Anita L. Archer, PhD
When I was a Reading First Literacy Coach from 2007 through 2009, I had the unparalleled honor of hearing Dr. Archer give the most outstanding presentation of my teaching career. Several colleagues and I were in Houston, TX, to attend a state Reading First Conference. We chose several break-out sessions that were of particular interest to us personally. The most strategic information from the conference came from a major address by Dr. Archer.
She spoke to a large audience as if we were in a small staff meeting as she walked back and forth across the room. My attention did not move from her voice for any amount of time. Her focus was on engaging the young literacy learner in the classroom…how to bring a five, six, seven year old child to total involvement in your teaching… how to manage your classroom by using repetitive words and motions. I have attached a video in this post. It shows Dr. Archer in an actual classroom putting just a few of her methods into action. Fascinating.
When the grant ended for Reading First in my school district, I chose to return to the classroom. I had finished my master’s in Educational Administration and intended to move forward in my career, but I totally missed being in a regular classroom. Part of my decision to return to teaching came as a result of Dr. Archer’s speech. I could hardly wait to use her ideas in my own classroom.
Each and every strategy worked right away. I was thrilled and thankful that I had the opportunity to hear a true expert teach… in a way that I had wondered about and considered. To teach in a way that seemed comfortable and inclusive to me and to the children. Included on YouTube are complete videos of presentations from Dr. Archer, in addition to short portions of her teaching methods. When I think of the word “expert”, I cannot think of a better personal example.
Effective and Efficient Teaching.
How Well You Teach =How Well They Learn
Anita L. Archer, PhD, is an educational consultant to school districts on explicit instruction, the design and delivery of instruction, behavior management, and literacy instruction. She has taught elementary and middle school students and is the recipient of 10 awards honoring her excellence in teaching and contribution to the field of education. Dr. Archer has served on the faculties of San Diego State University, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Oregon in Eugene. She is nationally known for her professional development activities, having presented in every state over the course of her 40-year career.
A Wonderful Children’s Book… It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
Featuring “It’s Raining” (on CD) by Peter, Paul and Mary
Book Release Date: July 1, 2012
Original Recording of “It’s Raining”, 1962
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.
Illustrated by Christine Davenier
Two years ago, I happened to find this book and CD combination when wandering through the children’s area at Barnes & Noble. I was not aware of the book when it was first published in 2012. I missed two years of watching my children at school become totally enchanted by the song and the whimsical, child-like illustrations.
The entire class was singing the song within two days. They would ask every day if we could sing and read what the class called…
The Rain Song
Honestly, the book’s popularity in my classroom lasted the entire remainder of the school year. The very same reaction occurred this past year…especially on rainy days! The class wrote about the book in their journals, illustrated the book, completed numerous sequence of events projects, discussed the book among themselves… a myriad of activities are possible with It’s Raining, It’s Pouring as the catalyst. The children’s response is the exact result that I would love to have from every book!
The book and the illustrations are truly fun for students and for teachers. The following two paragraphs are portions of Editorial Reviews for It’s Raining, It’s Pouring:
1. Publisher’s Weekly
Davenier’s fluid artwork illustrated the lyrics to Peter, Paul, and Mary’s 1962 recording of “It’s Raining. When rain interrupts a group of kids’ outdoor fun, they head indoors to play hide-and-seek. The folk trio’s lyrics reference the game, and the verses draw in other nursery rhymes (Hey Diddle Diddle; Star Light, Star Bright). One child reads in bed to the ailing “old man” (Grandpa) who bumped his head on a flowerpot. A sweet-natured interpretation with a happy ending…Grandpa is certainly capable of getting up in the morning!
2. School Library Journal
This cozy picture book illustrates the classic song. The appropriately watery, dreamy “illustrations corresponds perfectly with” the lyrics, creating a variety of side stories for readers to enjoy. When the rain starts, Grandpa bumps his head. Meanwhile, Grandma bakes an apple pie and kids peek out from every corner of the delightful house in an indoor game of hide-and-seek. Colorful watercolors provide appealing details and perspectives. The CD features this song and two others, and the illustrations work beautifully with the haunting melody. Both the book and the “new” recording fortunately omit the song’s orginal very sad verse: “Lady Bug, Lady Bug, fly away home, etc.
As Kirkus Reviews states: The original song with its three-part “harmony” is deliciously imagined on these pages. I totally agree with the reviewers and recommend this book for children, teachers, parents, grandparents, and those who love children’s books like I do. Sometimes a children’s book will bring back such happy memories of your own childhood experiences. After I heard this book the first time, I remembered playing hide-and-seek with my cousins at our grandparent’s home. I even remembered the magnolia tree in the front yard, the driveway, and the white two story house across the street. I had not thought about playing at “MeMa and PePa’s” house for years. I loved that house on Noel Drive and I love this book for bringing joy to my class and remembered joy to me!