Tag Archives: education

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Plant a Book Garden. Grow Readers.

By Mike McGuffee My mother always had a garden. To be precise, she had lots of gardens. Our yard was dotted with plants that were given the prospect of a good life from my mother’s hands. Through the backyard of my childhood, I grew alongside Black Diamond Watermelons and Paper Shell Pecan Trees. I believe […]

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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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The Bumpy Road to Reading

Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better – Samuel Beckett A failure is an event – It is not a person. – Zig Ziglar Some simple things are learned in a flash, like not touching fire. It only takes one mistake to learn the associated lesson, and it’s the same lesson for everyone. Most valuable lessons however, yielding […]

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Lifelong Library

It’s time we stop worrying about yearly achievement scores and start worrying about our children’s futures in fuller ways. Achievement defined by the popular Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life,…”* …and life? Hmmm. […]

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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 […]

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Let’s Start a Bar Fight

Raise the bar. Lower the bar. Clear the bar. A never-ending K-12 push is to raise the literacy bar each year to ensure children’s success in college and career. The “bar” is the metaphor that educators use when discussing grade-level standards expectations. It’s a long scale from low literate to above proficient reading and writing. The 3rd-grade bar […]

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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 […]

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The Biggest Question is WHY?

Nancy was in her sister’s kitchen chatting with Kerri as she prepared a ham for cooking. Kerri put the ham in a large roasting pan and Nancy interjected, “Don’t forget to cut the ends off.” Kerri replied, “Oh right. When we were kids mom always cut the ends off.” They looked at each other and […]