Children’s Literacy & Reading News Roundup – end of October

The end-of-October edition of the Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Family Bookshelf, and Quietly is now available at Carol’s blog Quietly. 

Jen Robinson kicked off November with some additional tidbits of her own in an End of October Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup. I think its fair to say that we had more “treats” than “tricks” to close out the month!

WhyIVote2012-2Before I jump into literacy, I want to mention Why I Vote. This is a non-partisan, lit blogosphere event to draw on stories of why WE vote to encourage people to be part of the electoral process. It is a wonderful collaborative effort, and you can see all the posts on Chasing Ray.

Literacy-related Events

Hurricane Sandy’s wake has stirred up an outpouring of support from all spheres. Within the Kidlitosphere, author Kate Messner was one of the first to get things going. She has organized KidLit Cares, an online talent auction to benefit the American Red Cross relief effort for Hurricane Sandy.

More than 40 agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The donations are made directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

The news has been filled with heartbreaking stories, and our hearts go out to all of the victims. Yesterday morning, when I read Donalyn Miller’s Waterlogged on the Nerdy Book Club blog, I was reminded that no matter the cause (water pipe break) when we lose our treasures we lose part of ourselves. Just look at the outpouring of comments to the post and you’ll see what I mean.

Over on the Titan Library blog Ms. Cantu, a high school librarian, has created a BookFace Photo Contest. I gotta say, this is really cool. There are some really great images in the slideshow for the photo contest’s opening post, and the 21 finalists are pretty awesome, too. Leave it to the Book Chook to find the cool stuff.

Literacy Research & Programs

In the past several roundups we’ve had items about technology and its effect on kids reading. A recent article on the Kite Readers blog answers parents questions What are the benefits of children’s books? Kite Readers is an eBook publisher and there are lots of positives. It also opened up many of the questions that we’ve had, too.

I read that post after I read the New York Times article about teachers’ views on how Technology is Changing How Students Learn. The Pew Internet Project and Common Sense Media each released surveys of teachers focused on this issue.

There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks.

I am hoping that someone will overlay studies of kids’ attention spans due to TV watching from “my era” to see if there is a further erosion of attention spans or just “different.”

While we’re still talking technology and learning … the Edudemic blog talks about iPads in in the classroom with 5 Critical Mistakes Schools make with iPads (and how to correct them). The article focuses on content delivery, collaboration, and simplifying processes.

Decades of research has shown that when teachers have access to new technologies, their instinct is to use new technologies to extend existing practices … Without guidance, iPads become expensive notebooks used by students in very traditionally structured stand-and-deliver classrooms.

Although not directly related to books and literacy, I found Cecilia Kang’s article When is a kids’ online game actually an ad? in yesterday’s Washington Post Business section interesting, as well. “To kids a screen is  a screen is a screen so everything looks like entertainment to them.” That is a pretty powerful sentence: kids view the screen as entertainment. What about learning?

Raising a Bookworm

Not that Jen, Carol, or I ever need an excuse to pick up a book and read with a child … it is nice to have support from around the world! This is the second year we celebrate Picture Book Month in November. This is an international literacy effort founded by children’s authorDianne De Las Cassas, and co-founder authors and illustratos Katie DavisElizabeth O. DulembaTara Lazar, and Wendy Martin. There are new posts every day this month. I loved this plea from Zarah C. Gagatiga, a school librarian in the Philippines. From her School Librarian in Action post.

We’re preparing kids for reading and for LIFE. Let’s add picture books and the reading of it in their daily diet!

Jen is reading LOTS of picture books and most definitely raising a bookworm. In her end-of-month post, she shares a personal story of Baby Bookworm, now two-and-a-half. Books are very much a part of Baby Bookworm’s life, because “I’m reading to Baby Bookworm every day, no matter what month it is.”  so when BB “reads,” or talks about books, it’s all good.

…I also count it as a success every time she laughs over a picture book, every time she references a book in general conversation, and every time she requests a particular book. All steps along the pathway towards becoming a reader.

Speaking of Baby Bookworm (age 2 1/2), I had a “Mommy Bookworm” success last night. After dinner, she announced her intention to go upstairs by herself and read in her “little corner” (a reading nook that I put together for her a couple of months back). Admittedly, she only lasted about 3 minutes. But I still count it as a success. I also count it as a success every time she laughs over a picture book, every time she references a book in general conversation, and every time she requests a particular book. All steps along the pathway towards becoming a reader.

As Carol points out, the End-of-the-Year Lists are starting to pop up.  If you want to get a jump on your holiday book shopping, do jump over to Quietly and check them out. If you are a list connoisseur, you’ll want to wait for Susan Thomsen’s 2012 List of all Lists on Chicken Spaghetti! They’re even alphabetized (squee!)

Want a little YA Geography lesson? Then check out this United States of YA map created by EpicGirl on the Epic Reads blog. You can take a poll to see how many states you’ve read … and a new effort to for a “Planet YA” project! My thanks to Susan Stephenson (aka The Book Chook) for the link.


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