Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wecome back to the first day of school. Start the new year with a first-day lesson that will power student learning right up to the last day of school.

Welcome back. 
    Here's a fun way both to learn about the special individual interests of your new students as well as to motivate their learning from day one of the new school year.
    Just warm everyone up by reading one of the best books for career inspiration of all time – KBN's classic What You Don't Want To Be When You Grow Up.

Smart career advice
for a smarter future.

You can project the book up on your classroom wall and let everyone enjoy reading it together. But of course, that's what you don't want to be when you grow up. So what do you want to be?
    Invite each student to think fresh this year and come up with a career for their future that would really be sensational. Something they really want to do. Then instruct them to write it down, and illustrate it with a picture so great that everyone else will maybe want the same career, too.
    And when they all get through, invite them to stand up, introduce themselves and tell the rest of the class what they would someday like to do. Discuss the ideas together, and point out what they'll be learning this year to help them take the next steps to their dream. The new math skills. The writing experience. The scientific ideas. The social studies experience. The leadership skills.
    Then, put all of their ideas and illustrations in one book they can look at throughout the year – and watch them get excited all over again, every time, about what they're learning every day. Right up to the last day of school.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to survive the last week before Christmas in a room packed with thirty candy-cane wired kids. Just turn down the lights, project The Christmas Carol up on your classroom wall – and read!

     Let's be realistic.
    This is not going to be a standard week in which you study the history of the Pilgrims or math multiplication tables.
    This is going to be a week of pure Christmas cards, present making for mom and dad, dancing, singing, caroling, slurping down eggnog and apple cider and looking around the corner for Santa Claus.
    And yes, on thursday or friday Santa will probably show up.
    No serious learning is going to happen in any American classroom this week at all. But wait – maybe your students can have fun and actually learn something, too.
    Just go to your computer, go to KBN, and open up KBN's exciting flashbook edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, complete with its marvelous original 19th century illustrations.
    Then dim the lights and read this classic tale together.
    Dark. Scary. Fun. Shocking. And thrilling.
    But also good for classroom conversations about history and maybe building some new vocabulary, too.
    You can read the story to your students or, much better, let them all read the story to you.
    Happy Holidays from KBN!

Friday, April 1, 2011

How to use KBN’s new Read At Two literacy project for extra teaching power in your regular Pre-K to First Grade Classroom.

     Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your First Grade children, your Kindergarten students, and even all those wiggly Pre-K learners could walk through your classroom door on the first day of school already reading?
    The new KBN fast-track Read At Two literacy project – developed for pre- Pre-School early reading at home – is an important first step toward making that happen.
    The bright, carefully-designed foundational reading books provide the core teaching materials to help children begin to read even before they are two. These KBN books are all free, of course. And the Parent Handbook tells parents and other pre-school caregivers exactly what to do.
    Unfortunately we’re not quite there yet with universal reading at two as a national educational initiative or standard parenting home practice.
    The good news is that these same early reading development strategies, with their expert foundational content and new KBN projection reading technology, are also here in our new Pre-K and Kindergarten book categories. And teachers from Pre-K through First Grade can now use these fresh early reading books in the classroom – to provide valuable learning advantages to young readers every day.
    Here’s how it works.

1. You can really teach what children need to learn.

    All of the books in KBN’s Read At Two series, Pre-K series and Kindergarten series are designed to help children learn the core elements of literacy competence identified by both state and national educational standards, right from Pre-K through First Grade.
    Inside of each book in the Pre-K and Kindergarten series you'll find an abbreviated learning standards page to help identify the book's specific learning benefits and pedagogical strategy, with a separate printout of the complete learning standards provided as well.
2. You can give every child the support of an extra one-on-one teacher – right at home.

    When teachers and parents can both work together to help a child discover the power and satisfaction of reading, parents naturally want to participate and encourage their children more.
    And because our new KBN Read At Two program handbook is actually parent-oriented, you as a teacher can use it to direct and encourage more active parent interest and invaluable learning reinforcement – by reading the same free KBN page-turning books with their children either in a traditional on-paper book format or live and on-line right at home.
    Of course when parents discover KBN’s new Read At Two program early, and actually begin teaching their children to read one or two years before the children arrive at school, it’s just so much the better. Why is such a very early reading pattern with toddlers so important?
    As discovered through a major longitudinal study by educational researchers Hart and Risley [The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3, In: American Educator, Spring, 2003], a child’s vocabulary use at age 3 is strongly predictive of both language skills and reading comprehension at age 9-10. And many parents, although they may love and nurture their children in other ways, simply don’t actively speak and converse with their toddlers enough to build their vocabulary and related cognitive powers to the level necessary for higher learning success.
      That’s what daily reading with books can achieve. And that’s what KBN’s new national initiative is all about.

3. You can have more fun teaching while your class learns more.

    Early learning is all about play and fun. With the excitement of KBN’s fresh live bookcasting™ technology you can enable all of the children in your classroom to share the same big reading experience together, projected live and bright up on the classroom wall.
    Even a foundational book can become a major page-turner!
    And that means high-impact teaching also becomes a lot easier on the teacher.

4.  You can use different books to differentiate early learning, too – and help children with special needs learn to read more quickly.

    Finally, when a child arrives in your classroom with a learning disability, or speaking a different language, you can immediately reach for KBN’s basic-word books to do something about it. Often children with special needs require more time and focus on very simple text
concepts until they can master even basic reading schemas.
    And ESL readers, just learning the language, can be helped to build an active vocabulary by reading works with a tight focus on common utilitarian language for objects, actions, feelings and experiences.
    Along with KBN’s Read At Two, Pre-K, and Kindergarten  book series, of course, your whole class will enjoy the special pleasure and excitement of reading all of the free books in the fast-growing Kids’ Book Network library.
    All teachers and schools, of course, can help us spread the word about Read At Two to every parent of every student in their school – to help all the next incoming Pre-K students arrive at school more learning-smart and school-ready.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Remember, March 17 is now an official KBN national holiday for 3 million American teachers.

     That's because this year, once again, all any teacher has to do on March 17 is (a) wear green socks to school, (b) go to the KBN website, and (c) click on KBN's landmark sociological study of Irish immigration to America Why We Wear Green On St. Patrick's Day.
    That's it.
    No special site registration, nothing else required.

    Let KBN do all the work.
    You can just kick back and project this special book for everyone to read – with pages turning – right up on your classroom wall.
    Bookcasting is an instructional advantage like nothing else today. It automatically assists both teaching and learning – with everyone reading on the same page and everyone reading together.
    You can also download a complete, comprehensive 18-page Why We Wear Green lesson plan featuring two one-hour instructional sessions.
    Your students will learn about Irish history through the lesson plan's photographs, maps and illustrations. And they will learn, as well, that all people have faced rejection, and all people rise up from mistreatment through self-affirmation and celebration.
     Using conceptual framing – with forms and teaching samples provided – students will also develop an appreciation of who they are themselves, and understand that their heritage is to be celebrated.
     On March 17, with KBN there to help, a teacher can pretty much just relax, read, teach, drink lime punch and celebrate.
     Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A story of Christmas everyone can share.

    Last holiday season KBN proudly introduced the original Dickens classic A Christmas Carol on the KBN website. Everyone loves this very special story of the winter season, so this year we're introducing it again – for the first time in our exciting live, on-screen bookcasting™ format.
    Now you can actually project the enduring tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley's Ghost and Tiny Tim right up on your classroom wall! 
    Everyone in your class can enjoy the story together – whether you choose to read it to them or they prefer to read it to you.

    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was first published in a British newspaper, in a serialized format, in 1843. Republished here again on paper – in a "serialized," five-part format – our special edition of of the story was carefully prepared by scholars at the University of Virginia Library and has been made available to KBN with their kind permission.
   Teachers not familiar with 
A Christmas Carol may wonder if a work with such a religious-oriented title is appropriate for the public classroom. Happily the correct answer is yes. 

   It might come as something of a surprise, but the work is completely focused on the personal moral behaviors of the characters during a traditional holiday season of goodwill, and except for the title does not actually mention anything about religion – except, perhaps, the universal principle of charity and caring shared by all of humanity.
   The lively dialog of Dickens not only makes the story feel more immediate and personal to young readers today, it makes A Christmas Carol a wonderful work for students to share in the form of "readers theater."
    Our thanks once again to the University of Virginia.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Vileburgers are back. Uh-oh, this could be so big it's scary.

       Just to remind you if you haven't looked around and noticed the pumpkins all over the place that every child in your class will be incredibly excited about reading KBN's Halloween thriller, The Vileburgers.
      And the sooner you get started the better.
      After all, Betty has to track down her lost archeologist parents with the help of the most incompetent family of ghouls in New York and her parents are lost in Texas.
      "City Slickers meets Ghostbusters in this short, goofy tale ... enjoyably ridiculous," according to Kirkus.
      "Replete with elements of magic, humor and wit, Uncle Henry's new Halloween classic is an imaginative adventure ... hilarious cast ... sure to rouse a chuckle," Bookwire suggests.
      And best of all, it all comes with an electrifying lesson plan, featuring readers theatre, which we promise will make your hair stand on end, your eyes spin and your ears wobble.
      Education in October doesn't get any more fun than this.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Perhaps the best classroom project in 200 years.

     Once again, KBN has made starting out the new school year easier than you ever thought possible.
     September 16 marks the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence, the moment of the historic Grito or corageous shout for independence by Fr. Miguel Hidalgo, and for this very special day KBN is very pleased to bring you a very special project.

    It starts with a special Bicentennial book, El Grito, written and illustrated entirely by the students of Solano Avenue School in Los Angeles. Your whole class can enjoy this book together, projected on screen or viewed directly on any computer monitor in our convenient flashbook bookcasting™ format. We hope that it becomes the first of many student-created book projects KBN will be able feature this year, and that it serves as an interactive inspiration for students everywhere to become exited about writing more books of their own.
     But the project also features a student-filmed video, found on the KBN homepage, of the corrido in El Grito. The corrido – be sure to zoom in on the image – was performed live and sung by its original young authors, on the school campus, along with the famous composer and presidential Medal of Arts winner Lalo Guerrero, who wrote the music. We hope that the hand-held video also inspires your own students creatively – to write and perform more of their own original songs.
     And finally, talk about revolutionary –  our El Grito project includes a comprehensive lesson plan on Fr. Hidalgo, El Grito, and the story of the Mexican Revolution for students at every grade level.
     KBN and teachers. It's going to be an exciting new year.