Academic Achievement For All—When Are Children Ready to Learn?

Wow!  You’ve come a long way, baby! In the 1980s and 1990s, educators and policy-makers were jumping on the bandwagon to provide free kindergarten programs in all public schools. The reasoning then was that after a year of kindergarten, every child would finally enter first grade ready to learn. Fast-forward to 2015. Now policy makers … Continue reading Academic Achievement For All—When Are Children Ready to Learn?

Common Core and Reading Assignments—What Are We Missing Here?

What a concept! Some teachers assign books to their students that they can actually read instead of assigning them to read books that are far above their reading ability! Is this surprising? Is it a bad thing? Are policy-makers suggesting that students should be assigned to read books at an instructional level that they cannot … Continue reading Common Core and Reading Assignments—What Are We Missing Here?

Learning to Talk and Learning to Read – Part 2

Learning to read is a process that involves both visual and auditory input.  Children must learn to match symbols to sounds and then connect those symbols to make words.  Some children have difficulty remembering the symbols if too many are taught at once.  Reading can be made easier by teaching only a few sound-symbols at … Continue reading Learning to Talk and Learning to Read – Part 2

Is Reading Achievement Improving?

News reports this month lauded improvements in reading achievement but there has been very little improvement in the eleven years since 2002 as you can see in this graph from the NAEP website:  http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2013/#/gains-percentiles To access reading scores in place of mathematics scores, click on the bar just under the caption, “Are higher and lower … Continue reading Is Reading Achievement Improving?

Reading for Pleasure

How many students spend any significant amount of time reading for pleasure?  How many students spend a great deal of time playing computer games?  Are our children experiencing the joys of reading for fun—or do they read only what they are forced to read in order to get their schoolwork done? Some schools have created … Continue reading Reading for Pleasure

Reading Aloud Can Help Develop Your Child’s Vocabulary

In the article, Vocabulary Instruction Failing U.S. Students, published on January 24 of this year, a Michigan State University study takes a look at kindergarten reading curricula and concludes that students are not learning enough vocabulary words and that not enough attention is paid to make sure students understand the meanings of words. You can … Continue reading Reading Aloud Can Help Develop Your Child’s Vocabulary

5 Reasons Why It’s Important to Read Aloud to Your Children

Do we really need to read aloud to our kids? Why should we read aloud to our young children? How does reading aloud to our children when they are preschoolers, benefit them later on when it is time to learn to read?  Are there long-lasting benefits that make the effort worthwhile?Here are five things kids … Continue reading 5 Reasons Why It’s Important to Read Aloud to Your Children

Learning to Talk / Learning to Read – Part 2

Last week we discussed how infants first begin to babble using the sounds they hear in their native language, and then learn to connect sounds to make words, and still later they learn to string words together to make sentences. Eventually they are able to tell a story about something they have seen or experienced. … Continue reading Learning to Talk / Learning to Read – Part 2

Learning to Talk / Learning to Read – Part 1

How does learning to talk relate to learning to read?  Some people believe that children learn to speak in whole words from the beginning; therefore, beginning readers should learn to read words as a whole unit rather than learning letter-sounds first and then blending them into words. They also believe learning to read should be … Continue reading Learning to Talk / Learning to Read – Part 1

Teaching Reading – Fluency Instruction for Beginning Readers

What is fluency? Fluency is one of the five main components in a good reading program.  If you speak a language fluently, you are able to speak it easily and without effort, and your speech flows smoothly.  You do not have to stop and think about each word you want to say.  Likewise, if you … Continue reading Teaching Reading – Fluency Instruction for Beginning Readers