Navajo Reservation Sign

How to Become Proficient in English…or Not

A few years back I spent time in Navajo schools, working for various teachers, coaching them on literacy instruction and inserting as much support as I could for their ongoing professional growth. One visit coincided with the annual English Proficiency Test administered to students. Hearing that, my first response was, “Wait! These kids were raised speaking English. […]

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The Very VERY Best Way to Learn to Read

The “VERY BEST WAY TO TEACH READING” to a particular learner is not debatable. It is discoverable. There are scores of paths that lead from a baby’s first taste of a board book, to his life of joyful and informative reading. Those journeys are very complex. I’d predict that there are as many paths as […]

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Time and Fun Choices Make For Happy Readers

Good readers don’t necessarily think about wanting to read better, they typically just want more time to read. Struggling readers certainly don’t want to spend any more time reading, they just want to read better–or not at all. Hmmm….but what if struggling readers DID want to spend more time reading? Researchers uniformly predict their reading […]

African American Family Eating Meal At Home Together

The Cost of Free Books

I’m currently working with the Kentucky Humanities Prime Time Project in a school in my home town. The fabulous librarian coordinates this project which has invited 40 of the school’s Hispanic families (parents AND kids) to enjoy a light meal, some picture-book read-aloud time and participate in demonstrations of humanities-based conversations about the books once a week. Humanities conversations focus […]

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First WHY, Then HOW

It seems that these days every news or scholarly article about literacy development contains the word “skills.” Reading and writing skills, to be exact. We want to teach children to read and write, but instead we teach reading and writing SKILLS. What’s up with that? I believe it’s because skills are easier to measure than lifelong learning habits. Skills get attention because […]