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Graduation … to what?

It’s graduation time! Celebrations of educational accomplishments are both appropriate and welcome in June…but only if they are warranted. Have you noticed that just about anywhere folks talk or write about the importance of literacy in becoming well-educated they always add the word skills after their focus? It is common when one discusses “reading,” regarded as […]

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School’s out. Education is in.

Memorial Day! Summertime! School’s out. Now what?! The largely quiet local school now echoes the footsteps of maintenance workers and custodial staff. There’s a radio playing somewhere down the long, newly-polished hall. Office folks are relaxed in going about their work. Lots to do, but no worries about interrupting or interfering with teaching or learning. All […]

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Two Sides

For elementary school children, there are basically just two kinds of books (if we ignore poetry), Fiction and Non-fiction. Fictional books present to the reader created characters living created lives, experiencing created joys while dealing with what are frequently universal human problems. NON-fictional books typically use lots of different visuals interspersed with carefully structured expositional […]

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What Counts as Good Shared Reading?

What’s the best assessment of the educational value of a daily shared reading experience? By shared reading I mean that special kind of reading that happens when two or more people share a book together. This includes the lively (I hope) book transcription by a sufficiently experienced reader that then evokes the sharing of personal reflections about each book’s content […]

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Let’s Start a Bar Fight

Raise the bar. Lower the bar. Clear the bar. A never-ending K-12 push is to raise the literacy bar each year to ensure children’s success in college and career. The “bar” is the metaphor that educators use when discussing grade-level standards expectations. It’s a long scale from low literate to above proficient reading and writing. The 3rd-grade bar […]

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At a Loss for Words

The English language is a word magnet and vocabulary generator. English speakers pick up terms from other languages and even create new words almost effortlessly, and before we know it, a new word or phrase is considered fully English! The best part is that every new word adds power to the English language, multiplying its potential […]

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Book Passages

Very young children can’t be avid readers in the fullest sense of the term. They can be excited by books and about the closeness they feel when loved ones read with them. If they have had lots of experience with good books they can certainly be admirers of books and be drawn to open them […]