Friday, January 27, 2017

Please Welcome Corletia Dunlap Banks, Children's Author


                                                           About Corletia

   Hello, My name is Corletia Dunlap Banks and I am from Texas. My long time career started in the school district as a Teacher’s Assistant. I worked my way up and became an Administrative Assistant for a STEM High School program. While being an elementary school teacher's assistant, I created games for lesson reinforcements, bulletin boards found in catalogs and seasonal door decorations. When the other teachers saw these creations, they wanted me to do things for them too! So, when I had time, I made more items for them. Many teachers would pay me either with money or gifts. I then worked as a Campus Clerk and started a school newsletter. I wrote about activities, class events, accomplishments and general campus news highlights. I liked working in the school system because the hours, holidays and summers off were great for being a mother. 

   But, deep down, I felt that I had a calling. I waited for the release of my new creative side! I wanted to be able to do so much more for the kids whom I loved. First, I decided to start a business in publishing and photography. I've photographed weddings, funerals, and created special souvenir books. My husband loves photography as well, so together we'd often photograph events. I started brainstorming and researching online ways to make my creations for kids even better. 

   After being a mother of a grown son and daughter, and working with groups of children as a teacher’s assistant, I learned quickly that each child is very different and does not learn in the same way. So, I have focused my programs on Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model (4 learning styles) which involve: 

1. Visual (V): using pictures, images, and spatial understanding

2. Aural  (A): auditory-musical, using sound and music

3. Read and Write (R): using words, both in speech and writing

4. Kinesthetic (K) : using your body, hands and sense of touch

                                                                       Fleming's VAK/VARK model

   Here are some other interesting ideas that I feel will greatly assist children with their reading skills.

1.      Identifying Tools

   “Tools” can be anything useful and necessary for everyday use and special use. We use some tools for eating; spoons, forks, knives, cups and some tools for playing; balls, bicycles, jump ropes, swings. At an early age children should be taught what the different tools are, what they look like, how they are used, and the difference between certain tools, as they are introduced to them and begin to use them. 

2.      The Importance of Tools

   If we did not have any tools for eating certain foods, we may not be able to eat what’s on our plate properly. If we did not have a ball and we wanted to play ball, that tool is missing, Think about what would happen for jump ropes, bikes and swings. Tools are essential in various forms and areas of our lives for living, work, school and other activities. Tools allow us to create, be active, cook and even teach. Many students need basic writing, reading, and math tools in order to learn efficiently. If those tools are lacking, a kid's learning process might be handicapped.

3.      Memory Recall

  After identifying and learning the importance of tools, I want the child to remember what each tool is, what it looks like, how it’s used, and the difference between certain tools. Also, students need to remember what might happen if those tools are missing. This approach gives kids a mental approach to remembering and understanding what they read. Most of my books are rhyming books which aid in memory recall using a rhythm and sometimes repetitive style of learning. 

A Final Thought

  I like to think of unconventional and creative ways of teaching children to learn and read, which keeps them interested and engaged. In this generation of diverse and colorful technology, incorporate some of those ideas, games and learning methods into your writings for children and in teaching them. Sometimes a book with no pictures, but attention-grabbing words and sentences will make a bigger learning impact on a child than a book with lots of pictures. Most of all, tell your kids, "Get Hungry for Books and Dare to Read!"

  Lastly, I would like to thank Lynn for giving me the opportunity to be a guest on her wonderful blog.  I hope I shared a little something that will give fresh, new insight to the way children learn and in the way that we teach them.

                                 Warm Regards,

                              Corletia Dunlap Banks 


   As of today, I have created a program for kids called, Educational Learning & Literacy Styles for Youth (Ellsy). My desire and motto for the Ellsy program is to encourage and engage children to “Get Hungry for Books and Dare to Read”.

   
    I published my first children’s book called,  “Sorry, This Book is All Out of Words”,  and learning styles are emphasized throughout the book. But, I also threw in some creative twists to aid in peeking each child’s imagination and interest in reading. The story includes a supplemental activity book, coloring book and a teacher's lesson plan to follow. I sell this cute story and other related items on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. See you there!


References

2U Inc. (2017). Learning styles: All students are created equally and differently. 
Retrieved from https://teach.com/what/teachers-teach/learning-styles/
            
VARK Learn Limited. (2017). VARK: A guide to learning styles. Retrieved from http://vark-learn.com/                

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