Archive | Early Literacy

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They Won’t Have to Think About the Reading

If you want to understand children, spend some time watching them. Through careful observation, we can see what they are “up to.” And when we respond to their initiatives, we engage with them in what they care about, which  communicates to them “I care about you.” That message is always a winner. If you watch children, you will […]

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Toys with Pages

My wife and I read to each other when we take trips in the car. We’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and numerous novels. This last weekend, on a trip to Chicago, we read Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul* by Stuart Brown, M.D. This very readable book […]

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It REALLY Matters

Reading. Each week I write for parents, teachers and teacher educators about the very basics of reading. I address the ultimate reason why as a culture we should spend so much time, energy, and money on it. Sadly, the ultimate goal I refer to is rarely uttered in school board meetings. It is seldom discussed by teachers, and […]

Like Father Like Son --- Image by © Randy Faris/Corbis

Permit Me to Demonstrate

Ongoing demonstrations are how almost everything in a culture is efficiently passed along to succeeding generations. So it follows suit that learning to read is based upon “observable demonstrations,” actions that those of us who can read, must do for those who are new to reading. Plus, learning to read is largely a social activity.  Additionally, for new readers to […]

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Listen, my children…!

Here’s a special something to share at an Independence Day gathering. Like all poetry, this famous poem is meant to be read aloud and enjoyed by an audience. Independence Day brings family and friends together for a patriotic celebration. Read it as a single performer or cut it into pieces (numbered) to spread the enjoyment […]

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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 […]