About the Author

Mr. Andersen teaching kindergartenAndrew Andersen has been a Kindergarten and first grade teacher for the last 24 years, spending 12 years at both grade levels. In the late 80's he was frustrated by the bias in public schools against systematic phonics instruction brought on by the whole language movement in education. Having studied reading research at great length, he set about showing how meaning based and skills based instruction could be combined effectively through a book he was writing, The Reading Resolution. As a thesus project he decided to undertake a project to not only tell how it could be done, but to show it by writing an early literacy program himself.

In the midst of his work on this project while continuing to teach full time, Mr. Andersen developed type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. Being hospitalized for a while gave him the time to begin sketching the characters and developing the ideas for the stories. Nurses coming to check on him would ask about the project and look to see the latest pictures. Once back to health he completed his project and conducted his pilot study. Parents loved the Ti and Mo characters so much that he decided that he must find a way to continue to share them for the benefit of others. So he began a nonprofit organization, "Full Literacy through Activities Verified by Research," in order to disseminate the materials and begin training classes.

In the years that followed he piloted the materials further in his kindergarten classroom, fine tuning the materials based on experience, feedback from other teachers, editorial support from his wife Marie, and suggestions and experiences in teaching his boys Chris and William to read. With the publication of Marilyn Adam's book Beginning to Read the growing consensus among reading experts became that phonemic awareness and systematic phonics instruction must play a central role in early literacy development. This in combination with political action due to poor school test scores meant that the Ti and Mo program was in the right place at the right time.

Mr. Andersen teaching teachersMr. Andersen began doing trainings for both schools and for parents. The program began to rapidly spread both in school communities and among home schooling families. Today many teachers continue to supplement with Ti and Mo because they have found the children show faster progress with the program than with state adopted texts, and in the home schooling community where parents are free to choose what works, the program has flourished.

Mr. Andersen and daughterThe creation of the Ti and Mo website opens up a new chapter for Ti and Mo. Now people all around the world can benefit from the program by teaching their children with it at home. Mr. Andersen hopes that you will find the same joy and success teaching your children with Ti and Mo as he has with his kindergarteners, his boys, and now his daughter as well.

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