Welcome to Best Children’s Book Tips!

Best Children’s Book Tips and I appreciate your visit. Thank you for being here. The first thing I would like you to know about my site is that my personality will shine through; it is impossible for me to hold it in :). Also, I am very enthusiastic, and what I say comes from the heart. So, I may speak to you through writing, the way I would as if you were one of my teacher friends. But when I write a lesson, it will be all business. You will know it is a lesson because it will state, ‘Lesson: __’, and then the title of the lesson in the header. Lessons will include alternative ways of teaching lessons and correlating Standards. I am hoping to add a new tab for lessons only. We shall see what I figure out how to do! My wish is for you to enjoy the personal aspect I have given to my site, for you to feel welcome, and for you to know that ALL ideas are valued. As I said, I certainly do appreciate your visit.

In the world of Literacy, we can all appreciate the processes involved in learning how to read, beginning with scribbling as writing for the youngest of Pre-Emergent Readers. Readers will find letters in words, correlate sounds, decode and identify words, and apply the contextual use of strategies within sentences for comprehension. Readers will use comprehension strategies, utilize vowel patterns,  understand morphemes, and much more. ‘Sight Vocabulary’ is definitely important. Parts of speech, grammar, spelling, and critical thought are all facets of ELA to implement, practice, and apply as a good reader. Application of what is learned is key, which is why readers and writers need opportunities to read and write. Include comprehension strategies with every reading lesson. Understanding the big picture and comprehending the small details within text are goals of comprehension.

Educators know reading and writing are best friends. Fluency is the goal! Fluent readers and writers also use analytical skills, spelling strategies, and contextual techniques. All students reading and writing require many opportunities throughout the day for a great deal of practice because it allows for comprehension and fluency. And, keep in mind, even the youngest of picture book readers have a story to tell after ‘reading’ a book. That goal will remain the same throughout the entire reading and writing process.

Beginner or Emergent readers will realize when words are strung together, they create sentences. And, sentences decisively strung together – create whole paragraphs. All together, they create fantastic stories. This is what I am excited about – the steps in becoming a new reader. So exciting! Also, student authors are exceptionally awesome storytellers. Remember that even the youngest of readers and writers have excellent input. Student voices need to be heard. The following are the steps in learning to read as they flow: Pre-Emergent readers, Emergent readers, Instructional readers, and Independent (or Fluent) readers. In a variety of capacities, I want to help open young minds to new possibilities and ideas in becoming fluent readers and writers. Ideas that will help all types of readers and writers; all types of Educators, as well. Authentic and mindful – student-centered learning, engaging Literacy resources, student-as-the-teacher instruction, and fluent reading and writing are the objectives throughout the entire process. I hope to lend a hand through this website in supplying you with support, ideas, and resources. I am only just beginning!

The slideshow seen on the right side of your screen, in the sidebar, contains a picture entitled Tower of Power. I purposely chose this picture for the slideshow in order to refer to on this page. That’s me climbing to the top of a tower at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, and I put it in there to use it as a symbol of reading and writing. I chose this picture of me climbing this ‘Tower of Power’ because it represents the struggle of a new reader. There is a foundation from which to build upon, and that foundation is solid! It contains all student prior knowledge and the desire to learn how to read without surpassing the student’s frustration level. Scaffolding up in steps, per each individual student’s pace, while the teacher is there to catch anyone who falls while practicing. Literacy learners will come to understand that Literacy takes some time; encouragement for the comprehension of the simple fact that we are all lifelong learners is a wonderful lesson to learn. Those new to reading and writing are all welcome onto the ‘Road of Literacy Learning’ because it is never too late to learn how to read or write. Students of all ages deserve to be celebrated! And you better believe I rang that bell when I finally climbed to the top of that tower. 🙂 Students learning to read and write deserve to ring that bell as well!

I need to see critical thinkers while reading or writing when teaching. Introduction and application of critical strategies and critical techniques for the student-centered purpose of thinking about what is being read, comprehension strategies, are important. I have already mentioned this but is worth reiterating. Strategies that are grade-appropriate and developmentally-appropriate for each student. And when student readers reach that top step to fluency? They are then fluent readers and engaging authors. That is the most exciting goal of all!

I would like you to know a bit more about me so you may understand that this site is me and my ideas. My hope is that you find my teaching style compatible with yours. Flexibility within my career has allowed me the freedom to learn and evolve as an employee, administrator, and owner, within a variety of educational arenas. I believe my experience is my greatest asset. My career goals are simply to continue in my journey with children and literacy, to continue to grow within the field of Education, and to continue to help children and families in need. And to that? I say… Literacy is the key!

This Literacy website is or will be when complete, for students, educators, authors, illustrators, librarians, counselors, and families. My audience is everyone who loves language, juvenile literature, Education, and child development as much as I do. This site contains my Education-Based blog – Insatiable Educational Soup – and it will have a purpose: to discuss everything about Education in an honest forum colleague to colleague, friend to friend. My hope is that visitors will interact with me via questions in the reply section, or just share an opinion. Hopefully, visitors will help me learn by introducing new concepts to me. That would be ideal! 🙂

Best Children’s Book Tips will also be a means to share my lessons and activities; beginning with inquiry-based and child-centered Reggio Emilia-inspired activities in Early Childhood Education through early Elementary Education – to using Gardner’s Intelligence Theory and Bloom’s Taxonomy for critical thinkers, and Independent/Fluent Readers in late elementary and beyond. Always initiating critical thinking while learning. This, of course, is beneficial to students and is unique to each student. Encourage discovery in reading and comprehension strategies, decoding methods, and…eek! Should I say it? Phonetics. More on all of this as I add lessons to the content of my site.

I am learning how to put my website together as I go. Learning through reading books, researching articles, video tutorials, MANY phone calls to support, online webinars, in-person workshops, and the process of trying and failing until I succeed. My computer experience is self-taught with you in mind. I want to learn how to build this site the best way for you. All I can say is that I am learning! Not as fast as I would like, but I am learning more each day.

I have a total of 31 Graduate credit hours in Counselor Education and Reading & Language Arts from the University of South Florida and Oakland University. I am now looking into taking Grad courses at OU a bit differently – as a member of the OU Alumni Association. Combining my love of the written word, with learning how best to educate children, with taking the courses of my choice? And I am euphoric! Additionally, I am originally from Detroit, grew up in Rochester, Michigan. I lived out-of-state in Florida for almost sixteen years, and I have been happy to be home in Rochester Hills for four years! Minus the snow.

Both of the Graduate schools I attended emphasized diversity in teaching methodologies, diversity in books, and natural diversity among students. I have come up with my kind of ‘Mission Statement’ that encapsulates my style of teaching and learning, which also emphasizes such diversity. Also, nurturing relationships and a personal willingness to thrive to succeed. My personal educational Mission Statement is:

Student and teacher success depends upon honest and authentic relationships. We celebrate the differences between us and embrace the similarities among us. The student and teacher will engage in a safe environment where all students are encouraged to speak the loudest and most profound!  The learning environment will be a haven for students and teachers alike, where all are treated like family, with respect, responsibility, and love. We thrive on sharing and learning at a higher critical level. Movement is necessary, and excited voices are welcome! Students will explore, discover, analyze, and apply their way through Education in a safe learning environment all year-long.

I want to share what Best Children’s Book Tips will really be about. And I want you to be aware of my experiences within my career and have confidence in me. This Mission Statement? Is what I believe about learning and education, as well as students, families, and Educators as a whole.

I have also included a video in another blog post, put together by Florida Power & Light, created while I was the Director of an Early Learning Center. I added it so that you may take a peek at my experience in Grant writing efforts and the rewards reaped when awarded! It is in my blog post containing the green energy makeover, which is a vignette from YouTube. Find it by going to ‘Featured’ in the sidebar and choose Insatiable Educational Soup. Scroll until you find the video and click play. This Grant was awarded and the school will benefit from the makeover for years to come. When you correlate a need with the proper Grant and facility, society’s infrastructure only gains strength and a sense of community. This also coincides with my personal need for a sense of community within any learning environment.

I certainly do hope that you will return so you may use my resources as I continue to implement content. As I have said before, I am building and developing Best Children’s Book Tips for you. Please, continue to watch my Literacy website grow. I hope to help you in your learning environment. Contact me through my email: juliez@bestchildrensbooktips.com or info@bestchildrensbooktips.com. I am most certainly looking forward to hearing from you! I will reply ASAP. Thank you for your interest!



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