6 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2011 2:36 PM by lsfink RSS

Welcome- Who has joined this group?

Tammy Dewan Novice
Currently Being Moderated

Hello, my name is Tammy Dewan and I am the Thinkfinity Community Host who will be looking over this group and assisting Duane Bolin who is an owner of this group. (Check out Duane's intro below:))  I have been in education for 15 years and a mother for 12 years.  I am passionate about learning and helping others learn. 


I am thrilled you found your way to this Parent and Families group because as a parent of 3, I rely on Thinkfinity to help my kids learn, see the world and help them with their homework.  When my 1st grader needed to learn her shapes, we came to Thinkfinity.  When my family found out the Navy was sending us to Australia for our next posting, we researched Australia in Thinkfinity.  When my husband wanted to understand how to get our 2 year old to increase his vocabulary, we found tips in Thinkfinity. 



Let us know who you are and what you hope to gain from this group.


I look forward to learning with all of you!  Tammy:)

  • Welcome- Who has joined this group?
    Kristin Townsend Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Tammy,


    As you know, I oversee a number of different projects for the Verizon Foundation, specifically associated with the Thinkfinity project. These include our demonstration schools (like St. Philips Academy and JFK Magnet School), and I work closely with our Content Partners and Supporting Partners to bring our users the phenomenal resources you'll find within Thinkfinity.


    Before joining the predecessor program, MarcoPolo, back in 2001, I spent 8 years teaching Art at middle schools in Northern Virginia, as well as running summer arts programs and writing curriculum. My husband and I have two children - a rising kindergartener and a rising third grader - so naturally we look to Thinkfinity for tons of great ideas to support what they are learning in school and to help answer their wonder-filled questions; plus I'm often sending suggestions to their teachers about online tools they might want to use in class. (Plant Hunters, Ten Frame and Acrostic Poems were especially successful last year.)


    Looking forward to ways to keep my kids engaged this summer, especially with open-ended, exploratory projects.



  • Welcome- Who has joined this group?
    dbolin Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Tammy!


    In addition to working on Wonderopolis for the National Center for Family Literacy, I also have worked as a homeschool curriculum creator for years. I have three kids--5, 10 & 13--and providing them with the best education possible keeps me plenty busy!


    Even though my wife and I do not homeschool our children, we have learned that supplementing our children's education is important. For us, it's not really a matter of correcting anything we see as lacking in school. It's more a matter of helping our children pursue their curiosities and interests beyond what they're able to do in school.


    I look forward to the insights that other parents can provide about the types of things they're doing with their kids that make them want become lifelong learners.



  • Re: Welcome- Who has joined this group?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello Tammy,


    My two daughters are grown and married now, but parenting is a lifelong commitment.  I try to stay informed about current trends in education, especially children's literature, since my younger daughter owns a publishing service in Stockholm, Sweden, and works with children's books.  She is a writer and hopes to have her first novel published in the next couple of years.  When I become a grandparent, I want to know what's happening in the world of my grandchildren.


    I taught English, journalism, technology, public speaking, and theatre arts during my 35 years of working with middle and high school students.  I retired two years ago to pursue other interests in education.  Presently, I am a technology consultant and software trainer for several different companies.  My favorite students are educators who are looking for new ways to integrate technology more effectively into their curriculum.  I enjoy learning as well as teaching.  It's always rewarding to see the "ah ha" moment when someone understands a concept or hears a new idea. 


    I joined this group to see what parents are thinking and add to discussions whenever I have some knowledge to share, especially references to Thinkfinity resources which are great for parents to use with their children.


    I also am a Verizon Thinkfinity Community Host which gives me an additional interest in seeing this group grow as more parents share ways to participate in educating their children.



  • Re: Welcome- Who has joined this group?
    lsfink Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am currently the Project Manager for ReadWriteThink at NCTE. I taught  grades K-4 for 8 years, with experience in multi-age classrooms, looping,  cooperating teacher for preservice teachers, plus a specialization in  Remedial Reading. I am lucky to have worked on all parts of the  ReadWriteThink site: as a writer and reviewer, curriculum developer, and  now as Project Manager. Next month, it will be 7 years since I started working as staff on ReadWriteThink.org. I enjoy sharing the site with others during  professional development opportunities as well as with my preservice  students at the University of Illinois.


    Most importantly, I am a VERY proud mom to 2 fantastic girls - Kelsey and Kaitlyn. Kelsey is finishing up 6th grade and is active in softball, basketball, volleyball and track in addition to 4H and church activities. She's also becoming a babysitter in demand! Kaitlyn is finishing up 3rd grade and is active in softball, basketball, and soccer in addition to 4H and church activities. She also has a very busy social life


    I look forward to connecting with more of you!

  • Re: Welcome- Who has joined this group?
    louc Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    So, in all of your experience, what do you think are the greatest benefits to elementary teachers re ReadWriteThink?

    • Re: Welcome- Who has joined this group?
      lsfink Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      As a teacher and even now, on the other side of the table, the ReadWriteThink.org calendar has been my favorite place on the site. You can check it out here:

      http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/. On days when I found myself with 20 minutes or so free in our schedule, I would love to the calendar for ideas. I would mine the entire calendar for ideas I could pop into other units. For example, there are many authors' birthdays on the calendar. I would print out those pages and put them in my files so I could access them when I taught books by that author. When I had student teachers, I would share the calendar with them and lots of times they found lesson plan ideas from the nuggets that were in the calendar.


      As an elementary teacher, we teach every subject, every day. I love that I could find almost everything I looked for on


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