New books soon !

Headed to print!  Hopefully by the beginning of the 2019 school year, there will be 3 new books for the MOHI students to read.  The Clever Cats book is about compound words.  The other three books are math books.  Monkey Business teaches place value.  Tweets’ Sweets is about fractions.  And you’ll never guess what Tweets Take Shape is about !

Watch for these four new books. Enjoy


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Making Predictions

A new book will arrive to MOHI (perhaps by January) entitled: Oh No, Viola!  It will be a good book for reading aloud and for making predictions.

Remember your training in Module II  for reading aloud and making predictions.  Making Predictions  (click to see attachment). 

Making predictions can be done with most any fictional book.

These are just a few books that would be good to use for predicting.  you should be able to find a copy in your library.  If not, please request (from your librarian or email me (LeeAnne) –  .  I can also recommend other books for predicting.

Making predictions is a fun activity to do with your class as you read aloud.  It is an important skill to teach your students.  If we begin teaching this skill to our young students using picture books, they will be ready for making predictions with chapter books  as their reading skills advance.



Happy Predicting !



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How Do You Count To Ten?



A new book has arrived at MOHI !  It’s called How Do You Count To Ten?  It is a beautifully illustrated book focused on life around Mathare.  It is written from a child’s point of view as the child asks people throughout the neighbourhood how they count to ten.

As you read through the book with your students, you might have them notice the fun in the illustrations.  For example:

  • Do you notice there are 1-2-3 (three) learners smiling, just as the text says?
  • There are ten steps going up, and the same number of steps going down.
  • Do you notice there are 1-2-3 (three) learners smiling, just as the text says?
  • The grocer only has nine bananas.  Hmm, where is the tenth?
  • I wonder why the mother didn’t count the red sock.

Though this book is fun to read, it offers many opportunities to connect reading with other areas of learning.  For example:

  • Writing:  students may enjoy writing their own verses (pages) to “How Do You Count To Ten?”   They may work in groups of two to three, or even compose verses as a class.  For example:
    • Peter, Peter, how do you count to ten?       I count my fingers.
    • In the classroom – counting shoes, feet, eyes, heads, books, or pencils
    • At play – counting jumping or skipping or clapping
    • In the neighbourhood – counting chickens, goats, buildings, birds
  • Art:  Of course if students write their own verse (page),  the fun must continue with illustrating their own verse!
  • Math:  depending upon the level of math, students can count to ten by 2s (2,4,6,8,10);  count 5 goats and multiply by 2 (to find how many goat eyes there are); count 40 goat legs and divide by 4 (to find how many goats there are).  Older students may wish to create their own verses with a slightly different title (i.e.: “How Do You Count to 36?” – exploring factors of 36. This is great fun for warming up for a unit on fractions or division.)    Teachers, use your imagination, and let this help stimulate fun in the learning!
  • Science:  A unit studying farm or wild animals is a great fit for counting animal legs, tails, noses, or ears.  A unit of Human Body might include counting body parts (bones, organs, etc).  Think of how fun a unit studying measurement might be!
  • Bible:  counting plagues, commandments, healed lepers etc,
  • The counting number doesn’t NEED TO BE TEN.  Use your creativity!  Jesus, Jesus, how do you count to twelve?    I count disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John ….


Teachers, use your imagination.  It begins with this new book, but can extend far into learning in the classroom.

Email me (LeeAnne)  at       I would love to hear about your ideas.  What did your students like and, perhaps, share some of their creations.

Also, if you are stuck and can’t think on how to use this in your classroom, I would be happy to send some ideas.  Please know that we ALL can get stuck at times, not being able to create ideas for the classroom.  It’s not that I am so creative … it’s that I do not teach everyday as you do.  I have a bit more time to search around and think about how something might work in your classroom.  Please contact me.  I’d love to help.

Also, send an email and let me know what you think about the new book!

For the future:   Three new books are in the process of publication.  Oh No! Viola  is another Tweet book;  The Weather Kids is a science book about weather and clothing vocabulary;  Who Is This Jesus?  is a class 3-5 book discovering a bit about Jesus.   Watch for these books perhaps by the end of 2017.




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Books in the Library at Joska Girls / Kausyani

2017   September 30

There are many books available for reading at the new library.  There are plans for the near future to equip all of the MOHI libraries with quality fiction and non-fiction books.  In the meantime, read the books available.

22090089_1869392129742326_6076013032879902331_nA special note regarding a certain set of books:   “The Oregon Math”  books.  

(The books are shown in this photo –  bright green and bright pink tape on the binding.  Even though these books are NOT part of the Kenya Maths curriculum, they provide  good information about math topics. The approach is much different than the way math is taught in the classrooms and THAT is why these books are a good resource for students.  For example, perhaps a lesson is taught in class about multiplying fractions.  Perhaps a student is not understanding fully the concept.  This student might look up the topic in one of these books and read the chapters. Because the books teach/show multiplying fractions in a different light (i.e.: taught with a different approach), it might make better sense to the student.  The method os teaching in the books is NOT better than the way the MOHI staff teaches.  NO !  It simply is a varied look at fractions.                                                                                                   Do you remember learning about “Multiple Intelligences” and “Learning Styles”?  This is an example of teaching and using resources that address students that learn in varying ways.  I hope this makes sense.  (If not, email me at :              So, please investigate the bright pink and bright green math books (at Joska).  Encourage students AND teachers to use them as resources.                                                                           Keep up the GREAT work as educators of the students who are Kenya’s (and the world’s) future!                                                                 – LeeAnne 


A New Reading Book has arrived!


This lovely book was written by Merilee Schmidt, a young wife, mother, and teacher.  Written from the point of view of a child in Mathare, it explores ways his neighbors count to ten.

The artist, Jerry Dame, has brilliantly captured Mathare life.

Delightfully written, beautifully illustrated, this book is sure to be a hit with students and teachers alike.

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MORE New Books have arrived

It’s what we’ve been waiting for!  New BOOKS !! !

Teachers !  Be sure to have your students read the THREE NEW Made-4-MOHI books:

Bird Beaks and Feet-  This is a great resource for science teachers.  It teaches the reader about looking at the beaks of birds to tell what the bird eats.  For instance,  hawks have beaks that look like a hook.  This is so they can tear the flesh and meat off of their prey.

This books also teaches readers to look at a bird’s feet to see where it goes.  For example:  a duck has webbed feet to help it swim in the water.

This is book features beautiful photographs.

The second book. Tweets Greet, features our old friends the Tweets.  This time, the Tweets help the young readers in learning greetings of various kinds.   It’s a fun and colourful book.

Oh, by the way.  The original artwork for this book has been sent to MOHI.  Be on the lookout.   Perhaps your school’s library can host a picture or two.

As your students read these new books, please include comments (below) or suggestions.

Don’t forget, we’re looking for writers and/or illustrators for future Made-4-MOHI books.  Volunteer now!



Teachers !  Be sure to have your students read the THREE NEW Made-4-MOHI books:

Yes!  THREE NEW Made-4-MOHI books have arrived!  Teachers !  Be sure to have your students read these:

  1.  Tweets Travel – The Tweets are back and they want to take a trip upcountry.  How will they get there?  By car? By boat?  By train?  You’ll have to read the book to find out!
  2. The Old Water Hole – A delightful book for older students.  This book features poems and stories of animals on the Mara.
  3. I Wanted a Swan, God Gave Me a Goose – A beautiful book of photographs and story of an unexpected gift from God. This is a non-fiction book for upper elementary students.


Teachers !  Be sure to have your students read the  NEW Made-4-MOHI books:

The Foolish Animals – The animals see how wanting what someone else has can cause trouble for themselves.

Counting Tweets – Those lovable birds are helping us learn about  counting,  colors,  and adjectives.   (And the Tweets will be featured in a book coming soon:  The Tweets Travel!)

The Growing Surprise – A young girl saves a seedling from the footpath, and soon discovers what type of plant it is.  This book is is helpful for learning about how seeds grow into plants.  (Science Unit 3)

Other Made-4-MOHI books  in your libraries include:  Safari, Lunch, and Godly Woman (for older students).

 The Old Water Hole (for older students),  I Wanted a Swan (a great photo-journey through the birth of a goose), and The Tweets Travel (those adorable birds travel upcountry but must determine what mode of transportation is best for them)

Coming very soon: Beaks and Feet (classifying birds) and  Tweets Greet (greetings).

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Happy Reading !


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Hello teachers.  August has arrived!  Enjoy your break and rest up for September, October, and November.  You deserve the rest.

While you are resting, you may want to borrow WRITER’S EXPRESS handbook.  There are many copies of this book in the Pangani library.  It is a good resource book for Standards 4 – 8,  but teachers of all grades will benefit from the teachings in this book.

The chapter units include:

The Process of Writing:  We don’t automatically write a beautiful paragraph or story. There are steps we must follow that help our writing be the best it can be.  This is true for adult writers, as well as student writers.  If we teach our students using this process, they will become better writers.

The Forms of Writing: Writing a report is a different type of writing than writing a story or poem.  Understanding the difference allows for better writing in all areas.

The Tools of Learning:  There are many tools (helps) for learning.  This unit takes a look at those tools.  For example:  library, internet, reading and spelling skills, and listening and thinking skills. It is good to add these tools to our toolbox.

Proofreader’s Guide: Paying attention to details makes our writing better.  These details include: punctuation marks, capitalizations, spellings, and using just the right words.

Student Almanac:  This section of the handbook includes fun facts about language, science, math, history, and maps.


I highly recommend that you borrow the WRITER’S EXPRESS handbook from the library.


– LeeAnne

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Teaching Tip – ‘Ticket Out of Class’

Here’s a quick, easy way to check where your pupils are in their understanding of the day’s lesson.  It’s called ‘Ticket Out of Class’ because pupils are not allowed to leave class without giving you the ‘ticket’.  (This is also called a ‘Quick Check’.)

Here’s how it works. After a lesson (or at the end of the day),  before the pupils leave the classroom, they are asked to write a quick answer to a question. The idea is for the pupils to give the teacher feedback as to their understanding or what was learnt.

It works for ALL ages and all subjects.  Simply adjust the questions to your own pupils.

Example of questions:

 What are two characteristics or parts of…

 In what other ways might we show or illustrate the point that….

 How is ….. similar to/different from…

 What is one big ideas/concepts/ morals to be learned from this situation?

 What is the next odd number after 9 ?

 Give three examples of ….

 What is wrong with this statement? (Provide a false statement.)

 What is a word that begins with the letter ‘c’?

 What did you learn today?

 What are three things you would share with your younger brother about today?

 What made learning easy for you today?

 What made learning difficult for you today

 What do you still need to know?

 What do you think tomorrow’s lesson will be about?

 One thing I really liked about today’s class was….

 One thing I would like to know more about is….

The pupils can either write a quick answer in their copy books to hand to the teacher, or they may be asked to share their answer verbally as they leave the classroom.  If time is short, a few pupils may be called on at random to share their answers for all the pupils to hear.

The  advantages of using ‘Ticket Out of Class’ are many.

  • provides immediate feedback with minimal effort
  • forces pupils to think
  • pupils will know that what they think  is valued
  • the teacher chooses what the teacher would like feedback on!

Try it this week!     You will be surprised at how easy it is AND how useful.

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Some Teaching Ideas

Here is a brochure that may be very helpful in your teaching.

Brochure – Teaching Principles

It was written especially with Kenyan teachers in mind.  It begins with principles about different ways in which different  pupils learn (learning styles and multiple intelligences).  It concludes with some practical ways to apply these principles.

It is a long brochure with many sections.  Don’t try to ‘master’ this in one reading.  Take your time in reading it.  I think you’ll find it useful.  Be sure to have your lesson planning book nearby.

I’ll be interested to know what you think and if you have tried any of the ideas.


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