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On Summer Clark’s “What My First Grader Taught Me About Reading” (from 2017)

“Our library harbors a large supply of early readers. I helped him choose a stack that I found to be at an appropriate beginner level, with few words per page, basic beginning sight words, repetition of frequently used spelling patterns, and engaging topics that related to his interests — all of which I hoped would […]

Books in the Home: What My First Grader Taught Me About Reading

What does it mean to learn to read? As a former first-grade teacher and a professor of literacy education, I have constructed plenty of answers over the years. But witnessing the process as a parent has led me to challenge any overly simplistic explanations and assumptions I had held. The most important things I’ll probably ever […]

Who do your students see reading?

At a recent literacy training that I facilitated, we began the session by asking all of the participants to read for fifteen minutes. The room fell silent as everyone began reading a book or other text of their choice. As the sound of pages turning spread through the room, there was a quiet energy as […]

“Every book I read’s a journey…”

I love this song and video that singer-songwriter Alastair Moock and his eight-year-old daughter, Elsa, made to support Mass Literacy. The song celebrates reading and libraries — and the video features cameos by librarians from my hometown library!   Download the song here to donate.

>Flunk reading, do not go directly to jail.

>Apparently some politicos are fond of spouting a factoid (please note correct usage, book reviewers everywhere) that links third-grade reading scores to the formulas states use to estimate their future requirements for prison beds. Not so. No word yet whether or not Baby Einstein foretells a playdate with Old Sparky.

>Yes, and you’re not helping

>Woman to man this evening, overheard as I’m jogging by: “Your English skills are deplorable.”

>Chickens and Eggs

>Galleycat’s post re the First Book project reminds me of the argument advanced by Freakonomics that while the presence of lots of books in the home correlates with children being proficient readers, such literary wealth does not cause that proficiency, it simply means that reading parents tend to have reading children. That bio-determinated thought also […]

>What’s the difference between confidence and fluency?

>Commenter Zolah passed along this story about a proposed scheme in the U.K. to label children’s books by “reading age.” Let’s hope the Brits don’t try to bring this one into Boston Harbor. The organizers claim that children will not be put off by having their books belly-branded with “early, “developing,” “confident,” or “fluent,” but […]