Archive | Education

Vocab Gab (or How Kids Learn Cool, New Words)

I often get my blog inspiration from all of the education news and teacher sharing that comes pouring into my computer every day. It surprises no one who knows me that reading is my breathing in and writing my breathing out. I can’t imagine it any other way. It’s all like fresh air to me. […]

How You Can Help Close the Digital Divide

Since the late ’90s, Internet connectivity increasingly has been a strategy to equalize education for all children. The lack of connectivity—also known as “digital divide”…the gap between technological haves and have-nots—remains challenging to close. It’s hard to know what to do about that, especially since computers, myriad other e-devices and connectivity are expensive…aren’t they? Maybe […]

Which Country is Tops in Literacy?

I know. This title sounds to me like one of those clickbait snippets found next to too many “news” articles online, doesn’t it? Which celebrities have strange birthmarks? The Top 10 Unattractive Fruits. What you’re doing wrong with your pet raccoon! I wish I had thought of a better title, but literacy around the world really […]

Be a Wise Advisor

Here at Unite for Literacy, we spend a lot of time promoting the power of family for ensuring that children become capable, eager, avid readers. The benefits of accomplished reading will grow into every corner of their lives, and then over time, that personal power translates to a plus for each of the communities they […]

Leading Kids to Reading

Who are the kids who don’t read? Who don’t find solace or adventure or entertainment between the pages of a book? Often, it’s the those kids who struggle, totally unnecessarily, in school and perhaps in life. Of course, it’s not a simple formula like: Reading books = School success and a promising life However, all […]

Father with daughter (6-7) reading book on sofa

Simply, Calmly, Read and Talk

Children who struggle in school often lack sufficient background information about the topics they are studying. They also can lack the language to express their own needs and respond productively in their interactions with others. These twin handicaps, taken together, can create a drag upon the academic development of children who otherwise might be soaring […]

Knowing and Growing Takes All Types of Books

Storybooks. The term conjures up images of fairy tales and mythical creatures and villains and heroines of all kinds. It reminds me of spending time with the characters in beloved series books for youngsters, like Encyclopedia Brown, Junie B. Jones, Ramona, Emelia Bedelia, Frog and Toad, The Magic School Bus, Magic Tree House and the […]

child presentation 2

The Zone of Proximal Goofing Around?

Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky introduced the concept that social interaction advances a child’s learning. He put forth that conversation leverages the interaction between a less experienced kiddo and a more experienced person. The difference between what a child can learn on her own and what she can learn with  help was termed the Zone of Proximal Development. We […]


Homework. A Help or a Hinderance?

Remember the fun of doing homework each evening during the school year? Me neither. Research* on homework indicates that much of what gets assigned in schools not only doesn’t help kids learn anything long term, but actually is off-putting, takes the joy out of learning and sometimes even reduces learning rather than enhances it. To […]

Diversity - Books and Children

Free at Last

It was the spring of 1968. Seven of us students from Kansas University were gleefully headed from Lawrence, Kan., to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., anticipating acting out our personal freedom fantasies during a week on the beach. That journey didn’t turn out as we had planned, but then fantasies rarely do. We headed southeast for the long journey […]