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By Stephen Henderson and Stephen Henderson,SUN STAFF | March 22, 1998
In Baltimore, the City that Reads, a years-long absence of a uniform reading curriculum in public schools has produced a dizzying jumble of approaches -- some phonics-based, but mostly whole language -- to teaching young children to read.Harford Heights, Baltimore's largest elementary school, uses Silver Burdette Ginn readers for young children and the Macmillan series for older pupils.Barclay Elementary uses Addison Wesley's basal readers for kindergarten through third grade and Junior Classics literature for fourth and fifth.
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NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | September 6, 2003
Maryland school officials yesterday received the first installment of a $66 million federal grant aimed at improving reading instruction with an infusion of phonics. Eugene Hickok, U.S. undersecretary of education, delivered a $20 million check, much of which will go to training teachers in "scientifically proven" strategies. The six-year program, known as Reading First, "will change the way reading is taught in Maryland," said state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick. It was Maryland's second effort to win the grant.
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NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF | September 13, 1998
When Principal Elizabeth Turner saw her school's test scores dive for the third year, she decided the old ways of teaching could not continue."This was a state of emergency, and the way to deal with that would be to focus on reading and math pretty much to the exclusion of everything else," she said.That meant pouring all of the resources of her Tench Tilghman Elementary School into handling the crisis, starting with the first day of the new school year Aug. 31. She decided to double the time spent on reading every day, to three hours and 30 minutes.
NEWS
By William Rasmussen and William Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | June 26, 2003
Kathy MacMillan hooked the index finger of her right hand around her left thumb. The index finger of her left hand wiggled freely, as if it was trying to escape. In the shade of a few oak trees in a Sykesville park, she explained to 30 children how Goldilocks escaped from the three bears' house - in sign language. The kids quickly got the hang of forming the sign for "running," but the moms in the back were having a bit more trouble. "It's hard," Susan Stephey said to a fellow mother, who was also struggling with the maneuver.
NEWS
By LaQuinta Dixon and LaQuinta Dixon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 19, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Combing her fingers through thick blades of grass, Susie Moore was reciting the plot from one of her favorite childhood books, "Bembelman's Bakery.""My mom used to read it with a particular accent which made me remember the story," she said of Melinda Green's tale of a brother and sister who decide to bake a loaf of bread, but use too much yeast.Moore's eyes seemed to pop out as she raised her arm and broadly gestured the shape of the bulging bread, telling the story to five of her peers.
NEWS
By Jonathan D. Rockoff and Jonathan D. Rockoff,SUN STAFF | June 9, 2003
It wasn't that long ago that Christopher Henderson, 5, didn't know what a sentence was. When he picked up a book at his Westview Park home, it was to look at the pictures. He had no idea that you read from left to right. But now the child talks to his older sister about sentences, and he reads books on his own. Christopher's mother, a postal worker and single mother, says she couldn't have taught her son these things by herself. She attributes his progress to a kindergarten program that immerses him in the beginning fundamentals of reading and writing.
NEWS
June 7, 1998
"Trying a few new ideas... wouldn't be so harmful if it weren't for the fact that tried-and-true methods, such as phonics-based instruction to teach reading, or basic skills emphasis in all other elementary school subjects, are often abandoned along the way."-- Craig Schulze, an instructional resource coordinator in the Baltimore schools, commenting on his more than two decades of watching public-school officials adopt one unproven reform tactic after another.Pub Date: 6/07/98
NEWS
By Mary Maushard and Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF | August 9, 1998
The art and music specialists were picking up tips about teaching reading.Reading and English teachers were learning to incorporate the visual and performing arts into their language lessons.Neither group felt as if it was taking a back seat, as members tried to learn more about teaching youngsters to read. That's the idea behind Learning to Read Through the Arts, an educational philosophy and method for teachers of all subjects, grades and ability levels.Though the program is more than 25 years old, it addresses the needs of today's teachers -- particularly in Maryland, where state officials are moving to put more reading instruction in the repertoires of all teachers.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | November 26, 1997
DENNIS HINKLE wrote three angry letters to The Sun -- but never mailed one.Hinkle, dean of education at Towson University, thought the newspaper's "Reading by 9" series unfairly attacked his teacher education program, branding it a beacon of "whole language" instruction devoid of any genuine basis in phonics."
NEWS
By FROM STAFF REPORTS | June 10, 2002
In Baltimore City 16-year-old boy shot near his home dies at Hopkins Hospital A 16-year-old boy who was shot Saturday afternoon near his East Baltimore home died yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, city police said. The victim, Patrick Blue, was found lying near his home in the 2400 block of Federal St. about 1 p.m. Saturday by Eastern District officers investigating a report of gunshots in the area, police said. The youth, who had been shot at least once in the head with a small-caliber handgun, died shortly after 11 a.m. yesterday.
NEWS
By Jonathan D. Rockoff and Jonathan D. Rockoff,SUN STAFF | June 9, 2003
It wasn't that long ago that Christopher Henderson, 5, didn't know what a sentence was. When he picked up a book at his Westview Park home, it was to look at the pictures. He had no idea that you read from left to right. But now the child talks to his older sister about sentences, and he reads books on his own. Christopher's mother, a postal worker and single mother, says she couldn't have taught her son these things by herself. She attributes his progress to a kindergarten program that immerses him in the beginning fundamentals of reading and writing.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | August 4, 2002
WASHINGTON - Christopher J. Doherty jumped from a puddle to an ocean. And the water's fine. On Jan. 4, Doherty, 36, was one of four full-time employees of an obscure Baltimore nonprofit agency. As director of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, he'd spent three years promoting phonics-based reading instruction in some of the city's neediest schools - and witnessing spectacular results. On Jan. 7, installed on the third floor of the vast U.S. Department of Education headquarters, he began his new job as chief of Reading First, the $5.9 billion, six-year reading component of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. Reading First has education officials across the nation scrambling to win grants from Doherty's office.
NEWS
By FROM STAFF REPORTS | June 10, 2002
In Baltimore City 16-year-old boy shot near his home dies at Hopkins Hospital A 16-year-old boy who was shot Saturday afternoon near his East Baltimore home died yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, city police said. The victim, Patrick Blue, was found lying near his home in the 2400 block of Federal St. about 1 p.m. Saturday by Eastern District officers investigating a report of gunshots in the area, police said. The youth, who had been shot at least once in the head with a small-caliber handgun, died shortly after 11 a.m. yesterday.
NEWS
By Karen Nitkin and Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 20, 2002
"Can you write a Z for zebra?" asks instructional assistant Libby Feierstein as three pupils nearby write words and letters in shaving cream that has been sprayed on the desk. Jordan Jacobson, 6, writes the word zoo instead. Julian Boyd, 5, and Meghan Hentzman, 8, write their names in the sweet-smelling foam as Feierstein offers advice and encouragement. In a classroom next door for grades one through three, a girl writes letters in sand while other students put together sound cards to create words.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | January 6, 2002
IF YOU'RE offended by federal interference in local school affairs, get ready: The federal government is eager to tell your neighborhood school how to teach reading. Sprinkled throughout the reading provisions of the landmark education bill awaiting President Bush's signature this month are references to "scientifically based reading research." If your school district's program doesn't pass the SBRR test, you can't share in the nearly $1 billion a year in funds for reading improvement authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act. Moreover, your program will be monitored by a new "peer review panel" with the power to recommend that federal funds be withheld if you're not making "significant progress."
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | January 6, 2002
The head of a Baltimore nonprofit group that brought phonics-based reading instruction to some city schools in the 1990s has been tapped to head President Bush's $975 million reading initiative. Christopher J. Doherty, executive director of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, is set to begin tomorrow as director of the president's Reading First initiative, overseeing the distribution of grants to states and school districts that use approved reading-instruction programs. "The bill stresses that the federal government must focus in early reading on those programs that have been scientifically proven to be effective," Doherty said yesterday.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | November 1, 1998
Trying to take the lead in Maryland's effort to improve the training of teachers in reading, Towson University's education faculty has revealed plans to improve and expand courses.The new classes will include extra instruction in theories of how children learn to read and more practical training in how to teach in both elementary and secondary classrooms, faculty members said."We are developing a clear and coherent vision for reading education," said Bess Altwerger, an elementary education professor who led the faculty's evaluation of Towson's reading program.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | May 31, 2001
Baltimore County elementary school pupils will get two new reading series in the next academic year -- one that will concentrate on phonics, or the sounds letters form to create words, and another to teach reading comprehension. Administrators will spend $2.7 million to purchase a "balanced and comprehensive" collection of readers by publishers Open Court and Houghton Mifflin Co. for use in all elementary schools. In the past, principals picked their reading series, or teachers patched together reading materials from home and school libraries.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | November 15, 2001
Visitors to the hotels and attractions around Baltimore's Inner Harbor had better watch their grammar this weekend: More than 6,000 English teachers will be in town. One of the nation's largest gatherings of teachers and professors of English and reading begins today at the Baltimore Convention Center with the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English. Part training session and part social gathering, the convention will focus on such subjects as writing and reading instruction, diversity in literature and assistance for beginning teachers.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and Joel McCord,SUN STAFF | August 7, 2001
If you want to use the Chesapeake Bay in your lesson plans, you have to experience it first: on the deck of a skipjack in the brutal heat of an August day or on tiny Fox Island in Tangier Sound. You have to hear bay troubadour Tom Wisner sing of the rivers Susquehanna, Wicomico, Severn and Nanticoke, and listen to Earl White, the 83-year-old mate on the Stanley Norman, tell of his days oystering aboard the graceful, 63-foot-long "drudge" boat to get a sense of the history and lore. And you have to get a "bay shower," a bucket of water pulled from the Chesapeake and dumped over your head to cool you off. So nine teachers and two principals boarded the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Stanley Norman at City Dock in Annapolis yesterday for the first day of a weeklong program in which they will dredge for oysters, set crab pots, explore the marshes of Smith, Tangier and Fox islands, and hear from scientists, watermen and others connected with the bay as part of a teacher training program.
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