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Implementing a Strong Phonics Program

Language Magazine – Lynn Hobratschk, Amy Jones, and Lisa Toole

“According to some recent research, phonics instruction is one of the most effective ways to teach children how to read, but a comprehensive phonics curriculum is hard to come by. Unless they develop foundational reading skills early, students will experience literacy deficits across all subjects. Here, three innovative curriculum leaders, Lynn Hobratschk, Dr. Amy Jones, and Lisa Toole, offer their insights into what makes a successful phonics program and how to implement it in schools.” (more)

Discovering the Depth in Graphic Novels

Edutopia – Jason DeHart

“In spite of their reputation for simplicity, graphic novels can display a surprising level of depth. This sense of depth can come through in a variety of ways—from the language to the interplay of words and images to the themes that can be explored in visual texts. And like novels, graphic novels employ a range of literary conventions, so they’re ripe for classroom discussion.” (more)

Storytelling connects children with history, families and each other

The Miami Herald – Kathleen Dexter, M.S.W.

“Few things bond a family more than shared tales and experiences. Not only is storytelling fun — who doesn’t love hearing about the good-natured scrapes a parent got into when they were their age or what life was like in the “olden” days for grandma — but the regular exchange of stories, be they personal histories or tales of fiction, can make a significant positive impact on your child’s development.” (more)

Letting boys read what they want can help boost lagging language scores, Colorado educators say

The Denver Post – Monte Whaley

“Reading experts lay the blame for boys’ lagging reading skills on physical and emotional factors. Boys tend to be more fidgety in elementary school classrooms, making it harder for them to focus and settle down long enough to read a book. Girls, meanwhile, generally do better than boys in verbal ability, giving them an early advantage in learning to read, psychologists Paula Schwanenflugel and Nancy Flanagan Flapp wrote in Psychology Today.” (more)

Six things you should do when reading with your kids

Medical X-Press – Ameneh Shahaeian

“There is magic in stories. We all remember hearing them as children, and we loved them. Imaginary adventures set in faraway places. Tales about how the dishwasher isn’t working. It doesn’t matter! Whether made up by parents or read from books, kids love to hear stories. Our recent work showed reading to children positively impacts long term academic achievement more than many other activity (including playing music with them, or doing craft). We found the more frequently parents read to their children, the better their children’s NAPLAN scores in different areas.” (more)

Reading is fundamental, so why do so many children lack the basics?

The Chicago Tribune – Esther J. Cepeda

“Listen in on any parent-teacher conference and you’ll hear teachers asking, “What is your most pressing concern for your child?” Nine times out of 10, parents of elementary-school students will answer: “I want him/her to read better.” Difficulties with reading are a major roadblock to students’ overall academic success, and the statistics are startling.” (more)