Reading Round-Up, 11 June

Well, it seems that the round-up has slipped to Wednesday. Before the year’s out, I’m betting that each day of the week will have had a chance to host a round-up. You just never know!

This week I’m opening the Round-Up with an idea. One way that you can add some fun to your child’s summer reading and writing is to find the author’s website or blog and then ask your child to write them a note. More than likely you’ll find links to interviews on their site (or just Google their name). Thanks to the various blog tours, you’ll find a slew of interviews with authors of every genre. Interviews are a great way for them to “connect” to an author, learn more about the book and maybe get answers to their lingering questions.

Summer Reading (the movie). Head over to Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews to get a summary and see the WABC clip about summer reading. Authors in three age groups offer their tips to keep kids reading. Thanks to Kelly at Big A little a for the lead.

Summer Reading (the magazine). Anne-Marie at My Readable Feast has a great post about children’s magazines as a way to interest kids in reading.

You Go Girl, OMG and WWUT?
Angelina at New Literacies has pulled together her analysis of a couple of studies that look at the how popular culture affects reading. It’s a little bit technical, but if you’re a teacher or curriculum developer it’s some food for thought.

Thanks, Dad!
John Micklos wrote an article in Monday’s Reading Today Daily that summarizes the results of a national PTA poll. According to the poll, more men are getting involved in their kids’ education than ever before. Read the summary (with a link to the press release) and read about MORE, a new initiative to keep the momentum going.

And the Award goes to … Trevor Cairney. This week I found Trevor’s blog, Literacy, Families and Learning. He hopes to “help Children Choose Books offers links to practical advice for helping kids pick books.” In this post, he talks out Children’s Choice Awards. Although his emphasis is CCAs in Australia, the ideas are universal.

Speaking of Awards has been nominated as the Best Site From Which You Can Download Free Lessons and Materials in an Edutopia‘s Readers’ Survey 2008 conducted earlier this year. We read about it in John Micklos’ article for Reading Today Daily.

Where are You Huck Finn? On May 31, 2008, author Max Eliot Anderson released a bottle into the Rock River, near his home in Rockford, IL. Inside the bottle is a self-addressed stamped postcard offering the finder a set of his middle-grade adventure series for boys. We’ve interviewed Max in the Reading Tub … he’s a self-proclaimed reluctant reader who writes for the boy he used to be. Learn more about Max, his books and get updates about the adventurous bottle at Books for Boys.

Time in a Bottle. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Charlotte has started Timeslip Tuesday over at Charlotte’s Library. Here’s Charlotte’s definition: A timeslip story is simply one in which characters pass from one time to another, either forward or backward, generally without a mechanical device such as a time machine. I count ghost stories when the ghost characters are in fact characters traveling in time, and not just spooky special effects. If anyone reading this has a timeslip story they reviewed on their own blog, leave me a link, and I’ll make a list! Kids love time travel, so head over to Charlotte’s Library and search her “Timeslip Tuesday” tag to get a list of books and read reviews.

Jumping Jack and the Beanstalk. In last week’s Round-up, I had a short piece about the new Children’s Room at the Toronto Public Library. This week, I found an article at the Education in the News blog about the Living School initiative in Ontario schools where kids get more exercise … and have seen reading scores climb 18%. Our neighbors to the north are so smart, eh?

In today’s edition of Reading Today Daily, Louise Ashe offers a summary of a Guardian article about the 800 words that 11-year-olds have seen that cause reading problems. Why? Because they do not sound themselves out phonetically. Was is easy; it’s on the word wall in every Kindergarten and First Grade classroom. I hadn’t thought of stomach or spinach. But telescope? Wouldn’t have thought of that.  Read her piece here. Then head over to read Brian Scott’s left-handed compliment in a post about the apparent link between poor spelling, good phonetic skills and being right-handed.

It’s not just US. Brian Scott posted a lengthy article in Literacy and Reading News about the results of an adult literacy survey in the United Kingdom. The title says it all “Two Thirds of UK Adults Fail Basic Literacy Test” No, it’s not about us, but yes, it is about us. We don’t have any room to be throwing stones across the pond. It’s worth the read … especially when he draws out the information about the personal and collective economic impact of illiterate populations. Louise Ash had a similar post about the how “poor literacy skills take their toll on health, and the economy” in the May 28 edition of Reading Today Daily. Read it here.

Here’s to you, Jen Robinson! [Can you guess the Muzak tune in the background?] Last weekend, I had moved this this post from Jen Robinson’s Book Page to my short list because there was something that I wanted to highlight here in the round-up. Now, five days later, I can’t remember which wonderful tidbit it was. I’m including the whole post because it is full of great stuff!

Free writing software! I found this post at the Children’s Writing Web Journal. This is a blog for children’s writer, but this piece about software caught my eye … actually it was the colorful diagram. Even if your child doesn’t aspire to be an author, this is a tool that may help him organize his thoughts, even for simple school projects. And if he is a visual learner, then it might REALLY help him make sense of what he reads and writes. It also looks like it has value as an organization tool. Anything that makes that can help them see that a 15-page term paper is a collection of smaller projects is a good thing. Did I mention it’s free?

Until next week …


4 responses to “Reading Round-Up, 11 June

  1. Great stuff, Terry, as always. Thanks especially for the link to Trevor Cairney’s blog. That’s definitely one to go on my list. I think it’s neat that even though we’re clearly following many of the same sources, we each also seem to catch at least a couple of things that the other missed.

    1. Thanks for the note. It is amazing how much is out there. There is always at least one lead from your round-up every week. It seems like it would be hard not to be redundant, but it’s been fairly easy to keep from repeating all the great stuff you have in your round-up posts and Growing Bookworms newsletter.

      1. I know what you mean. I’ll see things in your round-up that I passed on or didn’t get around to mentioning for whatever reason, and I’ll think “oh good, Terry mentioned that.”

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