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About the author


ABOUT THE AUTHOR By: Carole Edelsky Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Arizona State University Chris Rathkey taught primary age children in Phoenix for 35 years. She has a master's degree from the University of Arizona and has won several awards for outstanding teaching. She taught teachers at Arizona State University and in numerous other cities by means of her videotaped teaching shown at professional development sessions. How lucky you are to be able to learn from Chris Rathkey's brilliant, innovative yet imminently sensible, well-grounded advice! It's been almost four decades since I first saw Chris Rathkey (then Chris Boyd) teaching; almost four decades since I introduced my teacher preparation students to her kindergarten classroom to see what truly extraordinary teaching looks like. I've videotaped her teaching and used these videos so master teachers around North America could learn from them. I've seen researchers and university professors from around the world visit her classroom to learn from how she taught very young learners. And today, I get to do what she does not do—act as her press agent, because, as my grandmother used to say, "she doesn't toot her own horn." Chris Rathkey's ability to turn children on to literacy is legendary. Year after year, her kindergarten students grew by leaps and bounds as writers. How did she do that? By doing what she writes about in this book (If Only the Bears Had Left a Note). She refuses to underestimate children or to overwhelm them or to short circuit their independence. She combines her deep understanding of literacy with her keen sense of practicality. She respects children's thinking and knows how to lead them to think more deeply. She inspires them, through very deliberate ways of speaking that she describes in this book, to grow as thinkers and writers. The result is that, with purpose and intention, she brings written language along into daily life as she loves, plays with, and guides children.

Read more
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See inside

If Only the Bears Had Left a Note
Growing Up Writing
by Chris Rathkey

Overview


Hello, I'm Chris Rathkey, the author of If Only the Bears Had Left a Note. The book was fun to write and sweet to read, with bunches of ideas that will help you play with the literacy process of your children while you watch them experiment with letters and words. In the book you will find powerful ideas to help you encourage and understand your child's growth as a literate being. No workbooks are needed or even wanted. All you need is paper and pencils or crayons (depending on how much you value your wallpaper). Once the young ones start writing they can't stop. Writing brings power and understanding to children. In adult terms, it's like getting a credit card that gives prizes for spending. There are lots of ideas and information in the book that will allow you to participate in your child's growth as a reader and writer as well as understanding the process. It's not hard. It's actually lots of fun for everyone involved! Enjoy the opportunity of sharing writing and reading while creating memories. Writing and reading opportunities should be empowering, not taken over by workbooks and judgement.

Read more

Description


Hi, I'm Chris Rathkey and I have worked with young children (preschoolers through 2nd graders), parents, and university students from around the world, helping them understand the heart and process of literacy. I taught children to read and write and love learning through paying attention to what reading and writing are for and what they can do for them. They wrote every day and shared their writing with others. They recorded new learning on paper and shared their knowledge with others, their notes at their side. Children don't have a lot of power in the scheme of things (except, maybe, when it comes to toileting). Writing was something to be used, not evaluated. As you probably imagine, most everything I know, about learning to write and the importance of writing, I learned from my children and my students. In my classroom writing and reading worked hand in hand with learning and empowered learners to eventually edit their own texts. They were always in charge of their own writing and read their work to others. No one fixated on mistakes, they just edited as they gained more information. As long as they could read their work they would question their own spelling and look things up. This led to the creation of avid readers. As my own children grew up they left notes about things that happened during the day for others to read. They taped reminders to exit doors at home to remind us all of needs for upcoming activities. (i.e. A paper scribbled on by a two year old and a wiggly piece of masking tape reminded us all of the need to take a pillow to a party.) Writing should be powerful and enjoyable, not confined by a list of skills. Writing should be enjoyed by all. It's not just a skill, it's a necessity for a powerful and well-rounded life…. especially for a child. This book is designed to give parents peace and confidence in using writing and reading at home. It contains ideas that respect both parents and children. Paper, pencils, favorite stories and authors can empower the whole family. The leaders will be the children because they are more open and creative than the rest of us. The ideas in the book have been tested and enjoyed for …….well….at least 45 years that I know of.

Read more

Overview


Hello, I'm Chris Rathkey, the author of If Only the Bears Had Left a Note. The book was fun to write and sweet to read, with bunches of ideas that will help you play with the literacy process of your children while you watch them experiment with letters and words. In the book you will find powerful ideas to help you encourage and understand your child's growth as a literate being. No workbooks are needed or even wanted. All you need is paper and pencils or crayons (depending on how much you value your wallpaper). Once the young ones start writing they can't stop. Writing brings power and understanding to children. In adult terms, it's like getting a credit card that gives prizes for spending. There are lots of ideas and information in the book that will allow you to participate in your child's growth as a reader and writer as well as understanding the process. It's not hard. It's actually lots of fun for everyone involved! Enjoy the opportunity of sharing writing and reading while creating memories. Writing and reading opportunities should be empowering, not taken over by workbooks and judgement.

Read more

Description


Hi, I'm Chris Rathkey and I have worked with young children (preschoolers through 2nd graders), parents, and university students from around the world, helping them understand the heart and process of literacy. I taught children to read and write and love learning through paying attention to what reading and writing are for and what they can do for them. They wrote every day and shared their writing with others. They recorded new learning on paper and shared their knowledge with others, their notes at their side. Children don't have a lot of power in the scheme of things (except, maybe, when it comes to toileting). Writing was something to be used, not evaluated. As you probably imagine, most everything I know, about learning to write and the importance of writing, I learned from my children and my students. In my classroom writing and reading worked hand in hand with learning and empowered learners to eventually edit their own texts. They were always in charge of their own writing and read their work to others. No one fixated on mistakes, they just edited as they gained more information. As long as they could read their work they would question their own spelling and look things up. This led to the creation of avid readers. As my own children grew up they left notes about things that happened during the day for others to read. They taped reminders to exit doors at home to remind us all of needs for upcoming activities. (i.e. A paper scribbled on by a two year old and a wiggly piece of masking tape reminded us all of the need to take a pillow to a party.) Writing should be powerful and enjoyable, not confined by a list of skills. Writing should be enjoyed by all. It's not just a skill, it's a necessity for a powerful and well-rounded life…. especially for a child. This book is designed to give parents peace and confidence in using writing and reading at home. It contains ideas that respect both parents and children. Paper, pencils, favorite stories and authors can empower the whole family. The leaders will be the children because they are more open and creative than the rest of us. The ideas in the book have been tested and enjoyed for …….well….at least 45 years that I know of.

Read more

Book details

Genre:EDUCATION

Subgenre:Home Schooling

Language:English

Pages:100

Format:Paperback

Paperback ISBN:9780996775403


Overview


Hello, I'm Chris Rathkey, the author of If Only the Bears Had Left a Note. The book was fun to write and sweet to read, with bunches of ideas that will help you play with the literacy process of your children while you watch them experiment with letters and words. In the book you will find powerful ideas to help you encourage and understand your child's growth as a literate being. No workbooks are needed or even wanted. All you need is paper and pencils or crayons (depending on how much you value your wallpaper). Once the young ones start writing they can't stop. Writing brings power and understanding to children. In adult terms, it's like getting a credit card that gives prizes for spending. There are lots of ideas and information in the book that will allow you to participate in your child's growth as a reader and writer as well as understanding the process. It's not hard. It's actually lots of fun for everyone involved! Enjoy the opportunity of sharing writing and reading while creating memories. Writing and reading opportunities should be empowering, not taken over by workbooks and judgement.

Read more

Description


Hi, I'm Chris Rathkey and I have worked with young children (preschoolers through 2nd graders), parents, and university students from around the world, helping them understand the heart and process of literacy. I taught children to read and write and love learning through paying attention to what reading and writing are for and what they can do for them. They wrote every day and shared their writing with others. They recorded new learning on paper and shared their knowledge with others, their notes at their side. Children don't have a lot of power in the scheme of things (except, maybe, when it comes to toileting). Writing was something to be used, not evaluated. As you probably imagine, most everything I know, about learning to write and the importance of writing, I learned from my children and my students. In my classroom writing and reading worked hand in hand with learning and empowered learners to eventually edit their own texts. They were always in charge of their own writing and read their work to others. No one fixated on mistakes, they just edited as they gained more information. As long as they could read their work they would question their own spelling and look things up. This led to the creation of avid readers. As my own children grew up they left notes about things that happened during the day for others to read. They taped reminders to exit doors at home to remind us all of needs for upcoming activities. (i.e. A paper scribbled on by a two year old and a wiggly piece of masking tape reminded us all of the need to take a pillow to a party.) Writing should be powerful and enjoyable, not confined by a list of skills. Writing should be enjoyed by all. It's not just a skill, it's a necessity for a powerful and well-rounded life…. especially for a child. This book is designed to give parents peace and confidence in using writing and reading at home. It contains ideas that respect both parents and children. Paper, pencils, favorite stories and authors can empower the whole family. The leaders will be the children because they are more open and creative than the rest of us. The ideas in the book have been tested and enjoyed for …….well….at least 45 years that I know of.

Read more

About the author


ABOUT THE AUTHOR By: Carole Edelsky Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Arizona State University Chris Rathkey taught primary age children in Phoenix for 35 years. She has a master's degree from the University of Arizona and has won several awards for outstanding teaching. She taught teachers at Arizona State University and in numerous other cities by means of her videotaped teaching shown at professional development sessions. How lucky you are to be able to learn from Chris Rathkey's brilliant, innovative yet imminently sensible, well-grounded advice! It's been almost four decades since I first saw Chris Rathkey (then Chris Boyd) teaching; almost four decades since I introduced my teacher preparation students to her kindergarten classroom to see what truly extraordinary teaching looks like. I've videotaped her teaching and used these videos so master teachers around North America could learn from them. I've seen researchers and university professors from around the world visit her classroom to learn from how she taught very young learners. And today, I get to do what she does not do—act as her press agent, because, as my grandmother used to say, "she doesn't toot her own horn." Chris Rathkey's ability to turn children on to literacy is legendary. Year after year, her kindergarten students grew by leaps and bounds as writers. How did she do that? By doing what she writes about in this book (If Only the Bears Had Left a Note). She refuses to underestimate children or to overwhelm them or to short circuit their independence. She combines her deep understanding of literacy with her keen sense of practicality. She respects children's thinking and knows how to lead them to think more deeply. She inspires them, through very deliberate ways of speaking that she describes in this book, to grow as thinkers and writers. The result is that, with purpose and intention, she brings written language along into daily life as she loves, plays with, and guides children.

Read more

Book Reviews

to submit a book review
Chris
Delightful book What a delightful book! It brought back so many memories of teaching and learning in a community of people who, mostly loved the job and liked and respected their peers. I can see you sitting with kids around you. And then you sending them off to do what they needed to do. My how education has changed. But that’s another book. This book takes us along in an organized way to see how easy the reading and writing can be…and how fun! I love how you organized the meaningful quotes, the personal stories, the children’s writing - plus translation. Your tips for parents and teachers are concise and to the point and meaningful. It’s not just theory. (I love the part about phonics.) I can’t tell you how happy I am that you did this. What a lot of work and a labor of love. Those I have shared it with are amazed at the simplicity (to them) of it. Every time I read the dedication I get teary-eyed and remember how lucky we were to be all together. I am very humbled that I was included on that page. Gail Castle Read more
Rich
Happy Writing and Reading for Families! Any parents who love their children will find this an enjoyable book to read and apply. Children can learn to read and write almost simultaneously while learning to talk, all within the confines of their homes with no fear of being judged. They learn there is no such thing as a mistake (only making editing changes when they decide on their own to take their writing/drawing further)! This editing is done by crossing out and adding improvements they decide on (edits are referred to as “think marks”). I have seen the results of this years ago when I observed Chris Rathkey's classroom and was amazed at how incredibly involved each and every student was and how they loved doing their writing and editing and re-editing. Incredibly this pressure free environment produced children who excelled at their craft and never struggled grasping the concepts being taught in the public schools. I am convinced that this book would be a valuable asset in the hands of all parents with preschool youngsters. I firmly believe when you read this book you will agree and will give a review of your own. Enjoy *If Only the Bears Had Left a Note* and “Happy Writing” to you and your child! Read more
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