Archive | Early Literacy

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Letters, not just Letters

A few days ago I encountered an article in the New York Times about American citizens writing letters to random detainees along the southern border of our country. This effort gives the authors of the letters an outlet for the guilt and frustration they feel about not being able to do anything for the incarcerated individuals and […]

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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 […]

What’s a Parent to Do…for School Success?

I spend a lot of time suggesting ways to support preschool children to guarantee that they will have joyful school lives and do well when they enter formal schooling. I offer below what families do that help assure children will enjoy school success from the time they enter kindergarten. If one wanted to make sure children are […]

SUPERPOWER

One Language or Two? More is Better.

Regularly, I read journals and other publications written for literacy professionals like me. I subscribe to several, and with the blossoming of online publishing archives, along with my university’s library, I have access to the world. Because part of my work is to collect translations and narrations of books for beginning readers in the Unite […]

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School’s Out but Learning Never Stops

I spend a lot of time suggesting ways to support preschool children to guarantee that they will have joyful and successful time in school. But what about when they’re not in school? Even for short periods of time, like Holiday or summer breaks? Well, I invite you to glean ideas from the following list of what […]

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Linking Arms and Growing Readers

Fort Morgan, Colorado, is a farming community where crops like wheat and sugar beets grow. Farming can be challenging there, however, as the eastern plains of the Rocky Mountains are a literal water-deprived high desert. Fort Morgan is also historically challenged to grow more important crop—that of young readers. Morgan County, with only 27% of homes […]

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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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They’ll Watch Us Digging

My neighbor’s kids gave her a truly precious puppy for her 85th birthday. Right. My thought exactly. Why not a sweet, older, house-trained dog?! But she seems thrilled and has escape proofed her picket-fenced yard with chicken wire and filled it with balls to entertain Coco. As we observed her active new companion, my wife and I […]

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Children’s Questions Guide Literacy Development

Children signal a preparedness to learn to read and write by carefully observing what older kids and adults do and then asking questions. They carefully observe mature models of literate behavior who make themselves available during daily reading times and in the sharing of letters and birthday cards. Writing interest is reflected in children’s curiosity […]

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Talking about Talking about Books

“Read to your kids!” That directive echoes down the halls of every maternity ward, is heard in the waiting rooms of every good pediatrician’s office and is certainly in every school classroom, regardless of the age of a student. But that statement packs so much more meaning, and too often the larger message is lost, turning what […]