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That’s Hot! But is it Important?

Each year* since 1997, the International Literacy Association (ILA) has conducted a survey of teachers, school and program administrators, and practicing academics and researchers to consider the values and activities that best describe literacy education’s trends and practices. The survey queried nearly 2,100 individuals from 91 countries and territories and the results are reported from open-ended responses […]

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What is a Culture of Literacy and Why is it Important?

The essential resource for children to become literate is a culture* rich in reading and writing. Children reared in such a culture will naturally grow to become lifelong readers and writers. Those who grow up in a culture devoid of reading and writing may be taught to read and write on demand, yet are not likely […]

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Re-Reading Books Multiplies Impact

My wife and I share-read each of the Harry Potter books as soon as they came out. We took turns reading them aloud to each other, starting with the first book in 1997. By the time we read Deathly Hallows, the earlier books had faded from our memory and we talked about re-reading them. Parents will […]

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The Baby is Crying. What to do? What to do?

Try to feed her. She doesn’t want a bottle. Burping her doesn’t help. Diaper check! Nope. Holding and rocking her to sleep? No luck. Singing and dancing with her? Nada! She keeps looking around apparently trying to tell you what’s wrong, but you just don’t get it, so both of you are getting more frustrated by the minute. Been […]

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A Successful Future Through Literacy

Last week, I commented upon the power of relaxed, humanities-focused* conversation around good books and the impact of that conversation on children’s developing literacy. In this case, literacy includes all modes of engagement throughout life in clear and joyful mastery of print communication. The result of coming of age in families and schools with cultures […]

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Talking to Becoming Fully Human

I’m happily involved in a few elementary schools with a project supported by Kentucky Humanities called Prime Time Family Reading Time. It’s an effort to alter the nature of what is considered a good dinner-table conversation or travel-time discussion that include everyone on the proverbial (or perhaps literal) bus. The objective of Prime Time is to […]

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How Play Enhances Reading Experiences

In “Serious Fun,” a new book from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), editors Marie Masterson and Holly Bohart invite early childhood education experts to explore the power that play adds to any educational experience. Play can be totally free, or it can be “guided” — where education and play naturally converge. That is […]

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Support Reading. It’s Right.

Last September the International Literacy Association (ILA is the largest professional literacy educator organization in the world) released the Children’s Rights to Read, a set of 10 rights associated with ensuring all children around the globe learn to read books and grow to be joyful readers throughout their lives. This is not the first time that a “bill of rights” […]

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Reading test scores are in! (Sigh.)

Instead of using “reading” books, the recommendation is to fill classrooms with books rich in age-appropriate subject matter (e.g., science, mathematics, the social studies and humanities, the arts, etc.). The argument is that using books of random content designed for merely improving students’ reading test levels until 3rd grade haven’t worked for schools or children. The […]

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Spoiled-Rotten Readers

Given how selective I am about what I read, I guess you can say I’m a spoiled-rotten reader…and I love it. It suits my needs. But I don’t believe I’m alone in this fickle reading life. A lot of my friends travel from one enthusiastic opening of a book to another, unhindered by the memory […]