Tag Archives: early literacy

OldFashionedSchool

(Arithmetic ≠ Mathematics) + (Reading ≠ Literacy)

*Click on images to see larger version. Forty-some years ago I joined the International Reading Association (IRA), a huge collection of reading educators from all over the world. I also joined the National Reading Conference (NRC), which was a rather small organization of reading researchers. Members of these organizations met to share what they’ve been up […]

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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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Do you have the most important job in the world?

Early childhood education, defined as the nurturance of cognitive, emotional and physical growth of children from birth through age 8, is inarguably the most productive and fruitful window for establishing the life trajectories of kids. This relatively short period of dramatic physical and neurological expansion, of psychological and emotional growth, is paramount in its importance for child development. Yet, that fact seems pretty much ignored by education experts and policy makers who spend an unconscionable amount of time, energy and money on engineering and assessing the results […]

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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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“Could you read with ME today?”

Jean Anne Clyde, my dear wife, is also a retired teacher educator, who focused her university teaching on literacy. Recently, she volunteered at a school two blocks from our home. Every Tuesday she drags a suitcase filled with favorite kids’ books to the school. For an hour each week, Jean Anne works with primary school children, helping them improve their literacy–not just […]

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What Sacrifice is Too Great? What Investment is Too Small?

To sacrifice is to give up forever something we would prefer to keep. Sacrifices are made to obtain something of  value, a personally irreplaceable loss of time, opportunity or possessions, given up usually for others. All families make sacrifices to get what they want for their children. After all, what sacrifice is too great to make […]

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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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Toys with Pages

My wife and I read to each other when we take trips in the car. We’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and numerous novels. This last weekend, on a trip to Chicago, we read Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul* by Stuart Brown, M.D. This very readable book […]