Tag Archives: writing

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Literacy Mastery is Social

Sports enthusiasts figure out how to enjoy their beloved pastime with pals—beyond being spectators of sporting events. Pickup games of all types are arranged, with excited players arriving early and then playing as long as the sun is up or the gym is open. They get better and better because by playing hard with their friends and […]

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The Rights and Responsibilities of Reading

Recently the International Reading Association (ILA) has promoted its 10-point “bill” of Children’s Rights to Read. I’ve written about this before during ILA’s push earlier this year to get everyone on the planet to endorse these rights. I bring this up again, because I’m a believer that with every right comes some form of responsibility. For example, the right to vote carries with it the responsibility […]

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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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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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First WHY, Then HOW

It seems that these days every news or scholarly article about literacy development contains the word “skills.” Reading and writing skills, to be exact. We want to teach children to read and write, but instead we teach reading and writing SKILLS. What’s up with that? I believe it’s because skills are easier to measure than lifelong learning habits. Skills get attention because […]

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They’ll Watch Us Digging

My neighbor’s kids gave her a truly precious puppy for her 85th birthday. Right. My thought exactly. Why not a sweet, older, house-trained dog?! But she seems thrilled and has escape proofed her picket-fenced yard with chicken wire and filled it with balls to entertain Coco. As we observed her active new companion, my wife and I […]

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Children’s Questions Guide Literacy Development

Children signal a preparedness to learn to read and write by carefully observing what older kids and adults do and then asking questions. They carefully observe mature models of literate behavior who make themselves available during daily reading times and in the sharing of letters and birthday cards. Writing interest is reflected in children’s curiosity […]

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Authentic Literacy Lessons Made Simple

Daily reading with children ensures that they develop a full and delightful culture of reading, setting the stage for them to become lifelong learners. But long-term learning is not just about reading. It is about all of literacy, reading and writing. As adults, we can stimulate children’s interests, but kids are the ones who ultimately decide what to play […]