Integrating Technology & Core Values: Links & Core Values Videos Created by Geer Park Students! 2014-2015

I want to share with all of you the core values posters that Geer Park students created and the QR codes that if you scan each one of them will link you to their core values videos/skits that were also created by Geer Park students. We integrated teaching and practicing CORE VALUES with using the TECHNOLOGY. These posters and videos were created by Geer Park students. We obtained permissions from the parents to post them on teacher tube. I am very proud of our Geer Park students and the work they accomplished! Dr. Bazzi-Gates

How to Encourage Reading in Early Childhood!

Reading aloud

One of the best ways to encourage emerging literacy is to read aloud with a child as often as possible. If you work with a child in a preschool or kindergarten, spend at least part of each session reading aloud.

Read-aloud sessions involve much more than saying words and turning pages. When you express your own excitement about the pictures, story, setting, and characters, the child will be excited too. With your guidance, the child can learn to take meaning from the words and expand his or her understanding and enjoyment of the story.

Looking for the details in the pictures, talking about what might happen next, and discussing how the story relates to the child’s real-life experiences are important parts of read-aloud sessions.

The following six-point checklist summarizes the key strategies used to read aloud to young children.

1. Choose a book

  • Look for a book that:
    • You will enjoy reading.
    • Supports and builds on the child’s interests and experiences.
    • Has beautiful pictures.
    • Is slightly above the child’s current vocabulary level.
    • Introduces a new style such as poetry or a folk tale.
  • Invite the child to choose books she would like to read.
  • Repeat familiar, well-loved books often.

2. Get to know the book

  • Examine the illustrations so you can point out the information and clues in the pictures.
  • Read the story to yourself.
  • Plan ways to vary your voice (tone, volume, pauses) to fit the plot and characters.
  • Collect dress-up clothes, puppets, or other props related to the story.

3. Set the stage for success

  • Help the child get ready to listen.
  • Make sure the child is comfortable and can see the book.
  • Make sure you are comfortable.

4. Before starting the story

  • Introduce the author and/or illustrator.
  • Talk about other books you’ve read by the same author and/or illustrator.
  • Show the cover and point out details in the illustration.
  • Read the title aloud.
  • Talk about what type of book it is – true, make-believe, folk tale, realistic.
  • Describe where and when the story takes place.
  • Introduce the setting and the main characters.
  • Suggest things to look and listen for in the story.
  • Show a few pages and ask: What do you think will happen in this book?

5. While reading the story

  • Vary your voice to fit the characters and the plot.
  • Stop frequently to:
    • Add information that will help the child understand what’s happening.
    • Rephrase something that might be confusing.
    • Explain the meaning of a new word.
    • Invite the child to predict what might happen next.
    • Ask the child about the story and characters.
    • Show the pictures and describe what’s happening.
    • Share your own reactions to the story and characters.
    • Use the props to enhance the child’s enjoyment of the story.
  • Encourage participation by inviting the child to:
    • Join in with rhymes and repeated words and phrases.
    • Make different sounds “Peter, would you like to be the cow?”
    • Add the last word to a familiar part of the text.
  • Move your finger under words as you read.

6. After reading the story

  • Ask questions to help the child:
    • Recall what happened in the story.
    • Relate the story to personal experiences (e.g., “Did you ever?”).
    • Put themselves in the story – (e.g., “What would you have done?”).
    • Express ideas, opinions, and creativity.
  • Do a book-related activity so the child can:
    • Act out the story (with or without props).
    • Make up a sequel to the story which you write on a large piece of paper.
    • Draw pictures that show the events in the story then use them to retell the story.
    • Learn about the author and/or illustrator
      • Talk about his or her life
      • Look at his or her other books
      • Draw a picture of the characters in these books.
  • Encourage the child to look at the book at home or in the classroom. Read the book again and again if the child is interested.

Talking with children

Because all forms of language are connected, talking with children is an important way to encourage their emerging literacy.

Talking helps children develop thinking skills, use their creativity, express ideas, increase their vocabulary, and understand the relationships between oral and written forms of language. As described above, talking is an important part of reading aloud with young children.

When you talk with a child you send important messages – “I’m interested in you. Tell me about what you’re doing. I want to hear your ideas.” You can talk with children while reading, writing, playing, and doing routines together. Some examples follow:

  • Talk about the past, present, and future. “Last week we played in the sand box together. This week we painted pictures. What would you like to do next week?”
  • Talk during everyday activities. While preparing and eating a snack with a child, follow the child’s lead. “I like cats too. I used to have a fat cat with white paws.”
  • Ask sincere questions. While taking a walk together, respond to the child’s interest. “How do you think that dandelion grew up through the sidewalk?”
  • Start a conversation. While looking out the window together, say, “The clouds look soft today.” Wait for the child to respond.
  • Respond to a child’s question. “I don’t know if hamsters like nuts like squirrels do. Let’s see what it says in the hamster book.”
  • Offer props that lead to talking. Use puppets, dress-up clothes, and accessories to encourage make-believe play.

Writing with children

Writing is communicating with others by putting ideas in print. Children begin learning to write in the early years.

Writing focuses children’s attention on print, helps them learn that letters represent sounds, and contributes to their emergent reading skills. Handwriting comes later when children can form letters and words in conventional ways.

If you are a tutor who works with a 3- to 5-year-old child, you can offer support that helps a child make discoveries about writing. Here are some examples:

Bring writing materials to each session. In your tutor’s toolbox include:

  • A magic slate
  • Paper (lined and unlined; different sizes, shapes, colors, weights, and textures)
  • Writing tools (crayons, markers, alphabet stamps and pad, pencils)
  • a small slate, chalk, and an eraser.

Some things you do to encourage writing include:

  • Let the child see how you use writing.Tell the child that you need to make a list and ask, “Would you like to make a list, too?” While you write your list the child can use scribble writing or invented spelling to write hers. Take turns reading your lists aloud.
  • Help a child see the connection between spoken and written words.Have the child draw a picture then dictate a story to you. You can write the story – exactly as the child tells it – then read it back to him.
  • Encourage a child to put her ideas on paper.The child can use scribble writing or invented spelling to write a story, then read it to you. Encourage her to take the story home to read to her family.
  • Create opportunities to practice writing.Bring paintbrushes and a bucket of water outdoors. You and the child can write letters and words on a wall or sidewalk. Write letters in the air – whichever letters are of most interest to the child.
  • Show respect for a child’s home language.Learn how to write a few words in this language. Ask the child’s family to help you, if necessary. When children have strong skills in one language, they can use these skills to become proficient in a second language.
  • Help the child see the connections between oral and written language.Ask a question about an interesting experience or special time she had with her family. Write the question in a special journal, then write the child’s answer. Read aloud the question and the child’s answer – to close the session and to start the next one.
  • Help a child build the small muscles and coordination used for writing.Together you can cut, paste, draw, paint, thread beads on a lace, roll playdough, connect small blocks, use a computer keyboard, play a drum, or spread peanut butter on a cracker.
  • Have the child write and illustrate a story. Make a simple book from paper folded in half and stapled on the fold. Make a fancier book with paper and a cardboard cover. Bind the book by lacing thick yarn through holes made with a hole punch. Encourage the child to take the book home to read to his family.
  • Make alphabet cards or an alphabet book. Save interesting pictures, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, and other items that contain print for the child to look at, cut up, and paste on index cards. Collect images that represent the child’s culture, home, and family. Show the letters of the alphabet in various forms (A, a, and a), together with an appropriate picture. Use the cards or books to refer to letters of the alphabet that come up while reading and writing with the child.

Tips For Parents!

Guidelines For Parent Child Relationships

  • Try to set a side time on a regular basis to do something fun with your child.
  • Never disagree about discipline in front of the children.
  • Never give an order, request, or command without being able to enforce it at the time.
  • Be consistent, that is, reward or punish the same behavior in the same manner as much as possible.
  • Agree on what behavior is desirable and not desirable.
  • Agree on how to respond to undesirable behavior.
  • Make it as clear as possible what the child is to expect if he or she performs the undesirable behavior.
  • Make it very clear what the undesirable behavior is. It is not enough to say, “Your room is messy.” Messy should be specified in terms of exactly what is meant: “You’ve left dirty clothes on the floor, dirty plates on your desk, and your bed is not made.”
  • Once you have stated your position and the child attacks that position, do not keep defending yourself. Just restate the position once more and then stop responding to the attacks.
  • Look for gradual changes in behavior. Don’t expect too much. Praise behavior that is coming closer to the desired goal.
  • Remember that your behavior serves as a model for your children’s behavior.
  • If one of you is disciplining a child and the other enters the room, that other person should not step in on the argument in progress.
  • Reward desirable behavior as much as possible by verbal praise, touch or something tangible such as a toy, food or money.
  • Both of you should have an equal share in the responsibility of discipline as much as possible.


The “3 Fs” of Effective Parenting

Discipline should be:

  • Firm: Consequences should be clearly stated and then adhered to when the inappropriate behavior occurs.
  • Fair: The punishment should fit the crime. Also in the case of recurring behavior, consequences should be stated in advance so the child knows what to expect. Harsh punishment is not necessary. Using a simple Time Out can be effective when it is used consistently every time the behavior occurs. Also, use of reward for a period of time like part of a day or a whole day when no Time Outs or maybe only one Time Out is received.
  • Friendly: Use a friendly but firm communication style when letting a children know they have behaved inappropriately and let them know they will receive the “agreed upon” consequence. Encourage them to try to remember what they should do instead to avoid future consequences. Work at “catching them being good” and praise them for appropriate behavior.

The Parent As Teacher/Coach

See your role as that of a teacher or coach to your children. Demonstrate in detail how you would like them to behave. Have them practice the behavior. Give them encouragement along with constructive criticism.

  • Try to set aside time on a regular basis to do something fun with your children.
  • Rather than tell them what not to do, teach and show them what they should do.
  • Use descriptive praise when they do something well. Say, “I like how you ____ when you ____.” Be specific.
  • Help your child learn to express how he feels. Say: “You seem frustrated.” “How are you feeling?” “Are you up set?” “You look like you are angry about that.” “It’s O.K. to feel that way.”
  • Try to see a situation the way your children do. Listen carefully to them. Try to form a mental picture of how it would look to them.
  • Use a soft, confident tone of voice to redirect them when they are upset.
  • Be a good listener: Use good eye contact. Physically get down to the level of smaller children. Don’t interrupt. Ask open ended questions rather than questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Repeat back to them what you heard.
  • Make sure they understand directions. Have them repeat them back.
  • When possible give them choices of when and how to comply with a request.
  • Look for gradual changes in behavior. Don’t expect too much. Praise behavior that is coming closer to the desired goal.
  • Develop a nonverbal sign (gesture) that your children will accept as a signal that they are being inappropriate and need to change their behavior. This helps them to respond to your prompt without getting upset.

The Use of Reward In Positive Parenting

When ever possible try to use reward and praise to motivate your child to improve their behavior.

For younger children you can use “grandma’s rule.” Say, “When you have picked up all your clothes, you may go out and play.” Be sure you use “when” rather than “if.”

Combine reward with time out for serious disruptive or defiant behaviors. Say, “Every time you ____, you will have a ____ time out. If you can go the whole (day, afternoon, etc.) without getting a time-out, you will earn ____..

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support

It is a proactive approach to school-wide discipline.

Definition of Discipline

Unfortunately, “discipline” commonly is defined by procedures that focus on control with punishment consequences. This traditional discipline perspective is incomplete without attention to the development and support of pro-social behavior. Research suggests that punishment by itself is ineffective in achieving long-term suppression of problem behavior and enhancement of pro-social behavior.


Therefore, a useful definition of discipline is “the steps or actions, teachers, administrators, parents, and students follow to enhance student academic and social behavior success”.


Proactive Approach to School-Wide Discipline

Schools that implement school-wide systems of positive behavior support that focus on taking a team-based system approach and teaching appropriate behavior to all students in the school. Instead of using a patchwork of individual behavior management plans, schools are moving toward school-wide discipline systems that address the entire school, the classroom, areas outside the classroom (such as hallways, cafeteria, playground and bus), and the individual student with challenging behavior, and that the result in a continuum of positive behavior support for all students.

Schools that have been successful in building school-wide systems develop procedures to accomplish the following:


  1. Behavioral Expectations are Defined. A small number of clearly defined behavioral expectations in positive, simple, rules. Waterford-Halfmoon’s 4 expectations are: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be a Learner and Be Positive.
  2. Behavioral Expectations are Taught. The behavioral expectations are taught to all students in the building, and are taught in real contexts.
  3. Appropriate behaviors are Acknowledged. Once behaviors have been defined and taught, they need to be acknowledged on a regular basis.
  4. Behavioral Errors are Corrected Proactively. When students violate behavioral expectations, clear procedures are needed for providing information to them that the behavior was unacceptable, and preventing that unacceptable behavior from resulting in inadvertent rewards.
  5. Program Evaluations and Adaptations are Made by a Team. School-wide behavior systems of behavior support involve on-going modification and adaptation.
  6. Administrative Support and Involvement are Active. School-wide behavior support involves the active and on-going support and involvement of key administrators.
  7. Individual Student Support Systems are Integrated with School-wide Discipline Systems. School-wide behavior support is a process for establishing a positive culture in a school.


  1. Increase in attendance.
  2. Student self-reports of a more positive and calm environment.
  3. Teacher reports of a more positive and calm environment.
  4. Reduction in the proportion of students who engage in behavioral disruptions.
  5. Reduction in the number of behavioral disruptions.

Restorative Practices & Restorative Justice

Restorative practice seeks to repair relationships.

Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying. It does this by bringing about a sense of remorse and restorative action on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim.


The rationale behind this approach is that when offenders reflect upon their harm to victims: 

  • They become remorseful and act restoratively. 
  • Practitioners can focus on the unacceptable behaviour of offenders rather than their moral character
  • This can lead to healthier interpersonal relations among members of the school community and more effective learning.


  1. Restorative practices can be undertaken in a variety of forums. It may be conducted with varying   degrees of formality and may include just those students most directly involved in bullying or in some circumstances a whole class. ‘Community Conferences’ include supportive third parties such as friends, families and possibly a community figure such as a police community liaison officer. This forum is used to address concerns of both individuals and the wider community. 
  2. The work in schools with cases of bullying is commonly guided by flashcards or an agreed script which direct practitioners to ask the bully to describe what happened and to reflect on what harm it has done. The victim is asked to say how she or he has been affected and what needs to be done to put things right. 
  3. Feelings of shame that are elicited need to lead to re-integration into the community rather than a sense of being alienated and stigmatised.  
  4. In the spirit of personal responsibility, forgiveness and commitment to positive future behaviour, both the target and the bully express their acceptance of the proposed solution/s and discuss what can be done to prevent a recurrence. 
  5. The situation is then monitored by school staff and further intervention occurs if the situation does not improve. 
  6. In some cases considerable work is done behind the scenes to prepare the participants including bystanders and others to ensure a positive outcome.


Morrison, B. (2007). Restoring Safe School Communities: A Whole School Response to Bullying, Violence and Alienation. Sydney: Federation Press.

Rigby, K. (2010.) Bullying interventions in schools: Six basic methods (See Chapter 7: ‘ Restorative Justice’):  Camberwell, ACER. Republished (2012 : Boston/Wiley (American edition).

Thompson, F., & Smith, P. K. (2011). The use and effectiveness of anti-bullying strategies in schools. Research Report DFE-RR098. London.

Thorsborne, M., & Vinegrad, D. (2006). Restorative practice and the management of bullying: Rethinking behaviour management. Queenscliff, Vic: Inyahead Press.