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World Read Aloud Day 2015

March 3, 2015

March 4, 2015 is World Read Aloud Day

World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their futures: that they have the right to read, to write, and litworldWRAD15logo-webto share their stories.

World Read Aloud Day allows members of our year-round programs to invite more people into their literacy community and brings LitWorld’s messages to the rest of the world. World Read Aloud Day is now celebrated by over one million people in more than 80 countries and reaches over 31 million people online. The growth of our movement can be attributed in large part to our network of partner organizations and “WRADvocates” – a group of reading advocates and supporters taking action in their communities and on social media.

LitWorld World Read Aloud Day


Global Literacy Statistics
LitWorld works to cultivate a new generation of leaders, storytellers and academic achievers, effecting change for themselves, their communities, and the world. Our campaigns mobilize children and adults from around the world to advocate for literacy as a human right that belongs to all people.
  • Reading aloud to children every day puts them almost a year ahead of children who do not receive daily read alouds regardless of parental income, education level or cultural background. (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)
  • According to the latest data (2014), 793 million adults–two thirds of them women–lack basic reading and writing skills. (UNESCO)
  • Since 1985, the female adult literacy rate has risen 15%, which is about double the growth of the male literacy rate in the same time period. (UNESCO)
  • On tests involving 4,500 to 10,000 students in 43 countries, half of the girls said they read for at least 30 minutes a day, compared with less than one-third of the boys. (UNESCO)
  • Even though the size of the global illiterate population is shrinking, the female proportion has remained virtually steady at 63 to 64%. (UNESCO)
  • Among the youth population, female literacy rates have been rising quickly. Nonetheless, three out of five youths lacking basic reading and writing skills are young women. (UNESCO)
  • If all children in low-income countries left school literate, 171 million people could move out of poverty. (World Literacy Foundation)
  • Poorly-literate individuals are less likely to participate in democratic processes and have fewer chances to fully exercise their civil rights (UNESCO)
  • A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five than a child born to an illiterate woman. (UNESCO)
  • A literate and educated girl is three times less likely to acquire AIDS, she will earn at least 25% more income, and she will produce a smaller, healthier family. (UNESCO)
  • Illiterate people earn 30-42% less than their literate counterparts. (World Literacy Foundation)

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Again this year I am promoting World Read Aloud Day, because I do imagine a world where everyone can read. Please join the movement in your classroom.

If you are looking for an engaging and fun activity for the winter doldrums, check the links below for some great classroom activities and ideas.

We have been adding to our Novel Study and Read-Aloud products on Teachers Pay Teachers. Check out our store, Surviving to Thriving LjL,  for quality curriculum materials for your classroom. 1361495

10 Ways To Be Proactive

February 10, 2015

Teaching is stressful and hard on a daily basis, even for experienced teachers. There are so many things to remember, so many student needs, and so many responsibilities that it can easily become overwhelming. Teacher burn-out is a real problem. 40 to 50 percent of new teachers leave within their first five years on the job. (nprEd, 2014)

How do teachers  deal with the stress and become the educators we want to be? In conversations with pre-service teachers and classroom teachers  we have emphasized the value of recognizing what we can and cannot control. Teachers who accept what they can control are able to fully focus their energy and influence on being proactive. We’ve looked at Stephen Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon & Schuster, 1992) as a resource to help focus our energy on concerns that we can actually do something about.

Covey defines proactive as being responsible for our own lives…..our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. Proactive people focus on issues they can do something about. The nature of their energy in doing this is positive, enlarging and magnifying. They increase their Circle of Influence.

Reactive people tend to neglect those issues that are under their control and influence. Their focus is elsewhere and their Circle of Influence shrinks. They tend to react to emergencies rather than plan what to do when the situation occurs.Covey_Circles

So as teachers what can we do to be proactive, to take control of situations and create a positive and highly functioning classroom? For new teachers especially, focus on what you can do now; everyday will give you more experience and more confidence. Here are ten ways to take control of your teaching and your classroom beginning today.

10 Ways Be Proactive

  1. Begin each day with a smile. You set the climate for the students in your classroom and in the ways you interact with faculty, staff, and parents. I always prefer to begin the day with the colleague who has a smile, a joke or  a kind comment. Students prefer teachers who smile and laugh.
  2. Be ready for the day. Before you go to bed at night, make sure you are organized and ready for the morning. If you begin the school day by running late or trying to complete last-minute tasks, you will be playing catch-up all day. Plan time to get to school, get a cup of coffee, organize your classroom and be ready when students arrive.
  3. Greet students at the door. Experienced educators will tell you many behavior problems begin in the hallway and continue inside the classroom. By being in the door you are able to observe hallway behavior and diffuse student situations or remind students of appropriate behavior right away. It also gives you a chance to learn more about your students and build relationships.
  4. Have clear expectations, routines, and procedures. Establish clear expectations for your classroom and revisit them often. Teachers and students  function better in an organized and safe learning environment.
  5. Grab their attention. Have something ready for students to do as soon as they come inside the classroom. Bell ringers should be engaging, meaningful, and relevant. Have some fun here, but get students focused on the classroom and the content.
  6. Plan instruction well. Lessons don’t just happen. It is essential that you plan engaging and relevant lessons for your students. If your students are truly involved in the lesson, they are less likely to be looking for other entertainment. Grab their attention. State the learning target. What are we learning today? Why are we learning this? Use a variety of instructional strategies. Lecturing or talking for 50 minutes is not a lesson. Lessons should be hands-on, student-centered and interactive. Use formative assessment to check for understanding throughout the lesson. How to Keep Kids Engaged
  7. Finish the lesson on time. No last-minute rushing. Wrap up the lesson and have time to give announcements, answer last-minute questions and quietly dismiss class or transition to the next activity. This allows the opportunity to check-in with students and get organized for the next class or subject.
  8. Use any preparation time wisely. Grade as many papers as possible and organize the classroom for tomorrow before leaving school each day.
  9. Reflection is a tool for growth. Keep a journal. What worked today? What needs revision? Be honest and focus energy on what you can change.
  10. Take care of your personal needs. Protect time at home to give attention to family, friends, and personal wellness. Get a good night’s rest and be ready to do it all again tomorrow…with a SMILE.

 Use your energy wisely. Be proactive and positive.

The Dilemma

I have come to a frightening conclusion.
I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that will create the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a student’s life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a student humanized or de-humanized.

Haim Ginott



Building Relationships by Showing that You Care

January 21, 2015

I work with pre-service teachers. I’m working with three groups right now. One group just started the program and they are eager to begin their journey of learning and teaching.  They will have their first classroom field experiences in a couple of weeks. A second group is preparing for their second field experience, and the third group begins student teaching Monday! I’m excited for all of them.

In recent conversations and classroom discussions, many have shared their anxiety– their first day jitters. Especially those who are student teaching are worried. “Am I ready?” “Can I really do this?” All of my students know the value I put on building relationships with students (and colleagues). We’ve spent a great deal of time in class discussing this and modeling appropriate ways to get to know students and build relationships of respect. I am thrilled when I read literature, research, or other educator’s advice that supports this belief. Yesterday, I received an email notice of a blog post for a blog I follow. Katherine Sokolowski on her blog,  Read, Write, Reflect shared her story about showing students you care and how she shared this with her current student teacher. This is a post worth reading for all educators. Thank you, Katherine, for sharing.

Student teachers have to absorb so much in our time together. I told mine that her first priority, before we even begin to talk about curriculum, is to build relationships with every single child in our classroom. She is off to an amazing start.

Katherine Sokolowski
Showing That You Care -Read, Write, Reflect Blog

Relationships first. Then you can really begin teaching content. Be sure to read this entire post and her suggested reading. All of our students deserve to know someone cares!heart3

Previous Posts on Building Relationships

Martin Luther King Jr. – I have a Dream!

January 19, 2015

Linda C.:

Many have found this previous post useful. Check out resources and ideas for the classroom.

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Originally posted on From Surviving to Thriving:

Soon we will honor an American who devoted his life’s work to ensuring equality for all people. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. remind us all to keep working to fulfill his dream of a country and a world where all people are truly free!

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

. . . . . .

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and…

View original 267 more words

Happy New Year – The Journey Continues

January 2, 2015

Thank you for following From Surviving to Thriving. We hope you have found useful resources and information on our blog. We are looking forward to a great 2015. The journey of an educator is a never-ending road of discovery.

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We look forward to learning, growing, and sharing with all of you.happy new year

Let There Be Peace On Earth – 2014

December 15, 2014

Let There Be Peace On Earth

December 15, 2014

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