Waltkes Web is an online educational site for grade levels K thru 5. It was designed by Mrs. Kristi Waltke, the literacy coach for New Market Elementary School in Jefferson County, Tennessee. Its many pages will be described below.
Literacy Lane is the main road of Waltkes Web. The various roads that branch off from it are Parents’ Place, Word Way, Writing Avenue, Guided Reading Boulevard, and SSR Street.
- Parents’ Place gives guidelines to parents on how to teach their children to read. Waltkes Web is nothing like the more “progressive” government schools that claim professionals know best; instead, the good people here encourage parents to read to their children for at least thirty minutes per day, so that they enter school with a basic knowledge of how to read (and write).
- Word Way has “Dolch” word lists for every grade. These lists can be opened in several formats— Microsoft Word, PDF, Microsoft Power Point, and web/ html. The same words are also provided on flash cards. Also present are:
- free phonics worksheets, which are pictures accompanied by words; the child has to circle all the words in the list that begin with a certain sound (e.g. b for “Ben’s Bedroom”— here these include a bat, bed, bug, and bag) and color them in the picture; and
- making words; this involves combining each of the letters given with the combinations below to produce words.
This part of Waltkes Web also has many other branches, but not all of them may be accessed by just anyone. These include e.g. the Contraction Song.
- Writing Avenue has a branch for each grade and also “Writer’s Workshop;” a “Writing Publishing Workshop” (this is a teachers’ guide); and a poem called “Plant a Story.”
- Guided Reading Boulevard— guidelines for before, during, and after reading
- Self- Selected Reading— a place for children to choose their own reading material
- Other stops along the Waltkes Web highway include links to external sites, such as Literacy Development for All and the Four Blocks™.
As you can see, Waltkes Web is committed to literacy. It is one of the best educational resources for parents in an age when so many of our young people are glued to the television as a source of news and entertainment.
Waltkes Web also runs a place called Camp Read Along. There, children get to hear many great stories, work on puzzles, play games involving “scavenger hunts,” word unscrambling, and choosing from restricted set of letters (for instance, a phrase like “Exploring Animals” to make ten words; and in the process, discover the world!