Tag Archives: children’s activities

Big 5

How Play Enhances Reading Experiences

In “Serious Fun,” a new book from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), editors Marie Masterson and Holly Bohart invite early childhood education experts to explore the power that play adds to any educational experience. Play can be totally free, or it can be “guided” — where education and play naturally converge. That is […]

What’s a Parent to Do…for School Success?

I spend a lot of time suggesting ways to support preschool children to guarantee that they will have joyful school lives and do well when they enter formal schooling. I offer below what families do that help assure children will enjoy school success from the time they enter kindergarten. If one wanted to make sure children are […]

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Linking Arms and Growing Readers

Fort Morgan, Colorado, is a farming community where crops like wheat and sugar beets grow. Farming can be challenging there, however, as the eastern plains of the Rocky Mountains are a literal water-deprived high desert. Fort Morgan is also historically challenged to grow more important crop—that of young readers. Morgan County, with only 27% of homes […]

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They’ll Watch Us Digging

My neighbor’s kids gave her a truly precious puppy for her 85th birthday. Right. My thought exactly. Why not a sweet, older, house-trained dog?! But she seems thrilled and has escape proofed her picket-fenced yard with chicken wire and filled it with balls to entertain Coco. As we observed her active new companion, my wife and I […]

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The Magic of Letters

Letters are magic. No, not alphabet letters. I mean  “snail mail.” Handcrafted letters are slow motion conversations across space and time that share emotions, events and ideas using paper and print. They have the gravity to split time into “before the letter arrived” and “after the letter arrived.” They provide us with an invisible asynchronous connection with other people. The first time a […]

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Plenty for Those with Little Else

In the summertime, after the glow of being endowed with the riches of what at that age seem endless days and weeks of freedom, there comes a time when children are faced with the rare though significant opportunity of facing down their own boredom. Such discomfort is the greatest gift of them all in summertime […]

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School’s out. Education is in.

Memorial Day! Summertime! School’s out. Now what?! The largely quiet local school now echoes the footsteps of maintenance workers and custodial staff. There’s a radio playing somewhere down the long, newly-polished hall. Office folks are relaxed in going about their work. Lots to do, but no worries about interrupting or interfering with teaching or learning. All […]

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Take It Apart, Then Put It Back Together 

Today, Stefan Åge Hardonk Nielsen, an English teacher at Vonsild School near Kolding, Denmark, is leading his young students in translating simple English picture books into their native Danish language. These U.S.A. focused books were originally published in English for “new readers” of any age, but are deemed appropriate content for all children ages birth though early primary. Mr. Nielsen’s students […]

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Reading or Homework? You Decide.

It’s March which means there’s much to celebrate! Like the spring equinox on the 20th, St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th and the beginning of the U.S. college men’s basketball showdown—March Madness—on the 14th (GO Cards!). March also provides an opportunity to celebrate reading, as it is Read Aloud Month. This recognition is promoted by Read Aloud […]

Chandpur Government Primary School, Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh

They Gotta Wanna Read

When a learner’s family and community commit to developing full literacy for everyone, there are at least two principles that guide efforts in that development: The community must ensure its literacy learners have ready access to abundant good books to read (“good” meaning relevant to each learner’s life). Those closest to literacy learners must ensure they are […]