Just Read This: #Literacy + #Reading News, Feb 2020
Welcome to the second edition of Just Read This, a monthly recap what’s news in family reading and literacy.
Our goal is to bring you content that is relevant to everyday life as an adult raising or working with young readers. We know you’re busy, so this newsletter is short and sweet. Every edition will …
- Answer a topical question.
- Share research and best practices.
- Offer reading and book suggestions.
Sometimes these items overlap and point you to areas of the Reading Tub where we have new information and resources.
What is STEAM?
STEM and STEAM are acronyms for learning processes that integrate science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in school curriculum.
What distinguishes STEM and STEAM is the inclusion of “arts.” That is, incorporating creative and abstract thinking into the educational process. The important thing to know is that STEAM (like STEM) has an intentional design.
The Institute for Arts Education and STEAM has easy-to-understand explanations of what each program is and how they differ. This chart is from their website. [Clickable link to full-size chart.]
News to Use
Headline: How to Knock Down Five Straw Man Arguments Against Phonics by Timothy Shanahan, Reading Rockets
This argument against teaching phonics is both wrong and inane. The inane part is that it suggests that we shouldn’t teach whatever students might not like … [Independent] studies with a variety of approaches and methods have consistently found that providing [phonics] instruction to children gives them a clear advantage in learning to read.
Impact: After reading scores declined in the last National Report Card, the debate over what is and isn’t working in education has gotten pretty heated. Odds are pretty good that your school district may be rethinking its approach to how it teaches children to read. Front and center in many of these discussions is whether (or not) to teach phonics. Odds are also pretty good that you are going to hear the 5 arguments that Shanahan debunks.
This month we added 12 new book lists and expanded the collection in three theme areas: STEAM/STEM, new readers, and sports.
Recommendations for STEM / STEAM Books (see all 10 lists)
50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children by Svenja @ Colours of Us
CSI – Forensic Science and Anthropology Book List by Sue Heavenrich and Maria Marshall @ From the Mixed Up FIles of Middle Grade Authors
Recommendations for Beginning and Developing Readers (see all 21 lists)
- Easy Readers that are Actually Easy by Erica @ What Do We Do All Day
- I See Sam Books for Early Readers by Michelle Breum @ Beginning Reading Help
- 20 Fantastic Books for Kids Learning to Read by Amy Broadmoore @ Delightful Children’s Books
Recommendations for Books for Sports Fans (see all 40 lists)
Baseball Picture Books by Erica @ What Do We Do All Day
Batter Up! Great Books about Baseball by Joy Fleishhacker @ School Library Journal
Favorite Picture Books about Sports by Lauren @ Happily Ever Elephants
- Slam Dunk! 10 Sports Books for Teen Readers by Dena McMurdie @ Brightly
5 Books about the Olympic Games: From High-Tech to Ancient Greece by Elizabeth Kennedy @ ThoughtCo.com
9 Children’s Books About The Olympics To Teach Your Kids Hope, Perseverance, & History by Samantha Darby @ Romper.com