Archive | Writing and Composition

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Books Provide Powerful Learning, Heartfelt Conversation

I’ve just finished reading one of 10 essays from the 2012 book When I Was a Child I Read Books, by Marilynne Robinson. It was a no brainer for a literacy teacher, teacher educator and a contributor to a children’s library like myself to be drawn to a book with this title. However, I received this […]

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Learning Self-Expression is a Life Skill

Learning self-expression is, for many, a lifelong process of growing to be a presence for others. It can be an elusive goal, even for adults, but when nurtured early on in life, a foundation for sincere sharing of oneself in writing can become a magical ingredient to powerful interactions. I was reminded of this when I […]

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The Author in the Mirror

Reading is akin to gathering our thoughts with the help of authors. Books and other forms of written communication can help us speak our minds as well as the minds of the people who authored them. I recall my young children’s response to books that I brought them from a National Council of Teachers of English conference I attended years […]

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“Be Kind” and Other Words That Matter

One recent morning my wife and I drove to an appointment in Eminence, Ky., just outside of Louisville. It was a gorgeous start to a new day with the east ablaze with “sky blue pink” (as my wife calls it) behind a single bank of fluffy clouds. As we wound through the countryside we passed a […]

The Skilled Non-Reader

These days, pretty much every time we encounter the word “reading” in a communication about schooling, we’ll also find the word “skills.” For example, we might hear statements like: Our school’s reading scores indicate a need for better skill instruction. We need to assess her reading skills before we can identify a proper leveled book. […]

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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 […]