Tag Archives: education

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That’s Hot! But is it Important?

Each year* since 1997, the International Literacy Association (ILA) has conducted a survey of teachers, school and program administrators, and practicing academics and researchers to consider the values and activities that best describe literacy education’s trends and practices. The survey queried nearly 2,100 individuals from 91 countries and territories and the results are reported from open-ended responses […]

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What is a Culture of Literacy and Why is it Important?

The essential resource for children to become literate is a culture* rich in reading and writing. Children reared in such a culture will naturally grow to become lifelong readers and writers. Those who grow up in a culture devoid of reading and writing may be taught to read and write on demand, yet are not likely […]

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The Baby is Crying. What to do? What to do?

Try to feed her. She doesn’t want a bottle. Burping her doesn’t help. Diaper check! Nope. Holding and rocking her to sleep? No luck. Singing and dancing with her? Nada! She keeps looking around apparently trying to tell you what’s wrong, but you just don’t get it, so both of you are getting more frustrated by the minute. Been […]

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A Successful Future Through Literacy

Last week, I commented upon the power of relaxed, humanities-focused* conversation around good books and the impact of that conversation on children’s developing literacy. In this case, literacy includes all modes of engagement throughout life in clear and joyful mastery of print communication. The result of coming of age in families and schools with cultures […]

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Support Reading. It’s Right.

Last September the International Literacy Association (ILA is the largest professional literacy educator organization in the world) released the Children’s Rights to Read, a set of 10 rights associated with ensuring all children around the globe learn to read books and grow to be joyful readers throughout their lives. This is not the first time that a “bill of rights” […]

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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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Letters, not just Letters

A few days ago I encountered an article in the New York Times about American citizens writing letters to random detainees along the southern border of our country. This effort gives the authors of the letters an outlet for the guilt and frustration they feel about not being able to do anything for the incarcerated individuals and […]

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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 […]

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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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. […]