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fist-bump

Listening to Littles as They Learn to BE

Given the primacy of language in children’s development, one of the historically common ideas that we should all immediately scrub from our thoughts is… Children should be seen, but not heard. Perhaps “HOGWASH!” is the best response to such self-serving silliness. The premise that children should remain quiet until spoken to by parents and other adults […]

curiosity

Curiosity Drives Discovery

Curiosity is the emotional engine that drives learning. That would make curiosity probably the most important tool in a parent or teacher’s toolbox for rearing and teaching children. But if you think you can force a child to be curious about something, think again. Curiosity is an intrinsic desire to gain knowledge and understanding which resides […]

gramps-and-kid

50 Percent of Eligible Kids Not Ready for Kindergarten

That news appeared recently here in Louisville, Ky. However, that very percentage has been used this year to describe lack of school-preparedness in children across the United States. My first reaction was one that calls for some actual investigative journalism to answer the question of why Kindergarten classes, by and large, are not ready for half the students […]

toddler-potty-activities-potty-prep-full

The Tiniest, BIG Literacy Lesson

She looked at the card, then at her mother, then at me. I had given my business card to a woman with a small, less than 2-year-old child outside of the hotel where the Literacy Research Association was celebrating its yearly awards for those individuals making lifelong contributions in support of literacy. My business card […]

uflreader

Hardback? Paperback? How about Any-back?

Books! A small, but committed, page-turning gang of people LOVE PRINTED BOOKS! The reasons for that love (or the lack thereof) live in each of our cores. There’s no explaining it in any other rational way. Somehow, at some point, us older book lovers each fell in a kind of love with a character, a […]

reading-arabic

The Biggest Question is WHY?

Nancy was in her sister’s kitchen chatting with Kerri as she prepared a ham for cooking. Kerri put the ham in a large roasting pan and Nancy interjected, “Don’t forget to cut the ends off.” Kerri replied, “Oh right. When we were kids mom always cut the ends off.” They looked at each other and […]

reconcile

Building Bridges with Rich Language

One of the benefits of wide and frequent reading and the conversation that springs from it is the durable expansion of a strong reading, writing and speaking vocabulary. Children whose writing is simple and inexpressive, or who struggle to verbally share their thoughts, feelings and needs often suffer from a lack of essential language skills. Unaddressed, […]

Large stone with hieroglyphics and two other languages all saying the same things.

Rosetta’s Tech Manual

More than 2,200 years ago, King Ptolemy V of Egypt decreed a holiday in honor of gods most of us have never heard of. He decided to have his pronouncement carved into a stone (which we now call the Rosetta Stone) so no one would forget all of the sacrificing, praying and hoopla that went along with holidays […]

talking-about-books

Talk to be “good”

I recently encountered an article indicating that school-age children rarely talk with their friends about what they are “free” reading, mostly because they don’t have time in their academic day. Wait! Really? That’s huge! This lost conversation represents a lost educational opportunity, seemingly sacrificed on the altar of what apparently passes for instructional efficiency! But […]