Archive | Early Literacy

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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 […]

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How to Learn to Read Like a Child

In Ray Bradbury’s book, Fahrenheit 451, those hoping to save books and literacy from a government that would destroy all printed sources from the past memorized entire books. Imagine memorizing your favorite book. Maybe it has thousands of pages with tens of thousands of words! As it turns out, book memorization is quite common. New, young readers are […]

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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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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 […]

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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Celebrating Language Diversity is a Win-Win

We are losing one of the world’s 7,000+ languages every two weeks. This is the result of world-shrinking technology, wars, enslavements and colonizations. Hence, the development of the language hegemonies now evident to all. For example, English has become the language of international business worldwide. My immigrant neighbors speak an eastern European language fluently. At one […]