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Using Science to Bring Literature to Life

Edutopia – Amy Schwartzbach-Kang and Edward Kang

“Too often when we consider how to connect science and literacy, we think about using literature to support science. Maybe it’s reading a fictional book with a science theme, or exploring a biography of a famous scientist. But we could instead turn that around and use science experiments as a way of bringing literature to life. Or we could use literature as a way to explore some of the questions about design and ethics that arise in the work of science.” (more)

Don’t knock kids for rereading books. Encourage them to read, full stop

The Guardian – Andrew McCallum

“The report comes from Renaissance Learning, which runs the Accelerated Reader programme in schools. This directs pupils to choose books based on their assessed reading age. It has a vested interest in constructing reading as a linear process to be tracked and measured. Is reading development really this simple though? I would argue that it’s much more complicated, particularly in the early teenage years. Of course we want children to tackle more challenging material as they grow older. But there are good reasons not to worry if your 13-year-old is yet again reading Walliams’s Billionaire Boy, so long as they still enjoy reading, do it regularly, and have teachers who can gradually nudge them towards new material.” (more)

Progress in reading stalls at secondary school. It should be a priority

The Guardian – Keith Topping

“We have a persistent problem encouraging secondary school pupils to read challenging and age-appropriate books. The tenth annual What Kids Are Reading Report, which analysed the reading habits of almost one million school pupils from 4,364 schools that use the Accelerated Reader assessment programme, found that this is true across Britain and Ireland. The report revealed that progress made by pupils in primary school halts when they transfer to secondary school and, from then on, the gap between students’ reading ability and their age grows wider each year. Worryingly, by the later years of secondary school many students are reading books that are no harder than those in primary school.” (more)

The Gap Between The Science On Kids And Reading, And How It Is Taught

NPR – Claudio Sanchez

“Mark Seidenberg is not the first researcher to reach the stunning conclusion that only a third of the nation’s schoolchildren read at grade level. The reasons are numerous, but one that Seidenberg cites over and over again is this: The way kids are taught to read in school is disconnected from the latest research, namely how language and speech actually develop in a child’s brain.” (more)

Five Things Parents Should Know About Learning To Read

The Huffington Post – Sheila Mulvenney

“Most parents want their children to be well educated, to reach their potential and one of the foundation stones for learning is reading. As a parent it’s important to understand the processes involved in learning to read. Many parents were not taught to read using a synthetic phonics approach so developing an understanding about what that entails and the evidence that shows this is the best method to use to teach children to read, is really useful.” (more)

What’s The Difference Between Children’s Books In China And The U.S.?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Nurith Aizenman

“What are the hidden messages in the storybooks we read to our kids? That’s a question that may occur to parents as their children dive into the new books that arrived over the holidays. And it’s a question that inspired a team of researchers to set up a study. Specifically, they wondered how the lessons varied from storybooks of one country to another. For a taste of their findings, take a typical book in China: The Cat That Eats Letters.”(more)