. This will allow you to easily find the game suggestions.
The mission of our company is 100% literacy for all our students. If we can assist you in any way, please call our office.
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
U.S. Congressman, candidate for Senate, and former chairman of the Georgia Board of Education Johnny Isakson has been traveling the state of Georgia conducting Education Listening Sessions with teachers, principals, administrators, and local Board of Education members. These sessions allow those involved in the education process to discuss specific issues, both state and federal, with Johnny who has been a long-time ardent supporter of education in Georgia.
On Thursday, October 23, Johnny held a Listening Session in Chatham County at the Mulberry Inn. Administrators and teachers were present from Chatham and Bulloch Counties. One of the main concerns discussed by the teachers and administrators was the on-grade-level testing of Special Education students required by federal laws through No Child Left Behind. Johnny explained to the principals and teachers that he is working with others on the House Education Committee to address changes in this requirement, as well as other unintended consequences of this law.
Johnny writes the following to the readers of this newsletter: “I have been working for and with Georgia's educators for many years. It is my pleasure to keep you updated on education issues in Washington as well as any resources, programs or grants that may become available through the U.S. Department of Education. In turn, I hope you will keep me informed of what is taking place in Georgia's classrooms. As you all know, the only way we can make positive change in Congress is to know the challenges and opportunities you face everyday as a teacher. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.”
“This month, I would like to make you aware of the No Child Left Behind ‘Toolkit for Teachers’. This free resource provides educators with accurate, easy-to-understand information about No Child Left Behind including helpful information about loan forgiveness, tax credits, and liability protection for teachers. The toolkit includes links to helpful web sites, and guidance on understanding federal, state and local rules in the No Child Left Behind Law.”
“To order a toolkit, please contact the U.S. Department of Education at 1-877-4-EDS-PUBS or order one online at www.edpubs.org You may also contact my Atlanta office to order a toolkit at 404.252.5239.”
During October, I worked with more than 60 teachers in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. The kindergarten teachers’ main concern was how to reach the very few students that were still not ready to begin learning letters and sounds. I have created some games that would be appropriate for students on this level.
Question from kindergarten teachers - I have 21
kindergarten children in my class. My
class is divided into three groups. The
top and middle groups are doing very well, but my group C students are
struggling to learn words and letters. What
should I be teaching these two or three students that are having trouble
Cindy’s answer – These students may not be ready to begin learning the alphabet letters, sounds, or sight words. Students at this stage still benefit from singing the AlphaMotion® Song and playing whole group games. During small group time, the following additional games will be fun and allow these students to feel success:
First: Clean off the table. Remove all objects that would cause the child to be distracted….pencil holders, books, paper, EVERYTHING.
A. Make a Sentence
· Give each child in the group a ziplock bag. Make 8 cards for each bag.
Write the word Jack on 2 cards.
Write the word Jilly on 2 cards. Draw little bows on the top of the l’s in Jilly’s name.
Write the word can on 2 cards.
Write the word play on 2 cards.
· Students take the cards out of the bag and match the words.
· The teacher makes a sentence using the words Jack, Jilly, can, play.
As the teacher says the sentence, the students find the correct words and place the words in front of them in a sentence. Each student then reads the sentence they have just made. If students can’t find the correct word, the teacher holds up the correct word for students to match.
Game variation- Use colored index cards and write the name of each child in the group on an index card. The teacher will make up sentences using the names of different children in the group. For example: Maria can play. Thomas can play. If at all possible, take a picture of the student and put each child’s picture on their name card.
B. Find the Sound
· Give each child in the group a ziplock bag.
Using the ® Alphabet Decks, give each child 6 cards. (Do no use the “fancy” lower case a. Use the print a.)
Letter A – 3 cards (1 lower case, 1 upper case, 1 sound card)
Letter T – 3 cards (1 lower case, 1 upper case, 1 sound card)
· The teacher will ask students to place all the cards that go with the letter A in a row. The students will then place all the cards that go with the letter T in a row. If students have difficulty placing the cards in a line, then draw lines and boxes the size of the cards on a sheet of paper. This sheet will be used to help line up the cards and letters.
· When students have lined up the letter cards for A and the letter cards for T, students will then practice saying the letter names and the sounds for A and T.
C. Touch and Say
· The teacher secures the 6 letter and sound cards for A and T on a small board that can easily be seen in the small group.
· The teacher then selects a student to point to the correct card. The teacher might say, “Upper case A.” The student points to the correct card.
· Asking students to point to the correct card is easier than asking students to say the correct letter.
D. Moony Spoony
· Moony Spoony is a little spoon that travels backwards at a fast speed. The teacher will take plastic spoons and draw a face on the spoon. The children will use the spoon as a pointer instead of their finger.
All teachers using Dr. Cupp Readers® are invited to send
me a monthly Update of their students progress.
These forms are available by
clicking this button.
I received an Update for 2,560 students for the month of September. These students are from seventeen elementary schools in Georgia and Alabama and they are using Dr. Cupp Readers® for small group reading instruction in kindergarten and first grade.
From the table below, you will
notice that the average kindergarten student knew 6 sight words on September
20, and the average first grader knew
85 sight words on September 20.
For a more detailed account of the progress of these 2,560 students
please click this button.
When the PayDay Updates came in for September, I saw that the kindergarten sight words scores at Cleveland soared. I called the folks at Cleveland and asked them what they were doing to cause such an increase in sight words. Cleveland teachers responded with the following idea that they call “Old Friends and New Friends.”
Ashli Williams, kindergarten teacher at Cleveland Elementary in Fayette County, Georgia writes:
When students start
Story 1 in Dr. Cupp Readers®, they
are presented with a “reading box.” The reading box is a plain VHS tape
container. A poem (see below) and
a silver ring are place inside the reading box.
After introducing the first four sight words (Jack, Jilly, can, play),
the words are written on index cards and placed on the child’s silver ring.
The reading box goes home every night Monday – Thursday for practice.
As a student passes Hop’n Pop and moves on to a new story, four new words
are added to the ring. By the
time a student reaches Story 30, he or she will have 115 words on the ring.
The reading boxes are color coded by the students’ small (reading) group. Some boxes have purple labels (average/on-grade level readers), some have yellow labels (slower readers), and some have orange labels (higher readers). I use the boxes during reading instruction at least one time each week. By Story 6, students have enough words on the ring to begin making simple sentences. We use the cards for many different activities. The reading box is a wonderful assessment tool as well. At the end of each nine-week period, I assess each student on all cards on his or her ring. This makes report cards very easy.
POEM: “Now That I Can Read”
I used to need somebody,
to sit and read to me.
I’d look on every page they read
and listen carefully.
But now that I am in Kindergarten,
I’m filling up a shelf.
With stories, poems, and other books
that I can read myself.
B. Short vowels
Ginger Logue from North Harlem Elementary demonstrated the following great way to help students remember the short vowels during the AlphaMotion® Song. When the students sing “Short A, Short A” or any of the short vowel names, the students bend their knees and squat down a little as they say “Short A, Short A”. After doing the modified squat twice as they say “Short A, Short A”, they go directly into making the raised hand sign for Short A. This is fun to do, and the students have another mnemonic device for remembering short vowel sounds.
Emily “Adrianne” Calloway’s mom sent this great picture and news about Adrianne to us from Homewood, Alabama. Adrianne is a student in Mrs. Stephanie Brant’s kindergarten class at Hall Kent Elementary in Homewood. Adrianne and her classmates love the AlphaMotion® Song. Adrianne’s kitten is named Aubie after the Auburn University Mascot.
We welcome the three new schools in Alabama to Dr. Cupp
Readers®!! Hop’n Pop is
getting to travel around the U.S.
Cupp Publishers, Inc.
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If you are a teacher using Dr. Cupp Readers® and you would like to have your suggestions or ideas posted in the Monthly Newsletter, please send them to Cindy Cupp at email@example.com
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