Tag Archives: teaching

A young cowboy steps up onto the steel panels around the permiter of the corral on the Melin Ranch near Pray, Montana.

Who’s Responsible for Literacy?

Last week, the New York Times reported that a federal judge “dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought by students at troubled schools in Detroit and found that ‘access to literacy’ is not a constitutional right…” My organization and I easily qualify as pro-universal literacy. So, should we be happy or distressed by this legal determination that […]

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Celebrating Language Diversity is a Win-Win

We are losing one of the world’s 7,000+ languages every two weeks. This is the result of world-shrinking technology, wars, enslavements and colonizations. Hence, the development of the language hegemonies now evident to all. For example, English has become the language of international business worldwide. My immigrant neighbors speak an eastern European language fluently. At one […]

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Are You A Sneak Reader?

The ultimate goal of any enlightened program of reading instruction must be the development in each student of a self-determined habit of lifelong daily reading. That’s because this completely personal disposition paves the way to joyful lifelong inquiry and learning—the ultimate goal of a good education. Right? Sadly, at least not in many schools that consider […]

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The Elephant in the (Class) Room

My position on recent literacy teaching practices reflects the ancient tale of the six blind men and the elephant. Each man encountered a different part of the elephant, but not the whole, which resulted in each having a very limited understanding of the entirety of that magnificent creature. The elephant can only be understood by appreciating […]

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 […]

“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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To Be a Reader or Not: Children Ultimately Have to Choose

Children learning to read books respond well to adult guidance, patience and understanding. In return, adults typically expect children to daily hard work on learning to read. However, daily willingness put forth by kids toward learning to read  is a bigger and wider determiner of success than can be matched by professionals and well-meaning families. The roles […]

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Develop a Diverse Book Comfort Zone

Despite indications over the past few years of the ascendency of digital texts and, for many, hand wringing over the imminent death of printed books and bookstores, after an adjustment in the book publishing and selling markets, printed books in all sizes and shapes are still with us, much to the relief of every tactile […]

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To Know How to Teach is to Know How to GLIDE

Teaching children—whether as a professional educator or as a parent—is the delicate, challenging business of shepherding youngsters through experiences they don’t know much about, that they don’t know how to accomplish and that they may not know how to fit into their lives, nor that they may desire to learn. Teaching is not a simple process of herding children around […]

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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 […]