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Our Newsletter: "Food for Thought"

Our Newsletter: "Food for Thought"

Food for Thought is the newsletter that Stevenson Learning Skills publishes twice a year. Below you will find the major articles from some of our recent issues. Click on any article to view it. There are a few small items from the newsletters that we do not include here on the web site. Click Links below for information or mail coupon, call, fax or e-mail info@stevensonlearning.com for the information.

Articles from "Food for Thought":

About Fluency

[This article was carried over from the previous issue because of interest in this subject.]

Fluency is often a significant issue for struggling readers. Over the years there have been a variety of viewpoints on when and how to address this issue, so we thought we would share our perspective. You may have already encountered these points in some of our manuals, but, if you did not, we review them here in hopes of helping you make the most of your teaching time and effort.

Fluency is most usefully defined as accuracy plus speed. Reasonable fluency is important for good comprehension. If you sacrifice accuracy to gain speed, you will not improve comprehension. (Increasing speed without accuracy does not happen often, but can occur during some kinds of instruction.) Reading with "expression” is often

Testing Season is Around the Corner

In school today, it seems like testing never ends, but, in truth the major testing season has yet to begin.  Depending on your geographical location, sometime between March and June, your school system will initiate high-stakes standardized tests meant to determine student progress.  Although most educators agree in theory that schools should not "teach to the test," in fact, almost every school system will have a plan for "preparing" students for these tests.  And almost every teacher involved will spend a considerable amount of time between now and the test date completing this "preparation."  With budgets and jobs on the line, it would be unreasonable to expect people to do otherwise.  So, for those of you using the Stevenson Program, we thought we would throw out a couple of quick ideas to help keep things in perspective.

Prices Changing on March 1, 2013 - Save Now

We have not changed our prices during the last two years, but paper-product costs increased in the last half of 2012 and we need to pass those increases along.  The changes average about two per cent per year, so the Stevenson Program remains an incredible bargain compared to similar curricula.  If you want even more of a bargain, order books now.  They will probably never be this inexpensive again.  The prices will not change on the web site until March first.  To see what the prices will be at that time, click here for the latest order form.  

Holiday Cheers

Oct. - Nov. - Dec

We recently received the following e-mail from Kim Bell, a customer:

"My son is doing VERY well on your system. He giggles when he reads now.  This hasn't
happened for a very long time. Even long pieces of SLS reading do not intimidate him."

We regularly receive compliments from our customers, and we try to let each person know how much we appreciate the kind words.  As most teachers realize, this "business" is more about emotional rewards than financial compensation.  The holidays seemed like good time to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us.  Peace, love and perseverance to all of you who are trying hard to help your students.        

About Sandy

Oct. - Nov. - Dec. 2012

The whole country saw the terrible pictures of the damage that superstorm Sandy did.  We personally spoke to several of our contacts and customers who witnessed great devastation and suffered difficult losses.  Stevenson Learning Skills cannot do a great deal to help, except to keep those people in our thoughts and donate to the Red Cross.  However, we can offer to replace any Stevenson materials that you or your school may have lost in the storm.  If that happened to you, let us know (800-343-1211 or info@stevensonlearning.com).  Also, we encourage everyone around country to support the Red Cross for their work during this disaster as well as for all the emergency assistance they provide.                

First Lesson of New Multisyllable Book

Oct. - Nov. - Dec. 2012

We have started to create a new component to the Stevenson Language Skills Program that is focused on certain kinds of multisyllable words.  These books will serve multiple purposes, and therefore they will be titled The Multipurpose Multisyllable Teacher's Manual and Student Book.  We have finished a draft of Lesson One of the manual, the first five pages of the student book, and a piece that explains how the materials can be used in the program.  These three items have been turned into PDF files and posted on our website under "Teaching Resources."  We highly recommend taking a look at them.  Some of you might find Lesson One itself useful, but more importantly,

Thank You

September, 2012

We greatly appreciate the responses we received from our friends and customers last spring about finding better ways to communicate.  There was a very strong response favoring a brief monthly update as the best means for us to keep in touch.  Since we already have been sending out our Food For Thought newsletter 2 or 3 times a year, we decided to simply shorten the articles and increase the frequency.  We also decided to send out a simple link to Food For Thought rather than send out the whole newsletter.  Now Food For Thought actually resides on our website, so you can refer to it anytime you like without having to worry about saving the issues we e-mail.  We will simply e-mail you when the latest issue is posted.  We hope this works well, and we are always open to suggestions for improvements.      

More Stevenson-Specific Assessment Tools for Beginning Green Level

September, 2012

We recently posted a large group DIBELS-like assessments that use Stevenson stories.  They were created through the Intervention Central Website.  We are grateful to Sally Kovar from the NW Ohio Educational Service Center for producing these tools from Intervention Central and then turning them into pdf files to share with all of us.  We have mentioned Intervention Central in previous newsletters, and if you are not currently familiar with that site you can check it out at http://www.interventioncentral.org/.  To check out the Stevenson assessments, scroll through our Teaching Resources section.

Our New Favorite Saying

September, 2012

A good friend of ours and an excellent practitioner of the Stevenson Program, Cheryl Davila, created the following statement for the close of her e-mails:  "If a child cannot learn in the way we teach, we must teach in a way the child can learn."  This thought is so right for teachers who work with struggling students!  We credit Cheryl, and, with her permission, we are going to start using these words frequently in our literature.  

Solutions to Tough Reading Problems

September, 2012

Although many teachers use the Stevenson Reading Program simply because it is an effective and enjoyable way for beginning students to learn, many others have come to the program because their students simply could not learn to read by other methods.  We are happy to take on students with tough problems, and the Stevenson teacher’s manuals carefully outline strategies to tackle specific issues.  However, any manual would have to be 10,000 pages long to cover every issue that may arise.


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