Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup – End of June 2011

Welcome new readers, subscribers, and followers!

As a literacy passionista, you know there is a lot of information about reading, books, and literacy in the blogosphere. Together, Jen Robinson @  Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Carol Rasco @  Rasco from RIF, and I pull together some of the cool / new / interesting content and publish a children’s literacy and reading news round-upCarol Rasco does a lovely wrap-up and look ahead. Carol’s June in Review post went up

I always love Carol’s posts because she adds such wonderful dimensions to the conversation. With her short blurb about Get Caught Reading, she reminds us that ANYTIME is a great time to get caught. Since 1999, this nationwide campaign encourages all of us to remember how much fun it is to read. The site recently featured a video plea from our friend @MrsPStorytime on Why Libraries Matter. See other participating authors here.

Along that same theme, Carol has several interesting vignettes. First, she points to a recent US News Health Report article about a new study that found increased reading with mom can boost kindergarten readiness for low-income children. Not a new idea … but always a nice reminder!

The other is Pam Allyn’s recent OpEd in Education Week where she advocates for eliminating whole class novels. WE hated them as students, so why should we perpetuate that for our kids? IMHO the only whole class novel should be the one the teacher reads aloud each day! I loved this closing thought from Pam.

[The alternative is] to read in school what one is driven to read, every day. To read at one’s own pace. To read driven by one’s own passions. To read on whatever device makes the most sense for that particular reader, whether it’s a mobile phone or an iPad. To invite all students to become, in essence, the curators of their own reading lives. This should be our reading program.

Did you happen to catch the pic of Jen in the RIF #BeBookSmart Mobile? It ranks up there with the Oscar Myer Weiner-mobile! B. B. Smart, as the car is called, is touring California. How can you NOT get excited about RIF’s summer promotion with Macy’s when you see that car? B. B.’s goal is to raise awareness and money so that RIF can continue to buy books for kids. There is a contest on Facebook that also relates to the campaign.

This week’s Digital Directions (also an Education Week publication) has an interesting piece about balancing digital innovation and academic accountability. The story focuses on a North Carolina school district that piloted a 1-to-1 laptop project three years ago. The administrators expected test scores to drop, but the opposite has happened. I thought this quote by District Superintendent Mark Edwards was quite revealing.

“Students like using relevant tools and materials,” he says. “The kids are more engaged and excited about school. They’re doing things in class and saying, ‘I will do this in my future.’ “

Out of the mouth of babes?! Speaking of babes … with a growing bookworm at Jen’s house and a very busy one at mine, we are going to shift the roundups back to a twice-monthly publication.

Last but not least, I have not yet written my post about the upcoming Kidlitosphere Conference, so I will point you to Jen’s post about KidlitCon 2011. I am planning to be there and have registered. Not sure whether the event is for you? Well, click over and read Jen’s lovely recap. If you only have time for one quote at the moment, here’s your answer: “When we meet at KidLitCon, we already know each other. KidLitCon just gives us a chance to put a face with a name. The other thing that’s wonderful about KidLitCon is the chance to be surrounded by kindred spirits.” [I don’t think DH realizes that it takes me out of town for our 21st anniversary, so shhhh don’t tell him!]