Mr. Thorne Does Phonics: Great ideas for reading teachers

Talented teachers who are also talented videographers are rising. Yes, you've seen Khan Academy, but have you seen Mr. Phonics from the UK? Better known as Mr. Thorne does Phonics.

These videos by Mr. Thorne (featured on the TES website out of the UK) were created for parents so they would know how to reinforce the phonics he was teaching at school so they are very basic. But, what a novel idea! Take something that you need parent reinforcement for at home and teach the parents? (Now how is that for a “flipped” classroom. That is flipping it in a whole new way.)

I know Mr. Thorne has a British accent (well of course, he's a UK school teacher) but this beginning and ending sound game is a cool way to teach phonics.

I'm not going to get into the Phonics vs. Whole language debate here. While my school leans heavily on phonics we do have Dolch sight words as well. I was taught phonetically, so as a parent, it was easy for me to teach my children phonics. I think it is a great idea for teachers to make videos for parents, particularly if the parents have internet access. I sent out emails but currently don't do the video idea.

He has quite a few neat videos on phonics for those of you who teach reading. You'll get lots of ideas.

What is TES?
TES stands for Times Education Supplement ( although they were spun off from the London Times as a private entity several years back. They have a magazine with a very broad distribution in the English Speaking world (outside the US primarily.) The magazine covers a lot of current topics (like flipped learning this week.)

 But it was their teacher website that totally blew me away.

The statistics as of this morning:

  • 1.6 million teachers
  • 102k resources for teaching
  • over 100 million downloads of those resources
  • 196 countries have used the materials

All of the resources are free and they have teachers on staff who vet the resources as well. While you'll notice that currently the resources are aligned with standards in the UK, they are in the process of aligning their resources with standards other countries including the US. When I signed up a month or two back, I found some great presentations and ideas for my technology courses. Their special needs resources have been extremely popular from what I understand.

I talked to my friend Julie Lindsay, in China, (originally from Australia) and she reads their magazine religiously and told me it was a highly trusted organization in teaching in her circles. That and my “homework” on their site was enough for me to decide to establish a relationship with this company.

Will I be hearing more about TES on Vicki's blog?
Yes. You will. As you know, I disclose any and all relationships with any organization. I do have a few hand-selected advertisers in the right hand side of my blog that fit with my mission and are companies I feel good about having on my blog. So, when TES contacted me about sharing resources of theirs on my Blog and Twitter and the other places I share, I was very excited. I would be writing about these resources anyway and I may be able to write a little more deeply and they've promised to help me “meet” the teachers behind some of the resources as well.

I will be writing once or twice a week about different things on their site and will be tweeting out some of their resources as well over the next few months. Everything on my blog and on my Twitter stream is hand selected by me. If I blog it, I think it. Personally, I've found so many incredible resources on their site, that I think I could tweet and blog ad infinitum and not run out of cool, helpful things to write about.

You'll continue to see all of the other links and things that you've gotten used to seeing here. The great thing is that as I get more sponsors and advertisers for my blog, it helps me spend more time blogging (which I love.)

Join TES, I think it is a great site for sharing. It takes a little getting used to the differences in grade levels, however if you dig, you will find some novel ideas. I also hope you'll share your resources as well.

Also, I want to share with you my updated Disclosure statement going on the bottom of my blog. I want you, my readers, to know what you can expect for me. Although this disclosure is broad, I implement it more narrowly. I decide what of TES resources that I will write about and I will write about the things I think will help you. I doubt you'll see much change here except that I'll have more resources from overseas in the mix and I, personally, think that is a good thing.

Here goes the legal stuff just so you know. ;-) (This will be on the bottom of my blog starting today but I'm putting this in my first post just in case.)

Disclosure Statement

This policy is valid from 31 October 2011

I subscribe to the Blogger’s Code of Ethics, and am required, pursuant to those ethical guidelines
and the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission, to disclose certain relationships related
to this blog. I am compensated to provide my opinion on certain resources, services, websites
and various other topics, and accept certain forms of paid advertising (which will always be
identified as paid advertisements). However, though I receive compensation for certain posts
or advertisements, I will always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on
those topics. Any compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made
in this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own unless otherwise
indicated. Any product claim, warranty, statistic, quote or other representation about a product
or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. I would like
to disclose the following existing relationships with companies that may have an impact on the
content of this blog: I am a paid consultant of TSL Education and TES.

Additional notes from me for people who wish to send me products or request advertising:
The links in my blog post (contextual links) are not for sale. I do test products and review books, although the sending me of products nor books does not guarantee a positive review nor a review at all on my blog.

If you have any questions for me, wish to ask me to speak in person or via webinar, write for you, or look at your product or service, please feel free to contact me or mail me at Vicki Davis PO Box 975 Camilla, GA 31730.

For questions about this blog, please contact

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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