Steve Zach's blog

Get "Money Smart"

In difficult economic times, getting "Money Smart" is more important than ever. Each April, the FDIC sponsors free financial education events around Houston with a goal of helping consumers learn about savings and money management on any number of topics.

Join us at any of the events at Harris County Public Library branches listed below. In the meantime, learn about other Money Week (April 2-9) speakers and events around Houston at http://www.moneyweekhouston.com/. And anytime during the year, take the Money Smart online class available on our databases page http://www.hcpl.net/ref/dbsubs.htm#business

Please contact the branch hosting the session you would like to attend:

Help someone learn to read

Here is an excellent volunteer opportunity: get to know someone with a different set of challenges, help this person with a skill he may use anytime, anywhere and even improve his self-image, and in the process gain a sense of satisfaction for yourself.  It begins this Thursday, April 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Octavia Fields Branch Library, which is hosting a training session for volunteer literacy tutors.  It continues with weekly tutoring sessions at any branch library.  You can arrange these according to your schedule.  Ask at the library (281-446-3377) or contact Steve Zach at 713-749-9035 for more information.

Wordless picture books for class or home

Picture books without words offer a variety of activities for both ESL students and basic literacy learners who have children. Better yet, most of these books have such engaging stories that they are appropriate for learners with children at any age.  Those learners in a class who do not have children would find them interesting as well.
 
For example, have ESL students look over a few pages in pairs or as a class to identify key characters and events. Review this vocabulary.

Wordless picture books for class or home

Picture books without words offer a variety of activities for both ESL students and basic literacy learners who have children. Better yet, most of these books have such engaging stories that they are appropriate for learners with children at any age, and those learners in a class who do not have children would find them interesting as well.
 
For example, have ESL students look over a few pages in pairs or as a class to identify key characters and events. Review this vocabulary.

Ten tips -- ESL

1.       Review frequently, even doing some of the same activities more than once.

2.       Have students do the majority of the talking in your tutoring sessions. Activities #8, 14-22, 28, 29, and 54-61 in the book “Teaching Adults: An ESL Resource Book” are especially good for this. The teacher’s resource files from “LifePrints: ESL for Adults” also are very good.

Ten tips - literacy

Hang out with Junkyard Dan

It’s hard to find books written for adults at a very easy level with interesting plot lines and characters.  Not any more. Find such a set of books right here! The Junkyard Dan series, a set of eight books with accompanying workbooks, will keep you and your student turning the pages. Even better, Taping for the Blind here in Houston has recorded these books and put them on CD for literacy students.  Your student can read a chapter or two, finish some of the puzzles in the workbook for that section, re-read the chapters, and then re-read them again along with the CD.

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