Archive | Avid Readers

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How lap time contributes to social-emotional growth

For children, especially very young children, lap-time literacy experiences can offer powerful and usually positive contributions to their social-emotional development. Conversely, the language and informational richness of books don’t benefit a child much unless books are opened, explored, read and discussed with a caregiver. Such sharing forms a critical basis for positioning books to contribute to […]

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BookMarkS

The older kids get, the bigger their books get. And the bigger their books get, the deeper and wider their content gets. At some point, this wonderful pattern brings children to the possibly surprising conclusion that one cannot read every book cover to cover at one sitting. This natural conclusion, given the laws of time and space, […]

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Reading Comprehension: Got It? Pass It On.

The ability to understand characters’ points of view is fundamental to higher-level reading comprehension. How might we teach that to young readers? Babies seem to be born with a natural empathetic response. If they see another baby cry, they may start crying in harmony, or if they see someone laughing, they may smile and giggle […]

A young cowboy steps up onto the steel panels around the permiter of the corral on the Melin Ranch near Pray, Montana.

Who’s Responsible for Literacy?

Last week, the New York Times reported that a federal judge “dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought by students at troubled schools in Detroit and found that ‘access to literacy’ is not a constitutional right…” My organization and I easily qualify as pro-universal literacy. So, should we be happy or distressed by this legal determination that […]

How Everybody Can Enjoy Story Time

One of the joys of parenting is reading with our kids, beginning when they are infants. There is nothing like snuggling up with a pile of simple books with our little ones on our laps. Soon, we invite toddlers to select the books. Later, we invite them to read along. But unfortunately, not all parents […]

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Personal Choice: THE Key Index of Reading Progress

That children independently choose to read every day is the only sure-fire indication that their literacy is growing. Only personal choice to pick up books and spend time enjoying their contents assures that instruction is working. In the absence of that, we’re probably squandering our time and resources. The lack of this urge to engage with books at any […]

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When a Book Grabs Them and Won’t Let Go

The question echoed quietly down the halls of his school as his teachers shared their concerns. It was a constant topic in telephone calls between his parents and their family members. The question, “So, how’s he doing in school?,” was always answered with: “Stevie doesn’t like to read. It’s a fight.” Stevie is now a […]

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Are You A Sneak Reader?

The ultimate goal of any enlightened program of reading instruction must be the development in each student of a self-determined habit of lifelong daily reading. That’s because this completely personal disposition paves the way to joyful lifelong inquiry and learning—the ultimate goal of a good education. Right? Sadly, at least not in many schools that consider […]

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Get a Bang Out of Reading

Most years the Kentucky Derby Festival (in my hometown) is launched with the big bang of Thunder Over Louisville, a pyrotechnic display of sky-filling beauty. Most years it’s the largest fireworks display in North America. The event draws about 800,000 people to the banks of the Ohio River for 30 mesmerizing minutes of explosive creativity. […]

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The Elephant in the (Class) Room

My position on recent literacy teaching practices reflects the ancient tale of the six blind men and the elephant. Each man encountered a different part of the elephant, but not the whole, which resulted in each having a very limited understanding of the entirety of that magnificent creature. The elephant can only be understood by appreciating […]