Tag Archives: avid reading

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Talking to Becoming Fully Human

I’m happily involved in a few elementary schools with a project supported by Kentucky Humanities called Prime Time Family Reading Time. It’s an effort to alter the nature of what is considered a good dinner-table conversation or travel-time discussion that include everyone on the proverbial (or perhaps literal) bus. The objective of Prime Time is to […]

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Reading test scores are in! (Sigh.)

Instead of using “reading” books, the recommendation is to fill classrooms with books rich in age-appropriate subject matter (e.g., science, mathematics, the social studies and humanities, the arts, etc.). The argument is that using books of random content designed for merely improving students’ reading test levels until 3rd grade haven’t worked for schools or children. The […]

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Spoiled-Rotten Readers

Given how selective I am about what I read, I guess you can say I’m a spoiled-rotten reader…and I love it. It suits my needs. But I don’t believe I’m alone in this fickle reading life. A lot of my friends travel from one enthusiastic opening of a book to another, unhindered by the memory […]

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The Best and Worst of Reading

The month of December is a terrific time to review “bests” and “worsts.” It takes time and some discipline to systematically and thoughtfully step back from the business of the holidays and remember what in life is worth holding onto or letting go of. It is a nice way to bring closure to another year. As I’ve […]

Navajo Reservation Sign

How to Become Proficient in English…or Not

A few years back I spent time in Navajo schools, working for various teachers, coaching them on literacy instruction and inserting as much support as I could for their ongoing professional growth. One visit coincided with the annual English Proficiency Test administered to students. Hearing that, my first response was, “Wait! These kids were raised speaking English. […]

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Time and Fun Choices Make For Happy Readers

Good readers don’t necessarily think about wanting to read better, they typically just want more time to read. Struggling readers certainly don’t want to spend any more time reading, they just want to read better–or not at all. Hmmm….but what if struggling readers DID want to spend more time reading? Researchers uniformly predict their reading […]

African American Family Eating Meal At Home Together

The Cost of Free Books

I’m currently working with the Kentucky Humanities Prime Time Project in a school in my home town. The fabulous librarian coordinates this project which has invited 40 of the school’s Hispanic families (parents AND kids) to enjoy a light meal, some picture-book read-aloud time and participate in demonstrations of humanities-based conversations about the books once a week. Humanities conversations focus […]

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First WHY, Then HOW

It seems that these days every news or scholarly article about literacy development contains the word “skills.” Reading and writing skills, to be exact. We want to teach children to read and write, but instead we teach reading and writing SKILLS. What’s up with that? I believe it’s because skills are easier to measure than lifelong learning habits. Skills get attention because […]

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What’s Your Family Culture?

Culture is everything in creating family connection. Members of most cultures share values and commonly admired lifestyles to which others in the same culture aspire. In multi-cultural settings like the United States of America or Canada where hundreds of languages and cultures create a shared community, it is difficult to assess a single value placed on […]

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Practice Makes Perfect? Not.

Children and adults that bemoan being poor readers and/or writers seem to have either missed out on or forgotten the golden rule of human learning. While nothing a human does ever makes things perfect, despite what the old saying says, enjoyable practice always leads to improvement. Always. Erin never was and never will be a particularly good […]