February 24, 2003

Totem Falls Teacher Wins Golden Apple Award

Tags: Press Release

“With an ‘oink, oink’ here and an ‘oink, oink’ there,” sings Becky Marks, an engaging brunette, while also dancing, in an effort to turn a roomful of first-graders into spelling wizards while using lessons from Discover Intensive Phonics.

“Let's do the piggy letters," says Marks when starting a lesson about the vowel combinations "oi" and "oy."

Marks, an instructor at Totem Falls Elementary School, launches into a story about how she once raised “Porky,” her affectionate swine, on a Colorado farm. The runt's adventures and their teacher's sound effects have the 6- and 7-year-olds giggling and wriggling in their seats.

Minutes later, those 22 children are in front of chalkboards, spelling words and reciting rules that Marks has taught them to make the English language a little less daunting.

"It's spelled with a 'c,' not a 'k,'” explains one student after a lesson on the word “coin,” “because 'c' loves 'o.’”

Marks's innovative teaching style and creative approach to reaching all types of learners have parents, students, and fellow educators lauding the veteran teacher.

Marks was recently named a Golden Apple Award winner from KCTS, a local public television station. She was one of six educators selected from more than 150 nominations received from around the state. The Golden Apple Awards are given to teachers who inspire students to attain academic success.

The Discover Intensive Phonics system was developed 35 years ago to reach children who don't learn as well from the traditional pencil-and-paper, sit-at-the-desk method.

"Everyone learns differently, “ says Marks, a 26 year veteran of teaching who also shares what she has learned from the program with other educators. “The key is getting them to believe they'll get there."

"My daughter used to rip up books out of frustration,” says Vickie Ritter, one of 14 parents who nominated Marks for the award. “She is now up two full grade levels in reading. She teaches in a way I have never seen before. Becky changed my daughter's whole school future. Her whole life will be changed. She does that for each child in her class."

For the past 35 years, thousands of schools all across the country have experienced similar success through the use of Discover Intensive Phonics. If you are interested in receiving a free demonstration CD, please contact us at info@readinghorizons.com. We would be pleased to provide any additional information you may require.

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