Saturday, June 13, 2015


Teachers, thank you for all that you do for our kids during the school year!

Be sure to take care of yourself! Pour into yourself and your family so that you will have reserves to draw from when school begins. Unplug and let your soul and your mind rest. 

I know what it takes to be a teacher! You deserve admiration, respect, and rest!
Hope you have a beautiful summer!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Babies Love Reading!

                  Sandra Maddox on Vimeo.

This cutie pie is my grandson! I wanted to make sure that he would love books, so we started early! Does it work? Oh, yes! 

Notice his eye movements and body language. He loves the pictures and the sound of my voice as we weave our way through the book. It is obvious that he is happy and enjoying the experience.

So, what do babies learn from having books read to them?

Reading to babies stimulates and helps to develop their brains!

Reading to babies helps them to develop speech.

Reading aloud to babies exposes them to language. Children need to hear many words each day and learn to process language. 

Reading to babies will develop their love for books. Create routines that will encourage a love for reading, like bedtime stories. 

The love of books can be a shared experience that bonds baby and parent or grandparent. It creates memories and a lifelong love of reading. It also encourages snuggle time!
18 months

His favorite books from birth to age 1 were written by Karen Katz. He has added the Llama Llama books, The Little Blue Truck books, and many more!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


What do you believe about the teaching of reading?
I have spent my entire career trying to figure this out.  Through all the years of being the mother of a sweet little boy that struggled to read, as an elementary teacher, a special educator, and now as a literacy specialist.

Beliefs matter!

My struggling reader needed help decoding words. It took a long time for him to understand that letters had sounds. A multi-sensory approach helped him to learn to decode. 
But, that didn't make him a reader. He finally fell in love with reading when he was 15. We found a series that caught his interest.

So, here are a few things that I believe:
Reading is about meaning, not just decoding words.
Some kids need extra phonics instruction in order to decode words.
We have to find books that kids will read and enjoy.

Others can fight reading wars, but I will do whatever it takes to grow readers. Phonics or the ways of Marie Clay-I believe that we must meet the needs of students.

Once my son became a reader, he became more successful at school. He went on to graduate college. It was a very long journey, but well worth every step!