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On Robin Smith’s “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” (from 2003)

“Despite the pressures of parents and the winds of educational change, I do not teach children to read because it is good for them. To me, books are not meant to be the path to Harvard or even the best high school. I do not think of them as ‘tools for learning,’ a phrase I […]

HBook Podcast 1.12 – Special Guest Educator

Podcast the sixth in which Siân and early education teacher Meg Lederhos (who also happens to be Siân’s coworker at The Bar) talk about content, curriculum, and diversity (or lack thereof) in books for the classroom. Books we talk about Robert McCloskey, Make Way for Ducklings Aaron Becker, Journey Shana Corey, The Secret Subway Hervé Tullet, […]

Off to a fresh start

Hello dear education community. I’m back! Last year I was quite silent. This was due in part to the fact that I had moved to a new school. But mainly it was because I was simply at a loss for what to say. My previous school was strictly disciplined to the point where students were […]

Guiding the young

“This is a very good start, really. Now, you might want to move that line just a tad to the left, and think a bit about your colors.”

>Becoming a Nation of Wusses

>The recent report about the reluctance of high school biology teachers to teach evolution really drives me crazy. Again. I think I am most bothered by the 60% of teachers who weasel out of or around the topic because of fear, not their own convictions. It’s like librarians who don’t buy certain materials because they […]

>Well, what about Dick Sargent, then?

>The children’s librarians over at PUBYAC are discussing impossible homework assignments–like the kid who came in and needed a biography (it had to be a book) about Dick York, famous Indianan. I sympathize–I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before the hordes of kids who came into my little branch library needing copies of God Is My […]

>Reading aloud and alone

>Twitter is atwitter with responses to Richard Peck’s remark in Notes that “over and over [kids are]telling me that the books I wrote for them to read are being read to them by their teachers. And hearing a story read doesn’t seem to expand their vocabularies. If a teacher is going to take limited classroom […]

>Happy to help!

>M.T. Anderson tipped me to this thoughtful NYT piece about the state of trade books in the classroom (wow, that phrase sounds as antiquated as whole language) and the fact that the Horn Book gets a shout out on the third page. We are of course always gratified when teachers find us helpful in their […]

School of the Air

I totally wanted to go to one of those. But here’s your chance, if you feel like playing along with the class I’m teaching at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. The class begins today and is called Crimes and Misdemeanors, and it is something of a lead up to the […]

>State Birds and Foods of Many Lands

>In the most recent Booklist, Michael Cart wonders why “curriculum-related nonfiction” hasn’t “migrated more or less completely to the Internet by now.” Me, too: hardcover series books about countries of the world, mammals of Asia, rocks and minerals of the fifty states, etc. still proliferate like crazy, even though the information they contain is available […]