<![CDATA[Education by Shala Books - Blog]]>Wed, 20 Oct 2021 12:44:37 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[ENSURING YOUR EDUCATIONAL IDEAS STAY]]>Mon, 18 Oct 2021 16:16:47 GMThttp://shala-books.com/education-blog/ensuring-your-educational-ideas-stay​Within the field of education, ideologies and teaching methods are in constant flux, and an idea that is hot one day can be abruptly out the next. Why? Because educators often like the sounds of a new idea, they will take the time to read about it and join discussion groups, but its actual implementation won’t last long if they can’t understand how it works. If you’ve put the time and effort into developing new educational concepts this can be quite frustrating. So how do you avoid this common pitfall and ensure that your ideas are not only talked about now, but also that they last over time? By following these easy tips below when putting together your materials.

Define Your Terms

​​First things first: consider adding a glossary of terms to your resources. In order for the new terminology you have coined to stick, educators will need to have a concrete understanding of what you mean by them, otherwise confusion and frustration may arise, which could result in teachers simply giving up on your ideas. 

Include an Educational Framework

​If you would like your ideas to be implemented within a whole school and become part of its foundation long term, including a sample framework of how this could be done for administrators/coordinators is extremely helpful. For more information on different types of Educational Frameworks, see:
What is an Educational Framework?
The Tool Successful Companies Use That Schools Need
Designing an Educational Framework
Going Global With Your Educational Idea
Creative Ways to Share an Educational Framework

Include Planners

Though your tips and suggestions may be well laid out, it can be difficult for teachers to incorporate them into their lessons without actual planners to refer to; therefore, it’s a good idea to include different concrete samples of how to apply your ideas in the classroom. For example, if you would like teachers to include a certain way of approaching math concepts, add a few different planning templates outlining how long each activity should take, how to organize lessons so there is a logical flow etc. That way, after reading your book, or attending your PD, they have something concrete to follow. For tips on designing and implementing planners, see:

How to Use Planners as a Tool for Mentoring Teachers
Tips for Personalizing Planners at Your School

Using Planners to Change Mindset
Different Planning Solutions for Your School
Creating a Collaborative Planning Template

Keep Your Planning Tools Fresh

Lastly, in order to ensure your ideas transcend time, continuously changing and updating the planning tools you provide will not only help you to remain current, but will also assist educators in incorporating new ideas being introduced within the field of education and encourage professional growth/development.
​These are but a few ways to help ensure that the approach and methodology that you would like to see implemented at schools or in the classroom remain a staple for years to come! Have any other suggestions you would like to share? We’d love to hear them!

<![CDATA[TIPS FOR TRANSDISCIPLINARY PLANNING]]>Mon, 11 Oct 2021 16:23:24 GMThttp://shala-books.com/education-blog/tips-for-transdisciplinary-planningThe art of transdisciplinary planning requires that teachers view subject areas as part of an integrated whole versus separate blocks, which is easier said than done for most. Whether you are asking others on your team to plan this way, or you are being asked yourself, there are a few things you can do to help implement this line of thinking.
Firstly, although it’s important to calculate how many hours each subject area must be taught throughout the year, consider creating a second more open version of your timetable. For example, your more traditional timetable may look something like this:
​A second more flexible version may help your team or yourself to see blocks of time as integrated wholes vs separate blocks, as in the modified timetable below:
​Using the second timetable as a frame of reference to start planning from changes the way subjects are viewed, from separate to whole, as blocks of time are not referred to singly but lumped together so one can visually understand that when planning for a day; for example, on Monday a mainstream teacher has 3 hours to integrate Language Arts, Math and Science outcomes and lessons together. As for the specialist Art teacher, they are encouraged to view their subject area not only as “Art” but “Art” mixed with other subject areas. This is but one way the timetabling could be done – whether for your team or yourself, you can be thinking about which subjects to place on which days to create different combinations of integrated subject area “learning blocks”.

A second thing you can do to encourage transdisciplinary planning is to rethink the planners you are using. While traditional planners tend to focus on single subject areas in single time blocks, consider developing a lesson planner that integrates subject areas, like the one below that was designed for a mainstream teacher:
This day planner was kept very general to give an idea of what one could look like. Creating a format like the one above allows your team or yourself to view specific lessons as an interwoven combination of several different subject areas, ensuring that transdisciplinary planning is occurring at the highest levels. To take things a step further, if the mainstream teacher and the Art teacher collaborate and share plans, the Art teacher can integrate some of the outcomes being covered in the Math, Language Arts and Science “learning blocks” into their lesson.

These are a but a few tips to help guide you; if you are working at an IB school and would like to explore other ideas for transdisciplinary planning, see the following articles:

The Transdisciplinary Framework
How to Run Your IB Planning Meetings Like a Boss Using a Transdisciplinary Framework
The Transdisciplinary Planners

Feel like you may need further guidance? Contact us! We are always happy to help!

<![CDATA[READING RESOURCES FOR PARENTS]]>Tue, 05 Oct 2021 16:15:23 GMThttp://shala-books.com/education-blog/reading-resources-for-parentsTrying to find the right set of beginner readers for your child can be a difficult task – as a parent, I know, as I’ve been there myself, which is why our series of free online audio Emergent and Transitional Readers eBooks were developed. What separates our resources from others is the slow build that takes place between each level so that your child can progress comfortably at their own pace. 
Our Emergent Readers series begins with a set of eBooks that focus solely on CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words like “cat,” “dog,” “pig,” etc. and once your child is secure with these words, sight words like “a,” “the,” and “it” are introduced in the next set. As your child advances through the levels, the difficulty increases as they begin to learn new mixes of words that can be phonetically sounded out and additional sight words. Below is an overview of how our eBooks are levelled in the whole collection:

CVC Words

​Our CVC Words Emergent Readers are the first collection in our series of eBooks, introducing young learners to the fundamentals of reading. These consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) eBooks introduce one or two words a page with an audio button beside the word(s) and a picture on the facing page, making them the perfect learning model for very young readers. Beginning readers can understand the meaning of the word from the picture, while listening to the correct pronunciation and sounding out the word(s).

CVC & Sight Words

​Once early readers have mastered reading our CVC Word series of eBooks they can progress to the CVC & Sight Words Emergent Readers collection, where eBooks progress from 2 words to full sentences that include both CVC and sight words. Sight words are words that appear frequently in texts, words like “and, am, see, one, the, it, is, I, he, she, we, my,” and many more. There are about 100 sight words in the English language and when children identify them by sight they can read much more fluently and fluidly.

CCVC Words

Early readers are introduced to a consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant combination in our CCVC Words Emergent Readers, the third set in our series of eBooks for young readers. The double consonant blends and digraphs in the words give beginning readers the practice they need reading four letter words that begin with consonant clusters, and helps children who are learning how to read build their vocabulary. 

CVC, CCVC & Sight Words

​Our set of CVC, CCVC & Sight Words eBooks encourage children to read whole sentences and learn new vocabulary. eBooks in this collection combine CVC & CCVC words with sight words, so that young readers can practice reading everything they have learned in our Emergent Readers progression of eBooks thus far. Early readers practice reading two-word eBooks in this collection and then progress to whole sentences.

CVCC Words

Our CVCC Words Emergent Readers are the fifth set in our series of eBooks for children; here young readers are introduced to consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant word patterns. Beginning readers learn how to read four-letter words ending with two consonants, promoting their reading progress by offering them additional vocabulary in new word structures. 

CVC, CCVC, CVCC & Sight Words

The CVC, CCVC, CVCC & Sight Words eBooks are the final set in the series. eBooks in this collection combine CVC, plural CVC, CCVC and CVCC words with sight words, so that young readers can review and practice vocabulary they have already been presented with. In this set of eBooks, readers learn about sentence structures, recognizing sight words and understanding where they belong in a sentence; they also learn how to build their own sentences.


Our CCVCC Words Transitional Readers are the first set in our next series and can be read independently by young children or as guided practice with an adult. These eBooks are divided in two ways to suit your child’s learning needs: by common initial sounds and by common ending sounds, and are recommended reading once your child is comfortable with our Emergent Readers collection. 

CVCe Words

The CVCe Words Transitional Readers set encompasses a variety of words in the consonant-vowel-consonant-e pattern such as “bike,” “lake,” “mule,” etc., giving beginning readers reading practice and teaching them new vocabulary.

CVV & CVVC Words

Early readers are introduced to both consonant-vowel-vowel and consonant-vowel-vowel-consonant combinations in our CVV & CVVC Words Transitional Readers collection, the third and final set in our series of eBooks for young readers. 
Our online eBooks can be used in so many ways; for ideas on how to use the various functions on our eBooks such as flipbook, translate, and drawing mode, see our Tutorial section. To learn some great ways to help your child learn how to read, check out: Fun Reading Activities for Kids
Our online Emergent and Transitional Readers are also available in printable PDF versions, and in learning video format where our eBooks are read aloud for your child to listen to and practice reading independently.

Have any questions about our beginning reader resources? Feel free to contact us!