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OPINION: How our youngest, neediest learners benefit from deeper phonics and other reforms

The Hechinger Report – Penny Nixon

“Research shows that low-income children who cannot read at grade-level by third grade are six times more likely to drop out of high school than their more affluent peers. On the flip side, research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that children who read proficiently by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school and to be economically successful in adulthood.” (more)

Building Teens Into Strong Readers — By Letting Them Teach

The KQED News Mind/Shift – Clare Lombardo

“Tutoring and mentorship programs that pair up younger and older students are common. But most rely on high-achieving students. Reach turns the idea on its head: Hecker says most of the teenage tutors start the program reading between a fourth and sixth grade level. The tutors receive training in literacy instruction because for them, Reach isn’t just an after-school program — it’s a job. They get paid for the time they spend reading and writing with kids.” (more)

Why reading aloud is a vital bridge to literacy

The Guardian – Michael Rosen

“I was very lucky to have been brought up in a household where my older brother and my father read out loud to me as a teenager. It was a form of conversation or entertainment. They were “hey-listen-to-this” moments, taking in Dickens, Hardy, Catch-22, Catcher in the Rye, the Molesworth books, newspapers, magazines, Konrad Lorenz’s science books, Alan Moorehead’s accounts of exploration and any random passage from their studies. Come to think of it, my father didn’t stop! In his 70s, when I was in my 40s, my father still read me the stories he wrote about his childhood. His intonation, his pronunciation of Yiddish, our cackling at his jokes live on.” (more)

Teaching Students to Read Metacognitively

Edutopia – Brooke MacKenzie

“Comprehension is, of course, the whole point of reading. As proficient readers read, they make meaning, learn new information, connect with characters, and enjoy the author’s craft. But as students begin to transition in their skills from cracking the sound-symbol code to becoming active meaning makers, they do not always monitor their understanding of the text as they read or notice when they make errors.” (more)

Set the children free – show them the joy of reading for reading’s sake

The Guardian – Lola Okolosie

“This week, a survey of 27,000 children and young people carried out by the National Literacy Trust, ahead of Thursday’s World Book Day, found only 52% of eight to 18-year-olds read for pleasure. And just a quarter of those will read daily, dropping 17% from 2015 figures. It is a fact made worse by findings of Nielsen Book Research’s annual survey on British children’s reading habits, which found that as few as 32% of children under 13 are read to daily by an adult, for no other reason than the pure fun of it – this is down from 41% in 2012, with most parents stopping reading to their child by the age of eight.” (more)