Reading Podcasts by Nicole Pizzato UMKC Graduate Student, Education
A teacher, a learner, a mentor and a mom, Nicole Pizzato has the knowledge and training to educate "the masses" about reading. When YouthFriends needed an experienced educator to talk to our mentors, we turned to Nicole for assistance.
What Nicole devised for YouthFriends was a comprehensive reading list for ages K-3, a series of podcasts featuring education experts and links to important resources for mentors. She hopes gathering this information in one central location will ensure the success of mentors reading to young readers. She also hopes it will show how reading can be fun for both mentors and young readers.
Nicole is taking a break from full-time teaching to get her Masters from University of Missouri - Kansas City. She resides in Liberty with her husband and daughter.
Oprah’s Kids Reading List is divided into different age groups for easy navigation. It also features popular titles, which should be easy to find in any library.
100 Picture Books Every Kid Should Know is a feature of the New York Public Library’s website. The list is in alphabetical order by title, and features a cover photo and a description of each book.
The Children’s Choice Reading List is compiled each year by the International Reading Association, a group of literacy professionals. The lists are generated based on submissions by members on a yearly basis, so there are plenty of choices!
The Reading Corner offers lists of picture books as well as young adult (YA) literature suggestions. This website is much older than other resources, so it features books that may be better established in many school libraries.
A British website with excellent recommendations for students between 0 and 17! Most of the titles are available locally at either a public or school library.
This is a resource library from Mizzou, and it has hundreds of links to ideas, websites, and blogs that discuss how to teach reading comprehension. This is a great database if you have some time to browse.
Some easy suggestions for checking and building reading comprehension are offered at this website. This is especially helpful for readers in grades grade 2 and beyond.
Building Rapport with Students
This powerpoint slideshow is from the Georgia State chapter of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Since CASA works with children in high-stress situations, the presentation outlines some wonderful ways to establish rapport with children quickly and respectfully.
This site offers some good, general theory and ideas for creating a positive relationship with kids.
This guide was developed for people working with students with Asperger’s. The site offers specific information related to writing instruction and social interaction. This is very helpful if you are working on literacy.
Really great tips from the perspective of parents educating teachers on working with their children who have Asperger’s.
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics:
The Wikipedia entry on phonemic awareness is easy to read and very helpful. It offers a breakdown of different phonemic awareness practices that can help you come up with games or activities to do with your YouthFriend.
For those of you interested in coming up with some activities that require little to no planning, this list of activities is designed for parents to do at home with children who need to practice phonemic awareness. The I-SPY game is my personal favorite.
This is an excellent site that explains what phonemic awareness is and offers some instructional activities you can do with your YouthFriend. I recommend this one to anyone with a background in tutoring or teaching, or anyone up for an instructional challenge
Reading to Kindergarteners and 1st Graders
Reading with students in grades 2-3:
Heres a list that can be printed (if you choose) and used as part of a sight words drill if you have a student struggling to decode basic vocabulary. The list is at a second grade level, for a third grade level list click here.
If you have a struggling second grader, or an older reader who is at a second grade level, this site offers helpful activities and tips aimed toward parents that still translate in a mentor/mentee setting.
Reading to 2nd and 3rd graders
Additional Reading Resources Please use the links on this page to obtain information about helping young readers.
Watch the above video reading guide for tips on helping young readers.
Fun Book for Young Readers - Willie's ABC Day and Big Jay's ABC Day, illustrated by Clay Center (Kan.) YouthFriends Coordinator Sharon Beems, are two colorful premier ABC books that take readers of all ages through a day with their favorite mascot. Both mascots travel around their respective campus' learning about famous landmarks and fun places to visit. The ABC books are written in a way that catches the attention of the youngest Wildcat or Jayhawk fan. An added unique feature of each book includes a sidebar on each page with that touch of history for the adult reader. Sure to entertain, these books will hold the attention of the most avid fan. Both books can be purchased in locations throughout Kansas or can be ordered online at www.mascotabc.com.
Mayor Sly James and Youthfriends are making a call to all Kansas Citians to get involved and volunteer or be a mentor for kids. The Turn the Page initiative does just that by developing a community-wide effort to bring kids up to their reading grade level because education will lead to a better future, a better job and a better Kansas City. The program's primary goal is getting all kids in Kansas City reading at grade level.
The mayor encourages the entire city to get behind this education initiative. It is important for creating a workforce that will attract and keep businesses. Also, having good schools will revitalize Kansas City's neighborhoods.
YouthFriends answered Sly James call for action and has put a plan into place for to ensure school-based mentors are armed with the tools to put this plan in place seamlessly.
This video was produced by Barkley Ad Agency in Kansas City. More information about the great work they do every day can be found on their website.
Contact YouthFriends While school district coordinators remain a volunteer's first point of contact about YouthFriends issues, YouthFriends Central supports coordinators by being another resource for volunteers with questions or concerns about their YouthFriends experience. Contact us at 816-842-7082 (toll-free outside the Greater Kansas City area: 877-842-7082).