My name is Andrea Monaco Randall. I have been teaching kindergarten and first grade at Santa Cruz Children’s School in California since 2003. I also taught preschool from 2000-2003 just after graduating from Sonoma State University with a multiple subject (ECE emphasis) credential. I made my first set of Teacher's Creatures Phonics Puppets in 2004, and have been using them to teach reading, spelling, and handwriting since then with great success. In 2011, during my eighth year at SCCS, my mentor and co-teacher, Adele Gardner, inspired me to share my ideas with the world. Now, in addition to teaching and raising my two-and-a-half-year-old son, I have a small business called Monaco Lane: Curriculum for Early Literacy. It has become a family business of sorts; I make the Teacher’s Creatures Phonics Puppets and word family houses, my husband illustrates the workbook, flashcards, and puppet outlines (and maintains the website: www.monacolane.com) and my mom makes the Teacher’s Creatures Letter Bags. I use each and every Monaco Lane product to teach reading in my own classroom. I hope you and your students enjoy using curriculum by Monaco Lane!
I love to get kids excited about learning. The Teacher's Creatures Phonics Puppets I created do just that; they teach memorable stories and body motions for each letter (including long and short vowels, as well as 6 letter chunks) that children connect with and easily recall when they are learning how to read. I feel strongly about using real, hands on educational materials in a world that is being overrun by screens and apps. My curriculum is simple, tangible, and interactive so students remain engaged and eager to learn. Handwriting is another one of my teaching passions. I had been unhappy with the traditional manuscript font found in most language arts workbooks for years. I feel it is a misrepresentation of how handwritten letters are formed and appear when written. I took matters into my own hands (literally!) and created a handwritten font called “Get Real” because I want my students to have an authentic example of handwriting. I have found that other programs use confusing metaphors and complex instructions to explain handwriting. My program, The Monaco Method for Early Literacy, uses clear, simple instructions for teaching children to write, focusing on two things: where the letter starts and how many ‘pick ups’ it has (how many times you lift your pencil during formation). When Teacher's Creatures Phonics Puppets are combined with Teacher's Creatures Letter Bags, Teacher's Creatures Long and Short Vowel Neighborhoods (word family houses), The Teacher's Creatures Beginning Handwriting Workbook, and puppet outlines for children to color and take home, the result is a completely creative literacy program that will teach your class how to read, write, and spell year after year.
Shining Teacher Moments: 1.) When a student reads a word by making the motions and sounds of the phonics puppets related to each letter. 2.) When (on "Thankful Thursday") a student says, "I am thankful for the puppets because they teach me the letters of the alphabet." and 3.) When a student tells their mom to drive faster on the way to school or is sad about going on vacation because they don't want to meet missing a puppet.
I grew up in Boulder Creek, California, attended San Lorenzo Valley High School, and graduated from Sonoma State University, where I earned a BA in communications and a multiple subject credential with an emphasis in preschool through third grade. I have been teaching kindergarten at a private school since 2003, where I have been given the freedom to create and use my own curriculum. Over the years I have been able to teach many children, fine tuning and adjusting my curriculum along the way so that what I am selling today will fit the needs of your students. I continue to learn and grow with each passing year as a teacher, and am always looking for new ideas, inspiration, and curriculum that will enhance the learning in my classroom and yours!
I formally presented my curriculum for the first time at the annual Asilomar Reading Conference in January of 2012. It was a very valuable experience for me as a person, a teacher, and a businesswoman! I look forward to displaying at The PK1 Conference in Santa Clara on January 18-20, 2013. For more information and curriculum, visit my website: www.monacolane.com. To watch Teacher's Creatures Phonics Puppets in action, search "Teacher's Creatures" on Youtube. To stay up-to-date on the happenings in my classroom, new curriculum, and special sales, follow my blog at teacherscreaturesphonicspuppets.wordpress.com. I also feature FREE instructions and worksheets for creating magical homework kits for kindergarten.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary, Specialty, Math, Arithmetic, Basic Operations, Fractions, Geometry, Graphing, Numbers, Other (Math), Science, Anatomy, Social Studies - History, U.S. History, Arts & Music, Music Composition, Computer Science - Technology, Health, Other (Specialty), Geography, Other (Social Studies - History), Other (ELA), Life Skills, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Classroom Management, Study Skills, Problem Solving, Short Stories, Writing, Reading Strategies, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Mental Math, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Place Value, Handwriting, End of Year, Phonics