Tag Archives: conversation

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Playing Post Office Teaches Lifelong Literacy Lessons

At her mother’s request, the little girl went to the almost-too-high mailbox and brought the mail into the kitchen, holding the various envelopes and documents at arm’s length, she pointed them at Mom. She watched as her smiling mother muttered to herself while tearing envelopes open, tossing some of them unopened into the recycle bin. Magazines […]

Love Thy Neighbor–Learn Their Language and Culture

For bilingual children in the U.S., having just a sufficient grasp of the English language to succeed in school doesn’t work well the rest of the time. These children often can only fully communicate their  wants, needs and values when they are at home speaking their native tongue. This is not okay for a country of immigrants and […]

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Children Must Learn how to Understand

I recently saw the cute T-shirt  shown here. Even with an explanation, understanding what we hear or read often requires some work on our parts. Of course, in repetitive, familial interactions, small children learn how to understand, how to make sense of things. That ability grows with the complexity of the learning they take on. “Give […]

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Culture is Everything

Certain family cultures make the likelihood of success in school and beyond more accessible than others. The culture of which I speak is not about ethnicity, parental education, income or language, though. It’s about the prevalence and prominence of book reading in the families, regardless of any other cultural group to which they might belong. […]

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Children Learning to ask Great Questions

The qualities of the questions we ask children are important. From them, kids learn to ask and answer good questions or to remain silent. There are Direct questions, which focus upon verifiable answers. Questions we hope even young kids can correctly answer are designed to ensure that a student / child is processing experiences productively and that expanding their thinking. […]

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There’s Reading Aloud, and then There’s the Magic of Books

The results are in! Reading books to children is a really, really a good thing. Along with its academic benefits of increasing language and vocabulary strength, reading aloud with children helps them see the wonder that can be found within book pages. Lap reading may be their first encounter with the magic of books, print and […]

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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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Speaking of Books…

When a book is enthusiastically read, there is a clear flow of information from the author to the eager reader. She gets her own unique kind of delight from the book by making personal sense of the author’s words, text and illustrations, connecting it with what she already knew, understood or experienced. The enjoyment can […]

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Two Sides

For elementary school children, there are basically just two kinds of books (if we ignore poetry), Fiction and Non-fiction. Fictional books present to the reader created characters living created lives, experiencing created joys while dealing with what are frequently universal human problems. NON-fictional books typically use lots of different visuals interspersed with carefully structured expositional […]