Archive | Early Literacy

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To Be a Reader or Not: Children Ultimately Have to Choose

Children learning to read books respond well to adult guidance, patience and understanding. In return, adults typically expect children to daily hard work on learning to read. However, daily willingness put forth by kids toward learning to read  is a bigger and wider determiner of success than can be matched by professionals and well-meaning families. The roles […]

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Plant a Book Garden. Grow Readers.

By Mike McGuffee My mother always had a garden. To be precise, she had lots of gardens. Our yard was dotted with plants that were given the prospect of a good life from my mother’s hands. Through the backyard of my childhood, I grew alongside Black Diamond Watermelons and Paper Shell Pecan Trees. I believe […]

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To Know How to Teach is to Know How to GLIDE

Teaching children—whether as a professional educator or as a parent—is the delicate, challenging business of shepherding youngsters through experiences they don’t know much about, that they don’t know how to accomplish and that they may not know how to fit into their lives, nor that they may desire to learn. Teaching is not a simple process of herding children around […]

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The Bumpy Road to Reading

Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better – Samuel Beckett A failure is an event – It is not a person. – Zig Ziglar Some simple things are learned in a flash, like not touching fire. It only takes one mistake to learn the associated lesson, and it’s the same lesson for everyone. Most valuable lessons however, yielding […]

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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 […]