Tina's Literacy Autobiography Timeline

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    Tina's Life

  • Older Sister Taught Me to Read

    Older Sister Taught Me to Read
    My older sister, Chris, three years my senior, taught me to read. She was a hard task-master, drilling me about the letters of the alphabet and the sounds each made. Mostly I thought it was fun. Occasionally, I would try to sneak away, but she usually found me and put me back to work. I often think that she should have been a teacher instead of me. I'll have to remember to thank her sometime.
  • First Visit to the Book Mobile

    First Visit to the Book Mobile
    Living in a small, rural Missouri town wasn't always exciting, especially in the summer, but all of that changed when the Livingston County Book Mobile came to town. My brother and sister and I could hardly wait to climb aboard. I can still almost smell the musty pages of some of those old books and feel the tattered covers. We spread a blanket under the shade tree and spent many long, lazy summer afternoons with the friends we made within the pages of those books.
  • Began Elementary School

    Began Elementary School
    When I started school, the focus must have been on literacy. Most of our activities revolved around reading. One of the biggest thrills in first grade was earning the privilege of listening to books on records with those clunky over-sized rubber earphones perched on our tiny heads. Later, SRAs were a treat if other work was finished, and Friday was my favorite because I knew "Weekly Readers" were part of the afternoon schedule. Reading was a reward, never a punishment.
  • Miss Moss - Librarian Read to Us

    Miss Moss - Librarian Read to Us
    The school librarian, Miss Moss, visited elementary classrooms several times a week and read "chapter books" to us. My favorite was "The Mouse and the Motorcycle," but I also remember "Animal Farm." I do not remember any behavior problems when Miss Moss was reading; we were captivated!
  • Read "The Black Stallion" series

    Read "The Black Stallion" series
    I fell in love with this series and couldn't get enough. Like many young girls of that era, I wanted a horse of my own. My wise parents never gave in to my begging, but for hours at a time at least, I could imagine myself flying along on the back of a large black horse galloping from cover to cover.
  • Harlequin Romances

    Harlequin Romances
    Probably the most embarrassing reading phase I went through, Harlequins were a guilty pleasure to me as a young teenager. Since then, I've thought quite a bit about the detrimental affect these idealistic romances may have on young girls. Still I have to admit, they were good for my reading vocabulary and fluency.
  • Discovered Stephen King

    Discovered Stephen King
    My taste in books has changed many times over the years, but for awhile in high school, all I wanted to read was the macabre. I thrilled to King's lengthy graphic descriptions of supernatural mayhem.
  • Read to My Own Children

    Read to My Own Children
    When my own children were born, I was determined that they would be readers. I began reading to my oldest almost the day she was born. We read so many Little Golden Books that I knew them by heart and could "read" them to her in the dark despite the fact that I was nightblind!
  • Taught my Daughters to Read Before they Started School

    Taught my Daughters to Read Before they Started School
    I made flash cards, played with letter blocks, and I even wrote down Alecia's own stories to go with the pictures she drew so that she could read her own words. I remember that her first story went something like: "Sally went bowling" and there was a picture she'd drawn of a girl throwing a bowling ball at one lone pin. Although it was fun for us both, I'm not sure this early literacy is the best approach for a parent. My daughter tired of school quickly. She knew she was "different."
  • Began College

    Began College
    After years of being a stay-at-home mom and a few part-time jobs as a nurse's aide and teacher's aide, I decided to further my own career and begin college. As I soon discovered, reading for knowledge is not the same as reading for pleasure.
  • English Literature

    English Literature
    This literature class changed the way I thought about what I read. I suddenly saw themes and character development throughout the novels I read. I looked for symbolism in the settings of books that I'd never given much thought to before. It opened up a new way of thinking to me.
  • Sharing Seuss with 2nd Graders

    Sharing Seuss with 2nd Graders
    A friend of mine teaches 2nd grade at Hamilton, Missouri. I visited her classroom and recited Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." I donned a Santa hat and drew pictures on the marker board along with the events of the tale. This started a tradition, so now I return every December and retell the story of the Whos to each new class of seven-year-olds. It's grown to the point where all of the 2nd grade teachers bring their students. I think I have as much fun as they do!
  • Began Teaching College Reading

    Began Teaching College Reading
    Moving from teaching high school and elementary Special Education to teaching Developmental Reading in College was a good move for me, but it created many challenges. Luckily, the college was already using a nice strategic textbook, but I still wanted to use high interest, current passages that students could "get into." I still find myself challenged in this area.
  • Kindle Revolutionized My Reading

    Kindle Revolutionized My Reading
    I have to admit that while I read a lot of journals and text books, I don't spend as much time reading for myself today as I used to. However, I recently bought a "gadget" that's slowly changing that. I love my Kindle! It's a great travel companion, and the best part is that the classics (out of copyright books) are free. I'm excited to say that "War and Peace" among many other great titles are only a click away now!