Archive | Education

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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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Avid Readers Aren’t Born, They’re Developed

I know this will come as a shock, but I am an avid reader. I love books by authors who speak to me. I relish finding a good fiction writer or series, and read everything he or she offers. Sometimes I read books in order or if they feature a particularly compelling character, like Porfiry Rostnikov, the protagonist in […]

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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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Books, Models and Opportunities

To become strong lifelong readers, kids need to read every day. If kids aren’t reading daily, there are three simple things to fix that: Books. Opportunities. Models. Children need books that touch their hearts, because kids eagerly read books they love, with characters or content they can personally relate to. That might sound simple, but […]

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Unquestionably CORRECT, Inarguably UNIQUE

There’s a new book out for mathematics teachers called What’s Right About Wrong Answers. Being a literacy person, and without yet reading this book (I know!), I immediately loved that title. The complementary roles of cautious accuracy and freewheeling exploration should be bound up in everything adults work to help children learn. That is certainly the […]

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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 […]

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Lifelong Library

It’s time we stop worrying about yearly achievement scores and start worrying about our children’s futures in fuller ways. Achievement defined by the popular Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life,…”* …and life? Hmmm. […]

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 […]