Reading Round-Up, 5 June

I was all set to take this week just to get resettled after BEA (it was fabulous, more later). But, there is so much to report for the Reading Round-up I decided I better jump in now. Some of these tidbits might be a little bit older (like a week), but I didn’t see them at m/any of my usual blog-stops, so I’m including them here.

Kids Love Teachers! Check out this article by Linda Jacobson in Education Week about the impact of the teacher-student relationship on pre-K learners. Research suggests that the quality of the relationship may be more important to a child’s learning than his teacher’s credentials or class size. Here’s the tidbit worth quoting: academic and language skills were stronger when children received greater instructional support, such as feedback on their ideas and encouragement to think in more complex ways. And children’s social skills were more advanced when teachers showed more positive emotions and were sensitive to children’s needs. Take a couple minutes to read the full article, “Teacher-Pupil Link Crucial to Pre-K Success, Study Says,” Education Week, online edition 5/15/2008; in-print version is 5/21/08. [Note: Emphasis/italics mine to frame the quote.]

Kids Love to Play. In the Children’s Room at the Toronto Public Library, you’ll find a new literacy center. That remarkably resembles a playground. Cool, eh? Check out “It’s a Playground, It’s Interactive, It’s a Literacy Center” by Louise Ash at Reading Today Daily. Maybe we need to pay more attention to books as physical playground. Check out this piece “Poor Literacy Skills Take Toll on Health, Economy” by Louise Ash in last week’s Reading Today Daily, the International Reading Association blog.

Reading as a Family. You already know we think reading as a family is important — it’s part of our mission! Asha Dornfest wrote a post at Parent Hacks about the same thing … read the post AND the comments. It’s for families with kids of all ages. Be sure to stop by I.N.K. (Interesting Non-Fiction for Kids). They’ve put together a great list of non-fiction picture books for kids from preschool through high school. We found INK on our own (we’re very loyal readers!) Thanks to Jen Robinson’s Book Page for the lead to Parent Hacks and In Need of Chocolate.

Watch Out Boys: It’s a Live Wire.
It’s one of my passions … getting boys to love reading. I have two brothers who hated (and still hate) reading. They are missing another whole dimension of their world … but I digress. Thanks to Chasing Ray and Kelly at Big A Little a letting us know that Guys Lit Wire is up.

Celebrity Book Has it Right. Yes, it seems like every celebrity has a book. And Jamie Lee Curtis has more than a few. But it seems that she might be on to something. According to this post, Ms. Curtis’ new book Big Words for Little People — and its message that kids need a broader vocabulary — may have some foundation in a child’s reading success. Read Louise Ash’s post in Reading Today Daily, the blog of the International Reading Association.

Need More Incentive? In today’s edition of Literacy and Reading News, Wayne Gillie has a post about how to get your preschooler ready for reading. You’ve got all summer … start today. “How to Get Your Pre-School Child off to Flying Start with Reading by Wayne Gillie,” posted by Brian Scott for Literacy and Reading News.

Listen to this. Stop by to read Angelina’s post on the New Literacies blog about Emergent Digital Literacy. It offers some ideas worth listening too. You might also go to Louise Ash’s post (“Podcast, Tips on Summer Learning,” Reading Today Daily) to link to a podcast from Johns Hopkins University about summer learning.

Even E.F. Hutton would listen to this! Yes, I realize you have to be of a certain age to know the old commercial “when E.F. Hutton talks … people listen.” But I couldn’t resist. So … go see what Jamie wrote about why public libraries still matter. In response to an inquiry from the managing editor of a newspaper, she put together some hard data about libraries and reading to counter his inclination to write an article with the theme “libraries are obsolete.” I particularly love this little “stat” … “Bottom line: whenever these studies happen, we can be sure that for every $1 invested in public libraries, the community gets AT LEAST $3-5 back. How does that compare with YOUR portfolio of investments?” We read about it at MyLibLog [My (mostly) Library-Related Blog]

Espanol, por favor (Spanish, please). An article in the 5/14/2008 edition of Education Week reports that schools that used structured English Immersion (v. bilingual education) for students learning English did not significantly improve their students’ ELL achievements. The study evaluate data in three states where voters decided to replace bilingual education with Immersion as the default method for teaching English to non-native speakers. Read the preliminary findings in this article by Mary Ann Zehr.

Reading Incentives Work. For many of us, reading is its own reward. Some of us aren’t there yet … and odds are they’re kids. Erik. W. Robelen wrote an article for Education Week (only an excerpt available for free) on a study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (Stanford University). Preliminary findings suggest that student incentives have helped improve reading scores. That’s hard to swallow on one level. But if it ultimately makes kids lifelong readers … maybe. I sure wish someone would interview these kids in 10 years to see if they’re still reading! The link is for the free blurb, not the whole article. You can, however, link to the full study Paying for A’s.

Bank on it! Commerce Bank has a summer reading program. If a child reads 10 books this summer, they will invest $10 in a savings account (new or existing clients). Read Brian Scott’s article about this summer reading program in Literacy and Reading News.

Money Well Spent. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded grants totaling $4.9 million to 329 non-profits in the “fight against illiteracy.” Since its creation, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $24.5 million. The Reading Tub is not a DGLF recipient, but we’re happy to cheer! Read “$4.9 Million in Grants Helps Organizations Further the Cause of Literacy and Basic Education,” by Brian Scott, LIteracy and Reading News.

Reading Incentives I Like! Head over to MotherReader and sign up for the 48-hour Book Challenge. See, we come full circle … an incentives program to demonstrate that reading (and blogging about reading) is its own reward. Check out the comments … you’ll find some great ideas to make it fun. And what 12-year-old wouldn’t want an excuse to stay up all night reading? Wahoo!

Summer Reading. I almost hate to put this post next to Reading Incentives programs, but it’s the logical spot. Thanks to The Reading Zone for the lead to this post about the importance of summer writing at TwoWriting Teachers. I love the idea of a writing challenge.

Banding Together. This is a lead for information about an idea to add age guidance for children’s books. It is sure to generate lots of discussion. It should. Read “Philip Pullman Leads Revolt against age banding for books” by John Micklos, Reading Today Daily, the International Reading Association blog. Better yet, read the full, original article in the UK Telegraph.

I’ll keep my 2c to myself!

One response to “Reading Round-Up, 5 June

  1. Thanks for the props!

    We appreciate the mention about our Summer Challenge.

    –Ruth and Stacey

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