My oldest son started reading early -- he was into chapter books before he started kindergarten. Reading came easily to him and is still, at 13, his favorite pastime. I assumed the same would hold true for my younger son. But as all parents quickly learn, each child is different. When reading hadn’t stuck by second grade, I hit the panic button-- met with teachers, studied articles on phonetics instruction, went through some testing, all the while reminding myself of the whole “each child is different” thing...I can comfortably say that now, entering fourth grade, my youngest child is a reader. He had support from fantastic teachers in second and third grade, but I also believe that as a librarian and a mom, what happens at home matters a whole lot too in terms of a child’s reading development. Here are some strategies I have discovered and rediscovered on my parenting journey. I hope they will help you continue to kindle a love of reading in your own home or even better, if you are an educator perhaps these strategies can be shared with your student's parents as a way of helping them foster a love of reading at home.
Take5: the Power of Houses in Schools, Alleviating Math Anxiety, Books to add to your Summer Reading List and More.
While many of you are already basking in summer, some of us are still teaching. Our school year ends for students this week, but I know many East Coast schools are still in session as late as next week. Whether you are winding down this school year or already looking to the year ahead, we hope this week's Take5 helps inform your teaching. We touch on the weighty topic of suicide prevention. We also offer tips for supporting the creation of Houses in schools to promote belonging, strategies for spotting math anxiety in kids and stopping it in its tracks, and share a newly developed method for tracking cell phone use. Lastly, consider adding YA books to your summer reading by checking out a Best of 2018 YA List. So take a few minutes to Take5.
This week our Take5 has a bit of a library focus (surprise: I'm a librarian!), but There are take-aways for classroom teachers as well. Strong school library Instagram accounts and great read-alouds, meaningful makerspaces, a fun inquiry activity, and creating a menu of lessons -- check it out and share what's been sparking your interest!
Definition of a #teacherfangirl: when Teacher A thinks Teacher B is so amazing that they spend time trying to teach more like Teacher A. In this situation, Cris Tovani, a talented, thoughtful English teacher (and book writer) with decades of teaching experience is teacher A and I am teacher B (but you probably figured that out by now).
Cris has been working with my school district over the past two years to improve our literacy programming. Consequently, Gretchen and I have had the chance to delve into her work and to hear her speak on multiple occasions. She's fantastic and has altered my teaching practice in so many positive ways. So for our 100th blog post (yes -- you heard me right -- one hundred!), Gretchen and I thought we would share the love by sharing with our readers some of the truths we've learned from Cris (yes, I can call her Cris because I am her #fangirl). Because as you know, when teachers share great ideas Bubbleup.
Our school (and in fact, our whole district) has had a strong focus on literacy over the past two years. Our literacy team's goal is to highlight the literacy instruction that occurs across the curriculum, not simply in our English and Social Studies classes, but also in Science, Math, and our electives. We work to bring easy-to-use literacy strategies and tools to our teachers that they will be able to immediately implement in their classrooms. One of the building blocks of our literacy plan is providing accessible text for our students in all disciplines. This is often a challenge -- we want to make sure that ALL of our students have access to a rigorous curriculum. So, what are some "go-to" sources for supporting readers across levels?
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