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Giving Students a Little Taste of a Book

Edutopia – Emma Tackett

“I learned about the book tasting—an opportunity for students to try out a variety of books—from an instructional coach at my school, who modeled it for the teachers, enabling us to learn firsthand what this activity can do. To start, I gather titles in a variety of genres from the school library, classroom library, and literacy library—it’s best to have a few copies of each book. I set up my tasting by putting my students in seven groups of four, with four titles in a different genre for each group. One group is generally realistic fiction, one literary nonfiction, one fantasy, and so forth. With groups of four, students get to experience different viewpoints without being overwhelmed—every student gets a chance to contribute when they discuss their books.”(more)

For baby’s brain to benefit, read the right books at the right time

Medical X-Press – Lisa S. Scott

“Parents often receive books at pediatric checkups via programs like Reach Out and Read and hear from a variety of health professionals and educators that reading to their kids is critical for supporting development. The pro-reading message is getting through to parents, who recognize that it’s an important habit. A summary report by Child Trends, for instance, suggests 55 percent of three- to five-year-old children were read to every day in 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 83 percent of three- to five-year-old children were read to three or more times per week by a family member in 2012.”(more)

Analysis: Why Are All the Stories About Boys Falling Behind Girls at School Ignoring the Forces Keeping Them There?

The 74 Million – Richard Whitmire

“A recent flurry of articles on boys falling behind in school do a great job laying out the facts — but fall short when it comes to asking the right questions. Take the recent Atlantic piece as an example. Great facts, all accurate: As of 2015, 72.5 percent of females who recently graduated from high school were enrolled in college, versus 65.8 percent of men (compared to 1967 when 57 percent of the males were in college and 47.2 percent of the females.). This is important stuff. Today, at a time when college has become the new high school as many employers demand college degrees for jobs that don’t truly need those skills, there are 2.2 million more women than men in college.”(more)

Cultivating a Love of Reading in the Digital Age

Edutopia – Monica Burns

“Do your students turn the pages of a book or swipe the screen of a tablet as they read a new story? When children scroll through a blog post like the one you’re reading, how do they know when to pause, click, share, or talk about what they’ve read? Today’s readers are diving into text in ways we simply couldn’t imagine a decade or two ago. They navigate a new world of print and digital reading material, and our work as educators is to prepare them to grow and shine as readers.”(more)

Read it and weep: Kids are still not embracing nonfiction, despite campaign

The Washington Post – Jay Mathews

“I have ideas on what books are good for kids as holiday gifts, but first some sad news. U.S. schools have been trying for years to encourage more reading of nonfiction, a movement heartily endorsed by us underappreciated nonfiction writers. But it’s not working. The national What Kids Are Reading report says children’s nonfiction reading is up less than 10 percent since 2009. No more than 30 percent of K-12 students read that stuff. What to do? My only option is to give gift buyers some clues as to what nonfiction seems most attractive to children these days.”(more)

Manning: Reading to kids key to their learning

The Boston Herald – Maureen Manning

“November is Family Literacy Month, a time when schools, libraries and literacy organizations shine a spotlight on the importance of parents and children reading together. Parents are a child’s first teacher, and are often the driving force behind a child’s love of reading. Not only can remarkable bonds form through reading together, but also, family literacy has a direct impact on a child’s success later in life. The National Center for Education Statistics identifies being read to as the single most important activity, for children not yet in school, to build skills needed for future academic success.”(more)